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Jones delighted as Welsh pack leads from the front

29 November 2011

  • Welsh front row reap credit for Plymouth victory
  • Head coach delighted to have not conceded a try

New London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has named his squad for the Vauxhall Middlesex Charity Sevens at Twickenham on Saturday (July 9).

Photo: RFU Archive

Head coach Lyn Jones singled out the London Welsh front row for praise following the Exiles’ 24-9 win over Plymouth Albion at Brickfields on Saturday.

After suffering a high penalty count against London Scottish at the scrum, Jones was delighted with the response of his front row against Albion, singling out a period late in the game when the Exiles won a succession of penalties just metres from the Plymouth line.

A penalty try would not be forthcoming but home prop Robert Dugard was yellow carded and wing Joe Ajuwa crossed in the corner for his second try to ensure the bonus point.

"I’m very, very pleased for the front row guys," said Jones. "Over the last two weeks we’ve conceded 16 penalties at the scrum, so it's great for us to turn that around.

"We just want to be positive at the scrum and all credit to the front row boys who brought it together and dominated."

Tries from Ajuwa and Vili Ma’asi helped Welsh take a 12-0 lead, but the boot of Albion full back James Love, coupled with the sinbinning of Paul Mackey saw the deficit reduced to just three points ten minutes into the second half.

The yellow carding, though, of Plymouth Albion captain Sean-Michael Stephen proved crucial as Will Hurrell sliced through the home defence to cross for the Exiles’ third try.

"They were clinging on and our ill discipline and poor skill execution kept them in the game, but once we put something together they were gone," said Jones.

Excitement just gets a bit too much for us – Jones

Welsh dominated from that point and in the last ten minutes laid siege to the Albion tryline with a succession of scrums that ended with Dugard seeing yellow and Ajuwa diving over in the corner.

"We are absolutely delighted not to concede a try and with the way we applied ourselves in the contact area," added Jones.

"Plymouth offer a very physical and unique style of rugby and I thought we dealt with their game plan very well in defence. The excitement just gets a little bit too much for us sometimes and we concede silly errors and penalties, which allows the opposition to come into our half."

"We can be quite intense when we play with the ball but then sometimes we can let ourselves down by doing the most dreadful things. But overall I think any team in this league would be pleased to come to Plymouth and score four tries."

Welsh travelled to Plymouth with Jones wary of the club’s change in director of rugby, with Peter Drewatt taking over the reins from Graham Dawe, and the extra impetus that might give the Albion players.

"We were aware that they may break out from their usual style and try and play a little bit more expansively, which they did," he said.

"They didn’t get the start they wanted to build on their passion to work for the new coach. I thought the Plymouth players were very committed."