- Third win for London Welsh over local rivals this season
- We were a little bit short of looking like title contenders - Jones
Photo: RFU archive
A bonus-point victory at the Athletic Ground on Sunday - London Welsh’s third derby win of the season over local rivals London Scottish - was not enough to satisfy head coach Lyn Jones.
Welsh ran in four tries in a 29-22 win over London Scottish but with the play-offs fast approaching Jones warned that Welsh will need to improve considerably if they are to be a force to be reckoned with.
“We were obviously pleased with the result, but it was about the performance,” he said.
“There were some strong performances but we need to perform as a team, and going into the Championship play-offs I thought we were a little bit short of looking like title contenders.
“I know we hadn’t played for a while and some players are coming back from injury, so we’ve got two games this week and I’d like to think by the play-offs we’ll have improved by another 5-10 per cent.
“I thought we started really well but we dropped off it. Our concentration levels dropped and we allowed Scottish back in. I think the players need to look at themselves and realise what they do for a living.”
Ben Russell crossed in each half for Welsh after Ed Jackson had dived over in the third minute to give the visitors the perfect start.
But Welsh still struggled to shake off a determined Scottish side, even after Hudson Tonga’uiha and Russell both crossed within seven second half minutes of each other to open up a 14-point lead.
I think the players need to look at themselves - Jones
Another tense finish between the sides was assured, however, when Scottish's Mark Bright touched down, but Welsh held out for the win to keep their hopes of finishing third alive.
After two false starts against Doncaster Knights, Sunday was Welsh’s first outing for three weeks since their defeat at the Cornish Pirates, so there were also plenty of positives for Jones.
“We scored four really good tries. Lots of our defensive work was sound, well structured and well organised, and we were physical. But simple ill-disciplines and the inability to finish things off was lacking,” he said.
Another pleasing sight for the London Welsh Head Coach was the return to first team action for tightheads Greg Bateman and James Tideswell after injuries.
Tideswell’s last game for the club came against Aberavon on November 12, while Bateman’s was away to Bristol on October 21. Bateman started the game against Scottish before being replaced by Tideswell on 56 minutes.
“It was great to see them back and they both contributed. People don’t realise that when you’ve been out for several months as they have how difficult it is to get back into it. Scottish was the first of several games for them,” said Jones.
Welsh now entertain Doncaster at Old Deer Park on Wednesday February 22 (kick-off 2pm) before rounding off the regular season against Leeds Carnegie - a taxing schedule of three games in six days.
“We’ll have to look at it and make a call as to how we approach Doncaster and Leeds, but we’ve got a squad and we intend to play them,” said Jones.