Glasgow’s magnificent victory over Leicester has been hailed as one of the finest by a Scottish side in Europe but Warriors co-captain Henry Pyrgos believes the magnitude of tomorrow’s match against Munster in Limerick will require an even better showing if they are to make it two wins from two.
The tragic death of head coach Anthony Foley, 42, at the weekend has brought a vastly deeper meaning to the encounter at Thomond Park and the scrum-half, who is sharing the captaincy with lock Jonny Gray this season, is braced for a huge test against an emotionally raw club who will be desperate to pay tribute to their late legend.
“I can’t comment on how they’re feeling and I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” said Pyrgos.
“Gregor [Townsend, Warriors’ head coach] has spoken a bit about the situation. It’s incredibly sad. We’re expecting Munster to come out and give the best possible performance they can and we know if they do that we’re going to have to be right up there with one of our best performances to go and win the game.
“That’s what we’ve been expecting all week and that’s what we’ve been preparing for.
“Obviously we will pay our respects as best we can before the game but once it kicks off we are expecting a huge performance from Munster and we’ll be looking to do the same. It’s a huge occasion at Munster for any European game at Thomond Park.”
Pyrgos was not with the Glasgow squad last year when their European Champions Cup game against Racing 92 was postponed following the Paris terror attacks and added: “I’ve never experienced something like this before but you compare it to other big games you’ve been involved in – internationals and European games when there are a lot of distractions going on.
“I’m not saying it’s the same as this. But it’s a huge game and as players all we can do is focus on our individual jobs.
“We’re just focusing on the game and expecting a huge performance from Munster.”
Glasgow lost their opening pool match at home to Northampton last year and Pyrgos revealed that changes had been made this season to ensure they get off to the winning start that is almost mandatory for subsequent qualification for the knock-out stage.
“We’ve done a few different things. We stayed in a hotel before the [Leicester] game just to get in a bit of extra preparation. It’s something that’s been beneficial, we’ve been able to get more information and analysis stuff in earlier in the week.
“But, ultimately it comes down to performance on the day. You have to turn up and play really well. And that’s what happened last weekend. It was a great atmosphere; the crowd were amazing. It was a tough start, a bit edgy at the beginning but we got into our stride and really kicked on from there.
“We’ll need to that again this weekend.
“It’s been pretty similar preparation this week, staying in a hotel again, though it has been a slightly longer week with the Friday-Saturday turnaround.
“It’s been a lot of work from guys who have been injured and coaches who have been preparing us, getting analysis done and trying to work out the small details. And that’s been really helpful.
“Hopefully we can do that justice on the weekend. It’s one thing doing all that stuff but you’ve got to make sure you go out and perform in any rugby game . The basics are the most important things and you’ve got to make sure we turn up in those areas and the other stuff will come hopefully.
“The game will played in good spirits but it will be a combative performance from Munster and physical. That’s what they always bring.”