Welsh coach sees positive signs

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones insisted there were more positives than negatives after seeing the Exiles slip to a 23-16 Aviva Premiership defeat to Northampton Saints.

In difficult conditions Welsh made a flying start with an early penalty try, but Northampton got their own back after a series of scrum infringements before Ken Pisi went over for Saints’ second try.
 

The second half was tryless as both teams resorted to a territory game but Gordon Ross’s late penalty secured the bonus point for Welsh, which Jones was adamant was fully-deserved.
 

He said: “We wanted to leave here with something, and we did so. I was pleased with the boys' attitude and their approach to the game.
 

“Northampton have a huge reputation in the scrum and we took them on there. We won some and they won some, that tended to be the game.
 

“They got the edge on us at the kicking battle but we worked hard, we stuck in and I thought we deserved at least a point.
 

“We grew in confidence and just two or three errors from individuals cost us field position and the pressure came on but we'll get confidence from our strong performance.
 

“You could argue we had the better of their pack but they're a solid outfit and with the weather conditions it was a war of attrition for both sides.
 

“We had quite a lot of pressure and I'm happy with the point, but disappointed to lose.”
 

The game marked a first win in four Aviva Premiership matches for Northampton, and their pack showed their power to recover from conceding an early try.
 

Lamb showed some exquisite touches including a pinpoint dink to Pisi for Saints’ second try.
 

Forwards coach Dorian West admitted his side had not been as fluent as he would have liked in the wet conditions but was happy to take the win.
 

West said: “They've got a good pack of forwards but we didn't get a chance to run them around and tire them out like we'd want to because of the conditions and they were able to stick in the game for long periods.
 

“We were ill-disciplined at the start of the game, which was disappointing and then they got some momentum. When they get momentum they're hard to stop.
 

“Overall in the game, our scrum was more or less on top and when we mauled we did pretty well.
 

“It was one of those situations where you'd like to tire them out a bit more by playing rugby and then you get even more dominance up front but that wasn't the case and we stuck at it to get a hard-fought victory in the end.”
 

Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby – one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7 million people live at the grounds – visit premiershiprugby.com.

 

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