Gibbins gets all clear as Warriors belatedly begin their South African preparation

15 hour delay in London won't effect team's preparation, says head coach Dave Rennie

Callum Gibbins
Callum Gibbins' ruck clear-out on Saturday was a storm in a teacup as far s PRO14 discipline officials were concerned ***Image: © Craig Watson -

GLASGOW WARRIORS co-captain Callum Gibbins will not face a disciplinary hearing in relation to an incident which occurred during the first half of Friday night’s Guinness PRO14 victory over Munster, in which his vigorous clearing-out of a ruck was interpreted in some quarters – including by opposition head coach Jahann van Graan – as deserving of at least a yellow-card.

The incident was referred by the referee to the Television Match Official at the time but he couldn’t find a replay, so the game continued. Van Grann made it clear afterwards that he thought his team had missed out as a consequence of there being no sanction given. “It was a big turning point in the game because numbers could have been different for the rest of the game,” he said.

However, the authorities have decided that Gibbins does not have a case to answer. “Just to clarify Callum’s situation, what happens during a game is that the referee sees something out of the corner of his eye and he will say to his TMO: ‘Can you have a look at that’. The TMO looked at it and didn’t find anything. The PRO14 have looked at it and they didn’t find any issues. It was just a clean-out,” explained Warriors head coach Dave Rennie, yesterday.

See footage of the incident here –

Warriors landed in South Africa on Monday, 15-hours behind schedule, after their flight from London was delayed, but Rennie does not believe the hold-up will have a negative impact on the team’s preparation for Saturday evening’s clash against the Toyota Cheetahs.

“Because we were in London on Sunday night we got a few things sorted around our meetings,” the Kiwi coach explained. “We got some one-on-ones done so we are not too far behind. We had a double day today in that we trained this morning and this afternoon. We will have a day off tomorrow and have a full day training [on Thursday] so it is a normal week anyway.

“It is a beautiful day here – 20 degrees or somewhere around that – and it is expected to get hotter and hotter as the week goes on. We know it is 27 here on Thursday. We are anticipating the weather to be normal, at altitude there are a few things that go with that but the guys understand how hard it can be.

“We have 29 guys here who will be a lot tighter. We will have a lot more time together to tidy things up. We have left a chunk of guys at home, but we will make the most of the time we have here.”

“We have a full week of acclimatising [to playing at altitude]. When we play the Southern Kings a [week on Friday] we are down at sea level again.”

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One player not on the trip is Fijian winger/scrum-half Niko Matawalu, due to “visa issues”.

“He needs to tidy a couple of things up so we thought it was better he sorted it out now rather than a couple of weeks’ time when we have European games. It’s not a big issue,” explained Rennie.

The Cheetahs have had a poor start to the season, losing 38-0 at Munster on the opening weekend and 46-15 to the Ospreys in Swansea last Saturday, but Rennie expects the Bloemfontein outfit – who are adapting after losing a raft of senior players, including Sprinkbok stand-off Johan Goosen to Montpellier, exciting full-back Clayton Blommetjies to the Scarlets and back-rower Uzair Cassiem also to the Scarlets  – to be a very different proposition this weekend.

“They will be a different creature at home. We beat them with three minutes to go and Munster kicked a late penalty to beat them and those were the only games in the PRO14 they lost at home last year. Everyone else, including Leinster, came here and lost,” he said.

“It is a challenge. We will be better than last week and there is a lot of competition for places and we are excited to be over here.”

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That was the month that was: August 2018


About David Barnes 3552 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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.