Burnell hails Ross as London Welsh fly half holds nerve to seal final place

Gordon Ross kicks this penalty

Gordon Ross kicks this penalty

First published in Rugby Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell praised Gordon Ross’s resilience after his dramatic late penalty clinched a Greene King IPA Championship play-off spot.

Fly half Ross struggled with the boot for much of the match, but came good to clinch Welsh’s 29-20 victory over Leeds Carnegie at the Kassam Stadium yesterday.

The penalty sealed a pulsating 60-58 aggregate win for the Exiles, who will now face Bristol in a two-legged final for a place in the Premiership, with the first game in Oxford on Wednesday, May 28.

“He is a quality player – everybody has a bad day.” said Burnell of Ross, who missed five kicks worth 13 points.

“You don’t get 30-odd international caps and play the length he has without being good.

“He was always going to kick that last penalty.

“People around me were saying should we kick for the corner, but I said ‘no he’ll kick it’. And he did.”

Ross’s penalty completed a great comeback from Welsh, who trailed 20-14 and by 13 points on aggreggate with 20 minutes left and looked down and out.

Asked what went through his before the kick, Ross said: “I can’t miss this one, Justin will kill me.

“It was disappointing personally from the boot, but fortunately we got through it by the skin of our teeth.

“It showed fantastic team spirit and effort and the culture that Justin Burnell has created here.”

Ross added: “Leeds probably got to 20-14 and thought they had done enough.

“We never gave up and scored a try when we only had 14 men on the park, which gave us a huge boost.

“The only decent kick I had all day got us back to six points.

“That gave us the confidence to score another try.

“We got there and even though I missed another kick, we knew one score would get us back into it.

“To get from our own 22 and keep possession up to the far 22 to get the three points was excellent.

“In those conditions, the skill levels from some of our players in the second half, was exceptional.”

The match was watched by a crowd of 2,324, which was the Exiles’ best of the season.

“What a fantastic atmosphere today,” said Burnell. “It was good to see the stadium coming to life.

“When we rocked up before the game, to see all the kids enjoying themselves, it shows what we can achieve in Oxford.”

Latest Sport news

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh crash to heaviest defeat at Saracens

Oxford Mail:

8:21pm Sunday 21st December 2014

London Welsh crashed to their heaviest defeat in an already disastrous Aviva Premiership season when they conceded 11 tries in a 78-7 loss to a star-studded Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match at Hartlepool?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:37pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Hartlepool Utd 1 (Ironside 53), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 65)

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Saturday 20th December 2014

DANNY Hylton ended his barren run in front of goal as Oxford United came from behind to earn a point against Hartlepool United.

Updates - Hartlepool Utd V Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 20th December 2014

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash at Hartlepool United.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

TABLE TENNIS: In-form duo maintain relentless title battle

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Forum A and Holton A kept up their battle for the Division 1 crown, as they both hit an incredible 32 points apiece in the latest round of matches.

RUGBY: Nathan Morris hoping to get chance to pit his wits against the best

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

LONDON Welsh replacement hooker Nathan Morris is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the game when they travel to Saracens today, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

BOXING: Ashley Banks cashes in to capture national title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Banbury BC lightweight Ashley Banks was crowned England junior novice champion after a unanimous points win against Rahul Gondalia (Karmand BC, Bradford) in the final.

ICE HOCKEY: Popular veteran Andy Cox back on board to boost Oxford City Stars

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Oxford City Stars have ex-player Andy Cox back in their ranks when they host Solent Devils in English National League South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

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