Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: London Welsh 15 Saracens 20

London Welsh assistant coach Matthew Ferguson admitted his side’s 20-15 LV= Cup defeat to Saracens was a bitter pill to swallow after seeing the chance of a first win of the season slip through their fingers.

The Exiles looked on course to finally end their 21-match losing run in all competitions after two tries from Tongan international Opeti Fonua plus five points from the boot of Tristan Roberts had them 15-14 ahead with just ten minutes remaining.

But Saracens’ Ben Spencer, one of two Saracens try scorers along with Jared Saunders, broke Welsh hearts as he held his nerve with two tricky penalties late on to snatch the win at the Kassam Stadium.

The result leaves the Exiles bottom of Pool 4, a position they also occupy in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, and a frustrated Ferguson insisted his troops had missed a golden chance to taste a rare victory.

“It’s massive frustration," said Ferguson. "That's taking nothing away from a very talented and cohesive Saracens team. I feel that there were opportunities there for us to kick on and find that elusive win that we've looked for.

"There's been fixtures this year when we've not been in (the game)… but we were in that fixture. I feel that we have to demand better from ourselves across the board.

"We were our own worst enemies out there. It wasn't a game where a number of top-class internationals cut us apart. We beat ourselves.

"What's happened there is we've killed ourselves by not being accurate. We lost that game because of our inaccuracy and our inability to get over the line. That's probably the poorest way to lose."

Saracens namely a youthful side to face winless Welsh with the likes of Jack Culverhouse rewarded for their strong performances in the A-League this season.

They were trailing to Roberts’ early drop goal for most of the half before Spencer’s converted try sparked a period of scoring either side of the break with Saunders also dotting down.

And skills coach Joe Shaw was delighted with the spirit showed within his squad to keep going until the very end.

“On paper their team was pretty intimidating for our boys but to a man they showed incredible spirit. They showed that togetherness that we talk about at Saracens,” he said.

“We talked about how London Welsh, with the players they had, in front of their own crowd and the way we have been put together this week, they were going to get a lot of momentum.

“When they did get the momentum, it was all about how we reacted and how we did our jobs. It was huge learning curve for some of our lads, to be patient and show maturity when the pressure was on. I think today they showed that.”
 
London Welsh: Kear; Awcock (Lewis JH), May, Barkley, Scott; Roberts, Lewis RM (Davies 59); Trevett (Aholelei 54), Britton (Morris 64), Vea; West (Schofield 54), Down, Pienaar (Thorpe 69), Kirwan, Fonua
Replacements not used: Cooper, Robinson
 
Saracens: Fercu; Ellery, Wilkins, Palamo (Staff 62), Perkins; Mordt, Spencer; Culverhouse, Saunders, Alo; O’Neill, Tredea (Buggea 60), Thompson-Stringer, Hankin (Taylor 78), de Jager
Replacements not used: Adams-Hale, Featherstone, Hughes, Whiteley, Malins
 
Scorers
 
London Welsh
Tries: Fonua
Conversions: Roberts
Drop goal: Roberts
 
Saracens
Tries: Spencer, Saunders
Conversions: Spencer 2
Penalties: Spencer 2
 
Referee: David Proctor
Attendance: 3,272

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

Latest News

Round 17 Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Saracens

Newcastle Falcons last four matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all gone in favour of the home side, whilst the…

Ashton

Round 17 Preview: Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins

Gloucester Rugby’s last four fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all gone the way of the home side on the…

Marland Yarde

Round 17 Preview: Bath Rugby v Wasps Rugby

Bath Rugby’s only two victories in the last six rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby were in their two most recent…

Garvey

Round 17 Preview: Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints

Sale Sharks five game winning run in all competitions ended at Saracens on Saturday. The Sharks have won their last…

Luther Burrell

Alex Rieder re-signs for Wasps

Wasps are pleased to announce that back row Alex Rieder has signed a new contract with the club ahead of…

Alex Rieder

Warriors swoop for Wasps’ Tom Howe

Warriors have swooped to sign Wasps Academy starlet Tom Howe ahead of the 2017/18 season. The exciting young winger, who…

Tom Howe

Round 17 Preview: Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs

Leicester Tigers have won their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures, but have not won four in a row in…

James Short

Brooker joins Bath Rugby on loan

Hooker Chris Brooker has joined Bath Rugby on loan until the end of the season. Bristol-born Brooker, who had a…

Chris Brooker

Gloucester-Hartpury Women excited to appear at Kingsholm on Saturday

Following the conclusion of the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins on Saturday, it'll be the turn of the Gloucester-Hartpury Women…

Yeandle hails defensive resolve

Jack Yeandle believes Exeter Chiefs will need to replicate their defensive showing from the weekend for the whole 80 minutes…

Jack Yeandle

Win a place on the Lions Tour with Land Rover

Land Rover, a long-standing partner of Premiership Rugby, is on the hunt for grassroots Lions fans and looking to give…

Josh Strauss Joins Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce the signing of Scottish International Back Row Forward Josh Strauss on a three year…

Josh Strauss

Parling pleased after Chiefs ‘tough’ out win over Falcons

Geoff Parling praised his Exeter Chiefs team-mates for grinding out a “tough victory” against Newcastle Falcons at the weekend. The…

Geoff Parling

RFU Disciplinary: Aaron Morris

Aaron Morris of Harlequins RFC will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel charged with tackling the jumper in the air,…

Vereniki Goneva, Brad Barritt and Sinoti Sinoti top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Brad Barritt topped the OPTA tackling rankings in Round 16 after a rugged performance as Saracens ended their two-game losing…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Gavin Henson showed how costly his injury absence might have been for Bristol Rugby this season as he starred in…

Newcastle Falcons sign Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows

Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows has become Newcastle Falcons’ latest signing as the club continues its recruitment for next season.…

Dean Richards

Saints sign Springbok scrum-half

Northampton Saints has today announced the signing of Cobus Reinach ahead of the 2017/18 season. The 27-year-old scrum-half joins the…

Cobus Reinach

Wasps sign Fijian international Gaby Lovobalavu

Wasps are delighted to announce that Fijian international centre Gabiriele (Gaby) Lovobalavu will join the club ahead of the 2017/18…

Gabiriele-Lovobalavu