22nd Jan, 2019

Hogg urges Warriors to replicate Oyonnax win in return leg

Aaron Wise 14th Dec, 2017

WARRIORS head coach Carl Hogg has urged his side to replicate Saturday’s bonus-point victory over Oyonnax when they head to France in the return leg on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

The former Melrose, Edinburgh and Scotland back row says his side are in a strong position to qualify to the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup, having picked up two bonus-point victories over French sides Brive and Oyonnax and a losing bonus-point against Connacht.

But he is fully aware Warriors must manage their game in a similar fashion to Saturday’s 35-14 win when they travel to the Stade Charles-Mathon, in order to stay on the heels of Irish rivals Connacht, who currently sit three points above them at the summit of Pool 5.

“We were patient, we built our game and eventually built a score to come away with a bonus-point in the last 20 minutes,” said Hogg.

“It wasn’t a game where we pitched up and ran away with it. We had to sit and arm wrestle.

“We were only a couple of points up at half-time, but we said if we keep investing in the simple things then we’ll get our rewards in the second half, and that proved to be the case.

“The players did outstandingly well. It was a proper contest and they had to work hard for the victory.

“We’re in a very strong position now. Clearly we have to go to Oyonnax and pick up some points and a positive result and we still have Connacht to come at Sixways.

“Getting to the quarter-finals is still very much in the balance but we did our job (against Oyonnax at Sixways).

“It may come down to a point or two between us and Connacht, but we can’t look too far in front of ourselves as we have a tough task on Friday night.

“Historically French teams are always very strong at home, so we have to make sure we go there and manage the game in a very similar way to last weekend.”

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