LONDON Welsh must show why they had the league’s best defence when they host Leeds Carnegie at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium tomorrow.
That is the message from captain Tom May as they seek to overturn a 38-31 first leg deficit.
Welsh conceded 348 points in the regular Championship season – the fewest of any club, but were surprisingly loose in defence against Leeds.
“We made one or two defensive errors, which we shouldn’t have made,” said May.
“We have had a pretty good defence all season.
“I know Ollie Smith (defence coach) wasn’t very pleased with how we did in certain areas of the field.
“But there are always improvements to be made on each performance and that is what we have looked at this week.
“There are a couple of things which we have altered in attack and, if we sort the discipline out, we should be in with a good shout.”
The first leg at Headingley was not all bad, with Welsh outscoring Leeds by three tries to two.
Asked what he would say to his team for the second leg, May replied: “Cut back on the penalties, improve our discipline and serve up some of the play that we showed in Leeds.
“At times we played some good stuff, but we just let ourselves down individually and collectively.”
Welsh have been heavily marketing tomorrow’s match in the hope of securing a big attendance.
“It’s always good playing at home and the crowd have been very supportive of us,” said May.
“It’s all very much appreciated.
“To come here to Oxford and play on a pitch that is in such good shape in front of a nice crowd, these are exciting times.
“Semi-finals are exciting in themselves. If you are in or around the region, why not pop along to the game on Sunday lunchtime?
“We are trying to build something, both on and off the field, and hopefully we’ll continue to do that on Sunday.”
May added: ”A good display will hopefully lead us into a final.
“We are three games away from getting back into the Premiership.
“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. We have a big game on Sunday and we are behind, so we understand that.
“We also understand what is at stake in what could be a hugely successful season.”
Latest Sport news
12:30pm Thursday 26th November 2015
OXFORD United have strengthened their squad ahead of today's loan deadline by signing defender Jordan Evans from Fulham.
10:40am Thursday 26th November 2015
RYAN Taylor is due to see a specialist next week as Oxford United bid to get to the root of his groin problem.
9:30am Thursday 26th November 2015
OXFORD United Women’s goalkeeper Demi Lambourne is hoping for the perfect end to an impressive year after being shortlisted for sportswoman of the year accolade at the Oxfordshire Sports Awards.
9:00am Thursday 26th November 2015
OXFORD United remain optimistic they will get at least one loan signing across the line before today’s deadline.
8:30am Thursday 26th November 2015
JORDAN Flynn faces one of the biggest tests of his fledgling boxing career today when he takes on national champion Luke McCormack in Sheffield.
8:10am Thursday 26th November 2015
Oxford University topped the half-century mark for the second time in a week when they thrashed London Scottish 53-0 at Iffley Road.
8:00am Thursday 26th November 2015
Phil Clark defeated the Johnson Buildbase Oxford & District League’s top player Mark Trafford, but could not stop Gladiators Club A crashing 5-1 to Oracle.
7:50am Thursday 26th November 2015
BICESTER Boxing Club head coach Daza Usher praised welterweight duo Sammy AitTales and Ant Miller after the pair won bouts at the Witney Fightclub show.
7:00am Thursday 26th November 2015
OXFORD City Stars were edged out 2-1 in a cagey clash with high-flying Wightlink Raiders at Oxpens in English National League South Division 1.
7:00am Thursday 26th November 2015
Oxford City AC’s men’s team retained their Berks, Bucks & Oxon Cross Country Championship title with a dominant performance at Horspath.