Glasgow managed to sneak away with all 5 points at an unseasonably sunny Sportsground, with tries from Tommy Seymour, George Turner, Ryan Wilson and Adam Ashe, but what will they have learned from the outing? Here are my key points to take away from that game.
1 – Horne and Grigg are too lightweight a partnership
I have argued blind against this, but the evidence this weekend has finally convinced me. The difference Alex Dunbar made was telling in defence but also added some go forward which had been lacking. Both Grigg and Horne have their place in this side, just maybe not together in midfield.
2 – Glasgow have a plan B
Mauling and tight, one up, runners when down to 14 men? No this wasn’t Munster. Glasgow’s forwards actually showed really maturity in slowing down play when Hastings took his enforced break. In particular, Adam Ashe looked very prominent. Could this be the year the part time podcaster puts his injury woes behind him? Add to this a calm presence in Nick Frisby and you have the start of a very decent backup plan.
3 – The backs will have more intelligent games
This is me being as kind as I can muster. From DTH plowing into his man to concede a penalty, to the backchat that cost us hard won metres, via some terrible game management (a quick tap that we instantly turned over, Hastings kicking ball away with the clock ticking down, Hogg’s ‘carry back’ and Griggs ‘not releasing’ with the clock red – even though Ian Davies has since apologised for his poor call there) it’s clear that Glasgow’s backs hadn’t switched on the lights upstairs. It’s also easy to write this off as rustiness but the madness levels were meant to reduce when our Haribo eating favourite Finn Russell flew the nest.
4 – The scrum is better but the lineout is a worry
Fagerson the Elder looked back to his snarling best, with some huge work in the loose but most impressive were his efforts at scrum time where he and the huge Oli Kebble had their illustrious opponents on toast. More worrying was the number of lineout mistakes, mainly from overthrows. This can, of course, be ironed out but George Turner and Fraser Brown, both of whom were excellent in every other part of the game, have at times failed to deliver with their darts and need to improve that area.
5 – Five points in Galway is a very good result
Plenty of teams won’t take much of anything home from the Sportsground this season. It’s true that Glasgow made life very difficult for themselves, with execution and discipline both glaring issues, but they still outscored their opponents 4-2 in tries. They will also see more sympathetic refereeing performances this season, and whilst the Scotstoun men were a lick of paint away from a loss, no-one will remember that at season’s end. 5 points (already 1 up on last season) and The Rennie Redux is underway.