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VIDEO: Why Franco Smith gave Warriors a pass mark in Pretoria

REACTION: Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith knows his side has no space to slip up with Leinster and Munster hot on their trail in the United Rugby Championship race for the top spot.


The Scottish side bagged two losing bonus points in their 34-40 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The result means Smith’s team remain at the top of the URC standing with 60 points, followed by Leinster (59 points) and Munster (58 points).

Trailing 10-37 in the final quarter, Glasgow produced a stunning comeback. They scored three tries in eight minutes to raise hopes of extending their winning run in the URC to seven matches.

However, Chris Smith and Duncan Weir exchanged late penalties which made sure Glasgow claimed the crucial two losing bonus points.

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“To play a quality team like the Bulls at Loftus this close to the final part of the season is massive,” Smith said after the match.

“We were challenged mentally and physically. We were challenged from a rugby perspective, we had to pull up in a game away from home in these conditions which meant the character of the team was tested, but we passed that test clearly.

“I am gutted that we lost the game, because I think we were good enough to have won the game.

“But there are a lot of positives and lessons learned.”


Smith admitted that not everything went according to the script during the showdown, especially during the first half.

“The plan was not to fall behind as we did in the first half,” Smith said.

“We always knew we had a plan to manage the second part of the game. I am most proud of the fact that we were down 10-24 at half-time and produced the performance we did in the second half.

“Too many line-outs lost, too many penalties against us, I think the penalty count is hugely against us and I have to go look what was happening.

“That deprived us of attacking platforms and once we got more of that in the second part of the game, I thought we were more effective.”

Glasgow will need to rectify their flaws rapidly as their next challenge is the Lions at Ellis Park.

Despite being 10th on the table, the Lions have been known for punching above their weight, and following their latest 34-13 win over Cardiff, a win over table-topping Glasgow will be another big statement.

Smith has called for accuracy as they prepare for the Round 17 match.

“Every game from the first week was important and that doesn’t change [this week],” Smith said.

“This game is just as important as when we wanted to win our home games and on the road.

“So there’s no more importance to what’s going to happen next week from my perspective,” Smith said.

“We are playing to get better at what we do.

“We must be more accurate in the first part of the game.

“For me, we got penalised a lot and I have to go find the trend.

“Was it a specific trend or was it specific individuals? it’s not great.

“It happened against the Harlequins during the Champions Cup in the Round of 16, where we got penalised 12 times in the first half and came back and didn’t get penalised until the last minute of the game.

“So, we need to be more accurate and there is more to our team at this stage of the season. We haven’t achieved our pinnacle, and we can still build on what have achieved up to now.”

He added: “Every game has got its own challenges. We will sit down and strategise around that. There is a bit of a plan, but we will put the strategy in place later this week.”


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