November 2002

Viewpoint is where you'll find our views on Glasgow Warriors so if you disagree with our opinion let us know where we're going wrong.

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Saturday November 30

Steve Griffiths retires

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The recent news on the retirement of Steve Griffiths once again reminded us that rugby can be a dangerous game. Steve was advised that he could risk serious long term problems if he continued playing. In fact it seems the injury could have led to paralysis.

Steve always impressed any time I saw him play offering great mobility and tackling power from the second row. Scotland selectors were also impressed enough to select him for Scotland A.

Hopefully Glasgow Rugby will look after Steve and help him find a new role that makes use of his experience and knowledge of the game.

Friday November 29

And I thought this was a home game...

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So another Celtic league campaign ends for Glasgow and again supporters are left feeling that the Warriors should have progressed much further in the competition.

Yet again Glasgow seemed to show a lack of awareness at crucial points in a game. In the past there have been occassions where a better grasp of competition rules would have turned defeats into victories.

Against Ulster Glasgow turned down numerous chances of a kick at goal and an equalising three points for lineouts and scrums on the Irish line. It is easy to speak in hindsight but at the time there were a number of people in the Hughenden crowd who voiced their bewilderment at the decision to turn down the kicks.

The Glasgow crowd had at last become involved in the game and had quietened the big Ulster contingent who had until that point been the more vocal support. Momentum seemed to have turned the way of Glasgow and would surely have continued into extra time. As it was robust defence from Ulster, some of it illegal, but all of it hard and effective kept out the Warriors.

It was also noticeable that Ulster used their replacements to change the game Andy Ward in particular bringing new verve to the efforts of the Ulsterman. Ulster made their changes before their men tired - Glasgow on the other hand made their changes after their players had already tired.

What struck me most however was the overiding feeling of anti climax about the game. The players all gave their best, putting their bodies on the line. They did make mistakes but hopefully they can be corrected. What disapointed me most was seeing the passion of the Ulster support in comparison to the Glasgow fans. Sure many of the Ulster fans have made their homes in Scotland through work or education but many more had travelled from Northern Ireland to the game.

What should have been a great occasion for the Glasgow support to get right behind the team saw the visitors from Ulster turn Hughenden into a mini Ravenhill. Only in the last few minutes did the Glasgow crowd seem to come to life.

Perhaps if a few clubs had picked up Glasgow's offer to bus their fans from club games played earlier then it would have felt more like a home game. Unfortunately too many people seem to be fighting battles from the past which makes it all the more difficult for our players to fight the battles of the present.

Supporters Travel Club

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Glasgow players and officials often comment on the vocal and passionate support they receive at Hughenden. I've also seen first hand how much Glasgow benefit from having a supporters backing them away from home.

Last season the players were visibly lifted by the vociferous support they received in Galway and Dublin. It raises the question of whether regular trips to away matches could be arranged.

Two and three day trips may incur too much expense for most fans and many will have club commitments on Saturdays but coach travel to places like Sale or Newport may be attractive for die hard Glasgow fans.

I've been impressed by the sizeable and vocal support teams such as Ulster have brought to Hughenden and Glasgow would surely benefit from similiar suport on the road.