Stortoni says Glasgow have audacity to punish Ospreys
AFTER beating Cardiff on Tuesday, Ospreys decided to leave their best players out for tonight's match at Firhill. One of the most confident players in the Glasgow squad believes his team-mates now possess the mentality to hit weakened opponents were it hurts.
The Ospreys have such strength in depth that they will arrive at Firhill confident of making it three straight wins so far, with players such as young Welsh stand-off Daniel Biggar and Kiwi scrum-half Jamie Nutbrown desperate to prove themselves in their first Magners League starts.
David Bishop is back at centre after nearly three years out through injury.
Bernardo Stortoni, Glasgow's Argentine full-back, isn't easily fazed however. He is a player who brings supporters to their feet in expectation when he catches the ball, and insistes that his 'joie de vivre' is typical of Argentine rugby.
"In Argentina, we think of UK players – Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England – as being 'confidence players'. When they are confident they can beat anyone, but when they are not confident anyone can beat them. I think you saw that in the two Tests in Argentina in June. Scotland were very different playing with confidence in the second Test and we could not hold them back.
"The good thing I think is that there is real confidence coming at Glasgow. It is nice the supporters like watching me running because I try to play in a way that keeps opponents guessing, but also that makes people want to watch, and come to games. But it's not just me. When Johnnie Beattie catches the ball you don't know what he's going to do, or Kelly Brown, or Dan Parks, who has a great kick but also now runs a lot.
"In Argentina players have an attitude of giving everything and just playing, and that doesn't change if we drop a ball, or lose a game. We are encouraged never to be down. Here, I think players build confidence on things like winning away from home, so beating the Dragons last week has been very good for us and there is a big determination to win at home now."
Coach Sean Lineen agreed that getting the right mental approach was crucial for his players, and he hopes to help that by making no changes to the personnel who last week secured Glasgow's first opening-night win in five years by beating the Newport Gwent Dragons 12-6.
Mental strength was nowhere more visible in last week's win than with Dan Parks, the fly-half, who landed all the points and moved within two of David Humphreys' Magners League points record.
Lineen commented: "The kick last week to make it 12-3 was just phenomenal – from near halfway, in the mud, pouring rain, next to the touchline and the grandstand where he was receiving so much abuse as he went to take the kick. It was incredible. That gave us the break we needed, but not many people would kick that."
He added: "I have seen him grow up and after the Six Nations you have to admire the guy's guts and his 'comebackability'. He is 100 per cent Glasgow and Scotland, and he gives everything; he's a real team man as well.
"This (the Ospreys game] is a completely new challenge against one of the most physical and ambitious teams in the league. They won't change the way they play, even though they have a mostly different team.
"We have to just make sure we do our job right and get a win from our first home game."
Glasgow (v Ospreys at Firhill, 7.30pm): B Stortoni; L Fa'atau, M Evans, G Morrison, T Evans; D Parks, M McMillan; J Va'a, D Hall, M Low, T Barker, A Kellock (capt), K Brown, J Beattie, J Barclay. Subs: E Milligan, K Tkachuk, O Palepoi, S Swindall, C Gregor, A Henderson, R Jackson.
Ospreys: G Owen; J Vaughton, D Bishop, A Bishop, N Walker; D Biggar, J Nutbrown; P James (capt), E Shervington, C Griffiths, I Gough, A Wyn-Jones, T Smith, F Tiatia, M Holah. Subs: H Bennett, D Jones, A Lloyd, J Thomas, R Webb, J Hook, K Phillips.
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