Hall calls on Glasgow for winning start

Date published: October 11 2016

Former Warriors hooker Dougie Hall says Glasgow need a perfect start to theior Champions Cup campaign if they want to reach the play-offs.

With only the winners of the five pools guaranteed qualification to the quarter-finals, to be joined by the three best runners-up, an early home defeat can leave teams in a difficult situation. That was the case last year when the then Guinness PRO12 champions slumped to a 26-15 loss to Northampton Saints on home soil in round one and were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the campaign.

Head coach Gregor Townsend is desperate to get the European monkey off Glasgow’s backs before he departs to take the Scotland reins at the end of the season, but it won’t be easy considering the draw they’ve been dealt.

The Warriors will face Munster and Racing 92 in the pool stages, but they start their campaign against Leicester on Friday.

“You just can’t afford to get behind the curve in Europe,” Hall told The Scotsman.

“You have to start really well. You can maybe lose one game but even then it’s a struggle. There’s not many competitions where you pretty much have to be perfect to have a chance.

“There is almost pressure to get bonus points in your home games. Not to say that’s the mindset you go out with as that is not very wise. The focus always has to be simply on winning the game first. But you do need to maximise the points at home, with the knowledge that everyone is going to be good at home.

“At this level, everyone is excellent at home so it may come down to points difference or try bonus points.”