Leinster campaign a success thanks to Glasgow win – Lowe

Paul Eddison
27 May 2019

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There is no question that Leinster have been an outstanding team this season but winger James Lowe admits it would have been a failed campaign without victory over Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park.

The Irish province made it back-to-back Guinness PRO14 titles thanks to a hard-fought 18-15 success on Saturday, with first-half tries from Garry Ringrose and Cian Healy proving the difference despite a late Grant Stewart try for the Warriors.

That went some way to healing the wounds of a first-ever Champions Cup final defeat, a 20-10 loss to Saracens in Newcastle at the start of May.

And for Lowe, who started on the wing in both finals, Leinster’s success saves their season, likening it to Premier League football side Liverpool, who finished second in the league with a record points tally but will play in the Champions League final against Tottenham next Saturday.

Lowe explained: “I related it to Liverpool, we’ve got such a good team but if we didn’t win a trophy we’d see it as a bad season.

“We learnt a lot from Newcastle, we probably got stuck in fourth gear, credit to Saracens for playing so well and putting us under enormous pressure but we learnt over this last two weeks and if we didn’t perform here then all that was talk. So the fact that we’re able to close out and score points when we did was awesome.

“It’s 40-odd weeks of work so to come away with a medal is always very good. We had 57 players this year so the fact that only 23 have got to represent us it’s not just about us it’s about all the boys who have put in the work, so to come away with a medal we couldn’t be happier.”

When it comes to clashes with Glasgow, few have a better insight into what Dave Rennie sides can do than Lowe, who played under the New Zealander for the Chiefs in Super Rugby.

And while Lowe expects the Warriors to come back even stronger next year, he is confident that Leinster will be ready for them.

He added: “Glasgow are such an expansive, rugby-playing team, I’ve played under Rens (Dave Rennie) their head coach for five years and when they’ve got the ball they want to score and when they haven’t got the ball they’re trying to get it back.

“They’ve got some amazing athletes, a lot of young talent, Scotland’s future is pretty bright.

“That’s part and parcel of fighting fire with fire, we know this Glasgow team got here through their own merit and they’re a very physical side, especially their pack. They’re almost mongrels, they hurt you at every contact, it got them this far and we knew that if you smack the dog on the nose that many times they won’t keep coming back, fortunately we were able to do that.

“Everyone on this team has lost big finals as well, you’ve got to take a bit of pain to grow. That team (Glasgow) is young enough that they’re going to be around for a while and they’ll learn from this, I hope that they do because we’ll be ready for them again come next season.

“It’s awesome to come over here and learn, I’ve still got so much to add to the game I feel, so it’s an exciting time and where Leinster is at the moment there’s only room for improvement.”

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