Monday 11 December 2017

Cusiter has faith 'brilliant' morale can help Glasgow defy the odds

David Kelly

David Kelly

Former Lions scrum-half Chris Cusiter admits that Leinster are the toughest challenge his Glasgow Warriors side could have faced in this season's Pro12 play-offs -- but he still thinks they are beatable.

The unfancied Scots have made their second play-off in three seasons and, coupled with Edinburgh's startling run to the Heineken Cup semi-finals, the pair have done much to erase the memories of Scotland's dismal wooden spoon efforts in the Six Nations.

"It's really exciting," says the scrum-half, who missed the semi-final defeat to Ospreys two seasons ago through injury.

"The morale is brilliant and from where we were two years ago, when a lot of guys left, to then rebuilding last season and then to get back to the same spot again is great for the club.

"The boys beat Leinster over there at the start of the season and while this is a different kettle of fish, we can draw confidence from that. They are beatable. They are a very good team, but we have a good team and are hard to beat.

compete

"We know we're a team that has to punch above its weight to compete, but the whole year's been about making ourselves hard to beat.

"Sometimes we don't always play the fanciest rugby or score the most tries, but we're in every game and have one of the best defences in the league, which means you've got a chance.

"We know that if we all go out and work hard for each other we've got a chance of winning every game, and this week more than ever we'll need that belief."

Unlike his Irish counterparts, Cusiter's sideboard isn't exactly creaking with silverware and only a Scot could recognise the magnitude of tomorrow's opportunity in the RDS.

"I remember how the guys felt two years ago," he says. "We came away from the semi-final realising the Ospreys had been beatable and that has stuck. You don't get many chances at these things. Leinster is as tough as it comes in Europe, so it's massive."

Leinster, meanwhile, have confirmed they will play their first game at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, August 11 after announcing that they will play Gloucester at the venue.

The home of Shamrock Rovers was used by Ireland 'A' for a win over the Argentina Jaguars in November 2009 and, although they did have an open training session there earlier this season, this will be the province's first game in Dublin 24.

Tickets are priced at €5 for children and €10 for adults if you buy before July 1.

Irish Independent

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