"A lot to be positive about" | Wilson reacts to URC opener
Having been within a converted try of a first win over Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium since 2013, you could forgive Danny Wilson’s initial reaction for being one of feeling like last night’s result was one that got away from his side.
Despite earning a four-try bonus-point in addition to the tally for losing by less than seven points, the Warriors ultimately opened their 2021/22 account with a 35-29 defeat on the road in Belfast.
Yet for the Glasgow Head Coach, there are undoubted positives in amongst the immediate disappointment of the result that eluded them.
“We’re frustrated that we didn’t come away with the win, because we put ourselves in the position to come away with all five points rather than just the two,” Wilson told glasgowwarriors.org following the full-time whistle.
“To score 29 points away from home should be enough to win the game. We conceded a couple of soft scores that we’re disappointed with, but there is a lot to look back on and be positive about from tonight’s match.
“We were really physical and played some high tempo rugby, scored some really good tries and came away with two points that could be vital over the course of the season.”
For five players in particular, the fixture will forever hold a special relevance; Brad Thyer, Simon Berghan, Jack Dempsey, Sione Tuipulotu and Murray McCallum all took to the field for their competitive club debuts, with Wilson hailing each of the debutants post-match.
An unforgettable occasion for our 5⃣ new Warriors tonight, despite the result.
#331 Jack Dempsey
#332 Sione Tuipulotu
Welcome to the club, lads.#WeAreWarriors pic.twitter.com/kmeORhSDO1
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) September 24, 2021
There was also special praise for Rory Darge, whose all-action performance earned the openside the Player of the Match award despite coming out on the wrong side of the scoreline.
“What a baptism for those guys,” Wilson said of his debutants.
“To a man, I thought they played really well and di themselves proud. For a first appearance in a Glasgow jersey, they showed up really well.
“You could see the emotion from those guys in the presentation we had for them in the changing room post-match, and hopefully it leads on to many more appearances for each of those men.
“Rory is just getting better and better. His work ethic and his involvements in the match are top-class.
“I thought he was outstanding tonight, and long may his form continue.”
Excitement levels for Glasgow’s return to Scotstoun – already high amongst the Warrior Nation – may well have risen another couple of notches following the performance of Wilson’s side in the season opener, as all eyes turn to next Saturday’s visit of the Sharks to Glasgow’s west end.
Wilson believes his side will be ready for their South African visitors, citing the Scotstoun faithful as a factor that can help tip the balance in the home team’s favour.
“We said in the changing rooms that we’d take the positives from tonight and identify the areas we need to work on ahead of the Sharks match,” said Wilson.
“We’ve got an eight day turnaround, which is going to be crucial for us. We’re heading into the unknown a little bit, since we’re preparing for a team that we’ve never faced before, so we’ll see how they go against Munster and hopefully build a plan that will see us get a good result in front of what will hopefully be a packed-out Scotstoun.”