Glasgow assistant coach Mike Blair has left the mathematical permutations regarding how Glasgow map a way to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals to his more numerically adept boss ahead of Saturday’s home return against Lyon.
The bonus-point 42-22 win in France has Glasgow sitting second on ten points, four behind pacesetters Saracens. The rough estimate would be that the Warriors would have to double that tally or more to progress, although the competition, in which only the best three runners-up out of five pools will make it through, is notorious for throwing up anomalies.
Glasgow coach Dave Rennie, pictured inset, taught Maths in Upper Hutt, Wellington, before becoming a full-time professional rugby coach and skills coach Blair is happy to leave the number crunching to the experts.
“I dropped Maths. Dave was a maths teacher so he’ll have done a bit,” said the former Scotland scrum-half and skipper. “He’s good with his maths, he’s sharp. He was teaching us how to do percentages the other day in your head!
“There’s an eye on how many points traditionally can get you through, that 19-20 points is a good marker but it can change each year.”
The mantra ahead of a European campaign is often that you must win your home games and look to pick up bonus scraps on the road but, so far this season, Glasgow have zero points from home (albeit only one game, the opening loss to Saracens) and a maximum return from two away games.
Blair accepts that there is little room for any more slippage on home turf, starting on Saturday against a French side who are all but eliminated after three straight losses and no points.
“Ten points away from home is great but we didn’t get any points at home, so that’s somewhere that we need to gain something back on that,” said Blair.
“The home games are so important. When Lyon come to us, we want to put on a great performance for our support here because they [travelling fans] were brilliant out in Lyon.
“You could hear a pocket in the far corner and I know a few of the players said that going back to the halfway line after scoring a try it felt like a home game for them, so we are keen to put something on for them this weekend.”
While not a perfect display, Glasgow had simply too much for Lyon in attack last weekend and Blair expects a similarly positive display by the home team on Saturday, with even better execution.
“We made a fair few line breaks. I think it was a real positive the amount of players we had in support but we didn’t quite finish off everything,” said the coach.
“I thought they worked back really well to get in the passing channel.
“I think it happened two or three times where almost on that scoring pass they got a hand in with a player chasing back.
“Obviously it’s something that we’ve talked about and how we can make the most of it, but I think probably getting a try bonus point away from home we’ve got to be pleased with that side of things as well.
“We work hard on that to find opportunities and strengths and weaknesses of the team and individuals but at the same time we are focusing a lot of our attention on ourselves.
“Yes there might be little things that we change or look at to exploit on a Thursday afternoon once the team’s out but ultimately we concentrate on what we are good at and try to put that on the pitch.”