PRO14 Round 17 (redux): Glasgow vs Ulster

With Europe back on the menu this weekend for the uruks of Ireland, Wales and France to feast on, Edinburgh have the weekend off while Glasgow are going back in time to fulfil a rescheduled match against Ulster.

The Ulstermen are still technically chasing a playoff spot while Glasgow are trying to play the first XV in to some sort of form – or indeed, find a first XV – and with that in mind it is almost a full (current) international backline in action, the exception being Lelia Masaga. That means the return of the Dunbar/Jones midfield that played a large proportion of Scotland’s games last year and the return of the party boys at half back.

In the back the team is a little more depleted with Jonny Gray and Ryan Wilson still hoping to be back fit by the playoffs but Fraser Brown, Callum Gibbins and Matt Fagerson all timing their comebacks nicely. The bench is pretty useful loooking, and might even give former Lion Ryan Grant a chance to prove he’s worth a last hurrah in Glasgow colours before retirement at the end of the season.

With Jason O’Halloran saying earlier in the week that Glasgow are looking to take the mental side of pro rugby more seriously, a good win for the Warriors would do their self-esteem wonders as a side that often struggles on the road. Stopping Ulster picking up a 4 try bonus would be the act of kindness Edinburgh would most like to see so there’s still interest from both sides heading into the end stages of the inaugural PRO14 season.

Glasgow Warriors team to play Ulster in the Guinness PRO14, Saturday 21 April, kick off 6.05pm – live on BBC Two Scotland

15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Lelia Masaga, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ali Price; 1. Alex Allan, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Siua Halanukonuka, 4. Scott Cummings, 5. Tim Swinson, 6. Rob Harley, 7. Callum Gibbins (capt), 8. Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Ryan Grant, 18. Zander Fagerson, 19. Greg Peterson, 20. Matt Smith, 21. Henry Prygos, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Nick Grigg

Not available due to injury: Adam Ashe (ankle), Jonny Gray (shoulder), Oli Kebble (ankle), Paddy Kelly (ankle), Pat MacArthur (shoulder), Kiran McDonald (shoulder), DTH van der Merwe (thigh), Leo Sarto (shoulder) and Ryan Wilson (chest).

Ulster Rugby: C Piutau, L Ludik, L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, J McPhillips, J Cooney; A Warwick, R Herring, R Kane, A O’Connor, I Henderson (Capt), N Timoney, S Reidy, J Deysel;
Replacements: R Best, K McCall, T O’Toole, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, A Curtis, T Bowe.

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78 comments on “PRO14 Round 17 (redux): Glasgow vs Ulster

  1. TeamCam on

    Interesting team selection for Ulster: two centres on the bench; starts for disappointing Glasgow players thus far; Lions legend Ryan Grant on the bench. Should be fun.

  2. Not rocket science on

    Hoping Jones goes well although it’s not been much of a rest. Just re-watched highlights from the NZ game, him, Russell and Hogg were fantastic. Be good to see that form again!

  3. pragmatic optomist on

    Will be interesting to see which team can hit form at this vital time. Ulster will be fighting to put their problems behind them, but have have had problems at half back (understatement) all season. You can’t lose Pienaar and Jackson and be the same team. If Glasgow play well they should win this, but hoping that the Ulster issues don’t create a backlash which is difficult to control.

  4. James on

    It’s gutting that if Edinburgh had just turned up against Ulster they could be on for a home quarter against Cheetas rather than an away quarter to Munster. Or if d they’d just kept that 4th try out they’d already be guaranteed a playoff and would be level with Scarlets.

    Here’s hoping Glasgow get a result against Ulster but more importantly get a good performance to build for the semis and final.

    SRB – will you be doing a review of the new PRO14 and how the split league has worked? I’ve liked it and think it has worked. Just a shame I won’t be able to see any of it next year! (There’s another article you could do, survey readers (and possibly ask your contacts from the other nations of the league) about how fans are feeling about the rights going to an Irish pay broadcaster and if they are going to pay to watch? I’m not)

    • The Chiel on

      Because there’s been no substantive announcement on next season’s TV coverage by the PRO14, it’s all speculation ( hence my rumour comment in a different thread ). There is nothing on the Premier Sports web site. We have of course been spoilt by the huge amount of terrestrial coverage over the last few seasons, and it’s such a shame Alba and Hugh Dan are now not likely to be able to continue. I can’t see any way one small pay tv channel can be anything but a retrograde step – unless the money is huge, which I doubt.

