Tuesday 25 April 2017

Coach McFarland wants Warriors to match Munster passion

Glasgow found themselves swept up against a tide of emotion last time they faced Munster in Europe
Glasgow found themselves swept up against a tide of emotion last time they faced Munster in Europe

Glasgow forwards coach Dan McFarland has warned Warriors they will have to match Munster in the passion stakes if they are to keep their European dreams on track.

Gregor Townsend's side host the Irishmen on Saturday in a pivotal Champions Cup clash.

Victory will put the Scotstoun side on the verge of a place in the quarter-finals for the first time, but defeat will leave them at risk of yet another group stage collapse.

The teams' first meeting of the campaign back in October came just a week after the death of Munster coach Anthony Foley, a wave of emotion carrying the 14-man hosts to a 38-17 victory at Thomond Park.

But McFarland warned Munster would bring the same level of intensity with them this weekend as they look to top Pool One.

He said: "There will be a host of challenges on Saturday. Munster are an excellent team who have been doing really well.

"They are a side who plays their style really well. They have a clear game plan which they execute excellently.

"They have also ridden an emotional wave through a very difficult period and shown their toughness and resilience, so that mental aspect is one part we'll have to cope with.

"That first European game took place on a very say and emotionally poignant day. But they rose to it with an incredible belief and passion.

"But Munster have always been like that. They are still bringing that passion. Munster teams have always brought passion to their play, but so do Glasgow Warriors. We will see our players hopefully on top of their game and certainly with their utmost desire to win."

Glasgow also faced disappointment when they last welcomed Munster across the Irish Sea at the beginning of last month.

A last-gasp drop-goal consigned Townsend's team to a 16-15 defeat, but McFarland reckons it will be a different story this weekend.

"That was a different scenario," he said. "That game came just after the November Test window, so both sides were without certain players who needed a rest.

"But that's not the case now. We'll be sending out the best 15 players we can and everything is at stake."

McFarland helped draw up the successful blueprint which earned Warriors a 29-15 win over Cardiff last weekend.

The Scotstoun pack bulldozed their way through the Welsh outfit as Glasgow moved themselves back into the Guinness PRO12 play-off places.

But the forwards coach admits even that level of display may not be good enough to shoot down Munster.

"I believe we'll probably have to step it up this weekend," said the former Connacht, Richmond and Stade Francais prop. "Last weekend was a PRO12 game, but we're now going into a Champions Cup game where points are so important for both teams.

"Munster will raise their game having had a relatively easy game against Racing 92 last week, so we will have to match that.

"And that's across the board, not just the forward play. We need improvements in both defence and attack.

"But we feel good. Morale is high. We're facing some quality opposition but that is why you want to play. You want to be tested against the best teams and at the moment Munster are playing some of the best rugby in Europe."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport