Welsh bounced back in style last Saturday with a seven try victory over London Irish and an incredible debut performance for former Brtish Triple Jump champion Jonathan Ilori (in his first season transitioning to the rugby field).The wing had previously shown his try scoring ability for Druids 2nd XV and continued in the same style for the 1st XV and comfortably outpacing the opposition. A penalty try plus one each for Matt Pollen, Griff Whitson and Tom Williams completed the try tally whilst Osian McAvoy added five conversions.
Welsh visit KCS Old Boys on Saturday with a one point margin over Camberley at the top of the table and needing a repeat of the home leg to ensure that gap is maintained.
At ODP London Welsh secured the bonus point by half time, a penalty try bringing their first points and Nixon, Cowdy and Hunt all crossing the line in the first half. Burnett and McAvoy added the icing to the cake with two second half unconverted tries to give a final score of 36-12.
KCS are currently 10th in the table with 32 league points but have two postponed games still to play. Their two games straight after the match at ODP have been KCS’ only wins since our two teams met and whilst the 35-5 victory at home to London Cornish wasn’t a surprise the 6-17 scoreline at Horsham wouldn’t have been in many predictions that weekend.
This preview started with mention of a London Welsh debutant but this Saturday attention will turn to club stalwart Andy Black who is scheduled to make his 50th 1st XV appearance. Congratulations Andy!
Injury is a slight concern this weekend as 1st XV regulars Matt Pollen (leg) Sion Cowdy (ankle) Griff Whitson (shoulder) Matt Williams (unavailable) Tom Baldwin (unavailable) Captain James Buncle (hamstring) Lloyd Davies (unavailable) Tim Ross (leg) all definitely missing out. There is also an injury concern over Jack Anderson who will undergo a fitness test on Thursday evening (groin).
However, returning to fitness and in selection contention will be Welsh Premiership signing Ewan Gully, former Premiership man Ben West and top try scorer Paolo Peschisolido who missed the last round through rib injury. Wales u21 Rhys Howells also returns in the centre.
With such strength in depth it is hard to say whether the side is weakened as players return and other pick up injuries.
The Round 19 clash will no doubt be an enthralling clash!