Breathe it all in Glasgow fans….this is probably the highest we’ll ever go.
Osprey’s were a class apart from Glasgow in the Friday night semi-final fixture in Swansea. Although the Warriors effort was phenomenal in the first half, when the teams came back out, Ospreys class began to show and Glasgow looked like boys against men.
The stars began to shine for Ospreys and Glasgow’s stars didn’t step it up.
John Barclay was especially disappointing, playing like the walking dead from about the 60th minute. His play was confusing throughout, for a man who has shown time and time again his physical talents with running the ball, he was indefatigable in his decisions to kick. This highlighted once and for all how much Kelly Brown will be missed: while they rely on Barclay in attack, it is Brown who makes the 3 Bee’s tick.
Although Forrester, Vernon and Eddie have all shown signs, it is likely by the time they really develop Johnny Beattie will have jumped to pastures new.
When Glasgow struggled, they looked to their stars and received a mixed response. But at least they had stars to look to – as seasons go by this will be less and less the case. Glasgow will be squeezed from both sides due to their financial constraints – both with a lack of those stars, and a lack of strength in depth.
While the competition in the Magners League will only grow with the addition of Italian teams, there is a clear lack of depth in the Glasgow Warriors squad – which was again shown tonight – and they will struggle to compete if they don’t bolster their squad.
An unproven Duncan Weir on the bench, Ed Kalman being forced to start, and Hefin O’Hare the only back up scrum half to look to. With rugby players the size they are, it is no longer a 15 man sport, a strong bench is a necessity. Ospreys had that, and Glasgow didn’t
Dan Parks meanwhile will be disappointed with his final performance for the Glasgow side – he will hope to have better performances in Wales next year.
On the plus side Fergus Thomson really stepped up and showed he might be in the new breed of impressive Glasgow options.
At the end of the day, it was a few special moments from Ospreys that were the difference – they would happen home or away. But then again, Osprey are cheats who postpone their fixtures without due cause, while Shane Williams’ try wasn’t a try….