Exeter v Glasgow: ‘write us off at your peril,’ vows Ali Price

Scrum-half says Warriors are ready to kick-start their season by putting in a big performance against title-holding Chiefs in Sunday's European Champions Cup opener

Ali Price in action for Glasgow Warriors against Exeter Chiefs back in 2017. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ali Price in action for Glasgow Warriors against Exeter Chiefs b2017. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

AS one of over a dozen players who have been away on Scotland duty during most or all of the last eight weeks, Ali Price could absolve himself from responsibility for Glasgow Warriors’ wretched recent form – but the scrum-half insists that the squad must stand and fall together as they look to get their season back on track.

Danny Wilson’s team face the toughest test out there in European club rugby at the moment when they head down to Devon to take on current joint English Premiership and Champions Cup title-holders Exeter Chiefs in their own backyard on Sunday.

It is a formidable challenge, but Price insists that Warriors plan to contribute more to the party than just making up the numbers against Rob Baxter’s all-conquering side.

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“You write us off at your peril,” he vowed. “We might go down there as underdogs and we might have no-one believing that we can come away with a result, but as long as we believe and put onto the field what we know we can then there are two horses in the race.

“The Scotland boys have come back in this week, it’s back to a full squad and it’s a new competition so it’s a chance to kick-start the season again. There’s been a good buzz around the place this week and it’s nice to be a part of that.

“Some of the results haven’t been acceptable,” he continued. “We’ve openly spoken about that this week with everyone coming back in as a whole group. Regardless of who’s been on the field it’s not been acceptable. And we hold ourselves to a standard that’s not been met.

“Everyone reads comments here and there but we know ourselves. We don’t need other people telling us that we’ve got off to the worst start for how many years and that we’re not performing. The boys in the room know. And we’ll be looking to turn it around [this weekend] and get some momentum going to kick start the season in a new competition.”

Familiar faces

The presence of former Scotstoun favourites Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray, along with fellow current Scotland internationalists Sam Skinner and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, is certain to add some extra spice to the occasion, but Price says it would be a mistake to fall into the trap of playing games within games.

“I remember an 1872 Cup game when I played against Sam [Hidaglo-Clyne] at Murrayfield when we were both around the Scotland squad and fighting for positions,” he explained. “I got caught up in the whole battle against a rival and that took me away from my game and how I could influence my team, so from that point on I decided that regardless of who I’m playing against I just need to do my job.

“So, it’ll be great to play against some familiar faces but I’ll be concentrating on doing my job to the best of my ability.

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“The Scottish guys that they have are brilliant players, but it’s not just the four of them,” he added. “They have international quality right through their side, guys who play for England and some who aren’t selected for England but who could easily be in most international squads, so they have threats all over the field. To focus on your mates as you know them a bit better would be a dangerous move.

“They are a great side and had a great season last year, but as with any team their game isn’t perfect. There are always areas you can target and we’ve got threats that can expose that.

“If we can get into our game and challenge them in the areas that we’ve identified then certainly we’re a big threat to them. They’ll know that. They’ll have spoken I’m sure about our performances against them [when Glasgow lost 34-18 at Sandy ark and drew 31-31 at Scotstoun] last year.

“A team not backed by anyone and with nothing to lose is a dangerous one. We go down there with the freedom to play. The pressure is firmly on them.”

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About David Barnes 3991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

1 Comment

  1. This has not aged well. Alongside the absolutely bonkers Wllson quote mid game first half “All week we worked on our plan n to stop them playing in our 22” you have to question the mental/strategic approach behind the scenes.

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