John Quill made the most of his first start for London Welsh to lay down a marker ahead of the club’s Greene King IPA Championship semi-final next month.
The Ireland-born USA Eagles flanker crossed twice in the Exiles’ 45-7 win over Jersey at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday – a win that extended Welsh’s winning run in the league to seven games.
Quill, who has been capped seven times by the Eagles, was on the end of two well worked second half catch and drives in a six-minute spell which saw Welsh rack up three tries.
“It was a great win in a team sense,” said Quill.
“Obviously there’s still stuff to work on going into the last few games, but definitely pleased to get a couple of tries, although a lot of the work was done by the big boys in front of me. I was just lucky to be on the end of them.
“It’s great to get that first start and now I’m just looking forward to the rest of the games. Hopefully I’ll be involved.
“We’ve got a big pack and we work to them strengths. I was the lucky one at the back. We looked at it during the week, we worked hard at it and it came off.”
Welsh did not have it all their own way as Jersey struck first when Drew Locke collected Aaron Penbrthy’s grubber kick, and the visitors denied the Exiles a seventh try despite being a man down and Welsh camping themselves in the Jersey 22 for a ten-minute spell.
“We were camped on their line for a long time – I don’t know how many scrums it was at the end of the game, but a hell of a lot – and we maybe could have been more clinical but we got the five points,” added Quill, who was making just his fourth appearance for London Welsh.
“There were a lot of new faces in there and it’s always difficult with different guys.
“We knew what jersey going to come out and do, they were going to try and be a hindrance and they were in the first 20 minutes. We maybe should have been a bit more clinical at the breakdown, but in the second half we kicked on. The boys came out and we put the points on the board.”
For the likes of Quill, it was an opportunity to stake a claim for a semi-final place, and two just more opportunities remain to do just that, at Bristol next Friday and then against Nottingham on April 26 at Old Deer Park.
“It’s so competitive. There’s a lot of guys putting their hand up for selection for those big games. When you do get the opportunity you do need to take full advantage,” said Quill.
“That’s all we’re looking [Bristol and Nottingham] and we want to perform in those games. Guys are definitely going to be going full out for it because they want to be involved in the semi-final. The league is too competitive to take your foot off the pedal.”