Victory with flair is key to fans' payback

THE test I have set my team for tomorrow night's Heineken Cup with Castres at Scotstoun is two-fold.

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They should provide me and the fans with a response to the defeat at Munster last time out in the PRO12.

We must also produce a victory and performance to go with it that is fitting for a home Heineken Cup tie at Scotstoun.

It's not overstating matters to say the Munster game was our most disappointing display of the season.

Although there was some good stuff at Thomond Park, the effort and commitment I expect was not there.

I have made sure during training that everyone is aware that is not acceptable.

But the fact we have a Castres side who are fourth in the French top 14 coming here with the reputation of having the best scrum in the French game has been a powerful focus on our build-up.

With this in mind, it has been a boost to complete the signing of Mike Cusack on a new three-year deal. We will need another big game from Mike at tight-head tomorrow.

His consistency this season has been fantastic, especially since he has been involved in every game.

His outstanding contribution in our Heineken Cup ties with Ulster and Northampton were huge but as a unit our pack will need to be at their best.

There will also be a place for our new signing from New Zealand, Sean Maitland.

He will start on the bench and has every chance of game time.

The challenge I have faced as a coach in making my selection for this game has been over balancing the need to give those that failed to produce their best at Thomond the chance to do it now.

I will also give those who have been pushing for a starting game the opportunity they deserve – and Scott Wight falls into that category.

I believe we have a starting XV and bench that is almost as strong as I could have picked and one that will give us the chance of putting the points on the board we need.

We know this tie represents what is basically our final chance to make an impression on this year's Heineken Cup.

It is going to take a big effort to get the better of Castres but if we achieve that, it will give us the springboard for our trip to the Stade Pierre-Antoine we badly need.

So far in the Heineken Cup we have not had the reward we deserved. Tomorrow night is the chance to put that right.

The last thing we want is to be going to France on Sunday week still having nothing to show for our efforts.

The players' pride has been hurt by our defeat at Munster and that has been a strong motivation ahead.

This is a game where we can leave nothing in the locker and one from which I want no regrets.

We must produce a performance and with the help of the Warriors support I believe we can do that.


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