RUGBY UNION: Burnell's proud of battling Welsh's qualities

London Welsh's Gordon Ross boots the ball forward

London Welsh's Gordon Ross boots the ball forward

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

Justin Burnell was full of praise for London Welsh’s spirit after their 19-10 victory over Leeds Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

Welsh were under pressure for large chunks of yesterday's match against in-form Leeds, but came through well.

“It was a good win,” said head coach Justin Burnell.

“I was really pleased with that today and more pleased with our endeavour.

“Our attitude is phenomenal. I think Leeds are the best team in the league at the moment.

“As close as it was, I always knew that the game wouldn’t go away from us because of our spirit.

“That is what chuffed me the most today.

“Beating the form team of the league is always nice. Everyone seems to come to London Welsh and want to beat us.”

Oxford Mail:

London Welsh's Ollie Stedman is stopped in his tracks as teammate Tom May looks on during the win over Leeds Carnegie

Burnell was delighted with the impact of his three front-row replacements and hailed scrum half Chris Cook’s resilience.

“He has really struggled all week,” said Burnell. “He has been really ill with a chest infection.

“He has been on a lot of medication, but I thought he was fantastic and really played well.

“Never at any stage did he want to miss out on playing. That goes to show how competitive the environment is and I am just over the moon with that.”

Leeds head coach James Lowes said: “I felt we lost that game today rather than London Welsh winning it.

“We should have got more out of the first half and that is something we need to learn from.

“We have come back stronger from every loss we have had this year and I expect us to do the same this time.”

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