Opposition View: Glasgow

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This week’s opposition view comes courtesy Glasgow fan The Pen, (@thepenGW). He can be found with a column in ‘Scrum Magazine‘ and blogging on ‘Ultimate Rugby‘, go check all that out. Once you’ve finished reading this of course…

How would you sum up your 2015/16 season overall?

W 14  D 1  L 7  PF 557  PA 380  TF 68  TA 37  TBP 8  LBP 6  Pts 72

Glasgow finished third, losing 16-11 to eventual champions Connacht in the semi-final

Crazy. It started so badly and then came within a whisker of a third final in a row, but just not to be. It’s difficult to class it as a disappointment or a success to be quite honest.

Are you pleased with your new signings?

Corey Flynn (Toulouse), Leonardo Sarto (Zebre), Tjiuee Uanivi (Sharks), Nemia Kenatale (Farul Constanta, Romania), Hagen Schulte (Marist Albion, NZ)

I was gutted that we didn’t make a real marquee signing but having looked at the players who have come in I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. Leonardo Sarto has been fantastic in the first two games and looks like everything Taqele Naiyaravoro turned out not to be.

Corey Flynn brings experience and bags of ability to teach our hookers how to throw a lineout! We’ve lost Leone Nakarawa which is probably a massive relief to the rest of the Pro12 (definitely! Ed.), but his replacement Tijuee Uanivi looks like he could be a real handful.

Corey Flynn has arrived from Toulouse

Where would you say your team’s strengths and weaknesses lie?

I think we have one of the best attacks in the Pro12, if not Europe. When you have guys Finn Russell, Alex Dunbar, Mark Bennett, Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hoggthen teams find it difficult to stop them. If I had to pick one weakness it’s probably our set piece play. Our scrum creaked against Connacht and our lineouts can be dodgy at best!

How do you rate your coach?

Former Scottish international and British Lion Gregor Townsend has been in charge since 2012. He leaves to take over as Scottish coach at the end of the season, to be replaced by Dave Rennie of Super Rugby’s Chiefs.

The best in the Pro12, and certainly one of the best in the Northern Hemisphere. Gregor has turned us into a team that plays brilliant free-flowing rugby and is always there or thereabouts when the end of the season comes. 3rd, 2nd, 1st and 3rd again is a hell of a record and two finals is to be applauded. He’s going to be sorely missed when he leaves.

Gregor Townsend will be Scotland coach this time next year

Who do you see as your star player?

I genuinely think we have three or four star players. Jonny Gray is a magnificent lock and an absolute tackle machine. Stuart Hogg gets better and better and is probably a shoe-in for the Lions at the end of the season. Tommy Seymour just can’t stop scoring and is a supremely talented poacher, and then when you have a guy like Simone Favaro, who has no regard for his own safety, you know that turnover ball is never far away!

How have your first two games gone?

Connacht 5-41 Glasgow, and Glasgow 35-27 Leinster

Like a dream! The demolition of Connacht was quite incredible and a real statement of intent. The victory over Leinster was not as convincing but to put five tries past them and deny a losing bonus point could be crucial come the end of the season.

Tommy Seymour celebrates scoring four tries vs Leinster

What is the aim for this season?

Winning the Pro12 again is the main goal. In Gregor’s last year with us the player must look to give him a final hurrah in Dublin. Progression from our Champions Cup group would be nice as well!

What is your prediction for our game?

It could be a very tight score but a very high scoring game as Cardiff look like they have discovered some form, and with the ability they have in attack they could easily cause Glasgow some problems. Ironically, exactly the same goes for the Warriors! I’ve got to back my boys but I’m going to say a victory for us by five points or less. Sorry guys! (Third time the opposition fan has predicted they’ll win, two Cardiff wins so far! Ed.)

Thanks again to The Pen for answering the questions, sure to be a great game on Friday between two very attacking, in-form sides. Fingers crossed we can get the win, come on Cardiff!!




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