RUGBY UNION: We are still underdogs, says London Welsh boss Burnell

8:00am Wednesday 4th June 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell insists there is no more pressure on his side at Bristol tonight than there was in the first leg.

The Exiles head to the Memorial Stadium (7.45) for the second leg of their Greene King IPA Championship final with a 19-point lead.

Few Welsh fans would have expected such a margin against opponents who finished top of the regular season table.

But although the odds are now in his side’s favour, Burnell believes the pressure remains on Bristol.

“They are still the favourites,” he said.

“They won the league and have got all the best players.

“We are told it is a sell-out crowd as well.

“We are still underdogs.”

Burnell added: “We are all excited and just looking forward to it now.

“We are in good shape mentally and physically.

“The players worked hard in the first leg and received the rewards that came with it.

“It’s the same principle on Wednesday night.”

With a 12,000 crowd roaring Bristol on in their final match at the Memorial Stadium, it is sure to be a passionate atmosphere.

But Burnell will be doing his best to keep his players calm in advance.

“It’s just about relaxing now,” he said. “The work starts on Wednesday at 7pm.

“Prior to that we will be relaxing.”

One big boost for Burnell is the return of Australian Mitch Lees at blindside flanker.

Lees, who will join Exeter this summer, has been out injured since the victory over Jersey on April 12.

Burnell said: “He has been one of the outstanding players in the Championship and has been well rewarded by having a contract from Exeter.

“He is looking really sharp. He was fit for the first leg, but we felt he wasn’t quite right.

“With Pete Edwards going back to Scarlets as well, a lot of these boys want to sign off their London Welsh careers on a high.”

Lees is one of three changes as Burnell maintains the rotation policy that has served him well this season.

“We have got a squad of 40 players who are pushing each other right to the max,” said Burnell.

“I don’t think there is a huge difference in ability, but they are keeping each other focused.”

Latest Sport news

Oxford Utd 2 (Hylton 14, O'Dowda 75), Yeovil Tn 0

Oxford Mail:

6:10pm Saturday 29th August 2015

AN excellent all-round performance saw Oxford United sweep Yeovil Town aside and move into Sky Bet League Two's top five.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Yeovil Town?

Oxford Mail:

6:02pm Saturday 29th August 2015

Oxford Utd v Yeovil Tn - updates

Oxford Mail:

1:54pm Saturday 29th August 2015

All the news from Oxford United's home game against Yeovil Town in Sky Bet League Two.

Michael Appleton weighing up options for Yeovil Town clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 29th August 2015

MICHAEL Appleton is confident Oxford United’s chances of beating Yeovil Town today have been enhanced by giving key players a rest in midweek.

EQUESTRIAN: Izzy Taylor hopes to boost bid for Rio at European Championships

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Saturday 29th August 2015

IZZY Taylor is determined to succeed at next month’s European Championships after the disappointment of missing last year’s World Equestrian Games.

EQUESTRIAN: Izzy Taylor hopes to boost bid for Rio at European Championships

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Saturday 29th August 2015

IZZY Taylor is determined to succeed at next month’s European Championships after the disappointment of missing last year’s World Equestrian Games.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford RL ready for Swinton Lions test

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

7:00am Saturday 29th August 2015

OXFORD RL look to build on their promising 40-26 victory over South Wales Scorpions as they travel to high-flying Swinton Lions in Kingstone Press League 1 on Monday.

CRICKET: Aston Rowant book cup final spot

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

6:40am Saturday 29th August 2015

ASTON Rowant won a rain-interrupted semi-final against Great & Little Tew in the Oxfordshire Under 17 competition.

ANGLING: Matrix Talismen close in on Oxford Summer League crown

Oxford Mail: Anglers are being reminded that fishing for coarse fish in rivers is off limits for three months.

6:20am Saturday 29th August 2015

MATRIX Talismen Blue look to have sewn up the Oxford Summer League after winning the fifth round on the Thames at Culham and Appleford.

ROUND-UP: Oxford Saints halted in last eight

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 29th August 2015

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Oxford Saints lost 50-13 to Sussex in the quarter-finals of the Southern Conference Division 2.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/