9:30am Friday 16th May 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell is backing his side’s battling qualities to see them into the play-off final on Sunday.
The Exiles trail Leeds Carnegie by seven points after a a 38-31 first leg defeat in their Greene King IPA Championship semi-final at Headingley.
But Burnell said every time Welsh have lost this season they have come back fighting and will do so again at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.
“The biggest thing that has come out of this year is we seem to thrive and play better under pressure,” he said.
“They are a resilient bunch of players. They never roll over and just get back into a good mindset.
“Pressure isn’t something that we have really discussed.
“We work on the basis of no excuses and as long as you give 100 percent, you can’t do much more than that.”
Burnell’s view was echoed by captain Tom May, who said: “When we have gone down, this team really fights and we have pulled together.
“We have a good bunch of lads.
“Seven points doesn’t really bother me as a target. Even if they score first, it doesn’t.
“We’ll start the game as if it’s 0-0 and play as well as we can. That’s all we can do.”
Welsh beat Leeds 31-24 and 19-10 in their regular season clashes and Burnell said there was no reason why they could not do that again.
“None whatsoever.” he said. “Back at home, we have got a nice little consistency going.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a bigger crowd and it’s all to play for.
“It’s a converted try, which is nothing. It is exciting times for us.”
Welsh will name their side today, with Burnell set to maintain his rotation policy.
“We never have the same XV going on the park and it won’t be the same on Sunday,” he said.
“We like consistency and we like rewarding players who train hard in the week.
“If you went down that route of playing the same old XV, I think the environment would change.
“So for us it is a bit of a no brainer. Training has gone really well and people have really put their hands up in respect of this weekend’s game.”
Latest Sport news
9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.
4:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship for the second time in his superb career.
1:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
Here's our interactive back page for you to explore today with links to all the stories and latest headlines
12:31pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
OXFORD University hammered Loughborough University 43-0 in their penultimate Varsity Match warm-up at a very wet Iffley Road last night.
12:29pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
BANBURY United exited the Birmingham Senior Cup after losing 6-1 at Coleshill Town.
9:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
LONDON Welsh could see first-choice half backs Olly Barkley and Piri Weepu return to face Northampton at the Kassam Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
8:50am Wednesday 26th November 2014
With their closest rivals in cup action, Carterton Town A increased their lead at the top of the Witney & District FA Premier Division to eight points with a 3-1 home win over bottom club Brize Norton, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
8:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014
North Berks League Division 1 leaders Berinsfield made short work of bottom side Saxton Rovers with a comfortable 5-0 home win, writes PHIL ANNETS.
8:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
DAMINI Bhagat hit a hat-trick for Oxford City in the Under 12 Red League as they ended leaders Tower Hill Vixens’ perfect record with a 6-2 away win.
8:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
OXFORD MAIL YOUTH LEAGUE
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group