SCRUM Web Columnist ‘The Pen’ on the Warriors’ latest defeat that all but ended PRO12 play-off hopes – and looks ahead to the future:
Saturday, April 8 is probably (almost certainly) the day the dream of another play-off died for Glasgow Warriors.
It now seems a nigh on impossible task that is completely out of our hands and once again, it was Munster that inflicted defeat on the Warriors.
Four times this season we’ve had to watch the men from Cork raise their arms in victory, and I can’t say they didn’t deserve it. Once they had the lead, a James Cronin try converted by Scannell and added to with a Tyler Bleyendaal penalty, they never looked likely to lose the game. The red wall of Munster defensemen gave Glasgow virtually no space or time to create anything.
Glasgow did get themselves back into the game with a Stuart Hogg score, but Munster were able keep Glasgow at bay without an awful lot of trouble to be honest.
Much has been said this season of Munster playing on the raw emotion caused by the loss of Anthony Foley, but it’s clear there is more to it than they. They are just a damn good side.
Glasgow were beaten by two teams on Saturday. Munster and themselves. When the Warriors did have the ball, they were either met with superb blitz defence or, because of the pressure from the men in red, they rushed the passes or were unable to hit their target and after third or fourth phase, the ball was coughed up. Sadly, it’s been the same story in several games this season. Glasgow have all too often given the ball away and been punished for it.
Against the current top five teams – Leinster, Munster, Ospreys, Scarlets and Ulster – the Warriors have played nine games and only come away with one win (Leinster in the second week of the season).
Of those games lost, only three losing bonus points have been gained.
Now the fixture list has not been kind to the Warriors, five of those defeats came during either the Autumn Internationals or the 6 Nations, but it highlights the problems of not having the strength-in-depth to cope with the loss of so many internationals and that the players who remained during those windows were either rusty or just not up to scratch.
As for Glasgow, they now have to win all three games remaining, Zebre at home, Leinster away and Edinburgh at home with maximum points and hope that both Ulster and Scarlets get nothing from their remaining games. It’s not impossible, but I suspect there’s more chance of me winning the lottery than that happening.
What I’d like to see against Zebre is a chance for some of the young up and coming stars to be given the opportunity to shine.
This week also saw the confirmation from the club that Adam Hastings has indeed signed and that could turn out to be a great move for the club next season. Hastings has been highly regarded at Bath, but with game time being limited and Glasgow not really having a fly-half who can take over from Finn Russell when he’s away or injured, it will be great to see Hastings given control of the attack and it will be a huge boost for his career to gain regular minutes.
I’ve been really pleased with the signings that Dave Rennie and the SRU have made for Glasgow so far and I’m hoping there may still be a few to come as there are a couple of departments I feel we’re still light in.
The season may now be on the downward slope and heading towards the summer holidays, but it’s important that the Warrior Nation continue to back the side all the way to the end of the final game. It may not be ending how as many of us had envisaged it, but there is still some silverware to be wrested from Edinburgh…
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