TOP BAR - Fixtures

Welsh won’t ‘wind down’, vows Phillips

London Welsh head coach Rowland Phillips says the Exiles won’t ‘wind down’ in their remaining four Aviva Premiership fixtures, despite defeat to Bath confirming that the Exiles will finish the 2014/15 season in twelfth place.

Whether that means Championship or Premiership rugby next season now rests on the outcome of the Championship play-offs, but a return to the second tier seems likely with Bristol and Worcester Warriors leading the way in the Championship.

Sunday's 29-14 loss to Bath was defeat number 18 of the Premiership season for Welsh, but Phillips was proud of his side's display and the effort shown.

"We'll look to build from today's performance. People could think that we're going to wind down towards the end of the season, but this club is too proud to just switch off,” said Phillips.

"We'll be reviewing this game and there are certainly areas where we can continue to improve and build on, and then we'll focus on Wasps.”

Rob Webber and Leroy Houston touched down to open up a ten-point lead for Bath, but the Exiles hit back through Nic Reynolds and despite Nathan Trevett's yellow card held out to go in just three points down at the break.

Sam Burgess forced his way over and then two tries in as many minutes from Houston and Alafoti Fausiliva hinted that the floodgates could be about to open. But to the home side's credit they responded as Opeti Fonua was driven over late on.

"The players put in an 80-minute shift of rugby today and were competitive right through the game,” added Phillips.

"Under difficult circumstances I thought our application was good. I thought our set piece was very good, especially the scrum, and although we conceded five tries I was pleased with the general level of our defence. On that basis it's been a positive day for us as a group.

"Sometimes you can speak to pull the wool over people's eyes. We showed a lot of passion in that game. We contributed to a tough game. They need to realise we don't need to make excuses for when we do well. They need to feel good about themselves and we'll use that energy when we come back next week to start our build up to Wasps.” 

Wasps come to the Kassam Stadium on Sunday 12th April (KO 2:30pm) and for Phillips the planning for next season must start now.

"It has to. The mind-set has to be to continue to build on what we've already started building. We'd certainly have one eye on next season,” he said.

"We have to learn our lessons. Certainly the ambition is as great as ever. The real honest ambition of a club will be portrayed on the field and you saw 23 guys who put their lives and soul on the pitch for us today. The future is bright.”

Tickets: London Welsh vs Wasps
Tickets for London Welsh's Aviva Premiership fixture with London Irish on Sunday 12th April (kick-off 2:30pm) at the Kassam Stadium are available at:
http://www.london-welsh.co.uk/index.php?mod=tickets
or by calling the London Welsh Ticket Office on 01865 717661.

 

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