“We now have two massive weeks that can swing the momentum” | Sam Johnson
Heading into Monday’s (27 December) first 1872 Cup fixture with Edinburgh (kick-off 7pm), Glasgow Warriors sit fifth in the United Rugby Championship with the same 25-points tally as fourth placed Ospreys.
For centre Sam Johnson, the next two weeks of festive derbies can make-or-break the Warriors season in the URC. They will also play a vital part for the Club securing the automatic qualification berths for next season’s Heineken Champions Cup (places 1-4).
Speaking with glasgowwarriors.org Johnson said: “We have two massive weeks against Edinburgh now that can swing the momentum between being in the top four or out of it.
“We’re in touching distance of that top four right now, and as long as we’re in there in the new year and post-Six Nations that’s when we can really hit our straps and reach our goals.”
The Warriors return to league action off the back of a stunning European victory against Exeter Chiefs last weekend. Monday’s game now presents an opportunity to continue that form in the league.
Johnson continued: “We’re still alive in Europe. We had a good showing against a tough La Rochelle team and earned a losing bonus point. Then, our preparation was good, and the boys performed well on the day against Exeter.
“You don’t get any second chances in Europe, so they are huge weeks that we have to lift the intensity to reach our goal of making the last 16 and pushing on from there.
“Now, we want to get valuable points in the URC and keep putting on our best rugby.”
Monday’s fixture (live on Premier Sports 1) promises to be an enticing tie, with Edinburgh coming off the back of four victories in the URC and an impressive away win over Saracens in the European Challenge Cup.
Meanwhile, Glasgow head into the game in possession of the coveted 1872 Cup trophy and having performed well across league and European competition in December so far.
Johnson concluded: “We’re building, and we’ve got more in us. In attack we want to bring more consistency and this week we’ve been focusing on the contact area. We know Edinburgh have a strong back row and lead the number of turnovers in the competition. They will go hard at us, so we’ll be making sure we’re ruthless at contact and winning the races.”