Russell: Good momentum ahead of Euro clash

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:14
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PRO14 REACTION: Glasgow Warriors flyhalf Finn Russell believes his side's bonus-point win over Cheetahs hands them good momentum ahead of their European clash against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.

Callum Gibbins scored two tries in a Man of the Match display and replacement scrumhalf Henry Pyrgos also got on the scoresheet with an impressive 29-26 win over the Warriors in the first competitive game on South African soil.

Russell also played a key role in bonus-point. The flyhalf kicked nine points and was involved in three of the tries, including a pin-point kick into the corner for Rob Harley to score the match-winning try, which also secured the bonus point.

Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org, Russell said: "I saw Rob Harley in the corner, but I don't know if he knew if it (the ball) was coming or not but I kicked it and had faith in Rob, I knew he'd get there.

"It was awesome to get the win in South Africa.

"The Cheetahs are really tough at home, so to grind out a performance like that was amazing for us and gives us a lot of confidence."

Russell was clearly happy to take away all five points from their trip to South Africa but said all the focus during the game was on securing the win ahead of next Saturday's trip to Exeter.

He added: "I didn't really think about the bonus point during the game.

"When we got the third try I started to think about it, but the main thing was getting the win.

"It means we've now won all of our [six] games which gives us momentum going into Europe next weekend,"

Head Coach Dave Rennie praised the character of his side, who once again found a way to win their sixth game of their season and keep their unbeaten record intact.

Rennie said: "It's tough coming here, it's a new experience for a lot of our boys playing at altitude. We want to play a very quick game and we're very fit, but so are the Cheetahs and it was a real arm wrestle.

"We were confident we could still win the game, we just needed to stay composed. The biggest thing was we didn't hang onto the ball for long enough and we made a few errors, so we always felt if we could hang onto the ball for multiple phases we would put their big men under pressure.

"The Cheetahs put us under a lot of pressure at scrum time and disrupted our line-out, but we expected that as they have some big men up front but we felt if we could dictate the pace of the ball and hang onto the ball we could put them under pressure. We probably didn't do that for long enough, but again we've been pretty good at finding ways to win and we did that again.

"There is a lot of character in this group and they keep working hard for each other."

The Warriors travel back to Scotland tonight and face another big week, with a Champions Cup encounter against Exeter Chiefs next up at Sandy Park in seven days time.

Rennie added: "It's been a good week in South Africa, the weather has been nice so it's been good to train in the heat.

"We'll get some benefits of training at altitude and hopefully we can take those into next week, but recovery is going to be key ahead of next week's game against Exeter."

Source: @GlasgowWarriors

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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 15 1 5 76
Munster 21 13 1 7 69
Cheetahs 21 12 0 9 63
Cardiff Blues 21 11 0 10 54
Ospreys 21 9 0 12 44
Connacht 21 7 0 14 39
Zebre 21 7 0 14 36
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 21 14 1 6 70
Scarlets 21 14 1 6 70
Edinburgh 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 12 2 7 62
Treviso 21 11 0 10 55
Dragons 21 2 2 17 20
Kings 21 1 0 20 11