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Home > News > Welsh preparations under way for Pirates showdown
Your News Welsh preparations under way for Pirates showdown

Preparations are in full swing at London Welsh for the clubs Championship semi-final clash with the Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field on May 1 (5:45pm).

The Exiles rounded off their play-off campaign last weekend with a 27-13 victory over Nottingham at Meadow Lane, and assistant coach Mike Friday says the club are now fully focused on facing the Pirates for a place in the Championship final.

Weve done all our planning on how the two weeks will work, both from a rugby and rest perspective, and ways in which we can keep the squad fresh and motivated and build towards what will hopefully be an exciting semi-final in Cornwall, said Friday.

The Dragons will be hoping to go at least one better than last season when they lost out to Bristol at the same stage. However, Friday is fully aware of the task facing Welsh with the Pirates having lost just once at home all season in the Championship a 33-30 defeat at the hands of Worcester.

And when Welsh travelled to Mennaye Field earlier in the season it was the home side that came out on top, 22-3.

Its a very tough place to go, were under no illusions. We are most definitely going in as the underdogs, said Friday.

The Cornish Pirates have had a fantastic play-off campaign - theyve beaten all before them. But well rise to that challenge and well come out and give it our best shot.

The Exiles go into the semi-finals having bounced back from their round 5 play-off defeat to Worcester with victory at Meadow Lane.

Tries from Paul Sampson, Michael Holford and Dom Shabbo, along with 12 points from the boot of Waisea Luveniyali, saw Welsh end their Pool A campaign on a winning note.

There was an element of rustiness in our attacking game. Some of our triggers and timings in our attacking play werent where they needed to be, and Nottingham had fair bit of the ball, said Friday.

But what was hugely pleasing was that we not only made our tackles but we also held our shape and were able to force errors and create attacking and try scoring opportunities through our defence, which was a big positive and testament to the work ethic of the players.

With a semi-final place already assured, Welsh rotated their squad for the game to give everyone a chance to stake a claim for a semi-final starting place.

We made a number of changes for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we had a few boys we wanted to give a rest to and secondly we had a number of players who were chomping at the bit to be given an opportunity, said Friday.

It served us well from a perspective of breeding competition, and the competitive edge we want in the squad, and giving everyone the opportunity to play for a place.

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