Pro12: Glasgow Warriors not settling for place in final

Pro12 final: Leinster v Glasgow Warriors

  • Venue: RDS Arena, Dublin
  • Date: Saturday, 31 May
  • Kick-off: 18:15 BST

Coverage: BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland

Reaching the Pro12 will be meaningless for Glasgow Warriors unless they beat Leinster in the final, according to assistant coach Matt Taylor.

Warriors, who finished second behind the Irish in the league table, are the first Scottish team to reach the play-off final, being played in Dublin.

"Everybody plays at this level to play in finals and win finals," said Taylor.

"But, for me, there's no use making a final unless you win it and that's the approach we'll be taking."

They've been in finals, they are a well-coached team and they've got a lot of history there, but we're a team that's up and coming and we feel we're in a pretty good space

Matt Taylor Glasgow Warriors assistant coach

Glasgow narrowly defeated Munster in their semi-final, taking advantage of their first-ever home tie at that stage to end a run of three last-four defeats.

Now they must take on the reigning champions in front of their own crowd, but Taylor believes Warriors can overcome the odds.

"It was a sell-out of 10,000 here at Scotstoun and it felt more like 30,000 to 40,000," he told BBC Scotland. "The amount of noise the supporters gave really helped the boys on and got us over the line.

"It's always good to have your supporters there. But, in the end, it's a football field like any other place you play on.

"For us, if we just go there and execute our roles and we perform the strategy we want to do, we will put ourselves in a really good position.

"And I'm sure our supporters, whether it's 2000 or 3000 going over there, will make enough noise to spur us on."

Leinster will be hoping to not only win in front of their own fans but give Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll a title-winning send off as the 35-year-old plays his last game before retiring.

"It will be a motivation for them emotionally," said Taylor. "I'm sure Brian will be hoping to play well and I'm sure Leinster will be hoping to play well and send him off in a winning team.

"But, in terms of how we're looking at it, Brian's just another player and we're looking at his traits as we are the rest of the 23 players."

Glasgow score against Leinster

Warriors defeated Leinster at Scotstoun in September

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend raised eyebrows with his team selection against Munster, most notably leaving out Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg.

"In terms of surprises, there may be a couple, but I think the coaches spend a lot of time watching these guys in training and it's horses for courses in terms of the strategy as well," explained Taylor.

"Our strategy might be slightly different than we had against Munster and that's why guys maybe drop in or drop out."

Glasgow gave Leinster a scare in Dublin in March before losing 28-25 and came out on top in a 12-6 win at Scotstoun in September.

"We've had some really close tussles with Leinster," he said. "It's a team we respect greatly.

"They've been in finals, they are a well-coached team and they've got a lot of history there, but we're a team that's up and coming and we feel we're in a pretty good space.

"We're not daunted at all by the challenge. We're all striving to get better and Leinster's probably been the best team in Europe for the last five, six, seven years, so we can't wait to play them."

Taylor thinks a Warriors victory would not only cement Glasgow's progress but give their Scotland squad representatives a boost ahead of the national side's summer travels abroad.

"I think it would be fantastic for Glasgow," he added. "It would be fantastic for Scottish rugby and it'll also give the guys confidence leading into the tour and it will mean a lot to a lot of people."