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Southern Kings v Glasgow – What went wrong?

Southern Kings v Glasgow
Graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog

At least one thing is certain – Glasgow will not play as badly again this season as they did on Saturday afternoon in the sunshine of Port Elizabeth.

My initial anger has now subsided enough for me to ask the question – what went wrong during their 38-28 loss?


At times it looked like certain members of the team believed that being on the park was going to be enough to secure a victory against the Pro 14’s stragglers. These players should actually have been keener when they were handed an opportunity by Dave Rennie to show why they were worth becoming first pick, which many of them are not currently.

The simple efficiency displayed by the team in previous weeks was replaced with too much elaborate – or at times brain dead – play which inevitably put themselves under pressure. That of course lead to…

Mistakes – LOTS of MISTAKES

Let us be clear – mistakes happen, but this was different.

This felt a bit like late noughties Scotland (HUGOOOOO), where mistakes were compounded by further errors. When they had the choice, key decision makers failed to take the right option on an almost exclusive basis. Tackles were missed, passes dropped and try scoring opportunities were butchered. The most galling failure was the team’s inability to calm down and go back to the basic processes that have served them so far this season. Which, in turn, leads us onto….


Co-Captains or not, Glasgow lacked leaders out there. Only when Adam Hastings (age 21, 9 starts) arrived did it look like the side had any guidance, which is particularly bad for the rest of them given this is the young fly half’s breakout season. You expect much more of those veteran Warriors who were involved before the late fightback.

There was so much wrong with this performance that I cannot begin to put into a sensibly written form, but what about the positives?

The try bonus point is the obvious one, but will this defeat be the making of any of these youngsters?

They say that great teams react positively to bad performances, so let’s see what this Glasgow bunch are made of. The Dragons at Scotstoun are up next this weekend and defeat is simply not an option.

11 Responses

  1. Spot on with the leadership point.
    Glasgow’s most influential player is now Gibbins imo, and no surprise that things improved when he came on – and others off the bench tbf. Mrs Gibbins didn’t / couldn’t seem to get them going.

  2. Good article, it was mind numbing and words fail. I think a combination of fatigue from the game on the Veldt, bad selection and complacency. All things which could have been considered off the pitch. Is Rennie the new Frank Hadden !

    Hastings came on at a time when the game was lost, they were tired (down to 14 ), so he played like a man with nothing to lose and the mavericks around him such as Jones and DTH found lines. With Hogg out the picture , these 3 have the chance to dominate the Glasgow attack.

    Article misses one point , the SK’s did well and took their chances, hate to say it , but well done to them and the even worse news is , no one is afraid of meeting Glasgow now. We need to CRUSH the Dragons at Scotstoun.

  3. For all this game was dreadful the table shows parity for Glasgow with its top 4 competitors.

    Glasgow 15 points and 132 for / 90 against .
    Ospreys 15 points 103/86.
    Leinster 16 points 137 but onlt 72 against (Hard to beat)
    By comparisson Ulster 15 points 112 / 88.

    The lowest scores against are Leinster and Munster (75) , but Glasgow put plenty of points on them.

    Long way to go.

  4. To me there is alot of Dead weight in the warriors squad atm, i would be ditching it and getting in 1-2 marquee signings.

    Lets get rid of



    N Frisby
    N Grigg
    R Hughes
    L Masaga
    R Tagive

    I would trade all those for 1-2 players like a Nakarawa/D Taylor.

    1. Neil, I think that it isn’t realistic or helpful to start suggesting that 9 players are immediately jettisoned.

      Think very harsh on Fusaro who looked liked he was angry with the performance and was actually trying.

      As Blair said there will be some that won’t get another shot for a while now. They are still needed though due to the structure of the season and Glasgow certainly can’t jettison 9 players and bring in two guns (even if they were available).

      Think of the backs listed clearly Masaga hasn’t worked out and the jury is out on a Frisby but it is early days for him.

      Grigg- great squad player
      Wingers- injuries have held them back. If fit both will get a shot during international window.

      If you are the same Neil that does the player ratings- keep it up, i like the enthusiasm!

  5. Can I ask what is Warriors best side? Does anyone (including Rennie) know?

    I will have a bash:


    Bench:Allan,Turner,Nuke,Cummings, Harley (I am predicting a big autumn for Rob- caps coming his way), Horne, Horne, Jackson

    There are some pretty good players not in that 23. Have faith folks!

    If all fit and firing that is a pretty good team. Think ZFag is the biggest miss of the three long term injuries.

    I would switch in Nicol (bench), Cummings to start them Harley as 2nd row on bench with one of Smith/Ashe on bench, Jackson up to start with Nico as third sub.

    Still good players not getting in that 23…. despite the gloom after Saturday has the Glasgow squad every been so strong? Good to get thoughts.

    1. The squad would be fantastic if we had big Naks back, a Mata at 8, a good back-up for Hastings and a spare international tight head.

  6. I think your starting team with all fit and firing is pretty close to spot on. Rob Harley has been very good so far this season and I think I might put him in there instead of Swinson. I think he has a real shout at more caps in the Autumn.

    Not 100% convinced by M Fagerson at 8 but I’m not convinced by the alternatives either.

    Worried by the depleted resources in the front row. One or two injuries from a full blown crisis there.

    Dunbar and Jones need a few big games and a run without injuries. I believe Jones is at his best when he has Hoggy (or Russell) moving defenses around for him to run through.

    Finally would always have Niko in the 23 you just smile when he comes on!

  7. Surely the likes of Tagive, Peterson, Rae, Bryce etc are not commanding big wages anyway so as squad players they are fine. Problem is that they may see too much game time this season with the current injury problems in the forwards. Rennie needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat with a TH, surely he will unearth one from NZ. Can’t afford to go into Europe with the current options there.

    Don’t think it’s a bad thing that Glasgow haven’t came out firing on all cylinders like last season. There’s a long way to go and before this season started the main doubts were really around the physicality of the pack and who would replace Finn at 10. The pack have been really good and Hastings has had a great start as well so despite a shocker last week, Glasgow are not in a bad place.

  8. We don’t need a tighthead. Adam Nicol was the most destructive prop scrummaging wise we’ve ever had at under 20 level and is ready to step up.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion