9:30am Saturday 24th May 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
Seb Jewell admits London Welsh have a chip on their shoulder regarding play-off final opponents Bristol.
Welsh host Bristol at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium on Wednesday in the first leg of their Greene King IPA Championship final with a lot to prove, according to utility back Jewell.
The West Country side are most people’s promotion favourites and defeated the Exiles 25-21 at the Memorial Stadium last month.
“We have got a chip on our shoulder when it comes to Bristol,” said Jewell.
“I probably shouldn’t say that, but it’s true. Everyone has.
“They are the form team. They won the league and we came second.
“We have got to prove that we are not second, that we are top.
“You look at the aggregate scores between us and it was close.”
Jewell said all this leaves Welsh “hugely determined” to strike back.
Although Bristol will host the second leg on Wednesday, June 4, Jewell suggested that may not be such an advantage.
“It’s almost more pressure at home,” he said. “Leeds had nothing to lose at the semi-final at the Kassam and it was only our determination that pulled it out.”
And while Welsh showed great character to fight back for their 60-58 aggregate victory over Leeds Carnegie in the semi-final, Jewell knows they must play better against Bristol.
“We have still got a lot to learn and a lot to build on,” he said. “It wasn’t perfect, far from it.”
Jewell was part of the Exiles squad who played in the Aviva Premiership last season and captained them on occasions.
Having been relegated a year ago, he said there was a real resolve to return to English rugby’s top flight.
“There is a steely determination in the squad,” he said.
“It sometimes may seem that we are shouting at each other because we are angry, but it is more because we have expectations on ourselves.
“There is a lot of ability and a lot of pride in this squad.
“I am excited and so proud of the boys.”
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