London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has demanded greater consistency and clinicalness from his players.
Speaking in the wake of the Exiles’ 16-16 draw with the Scarlets at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday, Burnell was left frustrated by the concession of a last-gasp converted try.
The Exiles had previously spurned several try scoring opportunities of their own which would have secured a memorable win, as well as missing nine points with the boot.
“The better the opposition the more clinical you have to be,” said Burnell. “When the opportunities arose we didn’t take them.
“Against poor sides you can make ten to 20 mistakes but when you come up against good sides you just can’t afford to do that. You’ve got to kick your kicks and that’s a big thing as well.
“We did some magical things and looked a very good side and then within two minutes you can look like an average side. It’s getting that balance right.
While the result isn’t everything at this stage of the season, Burnell admitted it would have been a confidence booster had the Exiles been able to hold on for the win.
“You want to be going into the start of the [league] season with a couple of results under your belt,” he added.
“In the scheme of things it would be quite easy to say the draw was a fair reflection of the game, but when you’re a coach you look at those missed opportunities.”
The Exiles open their Greene King IPA Championship campaign against Bedford Blues on September 14, but not before they travel to Henley Hawks next Saturday for their final pre-season friendly (kick-off 3pm).
Competition for places is inevitably fierce to be in Burnell’s starting line up at Allianz Park to face the Blues.
“You know what you want out of your team but people have to prove it as well. I’m looking for consistency within training as well as matches,” said Burnell.
“It wasn’t a case that we only performed for 60 minutes and dropped off for the last 20 – we performed in patches. We’d go from good to poor quite easily.
“It’s about consistency because when we were good we very good, and when we were bad we were very bad.”