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Home > News > Runciman excited by Championship run in
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Your News Runciman excited by Championship run in

London Welsh scrum half Nick Runciman is looking forward to the clubs Championship run in, as the play-offs draw ever nearer.

The Dragons face Bristol, Bedford, Worcester and Nottingham in the space of four weeks, starting with Paul Hulls men at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday (3pm) a ground where Welsh lost twice last season, including in the Championship semi-finals.

Itll get everyone on their game. Every match in this league is tough, but playing those teams will stand us in good stead going into the play-offs, said Runciman.

Well have a chance to prove to everyone where were at and how we can play, and we are looking forward to battling against some of the best teams in the league.

Structure wise and in terms of patterns we are really beginning to hit the nail on the head, so we should be in for some good contests.

Welsh have mixed memories of the Memorial Stadium however. When they travelled there on the opening day of the 2009/10 season, the Dragons came agonisingly close to causing an upset.

Welsh led 23-17 with 15 minutes remaining thanks to tries from Errie Claassens and Paul Mackey, only for Lee Robinsons late try to snatch victory for the home side.

Welsh returned to the Memorial Stadium for their Championship semi-final, and were given a flying start through Dominic Shabbos first minute charge-down try.

However, Bristol recovered from that early set back and tries from Roy Winters, Junior Fatialofa and Robinson sent them into a final with Exeter, despite Claassens crossing for Welsh.

We were unlucky last year in both games, but were a different animal this season. As a group everyone knows their roles a lot better so I think Sunday will be a good game, said Runciman, who is in his third season at Old Deer Park after joining from Worcester.

When the sides met earlier this season at Old Deer Park, Welsh recorded a 39-15 win over Bristol, but Runciman knows that result will count for nothing on Sunday.

We played well that day, but wed always back ourselves against any team in the league. Bristol away is a game wed obviously love to win, he said.

Its is always a tough game; we know what they bring, their physicality is immense. The boys will prove where we are at as a group, stand up to the task and hopefully it will be enough to get us the win.

Last weekend saw the Dragons end a two match losing run with victory over Ulster Ravens at Old Deer Park in the British & Irish Cup.

Welsh led 5-3 thanks to Shabbos try when the game turned on David McGuigans yellow card. The Exiles made the most of their numerical advantage, running in three tries in a six minute spell from Shabbo and Rob Lewis (2).

Lee Beach capped his comeback from injury by scoring Welshs fifth try late on, as Welsh bounced back from their B&I Cup defeat to Bedford and mid-week Championship loss at Rotherham, which cost the Exiles the chance to go second in the league.

Rotherham was really disappointing; some of our game management wasnt where it needs to be. But were learning from that and trying to go forward as a group and improve with each game, said Runciman.

Obviously it was disappointing to miss out on going second, but the boys are working hard now to put it right.

Against Ulster the most important thing was getting back to our structures and patterns, and what we do well. I think we achieved that last Saturday and it showed in the scoreline.

Were here to win and perform well and I think we did that at the weekend and thats a good step forward to where we want to be come the next four games and the play-offs.

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