For both teams it’s last-chance sa­loon

Evening Times - - RUGBY UNION -

who’ve played in­ter­na­tional rugby against France over there, so we know the psy­che and men­tal­ity that it takes to per­form over there.

“It’s an ex­pe­ri­enced group of play­ers we have. We’re more de­ter­mined than ever to turn it around this week­end.”

The War­riors will then play their re­turn match against La Rochelle on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 14, be­fore fac­ing their tra­di­tional fes­tive dou­ble-header against arch-ri­vals Ed­in­burgh at Scot­stoun on the 21st and Mur­ray­field on the 28th.

Glas­gow have strug­gled in these in­ter-city der­bies in re­cent times, win­ning the 1872 Cup [awarded to the team with the best ag­gre­gate score over the se­ries] only once in the past five years, and Dalziel says the side know they will have to buck that trend this sea­son.

“The next four weeks will be huge,” he said. “We will know a lot more about our­selves and what we need to do at the end of that.

“At this time of the year, Glas­gow are usu­ally up at the top of the league and play­ers have maybe been com­pla­cent in games around Christ­mas. That com­pla­cency won’t be there now as it’s a dif­fer­ent pic­ture for us.

“The sea­son goes on un­til June and we want to be in there come the play-offs. To do that we have to be in the top three but we’re not at the mo­ment. We need a good spell of games.

“It’s pretty full-on at the mo­ment. We’re in a spell of the sea­son where the big games are com­ing thick and fast.

“As play­ers and coaches, there was a bit of soul-search­ing af­ter the game last week­end. You look at some of the stats and think, ‘How have we ac­tu­ally lost that game?’.

“We did a lot of good things and, in­di­vid­u­ally, there were some re­ally big per­for­mances in terms of tack­les and car­ries, so the en­deav­our is there.

“We just need to hit it this week­end with the clar­ity of where our short­falls are, and I think we’ve nailed that. We’ll look to im­prove.”

A par­tic­u­lar con­cern is that, while the War­riors have shown they are ca­pa­ble of start­ing games well, they are not quite so good at keep­ing their foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor as the match pro­gresses.

“We are start­ing games very well and we are see­ing the freeflow­ing rugby we are known for, but op­po­si­tion teams are al­ways go­ing to have pe­ri­ods in the game. If that’s go­ing to be around that mid­dle pe­riod, then we need to look at how we man­age that bet­ter,” said Dalziel.

“The buzz is still very much there among the boys. We know it’s go­ing to come, but it needs to come quite quickly.”

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