Burnell hails Ross as London Welsh fly half holds nerve to seal final place

Gordon Ross kicks this penalty

Gordon Ross kicks this penalty

First published in Sport 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 praised Gordon Ross’s resilience after his dramatic late penalty clinched a Greene King IPA Championship play-off spot.

Fly half Ross struggled with the boot for much of the match, but came good to clinch Welsh’s 29-20 victory over Leeds Carnegie at the Kassam Stadium yesterday.

The penalty sealed a pulsating 60-58 aggregate win for the Exiles, who will now face Bristol in a two-legged final for a place in the Premiership, with the first game in Oxford on Wednesday, May 28.

“He is a quality player – everybody has a bad day.” said Burnell of Ross, who missed five kicks worth 13 points.

“You don’t get 30-odd international caps and play the length he has without being good.

“He was always going to kick that last penalty.

“People around me were saying should we kick for the corner, but I said ‘no he’ll kick it’. And he did.”

Ross’s penalty completed a great comeback from Welsh, who trailed 20-14 and by 13 points on aggreggate with 20 minutes left and looked down and out.

Asked what went through his before the kick, Ross said: “I can’t miss this one, Justin will kill me.

“It was disappointing personally from the boot, but fortunately we got through it by the skin of our teeth.

“It showed fantastic team spirit and effort and the culture that Justin Burnell has created here.”

Ross added: “Leeds probably got to 20-14 and thought they had done enough.

“We never gave up and scored a try when we only had 14 men on the park, which gave us a huge boost.

“The only decent kick I had all day got us back to six points.

“That gave us the confidence to score another try.

“We got there and even though I missed another kick, we knew one score would get us back into it.

“To get from our own 22 and keep possession up to the far 22 to get the three points was excellent.

“In those conditions, the skill levels from some of our players in the second half, was exceptional.”

The match was watched by a crowd of 2,324, which was the Exiles’ best of the season.

“What a fantastic atmosphere today,” said Burnell. “It was good to see the stadium coming to life.

“When we rocked up before the game, to see all the kids enjoying themselves, it shows what we can achieve in Oxford.”

Latest Sport news

Ecclestone allows Caterham break

Oxford Mail: The gates at the Caterham factory in Leafield remain closed for a second day

11:47am Friday 24th October 2014

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has given special dispensation to Caterham to miss the next two grands prix whilst a buyer is sought for the cash-strapped marque.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City boost ranks by signing Spanish defender

Oxford Mail: Justin Merritt, Oxford City's new general manager

5:46pm Friday 24th October 2014

Oxford City have completed the signing of former Royal Antwerp defender Kiko Insa, who will go straight into the side for tomorrow's Vanarama Conference North fixture against Hednesford Town at Marsh Lane.

'Major hope' that Caterham factory in Leafield could re-open despite F1 team also going into administration

Oxford Mail:

1:34pm Friday 24th October 2014

ADMINISTRATORS have been handed full management responsibility for the Caterham Formula One team in a bid to find a new buyer.

Collins: Whing's return has boosted everyone at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

11:30am Friday 24th October 2014

THE presence of Andy Whing back in the Oxford United side has prompted other players to raise their game, according to Michael Collins.

Carlisle boss calls for faster start against Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

11:20am Friday 24th October 2014

KEITH Curle has demanded a strong start from Carlisle United when they host Oxford United at Brunton Park tomorrow.

FOOTBALL Rising star Roberts eager for Oxford United first-team action as Morris returns to Norwich

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 24th October 2014

James Roberts is in no mood to rest on his laurels as the young Oxford United striker looks to feature in a fourth successive game when they visit Carlisle United tomorrow.

Potter changes mood to rediscover swagger for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 24th October 2014

ALFIE Potter says the secret to his return to form has been learning to enjoy football again after a difficult spell.

Oxford United pin Cambridge scoreline up in dressing room as motivation

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 24th October 2014

MICHAEL Collins has revealed Oxford United are using a reminder of their hammering at Cambridge United to get fired-up for games.

Oxford United boss encouraged by Hoskins progress

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 24th October 2014

WILL Hoskins continues to be well ahead of schedule in his recovery from a groin injury.

Yellow Army Day scheduled for Oxford United's clash with Wycombe

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 24th October 2014

OXFORD United’s next home game has been designated as Yellow Army Day by the club’s supporters’ group.

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