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Davies disappointed with first-leg defeat

24 May 2012

  • Davies reflects on painful home defeat in first leg of Championship Final
  • We just allowed London Welsh into the game - Davies
Action from the RFU Championship final between Cornish Pirates and London Welsh 

Photo: RFU Archive/Brian Tempest

Cornish Pirates’ head coach Ian Davies has branded London Welsh ‘overwhelming favourites’ to win the RFU Championship after their 37-21 away victory at the Mennaye Field on Wednesday.

However, Davies also feels that his own team will be able to ‘relax and play’ without pressure at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium next week, where Welsh will play the ‘home’ leg of the final.

The Pirates got off to an outstanding start when Grant Pointer scored for them inside the first five minutes of the game, but then sat back and allowed Welsh back into the game.

Speaking to Sky Sports HD, Davies said: “In the first half, we got caught up in the occasion, big crowd, marine band rousing everybody and we just allowed London Welsh into the game.

“We started well, maybe too well for ourselves, and then sat back a little bit; same as Bristol, when they came here they scored early and then couldn’t get back into the game. We did that today.”

In the first half we got caught up in the occasion - Davies

Davies was clearly disappointed after his side’s second home defeat of the season, but knows how these two legged ties can turn around.

“We can relax and play, 16 points is 16 points. We’re not favourites; London Welsh are overwhelming favourites, as we were going into the second leg against Bristol.

“It’s difficult sometimes with the lead, but we can just relax and play. If we score early points, we will see what happens.”

The second leg of the tie will be played not at Welsh’s regular stadium, Old Deer Park, but at Oxford United Football Club’s home ground, the Kassam Stadium.

“Well, it’s a neutral venue I suppose, for both sides," Davies continued. "They showed how attacking they are in the back line and it will be a faster surface, which will suit them."