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Bulls vs Glasgow: 'If you lose in a final, there’s no coming back from it'

By PA
Bulls are a formidable proposition in Pretoria but there are often plenty of empty seats at Loftus Versfeld (Photo Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Zander Fagerson is hoping “years of hard work” pay off in the shape of silverware when Glasgow face the Bulls in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship final in Pretoria.

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The 28-year-old prop was on the periphery of the squad as a teenager when Warriors won their last trophy, the Pro 12 title, in 2015.

Now one of Glasgow’s senior players, Scotland mainstay Fagerson would love to guide his team to some long-awaited glory in South Africa.

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“It would be the culmination of a lot of years of hard work to get to this point,” he said. “It would be the icing on the cake.

“We’re enjoying the week, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. We have to go out there and do it at the weekend, we’ve got to make sure we dot our i’s and cross our t’s.

“We need to treat is a normal week, stick to our processes and go from there.”

Glasgow lost 40-34 away to the Bulls in the regulation season last month, but they go into the defining match of their campaign buoyed by rousing victories at home to the Stormers and away to Munster in the quarter-final and semi-final over the past two weekends.

“I was really proud of the boys the last two weeks in how they defended and how they played for each other and it’s going to take the same again this week,” said Fagerson.

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“The Bulls took their chances against us the last time. They’re a well-drilled team and they’ve got some really dangerous players so we need to make sure we don’t give them as many opportunities.”

Saturday’s match at Loftus Versfeld will be Glasgow’s second final in 13 months after they lost to Toulon in the Challenge Cup showpiece in Dublin last year.

“Once you play in a final and get that big-game exposure, you learn a lot from it,” said Fagerson.

“I think we’ve got a bit more maturity as a team now. If you lose in a final, there’s no coming back from it.

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“We didn’t stick to our game plan and play the full 80 minutes of that game and we came up second best, so we’ve got to make sure we leave everything out there this weekend because there’s no second chances.”

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Tom 30 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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