  5. FF on

    Not only were Glasgow rubbish, but given the chance to end the game and send Edinburgh into the play offs they pointlessly ran from their 22 on a suicide mission leading to Ulster’s last minute BP try. Thanks a bunch Glasgow.

    Ulster BP win at Thomond? Can’t see Munster putting out a strong side for what is a dead runner for them.

  6. TeamCam on

    Christ. Ulster were average, Berry poor (only one team could be offside etc.) but Glasgow were abject. That should have been a comfortable bonus point wing with the 23 who played. Shocking stuff.

  7. LACEY on

    Just confirms the best 23 going forward for Edinburgh and playoffs.

    1. Bhatti
    2. Brown
    3. Halanukonuka
    4. Cummings
    5. Gray
    6. Wilson
    7. Gibbins
    8. Fagerson
    9. Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. DTH VDM
    12. Johnson
    13. Dunbar
    14. Matawalu
    15. Hogg
    16. Turner
    17. Allen
    18. Fagerson
    19. Swinson
    20. Harley
    21. Prygos
    22. Horne
    23. Seymour

    Jackson is unlucky to miss out after a great season.

    Price had a better game but not good enough. Nuke looked good in the tight and solidified the scrum.

    For next season glasgow need to sign just 1 Thing.

    A giant athletic ball playing second row.

    Bring back R.Gray or Nakarawa and get rid of the plenty of dead weight.

  8. pragmatic optomist on

    More suicidal rugby fr0m Glasgow. A bad time of the season to be hitting such bad form. Hogg, Seymour, Price, Russell, Jones all look fried and can’t make a decision between them. The pack look underpowered and will be no match for the Scarlets pack on this form. Looks like Scarlets to get another beating from Leinster again in the Pro 14 final. Just can’t see this team being able to to win it this year. They repeat the same mistakes again and again.

  9. derek scott on

    well that was utter pants.
    Yes referee again in Ireland was a banker but Glasgow were masters of their own destruction with their play it from anywhere mentality.
    They played the entire match as if nothing was at stake, which was not the case. Edinburgh going through to the knock out stages was more important than Glasgow trying to show boat.
    As many other proper teams have shown over the years, you have to earn the right to go wide and then only with players who can handle the ball under pressure, Strike Horn and Peterson from that list.

  10. In the Huff on

    Rob: What ? Really ? Swinston, I could not disagree more, Swinston was in everything and made an effort , a few mistakes but lets be at least honest here , he was on the ball more than most. I think you are just picking on his dreadful tash which is ridiculous.

    But so many others made mistakes , who didnt ? The mistake that led to the last try was , yes , guess who, trying to be a showman, trying to show us how he alone can save the universe, to show us why Glasgow , Scotland and the lions is all about the invincible Stuart Hogg. It was rumble it up your jumper time and he just could not resist throwing a daft pass.

    Glasgow only had to retain ball for 45 seconds and Scottish Rugby would have gained from the match. But no , No way he was risking going back to the pack and getting injured . The final awaits under the eye of Guinness (who knows what will happen if he catches their eye).

    I hope he is on the phone to his Edinburgh colleagues appplogising for what can only be described as a gross misjudgement on his part. You are having a laugh, Glasgow were dreadful all round but the Glasgow backs made no effort whatsoever. Price dire, Russell just seeing his time out till he gets his gazillion euros , Seymour passable , Hogg made an effort but unforgiven, the best paid man in Scottish rugby lost it in a fit of frustration. As for Hugh Jones, I think there was room to pull stockdale up. HIA from an over robust , mainly off the ball, challenge. Now would anyone care to disagree !

    If you are going to pick on someone, pick on the ringleaders not the guy making all the effort.

    The huff tells it as it is.

  11. lochinverboy on

    That was as bad as it gets. After recovering from a turgid start, we played all the rugby and scored early in the second half. Tait was correct, an average Ulster looked to be tiring, then mistake after mistake. To cap it all, Hogg decides to run when he could have given it to the forwards or better, hoofed it downfield. You got to feel for Edinburgh, Cockers must be blazing, but thats rugby.

  12. Pio on

    It’s an unforgivable performance by Glasgow. The sheer lack of skills amd intensity is alarming. Edinburgh will be coming at us all guns blazing.

