RUGBY UNION: Exiles coach Burnell wary after crushing win over Henley

Nic Reynolds beats his marker to go over for a London Welsh try against Henley

Nic Reynolds beats his marker to go over for a London Welsh try against Henley

First published in Sport

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell was a satisfied man after seeing the Exiles kick-off their pre-season with a 64-0 win over Henley Hawks at Dry Leas.

But Burnell is acutely aware that there are tougher tests to come.

Giving debuts to a number of the Club’s summer signings, Welsh ran in ten tries and now face Wasps next Sunday at Adams Park.

“I thought it was a good blow out,” said Burnell. “Wherever you go, to score ten tries is always pleasing, but the most important factor was keeping the opposition to nil.

“It’s the start of the pre-season process, the first step on the ladder, and a bigger challenge next week in Wasps.

“To come away with minimum injuries, ten tries and a clean sheet is pleasing, but there is still a lot to work on in respect of the skill aspect.

“I thought we dropped too many balls and some of the passing just wasn’t accurate enough.

“When we go in to these bigger games that’s going to be the difference between winning and losing.”

Eight of those tries came in a clinical first-half display which saw Ben West and Rhys Crane both cross twice, with Adam Field, Elliot Kear, Nic Reynolds and Chris Elder all touching down.

“Rhys Crane looked really sharp and I thought James Down was man of the match today – I was really impressed with him,” added Burnell.

“As for some of the other new signings, Chris Elder looked confident and safe under the high ball and has a big physical presence.

“And some of those performances will now be rewarded and go in to the squad to play Wasps.”

Welsh’s second half tries came from Elder and James Lewis, but the Aviva Premiership new boys certainly didn’t have it all their own way in the second half as Henley grew in to the game and asked plenty of questions of the Welsh defence.

“It was scrappy in the second half. There were a lot of changes and it took the third batch of players that bit more time to get in to it,” said Burnell.

“In games like this when you get to a 50 point margin and all everyone can see is the 100 point margin, but you’ve got to give respect to Henley.

“They were outstanding. They worked hard and it was a great advert for the relationship between the two clubs.”

The Exiles now head to Adams Park next Sunday for what is sure to be a far sterner challenge.

“That will be a true indication of where we’re actually at,” said Burnell “We’ll be putting out the best team available as well as some of the boys who played today, and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Latest Sport news

Fans keen to join Oxford United on their pre-season trip to Austria

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxford United’s pre-season preparations have been boosted by the confirmation of a training camp and a match in Austria.

MOTORSPORT: Bradley Smith sets strong pace ahead of Mugello qualifying

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 30th May 2015

BRADLEY Smith made a strong start with the fifth fastest time in practice ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello yesterday.

ATHLETICS: Bonnie van Wilgenburg set for gruelling test

8:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxford runner Bonnie van Wilgenburg is taking on a punishing 85km (52.8 miles) challenge today when she represents Great Britain at the IAU World Trail Championships.

ATHLETICS: Matt Luff's facing a marathon challenge

Oxford Mail: Ultra-dedicated! Oxfordshire marathon man gives his all for charity

8:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Matt Luff is set to undertake one of the most gruelling ultra-marathons in the world when he competes in the 90km (56 miles) Comrades Marathon in South Africa on Sunday.

WOMEN'S & GIRLS CRICKET: County women tie with S|uffolk in last-ball drama

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxfordshire were involved in a thrilling tie against Suffolk in ECB Women’s County Championship Division 3 at Long Melford.

MARTIAL ARTS: Kat Hill clinches double delight

Oxford Mail: Double gold medal at British Championships for Oxford martial artist and academic

8:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxford-based instructor Kat Hill won double gold at the BJJ British Open last weekend in Coventry.

SWIMMING: Bicester Blue Fins storm to seven golds in Portsmouth

Oxford Mail: Close up of swimmer for sport

8:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Bicester Blue Fins kept up their superb form by winning seven gold medals at the second weekend of the ASA South East Regional Championships in Portsmouth.

BOXING: Smith shines against fiery Rosenberg at Gravesham

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Saturday 30th May 2015

LLOYD Smith was denied a knockout but still recorded a unanimous points win after a dominant display against Ashley Rosenberg at Gravesham ABC, Kent.

CRICKET: Oxon Over 60s fall short of target

7:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Oxfordshire slipped to a 63-run defeat against Somerset in the Seevent 60+ County Championship at Midsomer Norton. Somerset made 277-7 off their 45 overs with Graham Poulton (98) and John Thackray (58) leading the way as Steve Partington took 3-53. Derek Watts (45), Julian Lawton Smith (37) and Ian Caunce (33) chipped in for Oxon, but they were all out for 214, with David Stephenson (4-16) and Brian Brogden (4-25) doing the damage.

CRICKET: Super Smith shines as Oxon Academy cruise to success

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 30th May 2015

Harry Smith starred with a rapid 84 as Oxfordshire Academy posted an impressive seven-wicket victory against Berkshire 2nd at Datchet.

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