It was a case of one down and four to go for London Welsh on Saturday, as the Exiles ran in five tries in a 39-6 win over Ealing Trailfinders at Vallis Way.
Welsh face Moseley, Cornish Pirates, Bedford Blues and London Scottish before the month of March is out – a busy schedule as the Greene King IPA Championship reaches its business end - but on Saturday head coach Justin Burnell was just happy to reflect on a five-point win at Ealing and a pleasing second half display, which saw the Exiles rack up four quick-fire tries.
“We came to play and the pleasing thing was we scored five tries and didn’t concede any,” said Burnell. “I thought there were some brilliant performances today.”
Against a spirited Ealing side, Welsh had to wait until the last action of the first half for the first of their five tries – second row Pete Browne going over from a well worked catch and drive.
Leading 13-6 at half-time, the Exiles took control in the second half with Nathan Vella, Seb Stegmann, Nick Scott and Tom May all crossing.
“At Plymouth we didn’t rectify the problems at half-time, today we did. We sat down and discussed it instead of shouting and pointing fingers,” said Burnell.
“We know what we’re about but sometimes people think if it doesn’t happen straight away for us that there are major problems, but we’re not always going to have it our own way.
“Today summed that up, Ealing got in amongst us and you have to give them the respect they deserve, they didn’t stop trying.
“But we came out in the second half, stuck to our structures and to our plans. Today was a massive step in the right direction.”
Like Ealing, Saturday was Welsh’s first competitive outing since February 9. The Exiles had, however, managed to squeeze in a friendly game against Blackheath in the meantime and for Burnell that was crucial.
“The Blackheath game helped us – it kept us working. James Tincknell performed well in that game and he deserved his start today and he took his chance,” he said.
“It’s all about the business end of the season. All I’m concerned about is getting us in to that top four - where we finish in that top four is irrelevant. Now we’re really looking forward to playing Moseley at Old Deer Park next Sunday.”