Duncan Weir calls for more zip from Glasgow Warriors as near six-month wait is almost over

A new coach brings his own ideas but it was surprising to see Duncan Weir confined to the bench for all but the final six minutes of Glasgow Warriors’ defeat by Benetton.

A steady hand on the tiller, Weir knows how to win in Italy but the stand-off’s brief cameo afforded him little opportunity to influence a game that had already slipped from Glasgow’s grasp.

Franco Smith, in his first competitive match in charge, picked Tom Jordan as his starting 10 in Treviso but it was a tough match for the former Ayrshire Bulls man to make his debut.

Glasgow return to Scotstoun to play for the first time in almost six months this Friday when Cardiff are the visitors and Weir would like to see the team begin the match with more vigour than they showed against Benetton.

Duncan Weir came on as a late replacement for Glasgow Warriors during their defeat by Benetton in Treviso. Photo by David Gibson/Fotosport/Shutterstock

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“I think we have to start games playing with real intensity,” he said. “We kind of felt our way through the first half and didn’t fire many shots. In the second half, with the scoreline the way it was, we started to play a little bit more and hopefully we can start the game at Scotstoun on Friday in a similar vein.”

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The experienced playmaker is fully fit again after breaking his thumb against Bulls in South Africa last April and then suffering a couple of calf strains during pre-season and would like to play a fuller role. He said he understood the reasons behind his brief appearance as Smith opted for six forwards and only two backs among his replacements, leaving Weir to cover all the back positions after Ali Price came on as a substitute early in the second half.

“I want to contribute as much as I possibly can to the team,” said Weir. “Obviously with the nature of the 6-2 split you’re covering all the backs, being the last back on the bench, and Tom Gordon was in a similar position being the last forward on the bench, so I understand that you might not get as much game-time because you have to cover for the whole backline, instead of just your natural position.”

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After a tough pre-season, Weir feels fitter than he has in a while although he reckons he will need a couple of games under his belt to get to optimum match sharpness. Now in his second spell at the Warriors, the 31-year-old wants the team rediscover a bit of the attacking flair that saw them reach three Pro12/14 finals. To do that, he reckons they need to play with more speed than they showed in their URC opener in Italy.

“We were disappointed as a team in being a bit slow to get off the floor and get set into position, both sides of the ball,” he said. “I think we can definitely up our workrate to get set and let’s get in a position where we can pull the trigger and get the ball moving.

“We want to bring back the old Glasgow way of playing and move the ball around. If you get set then you can do that. At times on Friday night in Treviso we were too slow to get set and unfortunately we couldn’t fire any shots.”

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