GLASGOW Warriors will need to be wary of assassins lurking in the Sharks’ back-field when the two sides clash in round two of the United Rugby Championship this Saturday afternoon, according to defence coach Kenny Murray.
Warriors came up short in their opening match of the campaign away to Ulster on Friday night, with lapses in accuracy at key moments costing them dearly.
Whilst frustrated that the team failed to return from Belfast with a win, Murray hopes that the players will at least benefit from a valuable lesson learned, which will hold them in good stead for this weekend’s challenge.
“We conceded four line-breaks in that game and three of them came from kick-chase, so we’ve just got to be better there in terms of our decision-making on where we’re kicking, and in terms of making sure we are a bit better structured defensively after the first collision,” he said.
“The two key areas with the Sharks are that they are big men with a really strong pack, and where they are really dangerous is with what I would term as assassins – guys who can really hurt you from deep. So, they’ll pick you off if your chase isn’t strong and connected.
“They have real electric players out in the wide channels. Thaakir Abrahams, for example, is a cracking player. If you kick loosely to them, if you turnover the ball cheaply, that’s when they come alive in their attack. They can score tries from inside their 22 easily if you don’t kick well.
“So, we’ve got to make sure we don’t fuel their attack – and that’s one of the learnings we’ve got to take from last weekend Scottish Rugby pledge to support World Cup bid RUGBY UNION Sport/Tuesday, September 28, 2021 9 because we probably didn’t kick well enough and allowed Ulster to run back at us too easily.”
Given the importance being attached to Glasgow’s kicking game this weekend, veteran stand-off Duncan Weir’s recovery from a concussion suffered during the first half of the Ulster match will be monitored particularly closely.
“He’s going through his return-to-play protocols at the moment, but he seems to be doing pretty well,” said Murray.
“He’ll continue that tomorrow and all things going well he should be okay for the weekend.”