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Match Reaction: London Welsh 13 Harlequins 24

Match Reaction: London Welsh 13 Harlequins 24

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell insists his side are playing with complete freedom now in Aviva Premiership Rugby, as they have nothing to lose.

Harlequins handed the Exiles their 12th defeat from 12 this season, winning 24-13 at the Kassam Stadium to remain unbeaten against London Welsh since 1972.

The home side started well and went 10-5 to the good thanks to Paul Rowley’s try and Will Robinson’s penalty, but could not hold on as tries from Karl Dickson, Marland Yarde, Kyle Sinckler and Tom Williams ultimately proved decisive for Quins.

And Burnell was again keen to talk about the positives as Welsh’s defence was much improved against an off-colour Harlequins.

"We are not a team that is just going to roll over, as you saw today,” he said.

"We've got nothing to lose now and hopefully our performances can improve to put us in good stead for next season.

"We showed great enthusiasm from the start and throughout. We were 10-5 up minutes before the half-time whistle but when you are up against players of this calibre, things turn on a sixpence but we still weren't down in the dressing room at half-time.

“We made a few mistakes but it’s nice to be in that position to make those errors. We’d be more concerned if we weren’t in those areas to make those mistakes.

“We’ve got to not hide away just because we make a mistake. We’ve got to pick ourselves up and move forward.”

Meanwhile Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea was content with the performance having rotated his squad for the clash.

He said: "We played the youngsters so it's damned if you do or damned if you don't.

“We tried to play with ambition throughout the game and that's the way I want Quins to play even though it may not work at times.

"Welsh will beat someone this season and we didn't want to be that team.

“We got a bonus-point win so we are satisfied but we were inaccurate and very scratchy and probably played with too much width in the wrong areas of the field.

“We just need to move on now. Six days and then it’s Leicester Tigers. We know that’s the game that can get us firmly back in the race for the top four.”
 
London Welsh: Robinson, Stegmann, Reynolds (Tincknell 70), Jewell, Scott, Weepu (Barkley 68), Rowley (Lewis 58), Trevett (Reeves 69), Vella (Britton 27), Vea; West (McCaffrey 55), Down, Browne, Kirwan, Fonua (Pienaar 73).
Replacements not used: Cooper.
 
Harlequins: Lindsay-Hague, Yarde, Hopper, Lowe (Botica 74), Tikoirotuma (Williams 52), Swiel, Dickson (Care 52), Lambert (Marfo 77), Gray (Buchanan 73), Collier (Sinckler 44), Matthews (Merrick 27), Twomey, Trayfoot, Clifford, Easter.
Replacements not used: Chisholm.
 
London Welsh
Tries: Rowley
Conversions: Robinson
Penalties: Robinson 2
 
Harlequins
Tries: Dickson, Yarde, Sinckler, Williams
Conversions: Swiel 2
 
Attendance: 3,861
Referee: JP Doyle
 
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