  13. The Chiel on

    I’ve no interest in Glasgow, Hogg, whoever, trying to do Embra a favour. If Embra had beaten Ulster themselves it wouldn’t be an issue.
    What really worries me is how Glasgow, so clearly a far better team than Ulster could be so shockingly bad and disinterested. Aren’t they supposed to be professionals ?

    I watched this game after Leinster / Scarlets, and Leinster would have racked up a point a minute against either side. Scarlets wouldn’t have been far behind. Different quality and, shamefully, totally different intensity.

    • FF on

      To be fair not really surprising a semi-final of the ECC was a higher intensity than what was for Glasgow a dead runner. But yes, Glasgow have to seriously up their game to beat Scarlets and then leinster. A place in the final would be a decent return from DR for season, a home semi-final loss would be pretty disappointing.

      I don’t expect Glasgow to do Edinburgh favours but WTF were they thinking – they couldn’t get anything out of the game so playing like it meant nothing to them was pretty galling for this fan.

      • In the Huff on

        Go on say it :45 seconds to hold the ball , 45 seconds. I know men who can let burp for longer.Let down, they really are a let down.

      • TeamCam on

        I don’t think it matters that it was a dead rubber: The good teams in the Pro14 would have shamed Ulster today, no matter how one-sided the referee was. Leinster only needed to beat Scarlets by a point to progress today. Instead they made a point: they are brutal and will smash you. The point Glasgow made today was more akin to “occasionally we play rugby”, which is a shame because a few of the chaps out there really wanted it. Cardiff would have absolutely manshamed us today… hell, Zebre would have, given what they did to Ospreys.

  14. In the Huff on

    At last a bit of honesty in here. Well done , well done to you all for having the guts, to come out and say it . Well done for having the honesty and self resect to stand up and be counted.

    Ever more plaudits to those who have finally came out and criticised Hogg. The Glasgow changing room have known of his frailties for years but we in here have put him on a pedestal. Yes, they have, shock, they really have. I do expect a backlash from borderers who see him as the last piece of respect for the region,

    He is not all we have got and the best Scottish Game yet against the Aussies was won without him and as for nearly winning against the All Blacks , utter nonsense and a lie , he was out on his own going nowhere and was tackled by the touch line.

    Lets get really honest.This is Glasgow, a great city and deserves much better. There is no I in TEAM.

  15. In the Huff on

    I think it is time for changes at Glasgow and Rennie is a Kiwi with no loyalties to anyone. No one is bigger than his club, no one is bigger than the boss, I suggest you get guys loyal to you, guys that listen and dump the ones that think they are bigger than you, bigger than the city, bigger than the fans.

  16. NinjaBill on

    Increasingly wondering what Rennie has brought to Glasgow – obviously they racked up an impressive number of wins in the first half of the season but some of the games (Cardiff springs to mind) were knife edge affairs. Passing game has been plagued by poor handling and a number of good players seem to be going off of the boil. I could be overreacting but Glasgow seem to have lost something since Toonie left, so little cohesion and resilience, over-reliant on moments of individual brilliance, beaten in many of the ‘big’ games. Ultimately I’m looking forward to watching Edinburgh games more than Glasgow games – couldn’t have said that last year.

    • Neil on

      I think you are overreacting ninja.
      We had a ridiculous amount of injuries at the start of the season and that has had a big impact on what rennies first choice team has been.
      If you look at the youngsters that have been developing under him though you can see the impact he has made.

      Expect a much better season next time round when he is here from pre-season and not after.

      Also being in the pool of death was brutally unlucky.

      Exeter and Montpellier are top of there leagues, and Leinster …

      Just need to recruit a few international class players in the pack and we are sorted for the big games.

      • FF on

        Last year, Glasgow were only good sporadically too. Superb against Racing and Leicester so sneaked a QF but beaten four times by Munster, failed to make the play offs and never competed in the big one v Saracens. Truth is Toonie’s squad needed a bit of a shake up and it is just a shame that Rennie came late. He deserves to have a preseason with his squad and hopefully we’ll see some inprovement. They’ll have to be much better to beat Scarlets but if they do the prize is likely to be a whipping by Leinster unless they pull off a miracle.

      • NinjaBill on

        Fair points guys, fresh memory of the game and a few too many clearly made me overreact. That said it’s still incredibly disappointing – yesterday’s team should have been capable of taking on just about anyone – only JG, Wilson and DTH/Sarto would have likely pushed out any of the XV. It’s in Edinburgh’s hands now (can’t see Munster putting out a first team next week) to get their play-off spot.

