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Esher v London Welsh Preview


By Mark W-J
September 29 2011

After four rounds of the Championship season, Cornish Pirates are the only unbeaten team in the league, with three wins and a draw to their credit.  At the bottom end of the table our hosts on Friday night, Esher, are the only club have suffered four defeats from four; they’re also the only one of the 72 clubs in the top four tiers of the domestic pyramid without a single point to their name.


However, London Welsh, currently third in the table courtesy of three wins and a bonus-point defeat at fourth-placed Bedford, will make the short journey to Molesey Road with memories of a chastening defeat this time last year ensuring against complacency.  Twelve months ago Esher opened their campaign with back-to-back wins over Bristol and Moseley, but the fixture computer conspired against them as they then faced Bedford, Worcester and Nottingham before the end of September, leaving them down in eighth place by the time we visited on 1st October.  Yet the 1,800 who withstood the horizontal rain saw the home side play the perfect wet-weather game, ex-London Welsh full-back Mike Whitehead and fly-half David Slemen pinning the Welsh back with a tactical kicking game reminiscent of David Humphreys at Ravenhill.

Yet Esher failed to kick-on after that 22-19 win, losing at rock-bottom Bees the following week before securing a home draw against fellow strugglers Plymouth courtesy of a last-minute penalty try.  They won only one of the next ten league fixtures - at home to Bees on New Year’s Day, three months to the day since our defeat in Hersham - before finishing Part One of the season with three wins in their last four games, including a stunning 13-12 victory over the Pirates.  They took that form into the play-offs, collecting four wins and four bonus points to finish top of Pool C and retain their place in the Championship.

Sadly forEsherthey’ve been unable to build on that form after the long summer break.  Jamie and Phil Mackenzie - scrum-half and centre respectively - are at the World Cup with Canada, while last season’s joint-top try scorer, Gerard Mullen, has joined the Welsh, alongside Seb Jewell, who has spent two years on dual-registration at Molesey Road.  Seb was their top try-scorer during the record-breaking promoton season of 2009-10 with 23, second overall to Cambridge’s Handre Schmidt; Schmidt is now at Bedford, and currently the joint second-highest scorer in the Championship behind our own Ed Jackson.  Mike Whitehead has moved to Doncaster, just twelve months after returning to Surrey from Rotherham in order to spend more time on his business interests in the south-east, while Sam Ulph made his first appearance of the season in the B&I Cup defeat to Bedford last week after a four-month lay-off with a groin problem.  Two former Exiles have made regular appearances in the Esher line-up this term, with prop Robin Boot having started all four games to-date and Ollie Lindsay-Hague, recently of Harlequins Academy and England Sevens, but a product of the London Welsh minis, coming off the bench against Nottingham and Moseley.

As a consequence of their four defeats,Esherhave the poorest defence in the league and second-worst attacking statistics.  Six tries scored is only one more than the aforementioned Ed Jackson, currently the division’s top try-scorer; Leeds have managed just four in four games.  Those six tries have been scored by six different players, while the top goalkickers, Mark Atkinson and Robert Kirby, have just 14 points apiece; Gordon Ross is joint-third in the points-scoring charts with 56 points, two behind Bedford’s Jamie Lennard with the Pirates’ Rob Cook a further five points ahead on 63.  And because Esher have played three away games and just one at home - a 55-6 defeat to Bedford in round two - they haven’t scored a try in front of their home crowd this season.  Welsh have conceded just seven tries, but only one each in the away fixtures at Leeds and Bedford.  Not that anyone should take any notice of the form book - just remember what happened this time last year!

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Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: The Dragons\\\' Den (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 09:50

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Dragons' Den (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 09:53

Schmid's Call to Arms

Click

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: adge1 (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 10:44

If Ollie Lindsay Hague and Sam Edgerley were in my squad I'd use 'em from the start. They must have an excellent troupe of wingers if they've got two better than Ollie and Sam....

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Dragons' Den (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 12:03

Team:

15. Edd Thrower, 14. Joe Ajuwa, 13. Hudson Tonga’uiha*, 12. Seb Jewell, 11. Will Hurrell, 10. Gordon Ross* ©, 9. Rob Lewis, 1. James Tideswell, 2. Dan George, 3. Greg Bateman, 4. Adam Brown, 5. Martin Purdy, 6. Ben Russell, 7. Mike Denbee, 8. Ed Jackson.

Replacements: 16. Vili Ma’asi*, 17. Guillermo Roan, 18. Gary Johnson, 19. Epi Taione, 20. Ben Stevenson, 21. Alex Davies, 22. Paul Mackey.


[www.london-welsh.co.uk]

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: DanFW3 (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 14:21

Is Epi match-fit yet? He seemed a trifle Christmas Pudding-like last time I saw him at the Scottish game.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Mark W-J (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 14:55

Quote:
DanFW3
Is Epi match-fit yet? He seemed a trifle Christmas Pudding-like last time I saw him at the Scottish game.

By Epi's standards that's peak condition!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: nld (IP Logged)
Date: 29/09/2011 22:17

Quote:
Dragons' Den
Team:
15. Edd Thrower, 14. Joe Ajuwa, 13. Hudson Tonga’uiha*, 12. Seb Jewell, 11. Will Hurrell, 10. Gordon Ross* ©, 9. Rob Lewis, 1. James Tideswell, 2. Dan George, 3. Greg Bateman, 4. Adam Brown, 5. Martin Purdy, 6. Ben Russell, 7. Mike Denbee, 8. Ed Jackson.

Replacements: 16. Vili Ma’asi*, 17. Guillermo Roan, 18. Gary Johnson, 19. Epi Taione, 20. Ben Stevenson, 21. Alex Davies, 22. Paul Mackey.


[www.london-welsh.co.uk]

Why does the article on the official website use a photo showing Jon Mills (not playing) standing back-to-back with the London Scottish captain?

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: dottigirl (IP Logged)
Date: 30/09/2011 10:42

According to the Esher facebook/twitter:


Quote:
Game Day! The Big One is fast approaching - Esher v London Welsh, 7:45pm KO. Should be a sell-out - get to the ground early to avoid disappointment!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: nld (IP Logged)
Date: 30/09/2011 14:21

It will be busy but I can't see the game being a sell out. If it is then the 'How Galling' thread will need a much stronger title!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: adge1 (IP Logged)
Date: 30/09/2011 22:17

Hey we are top - if only for a few hours....

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: dottigirl (IP Logged)
Date: 01/10/2011 14:11

Thought Luke Pearce as ref did well last night, although I do admit I need a pair of field glasses for distant play. Or an eye test. sad smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011:10:01:14:12:53 by dottigirl.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: nld (IP Logged)
Date: 01/10/2011 14:31

So, a crowd of just over 1,200. Quite reasonable for a Friday night when everyone seemed to be heading away for the weekend - assume that was why my journey took so long!

Effective but uninspiring performance - but a very useful five points collected. Second half appeared to go on for ever with the tries coming in the space of five minutes.

Esher looked to lack a decent attack but their defence was generally impressive. Expect them to pull things together if they end up in the relegation play offs though.

Early nomination for worst bar 'queue' of the season!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: dottigirl (IP Logged)
Date: 01/10/2011 18:46

And food queue, it was massive before KO.

Thanks to everyone who helped me with my crutches by moving out of the way. I don't get out much atm and it was nice to see people.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: DanFW3 (IP Logged)
Date: 02/10/2011 08:24

Queues everywhere. That 1,200 seems suspiciously round and perhaps propagandist. It did not really feel like 1,200 to me. But in the gloom it's hard to tell.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: nld (IP Logged)
Date: 02/10/2011 08:45

Think 1216 was the reported attendance. Lots on the banking opposite the stand plus a few hundred waiting for beer and food!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: TC08 (IP Logged)
Date: 03/10/2011 15:55

Esher had 20 players injured or unavailable (presumably that included some of their dual regs, who are covering for RWC players at their home clubs), according to Mike Schmidt in his pre match chat.

It was a good, and needed, win, but not a particularly memorable performance. Good not to concede a try, or a YC!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Dockman (IP Logged)
Date: 03/10/2011 21:46

Another win - and away from home. So well done guys. BUT: we lost just about every lineout. And we were playing Esher's 2nd XV as the last posting mentions. Anyone know what the problem is? We won'y get off so lightly against Rotherham or CPs.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Mark W-J (IP Logged)
Date: 04/10/2011 08:06

Agree with the previous posts. We must have had 80% possession and 70% territory in the second half, yet scored just two tries in a five minute spell - both of them breakaways. And both of the first half tries came from penalties bouncing back off the posts, so you could argue that we didn't actually 'create' any of the four tries ourselves, benefitting from turnovers and lucky bounces despite our overall dominance. As Dockman says, we need to be a lot more clinical if we're going to beat the likes of Bristol and Pirates later this month.

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: DanFW3 (IP Logged)
Date: 04/10/2011 16:21

Stop kicking away possession. Simples!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: Dockman (IP Logged)
Date: 05/10/2011 08:03

Absolutely DanFW3! A man after my own heart!! I didn't mention that in my posting as I didn't want to appear too negative after what was a win after all. But you're dead right. I was one of those screaming "stop it" by the second half - along with Paddy Taf!!

 
Re: Esher v London Welsh Preview
Posted by: paddytaf (IP Logged)
Date: 05/10/2011 11:10

NO BALL or BAD BALL. Oh and stop kicking the BALL. PADDYTAF (Sm60)(Sm128)

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