If Dave Rennie’s team can get the better of Cardiff Blues in the middle of January they will give themselves a fighting chance of making what would be only their second-ever appearance in the Champions Cup quarter-final.
However, Rennie will know they need to be better than they were here if they are to make an impact in the knock-out stages. Lyon dominated great swathes of this game after falling 18-0 behind to two Niko Matawalu tries and a couple of penalties from Adam Hastings.
Such was the disparity in possession that the home side had to make 165 tackles compared to 105 for Lyon and Glasgow spent the middle of the match desperately defending their try line from a long series of assaults by the French visitors. Had Lyon scored a try before the break when it seemed almost inevitable this match might have been as close on the scoreboard as it was on the field.
Glasgow ultimately got the win and the four points that go with it but, having secured the bonus last weekend in France, they missed out on their own home turf which could prove costly.
Was it, Ali Price was asked, a point lost or four points won – but only after the scrummy had sat in a bath for ten minutes to warm up.
“Probably a bit of both,” said Price, circulation restored. “The start we had was pretty good and we got 18 points up. You have to win the game, but we put ourselves in a good position by getting two tries in the first 20 minutes. We are still very much in the mix. Yes, job done, could have been better but a good win.
“Coming out at the start of the second half, our discipline allowed them to get into our zone and they came away with the first points of the half. That made it interesting as any team will get a bit of momentum off the back of that. It made for a closer second half than we wanted, but I felt we always had them at arm’s length.
“Obviously, we wanted to get five points. The second half wasn’t as good as we can produce, but that shows how far we have come as a team. We’ve come off the pitch after winning another European game, we’re sitting nice in our pool and we’re disappointed that we didn’t get five points instead of four. We’re still in the hunt, though.”
Lyon’s try on 52 minutes, an opportunistic effort from centre Pierre-Louis Barassi, hinted at a comeback for the French. Instead a gusty Glasgow performance restricted the visitors to ten points. Warriors held their nerve and Hastings kicked the final points of the game with 14 minutes to go.
Glasgow will resume the European Cup trail in January but next weekend they have the first of the 1872 Cup matches against old ‘frenemies’ Edinburgh who might take a leaf from Lyon’s playbook.
“If you were Edinburgh watching the performance, what Lyon did in the second half in trucking it up,that’s something we’ll have to work on this week as it gives other teams avenues into the game,” said Price.
“A lot of people didn’t want to speak about he Edinburgh game before this one was played. But it’s done now, we’ve got our four points, and there’s no two bigger games in the league season than the two coming up, not just for us. Edinburgh have a lot to play for in their [Pro14] pool as they are sitting fourth.
“These are big games for them when it comes to getting the points they need. It will be a big week in training.
“It’s our third trophy (the 1872 Cup). You can’t win it until May [you can!] and obviously you want to get one over on your rivals. There’s a lot of match-ups in there, for country as well as club, you want to get one over your opposite number.”