URC: Glasgow keep on breathing as positive news arrives on injury front

Several key players could be back for the run-in to the season

Nigel Carolan. Image: Craig Watson
Nigel Carolan says the Glasgow players have been working on breathing techniques ahead of South Africa trip. Image: Craig Watson

THE trick is to keep breathing.

As they head into what will likely be a season-defining set of fixtures, Glasgow are leaving no stone unturned to ensure they approach them in the best shape possible.

Next up is a trip to Parma to take on Zebre this weekend but plans for next month’s sojourn to South Africa are already being worked on, too.

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With both games against the Bulls and the Lions being played at altitude, Warriors have been working on breathing techniques to help them cope with that challenge.

“In the last few weeks we’ve had a mindset for South Africa and building on certain breathing techniques post-training that are aiding our ability to catch our breath and recover quicker,” explained Nigel Carolan, the Glasgow attack coach.

“Because, be it a myth or not, the altitude and the perception of the thinning air have an effect on your lungs so we’re trying to negate that. We’ll travel down there with a mindset that it won’t be a problem.

“We know we’re fit and we’ve worked on recover strategies so it’s about focusing on getting the type of game where we’ll ask good questions of the Bulls when we get down there in a couple of weeks.

“It’s just post-training exercises. There’s been a bit of research done into it so it’s blocking off one air passage so you have to breathe through another. It’s uncomfortable for a time but then you feel okay again. There’s a bit of science behind it and a lot of is done on bikes where you’re off feet so it’s quite an interesting little tactic and the lads are feeling the positives of it already.”

Carolan is hopeful head coach Franco Smith will have a near complete squad to choose from ahead of that double-header on May 11 and 18.

The ankle injuries sustained by Johnny Matthews and Oli Kebble in Friday night’s win over the Sharks don’t appear to be as serious as first feared, with the pair having scans earlier today (Monday).

Rory Darge (ankle) and Jamie Bhatti (foot) could also make the plane for South Africa, with the Scotland loosehead in with half a chance of facing Zebre, too.



Carolan added: “The news on Oli and Johnny is more positive than first thought.

“Over the weekend the medics touched base with them and they’re feeling much better than first feared. So they’ll be off their feet for the early parts of this week but I don’t think it will be anything long term unless something nasty shows up on a scan.

“Both are feeling much better than what it first looked like on Friday night. It looked nasty but I think both have come through in a more positive light.

“Rory is back active again, too. He won’t participate early in the week but will later on so it’s positive on him too. Jamie Bhatti is very close to returning as well. This weekend might be a bit too early but he’s nearly back to full speed again.”

URC leaders Leinster’s surprise loss to the Lions – albeit with a second string selection – has opened the door to Glasgow possibly claiming top spot and with it home advantage right through the playoffs.

Carolan added: “Someone once said that to win championships you need momentum and a full deck. We have a little bit of momentum at the moment and it’s important we carry that through for the next couple of games.

“We had a good win against the Sharks at the weekend, they’re a tough gritty team. We’ve got to kick on with the way other results went as well. With Leinster getting beat by Lions and Munster beating Bulls, it’s levelled things out at the top of the table.

“We take it one at a time and it’s Zebre this weekend. They’re bottom of the log and that has its dangers as well. If we don’t go with the right mindset then they have the ability to make the game quite messy.

“So for us it’s about standards, focusing on our game and bringing a version of our game that doesn’t get caught up in that messiness. So that’s very much our focus.

“We won’t be preparing for a home quarter final until we know we’re in it and we’ve looked after our side of the bargain. If we keep winning we can finish high in the table and that will give us a home quarter final and hopefully a home semi-final if we get through that.”

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About Graeme Macpherson 42 Articles
Graeme Macpherson is a freelance sports writer who covers rugby for a number of outlets.

1 Comment

  1. I like the pragmatism and level-headedness being shown here. One game at a time, focus on what is in front of you. I really hope that Warriors get the home quarter and semi-final.

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