Why Glasgow Warriors' trip to South Africa wasn't as damaging as results suggest

Ryan Wilson believes that the Glasgow squad could gain lasting benefits from their South African visit despite the fact that they lost both matches without picking up a point.

Glasgow Warriors managed to bond as a team during their trip to South Africa, something that was deprived of them during Covid.

The Warriors did come close to claiming a losing bonus against the Bulls on Friday night, only for Ollie Smith’s late touchdown to be correctly chalked off for a forward pass. The 29-17 defeat in Pretoria followed a 32-7 loss to the Stormers a week earlier in the URC.

Nonetheless, Wilson insisted that the squad had grown stronger as a result of the fortnight in South Africa.

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“I’ve said to the boys during the past few weeks that we’re a lot closer from being away together,” the back-row forward said.

“With all the Covid stuff over the last few years, being able to come away for two weeks as a group has been really special. We’ve really enjoyed each other’s company.

“We’re a lot tighter as a group and that will bode well going into the end of the season. It’s a shame we come away from these two games with nothing, but if there are any positives to take it’s that we’re tighter for the experience.

“It’s been brilliant, especially for some of the young guys to come out here and experience some of the stadiums they have and different cultures. I think it’s brilliant having the South African teams in there and I’m all for it myself.”

It now looks certain that Glasgow will have to beat Edinburgh later this month in their final regular-season game in order to ensure a top-eight finish. That match on May 21 will be played at BT Murrayfield, but Wilson, like Edinburgh’s Hamish Watson, suggested that the DAM Health Stadium would have been a preferable venue.

“It would have been nice to have taken something from these two games but Edinburgh was always going to be a must-win,” he added. “It doesn’t matter where it’s played. It would probably have suited us better at the DAM Health as it’s a pitch that we’re used to. But it doesn’t make a difference to us.”