Match preview: London Welsh welcome Camberley to odp in the top of the table show down

Another confident performance last Saturday brought home the 14th victory of the season in Round 17 (counting all rest weekends and postponed matches) of the league and has set up a top of the table clash against Camberley. Six points separate the two teams and both will take the field with the aim of achieving nothing less than a bonus point win.

The ‘tale of the tape’ doesn’t help with predictions. Welsh start the game with one more win and an extra bonus point than Camberley but our visitors are the highest points scorers in the league and also have the best defensive record. Their points difference is superior by almost 100 points, helped by a colossal 0-89 win against London Irish and an impressive 51-0 against Chichester. However, Welsh have conceded only 98 points at Old Deer Park all season ( 20 less than Camberley have on home turf), bost the highest try scoring bonus point tally in the league and are indeed unbeaten at Old Deer Park in 5 years.

The away leg provides few clues too. Welsh won 27-19 thanks to Hunt, Peschisolido and Burnett all crossing the line with a top up from a penalty try and five points from the boot of McAvoy. Camberley battled to the end despite losing a player to a red card just before half time. Camberley put that defeat behind them and have won all their games since. 

Whitson, May, Groark, Black, Peschisolido and Pixley all scored tries in the 46-16 win at Cobham. The home team opened the scoring with an early try but struggled with the pace after the first 20 minutes and Welsh built up a 21-8 lead by half time. Paolo Peschisolido remains the highest try scorer with nine so be far this season and has a three try margin over Tom Hunt.

Welsh have come through their deliberate chopping and changing of the squad in rotation. Director of Rugby Cai Griffiths rested 7 players for the Round 16 clash against Horsham and rotation meant that although they all returned in Round 17, 4 others were rested; that coupled with a few timely returns from injury and the Performance Squad is both well rested and relatively injury free.

Welsh u20 International Rhys Howells came through the Cobham game unscathed for only his 3rd game of the season due to early season injuries. Club Captain Chris Lilly is back in contention and the injury concerns are limited to Jack Burnett at hooker (who has missed the last 4 rounds), Ewan Gully who is out with a hamstring pull, Jag Mahal with a knee strain. There is a slight concern on flying giant winger Sion Cowdy who left the field after 20 mins against Cobham

but early signs are that he will be in contention. It goes without saying that competition for places (as ever) will be extreme! With players back from injury it is likely that the squad taking the field on Saturday will be much changed from the away leg in Octeber 2021; with a likely change in personnel of at least 5 players.

Kick off is at 2pm. All Club Bars open from 10am and will be open all afternoon until late into the evening and hot food can be purchased at the servery. The day will see the first Patrons lunch of 2022 with 150 revellers looking forward to award winning food and the London Welsh Choir.

The Druids 2nd XV are also at home against Rosslyn Park Bs. KO time tbc.

It is expected that as ever there will be a large crowd for this fixture so please get to the club early where possible.


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