Monday 26 September 2016

Glasgow eager to build momentum before Euro clash

Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30

Glagow’s Stuart Hogg will provide a huge threat to Leinster
Glagow’s Stuart Hogg will provide a huge threat to Leinster

When the Leinster coaching staff went about analysing Glasgow Warriors this week, they will have noticed some familiar frailties.

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The Scots' form has been indifferent all season and although the defending champions got back on track against Treviso last time out, it was a stuttering performance that left more questions than answers.

After last season's Pro12 triumph, expectations are high in Glasgow and the Warriors' assistant coach Kenny Murray accepts that those must be met.

"There is a transition period when guys go back from international to the club game. The expectations on these guys are really high," Murray maintained.

"They need to meet those expectations and there are parts of our game that could have been better over the past couple of weeks."

Three defeats has left Glasgow one place outside of play-off spots and they will be looking to reverse the 23-18 defeat to Leinster back in October.

Flattered

Scotstoun has been an unhappy hunting ground for Leinster in the past and although Glasgow flattered to deceive against Treviso last weekend, Murray believes that plenty of lessons have been learned.

"There is a process of going through the game with them, identifying what they have done well, which is a big part of our culture," he said.

"We will also look at how they can improve. Every player sets goals to work on, then reviews their game and key points with the coaches. That will be a big part of their focus. It is a big part going forward.

"The important thing (against Treviso) was to get the win; with the weather forecast going into the game, we knew we had to be at our best to win the game.

"Defensively, they came with a game-plan and with a tight pick-and-go game. That frustrated us a bit. We need to look at how we apply more pressure to teams who come with that kind of game-plan."

Glasgow's top players have been out of form since returning from the World Cup which is something that Leo Cullen can certainly relate to. Stuart Hogg showed glimpses of a return to form against the Italians but out-half Finn Russell largely struggled.

Effort

"Stuart has looked at a few areas of his game after Northampton and Finn needs to improve certain aspects and look at his game from the weekend, but it is not for a lack of effort, that is for sure," Murray insisted.

"I thought Stuart played really well (against Treviso). Finn had a mixed game by his own standards; he could have played better in attack and defence."

Like Leinster, Glasgow face crucial back-to-back Champions Cup clashes against Scarlets, beginning at home next weekend and Murray knows the importance of building momentum against the Blues tomorrow.

"It is a big game because if we beat Leinster we go ahead of them in the league and we want a platform going into Europe.

"Leinster may have lost some games but they have played some really good rugby. They will come here confident and will have seen things in our game at the weekend they think they can take advantage of."

Irish Independent

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