Ross: Welsh must learn their lesson

First published in London Welsh by

London Welsh must learn the lessons of their defeat to the Cornish Pirates, says fly half Gordon Ross.

Caught on a heavy pitch in miserable conditions, it was the home side that adapted better, scoring three tries in a 27-6 victory which leapfrogged the Pirates above Welsh in the Championship table.

The result was particularly disappointing for Welsh given their performances against Rotherham Titans and Bristol, but for Ross the Exiles must learn the lessons of their defeat should they encounter such conditions in the play-offs, which are now just five weeks away.

“It’s probably the first time we’ve come across these conditions this season, a day of heavy rain and a heavy pitch, and in the future we need to adapt a bit better and hopefully we can learn from that,” said Ross.

“I’d like to think that if we have to come down here again or play in similar conditions that we can adapt a bit better.

“The Pirates played the conditions a bit better than we did - they were a bit lower than us in the contact situation.

“It was never going to be a backs day in the conditions and sadly you can’t really run a soaking ball across the width of the field as we like to do.

“You don’t want to go anywhere and get beaten 27-6 and not really look like scoring a try all day – that’s pretty disappointing.”

The Exiles led at Mennaye Field thanks to Alex Davies’ 18th minute penalty, but tries from Rudi Brits and Dave Ward saw the home side take a 20-6 lead into half-time.

Matt Evans hacked on to touch down early in the second half to put the game beyond the visitors.

“Fair play to the Pirates they played very well and any half chances or opportunities we had they snuffed them out,” said Ross.

“They worked hard together as a team and maybe had three chances and took all three of them - they were very clinical.

“We made it hard for ourselves. We didn’t kick as well as we could have done in the first half. We gave them field position and that allowed them to score points.

“It was never really going to be a day for tries from 70-80 yards, so it was all about trying to create pressure on the opposition around their 22 and in their half, and they did that for long spells in the first half and unfortunately we couldn’t contain them and more importantly we couldn’t kick ourselves out of trouble.”

Just three games remain of the regular season for Welsh to build some momentum to take into the play-offs – starting with the visit of Doncaster Knights to Old Deer Park next Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

“I think it’s important that we do bounce back against Doncaster next weekend. It would be nice to build a bit of momentum in the last three games before the play-offs, get three wins and get on a nice roll,” added Ross.

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