GLASGOW have been here before. Tommy Seymour has been here before. Approaching the business end of the league season, knowing that there have been landmark performances and monumental victories that would ultimately count for little, and which were allowed to pass without due recognition because premature celebration is to be avoided at all costs.
Saturday’s historic win over Munster did not fall into that category. No champagne corks were released and nobody started talking about semi-final places being copper-fastened, but Glasgow did allow themselves to enjoy the rare and precious feeling of a job well done at a ground where teams arrive half-expecting to lose.
“You have to celebrate a little, don’t you? When you get a win like that against a side like that you have to take a moment, take in the evening, to enjoy the feeling. Otherwise, when are you going to celebrate? You have to celebrate the big wins, you can’t save yourself for the trophies and things like that, though in an ideal world you might want to do that,” said Seymour after returning to training with a happy Warriors camp this week.
“You want to remember the famous victories, the big wins, so we had an evening and enjoyed ourselves going out for a team meal and celebrated the fact that we had gone to Munster and got a big win. But the heads were on and we mentioned in the changing room that this was just one game in a big streak in a season where we want to go out and win medals, win finals.
“The stats were laid out clear for us: no Scottish side had won [at Thomond Park] since 2008, Munster had not lost there all year. Those are black and white facts and there is no getting away from those. What side does not want to be the side that breaks all those runs?
“On the trip back on Sunday, the boys were tired, they had definitely been in a game. We have just had a meeting and the ball was in play for the longest of any game all year, 53 or 54 minutes it was in play. There was a lot of action and boys throwing their bodies around, having to hit a lot of rucks with a lot of carries and that. Big plaudits to our pack as well for shifting their bodies around as much as they did. Everybody was tired and sore but it is easier when you come away with the points.”
Seymour, born in Nashville, Tennessee, was an Ulster trainee before deciding that his future lay with Glasgow and Scotland. Repetition has removed any real emotion from his reunions with the Irish province and this Friday’s meeting at Scotstoun is important to him for the simple reason that it could make or break Glasgow’s chances of a home semi-final in the Pro12.
He acknowledges that opponents such as his fellow wingers, Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble, are “very dangerous players”, but after winning in Limerick, Glasgow have no reason to feel subordinate to any side. Particularly when their deep and expensively assembled squad is now proving its worth.
“That is something that has come to the foreground over the last few years. When I first joined, the side was young and we have grown with age and as a side into a group where if one person has to step out, whether it is injury or rest, or regardless of the reason, another guy will come into his shirt and you won’t see an edge, you won’t see a lack in intensity or a drop in performance or even a drop in skill level,” said the 25-year-old.
“We have guys across the park who want to play, want to put the shirt on and want to compete. The beauty of that is that the guy who has the shirt knows he has to perform incredibly well or he is going to lose it. Nobody resting on their laurels is one of the strongest things you can have about a squad and we have it. It is something that over the last few years has pushed us over the winning line.”
Having had international as well as domestic concerns to contend with this season, Seymour has been a busy boy. But there is nothing like a seasonal improvement in weather to put the spring back in a winger’s step. “I’m alright, the weather is looking good, the pitch is firming up, it is coming to my favourite time of the season,” he said. “There is a bit of light outside when you are playing in the evenings and everyone is generally in a good mood when the rain stays off. I am feeling alright, I am feeling fresh.
“The intensity levels are always quite high but going into the business end of the season where play-off places and home semi-finals or away semi-finals are coming more to the fore means we know every week has to be a cup final, every week has to be at such a high level to keep us in the position we are in now, let alone try to push on for something more. We need to make sure we perform well or otherwise the things we have in our hands could slip through.”