RUGBY: Tough day for depleted Welsh in third-place battle
Organised Birmingham Exiles just too strong
Midlands 5 West (South)
Birmingham Exiles 48
Rugby Welsh 19
Welsh had a difficult afternoon against a well organised Exiles outfit who deserved their bonus-point victory.
Without making excuses Welsh were always going to face an uphill challenge as unavailability’s to key players left them without any replacements.
Exiles began quickly and it was obvious that they would spread the ball wide at every opportunity to make use of their quick backline.
They scored two tries in the opening 15 minutes, one of which was converted. However the Welsh forwards competed well with Harry Turner and Jamie Roche at the heart of the battle.
They got back in the game when, following a half break from Angus Wilson, Andy Higham showed great support play to crash over for an unconverted try.
However Exiles responded and despite some good defence they scored two more converted tries through their three quarter line.
In the final play of the half centre Jason Reynolds burst through the home defence for a try converted by Wilson.
The second half saw Welsh try to nullify the Exiles attacking threat by keeping the ball tight amongst their forwards which to an extent worked but two further tries enabled Exiles to be comfortably ahead near the hour mark.
Welsh were then affected by two injuries, including an ankle injury to Wilson, which reduced their playing numbers for a period.
However they continued to battle hard and Reynolds scored his second try which he converted himself before Exiles finished off a good performance with two late tries.
Welsh now have a break in league action for a couple of weeks and will hope to be back to full strength for the final month of the season.