Glasgow Warriors | Attention switches to Champions Cup

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March 31, 2024

Attention switches to Champions Cup

Posted by Editor on March 31, 2024 11:02 PM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Kyle Rowe has been in fine form since his move to Warriors
Attention switches from the URC to the Champions Cup at the weekend with Glasgow Warriors taking on Harlequins at The Stoop on Friday night.

Warriors go into the game with confidence after a convincing 45-3 win over Scarlets in Wales last Saturday - a result that puts them second in the URC table behind leaders Leinster.

Speaking in The Scotsman, head coach Franco Smith said: "We are looking forward to keeping on improving and with Harlequins next it is going to be an important test for us.

"Europe is going into a stage that feels like a final which is a bit different to where the URC is currently. Of course, there's going to be a do-or-die match to be played and we will have to lift our standard once again.

"I'm not going to make too much about them [Harlequins]. For us going into the final part of the season we have to play better. I think it will be important for us to become consistent, to have everybody integrated and to have our processes functioning so we can challenge at the best level.

"I'm happy with the win [against Scarlets] but there are still a lot of things that we can improve on which makes it fantastic. I'm happy with the way the boys presented themselves, the energy, the eagerness and the willingness to work hard for each other. That made me very proud.

"I do feel that on Saturday night there was some good stuff but we also missed a lot of opportunities. We created a lot but we weren't always able to convert that to points."

Three of Warriors' seven scores came from their much vaunted driving maul that found top gear again after seeing its effectiveness blunted in previous weeks.

"We always work hard in the maul but other teams work much harder to stop them," explained Smith. "So compliments to the people who prepare to stop us from scoring from them. That takes a lot of work in the week as it does for us. It's good to have reward on Saturday night. Because teams saw that we had a good maul they worked out plans to try to prevent us but to find that opportunity again was heart-warming."

Kyle Rowe's form has been one of the highlights of Glasgow's season, and very timely with Kyle Steyn, Sebastian Cancelliere and Ollie Smith all out with periods of injury.

Smith says he was familiar with Rowe's attributes from the winger's time at London-Scottish and the head coach believes there is still more to come from the Scotland international.

"I think his experience with the Six Nations helped a lot with his confidence," he added."He's a talent that still needs to be unearthed. There's a lot of development in his skillset that can take place. He's making some big steps in the right direction.

"I knew of him [before Rowe signed last summer] and had seen him play for London-Irish. I've got good friends there, Cornell van Zyl was coaching the forwards so I had a bit of information around him. So I knew of his potential."

Rowe is unsurprisingly enjoying his rugby again after a year out with a serious ACL knee injury and the trial and tribulations experienced at London Irish.

"That was one of my main goals this season, to get back to how I was playing before I did my knee," said Rowe. "I feel like I'm back at the stage I was before I blew my knee up. I feel like I've hit the ground running after the Six Nations.

"Obviously there are so many great players in the back three at Glasgow. I wouldn't really want to be Franco having to pick the team and leave people out.

"There is loads of competition. I hope I've done enough to keep my place but we'll have to wait and see."