NOT many players miss a penalty in the closing seconds of a match to salvage a draw on foreign fields just five minutes after being dragged off the bench and then, seven days on, get a vote of confidence from his coach to start what is arguably the biggest game of the season for that club.

That is, however, the situation for Dave Rennie and Glasgow Warriors ahead of today’s Champions Cup clash at Scotstoun against Cardiff.

With the hosts needing a bonus-point win to keep their European ambitions on track, Rennie has sought to steady the ship – or maybe that should be the train – and avoid a possible derailment that would severely damage his schedule.

And that means opting for Brandon Thomson at fly-half for the Welsh invasion, rather than regular starter Adam Hastings.

Glasgow require control against Cardiff if they are to the accrue the four-try win they need. Thomson will provide only a part of that, hence the reason Rennie has also seen fit to start Ali Price at scrum-half.

Price is more pragmatic, more of a percentage player than rival George Horne, and. it might be argued, a slightly more mature chaperone for Thomson.

Certainly, that’s the way Price views his inclusion, and himself, these days ... as an experienced operator at the highest level.

“Yes, definitely,” agreed Price, the "veteran" 25-year-old.

“I feel that’s where I am at now with my career as well.

"I have a few games under my belt and that’s something I’d look to do even if Adam was playing, and regardless of who we had at 10.

“So, in terms of some of the decision-making and what plays we are going to run and stuff like that, then I’ll work closely with Brandon, but I think he has more than proved he can step up and run a game.”

Hastings is good, talented, but has endured three consecutive defeats – two against Edinburgh and last weekend’s loss away to Benetton Treviso. These, in some part, large or small, could be put down to his uncontrollable enthusiasm.

So Rennie has pitched the slightly more measured Thomson in at 10.

Price has in the past put the brakes on Hastings at times, both for club and country, but says managing Thomson is a slightly different task.

“I think Brandon is a bit more structured in how he naturally plays the game. Every player has their positives and negatives.

"It’s more in certain areas, if we are in their (the opposition) 22, I have a grip on that and control things a bit more. I’m closer to the forwards and can work with them. If we are in their 22, then I can try to bring in the runners off me, essentially.”

This will be Price’s third start against Cardiff this term. But it is a much-changed Blues team he will face today.

Those amendments to personnel, however, won’t make the Welsh outfit any less dangerous for Price.

“There are certain traits of any team that are going to be hard to change in terms of how they will look to play. But there are a lot of new faces in their (Cardiff) team.

"That kind of attitude of having nothing to lose, they might show us a slightly different picture. But I think, on the whole, it will be fairly similar.”

Price is more concentrated on what Glasgow must do after a few weeks of coming up short of the mark, both in performance levels and scoring tries.

“We’re not far away and people will see the results and think ‘disappointing’, ‘Edinburgh shut them down’ and ‘they’ve got no Plan B’ and all this kind of stuff.

“But I think if you look at the game it comes down to little bits of accuracy. It is a pass here, a pass there. It’s just little things, one missed tackle or one cheap knock-on, and teams are going to capitalise on that.

“We’re not far away from getting back to the side that clicked when we went on a good run of games and things came off for us. We’ve not changed how we want to play since the first Edinburgh away game, it’s just little things, not quite being as clinical as we want to be and that’s cost us games.”

About the task at hand he said: “First and foremost, get the win. If we come away with four points and we’re on 18 and we still need to get one, four or five or whatever to qualify, we have to go down to Allianz (to play Saracens) next week and do that.

“I think if we try to hunt five points from the get-go and we end up in a bit of a dogfight of a game and ultimately we don’t pull through, then what have we achieved there? I think four points and the win is what we’ll target.

"If we need more come Round Six, we’ll go down there with a job to do.”

The pursuit of tries should be helped by the return of Stuart Hogg at full-back, with Price well aware of the options and directness he and others offer.

“Our back three’s lethal regardless of who’s playing. Having Hoggy there, obviously he’s a world-class player but, regardless of what wingers we’ve got on, what centres, everyone’s at a decent level where they’ll step up and create.”

Glasgow Warriors: Hogg, Seymour, Grigg, Johnson, van der Merwe, Thomson, Price, Kebble, Stewart, Rae, Harley, Cummings, Wilson, Gibbins, M Fagerson. Substitutes: Bryce, Allan, du Plessis, Swinson, Fusaro, G Horne, Hastings, L Jones