RUGBY UNION: Exiles are banking on spirit to prevail

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

Justin Burnell says London Welsh will be taking a lot of team spirit as well as 19 points into their promotion showdown with Bristol.

The Exiles visit the Memorial Stadium tomorrow night leading 27-8 from the first leg of their Greene King IPA Championship final.

Head coach Burnell insists his side will play positively rather than trying to defend a lead, and have the character to do that.

“We’re a pretty honest bunch and we don’t roll over,” he said.

“We saw that in respect to Leeds in the semi-final. Thirteen points down, we were dead and buried and everyone wrote us off.

“That’s one thing we have got – spirit.”

Welsh ended Bristol’s 15-match winning run in the league at the Kassam Stadium, but Burnell says they won’t stop there in their bid to secure a Premiership place.

“You have got to win both legs,” he said.

While Burnell is set to rotate his team again, he bristled when asked if they had changed preparation for the first leg against Bristol.

“No,” he replied. “Because we are a one-dimensional team, as everybody keeps telling us.

“We can only play one way, so no.

“It’s pretty straight-forward. We have only got a plan A.”

Carlisle Utd 2 (Beck 73, Asamoah 89), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 45)

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