    • In the Huff on

      Nothing to do with Toonie, the rot started when he was in charge. That transition year alllowed complacemcy and bad habits.

      Time to prune, seriously prune. 9 and 10 out , no one sees them seriously. Dare I say it , yes I dare, Glasgow will never play as a team when there is one dominant factor . Hogg, great individual player, seriously bad ,team player. Ego, well I say, e go es. Rennie knows it , Toonie put up with it (border pride/borther brothers), now you know it.

  17. Highland Bear on

    Dave Rennie and his coaching team have a major rebuilding job this close season. Warriors have been on a downward trend since the Pro 12 win in 2015. The string of victories in the first part of the season seem a long time away and the team’s present form is dire. Key players are off form and the half-back fulcrum is mis-firing. Russell looks distracted/disinterested while Price is a shadow of the player he was last season. The main weakness, which hasn’t been addressed, is an under-powered pack. The tight five have an air of softness which does not bode well for the business end of the season.
    The home play-off semi-final looks likely to be v the Scarlets who, now that they have been eliminated from Europe, will have a season defining game.
    Next weekend at Murrayfield, one club will have everything to play for to qualify for the play-offs. From a neutral perspective Edinburgh would have to be favourites.

  18. TeamCam on

    It’s interesting that no-one’s mentioned Dunbar’s disallowed try. I think this is because it could have gone either way – doubt many Ulster fans would have complained had it been awarded – and because the rest of Glasgow’s performance (and that of the officials) was so poor that it has paled into insignificance. I doubt many people thought that Cockers would end up having a better season than Rennie (given the teams they inherited)!

  19. pragmatic optomist on

    The Glasgow pack are not as competitive as they were last year. The previous forwards coach McFarlane seemed to galvanise them, and they they were much stronger in the scrum, and mentally sharper. Suspect that Humphreys might be getting ‘found out’ here as a poor forwards coach. If anyone can confirm what he brings to the forwards I’d like to know. Accepted that the pack has looked for speed rather than power, but it is seriously under-powered relative to Munster/Leinster/Scarlets. What has happened to big Brian? Peterson is big enough but lacks the skills needed. I think Edinburgh have a better chance to win Pro 14 based on current form. Simply can’t believe how badly Glasgow are playing at the critical time of the season.

  20. Alanyst on

    My Pro14 most likely winner rankings…

    Leinster
    Daylight
    Scarlets
    More daylight
    Munster
    Glasgow
    Edinburgh
    Cheetahs
    Ulster

    Glasgow ahead of Edinburgh solely because they dodge Leinster till the final.

  21. James on

    There were a number of things in that game for me. Firstly Dunbar looked short of form early on and then it seemed like the decision was taken to miss him out of every attack. Some of the times the ball was fired 10 – 13 the better option seemed to be just going through the hands.

    The defence didn’t look as physical as Ulster’s. Very rarely did a Glasgow player smash someone in the tackle which meant that Ulster seemed to make yards easily compared to Glasgow.

    Some of Glasgow’s attacking looked amazing but there were way too many silly little mistakes: passed above or behind the player, offloads forced when the ball should have been held, simple passes dropped, etc. etc. Kind of the same old story of most of the season.

    Rennie’s recruiting in the summer should include a defence coach and a forwards coach. There was talk on these forums about Humphreys not being good enough as a coach when he was with Scotland, how does he keep getting roles in the SRU?

    No team kicks the ball dead on the whistle if they are losing, they always try to play for some pride. Add to that the fact that Glasgow aren’t the custodians if Edinburgh’s season so those suggesting they should have held the ball for 45 seconds and kicked it out – that was never going to happen.

    • In the Huff on

      James: Your last paragraph is ridiculous and so off the mark. Why was it not going to happen? The real face saver was to make their win punitive.

      Glasgow had lost,the real consolation prize was to stop them getting the bonus. Not because that would help Edinburgh but to deny them the bonus they so badly needed. They were gagging for it.

      We could have denyied them the bonus and their win was worthless. We turned a ‘so what’ win into a meaningful one and put pressure on ourselves for next week.

      That is called the killer instinct . We dont have it , Anyone playing this glasgow side must feel like they are humping a dead beast and passive fans should have a look in the mirror. Bear your teeth man.

