As Dave Rennie outlined his planning for the week ahead it was hard to conclude other than that the rugby gods are on his team’s side as they ready themselves for the visit to Glasgow of Leinster for Saturday’s Pro14 Grand Final.

The semi-final could not have gone any better, victory over Ulster secured within half an hour or so of kick off, with the home team then guilty of sufficient lapses to give their management something to use to motivate them to ever greater effort next weekend.

Best of all, though, is that while the Irish province engaged in a typically ferocious battle with their greatest foes Munster on Saturday, his Warriors were getting the benefit of an extra day of preparation.

“We’ve had eight days and that eighth day is crucial to be honest,” said Rennie.

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“The boys have shown up today and with the extra day they’re in really good nick. We’re not going to over-train, so Monday’s normally about a review, recovery and clarity and we’ve got through all that.

“Tomorrow we’ll bring intensity and we’ve got a couple of guys we have to manage who’ve got bumps and bruises, but it won’t stop them from playing, so we’re in a good spot.

“We’ll do what we’ve been doing in our training. A lot of it is about intensity.

“We’ll keep things just the same as what we’ve been doing up until this point, so we’re not going to over-train.

“It’s just a case of being clear and doing what we need to do.

“We also need to make sure we have a bit of fun, because that’s really important in a week like this. We’re excited.”

The two-time head coach of winning teams in the Southern Hemisphere’s leading provincial competition Super Rugby is clearly determined to tap into that mood, just as happened when they ran in seven tries and half a century of points against Ulster on Friday.

“At this stage of the season, a lot of people get a bit nervous and play within themselves. They maybe play conservatively as a result of that, but what’s got us here is the brand of footie we play,” he said.


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“I was really pleased with our attitude against Ulster because we really went out and expressed ourselves. We want to do the same in the final.”

He knows, however, that there is little prospect of them being able to run riot against last year’s double winners who only lost their European title after a tough battle 10 days ago with a Saracens side that has beaten Glasgow three times in Champions Cup ties this season.

“We’re well aware of the strength of Leinster,” Rennie acknowledged.

“They’ve been a powerhouse in Europe over the past few years, but we’re in a good place right now. We’re playing well and we have a clear understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

That is where the opportunity provided by, in particular, the two late tries conceded to Ulster as his players let their standards drop in the latter stages of the semi-final, works to advantage, in allowing the coaching team to drive home the implications of any drop in intensity.

“We can still be a lot better than we were against Ulster,” Rennie insisted.

“The scoreline obviously looked good, but Ulster are a lot better than that.

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“They were probably a couple of cogs off where they would normally be, not too dissimilar to what happened with us against Saracens in Europe a few weeks ago. If you’re a couple of cogs off, then you can get belted. That’s the way the game is.

“We’ll be better for the hit-out because we hadn’t played in three weeks. I still think we can be better defensively, although we did actually defend well for big chunks. In attack, I thought we were pretty clinical, but I still believe we can generate quicker ball. We’re always striving to be better and we know we’ll have to be against Leinster.”

To that end, he is reading little into Glasgow’s victory over the champions in Dublin last month, their first in the Irish capital for eight years.

“Both sides were missing a few players that day for various reasons. They’ll have a number of guys back in the team and we’ll also have a different look to us,” he noted.

“What pleased us in the game over there was the fact that we were behind on the scoreboard, but still managed to claw our way back and win with three tries in the last 20-odd minutes.

“It’s not easy to win over in Leinster. We know they’ll be stronger, but so will we. Realistically that game counts for very little.

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“The semi-final also counts for little. It’s all about the final now.”

The venue for that match will add an extra element and Rennie is aware of the impact that could have, so is looking to ensure no-one is overwhelmed by the occasion.

“ It’s something we talked about right at the start of the year when we knew that if we got things right it was our chance to play a final there,”” he said.

“We’re going to have a run there late in the week, just to get rid of the wow factor.”