We were gutted cold snap cost us Connacht clash but we'll turn up heat against Warriors

Bernard Jackman

Tonight's visit of the Glasgow Warriors is a very important fixture in our efforts to make the top four and the play-offs for the Magners League this season. With last weekend's game against Connacht having been postponed we are now five points behind the league leaders, albeit with a match in hand.

From our point of view, if we can beat Glasgow at home this week then we will be in a very strong position to push on and cement our place among the leaders, irrespective of having played a game less.

We were very unhappy with some aspects of our performance at home to Ulster on St Stephen's Day, and it's always better to get a game in quickly so that you can rectify those errors. The cold snap actually hasn't hindered our training at all and we have trained exactly as planned throughout.

The fact that we train during the day, obviously, is a massive help as there is generally a thaw in the afternoons and we have been able to get out onto the pitches at UCD and get through a lot of good work.

Club teams haven't had that luxury and have been trying to do bits and pieces in gyms and sports halls to keep themselves ticking over. In Clontarf we have been doing boxing sessions to try and keep the lads' fitness up, and they have loved it.

We were gutted last week's match was called off. We had travelled down by train on the Saturday morning and had just finished our pre-match meal in the hotel, and most of the lads had their strapping done by the physios when we got word at 2pm that the referee had called it off. So we jumped onto our bus and were back in Dublin by 6pm.

There were lots of Leinster supporters already in Galway and some were making a weekend of it so I am sure they were very disappointed.

We never actually went up to the Sportsground as players, but our coaches did and they said it was very hard in places and unsafe to play on. Connacht were eager to play as well, as it's one of their biggest gates of the season and they had gone to the effort to get a cover on the pitch, so there is no blame to attach to anyone. It's just one of those things.

I spent five years in Galway and never had a game called off, which shows you how extreme the weather has been lately.

With no game to review from last week we have been able to have a really good look at Glasgow and hopefully we can find a way to break them down. They have a very clear game plan in that they try and play a territorial style and they work very hard for each other every week.


They have just beaten Edinburgh home and away over Christmas, which is always hard in derby games. Dan Parks, who has signed for Cardiff Blues next season, is their main man and he has kicked 10 more penalties than anyone else in the competition so far, so we have to be very disciplined and controlled in this area.

The latest craze to hit our dressing room is, would you believe, Scrabble! Wild bunch us rugby players, aren't we? Most of the lads have iPhones and there is an online game on which they can play each other. I'm not smart enough to take part but apparently Shaun Berne is undefeated so far, and Nathan Hines, who was delighted to get six points for coming up with 'arm', is holding up the rear.