Berghan in the Glasgow groove
Whilst the United Rugby Championship might have just ticked past the halfway mark in the 2021/22 campaign, there’s still an early season buzz around Simon Berghan as he sits down for a chat at Scotstoun.
After all, the tight-head is beginning to hit his straps in his new club colours after appearing in each of the club’s last four matches, finally being able to put a frustrating start to life in Glasgow behind him.
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“It wasn’t a great start for me, personally!” smiled Berghan.
“I picked up an Achilles injury against Ulster on my debut, and that was a tricky one. Given the position I play it caused a few issues, which was pretty annoying.
“I’ve put a few games together on the bounce now, and I’m feeling good – I feel like I’m back in that groove again and I’m trying to put my best foot forward every time I’m selected for this club.”
Capped 31 times by Scotland to date, Berghan’s big-game experience and physicality has proven to be a more than useful asset in recent weeks. Back-to-back victories over Munster and Benetton were founded upon a resolute and physical defensive shift, as the Warriors clamed eight valuable points as the hunt for URC playoff places heat up.
Despite the man himself being more than happy to man the barricades alongside his team-mates, he’s also wise enough to know that there’s still more to come from those in black and blue – starting with this weekend’s trip to Llanelli and a clash with the ever-dangerous Scarlets.
“I enjoy the abrasive side of the game, yeah,” admitted the 31-year-old.
“If you look at the way we’ve played in the last few weeks, though, there are a few things we can do that can make life easier for ourselves.
“We want to try and tidy up those bits and pieces, and make life even more difficult for the opposition.
“Scarlets are a good side and we know exactly how tricky a test Saturday night is going to be. They can play from anywhere, and they’ve got a really physical side of their game up front too.
“We know we’ll have to play smart rugby against them; if we can start fast and put ourselves in the best position possible, that’ll be key.”
As the competition heats up around them, Berghan and company will be all too aware of the importance of picking up the right results between now and the end of the season.
With the Warriors currently lying third in the URC standings, however, the mood around Scotstoun is an upbeat one; indeed, it’s a mood that Berghan believes will serve the club in good stead as the business end of the season approaches.
“If you look at the table, there are only a few points in it between the top six or seven, and a few teams have games in hand too,” he said.
“For us, we know it’s all about keeping the points ticking over and putting ourselves in the best position possible for those playoff places.
“There’s a good buzz around the squad at the moment. We’ve had a few good wins recently, which have put us in a really good place. Going to Scarlets this weekend, we know our depth is probably going to be tested again and we know they’re a quality side.
“It’ll be a good test of our character, though, and we’ll be wanting to keep our place in that top four.”