Old Deer Park homecoming ends in defeat as London Welsh made to pay for missed opportunities

London Welsh 36-22 Bristol Rugby

Rowland Phillips rued missed opportunities as his London Welsh side lost to Bristol Rugby on their return to Old Deer Park on Sunday.

Welsh scored three tries compared to Bristol’s four, but could have and probably should have scored more.

It was not the homecoming Welsh wanted in their first game at Old Deer Park since moving to Oxford’s Kassam Stadium three years ago.

“We had enough opportunities to win that game,” Phillips told the Exiles’ official website.

“To be fair to Bristol, every chance they had they converted. That was the difference between the two sides.

“We pride ourselves on getting into those positions and getting the rewards, and we didn’t do it.

“It was a huge game and if you don’t get into the play-offs most teams will reflect back on missed opportunities throughout the season.

“We were under massive pressure against Doncaster, but got through it and got a result.

“This week we probably had a bit more control in the game but we didn’t get anything out of it.

“There’s certainly a lot of areas for us to improve on. Some are really clear and some we will have to have a look at again.”

Bristol took the first score of the day through Gavin Henson’s penalty, but that was soon cancelled out by a Martyn Thomas try for Welsh.

Two Bristol tries in a minute from Charlie Amesbury and Tom Varndell then saw the visitors retake the lead.

Joe Carlisle’s penalty cut Bristol’s advantage to 15-10 going into half time.

But after the break, the away side pulled away, through an Adrian Jarvis try and Henson’s kicking ability.

The hosts needed three scores and got a glimmer of hope when Ben Cooper’s try was converted by Carlisle.

Bristol were then reduced to 14 men after Jack Tovey was booked as the visitors desperately tried to keep Welsh out.

Nic Reynolds’ try gave the hosts a glimmer of hope.

The Exiles were unable to take further advantage of their numerical advantage, with Rob Lewis’ try ruled out for the ball moving forward.

A Tovey try added gloss to Bristol’s victory right at the death.

Next up for London Welsh is a trip to Moseley on Saturday.

Feature image of Rowland Phillips courtesy of London Welsh, via Youtube, with thanks

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