Welsh exiles ready to cause an upset against Harlequins

Will Robinson believes an ever-improving defence is the key for London Welsh as they seek to upset Harlequins on Sunday.

The Exiles have not had much to shout about this season, having lost all of their 11 Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters and collecting just one point in the process.

Justin Burnell’s side have also been beaten in all eight games at the Kassam Stadium this term and have not won there since beating Bristol in the first leg of last year’s Championship final.

However, full-back Will Robinson insists a 24-9 defeat at London Irish on Boxing Day was a step in the right direction.

London Welsh conceded by far their lowest points total on the road in this Aviva Premiership Rugby season and Robinson, who kicked three penalties that day, is eager to continue the upward trajectory.

“Last time out we were a lot more solid defensively than we have been this season,” he said.

“So if we can take that solidity forward and build on it then we have a chance to get something out of the match.

“There aren’t going to be any easy games in the Premiership and we know that playing Quins is going to be a real challenge.

“They have some really great players and a lot of internationals as well, so there is a lot of experience in that team and they know how to win matches.

“But we will go into it thinking we have a chance to win and will be hoping to stick to our game plan.”

Harlequins do not come into the clash in sparkling form, with a 15-7 victory over Newcastle Falcons last month their only win in four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches.

On top of that, their only away win outside of the London Double Header this season came when they visited Gloucester Rugby in November.

However, Quins have won their last six encounters with London Welsh in all tournaments, whilst the Exiles’ only competitive victory over their near rivals came way back in 1972.

“First things first, London Welsh will be desperate to get the team going at the start of 2015 and start a new chapter,” said Harlequins head coach John Kingston. “But we will be as every bit motivated and desperate to do the same.

“What we have to do is consolidate and continue in the way that we showed last week.

“To compete we obviously understand you have to be in the top four and I can count eight or nine sides aspiring to be in that group come the end of the season.

“We were told last season that we’d left it too late to get in the top four but we did so, the third year running. If we put in the performances that we’re capable of, you’d hope the results would look after themselves.”

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