Glasgow coach Dave Rennie is anticipating a “deafening” atmosphere at Celtic Park next Saturday after his side powered into a dream Guinness Pro14 final in their home city after hammering Ulster 50-20 at an ecstatic Scotstoun last night.
The semi-final was never in doubt as the Warriors dominated the Irish visitors from the opening minutes, Tommy Seymour scoring two of the home side’s seven tries on one of the great night’s for Scottish professional club rugby.
Another now awaits at Celtic Park as Glasgow look to repeat their 2015 title win when they meet either Leinster or Munster, who meet in today’s second semi-final in Dublin.
“We are where we wanted to be – at home in front of our family and friends on a big game is the goal that we set ten or 12 months ago,” said a delighted Rennie.
“We knew if we got it right, we had a chance to play at Celtic Park in front of, hopefully, a massive Glasgow crowd, so you can’t be nervous or anxious about that. We were excited, we had prepared well, we had clarity about what we were going to do and the plan was just to get out and play.”
Seymour’s first try came within the first three minutes and Glasgow never looked back as they surged to a 24-3 half-time lead with tries from Ali Price and Rob Harley which had them with one foot in the final. The job was finished in style in the second half as Seymour bagged his brace, centre Kyle Steyn crossed to seal the deal and the Horne brothers, Pete and George, added a gloss off the bench.
“You can hear the crowd here it’s so close to the ground and there’s a potential that the noise could be deafening next week,” said Rennie, pictured, about the Celtic Park final, with over 24,000 tickets sold even before Glasgow’s victory.
“The crowd are massive here, they’re really engaged and the boys love it. I guess Ulster’s plan was to silence the crowd early, but we managed to score first and build from there, so we’d love to think we’re going to get a massive crowd next week. It’s been the goal from the start. We realised if we could fight our way through then we’d have a home final.”
Rennie said that Glasgow’s fast start was crucial to setting the tone last night.
“We’ve been good in that area this season and scored a lot of tries in the first couple of minutes,” said the Kiwi coach.
“Ulster’s job was to silence the crowd but we got them involved from the start.
“We got off to a flier as we often do, so we got a bit of scoreboard pressure on them early. We had a bit of a breeze up our backside.”