Coach well aware of dan­gers lurk­ing on Highveld

Sunday Herald - - SPORT -

AS Glas­gow War­riors head for South Africa to­day, one mes­sage will be ring­ing in their ears: they are there to maul the Chee­tahs but they must not touch the lions.

The mod­ern play­ers be­ing the com­puter and so­cial me­dia geeks they are, they are bound by now to have seen the on­line footage warn­ing them what hap­pens when you do stroke a lion.

Ospreys hooker Scott Bald­win did it dur­ing a pre-match trip to a sa­fari park and was lucky to es­cape with just scratches – though bad enough to rule him out of their game.

“Mes­sage duly noted,” said Glas­gow head coach Dave Ren­nie, as the footage started to leak out of the Ospreys camp. Com­pared to most of the PRO14 coaches, he does have the ad­van­tage of first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of pre­par­ing teams to face Chee­tahs.

“I have gone against them a num­ber of times coach­ing-wise,” he said. “They are dom­i­nant up front and have out­stand­ing line-out drive and ab­so­lute gas out wide.

“If your kick and chase is poor, you will be pun­ished; if dis­ci­pline is poor they can put you in the cor­ner.

“But our guys are re­ally fit. With the Chiefs teams, we have run over the top of the Chee­tahs in the last 20 min­utes. We will cer­tainly be talk­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages around that.”

Ren­nie was also tak­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages from the tenac­ity Glas­gow showed against Benet­ton Tre­viso on Fri­day night, hold­ing on to the ball for al­most five min­utes af­ter the clock had gone past 80 be­fore claim­ing the bonus-point try through Sam John­son.

“I learned a lot about them, their char­ac­ter, re­silience,” Ren­nie said, al­though he was scathing about the mis­takes and dis­ci­pline is­sues that let Tre­viso back into the game.

Nor is he im­pressed with the tim­ing of the fix­ture in South Africa. Not only is it a week be­fore the Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup, it shares the week­end with a cricket Test match, a Cur­rie Cup game and a ma­jor mu­sic fes­ti­val in Bloem­fontein.

The re­sult is that there is no room at any inn for Glas­gow af­ter the match. They are hav­ing to hop on a bus and drive back to Jo­han­nes­burg just to find a bed for the night.

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