Glasgow coach Dave Rennie would welcome a bit of help from “our mates down the road” but says his side will head to Saracens on Saturday looking to win and take top spot in Heineken Champions Cup Pool 3 after yesterday’s 33-24 victory over Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun.
If Edinburgh beat Montpellier on Friday evening at BT Murrayfield to seal Pool 5, then Scotland will have two quarter-finalists in Europe’s elite competition for the first time even before a ball is kicked at Allianz Park the following day when Glasgow line up against the English giants.
The Warriors boss will approach the week with the mindset that points still need to be added to the total of 19 they currently have – the same as Edinburgh following their famous win in Toulon.
“It’s another couple of rungs up, isn’t it?” said Rennie of the Saracens showdown.
“You’ve got to defend really well against them, so we’ll need the same sort of intensity that we played with a few months back, and be a little bit more clinical with ball in hand than we were that day [the 13-3 home loss in October]. We’ve got it in us, we’re looking forward to it.
“We know it’s a bit of a logjam with Ulster winning [on Saturday]. We think we’ll need more points next weekend.
“Our mates down the road could do us a favour if they win on Friday night, but we’ve got to go with the mindset that we need to win. Try and win the pool and so on. I think if we prepare that way, we’ll front well. It’s not a bad thing that we still think that we need more. Everything is on the day. What we know against a team as big as
Saracens is that you have to do the work up front.
“We saw good signs of that tonight and if we get a dry pitch then hopefully we can play a bit of footie too. We need to move their big men around a bit.”
Glasgow faced a nervy finish yesterday as a
spirited Cardiff side hit back from 28-10 down, by which time the Warriors had secured the all-important bonus point after an hour, reducing the gap to 28-24 in the last ten minutes before George Horne’s late try settled matters.
“It was that sort of night. At times we’re guilty of trying to overplay when the conditions or the situation doesn’t suit,” said Rennie, pictured below.
“Obviously we used a little bit of ball from some penalty advantage stuff but into the wind you’ve got to look after the ball. One mistake and it can cost you 60 or 70 metres, which we saw at times.
“We’re happy with the way it went. The backs were more than happy to be the conductors and sit in behind.”
Saracens’ win at Lyon means the
English side have sealed their quarter-final spot, but Rennie expects them to be fully motivated this weekend.
“I doubt that Saracens having already qualified will have made things any easier for us,” said the Kiwi.
“They’ll still want to win the pool and be in the driver’s spot. With Saracens they’ve got such depth that it doesn’t matter who they put out they’re still going to have such a good side, but I think they’ll go full-strength.”