Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Burnell happy despite another loss

Despite another defeat London Welsh produced their best performance of the season against Harlequins, according to head coach Justin Burnell.

They may have lost for the 12th time this season but Burnell was in a positive mood after a 24-13 reverse.

"We are not a team that going to roll over as you saw today," he said.

"We've got nothing to lose now and hopefully our performances can improve to put us in good stead for next season."

Burnell did admit, though, that he was disappointed Welsh had failed to take their chances in the first half, which should have seen them have a healthy half-time lead.

"We showed great enthusiasm from the start and throughout," he said.

"We were 10-5 up minutes before the half-time whistle but when you up against players of this calibre, things turn on a sixpence but we still weren't down in the dressing room at half-time."

London Welsh had taken the lead with an excellent try from Paul Rowley but missed chances for a couple of others and had to rely on Will Robinson's two penalties and a conversion for the remainder of their points.

Quins collected a scarcely merited bonus point, courtesy of their more clinical finishing.

Quins' Director of Rugby, O'Shea, was not unduly concerned about his side's poor showing, in which they declined a number of easy-looking penalties in favour of more attacking options.

"We played the youngsters so it's damned if you do or damned if you don't. We tried to play with ambition throughout the game and that's the way I want Quins to play even though it may not work at times," he said.

O'Shea also praised their opponents for their ambition: "Welsh will beat someone this season and we didn't want to be that team," he added.

"We got a bonus-point win so we are satisfied but we were inaccurate and very scratchy and probably played with too much width in the wrong areas of the field."

Next up, Quins face Leicester at home in a big game next Saturday with O'Shea confirming that stars Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler, Nick Evans and Mike Brown are all likely to be back in the starting line-up

Welsh hooker Nathan Vella was stretchered off in the first half with Burnell confirming it was a serious injury.

"It was a bad one, it's an ankle and he's gone to hospital," he said.


From Belfast Telegraph