      Glasgow Warriors, Glasgow Walkovers more like. Time to man up .

    • Rory Baldwin on

      I don’t know for sure but I imagine Humphreys had time left on his contract to be served out hence the relocation to Glasgow. IMO Scotland’s pack has leapt on massively under McFarland with a little help from Cockerill. Imagine Rennie will take a look at other forwards coach options when he has the chance. It might be seen as a step down for someone like Carl Hogg but as we know, once you get in the the SRU structure it’s very hard to get booted out so it might be attractive…!

      Also, it is something we’ve talked about on the pod but missing out Dunbar with attack directed 10 -> 13 or 10 -> 15 is a common occurence at International level. He’s underused in attack which is a real shame.

  22. Sean on

    It would be interesting to know how the finances stack up between the clubs. Edinburgh have been rampant in the transfer market and I don’t think Glasgow have signed a single player. Is this due to a bloated wage bill and the failure of Rennie’s signings to make any sort of impact (Gibbons apart – although he looks fried along with a lot of other big names at the mo)?

    Nuke,Kebble and Masaga are presumably on decent dime but have not add anything positive to Glasgow on the field (sure there will be unknowns within the club where they do add value). Huw Jones has also not worked this season although he clearly has great potential.

    If I was picking the side for the run in I would go with:

    Bhatti
    Brown
    Fagerson
    Swinson
    Gray
    Wilson
    Gibbons
    Fagerson
    Horne
    Horne
    Johnson
    Dunbar
    DTH
    Niko
    Hogg (although thought he was really poor last night)
    Bench: anyone who is fit in pack- there is a real lack of depth, Pyrgos, Grigg, Jackson

    I think Russell’s head has completely gone since signing for Racing and Price needs a rest to get back to 2016/2017 form.

    • In the Huff on

      We only need to sell one player and the remainder should be on largely the same pay at Glasgow. The changing room will benefit from that parity.

    • Alanyst on

      With reference to Russell’s head…if putting in a professional performance at the pointy end of the season is beyond him, then I expect he’ll be an abject failure in France.

      The ability to perform well without needing “the occasion” to lift you is essential for a hired gun…

      • In the Huff on

        His head is his business. He is out of Glasgow and someone elses concern now. He may find it difficult to get back to clinical form and from a Scotland perspective, lets hope a new man arises and we do not need to depend on him. He is now losing his unconditional supporters. This move will kill or cure.

      • DesT on

        I fear the biggest issue with Russell is that he thinks he’s the finished article. He needs to work on his weaknesses and find the right person who will kick him in the butt, or he may well be another journeyman like Jacko.

  23. john on

    M.Fagerson tried, Gibbons tried, in fact they pretty much all tried but basically Glasgow have not replaced Josh Strauss & Nakawara (maybe he’s irreplaceable) they were the guys who made the yards tied in defenders/breached the gain line – allowing the backs to be on the front foot, Russell et al are a different beast(s) when on the front foot.

    • TeamCam on

      The thing is, Warriors weren’t outmuscled yesterday. Nor were they outclassed, outplayed or outthought, and there were far more x-factor players in black than in white.

      We had plenty of opportunities to score tries and could easily have been four tries up by half-time but for a lack of composure. Most of that lack of composure was self-inflicted, but some of it was caused by Berry & co.’s bizarre officiation, which allowed Ulster to kick the ball out of rucks; continually be offside; enter mauls from the side and pull them down; take players out off the ball and beyond the ruck; collapse scrums without sanction (or, worse, a penalty against us); and do pretty much whatever they wanted at the ruck. This meant that there was far more pressure on Glasgow than there was on Ulster, and it isn’t home advantage. It’s poor refereeing.

      All that said, it was still a winnable game. It was a game we should have won despite the refereeing team’s best efforts. That we didn’t is down to Rennie and his team.

      In 2018/19 Rennie will have a formidable team and staff at his disposal, and will have a full pre-season and presumably greater control over signings, as well as a year’s experience in NH rugby and time with his guys, so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s just disappointing, and it’s quite some achievement to be disappointed with finishing top of the conference with the most wins, most points, fewest losses and fewest tries conceded.

      Who knows, we may even still win this thing if the lads click and play to their potential for a half or two!

