Burnell: Welsh have all to play for

Big test: London Welsh coach Justin Burnell

Big test: London Welsh coach Justin Burnell

First published in Sport by

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell says it’s all to play for at the Kassam Stadium next Sunday as the Exiles look to overturn a seven-point semi-final first Leg deficit against Leeds Carnegie.


Welsh head to the Kassam Stadium on Sunday after going down 38-31 at Headingley Carnegie, but Burnell says the tie is far from over.

The last time Leeds visited the Kassam, the Exiles came away with a 19-10 win - a repeat of the same would send Welsh through to the final.

Sunday at the Kassam promises to be a game not to be missed.

“It’s all to play for; if we score the first try in the first few minutes then it’s nil-nil on aggregate and that will be out target, to make a game of it,” said Burnell.

“It could be the last game of the season, or we could then be in the final. We’ll be going in to the game with the appetite to win.”

Welsh, though, will have to improve their discipline if they are to reach the final and keep alive their dream of an immediate Premiership return.

Despite outscoring the home side three tries to two, eight Leeds penalties hurt Welsh on the scoreboard – including one from the last kick of the game – and the Exiles must rectify that in the return leg.

“We’re disappointed with our performance; it’s not a good day good at the office when you concede 38 points, but we’ve got to get back in and that’s something we’re very good at,” added Burnell.

“We’ll look at where the mistakes were, we’ll rectify those errors and move forward.

“Our defence has been a massive strength of ours and they just walked through us twice. We weren’t at our best, our discipline was disappointing, but all credit to Leeds.”

Burnell, who admitted he would have settled for a four point deficit to take back to the Kassam, will now have to assess the fitness of Alex Davies (knee) and Daniel Browne (hamstring), who were both forced off with injury in the first half, before Sunday’s rematch.

“We’re a resilient bunch and we’ve just got to move forward. You can’t moan about it. It’s one thing we’ve always said, we don’t make excuses,” he said.

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