Glasgow Warriors' Pro12 triumph matches Scottish rugby's best

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Glasgow Warriors celebrate
Bill Johnstone thinks the Glasgow players will have been boosted by the large travelling support they took to Belfast

Veteran commentator Bill Johnstone believes Glasgow Warriors' Pro12 title against Munster is on a par with some of Scottish rugby's finest moments.

Warriors' 31-13 final win on Saturday was the first silverware earned by a Scottish club in international competition in the professional era.

"It's a huge achievement," he said.

"In the great history of Scottish rugby I think winning the Pro12 is right up there with the best of Scottish achievements over the decades."

Hawick-born Johnstone described the action from Belfast to BBC Radio Scotland listeners and believes the stylish win for Glasgow was "quite historic".

Scrum V presents highlights from the Pro12 final between Glasgow Warriors and Munster in Belfast.

"Over the years we have watched hundreds of games and there have been times when there have been notable successes in individual matches and disappointing failure as well," he said.

"You think back to the 1990 Grand Slam on one hand and the disappointment that Glasgow suffered last year when they lost to Leinster in that Guinness Pro12 final.

"Saturday was a huge success story.

"It was sustained over a nine-month period. They played 22 games plus the semi-final and the final and scored 68 tries."

Johnstone points to Edinburgh's run to the final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup a month ago as a further signal that there are reasons to be positive after the disappointment of the national team's Six Nations whitewash.

"The pro teams have done it for Scotland this year and they have given an injection of optimism into the Scottish rugby-following public," said the Jedburgh resident.

"Glasgow's success will have boosted morale immensely.

"The players will get more self confidence from having come out as top dogs, winning the title with immense style and panache - four tries in the final, all of them beauties.

Commentator Bill Johnstone
Bill Johnstone was delighted to see Glasgow score four tries "with panache" against Munster

"They've used 52 players this season and they have needed them because there have been such international calls on that playing strength.

"They have recruited very well indeed.

"When the big guys have been away playing for Scotland, the younger fellas have taken their chances.

"The squad is made up of imports and indigenous Scots but it has been welded into one very big and successful rugby family. Full credit has to go to Gregor Townsend and his coaching team for that success."

With Al Kellock and Dougie Hall retiring and players such as Niko Matawalu,DTH van der Merwe,Jon Welsh and Sean Maitland leaving for new clubs, Johnstone believes Glasgow will have to work hard to add to the momentum that has been built at Scotstoun.

"They are losing names and bringing in new names," he said.

"The (signing of the) big Fijian Taqele Naiyaravoro will be selling season tickets already.

"He'll need to be - he is 19 stones and his grocery bill is going to be enormous!"

Top Stories