Focus clear for Smith ahead of quarter-final clash

Focus clear for Smith ahead of quarter-final clash

Head Coach Franco Smith says his side are fully focused and clear on the task at hand ahead of tonight’s massive BKT United Rugby Championship quarter-final clash, as Glasgow Warriors take on DHL Stormers at Scotstoun for a place in the final four.

Whilst the Warriors lead the head-to-head between the two teams courtesy of November’s 20-9 triumph at Scotstoun, Smith believes that past results and form will be disregarded when the whistle blows for kick-off later this evening.

“We’re excited,” said Smith when asked about tonight’s challenge.

“I think we’ve prepared well, the players are calm and clear on what needs to be done, and I’m looking forward to seeing them put the training into action.

““It was good to have won that match back in November, but that hasn’t been a factor in preparations this week. Both teams will have looked back in the build-up, but this is knockout rugby and it’s a different challenge altogether.

“The Stormers had a rough start, but they’re still back-to-back finalists. They have Springboks across the board, their coaching team is well-drilled and they have a solid platform. We know it’ll be a tough test for us tonight and we’re ready for it.”

With a first league semi-final since 2019 the prize should the Warriors quell the South African storm tonight, the anticipation of the quarter-final clash has been evident from when the fixture was confirmed on Saturday night following the conclusion of the regular season.

Whilst the excitement is tantamount throughout Scotstoun, there is also the knowledge that said excitement must also be managed to ensure the first task is taken care of.

“The focus from the start of the week this week was tonight’s match, and you could see that throughout the week,” said Smith.

“There’s definitely an extra buzz. The guys are ready for the big occasions and we’re looking for them to channel that into a smart performance tonight.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves at all, however. We know that we were the architects of our own demise in the quarter-final last year and the Challenge Cup final last year, so we know that being over-eager could lead to us letting ourselves down.

“We’ve been reminding ourselves of the lessons learned from last season this week, because we want to put the best version of ourselves out on the field tonight.

“Everyone is aligned and knows their roles. We had a good week of training and we are excited to see how we perform tonight.”

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