RUGBY UNION: London Welsh raring to go ahead of play-off second leg

London Welsh at their pre-match press conference at the Kassam Stadium yesterday ahead of their Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-final. From left: Nathan Trevett, Matt Corker, head coach Justin Burnell, Alan Awcock and Tom May

London Welsh at their pre-match press conference at the Kassam Stadium yesterday ahead of their Greene King IPA Championship play-off semi-final. From left: Nathan Trevett, Matt Corker, head coach Justin Burnell, Alan Awcock and Tom May

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

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell is backing his side’s battling qualities to see them into the play-off final on Sunday.

The Exiles trail Leeds Carnegie by seven points after a a 38-31 first leg defeat in their Greene King IPA Championship semi-final at Headingley.

But Burnell said every time Welsh have lost this season they have come back fighting and will do so again at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

“The biggest thing that has come out of this year is we seem to thrive and play better under pressure,” he said.

“They are a resilient bunch of players. They never roll over and just get back into a good mindset.

“Pressure isn’t something that we have really discussed.

“We work on the basis of no excuses and as long as you give 100 percent, you can’t do much more than that.”

Burnell’s view was echoed by captain Tom May, who said: “When we have gone down, this team really fights and we have pulled together.

“We have a good bunch of lads.

“Seven points doesn’t really bother me as a target. Even if they score first, it doesn’t.

“We’ll start the game as if it’s 0-0 and play as well as we can. That’s all we can do.”

Welsh beat Leeds 31-24 and 19-10 in their regular season clashes and Burnell said there was no reason why they could not do that again.

“None whatsoever.” he said. “Back at home, we have got a nice little consistency going.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger crowd and it’s all to play for.

“It’s a converted try, which is nothing. It is exciting times for us.”

Welsh will name their side today, with Burnell set to maintain his rotation policy.

“We never have the same XV going on the park and it won’t be the same on Sunday,” he said.

“We like consistency and we like rewarding players who train hard in the week.

“If you went down that route of playing the same old XV, I think the environment would change.

“So for us it is a bit of a no brainer. Training has gone really well and people have really put their hands up in respect of this weekend’s game.”

Latest Sport news

Cook and McNish double up as North Leigh rout Wantage Town

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Jamie Cook and Callum McNish both scored twice as free-scoring North Leigh added to Wantage’s recent misery with a convincing 5-0 victory in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West derby at Alfredian Park.

RACING: Bradstock praises Flintham

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Mark Bradstock believes Ascot winner Flintham could be even better than his illustrious relatives Carruthers and Coneygree.

Danny Rose urges Oxford United to tighten up defence

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Danny Rose says Oxford United need to kick the habit of conceding the first goal in games after they again had to come from behind, drawing 1-1 at Hartlepool United.

Draw leaves Michael Appleton nonplussed

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Michael Appleton thinks only time will tell if Oxford United’s 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United was a good point or a missed opportunity.

FOOTBALL Didcot denied victory by ten-man visitors

Oxford Mail: Luke Carnell heads Abingdon United ahead during their shock 2-1 win against Sholing

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Didcot Town extended their unbeaten run in Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West to 14 matches, but only after coming back two goals down at home to draw 2-2 with ten-man Bridgwater on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Brave Banbury thwarted by late goal

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Basement club Banbury gave Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division high-fliers Chesham a big fright before having to settle for a 1-1 draw.

RESULTS: December 20-21

7:50am Monday 22nd December 2014

Oxford Mail: Ox Mail senior football wob

FOOTBALL: Kidlington lose top-slot after home defeat

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:20am Monday 22nd December 2014

Kidlington were knocked off the top of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division following a surprise 3-0 home defeat by Highworth Town on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City goalscorer Tom Winters is happy man

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Goalscorer Tom Winters admitted Hyde were among the toughest opponents Oxford City have faced this season, despite their 2-0 victory, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City forced to dig for victory against gritty Hyde

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

Oxford City stretched their winning run to five games with a home victory over basement boys Hyde United at Marsh Lane on Saturday, writes Matthew Bruce.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree