Glasgow face a very tough test this Saturday as they travel to Allianz Park to take on Saracens in the quarter-final of the Champions Cup.
The Premiership champions are one of the main contenders to lift the Champions Cup this season, and having beaten Glasgow home and away in their pool, they will surely have the upper hand at home. Therefore, Glasgow coach Dave Rennie has done all he can to give his side an edge going into their encounter.
The New Zealander has highlighted how Saracens try to con the referee into changing decisions, effectively by creating a scene after an error. Rennie has explained that this is a trait that he has seen in every game Sarries play.
However, many Saracens have come out in support of their team, claiming that this is gamesmanship, which has always, and will always be rife in the game.
Many fans think that antics like this are indicative of any successful team, and while some Glasgow fans have objected to Saracens’ attitude, a lot of fans feel this is just part of rugby. In fact, England World Cup winner Neil Back commented on Twitter saying this is a winning mentality. Back was one player who certainly knew how to push the law to the limits, but equally knew a lot about successful teams and winning mentalities, having played for both England and Leicester during their glory years.
This is what the fans are saying:
— Neil Back MBE (@NeilBack) March 27, 2019
Ganesmanship has been around as long as there have been games.
— Jason Harris (@LargeRugby) March 27, 2019
If he thinks it’s such a successful ploy why isn’t he using it? He must have someone in his team that could “talk” to the ref in the way he is discribing
— Marian Weadick (@MarianEWeadick) March 27, 2019
Never heard such rubbish, just because they lost twice in the same campaign and a thirds on its way very soon, they need to learn how to deal with pressure from 2 time champions
— Daniel (@Daniel17_Twitch) March 26, 2019
Haha love it. It's all true by the way but so what? If they can get away with it then they're doing something right. Wish Tigers had some of these street smarts.
— Ben Bellamy (@BenBellamy365) March 27, 2019
Pathetic whingeing, teams do that at any level!
— Tim Clappison (@tim_clappy) March 27, 2019
Pathetic pre match bantz really. Proper low impact stuff
— Genty (@JulianGent) March 27, 2019
Clearly, this is not just Saracens fans that have had a pop at Rennie, as many have accused him of whinging ahead of the game. Nonetheless, just as gamesmanship is commonplace in rugby, so is coaches trying to influence a referee before a match. Press conferences are a perfect way to do this, and Rennie has wisely highlighted something that may play on referee Nigel Owens’ mind. Then again, Owens is arguably the best referee in the world, and is rarely swayed on or off the field.
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