RUGBY UNION: Stegmann salutes Exiles' progress

8:00am Tuesday 26th August 2014

SEB Stegmann said London Welsh have come a long way in their pre-season friendlies after his two tries helped them to a 40-12 victory at Pontypridd.

The six-try win rounded off the Exiles’ three-match programme, which has also seen them beat Henley 64-0, but lose 38-24 to Wasps.

“The standard’s definitely gone up; we’ve seen it in training and in our games,” said wing Stegmann.

“When we call moves in phase play, boys are offering themselves. Everyone knows what their role is a lot more than against Henley.

“It’s been building week by week and there’s a lot of confidence now, both in the team and the structure.

“It’s about confidence; we’ve got to keep the momentum going. The boys are excited; it’s the Aviva Premiership.

“We strived so hard last season to get back there. We now just need to keep our heads and know our roles for the opening game against Exeter on September 7.”

Stegmann’s two tries inside the opening 11 minutes at Sardis Road laid the foundations for the Exiles’ win.

Further tries from Nic Reynolds and Nathan Vella completed a comprehensive first-half display by Welsh, who led 26-0 at the break.

Tom May and Rhys Crane crossed late on, with Olly Barkley converting three and Tristan Roberts two.

Owen Shepherd and Lewis K Williams scored Ponty’s tries, with the latter converting one.

Stegmann added: “We knew we would come into the game with the more dominant firepower.

“We made a strong start and took it to them – we wanted to show what we could do.

“Throughout the whole game we were trying to go through our structures, our discipline in defence, the breakdown – all the little systems that we’ve been working on in training.

“We’re a bit disappointed that we tailed off in the second half, but as a whole it was positive.

“There’s definitely still one or two things to tweak this week, but it’s looking good.

“The conditions were completely different in the British and Irish Cup game here last year. It was raining and a bit epic to come here and have a go.

“This time we started well and the conditions were a lot better, and that really good start was paramount to our overall performance.

“Everyone knew their role, people were talking and putting their hand up as to what lines they were going to run and clearing out the rucks.

“People were still doing their jobs second half, it was just Ponty taking it back to us.

“They’re not an easy team to play against. But at the same time there was a bit of inaccuracy from us.”

 

 

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