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Kellock bullish about task of keeping 10,000 fans happy

Holding the hand of his young daughter Kate as he walked onto the Scotstoun pitch on Friday night was one of the highlights of Al Kellock's career, the Glasgow Warriors captain has admitted.

Glasgow are now in uncharted territory after defeating Munster at Scotstoun on Friday. Picture: SNS/SRU
Glasgow are now in uncharted territory after defeating Munster at Scotstoun on Friday. Picture: SNS/SRU

Five-year-old Kate made her debut as Glasgow mascot at the start of an evening of high drama and emotion that saw the Warriors beat Munster 16-15 to clinch their place in the RaboDirect PRO12 final against Leinster, which will take place in Dublin in 12 days' time.

"That was incredible, it really was," said Kellock. "To be able to run out there with her for the first time in front of 10,000 fans was huge. She comes to as many games as she can, but that was a special moment. I was pleased to have the opportunity to do it."

Kellock admitted, however, that he had a moment of anxiety just before kick-off as parental anxiety kicked in. "I think she was a bit overwhelmed, to be honest," he said. "I looked over - I had sent her back over - and she got herself a bit lost. She looked a bit upset."

Glasgow's sense of direction never wavered over the next 80 minutes as a try by Gordon Reid and a conversion and three penalties by Finn Russell propelled them into their first-ever major final. But Kellock stressed that there is work still to do.

"It is a huge achievement," said the 32-year-old. "I think about the 10,000 fans we had out there. This was big for them, but what we've done now is give ourselves an opportunity to do something incredibly special.

"But it's all about the final now. From players to backroom staff to supporters, it is about focusing on this final. It is a big achievement, but it's not done yet."

Leinster are the reigning PRO12 champions and home advantage means they will start the final as clear favourites. But Kellock is confident that his side can rise to the challenge of beating the Dublin side in their own back yard.

"We have won nine in a row now, and when we play at our best we are good enough to beat anyone in the league," he said. "We've shown that.

"We've beaten a very good Munster team, but whatever team we play at this stage will be a very good team. You don't get the final without being a good team. But what has pleased me this season, more than any other season, is that we've done it consistently, so that's what we've got to do in two weeks' time."

Whatever happens in the final against Leinster in Dublin, Kellock believes his Warriors have made a big difference to the Scottish rugby landscape. He said: "Just the fact we are bringing 10,000 supporters into Scotstoun is huge. I want to see Scottish rugby growing and growing. I have loved being part of it over the last 12 years.

"We're too hard on ourselves sometimes. As a nation, we should really celebrate the things that go well. The supporters can go out and celebrate and we will concentrate on winning the final and give them something really to cheer about."

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