Glasgow Warriors need cure for travel sickness ahead of tough trip to South Africa and other away-day tests

Journey’s end is fast approaching in the pro rugby season and Glasgow Warriors need to find a cure for their travel sickness if they are to be in the mix when the main prizes are handed out.

Danny Wilson’s side have won just twice on the road in eight competitive fixtures and now face a run of away games which will go a long way to determining the success or otherwise of this campaign.

Friday night’s bonus-point win over Zebre lifted them to third in the United Rugby Championship, alongside second-placed Ulster on 50 points with three rounds of fixtures remaining in the regular season.

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They look a safe bet for a top-eight finish and a place in the play-offs but need to be in the top four to secure a home tie in the quarter-finals.

Jack Dempsey will be key for Glasgow Warriors as they embark on a run of away fixtures. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The run-in is tough; a double-header in South Africa against Stormers and Bulls, and then a derby against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield.

But before that, Glasgow face an away tie in the last 16 of the European Challenge Cup on April 16, with Newcastle Falcons their possible opponents.

“If we’re seriously going to challenge for silverware, if we’re seriously going to be a contender, we’ve got to win on the road more often,” acknowledged Wilson whose side don’t have a game this week.

“The thing is we have won on the road, and we’ve had some big wins on the road. Connacht was a really good example: we won scoring 40 points at a venue where it’s very tough to win.”

Rob Harley and his Glasgow Warriors team-mates after the win over Zebre. It was potentially Harley's final home game as a Glasgow player. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Unfortunately for Glasgow, the game in Galway was the exception rather than the rule and they followed it up with two defeats in Wales, 35-10 against Scarlets and, most egregiously, 32-28 against Cardiff after they had led 28-15.

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Wilson put the Scarlets game down to illness in the squad but the second-half collapse in Cardiff was inexcusable and the coach likened it to the Champions Cup match against Exeter Chiefs in January.

“The two that really disappoint me are the Exeter away game in Europe where we fell apart in the last 30 and Cardiff away where we fell apart in the last 30.

“So we’ve got to look at that. We’ve looked into a whole host of different things why that might be – the little things that we can do to try and solve that problem. It’s the next step on our journey to be where we want to be.”

Taking on the URC’s two highest ranked South African sides in their own backyard is likely to be a case of kill or cure for Warriors whose only other away win this season came at bottom club Zebre.

Edinburgh showed how it can be done with a victory over the Sharks in a Durban downpour last month and Wilson admitted he wouldn’t be averse to similar conditions for Glasgow’s matches, in Cape Town and Pretoria

“From the conditions I saw it looked more like a European game. It was pouring with rain and I’m hoping we get the same out there if I’m honest. Playing on those pretty hard tracks against the speed that those guys have got is a tough, tough challenge.”

Glasgow will base themselves in Stellenbosch and expect to travel with a squad of around 34 players.

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