      • Lochinverboy on

        Sensible post. In Rennie’s first year we have a semi final home tie. Done a dusted with 2 to play. We suffered in Europe by lack of forward depth to cover injury. How many semis have we been in before? Rennie is a superb manager and as you correctly point out, he will have a complete pre season and will bring in players to build on this season. The huge plus is the sea change in our Academy system, the 18s winning the inaugural 4 nation’s being a good example. The Scarlets game will be a belter. That said, if we win, Leinster look peerless at the moment.

      • TeamCam on

        Good point about the academies – a lot of our top players this season, in my opinion, are the young academy lads. And Gibbins and Johnson. And, actually the returnees… hmm, maybe it’s not as bad as some think!

  24. In the Huff on

    We could go out and win but not playing price and russell . The backs made no effort yesterday and the forwards won enough ball to win the game – Let’s get the perspective right, no excuses or sidesteping the obvious.

    Nakarawa is irreplacable, Strauss was never consistent. Gibbons is a classy player and showed signs of his form returning yesterday.

    Sorry I have to once again call order. Did we lose our scrums and lineouts ? No. The forwards were adequate.

    lets be clear where the game was won and lost yesterday and it was not the forwards or that blob of a referee. It was what is practically the International back line that lost the game , they should have been on fire.

  25. Slough Massive on

    It has been an odd season for Glasgow, topping the conference without being really convincing for 80 minutes, apart from a few games. Without going into names, I think the pack is lightweight and we need ballast in the back row.

    I do not believe teams fear scotstoun as much as they did. The days before the emergence of Hogg, Russell and co games at scotstoun were often won by forwards gutsing it out – we do not have that capability any more and it is necessary for when plan A does not work (rather than plan B being even more extreme plan A).

    The backs seem to play in bursts and this season have lacked some incisiveness as a result of over-elaborating. Lots of times, nearly brilliant.

    It feels odd and unfair to be so negative at the top of the conference but, agreeing with previous posters, Rennie having a full preseason, a few exits and signings and more experience for the likes of George Horne and Scott Cummings and we are in a good place.

  26. CSC on

    In the run-in to the Pro14 finals, opposition teams will be spoilt for choice in assessing Glasgow’s flaws. Flaky in receiving re-starts; lack of commitment in contesting their own; too many players unaware of what is going on around them; pack insufficiently dynamic; a scrum half who looks behind him rather more than acting on what is in front; and some players who cannot adjust to the chaos rugby philosophy. All of which can be put right, but probably not for this season.

    • Alanyst on

      Aha! Maybe the aim is to have so many apparent weaknesses that the opposition becomes confused…

    • In the Huff on

      Completely wrong Neil and I feel quite insulted. The poster you have named was extremely condescending to others and his modus operendai was self promotion.

      I am genuinely frustrated with the poor performances at Glasgow and hoping that we can finally discuss the tensions which lie under the surface at Scotstoun.

      • lochinverboy on

        I share your frustration Huff, witness my initial post here. However, given his late arrival and lack pre season input, Id say it is has been a good transition season. I think we have only made the semis on 2 other occasions. Our front rowers, Kebble and Halanukonuka have been mostly injured, the other quality signing Gibbons missed a whole chunk through injury. That and second row injuries, meant our forwards were light and critically inexperienced against big quality sides. Behind them, Price is off form and Russell seems to be affected by his move. Lastly, I think Rennie’s style has taken time to groove. However, we have unearthed real talent for the future. George Horne, Hastings, Matt Fagerson, Bhattie, Smith, Cunmings etc. But…we need to be up to speed for the Scarlets. We should win that. The plastic pitch suits our scrum and home advantage is crucial. However, if they turn in a performance as abject ad yesterday, it will be time for reflection.

  27. Alanyst on

    Said it before…

    Rennie is an excellent coach, but his prior experience was in Super Rugby, and I think he has struggled a little with the structure of the European season.

    SR involves ~16 games in 7 months…plus finals. There is virtually no other rugby to consider in this period (only June internationals, during which the league stops)… so players are basically always available barring injury, and workload is more manageable.

    With Glasgow there is a 21 game Pro14 season spread across 8 months, with an additional 6 Euro games (at least) as well as AIs and 6N for which the league does not stop.

    I think its fairly obvious that squad management is a bigger challenge in Europe, and this has been one of Glasgow’s problems this year.

    Getting back ‘up’ for club rugby after the highs and lows of the 6N is another unfamiliar challenge…2 from 4 is disappointing given 13 from first 16.

