Glasgow bonus points win over Ospreys is perfect preparation for Exeter clash, says Kyle Steyn
GLASGOW Warriors winger Kyle Steyn believes Saturday’s home win over the Ospreys, which helped his side advance to the United Rugby Championship play-offs, was the perfect preparation for the weekend’s trip next to Sandy Park for a showdown against one hell of the Exeter Chiefs. – Wanting revenge.
The Warriors blew up the cobwebs after two weekends of Covid-imposed idleness with a performance that combined precision and intent on offense with stubbornness on defense. The set piece accumulated after a shaky start, and there was maturity and intelligence in the way the top decision makers handled the game.
In the end, the score of 38-19 flattered the visitors. A bit of neglect in the first half – possibly due to lack of recent team action – gave Ospreys opponent Gareth Anscombe the chance to keep his team in touch with four successful penalties , while the only try conceded by the Warriors came from a defensive error. in the 70th minute, when the game was already dead as a competition.
All in all, it’s been a good day at the office for Danny Wilson, but they know they’ll be facing a rush in class next weekend.
Since suffering a humiliating 22-7 defeat at Scotstoun in mid-December – in the Warriors’ last game before their Covid outbreak – the Chiefs have beaten the Bristol Bears 19-13 at home and suffered a heartbreaking loss 14-12 away against the Harlequins on Saturday (playing half the game with 14 men following Alec Hepburn’s red card). After a slow start to the season, the Chiefs are starting to look a bit more like the overwhelming force they have been in recent seasons.
“It has obviously been a troubled time for us the last few weeks, but we’ve been pushing a lot to try and build on what we did against Exeter in our last game before the layoff,” Steyn said on Saturday night. “The fact that there weren’t any fans there also made it a little different. But I think we adapted well, and it was a good win for us in the end.
“We had a great time with the ball in hand and also had to make some important defensive sets, so it was a good practice for us before Exeter.”
A victory on Saturday would be a big statement for Glasgow and almost guarantee qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup. A loss would not be a disaster, but it would bite the bubble of belief that has developed within the team.
“We know we can do it, but this game is now a thing of the past,” replied Steyn when asked if the previous game would shape his team’s approach to this second leg. “They are at home and they will be hungry to put things back together. For us, it’s just about removing the belief from the previous game.
“It’s two back-to-back positive results we’ve had now – albeit three weeks apart – so it feels like there’s a little more consistency around what we’re doing now. We are much clearer on what kind of performance we want to achieve and where that minimum standard lies. We have the impression that we are going in the right direction.
Sione Tuipulotu edged home flanker Rory Darge for the Man of the Game award against the Ospreys – thanks to an energetic performance from both sides of the ball, complemented by two tries that showcased the lethal combination of pace and power. . The Australian-born / Scottish-cap center owns – and he’s one of a handful of Southern Hemisphere imports who have really added bite to the Warriors squad this season.
“Sione had a hard time arriving this summer because he had to isolate himself right away,” Steyn revealed. “He only trained with us for about five or six days after that and then the whole team was put in isolation. So basically he spent about 20 days in isolation in his first month here – which couldn’t have been much fun.
“But he’s such a good guy. It fits perfectly and has a great impact. He says a lot of nonsense sometimes which makes the boys laugh. We make sure he knows he’s talking nonsense… but we all know the qualities he has as a player. He pretty much has the full set.
“It’s great to see the new guys having such a big impact,” added Steyn. “The likes of Josh McKay [a full-back from New Zealand] too, and we were also eager to see the great Walt [Tongan winger Walter Fifita] with the ball in hand when he entered.
“They are all great players, but also great guys to have around the environment every day. They have integrated perfectly.
No.8 Australian Jack Dempsey was not involved this weekend but is expected to be as part of Exeter. His form since the start of the season will try Wilson to send him straight back into the starting XV, but that would be incredibly difficult for Ryan Wilson, Matt Fagerson and Darge who would go missing as all three were superb against the Ospreys.