London Welsh continued their unbeaten home record in 2023 with a 50-10 victory over Brighton in Round 20. With former players day, the London Welsh RFC Choir and a packed pre match lunch, there was a carnival atmosphere at ODP last weekend; and the players were in no mood to spoil that!
The Exiles dominated an open game scoring eight tries in total, including five in the first half, with both Rohan Pixley and Osian McAvoy getting a brace.
Welsh showed a much improved performance from their 42-22 defeat to second place Camberley last time out, and also a much better performance from the reverse fixture against opponents Brighton, where they eventually lost 27-17 despite leading for most of that match (a theme for the season in some respects).
Brifgton kicked off to the Richmond end and despite an early promising attack in the first five minutes, which Welsh defended very well, Brighton did not show much intent in the first half as they were pinned in their own half. Welsh showed early dominance within the first twenty minutes of the half, with tries from Rohan Pixley, Ben Watts, Osian McAvoy, who’s tally in this afternoon’s match took him over 250 points for the Exiles all told and to 125 for this season. Lima Savaiinaea scored the pick of the bunch thanks to a brilliant run, and with a wonderful hand off on the opposition full back eventually bundled his way over to score.
With five minutes left before half time, scrum half Hywel Williams capped off Welsh’s brilliant first forty minutes with a try of his own to make it 33-0 at half time.
The Exiles continued the second half in the same way that they did the first thanks to a try two minutes into the second half from Rohan Pixley, after the Australian smashed his way over the try line thanks to several quick phases a few moments prior.
Despite Brighton showing some pressure deep into the Welsh half which resulted in an unconverted try in the forty fourth minute, and a yellow card shown to Welsh’s prop, Andy Black, London Welsh again showed that they were a level abkve their visitirs in the second half scoring two more tries through McAvoy and Ben Davies, to give Welsh a 50-5 lead. Despite a try from the visitors late on into the contest, the Exiles were finished the contest with a 50-10 bonus point win.
Director of Rugby Cai Griffiths commented: ‘ it was a pleasing win for us as we continue to find our form and feet at level 5. We have built through this season having had 4 promotions in the bounce. I feel that with fewer injuries and time to take our breath, we are now showing the league what we can do as we build into next season’.
Credit to Brighton who’s scrum showed great steel and they played until the end. There were excellent performances all over the park especially from the returning James Buncle as the scrum shone, the ever present back row stars of Davies and Pixley. As ever Lima Sava was abrasive with touches of magic and Osian McAvoy continued his near faultless season as he continued his run of playing every game this season. Player of the Match though went to Tomos Ireland-Life: in his home debut and on only his second appearance for the club, the former Cardiff man was outstanding and showed a commanding presence as a leader in the pack; Tom received his Devils Bridge Welsh Rum from Matchday sponsors Devils Bridge.
Welsh’s next game is away to Bracknell in a rescheduled fixture next Saturday with kick off time at one o’clock. The next home game will be the final game of the season at home to Maidenhead on the 11th March with the kick off time at 12:30.
Tries: McAvoy x 2, Pixley x 2, Ben Davies, Lima Sava, Ben Watts and Hywel Williams
Con: McAvoy x 5
PoM: Tomos Ireland Life
Attendance : 620