Rennie praises defensive effort following narrow Saracens defeat

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie insists that the quest for a quarter-final berth is very much still on, despite slipping to a 13-3 defeat to Saracens in their opening Heineken Champions Cup match at Scotstoun.

The English champions edged what was a hard-fought encounter in front of the Warrior Nation, yet Rennie believes that there is still more to come from his side.

“We gave them a soft 10 points early on in the game, but from then on I thought we defended pretty well,” said the Warriors Head Coach.

“We just need to be more clinical and patient in attack, especially when we have an advantage – a couple of times we went for the miracle play, but we’ll learn from that.

“Effort-wise, I thought we fronted up really well.”

The Glasgow defence proved a particular highlight for the Warriors coaching staff, with Michael Rhodes’ try the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record.

“I thought our set-piece was strong,” said Rennie.

“Our defensive lineouts, in particular, were outstanding. We spoiled their mauling game on more than one occasion, which is an area in which they’re a real juggernaut.”

The Warriors now travel to Cardiff next weekend in search of their first European win of the season, in what could be a crucial fixture in the race for a quarter-final spot. Rennie and his players still have their eyes on a return to the knockout stages, with the Warriors head coach fully aware of the significance of next week’s encounter.

He said: “Saracens will be there or thereabouts in the end, and Cardiff had a good win away from home today. They’ll be tough next week.

“If we can win away next week though, we’re right back in the race.

“Scarlets lost their first couple last season and ended up in the semi-finals, so we’ll dust ourselves off and be clear on what we need to do next week.”