RUBGY: Burnell happy as Welsh return to top spot

Bicester Advertiser: London Welsh’s Mike Denbee (with ball) breaks clear with teammate James Tideswell on his way to scoring a try in Saturday’s 33-26 victory over Jersey London Welsh’s Mike Denbee (with ball) breaks clear with teammate James Tideswell on his way to scoring a try in Saturday’s 33-26 victory over Jersey

JUSTIN Burnell was pleased to see London Welsh make a return to winning ways in Jersey on Saturday.

However, the Exiles head coach admitted he was disappointed his side could not claim the bonus point in a 33-26 victory.

Welsh led 21-6 in the first half thanks to tries from Mitch Lees, Joe Ajuwa and Mike Denbee, but needed four second-half penalties from the boot of Alex Davies to hold off a spirited Jersey comeback.

The success saw Welsh return to the top of the Greene King IPA Championship table – two points clear of Rotherham – after consecutive defeats to Bedford Blues and London Scottish had seen the Exiles overhauled.

“It was all about the performance for us today and for 60 minutes we got a performance, which had been lacking over the last couple of weeks,” said Burnell.

“Importantly we got the win and we’re back to winning ways and we’re sitting at the top of the league again.

“It’s not all about that, it’s about the performance, but a win certainly helps morale.

“We should have scored the fourth try, but it didn’t come.

“Jersey is not an easy place to come and the weather wasn’t the best, so we’re just happy with the win.

“In the second half we just didn’t get any momentum into our game.

Jersey are a good side and we knew we were going to be in for a dogfight.

“The Championship is very competitive – the top half of the table is nip and tuck. It’s anybody’s league.

“For us it’s about maintaining a good performance and staying in the top four.”

The focus for Burnell and Welsh returns to the British & Irish Cup next Sunday, with the visit of Burnell’s former club Ponty-pridd to the Kassam Stad-ium.

After defeats to London Scottish and Pontypridd in Pool 2, Welsh brought themselves back into contention with consecutive bonus point wins over Edinburgh Academical, and now sit three points off top spot.

“Our next two games in the B&I Cup should be quite good fun,” Burnell added.

“We’ve got Pontypridd at home, an old team of mine, so I’m looking forward to that, and then we’ve got London Scottish again and they have beaten us twice.”

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