RUGBY UNION: Exiles need to learn lessons and quickly, says Burnell

Justin Burnell

Justin Burnell

First published in Sport

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell said they must learn the lessons of their Adams Park defeat to Wasps and quickly.

The Exiles led 17-10 after 50 minutes of the friendly encounter, only for the home side to take control with four tries as both teams rang the changes.

“It was a massive learning curve,” said Burnell.

“At 65 minutes we were more than in the game. But it was those certain areas at crucial times – there were four line-outs in the green zone that we completely missed and you just can’t do that.

“So we’re disappointed, but I also felt there were a lot of positives in there. The scrum was exceptional.

“We’re very realistic as to what the challenge is going to be.”

Welsh will be better prepared for their second taste of top-flight rugby, having had to fight a legal battle just to be promoted in 2012.

But Burnell knows they must raise their game ahead of their Aviva Premiership opener against Exeter Chiefs at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday, September 7.

He said: “We’ve got three weeks now to build and move forward to the Exeter game.

“We’ll have time this week to review it and put things right.

“Whereas last year you could get away with making five or six mistakes at this level, and against a team like Wasps, you can’t get away with making two mistakes.”

Burnell also praised many of Welsh’s debutants.

He said: “I was really pleased; Tim Molenaar, Dean Schofield, and Olly Barkley’s distribution, and then you’ve still got that magical touch in Nick Scott and Seb Stegmann.

“The front row with Taione Vea and Koree Britton from a scrummaging point of view was very good.”

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