GLASGOW WARRIORS are really motoring at the moment, with 12 wins, one draw and just one loss from their last 14 matches, stretching back to late November.

That run has put them in strong positions in the hunt for silverware in two competitions. They have a Challenge Cup quarter-final against the Lions at Scotstoun coming up this Saturday night, while they need one win from their final two matches of the regular season to book a home draw in the URC play-offs.

Last weekend’s 73-33 win over the Dragons showcased just how deadly the team can be in attack, with Warriors exhibiting a combination of power up front and incisiveness across the backline as they helped themselves to 11 tries in total, reaching their highest ever points total in a single match. However, assistant coach Pete Horne pointed out that five tries were conceded, despite the opposition playing more than half the match with 14 men following the red-carding of Aki Seiuli – and he has warned the Glasgow players that the season could still end in a similar fashion to last year, when Danny Wilson lost his job as head coach following a dreadful run of seven losses in 10 matches.

“When you look at things like the most improved player for the awards dinner, it’s crazy where some of the guys have come from since pre-season,” he said. “It has been a great year in that sense, and now everyone needs to be really focussed on the fact that we are a good team – but we haven’t won anything yet.

“There is a real steely determination to make sure we aren’t content with what we have done so far,” he added. “Franco [Smith, who replaced Wilson as head coach last summer] summed it up when he asked: ‘What’s different between last season and this season up to now?’ And the answer is: ‘Nothing’.

“If we bomb out of the Challenge Cup against the Lions on Saturday and lose our last couple of games in the URC then it will end with a similar sort of feel to last year.”

“It would be a massive occasion if we were to make the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, but Franco has been really good about not looking too far ahead,” Horne added. “He’s all about process, so let’s go smash the Lions this weekend and see what happens.”

While the team need to be alive to pressure they are under to continue performing well, Horne stressed that the players must also enjoy the experience of playing in big games week-on-week.

“This was always my favourite bit of the season,” said the former Glasgow and Scotland centre explained. “We’re getting to the tail end, with huge games on two fronts – so this is exactly where you want to be. Training is a bit spicier, everyone is on it and desperate to play, nobody wants to be rotated out anymore, nobody is looking for a rest. Everybody is gunning for it and hopefully we can sell out the stadium this weekend. The boys will be right up there.”

Warriors suffered that only defeat since the end of November against the Lions away in mid-February – but Horne says he is confident that it will be a different story on Saturday.

“We have away a couple of soft tries against the Dragons last weekend, but that’s not a bad thing in the sense that it meant we could come in and be pretty firm with the guys at training on Monday morning,” he reasoned. “Franco spoke and said we have only lost five games this season and Lions are one of the teams who have beaten us, so it will be a real challenge.

“They are so unpredictable, they’re loose as anything with dangerous runners. The tries they scored against us last time came from absolutely nothing – just someone beating a couple of guys and making an 80-yard line-break. But it won’t be at altitude and 30 degrees this time, so it will hopefully suit our boys a little bit more.

“The good thing is that we want

to play rugby, so hopefully coming into the tail end of the season with the better Scottish weather, it will allow our skills to be a little bit sharper. Fingers crossed it will suit our game.

“When you look at our squad on paper, we absolutely [should be in a position like this],” he concluded. “At the start of the season we were pretty excited but there has been some people who have really surprised everyone, they maybe just needed a new lease of life.

“Last year it was a case of ‘that should never have happened and we can’t let it happen again’, so it wasn’t that we needed to change our expectations – this is where we believe we should be.

“It is exciting when you look at the team and some of the guys we are leaving out – we’re in a good spot.”