Fixtures - Top Bar

Pienaar and London Welsh searching for spark

Just when London Welsh seem to show signs of progress they are once again blown off course and Ben Pienaar admits no one is more aware of that then the Exiles themselves.

And should last weekend’s tightly-fought loss against French heavyweights Bordeaux-Begles herald an upswing in fortunes, the back-row knows that elusive magic ingredient – consistency – is required.

It took the French side until the 67th minute to finally put the game to bed in miserable conditions on Friday, with Welsh holding fort until Metuisela Talebulamaijaina and Bernard Guiry crossed in an eventual 26-3 win.

With the Exiles out of contention in Europe they could spoil Lyon’s run to the European Rugby Challenge Cup play-offs at the Kassam Stadium this week.

However, a promising performance has often been followed by disappointment this year and it’s no different in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Take their battling 24-13 loss to Harlequins, for instance – a week later and Newcastle Falcons racked up six tries in an emphatic 38-7 victory at Kingston Park.

And though Welsh are never lacking for effort, Pienaar says the Exiles need to stop oscillating between the good and the bad.

“It was a close game and the boys gave 100 per cent, we really gave it our all and that’s what we’ll be doing from now until the end of the season,” he said.

“It was just the last ten minutes that got away from us but it was a massive performance, Bordeaux are hardly a weak team – they are one of the standout teams not just in France but Europe.

“It was possibly our best performance of the season and there were a lot of young guys out there who can take a lot of confidence from it.

“The one thing is that we need to cut out the one or two bad performances in between – when we take two steps forward, we then seem to take three steps back.

“We will see what happens against Lyon, we’re at home and they’ve got more to lose than us

“It’s difficult when you don’t have some of your starting players available to you, especially with the position we’re in, but it gives those other guys a chance to put their hand up and make the most of their time on the field.”

Pienaar has been heavily involved in Aviva Premiership Rugby so far this season – making 11 appearances in total – but as of yet has failed to make a start.

Much of that could be down to hulking No.8 Opeti Fonua’s presence since arriving in November, having made his presence keenly felt.

“I’d love to get a couple of starts but that’s Justin’s call, I see to it that I give everything and I’m ready when the opportunity comes,” added Pienaar.

“Opeti Fonua has been fantastic since he’s come in, he is a huge ball carrier and for a big guy he gets over the ball really well and wins quite a few turnovers which has surprised a lot of us – you just can’t move him.

“He’s set a high standard but we all have to give that bit extra, especially in the last few minutes of a game.”

Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer.
 

Latest News

Match Report: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Leicester Tigers’ impressive second-half comeback saw them score 24 unanswered points and stun hosts Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop to claim…

Myler still dreaming of top four with Northampton Saints

He has been the cornerstone of Northampton’s back-line for more than a decade and fly-half Stephen Myler insists he will…

Stephen Myler

Joseph returns for derby clash against Bristol Rugby

Jonathan Joseph will return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up for the Aviva Premiership clash with West Country rivals Bristol…

Chiefs side to face Newcastle Falcons

Rob Baxter may be wary of the threat Newcastle Falcons pose to his Exeter side, but insists its challenges such…

Waldrom

Wasps team to play Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named the Wasps’ side to take on Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday,…

Le Roux Wasps

Sale Sharks Team News

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2.45pm)  at…

Josh Charnley

Newcastle Falcons team to face Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Exeter Chiefs (kick-off 3pm). Chris Harris replaces…

Evan Olmstead

Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Sunday’s trip to Wasps

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that started against Saracens last weekend, making just two changes…

Lewis Ludlow

Bristol Rugby team to face Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby play host to Bath Rugby in the much-anticipated West Country derby on Sunday (1pm KO). Mark Tainton’s men…

Gavin Henson

Saracens name team for Sale clash

Saracens have named their team to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round 16 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off…

Joel Conlon

Annett and Dowson return for Saints test

Niall Annett and Phil Dowson are among three changes to the Warriors starting line-up for their trip to Franklin’s Gardens…

Phil Dowson

Northampton Saints team news versus Worcester

The Northampton Saints team has been named for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Round 16 home match against Worcester. The Saints head…

Michael Paterson

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw

An appeal against the sanction imposed on Francois Louw of Bath Rugby was heard by an RFU Disciplinary appeal panel…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Six Nations and Aviva Premiership action

It's the third round of matches in the Six Nations Championship this weekend, while action also continues in the Aviva…

Twickenham Stoop

England team to face Italy at Twickenham

Eddie Jones has named his side for England’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday (kick-off…

Saints eleven pen new deals

Northampton Saints has today announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad. Three of the more experienced players,…

Luther Burrell

Symons wants Gloucester Rugby to kick-on against Wasps

Just three points separates Gloucester Rugby and sixth-placed Harlequins and centre Andy Symons is determined to see the Cherry &…

Bath Rugby surpass 40,000 ticket sales for The Clash

Bath Rugby is thrilled to confirm that over 40,000 tickets have been sold for The Clash, when they will take…

Bath Rugby

Evans determined for a Harlequins top-six finish

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is determined to drive Harlequins to a top-six finish as the Aviva Premiership Rugby season reaches…