Rennie gearing up for Guinness PRO14 Final in Glasgow
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie insists nothing will change in his side’s preparation ahead of the club’s biggest match of the season.
The Warriors will head to Celtic Park this weekend for their first Guinness PRO14 Final since 2015, with Leinster standing between Rennie’s men and a second domestic title.
After Friday’s 50-20 semi-final victory over Ulster extended the club’s winning run to nine matches in the competition, however, Rennie underlined that it will be business as usual in the run-up to Saturday evening.
“We’ll do what we’ve been doing in our training,” he said.
“It’s a lot about intensity – we’ve had a good clarity session this morning. We’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing though, we won’t over-train. We’ll do what we need to do and also have a bit of fun.
“That eighth day (between the semi-final and final) is really important. The boys have shown up in really good nick – the start of the week is about reviewing and clarifying, then we’ll start to bring in the intensity. We’ve got a couple of guys we’ll have to manage because of bumps and bruises, but we’re in a good spot.”
With the defending champions lying in wait, however, the Glasgow boss is all too aware of the challenge that his side will face in their final match of the season.
“Leinster are a good side that are generally tough to beat,” said Rennie.
“Saracens threw everything at them for a long period and they stood strong for much of that game. They’re notorious for holding on to the ball for multiple phases, so you can’t turn the ball over or kick poorly. I’m sure they’ll be highly motivated – they’re very aspirational and they’ve lost one trophy already, so I’m sure they’ll be up for it.
“What pleased us when we went and beat them over there was that when we got behind on the scoreboard, we clawed our way back. It’s not easy to beat them over there. We know they’ll be stronger, but so will we. We’ll take confidence from that result, but we know it means little on the day.”
Second only to BT Murrayfield on a list of Scotland’s largest stadia, Celtic Park is set to provide a fitting backdrop to a titanic clash. With the Warrior Nation set to make their presence felt just as they did four years ago, the anticipation within the team is already building ahead of the big occasion.
“We can be a lot better than we were on Friday,” stated Rennie.
“The score looked good, but Ulster are a much better side than that. I think they were possibly a couple of rungs below where they can be, not too dissimilar to us at Saracens a few weeks ago. It goes to show that if you’re a couple of cogs away, you can get belted.
“We’ll be better for the hit-out – we’ve trained well, but there’s nothing like the intensity of a game. We’re always striving to be better and we know we’ll need to be against Leinster.
“I’ve only seen Celtic Park when it’s empty, but a lot of our boys have been to watch games and talk about how great an atmosphere it is. With the big stands so close to the park and over 35,000 tickets already sold, it should be a special occasion.
“It’s got that wow factor – we’re going over for a run later this week to give the boys a look around and familiarise themselves with the surroundings. It’s something we spoke about right back at the start of the year, and we’re really looking forward to it.”