Daryl Issues Stark Warning

Daryl Gibson
Glasgow Warriors centre Daryl Gibson is warning his sides Pool 4 opponents to write them off at their peril.

Daryl Gibson - a Heineken Cup finalist with Leicester Tigers last May - is now back in the hunt for more tournament honours with the Warriors and warning the Warriors" Pool 4 opponents to write them off at their peril.

All Blacks international centre Gibson, who also tasted Heineken Cup action with Bristol back in 2002, is enjoying a new lease of life in Scotland and believes the Warriors class of 2008 could become only the second Scottish team to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Saracens (15 points) and Biarritz Olympique (13 points) clash at Vicarage Road on Saturday while the Warriors (11 points) travel to Italy to take on Viadana at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella in what is still very much a three-horse race.

"I am really enjoying it in Glasgow - though it is a lot colder than I am used to - and the rugby is going fairly well and we are putting in some pretty decent performances," he said, "and the big thing is we are still very much alive in the Heineken Cup.

"Obviously I have built up a special feeling for the Heineken Cup over the years and it really is a great tournament - you can tell that by the number of southern hemisphere players who come north to play in the Heineken Cup.

"It would mean a great deal to us and be a massive compliment to the team if we can become only the second Scottish team to qualify for the knock-out stages, particularly as we are in a group with two of Europe's glamour sides and we are still in a position to possibly qualify for the quarter-finals.

Image"Naturally we appreciate that the outcome between Saracens and Biarritz on Saturday is crucial to the group but we can only concentrate on what we can actually influence.

'that means going to Viadana and, hopefully, not only getting a win, but also a bonus point to set us up for the return against Saracens six days later.

"However, both Saracens and Biarritz struggled in their matches at Viadana - there was only eight points in it on both occasions - and they gave us a good run for our money in Glasgow. I guess that Glasgow and Viadana perhaps have the similarity in that other teams under-estimate us but they do that at their peril.

"Viadana are well organised and have some very accomplished players on their team sheet, including the likes of All Blacks Dion Waller and Sam Harding, who I know well from our playing days in New Zealand.

'they also have a Kiwi coach in Jim Love so that gives you some idea of their approach and they have proved a particularly tough side to beat on their home ground.

"But we have improved over the last six months - particularly our defence - and shown we can be truly competitive in the Heineken Cup."