Callum Gibbins makes his mark in Glasgow's victory over Ospreys

His team claimed their second win in succession, a bonus point victory over a useful Ospreys side that propels Glasgow into second place in Conference A, just one point behind Munster. So the Warriors' Dave Rennie had every reason to be pleased with his team's effort, right?
Glasgow Warriors' new signing Callum Gibbins with captain Ryan Wilson. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNSGlasgow Warriors' new signing Callum Gibbins with captain Ryan Wilson. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
Glasgow Warriors' new signing Callum Gibbins with captain Ryan Wilson. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS

“We have got to understand we got away with it there,” the Glasgow coach replied when questioned after the game. “The game was a hell of a lot closer than 31-10. Had they nailed a couple of opportunities then she’s an arm wrestle.

“Look, we have a good bunch of men who work hard for each other but if we have aspirations of winning things, we have to be better.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It is great from a coaching point of view, we have nine points and can still create a bit of edge at training because what we are doing needs to be better.

“It was good to blood another six or seven, we will probably make a similar number of changes next week to create competition for places and give other guys opportunities. We are happy with where we are but will need to be sharper against Cardiff next weekend.”

Glasgow flattered on Saturday and, as Rennie suggests, the final score flattered them. The Ospreys claimed one corker of a try in the middle of the first half and skied two open goals either side of half time when simple passes were spilled with the line in sight. Moreover the home team was gifted half of their four tries by the Ospreys’ young fly-half Sam Davies who threw not one but two interception passes.

The Warriors looked laboured in the first half, struggling to get their hands on the ball and then struggling even harder to make much of a dent in the Ospreys disciplined defence. The half-time score of 10-10 was no less that the visitors deserved, with Alex Dunbar touching down for Glasgow and full-back Dan Evans getting one back for the Ospreys. Things improved after the break when, with the wind at their backs, the home side upped the tempo, dominated possession and territory and scored three tries.

The first went to Leonardo Sarto after Finn Russell took a quick tap-penalty to catch the Ospreys napping. The second fell to No 8 Adam Ashe, Sam Davies the generous provider once again, and Dunbar claimed the bonus score just minutes from time.

The centre walked away with the man of the match plaudits which was difficult to argue with unless you are Callum Gibbins. The new Kiwi flanker, who Rennie signed from the Hurricanes, must wonder how to get a pat on the back around here, although his stock in trade is defensive grunt.

The statistics were not available but you will need most of your fingers and toes when totting up the flanker’s tackle count and his coach is clearly a fan and claiming that all the Glasgow kids would soon be sporting Gibbins’ distinctive mullet hairstyle.

The Kiwi’s last game was for the “Canes” against the British and Irish Lions back in June, in which he scored a try, but most of his 80-minute Saturday shift was devoted to knocking over the opposition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We work a lot on our defence,” Gibbins said, still breathing heavily long after the match had finished. “It’s fun with the ball but it’s also pretty fun when we’re getting off the line and putting pressure on them to try and throw the ball around and I think we did pretty well there. It was good.

“It is the first game I’ve actually played since we played the British and Irish Lions, the first full 80 minutes I’ve played, so I was a little bit buggered out there. But I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve been training for close to four weeks now, so it was good to go out there, have a run around and get a taste of it. You can always be a bit fitter so hopefully next week I can be better.”

Gibbins doesn’t qualify for Scotland, so he’ll be available for Glasgow during the international windows, but he does boast Scottish links through his grandmother.

“I watched Braveheart on the way over on the plane,” he claimed. “My nan was big on her Scottish heritage. She reckons she comes from the Munro clan. I did a bit of research on Stirling and the bridge and how William Wallace and Robert the Bruce did a bit of stuff there.

“It was quite cool for the first game [the Northampton friendly at Bridgehaugh] that we got out there to see it. My family has always had a bit of fascination with Scotland so it is pretty cool to be here.”

After Saturday’s performance the Scotstoun faithful return the love.