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Dogged London Welsh go down battling

London Welsh are edging towards a first victory this season and Justin Burnell’s men are clearly not shying away from the challenge.

The Exiles concluded this weekend’s league action at the Kassam Stadium by giving Harlequins a fright, leading until just before the break.

Quins escaped with a bonus-point win after Tom Williams’ late try but Welsh didn’t make it easy.

According to Opta statistics for Aviva Premiership Rugby, the league’s basement club had three players inside the competition’s top five tacklers across the weekend.

Nathan Trevett (16) and James Down (18) made the list, while flanker Carl Kirwan was head and shoulders above the rest with an astonishing 26 tackles.

Gloucester Rugby’s Matt Kvesic (19) and Tom Palmer (16) completed the top five and unsurprisingly so as the Cherry & Whites had to compete with a lively Exeter Chiefs side at Sandy Park.

Nobody made more metres in the competition than Matt Jess (161) while fellow Chiefs winger Jack Nowell was fifth with 123 – and only Nick Easter (26) made more carries than No.8 Thomas Waldrom’s 21.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague enjoyed a productive outing for Quins, the full-back completing 17 carries for 146 metres, with just Jess, Christian Wade (159) and Ben Foden (154) completing more of the latter.

James Gaskell of Wasps and Newcastle Falcons’ Josh Furno were the league’s lineout kings, winning nine each, while nobody kicked out of hand more often than Newcastle’s Tom Catterick (15).

And Wade topped the pile for defenders beaten (7), as Wasps made it two wins from two at the Ricoh Arena, with Nowell and Saracens duo Nick Tompkins and Billy Vunipola hot on his heels with six.
 
Tackles
Carl Kirwan (London Welsh) 26
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) 19
James Down (London Welsh) 18
Tom Palmer (Gloucester Rugby) & Nathan Trevett (London Welsh) 16
 
Carries
Nick Easter (Harlequins) 26
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 21
Michael Haley (Sale Sharks) 19
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints) 18
Ollie Lindsay-Hague & Mark Lambert (Harlequins) 17
 
Metres
Matt Jess (Exeter Chiefs) 161
Christian Wade (Wasps) 159
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints) 154
Ollie Lindsay-Hague (Harlequins) 146
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 123
 
Lineouts won
James Gaskell (Wasps) 9
Josh Furno (Newcastle Falcons) 9
Dean Mumm (Exeter Chiefs) 8
Jamie Gibson (Leicester Tigers) 7
Sam Twomey (Harlequins) 7
 
Defenders beaten          
Christian Wade (Wasps) 7
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 6, Nick Tompkins & Billy Vunipola (Saracens) 6
 
Kicks
Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons) 15
Mike Blair (Newcastle Falcons) 13
Shane Geraghty (London Irish) 12
Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester Rugby) 11
Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints) 10
 
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