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Home > News > Welsh's Jones pleased with team's response
Your News Welsh's Jones pleased with team's response

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has praised his players for the way they responded to their heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Bristol, after watching the Exiles finish strongly to earn a draw against the Cornish Pirates.

Three Alex Davies penalties inside the last 12 minutes gave Welsh a share of the spoils against the Pirates at Old Deer Park on Saturday, coming eight days after the Exiles had led Bristol for 78 minutes in front of the live Sky Sports cameras only to be denied at the death by Jack Toveys try.

It was a defeat for Jones that rekindled memories of the Ospreys 17-15 loss to Leicester Tigers in December 2005 at the Liberty Stadium to an 84th minute Dan Hipkiss try.

Its always difficult to respond from such a gut wrenching experience and the players responded very well, said Jones. Its all about confidence and results like that against Bristol can kick that away from you.

Confidence is built upon winning, so it is about winning. Many points of our game were very good [v Cornish Pirates] but there are lots of areas where we can still improve and were working towards that.

Keen to end a run of three consecutive defeats, the Exiles trailed 14-0 to the Pirates as the first half came to a close, but Rob Lewis dived over on the stroke of half-time.

Nine points was still the difference when Davies stepped off the bench to land three penalties to earn a 17-17 draw for the home side. Pirates full back Rob Cook had the chance to win it for the visitors, but his late penalty drifted wide.

We didnt play very well. As good as we were against Bristol we were perhaps on the other side of the spectrum against the Cornish Pirates silly basic errors and there wasnt a great standard of attacking rugby from both sides, said Jones.

What we did see was some good defensive displays. Too often in the Championship youve got 39 points to 29, which indicates that there are a lot of errors in defence. It was a tight game, with no give or take on either side.

Jones reserved special praise for Davies, who joined Welsh in the summer from Plymouth Albion but has had to bide his time behind former Scotland international Gordon Ross.

Davies was introduced along with on loan London Irish scrum half Jack Moates in the 65th minute and three minutes later was teeing up the first of his three penalties.

The measure of the person is to come on and under pressure want to do things and execute them. Fair play to him [Davies], he was outstanding, said Jones.

Were very fortunate to have five excellent half backs in Gordon [Ross], Alex [Davies], Rob [Lewis], Ben [Stevenson] and Jack [Moates], who is going to be a real good player an international of the future.

Im spoilt for choice. It doesnt matter who plays really and the two came on and just gave us a little edge.

The Exiles head to Doncaster Knights on Saturday (2:30pm) and Jones will be keen to see further signs of improvement from Welsh at Castle Park.

All we can do is keep on improving our performances and the results will look after themselves, he added.

What were showing against the better sides is that we are very competitive and its going to be nip and tuck.

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