Ross Thompson ready for a crack at Leinster as Glasgow Warriors look for repeat performance

It’s almost a year to the day since Glasgow Warriors ended their season with a hard-fought win over Leinster at Scotstoun.

Ross Thompson landed a match-winning penalty against Leinster 12 months ago.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Ross Thompson landed a match-winning penalty against Leinster 12 months ago. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Kyle Steyn and Matt Fagerson got the tries that night as Danny Wilson’s side toughed it out before Ross Thompson landed a match-winning penalty from long range.

It was Thompson’s breakthrough campaign and such was his impact that he landed the club’s player of the season award despite only making his debut in January.

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Twelve months on and the stand-off is preparing to renew hostilities with Leinster in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship quarter-final in Dublin.

The circumstances are markedly different to 2021. Glasgow went into that Rainbow Cup match on a run of three successive victories but this time they travel to Ireland having lost their last four.

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A fifth successive defeat would end their season but Thompson believes the Warriors can belie their underdog status. The 23-year-old watched Leinster lose Saturday’s Champions Cup final and takes some inspiration from La Rochelle’s shock win.

“They can be beaten,” said Thompson. “They played some good rugby but from that game and a couple of other games they’ve played recently we’ve identified some things we can maybe challenge them on but also there are a lot of things we have to be aware of. They are very good in attack and if you sit off them and let them play they can carve any team open.

Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn celebrates his try during the Rainbow Cup win over Leinster in June 2021. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“If we get it right on the day and put in a 10 out of 10 performance we can challenge them at least and hopefully get a win.”

As chief playmaker, the onus will be on Thompson to keep a steady hand on the tiller and he is unfazed at the prospect of going head-to-head with Johnny Sexton.

“He’s obviously a brilliant player,” said Thompson. “He’s got some really good distribution and his ability to read defences is brilliant.

“I just try and stay nice and relaxed and play what I see. I’ll try and do all my work beforehand and then you just go out and play and everyone else makes it much easier – the forwards getting go-forward and some of the backs we’ve got are brilliant and great on front-foot ball. So it’s just trying to make sure I facilitate them and they can do the magic.”


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