Welsh have only themselves to blame for defeat

London Welsh let themselves down as they slipped to a first Championship defeat of the season at Bedford Blues on Saturday, according to head coach Justin Burnell.

The Exiles went down 28-26 at Goldington Road with Burnell critical of his side’s first up tackling, particularly in the first half when Welsh conceded two quick-fire tries to Blues winger Patrick Tapley.

Although Welsh battled back to lead through Joe Ajuwa’s try with eight minutes to go, the concession of a third soft try to Jake Sharp proved decisive, despite Kevin Davis going over at the death for the Exiles.

“We lost the game purely on woeful missed tackles,” said Burnell.

“We’re obviously disappointed, but it wasn’t going to happen.

“We let ourselves down in crucial areas; our lineout didn’t function and our first up tackling in the first half was poor.

“That’s individual requirements and when you play against a good side, and they had some good individuals, they’ll score tries against you if you miss tackles.

"Against Bristol we didn’t miss those tackles, but against Bedford we did and hence we lost the game.”

Welsh now face back-to-back games against Edinburgh Academical in the British & Irish Cup, beginning next Saturday at Old Deer Park, before returning to Championship action against London Scottish at the Kassam Stadium on December 21.

“What it goes to prove is that you can have a team down towards the bottom end of the league who on their day are capable of beating a team at the top of the league. That’s a credit to the standard of the Championship,” added Burnell.

“London Scottish is another massive game for us back in Oxford and what a fantastic time for us to put things right in respect to the Championship.

“Back to work on Monday and get the hard work done – we’ll look at our faults and rectify them.”

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