RUGBY: Burnell upbeat despite Welsh defeat

9:20am Monday 12th May 2014

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell says it’s all to play for at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium next Sunday as the Exiles look to overturn a seven-point semi-final, first-leg deficit against Leeds Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship play-offs.

Welsh went down 38-31 at Headingley Carnegie yesterday, but Burnell says the tie is far from over.

“It’s all to play for,” he said.

“If we score the first try in the first few minutes then it’s nil-nil on aggregate and that will be our target, to make a game of it.

“It could be the last game of the season, or we could then be in the final. We’ll be going into the game with the appetite to win.”

Welsh, though, will have to improve their discipline if they are to reach the final and keep alive their dream of an immediate Premiership return.

Despite outscoring the home side three tries to two, eight Leeds penalties hurt Welsh on the scoreboard – including one from the last kick of the game – and the Exiles must rectify that in the return leg.

“We’re disappointed with our performance,” added Burnell.

“It’s not a good day at the office when you concede 38 points, but we’ve got to get back in and that’s something we’re very good at.

“You can’t moan about it. It’s one thing we’ve always said, we don’t make excuses.”

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