Tuipulotu ready for RDS test
Twelve months ago, Sione Tuipulotu sat in the stands at Scotstoun just hours after getting off the plane from Japan and watched as his new side put Leinster to the sword in clinical fashion.
Fast forward to the present day, and the centre is targeting a repeat performance against the Irish heavyweights on Saturday afternoon – only this time, a United Rugby Championship semi-final in front of the Warrior Nation is on the line.
“We’re all super focused on this weekend,” Tuipulotu told glasgowwarriors.org ahead of the trip to the RDS.
“We obviously had no game last week, so we’ve had a couple of weeks to prepare and zone in on what we need to do in Dublin on Saturday.
“We want to put in a performance that does the Glasgow jersey justice – we not only want to go out there and do ourselves proud, but we want to make the fans proud too.
“We know the RDS is a tough place and we’re going over as the underdogs, but we’re going out there with the goal of putting ourselves in the semi-finals.”
With Leinster having been defeated in dramatic fashion by La Rochelle in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup final, Tuipulotu is expecting a response from Leo Cullen’s men when the whistle blows for kick-off in Dublin.
Yet the centre was also quick to highlight the fact that he believes there is still a lot more to come from this Glasgow side, as the focus intensifies on this weekend.
“They’re a top-quality outfit, no question,” he said.
“They’ve got superstars across the park, and you don’t get into European finals by accident.
“We know their strengths, but we also know our own strengths and the talent that we have in the building at Scotstoun. This season, we haven’t put in a full 80-minute performance yet, and that’s a source of frustration. The goal for us is to do just that on Saturday.”
Victory over the defending champions would see Danny Wilson’s men earn home advantage for the URC semi-finals, meaning a first clash in front of the Warrior Nation since the 40-12 win over Zebre Parma on 1 April and the biggest league match in Glasgow since the 2019 Guinness PRO14 Final.
For Tuipulotu and company, though, all eyes are firmly fixed on the task at hand – namely, Saturday afternoon’s almighty head-to-head with the men in blue.
“The beauty of finals footy is that it’s one game at a time,” said the centre.
“No matter how the rest of the season has gone, we know that it’s a one-off game and we’ve got the chance to turn over the top seeds. If we can go over there, get our mentality right and put in a performance that we know we’re capable of putting in, then we’ll put ourselves in a good position.
“If we win, we’re back at home in front of our fans at Scotstoun. That’s all the incentive we need. We’re going to put all of the learnings from the season into practice, and we’re going to go full throttle into Saturday.”