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

FOOTBALL: Mike Ford appointed new Banbury United manager

Oxford Mail:

11:47am Friday 22nd May 2015

Banbury United have appointed former Oxford City boss Mike Ford as their new manager.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley to have role in attack plans

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

OLLY Barkley will have a say in London Welsh’s coaching set-up for their Greene King IPA Championship campaign.

POINT-TO-POINT: Harbour Court in fine form for Kingston Blount

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

HARBOUR Court is set to be the star attraction as the curtain comes down on the South Midlands Area season at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor, on Sunday (2.30).

RUGBY UNION: Berry returns for second Chinnor spell

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

PROP Andy Berry has rejoined Chinnor ahead of next season’s National League 2 South campaign.

ROWING: Teddies and Abingdon get taste for success

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

ST Edward’s and Abingdon warmed up for this week’s National Schools’ Regatta with encouraging wins, writes JOHN WIGGINS.

CRICKET: Will Eason backs debutant Harrison Ward to make mark for Horspath

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Friday 22nd May 2015

HORSPATH skipper Will Eason believes 15-year-old Harrison Ward will be an instant hit on his Division 1 debut at Henley tomorrow.

GOLF: Pepperell has action-packed first day at Wentworth

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

Eddie Pepperell had an eventful opening round at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday.

TENNIS: Shoot-out keeps St Helen girls on course

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

ABINGDON pupils have dominated the local section in the year eight and year ten AEGON Team Tennis Schools National Championships.

CRICKET: Ian Crosby confident of Oxford recovery

Oxford Mail:

6:50am Friday 22nd May 2015

CAPTAIN Ian Crosby is calling on his Oxford side to bounce back from a winless start to their Division 1 campaign when they host promoted Reading tomorrow.

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