RUGBY UNION: London Welsh must go on attack, says Kirwan

Kirwan looks on ruefully after being sin-binned in London Welsh’s play-off semi-final win over Leeds. The flanker knows his side must keep their discipline in the second leg of the final at Bristol next Wednesday

Kirwan looks on ruefully after being sin-binned in London Welsh’s play-off semi-final win over Leeds. The flanker knows his side must keep their discipline in the second leg of the final at Bristol next Wednesday

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

CarlL Kirwan insists London Welsh will focus on beating Bristol again rather than defending their aggregate lead.

The Exiles’ 27-8 Greene King IPA Championship final first-leg victory at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium means they will take a 19-point lead to Bristol next Wednesday.

A solid defensive peformance at the Memorial Stadium might be enough to secure Welsh a return to the Aviva Premiership.

But flanker Kirwan, who scored the Exiles’ third try on Wednesday, said: “We want to win each game.

“If we win both of these, it’s done. Our focus is just on winning.

“We will put the first leg behind us. It’s job done and we move on.”

Asked if having such a good lead now put more pressure on Welsh for the return leg, Kirwan replied: “I don’t think it does.

“Bristol will still be the favourites at their place.

“We can take great satisfaction from the first leg, but Bristol at the Memorial Ground are a different team.

“They are always going to be physical, they are always going to be a hard team.

“We have got to get back into training, work even harder and look at our discipline again and just not let them into the game.

“They are not going to be happy with that.

“I imagine they will have a really tough week and come flying out of the blocks next week.”

Kirwan cut a dejected figure after being sin-binned in Welsh’s semi-final second leg at home to Leeds as his side looked like crashing out.

But the stirring comeback that followed led to a far better display in defeating Bristol.

“Discipline has been the big thing we have talked about after the Leeds game,” said Kirwan.

“They have not really been too soft on me with the yellow card.

“We have worked hard on that area, but there were still a few stupid penalties, which could have cost us points.”

Kirwan’s try was one of two Welsh scored from clinical driving mauls.

“It’s always good to get in the scoring act, but all credit to the forwards, it was a great drill,” he said.

“We scored from two driving mauls, which obviously shows something is going right in that area.

“That’s just the big boys working hard up front. I have got to give that one to them really.

“It’s something we have worked on all week and a big part of our game.

“It’s a bonus to see it coming off.”

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