Last week I called on Glasgow Warriors to save our Scottish season by doing the illogical and beating the might of Munster at Thomond Park. This week I am urging them to go to South Africa and defeat the Bulls by out-bulling the favourites in the United Rugby Championship final.

It’s going to be some match on Saturday evening, and I only hope this football-fixated nation takes a wee break from the round-ball game to watch the oval ball variety and see if the Warriors can notch what would be the greatest Scottish club achievement of the open era.

What a performance the Warriors put up in that unforgettable semi-final. It was not an absolute classic as there were too many errors by both sides, but Glasgow made fewer mistakes and took their chances superbly before closing out the game in a thoroughly professional manner. 

At first I thought Italian referee Andrea Piardi was a homer as he gave a string of penalties against Glasgow and eventually sin-binned Richie Gray, but Glasgow tightened up their discipline – even a homer can’t give penalties if you don’t give him the excuse – and Piardi showed real courage in correctly sending off Alex Nankivell for the Munsterman’s exceptionally stupid piece of head hunting on George Horne right in front of the referee. Here’s the good news: Signore Piardi is in charge of the final, and Glasgow should at least know how to ‘manage’ him. 

The key to victory was the stonewall defence throughout the match. The forwards put in the hard yards and big hits, but it was an all round defensive effort and in the backs George Horne, Tom Jordan, Huw Jones and especially Sione Tuipulotu were immense, the latter also winning man of the match for his outstanding ball-carrying efforts. The back three of Josh McKay, Sebastian Cancelliere and Kyle Steyn were resolute and the latter two took their tries with aplomb.  

All the forwards were excellent and the biggest compliment I can pay the replacements is that they fitted in as to the manner born, with Oli Kebble, Henco Venter and Max Williamson particularly impressive.

So now it’s the Bulls, and as I did last week I will point out the reasons why Glasgow’s opponents are favourites.

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First of all they are on home soil and there will be up to 50,000 South Africans in the stadium against a few hundred Glasgow fans. I make the point again about a neutral venue for championship finals, but we all knew the rules before the tournament started. In any case, where would that venue be? If it was to be halfway between Pretoria and Glasgow, it would have to be in Timbuktu, and the ancient city in Mali doesn’t have a big enough stadium.

So Loftus Versfeld it is, and the first problem to be overcome will be the thin air at that altitude of 1,350m (4,429 ft). Warriors could have spent a day or two acclimatising to the altitude, but would have had to do so at the top of Ben Nevis which is actually 5m (16ft) shorter than the stadium in the Pretorian suburb of Arcadia.

Reckoning on maybe 16-17 hours of travelling time, the Warriors’ medical team will ensure the squad stay as fresh as possible, but it’s still an awfully big ask to go from dreich weather and sea level on the Clyde to that altitude and probable warm temperatures after an exhausting journey. 

Bulls are very tough to beat on home territory, and they showed against Leinster that they are in top form. Glasgow’s defence will have to be very bit as good as it was against Munster, and more so. 

I do not expect Bulls’ coach Jake White to change a winning formula, so Warriors can expect to face a lot of high kicks and a pulverising rush defence. With truly great attacking players like Johan Goosen and Willie le Roux behind a massive pack that loves to ruck and maul, I expect the Warriors to be on defensive duties from the start as I’m pretty certain the South African side will come out to try and intimidate Glasgow early doors. 

Substitutions will be crucial, and I suspect head coach Franco Smith will stick to a 6-2 bench selection and put a ‘bomb squad’ of forwards on early in the second half. But the Bulls also have a strong bench so maybe they will cancel out each other.

So how do I think that the Warriors have a chance of winning? Franco Smith knows the Bulls inside out and will no doubt have planned special tactics to deal with them, but the final will be won inside the minds of the players.  Allow themselves to be ‘Bullied’ and the Warriors will lose. Instead they should aim to bully the Bulls, and impose their game on the home side. And at their best the Warriors are a very good team indeed.

Out-bull the Bulls and Glasgow Warriors can win and be the champions.