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

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Exeter City?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:55pm Saturday 24th January 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Hylton 18, Roberts 90+2), Exeter City 2 (Davies 37, Nicholls 87)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

JAMES Roberts struck a stoppage-time equaliser as Oxford United stopped the rot with a draw at home to Exeter City.

Oxford United sign full back Joe Skarz

Oxford Mail:

2:50pm Saturday 24th January 2015

OXFORD United have made their first addition of the January transfer window by signing Joe Skarz.

Oxford Utd v Exeter City - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

2:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash with Exeter City at the Kassam Stadium.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Justin Burnell backing his side to repay vote of confidence

Oxford Mail: London Welsh Justin Burnell, a former coach and player at Pontypridd

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Head coach Justin Burnell believes the vote of confidence he has given his London Welsh side by naming the same starting line-up to face Lyon at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium tomorrow (2.30) will reap rewards.

DARTS: 'Jabba' Caven is on show in Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

World No 19 Jamie ‘Jabba’ Caven will give an exhibition at GWRSA Club, Station Road, Didcot, tonight. For tickets, call John Fowler (07958 033638) or Martyn Gardiner (07474 880680).

MOTORSPORT: Talented teenager Zubair Hoque joins Chippy team

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Teenager Zubair Hoque will make his BRDC Formula 4 Championship debut with the Chipping Norton-based Sean Walkinshaw Racing.

BILLIARDS: Ashton hold nerve to see off Oxford Bowls Club's challenge

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Ashton held their nerve to beat Oxford Bowls 3-0 in the Gentworks Oxford & District League, with every frame going to the wire.

TABLE TENNIS: Holton B fight back to record tight win

Oxford Mail: table tennis bat and ball close up for sport

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Holton B made it two wins out of two in the Oxford & District League’s Aubrey Hughes Handicap Shield.

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