Awcock: Welsh need to up our game to earn Premiership return

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FORMER Newport wing/full-back Alan Awcock acknowledges that London Welsh need to go up a few gears if they are to earn promotion to the Aviva Premiership, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 26-year-old scored two tries in Welsh's 38-31 loss to Leeds in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final.

The teams meet again in Oxford on Sunday with the victors taking on either big-spending Bristol or Rotherham for a place in the top flight.

And Awcock, who scored 34 tries in 77 appearances for the Black and Ambers between 2009 and 2013, knows the Exiles must improve on their Headingley display.

They outscored the Yorkshiremen by three tries to two but were hindered by indiscipline that allowed man of the match Glyn Hughes to punish them with the boot.

"The boys all know they underperformed and in this league you can't underperform, if you're looking to get into the Premiership. You can't put in a performance like that – it's got to be better," he said.

"Headingley is a difficult place to come but we've done a job up here before in similar respects – we were down but regrouped. Unfortunately it didn't happen on Sunday.

"We're disappointed with the way we conceded a few penalties, but we'll regroup and head back to the Kassam and put in a better performance. It's over two legs so it's all to play for at home."

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