Photo: M. Paler, Action Images
Following his side’s 13-3 victory over Bedford Blues at a rain soaked Goldington Road on Friday night, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones credited his team for adapting to the hazardous conditions which saw numerous players leave the pitch through injury.
"It was a very intense game of rugby and you saw that in the first 20 minutes when some big hits were put in and there was an intensity to the game that we haven’t experienced in the Championship this year," commented Jones.
"The weather brought the skills level down somewhat for both teams and it became a bit of a lottery as the game went on. I think we adapted to the conditions very well in the first half to go in at the break 13-0. Bedford then had the better of the second half, so I’m sure they’ll be disappointed to have not scored more than they did."
Photo: RFU Archive
For the first time in the competition’s three year history, the semi finals are spanned over two legs meaning London Welsh go into the second leg at Old Deer Park with a 10-point advantage. But as the former Ospreys head coach said, the challenge is on his players to perform in front of a home crowd.
He added: "I’d rather be ten up than ten down, but we are very understanding that it’s a game of four halves and at the moment we’re just 10 up. Our away form is better than our home form so the challenge is on our players to step up in front of the home crowd and to perform and to play some rugby. I’m sure both sides will have been disappointed with the weather tonight because you’ve got the two best attacking sides in the league.”
And did Lyn keep an eye on action from The Mennaye on Monday, with Cornish Pirates establishing a 21-point advantage over Bristol with a 45-24 win? "Listen, what’s important for us is the big game against Bedford coming up at our place and we understand and respect how very good they are and how dangerous they can me, so we have to get ready for that challenge."
You can watch London Welsh’s home leg of the semi final against Bedford Blues on Sunday, May 13 live on RFU.com from 3pm.