AL Kellock has warned Glasgow that they must use the pain of their Guinness Pro12 defeat at the hands of the Scarlets to drive them to victory against the Dragons at Scotstoun on Sunday.
Warriors slumped to only their second defeat of the domestic season at the Parc y Scarlets with the debilitating effect of the Scotland player drain, which saw 11 Warriors on duty at Rugby Park for Scotland’s 37-12 victory over Tonga, hitting Gregor Townsend’s men hard
With Townsend sweating on just who from his international contingent will be available for a return to Glasgow service, skipper Kellock has made it clear that a substantial improvement is needed for the second meeting with Welsh opposition in nine days, whoever fills the shirts.
The Glasgow captain has also pointed to the home and away double completed by the men from Rodney Parade on his side last term, which included a 23-8 Scotstoun nadir in the corresponding fixture, that Kellock is determined to avoid.
He said: “Any loss in the Guinness Pro12 is costly when you are trying to push for a place in the play-offs and obviously we are very disappointed about what happened at Parc y Scarlets but we have the opportunity with a home game next on Sunday against the Dragons to do something about that.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
“So there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we must re-focus and make the absolute most of home advantage and obviously, with what happened against the Dragons at the same stage last season, we are well warned that only our best will do.
“From that point of view it doesn’t matter who we get back after the Autumn Series from Scotland. All that must concern us is that whoever runs out at Scotstoun they lift the bar from the Scarlets game and give everything they have in their locker.”
Despite administering a four-try 33-13 thrashing to Lyn Jones’s side on Welsh soil back on 20 September, the last time the two sides met, Kellock admits a far tighter contest is in prospect in Sunday’s 4pm Scotstoun kick-off.
He added: “The first thing you know about the Dragons is that they will be coming here to prove a point and make amends for that defeat back in September, so their motivation will be very high and of course they have pleasant memories of what happened the last time they came to Scotstoun.
“Clearly, like ourselves, they are coming off a painful defeat at the hands of Munster and that will be a further motivation, but we can’t worry about any of that. We must focus on what we have to do to produce our best work and make sure that we provide a positive response to the Scarlets defeat.”
Last Friday’s galling defeat also resulted in Glasgow slipping two places in the Guinness Pro12 table to fourth with Ulster and Munster both moving above Townsend’s team after the Scarlets setback.
Reflecting on his side’s first defeat by Welsh opposition in the league campaign, Kellock was far from downcast.
“Obviously the difference, ultimately, was the late try by Rory Pitman, but there were a number of positives for us in terms of the young guys that were blooded at the Parc y Scarlets,” said the Glasgow captain.
“I thought that at scrum-half Ali Pryce played exceptionally well on his Glasgow debut and it was also good to see young Glenn Bryce make his first start for us.
“Zander Fagerson at tight-head made some solid contributions for us and he will have learned so much from how the scrum was officiated. At 18, the Scarlets game will have been a real education for him.
“But I think that the senior players did not stand up enough at the Scarlets, and I include myself in that, so we must take our medicine and come back the stronger for it on Sunday.
“That said, when you look at just how well the Scarlets have been going, in that they have lost just once in their last six games and are unbeaten at home, it was always going to be a tough game for us.
“But it is gone now and just like we did after we lost at Ulster we must make sure we provide the correct response.”
His own severest critic, Kellock, who made only his third start of the season last Friday, is desperate to go again on Sunday. “Like any other player I just want to be playing, but with the level of competition we have at Glasgow it comes down to who is placed best to do the job,” he said. “But we are unbeaten after four games at Scotstoun and determined to preserve that record and that is all that matters.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS