The Rewind Series – Three of the Best

The Rewind Series – Three of the Best

It’s a match up that has produced some of the most memorable moments in the professional history of Glasgow Warriors.

Whether it’s a nail-biting knockout tie or a mid-season clash played out in front of a sold-out Scotstoun, drama and excitement are nearly always guaranteed when Ulster come to Scotstoun.

Two semi-finals and a host of closely-fought encounters have been played out between the two sides in recent years, with a passionate Warrior Nation having been witness to tries of the highest calibre along the way.

We sat down with three of the club’s most prodigious finishers to discuss their famous scores against the men from the Kingspan...

DTH VAN DER MERWE – 2015

75 minutes on the clock in the Guinness PRO12 semi-final. Camped in the Ulster 22. 14 phases completed, and Finn Russell floats arguably the most famous pass in club history out wide. Waiting on the wing – his natural habitat – was exactly the man that the Warrior Nation wanted on the end of that pass.

“I just remember catching the ball”” laughed van der Merwe.

I knew if I caught it there’d be an opportunity to score, and luckily enough I managed to take it. Funnily enough the most nerve-wracking thing was watching – or not watching, in my case!- Finn as he lined up that conversion. I was listening to the crowd for the reaction!

“I’d come into that game off the back of a broken hand, so to come off the bench and take that pass from Finn [Russell] over the top was just incredible. The whole lead-in to that final and title win is a memory I’ll never forget

“My kids find that try on YouTube all the time – there’s this picture of two women in the crowd biting their nails, and they looked like how I felt.”

TOMMY SEYMOUR – 2016

Fast forward a few months, and another finely poised encounter is decided by a move executed to such perfection that it goes on to win the Guinness PRO12 Try of the Season award. Trailing by three points, a cross-field kick from Russell on half-way lands in the waiting arms of Tommy Seymour to send the winger en route to the whitewash – and Scotstoun into delirium.

“If I remember correctly it was an option we had looked at calling from during the week - we just recognised it was on and Finn put it on the money,” explained Seymour.

“Obviously when the ball goes up, you’re just concentrating on the catch. I didn’t have to break stride, so once I had the ball it was just about pinning the ears back.

“I realised the blindside winger [Craig Gilroy] had the angle coming across so just made the decision to cut back late in hope he couldn’t slow his feet and lucky for me it paid off. He’s a good friend of mine to so that made it sweeter.

“I would say it was a great try to score as it helped us get across the line against a very good Ulster team – it’d be up there with the best in my career. The tries always been more when they help secure a win and make a difference.”

KYLE STEYN – 2019

As far as first knockout matches for the club go, Kyle Steyn’s first foray into the Guinness PRO14 Final Series is up there with the best of them. With the Warriors cutting loose in last season’s semi-final, the Scotland 7s star put the finishing touches on a flowing move from inside the home side’s own 22 in front of a raucous East Stand.

“I can’t really remember who made the call to go from deep,” admitted Steyn.

“I know Hoggy [Stuart Hogg] called for the chip from Adam [Hastings], nd then we all jumped on the back of that.

“I was asking for the ball from Wils [Ryan Wilson] early so I could get some speed onto the ball. He’s a good man to have in the wide channels – he assisted me against Leinster last month too, he’s got good hands in open space.

“To be honest there were almost too many options at the end! The easy option would have been to dummy and pass to DTH out wide, which would have saved us a lot of complications. I didn’t really expect Wils to pass back either – I mis-timed the pass to him, but I was pretty stoked when it came back to me.

“The crowd was electric that day. There were so many flags in the stands and the noise was incredible. The subs were warming up down that end too, so I just jumped into the middle of them. In front of the East Stand is always a good place to score!”

DTH van der Merwe was speaking in Issue 2 of Warrior – get your hands on a copy here

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