Tommy Seymour urges Warriors to have discipline against Leinster

Tommy Seymour breaks through to score against Leinster last year. action for Glasgow Warriors. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
Tommy Seymour breaks through to score against Leinster last year. action for Glasgow Warriors. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
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It was September of last year and Leinster arrived at Glasgow’s Scotstoun ground understrength and still the Dublin side raced into a first-half lead thanks to three tries. The Warriors pinched one back when Sam Johnson’s superb bullet found Tommy Seymour unmarked on the left flank.

The winger went on to score a second-half hat-trick – four tries in one match – and Glasgow ran out winners, so Seymour would presumably settle for the same again tomorrow when Leinster come to Scotstoun as Pool 3 leaders in the Champions Cup?

“Absolutely, too right I’d take that,” he responds. “I’d take four tries from us as a team. We’re looking forward to it.

“Leinster and ourselves have had some great games in the past and we love playing them. They’re always fiercely competitive and I don’t expect this week, especially with the European sprinkled on top, that it’ll be any different.”

The American-born winger has a handy scoring record – 31 tries in 75 PRO Rugby starts – and he has picked up this season where he left off last. On his first start against Benetton he took just nine minutes to claim his first try of the season and he added another in the opening exchanges against Exeter last weekend, rising to claim Finn Russell’s crossfield kick.

For the remaining 70 minutes of the match Seymour might as well have been a spectator in the stand as the two forward packs set about one another with the Chiefs winning the arm wrestle 3-0.

The old boxing adage insists that a good big ’un will always beat a good little ’un and, with the twin giants of Brian Alainu’uese and Oli Kebble both unavailable, perhaps Dave Rennie’s squad simply don’t possess the weapons to counter the sheer beef fielded by the wealthy French and English clubs. It is not a theory that Seymour subscribes to.

“You’ve just got to up your physicality,” replies the winger in his own Spinal Tap moment… all the way to 11?

“You can argue that point but I would argue on the contrary that if you don’t give away as many penalties they don’t then get the options to kick penalties into the corners and set up driving mauls.

“There’s plenty ways to combat that. You’ve got to be sharper on your discipline, you’ve got to be smarter with your kicking game so you’re playing in the right areas of the park and then you can always up your physicality.

“We’ve come across some bigger packs than the Exeter pack and our boys have come off better. Obviously on the weekend we conceded three tries in that manner, but there are plenty of things we can go about doing during the week to make sure that’s not the case at the weekend, otherwise you’d think that every team would come at us with the same mentality.”

Every team will come at Glasgow with that same mentality, with the possible exception of Leinster, who nevertheless will still back their driving game inside the Glasgow red zone.

And while Seymour is correct to highlight Glasgow’s indiscipline as the root cause of their woes in the West Country the vast majority of Glasgow’s penalties occurred as a direct result of Exeter turning the screw in the set scrum and maul. It’s one thing to talk about improved discipline but it’s difficult to achieve when you are being played like a squeeze box.

At least tomorrow’s match should be more of a spectacle than the stodgy Exeter affair with Leinster sharing much of Glasgow’s ambition, although they will be wary of getting sucked into a game of sevens.

Glasgow may have lost that opener but they are back in front of a sold-out Scotstoun and, Seymour insists, that is enough to swing it.

“The belief hasn’t dropped off,” says the winger. “We don’t want to get too negative. We won six out of seven, we won all our league games and Europe is incredibly different to the league.

“We didn’t click well and we left a few things out on the park. There are definitely things we can fix. We’ve got full belief that coming back to Scotstoun and getting on our home paddock in front of our fans – and while we have a lot of things to rectify – we can go out there and get a win.”

Backs have a reputation as the dandies on a rugby field but when Seymour is gently ribbed by one journalist for sporting a pair of shocking pink, day-glo boots he is politely put back in his box.

“Breast cancer awareness! I’d wear them anyway,” Seymour responds.

“October is awareness month so I think you’ll see quite a few players across Europe wearing them.”

Real men wear pink boots…or so the Scotstoun faithful will hope.