The Glasgow Warriors go into this weekend’s clash at the Ospreys in 4th position, a place they’ve held reasonably consistently for the last few weeks but which is being constantly chased by the likes of the Blues and Ulster. But how different things could be if some of their results hadn’t been draws.
In total, Glasgow have drawn 5 games this season, 4 of them coming in the league; away at Edinburgh, away at the Dragons, away at Connacht and at home to Leinster last Saturday when they drew 10-10.
Are these good results or games that got away?
If you look at the Edinburgh game at Murrayfield in the first leg of the 1872 Cup tie over the Christmas period, Glasgow were doing the chasing for most of the match. Given the sort of form Edinburgh have been in at Murrayfield, particularly in the Heineken Cup, salvaging a draw towards the end can be legitimately perceived as a good result. As it turned out, it was pretty crucial as Glasgow only won by an aggregate difference of 5 points.
Glasgow clinched the 1872 Cup at Firhill despite drawing
at Murrayfield against Edinburgh
The game at the Newport was a result that was thrown away. After a brilliant speculative chase of his own kick by Scott Wight to touch down and get Glasgow back into a game they were losing, they then stretched their lead only to have it clawed back with the last kick of the game through a Dragons penalty.
It was much the same story a couple of weeks ago at Connacht where Glasgow were in control of the game for the majority of the match only to lose a late penalty. Saturday’s result against Leinster, at home this time, could be seen as a good performance as Glasgow came away as the only team in 13 games to take points away from the champions. Again though, the opportunity to win was there for the Warriors.
All of these games, aside maybe from the Edinburgh game, were relatively low scoring. What does that tell us? Well, it says that Glasgow’s defence is solid and that Sean Lineen's tactics, particularly away from home, are sound. With points going begging at the very end of games, any criticism must come down on the lack of discipline and concentration during the closing stages.
Had Glasgow come away from even half of these games with 4 points rather than 2, they wouldn’t need to be looking over their shoulder quite so much at the moment. With only 5 points between them and 2nd spot, but with only 2 points over Ulster and 3 over Cardiff (who have a game in hand), Glasgow's habit of drawing has cost them a place further up the table and could yet prove crucial when it comes to the playoff places at the end of the season. However, a result this Friday against the Ospreys would be a huge scalp indeed and would go a long way towards securing a playoff spot.
With Al Kellock back as captain and Ruaridh Jackson finding some form following his injury layoff, Glasgow have some quality players available to compete.
I wonder what the odds on a third consecutive league draw are?