Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Connacht v Glasgow – 5 Key Points

Nick Frisby
Nick Frisby in action for Glasgow Warriors - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

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.

6 Responses

  1. Grigg is brave but just misses too many tackles. The lineout wasn’t all about the thrower – not for the fist time we had a poor lift once or twice. G Horne needs to sit on the naughty step for a week or two – too lippy and needs to get the basics right . Hastings was very poor – he can be excellent against weaker sides but seems to be struggling against anyone half decent.

  2. At the members event last night Rennie was amusing and clearly not trotting out SRU approved soundbites. He said Warriors need to cut out DAPS (dumb ass penalties) and improve on decision making.
    On Saturday the Hornstings had their worst game I can remember. Wee George needs to keep the heid. Hastings did not seem to be given any responsibility and at one point his body language suggested it was frustrating him. Frisby tightened things up well – he looks a superb acquisition.
    I have never been keen on Pete Horne and Grigg together and agree Alex Dunbar made a big difference. It was odd to watch a game in which our dominance up front won us the game rather than the backs ability to rip through defences. If we can regularly get Kebble, Brown and Fagerson on the park we will have a scrum that can get on the ascendancy.

  3. Glasgow have two captains in the Back row which is one too many! The forwards were well marshalled and put in a performance to build on.

    Who is leading the backs ? Dunbar took control and Hogg’s solo effort got us out of jail.

    I have to agree with John, the Sportsground will claim a few healthy scalps this season. This is a good win in spite of the performance.

  4. Well, the sign of a good side is one that wins when playing badly. We admire that about the Irish sides, so that is a positive. The side found a way to win, and that’s promising. I’ve been critical of the coaching of the forwards since Dan McFarland moved on, but they looked well organised and the maul looked really good. Stiffer challenges for the pack to come, but again promising.

    The backs did have a bit of a shocker – though I thought Seymour showed glimpses of his old self on the odd occasion he got the ball. I agree with NorthI127 that Hastings looked a little frustrated at times.

    You’d think that the missed tackles and mistakes might be down to a bit of rustiness. I’d like to say the same about discipline, but stupid penalties were a feature for a lot of last term too, and they really need to cut down on the brainless ones.

    One the whole, plenty of room for improvement but a great outcome. Harder tests to come, starting with Munster’s visit, so they will need to make those improvements sharpish.

  5. I think we can put Horne/Hastings 9-10 display down to experience, both have the quality and talent, If there is one team that will annoy the hell out of you and get in your face its Munster, but Connacht are a close second atm.

    It may take them a few years to become a strong international class 9-10 pairing but i certainly believe they will achieve it.

    My concern is more the Centre Pairings by Dave Rennie atm, its very lightweight and we only have 1 power centre in Alex Dunbar who will be away on International duty but also is injury prone due to his physicality.

    I would be interested in seeing Huw Jones get some Gametime at 12 as he can offer that direct approach. Ofc his main position is still 13 for international duty in my mind.

    Team i would like to see against Munster

    1. Kebble
    2. Turner
    3. Fagerson
    4. Gray
    5. Peterson – Change
    6. Wilson (C)
    7. Gibbins
    8. Ashe – Change
    10. Hastings
    11. Matawalu – Change
    12. Horne
    13. Dunbar – Change
    14. Nairn – Change
    15. Hogg

    16. Brown
    17. Allan
    18. Nicol
    19. Cummings
    20. Fusaro
    21. Frisby
    22. Grigg
    23. Seymour

    The backline needs more power to compliment the speed and fancy skills, it would also make Hastings job alot easier and give him more options in how to dictate what way the backline will attack.

    Peterson and Ashe in to add a little more power to that strong looking scrum and hopefully the height will tell in the lineout.

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Rory and Iain to look at the latest news including Scotland's win over Canada and the upcoming test against the USA.
Gregor Townsend has picked the strongest XV possible from his touring squad for the visit to Washington DC to play the USA, writes Rory.
Gregor Townsend has named his team to face Canada in the first match of the Skyscanner Americas Tour with 10 players given the opportunity to make their Scotland debut.
Craig is joined by Iain, Jonny and Rory to discuss Glasgow's momentous win in the final of the 2024 URC

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion