Revenge for the RBS 6 Nations may be on the minds of Glasgow Warriors’ players when they visit Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, but playmaker Owen Farrell does not believe it will affect how the game plays out.
England comprehensively beat a Scotland side packed full of Warriors players at Twickenham earlier this month to clinch the Championship title – with Sarries boasting several of the Red Rose stars involved, Farrell included.
It is the first time Glasgow have reached this stage of the competition, and Aviva Premiership Rugby and European champions Saracens welcome them to the Allianz Park looking to defend their title.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) March 26, 2017
But Gregor Townsend’s Warriors were one of the strongest teams in the group stage, twice scoring 40 points against Sarries’ league rivals Leicester Tigers, and Farrell knows his side will have to be at their best.
“There’s a lot at stake for us this week,” he said.
“In rugby terms, the Scotland game was a while ago. All we’re going to focus on is putting all of our effort into putting on a performance.
“They’re a good team full of good players and obviously have most of the Scottish team in there.
“I think they’re well coached and you can see they always have a few tricks up their sleeve and always test their opponents.
“We’re going to have to be on our metal at the weekend and make sure that we’re ready for anything.
“We’ve had a lot of lessons in this competition.
“Hopefully there’s a lot we’ve learnt from but at the same time we did well last year and we need to make sure we improve on that this year to get anywhere near the final again.”
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) March 29, 2017
Farrell has seen firsthand the danger Glasgow’s backline in particular poses, and as such appreciates the quality of their players.
“I think they’re got a lot of threats,” he said.
“They’ve got some backs who can punish you with the likes of [Finn] Russell, [Stuart] Hogg and [Ali] Price pulling the strings.
“Every single one of them can make something happen out of nothing so we’ve got to make sure that we don’t have any lapses of concentration.
“Your next game is always your biggest. It’s the start of the knockout stage so that probably puts a bit more pressure on it.
“I’m sure they’ll be excited about it and will be really fired up to come down to ours.”
Farrell returned to Aviva Premiership Rugby duty on Sunday, as Saracens overcame top-four rivals Bath Rugby 53-10 at Allianz Park.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) March 28, 2017
But the fly-half admits the result may have flattered Mark McCall’s charges and has warned the Wolfpack against complacency.
“I don’t think we were where we think we can be at the weekend,” he said. “I thought we were good in parts and probably not so good in others.
“I think that puts us in good stead for this week. Obviously the score line ran away a bit at the end but I don’t think that’s a reflection of the game.
“We probably weren’t where we want to be so we need to make sure that doesn’t happen again because if it does we’ll get put under a lot of pressure.”
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