Gregor Townsend today branded Saturday’s 1872 Cup second leg Scotstoun clash with Edinburgh as the biggest game of Glasgow’s season.
A thrilling 27-9 Good Friday victory over Ulster has taken Warriors to within four points of second-placed Munster.
While with the Limerick side set to host third-placed Ulster in their final game of the campaign and the Scotstoun men nursing this weekend’s derby dust-up against Edinburgh in hand, Glasgow’s chances of landing a first-ever home play-off semi-final are growing by the week.
The defeat of the Ulstermen also took Glasgow’s winning run to five games and equalled their opening 100% streak at the beginning of the campaign, with a performance that was arguably the best seen at Scotstoun since Warriors took up residence in September 2012.
But Townsend has warned his men they can’t afford to let standards slip against an Edinburgh side who are battling to secure a place in next term’s inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup.
He said: “The Ulster victory was massive, but what we can’t do is have any falling off.
“Edinburgh is now the biggest game of the season for us and we have to make sure everything in our preparation is perfect for it.
“But we have put ourselves in a very strong position to try and claim second place and the home play-off semi-final that goes with it, given we are now just four points behind Munster, with a game in hand and two of our last three fixtures at Scotstoun.
“The other plus for us is that Munster and Ulster will play each other at Thomond Park on the last Saturday of the season and something must give there.
But none of that is any good if we don’t beat Edinburgh. So it’s maybe a cliché, but the next game is the only game we are interested in.”
Townsend added: “In any case when we look at the league season the two Edinburgh games are the ones that always stand-out because of the derby factor and the 1872 Cup.
“After such a big win over Ulster I think it is a plus that it is Edinburgh and we have that famous piece of silverware up for grabs.
“There will be absolutely no mental anti-climax as a result.”
With a best-ever Scotstoun crowd of 7417 taking in tries from Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour and Mark Bennett ably complemented by another immaculate kicking performance from Finn Russell, it is anticipated that a new record gate will be established in five days’ time.
Townsend has no doubt about the importance of the Warriors faithful and he said: “The crowd were fantastic and with the two stands in place at either end, the ground is really given another dimension.
“I think the players responded to that against Ulster and I am sure that will be the case against Edinburgh.”