London Welsh savour first Premiership win
London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones was delighted as the Exiles clinched their first English Premiership win with a nailbiting 25-24 victory over Exeter on Sunday.
For the Exiles, playing at their new home of the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, this was their first win since clinching promotion and followed heavy defeats by Leicester and champions Harlequins.
With fewer than two minutes left, No 8 Ed Jackson rounded off a desperate surge by forcing his way over for a try which replacement fly-half Seb Jewell converted to win the match.
“Two weeks seems a very long time ago since we played Leicester here and were found wanting,” said Jones.
“After having such a tough time against Leicester and at Harlequins, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves.
“We are delighted not just with the result but the performance was so much better. We didn’t fold. We kept in there and took our opportunities. We showed a lot of character to come back.”
However, he added: “We don’t really know where we are yet. We have some players who haven’t been in England for four weeks yet.
“We’re a feisty bunch but it does take time. It was important we grew as a team and the win over Exeter, who are a very strong well-drilled side, should improve our confidence.”
Exeter boss Rob Baxter, whose side have beaten several major teams since their promotion to the Premiership in 2010, said: “We won’t be calling a crisis meeting on Monday or calling players in for extra training.
“I think today’s more about congratulating London Welsh than worrying about what we did wrong.
“You have to be a decent side to come through the Championship play-off structure and the Premiership is a great place to learn.
“Players and teams get better and London Welsh are doing that.
“Am I disappointed not to win? Of course I am. We like to win every game of Premiership rugby. I’m probably more disappointed with the way we played, some of the mistakes we made and the way some senior players gave away soft penalties and made wrong decisions.
“We just lost our way. I’m not going to say that over the 80 minutes we deserved to win the game because I’m not sure we did.
“I’m not massively worried about anything because, if there’s one thing I know, there’s no shame in losing to the promoted side.
“I’ve seen other Premiership sides lose to Exeter and, all of a sudden, think they need to have a crisis meeting and they can’t quite work out why it’s crumbling around them.”