The keys to Glasgow Warriors' historic Pro12 triumph

Glasgow Warriors' Al Kellock celebrates at full time, his last game for the club
Glasgow Warriors' Al Kellock celebrates at full time, his last game for the club

Glasgow Warriors' 31-13 victory over Munster in the Pro12 final was a watershed moment for Scottish rugby, finally breaking the duck of a team from Scotland winning the league.

There were three keys areas in a scintillating triumph at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast.

Set-pieces

The game was always going to be decided on the set-piece and the breakdown, of which Glasgow had been pretty poor in the past couple of weeks in two games against Ulster.

They selected Dougie Hall at hooker to give them that stability at the line-out, that worked really well in the first half.

The biggest point was the breakdown area in the first 40 minutes - Glasgow dominated the breakdown, they kept the ball alive and for big periods of the game they didn't allow Munster to get a defensive focus.

They kept moving the point of contact, kept moving the Munster forwards around.

Defence

Another huge part of the game was their defence. Munster put a lot of pressure on them either side of the half-time interval but Glasgow's shape was very good in defence, their accuracy in the tackle - they didn't miss a lot of tackles.

Every time Munster had the ball Glasgow put them under severe pressure. They didn't give the opposition attack any time to settle and that was really important.

Leadership

Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and stand-off Finn Russell managed the game fantastically well, always varying the points of attack.

Starting captain Josh Strauss probably had his best game for the club and Hall was outstanding in his farewell appearance, so two of the more experienced guys really led from the front.

That allowed the powerful Leone Nakarawa to get his offload game going, while his second row partner Jonny Gray is just getting better and better.

Finn Russell scored Glasgow Warrior's fourth try of the game
Finn Russell scored Glasgow Warrior's fourth try of the game

The greatest thing about Glasgow is they had leaders on the bench.

You had Al Kellock coming on for his last appearance in a Glasgow jersey and he brought a lot of leadership and experience towards the end of the game. Chris Fusaro came off the bench and he's also captained Glasgow this year.

Glasgow controlled the final against a strong team and fully deserved to get their victory.

World Cup 2015

We've talked a lot about the amount of times we couldn't get over the finishing line in really tight games and I think what this has given us is a group of Scottish players who know how to finish big games.

They know how to execute plans, they know how to cope under pressure.

Don't underestimate how valuable that victory will be going into this year's World Cup.

We've got a tough group, particularly the Samoa game which everybody is looking at as the must-win match. We now have a group of players who can go into that with a lot of confidence. It's really important for Scotland.

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