Kennedy happy to be back in Glasgow jersey
The last time Sean Kennedy started a match for Glasgow Warriors, fellow scrum-half Jamie Dobie was making his way through Primary Seven.
Yet when the call came through that an injury would force his team-mate to withdraw from the starting XV for Monday night’s match against Ulster at short notice, there was no hesitation from Kennedy as he took his place for the opening kick-off.
“I didn’t want to get to kick-off and go ‘oh ****, I’m starting the match’,” laughed Kennedy when speaking to glasgowwarriors.org.
“I knew Jamie had taken a bang in the warm-up, so I knew I might potentially be needed to step in at short notice. I was mentally preparing myself in case the call came, so I was making sure I was in the right frame of mind.
“I was hoping Jamie was going to be alright obviously, but when it came to it, I was ready. That meant I was able to just relax and focus on my game as soon as the whistle went.”
The 29-year-old then proceeded to turn in a performance that drew praise from all quarters, from the Premier Sports commentary team – including former Glasgow team-mate John Barclay – to Head Coach Danny Wilson in his post-match comments. Whilst the result was as sore a point for Kennedy as it is for the Warrior Nation watching on at home, the scrum-half admits a sense of satisfaction at starting for the club once again.
“Overall, I was happy with how I played,” said Kennedy.
“There were a few things I’d like a do-over on – I missed a couple of tackles and had a couple of kicks that didn’t come off – but I was happy enough.
“The fact that we got well beaten stings though. As a half-back you can control the game a bit, so I was annoyed that we didn’t manage to do that well enough. For my first decent amount of game time at that level for a good while, though, I was pleased with how my performance went.”
Indeed with nine club appearances to his name, Kennedy was the experienced head amongst the scrum-half duo to take to the field on Monday night. His promotion to the starting XV – coupled with Dobie’s withdrawal – saw Caleb Korteweg come into the matchday squad, making his debut for the Warriors by coming on for the final six minutes.
“I’ve got to know Caleb a bit through playing with him at Stirling County,” said Kennedy.
“He’s a young lad and he’s shown what he can do since coming over from playing in New Zealand. He’s really easy-going – he gets along with anyone and everyone.
“What people possibly don’t realise is that he only trained with us for a couple of days last week, and he knew his stuff when he came on so he’s done the graft and worked hard. Fair play to him, because I thought he did really well when he came on.
“He’s not played rugby since the FOSROC Super6 was suspended, so to go from doing nothing to playing your first pro match is massively impressive.”
With 18 players unavailable due to either international commitments or injury, it’s been a Glasgow Warriors squad with a few fresh faces that have taken to the pitch in recent weeks. Yet Kennedy is effusive in his praise for Danny Wilson and his coaching team as they allow the squad to gel, as the Scotstoun side look to get back to winning ways in the Guinness PRO14.
“The coaches have been excellent,” said the scrum-half.
“Jonny [Bell]’s extremely enthusiastic – he brings a lot of energy and detail to every session, and he’s got a real fun side to him. He brings in wee challenges for the backs in attack sessions, and both he and Danny have brought a really good temperament to the squad.
“We’re obviously without a lot of players at the minute, but they’ve not been putting any pressure on any of the young lads or guys like myself. It’s all about encouraging guys to back themselves and play their game. The results haven’t gone our way just yet, but there’s something building nicely here.”
“The main thing I want to do is win, to be honest! I don’t care if it means starting on the bench or in the starting team, I just want the next result to be a ‘W’.”
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— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) November 10, 2020