    No doubt Rennie has learnt a lot this year and as others mention above will have time to get good plans in place for 2019.

    • FF on

      Yeah I don’t thdon’t non Lam, Pivac or even Erasmus arrived and immediately led their teams to the top of the league.

      Rennie has done decently this season but expectations are so high nowadays, which is a good thing. The squad Rennie inherited didn’t just have well recognised flaws, it lacked depth and Toonie had been struggling to keep senior players at the club in the face of more monied clubs elsewhere. Rennie could still be a huge success at Scotstoun if he commits and extends his contract – I’d be surprised if we win the Pro14 this year and if players know he’s off at the end of next season…I don’t think success with a club like Glasgow can be achieved quickly as you don’t have the luxury of throwing money at problems.

  28. Merlot on

    I think everyone here was disappointed by the result on Saturday. No question. However to say that the performance was “rubbish”, “abject” and “shameful” is completely OTT. Sometimes I get so frustrated with some so called fans on this blog. Every time we win, it’s like we are world-beaters. And every time we lose there are calls for heads to roll. Seriously guys, put things in perspective.
    Firstly, Ulster away was always going to be tough. If this was at the beginning of the season people would be disappointed, sure, but not calling for Hogg, Russell, Price and Rennie to be sacked.
    It seemed to me that the difference was the intensity of Ulster’s defence. None of our strike runners managed to make much ground because the chase was so good. There was no space for any of our backs, never mind the forwards. Do you really think all our backs (including those coming off the bench) suddenly became rubbish players? The likes of Marshall, Piutau and McCloskey tackled themselves to death and then got up and tackled some more.
    It was Ulster’s last game of the season at the Kingspan, and Piutau’s last ever. No wonder they were fired up. And the Glasgow boys had nothing tangible to play for, already having sewn up Conference A. No excuse but that’s the difference.
    We had a try disallowed, and forced a few passes which may have led to scores had they stuck (or even not been tried), so were within a whisker of putting this game away before half time. But we got on the wrong side of the ref early on, allowing momentum to stall when we had the ball and giving Ulster territory and points when they had the ball. Ulster also played the ref a little better, lying on the wrong side for not quite long enough for the ref, being only a foot or two off-side rather than a yard, accidentally booting the ball in a ruck. That’s about as positive I can be about Stuart Berry.
    Ulster deserved their win but Glasgow haven’t suddenly become rubbish.

    • Stu on

      Nothing tangible to play for? How about not gifting Ulster a TB and helping out their fellow Scottish club?

      • Bazz on

        That might be what the neutral Scottish supporters want but that will hardly be a motivating factor for Glasgow. By that logic the only thing Glasgow have to play for in next weeks game is helping Edinburgh reach the play-offs…

      • Stu on

        Couldn’t disagree more – both clubs have the same owner and there are clear benefits for both clubs for both of them reaching the playoffs.

        ALL Glasgow had to was prevent Ulster getting a TB.

      • Andy N on

        Or I suppose you could also argue that all Edinburgh had to do was not gift Ulster a TB….. when you were playing them AT HOME!!!

  29. Stu on

    Nobody is disputing this is Embra’s fault – it doesn’t deflect from the fact the Weegies still had something to play for.

    I presume they will put out an academy side next Sat seeing as they have nothing to play for?

    • Andy N on

      From a Glasgow perspective, there was absolutely nothing at stake against Ulster – was the ultimate dead rubber. This week, we’ve got the glory of the 1872 cup.

      If Edinburgh can rise to the occasion and earn the points they need to progress, then hats off to them, however you need to earn that on the pitch, not with some dodgy back hander.

      To be fair though I don’t think many in Edinburgh will be expecting any favours. If they want this, they need to take it themselves – the only thing they can influence is their own performance. For what it’s worth, as a Glasgow fan, I’d be happy to see Edinburgh progress, but I’m more concerned with seeing Glasgow start to find some form ahead of the semi’s. Ideal scenario is a high scoring match, Glasgow scoring 8 tries to Edinburgh’s 4 – everyone is happy….aren’t they??

      • In the Huff on

        There was everything at stake, pride, self rspect to start with . To quote Telfer in that daft razor advert. There are two types or players , the honest ones and the rest.

        It feels like we have 2 types of fans as well, We are getting the Glasgow their fans deserve.

        I take that back, no loyal fan , deserves that performance.

