RUGBY UNION: We must keep our focus, says Welsh coach Jones

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Lyn Jones has told his London Welsh players to retain perspective ahead of tomorrow’s relegation showdown with Sale Sharks (3pm).

Welsh are six points ahead of basement boys Sale, so victory at the Kassam Stadium would leave them in a strong position with seven games to play.

But with rivals Sale and London Irish both winning last weekend, while Welsh lost at Leicester, the pressure would seem to have increased on Jones’s men.

The Exiles’ head coach stressed: “Last weekend’s results were something that we appreciated could well happen.

“We are focused on eight matches, not just one.

“That is what’s important, not just how this weekend goes.

“There will be a lot of expectation around this week, but win or lose, we need to keep our focus.”

Welsh have confounded many people’s predictions by winning four of their Aviva Premiership matches so far.

But with Sale and Irish seemingly hitting form below them, the Exiles may need to raise their games further to survive.

Jones said: “We have got a number of big games coming up, such as Northampton at home.

“We are away to London Irish and at home to Worcester, who we are looking to catch.

“There is a lot of rugby to be played.

“We are under no illusions that things would get tight and go down to the wire – and that is proving to be the case.”

If Welsh are to win tomorrow, a vociferous home crowd can make all the difference.

Jones said: “I think it is everything. Referees get under pressure with a good crowd.

“We need their support to come and help us.

“We certainlty feel the difference when we are away from home.

“We had a massive benefit from the near-capacity crowd against Wasps.

“I know how the boys appreciate that.”

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