Exiles' top goal is not finishing top, says Smith

Long-term agenda: Ollie Smith at London Welsh

Long-term agenda: Ollie Smith at London Welsh

First published in Sport by

London Welsh have the opportunity to regain top spot when they visit Jersey this afternoon, but assistant coach Ollie Smith has stressed that finishing top is not the club’s primary motivation.

After setting the pace in the Greene King IPA Championship for so long, the exiles slipped to a second consecutive league defeat to London Scottish at the Kassam Stadium last time out, on the back of losing at Bedford Blues.

The festive period duly saw them knocked off the top of the table by Bristol, but while the Exiles have the chance to reclaim top spot at St Peter (kick-off 2pm), finishing in the top four is the aim.

“It’s about what happens at the end of the season,” said Smith. “We’d like to be top but it means very little and that was proven when London Welsh finished fourth and got promoted.

“Yeah, it’s nice to be top but we go from day to day and game to game, and our focus is very much on what needs to be done to win at the weekend.

“Hopefully in hindsight those two defeats, and maybe one or two more than happen along the way because we’ve got some tough places to go to, will stand us in better stead than going unbeaten.

“It proves we are beatable and while you’d love to go into a game with the opposition thinking they haven’t got a chance, in your own mind you’ve got to have fear yourself to get the result you need.

“That’s the key thing to come out of these last two games. Where could we have done better? Why did we lose?

"But also it’s a mental mind-set thing, ‘boys we need to tighten up, we need to do that little bit more’ and we’d prefer to find that out now than towards the end of the season.”

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