  30. In the Huff on

    Crazy stuff, some are still deluded and trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Glasgow just needed to keep Ulster, an average Ulster at that, out for 45 second to deny the Try Bonus. That was all, dead rubber or not, they could not close out.

    That is nothing to do with helping Edinburgh. Nothing to do with Rennie , McFarlane, poor forwards or any other piece of excuse.

    Everything up to the point Ulster scored their final try was meaningless and we could have said, not brilliant but job done. You could have floated dead rubber excuses and be forgiven.

    For their own dignity as paid professionals they only had to stop Ulster gaining the TB. The first three tries were meaningless.

    45 seconds away from a salvage, instigated by the highest paid man in scottish rugby, they blew it. Glasgow could not close out a nothing game and on that basis , how can we trust them to handle the pressure of a play off , home or away !

    45 seconds in a nothing game , I can hold my breath for longer, they could not do it. Wakey wakey, this is the real world. They are not worthy of your well meaning rationalisation.

    Rennie deserves his preseason and I do hope he is a lot more judgemental than some of the Glasgow fans. Build his own team and cut those who do not fit the team ethos, regardless of who they are. I only hope he is allowed to do his job, his way.

      • In the Huff on

        Neil: What ? Pardon ! Ehhhrm !The question in the context of the thread was a point and we both know it :) A good one at that so dont be so defensive.

        Could the SRU have gained a benefit when Edinburgh qualify for the play off’s. Is it morally right ?

        Dont insult me again, Blake is away writing teams sheets full off unknowns . My 7 yr old son wants to get him round to play subbuteo rugby.

        They can pick teams full of unknowns , he has a wee grandstand as well, and they can only let ‘real’ Scotland fans sit in it.

        My response to your question is another question ‘what would the welsh have done ?’

        Andy: Unsettled ! What an insult, I am unhinged, unbalanced , uncompromising perhaps but not unsettled, I am right on the spot and the lack of challenge is the evidence.

        Glasgow did not show, let everyone down, could not close out. Do we trust them to get through to the final, not this side and not on this form.

        Every one of them should be writing to dear Jim Telfer for a mental assessment.

    • Andy N on

      Don’t fret Neil – your man above seems a little….unsettled.

      It’s a decent question, but not particularly easy to answer – but I think in summary yes, but not directly.

      SRU gets revenue from all sorts of places, including a share of the commercial and broadcast money from Pro14, but I can’t see anything to suggest that you get a higher percentage the further you go in the competition. I suppose if Edinburgh qualify, then there will be increased revenue from ticket sales for the additional match(es), but whether this cash is reserved exclusively for Edinburgh use, or if it’s pooled I have no idea – I suspect a bit of both.

      Obviously, the further a team gets in the competition, the greater their commercial value and from what I understand the teams are very much allowed to secure their own commercial deals for the direct benefit of the team, rather than the SRU in general.

      Much bigger carrot I think has to be the Champions Cup place that would come with the qualifying spot. 2 Scottish teams would give SRU a bigger share of the Champions Cup pot, plus increased ticket sales, once again better commercial value etc etc

      • Merlot on

        I’d have thought you’d have calmed down a bit by now, In The Huff. Got a bit of perspective. Maybe realised that Ulster getting the bonus point adds a bit more bite to this weekend’s games.

        Maybe even realised that there are two teams in every game, and your comments are shamefully disrespectful to Ulster. As if the only reason they won with a BP was because of Glasgow being woeful. Rather than Ulster being ferocious in defence and aggressive in attack, with the added hunger and support of it being their last game at home.

        As an Edinburgh supporter I too was disappointed that Ulster got that last try. That does not mean that the Glasgow players “did not show” and that their form is suddenly rubbish. If so, Edinburgh will easily get the points on Saturday anyway. But I wouldn’t put money on it.

      • In the Huff on

        Merlot firstly I have never been disrespectful to Ulster. They deserved their win.

        Others have criticising their rucks and the referees, however not me, I have been respectful to Ulster, I I felt they needed criticism I would do so , it comes easily to me.

        I am clear on my feelings reference the Glasgow performance and nothng has changed in the last week. Why would I feel any differently ! I appreciate the therapy , nice touch , but I do not feel it is necessary.

        As for raising the bar for this weekneds game , no , not buying that. Once again, at this level I expect players to have self respect , standards, leading edge drive and that is enough to give this weeks game an edge.

        ‘Two types of players , there is the honest player and there is the rest.’

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