Saracens prepared for a battle with Warriors
PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 March 2019
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Sarries beat Glasgow in Janaury, but lock Will Skelton unsure impact that will have on Saturday’s meeting
Will Skelton believes Saracens’ recent pool-stage win over Glasgow Warriors will have little bearing on Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final between the sides.
The north Londoners turn their attentions to European competition this weekend and welcome the Guinness Pro14 outfit to Allianz Park for their last-eight tie.
Sarries and Warriors are no strangers to each other having both progressed to the knockout stages from Pool Three.
The Allianz Park outfit won both of their games against Glasgow, including a 38-19 victory at home at the end of January.
With that result still fresh in the mind, many would expect that to give Saracens a boost ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final.
Lock Skelton, however, insists that is not the case and feels the very nature of a match in the last eight makes it a different situation entirely.
“It’s a quarter-final and it’s knockout footy now, so you know that Glasgow are going to come at you hard, and we have to do the same,” said the Australia international.
Skelton was speaking after Saracens recorded a 27-20 success in a home Gallagher Premiership fixture against Harelquins.
The north Londoners stuttered their way through the first half at London Stadium and could only muster two Alex Lozowski penalties to trail 17-6 at the break.
Sarries were much improved after the interval as Skelton led the charge with two tries, while Schalk Burger also crossed as Sarries came from behind to win.
Unsurprisingly, Skelton was named man of the match for his efforts in the derby-day delight and the forward also received praise from director of rugby Mark McCall.
“Will was brilliant in the second half and it was almost like he decided he would be the difference for us,” said McCall.
“When he carries like he did and has the kind of industry he had in the opposition 22, he’s a tough man to stop. I was chuffed with how he played.”
Skelton will hope he can cross the whitewash again this weekend as he looks to help Saracens progress in the Heineken Champions Cup.
But as the lock says himself, it will not be easy for Sarries, even if they have beaten Glasgow twice already this season.