Glasgow Warriors look to take advantage of a Sharks side shorn of their Springboks
It’s the home side’s first encounter with a South African side in the United Rugby Championship and both teams are seeking a maiden victory in the new tournament after losing their opening matches.
Kenny Murray, the Warriors assistant coach, felt the scoreline was harsh on the South African side who will play four rounds of fixtures in Europe before heading home.
They are without key men such as national skipper Siya Kolisi and fellow Springboks Sbu Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi who are all part of the squad playing in the Rugby Championship in Australia.
“I’m pretty happy that they are missing, to be honest with you,” said Murray. “You obviously want to play the best teams and the best players but, like in any game in any sport, you want to take any advantage you can get, don’t you?
“They are going to come here and be strong. They lost at the weekend against Munster, but if you look back at it the scoreline maybe didn’t reflect the game.
“They still have some cracking players. Across the backline, they are very dangerous, irrespective of who they are going to bring in from the Springboks, and up front they are already pretty physical. So, when these guys come back in, they will augment their team and make them stronger, but we are under no illusions that if we don’t play well this weekend we are going to be in a game.”
Glasgow scored four tries against Ulster and had the home side under significant pressure in the closing stages. Murray thinks they can take plenty positives from the performance but he was left frustrated by a couple of scores they conceded.
“We got pretty much everything we expected at Ulster,” he said. “It was really physical, which we expected after they beat Saracens away a couple of weeks ago. We knew we were going to have to front up, and we did for big parts of that game, but maybe just let ourselves down with a couple of moments that hurt us – and they had a couple of bounces of the ball which they took advantage of to score.
“We conceded from line-breaks in the game and three of the tries came from kick-chase, so we’ve got to be better there in terms of our decision making of where we’re kicking and making sure we are a bit better structured defensively after the first collision or so. That’s been a big part of our review process this week.
“But we take a lot of positives from how we played, and there are just a few things we have to tidy up going into the Sharks game.”
Glasgow came through the match relatively unscathed. Duncan Weir had to go off after half an hour because of a head knock but the stand-off is going through the return to play protocols and the club are confident he will be fit for Saturday.
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