- Lyn Jones speaks after his side's victory at Cornish Pirates
- I’m absolutely delighted with the result - Jones
Photo: RFU Archive/Brian Tempest
London Welsh’s head coach Lyn Jones has admitted immense pride in his team after they experienced ‘the Somme’ at the Mennaye Field and came out on top after the first leg of the RFU Championship Final.
Welsh’s effective use of the ball and clinical finishing meant that they go into their ‘home’ leg of the final with a 16-point lead and Jones was "delighted" that his "rollercoaster" of a day came to an end with victory in Penzance.
Speaking to Sky Sports HD, Jones said: “I am very proud actually, because it’s not just about this performance, but it’s where we were in September and where we are now and the growth of these individuals as a side.
“We finished fourth in the league for a reason, because we were the fourth best team over a period of time.
“Since then, we’ve kicked on, we’ve picked our game up and I’m absolutely delighted with the result and surprised for us to score 37 points away from home.”
However, Jones is wary of the threat that the Cornish Pirates posses and knows that 16-points can be overturned, especially in these high-pressure ties.
“We knew the threats and how good the Pirates can be, we were at the Somme in the first ten minutes of either half, but restricted them and applied ourselves to the game.
“I’m sure, just like Bristol and Pirates in the semi-final, you can’t sit on 16 points because Bristol nearly came back and pinched it against Pirates.
“It’s one long game of 160 minutes, of which now, we are at the half.”
We were at the Somme in the first ten minutes - Jones
Welsh went in at half time with a 23-14 lead, but having just conceded a penalty try under sustained Pirates pressure.
As a team renowned for a strong finish, Jones knew that the Pirates would come out fighting after the break.
“We spoke about what the Pirates’ team talk was going to be, and how were they going to apply themselves in the second half.
“For the first 12 minutes, they did just that, but unfortunately for them, they couldn’t get the score to build on their momentum.
“Their catch and drive was effective at certain times in the game and we tried to take that away and play a bit of football. We capitalised on errors that they made then.”
As the club build towards next week’s second leg at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, the Welsh boss knows that his side must be at the top of their game; however they set out to defend their lead.
“It’s a difficult one to manage isn’t it? Do you sit on the lead? Do you attack it?
“We’ve learnt our lessons from Bedford, where we were ten points in front and we just tried to cling on to that.
“We really need to come to the fore and show ourselves to be a real Premiership side next week.
“I hope the supporters come to Oxford and get behind us.”