Carolan pleased by Glasgow character
“We definitely took a step further forward in our progress tonight.”
Nigel Carolan’s immediate reaction to last night’s 27-22 victory over Worcester Warriors was one echoed across social media in the wake of the full-time whistle. With their backs against the wall after conceding an early score in the second-half, Glasgow Warriors dug in.
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Their efforts paid off, outscoring their opponents 17-3 in the final half-hour to take home a hard-earned victory and a result that pleased the club’s Attack Coach immensely.
“Above all, we’re pleased to come away with the win,” Carolan told glasgowwarriors.org post-match.
“To come back from 19-10 down just after the break and get ourselves back in the game was really pleasing and I thought we managed the play really well. We found a way to close the game out, and getting 28 players some more exposure on top of that is a real bonus.”
Going in behind at the break was in no way reflective of Glasgow’s possession and territory in the opening stanza, with Rufus McLean’s interception score the only breakthrough from the visiting Warriors. Yet Carolan was impressed with how the Scotstoun side stuck to their task, with every Warrior playing their part.
“It was quite a frustrating first half for a couple of reasons – we were a little bit slow getting into the match, but when we did we created a couple of really good chances,” he said.
“We just didn’t press hard enough at times and we got hit by a couple of quick tries by Worcester. We ended the half knowing that we were creating chances though.
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“To concede that early score in the second half is something we’re disappointed about, but the guys stuck to their systems and they got the rewards from that.
“There’s trust in the systems and the guys didn’t panic – that’s what’s really pleasing, the ability to revert to playing the Glasgow game and knowing we’ll find a way to get it done.”
The game’s outstanding moment also pleased Carolan, as Duncan Weir’s cross-kick and McLean’s scintillating footwork culminated in a thrilling Glasgow score.
“We’d actually spoken a bit about it in training during the week – when we’re trying to find space, sometimes the kick is a better option than the pass,” said Carolan.
“The onus is on the players on the edge to be looking for the spaces in behind and communicating it into the fly-half, and if we can get the ball into the space with a kick it can be just as effective and less risky than throwing the pass.
“I can’t claim any credit on the execution though, that was all Duncan and Rufus!”
With the Warriors having now wrapped up their pre-season calendar, all eyes now turn westward and to the opening match of the United Rugby Championship at the Kingspan Stadium in just a fortnight’s time.
Carolan is excited by his side’s potential, but is keenly aware of the challenge awaiting the Warriors to kick-off the new campaign.
“We’re still progressing as a team,” he said.
“There are aspects of our game we’re still developing and they’ll still be developing for the next couple of months, for sure. We’ve taken the learnings from Newcastle and we’ll take them from tonight, and we’ll work on them ahead of the Ulster match.
“To beat Ulster in Belfast, you need to be in the right state of mind emotionally. The Kingspan is a fortress and they don’t lose there too often, so you need to be in the right headspace and be ready to front up.”