9:10am Saturday 17th May 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
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.”
12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.
12:00pm Monday 1st September 2014
Have your say on all the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.
11:24am Monday 1st September 2014
Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
9:30am Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.
9:20am Monday 1st September 2014
OXFORD City general manager Justin Merritt said he was proud of his players despite defeat at Harrogate Town on Saturday.
8:40am Monday 1st September 2014
BANBURY United let slip a 2-0 lead as they fell to a seventh straight league defeat this season with a 4-2 loss at Frome Town in the Southern League Premier Division.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
JONATHAN Margetts’ 55th-minute strike inflicted a first defeat of the season on Oxford City in their Vanarama Conference North clash at Harrogate Town on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
THAME United produced a sensational comeback to beat Highmoor Ibis 3-2 with the final kick of their FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday.
8:20am Monday 1st September 2014
GREAT Britain’s men’s eight successfully defended their title with a stunning display in Amsterdam yesterday.
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