RUGBY UNION: Exiles coach says fans can swing final

Justin Burnell

Justin Burnell

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 says the Kassam Stadium crowd can be worth a converted try when they take on Bristol tonight (7.45).

The Exiles are expecting an attendance of betweeen 4,000-5,000 for the Greene King IPA Championship final first leg, which would comfortably be their best of the season.

Favourites Bristol have not lost in the league since December, but Burnell believes it would be a good time to end that run.

“Of course it would,” he said. “They have got to come here and I thought the support and the crowd in the semi-final against Leeds was just fantastic.

“If we can have the same amount or just a bit more, I honestly believe that’s seven points within itself.

“I thought they were amazing.

“The biggest message from me is let’s get down to the Kassam, get the support in here and produce plenty of noise. Then it’s come on the Welsh!”

The Exiles beat Bristol 22-7 at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium in November, but lost the return 25-21 last month.

However, this two-legged final – the teams meet again next Wednesday – is by far the biggest of their clashes and Burnell is relishing it.

“We are all excited,” he said. “It’s just a big occasion. “We are just up for this game. It’s an opportunity.

“When you look at the Aviva Premiership, it is now one of the best if not the best club competition in the world.

“It’s a fantastic advert for what world rugby is about and our aspiration has to be to join them in that fantastic competition.”

With two legs to play, many pundits will wonder what is a ‘par’ score for Welsh to take away from the Kassam.

But Burnell stressed: “It’s all about winning. We have got to turn up and win, whether that is by three points or ten points.

“Let’s just take the win and hopefully go down to the Memorial Ground and follow on with that.”

Latest Sport news

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win against Cambridge United

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

3:03pm Sunday 26th April 2015

WATCH the best moments as Oxford United signed off at the Kassam Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Cambridge?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:53pm Saturday 25th April 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Roofe 31, Hylton 45+8), Cambridge Utd 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:02pm Saturday 25th April 2015

GOALS from Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton saw Oxford United win their final home game of the season at a canter against Cambridge United.

Oxford United v Cambridge United - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 25th April 2015

All the latest news from Oxford United's final home game of the season, against Cambridge United.

Collins eager to avenge Oxford United's 5-1 defeat by Cambridge United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

Michael Collins expects a reminder of Oxford United’s heavy defeat at Cambridge United earlier in the season will be pinned up in the changing room to act as motivation ahead of their rematch today.

Minute's silence at Bradford so poignant for Oxford United skipper Wright

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

A minute's silence will be held at Oxford United before kick-off this afternoon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Ollie Smith aware of big threat from former club Leicester Tigers

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

IT is never a good time to play Leicester Tigers, according to assistant coach Ollie Smith as London Welsh travel to Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership today (3).

RUGBY UNION: Upbeat Olly Barkley optimistic for Welford Road tester

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

OLLY Barkley believes London Welsh head to Leicester Tigers today off the back of the best week of training this season.

RUGBY UNION: Chris Elder remains level-headed as London Welsh bring in trio

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

CHRIS Elder says London Welsh cannot take promotion back to the Aviva Premiership for granted next season.

SWIMMING: Superb Oxford land seven golds in a stunning display

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

CITY of Oxford won seven gold medals at the Ealing Short Course Open in London.

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