Posted:  15th September 2013
Winning start leaves Burnell with mixed feelings

Justin Burnell was delighted with London Welsh’s winning start to their Greene King IPA Championship season, but was less than enamoured by aspects of the performance.

Welsh ran in three tries in a 23-14 win over Bedford at Allianz Park, courtesy of Will Robinson, Joe Ajuwa and Nathan Morris, with Neville Edwards crossing late on for the Blues.

“We came to win but I don’t think the manner and the style in which we won was good enough,” said Burnell. “That’s something we need to look at.

“The basic skills were poor. If we can rectify that and manage that in with our set piece we’ll be ok, but first and foremost it’s about those basic skills and today I didn’t think they were good enough.

Tries from Robinson and Ajuwa put the Exiles in a commanding position, but missed opportunities in the lead up to half-time, mixed with some resilient Blues defence, kept the Welsh lead to 13-0. Two second half James Pritchard penalties closed the gap.

“We spoke at half-time about composure - we knew they were going to come out and have a go at us. The win was the most important thing but we could have done a lot more,” said Burnell.

“I felt we had enough firepower and dominance within our own side, and the only way they came back into the game was through our errors. That was the biggest disappointment to come out of today’s game.”

Key to Welsh’s win was their dominance in the scrum, which yielded a succession of penalties and led to Morris’ decisive try.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the scrum laws and we’ve certainly looked at it all summer. We’ve been very fortune to have some good pre-season games and to work with the referees, and that’s been a big plus,” added Burnell.

Next up for Welsh are Nottingham next Sunday at Meadow Lane in front of the live Sky Sports cameras. The Green and Whites also enjoyed an opening round win – a 24-16 victory over Leeds Carnegie.

“We’re going to have to work very hard this week. Nottingham have proved that they’re a very good side,” said Burnell.


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