Ex-Esher chief making impact at table-topping Welsh

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell singled out the influence of former Esher head coach Ollie Smith after a  41-6 win over Cornish Pirates at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday night.

Welsh ran in five tries in a comprehensive display to move two points clear at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship table.

Seb Jewell, Carl Kirwan, Rob Lewis, Andy Titterrell and Tom May all crossed for the home side, while Gordon Ross added 16 points with the boot, as Welsh put behind them  their back-to-back defeats in the B&I Cup.

Smith joined the Championship side as defence coach after quitting Molesey Road in the summer and Burnell could not be happier with his contribution thus far.

“The Pirates game was about our performance and maintaining our position at the top of the league, and I thought it was a fantastic performance,” said Burnell.

“I was more pleased with the manner in which we played. The Pirates are a very good side, fourth in the league, and this was our second home game off the back of two defeats in the B&I Cup.

“I’m not sure when the last time was the Pirates were nilled in terms of tries, but it was all about us scoring our five tries.

“They’re a very physical team, so that’s a mark of respect to Ollie Smith, our defence coach. We didn’t allow them to get into areas. We looked after the ball a lot better than they did - we ran through the phases.

“We missed three clear opportunities, but I’ll take the five tries. I’m happy with that.

“The performance was clinical; whoever we play, that’s the level of performance we’re looking for.”

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