Franco Smith blames lack of pre-season for Glasgow defeat - 'I'm not a magician'

Franco Smith admitted last night that Glasgow had paid the price for their lack of pre-season game time as their URC campaign began with a 33-11 defeat in Benetton.

The Warriors had planned to play Worcester and Ulster in warm-ups, but in the end only played against the Ayrshire Bulls.

“There is still some of the pre-season sitting in their legs,” the new head coach said. “We did not have the opportunity to get rid of the cobwebs in a friendly. We can simulate against ourselves as much as we want - unfortunately it’s not games played.

“I’m trying not to use this as an excuse. But there’s a reason why warm-up games are played, especially when there is a new coach.

Glasgow captain Kyle Steyn looks on as Benetton Treviso players celebrate a try. Photo by David Gibson/Fotosport/Shutterstock (13395779y)

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“In the first half of the game they reverted to old habits. It was better in the second half. We can improve a lot now that we have had a game and I know the players.”

Smith said a couple of weeks after taking over that he wished Scotstoun opened earlier so he could start training sooner. But he insisted last night that none of the players had been overworked.

“Absolutely not. It is impossible to overwork players at the beginning of the season.

“We are at the beginning of the process. I’m not a magician.”

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