Glasgow Warriors: Danny Wilson lifts lid on post-Benetton team talk

Danny Wilson is generally an understated character, who prefers to motivate his players with a discreet word in the ear at a quiet moment rather than with a hair-dryer blast in front of the whole changing room – but he admits that he slipped into Jim Telfer mode after Saturday’s last-minute defeat to Benetton.

Glasgow Warriors need to regroup after defeat by Benetton.
Glasgow Warriors need to regroup after defeat by Benetton.

“After the game was probably the most passionate after-match conversation that I’ve given,” said the Warriors head coach. “I made my feelings pretty clear because we’re way better than that. We have enough maturity and leadership on the field to put that game away.

“The emotion of that last 90 seconds is still really frustrating for all of us,” he added. “We had the ball inside their 22 with a two-point lead – we have to see that out and win the game. Win ugly maybe. But through a severe lack of game management and discipline we get marched down the field and lose three penalties and the game.”

There was a fair bit of hand wringing on social media from disgruntled Warriors fans on Saturday evening, with questions being asked about whether the team are moving in the right direction under Wilson’s stewardship, but the coach said that he is generally satisfied with how the season is shaping up – although he conceded that there is always room for improvement.

“We’re 50 per cent this season with three good wins and three losses, two of them against big Irish provinces,” he reasoned. “This one was disappointing as we lost a game we should have won.

“Closing out a game is part of the learnings. As a group we’re still building and taking steps forward. There will be tight last-minute games that we win and some that we lose, but we lost this one from our own poor management and discipline, so this is a bump on a road.

“I’m not going to get carried away from one game. We went there last year, and they put 40 points on us. We were awful. It’s a tough venue to go and win now, and both us and Edinburgh have lost there by a point this season.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t go there expecting to win. I’m as disappointed as anyone that we didn’t last weekend but until then our win ratio from the Rainbow Cup onwards was far more positive than it was before.

“We’re making steps in the right direction. We’ve got new signings and new opportunities. Had we won last weekend we would have been third or fourth in the league. Now we’re in mid-table and we want to be up in that top four.”

Next up is the Dragons at home next Saturday, and Wilson has backed his team to bounce back. “We won’t take them lightly as they’re an improved side in recent years but it’s a home game and we’ll be aiming and expecting to win,” he said.

A number of players who were involved with Scotland during the Autumn Tests are set to be rested this weekend, while Scott Cummings is still struggling with a shoulder injury.

On the flip side, Lions pair Zander Fagerson and Ali Price are back in the mix after being rested last weekend, and Wilson also hinted that full-back Josh McKay could make his first appearance for the club after arriving from New Zealand just under two weeks ago.