Glasgow coach Dave Rennie was a relieved man after seeing his side hold out for a hard-fought 13-7 win over Sale Sharks at Scotstoun.
Veteran wing DTH van der Merwe equalled Tommy Hayes as Glasgow’s top European try scorer with the crucial score but it was a win built on hard graft by the forwards as the Warriors failed to add any points to the scoreboard after the break and had to fight a rearguard action to protect their early advantage.
“Absolutely,” said Rennie when asked if relief was his overriding emotion after a tense and compelling contest.
“I thought in the first half we were really good, maybe even better than the 13-0 scoreline. We applied a lot of pressure but the second half was disappointing.
“I just thought we overplayed down our end of the field. But having said that, our lineout was excellent, our defence lineout was excellent. Likewise with the scrum.
“The big men put in a shift and that got us home in the end.”
A Sale side who were without their World Cup finalist trio of Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk and England flankers Tom Curry and Mark Wilson showed tenacious spirit to fight back and almost take the spoils but in the end had to settle for a deserved losing bonus point.
“I know the boys were setting up for a drop goal under the posts at one point,” said Rennie when asked if letting Sale leave with a point was a frustration.
“With 90 seconds left they decided to hang on to it. We did that for about 80 minutes and then gotpenalised. It would have been good to deny them a bonus point but the key thing was us winning.”
Looking ahead to next week’s trip to face Exeter Chiefs, Rennie added: “‘I think we’ve got a set-piece that’ll be competitive down there at Exeter. I also thought we defended well for big chunks of this game.
“I just think we’ll maybe need to play a little bit smarter next week .”