Tom Vickers’ Glasgow v Saints preview: Mallinder’s men must be brave in Scotland

Bravery will be the buzzword for Saints when they take to the Scotstoun pitch to do battle with Glasgow on Saturday afternoon.

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 18th January 2013, 10:06 am

Realistically, Jim Mallinder’s men need a bonus-point win, and some big favours from other teams, to secure a best runners-up spot and stay alive in the Heineken Cup.

The first thing to point out is that a game against Glasgow will not be a walkover.

The Scots currently sit second behind Ulster (and we all know how good they can be) in the Rabo Direct PRO12.

They may not have claimed a win in Europe this season, but in domestic competition they are flying with nine victories from 13 games to date.

And they have the honour of possessing 19 members of the 35-man Scotland squad named ahead of the upcoming Six Nations.

Make no mistake, the Warriors will be up for the fight.

But Saints can only afford to worry about their own approach to this weekend’s game, and the importance of pocketing a full five points.

It will be no good merely winning the game, taking on long-range penalty attempts from the tee.

They have to be courageous and kick to the corner whenever possible.

Their first thought should not be to win, it should be to get four tries.

If they do that and lose, then at least they can say they tried.

It would be heartbreaking for Saints to secure a safe win and then find out being a bit more adventurous and getting that extra point could have seen them into the quarter-finals.

There has been plenty of talk about a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup, with the third, fourth and fifth best Heineken Cup pool runners-up securing a place in the last eight of that tournament.

But with the pedigree Saints possess and having beaten Ulster on the road this season, they should want to test themselves against the best the continent has to offer.

And that means they must shoot for the stars in Scotland on Saturday.

If they fall on their backsides, so be it, but at least the ‘why not us?’ brigade won’t be left wondering ‘what if?’ when round six reaches its conclusion.