Glasgow Warriors are on a definite high. Fresh from their best-ever Magners League finish, the Warriors will arrive in Swansea on Friday full of optimism.
While the established trio of Leinster, Munster and the Ospreys would have been in most people’s predicted top four prior to the start of the season, finding Scotland’s second city outfit among that list would have been much more of a rarity.
But having led the league for large parts of the season and beaten every other team apart from this weekend’s opponents, it should be no surprise that Glasgow are battling for Magners League glory.
"I’m really proud to be captain of Glasgow, to be in the semi-final and to be pushing to get into the final," said skipper Ali Kellock, who played in 13 regular season games this term and continues to be the rock upon which solid foundations are being built.
"It’s a great honour. We’ve worked hard all season, targeted getting into the top four and put ourselves in a good position at Christmas.
"We always said that there would be stages in the season where you could sit back and say, ‘Right, this is where we are and this is what we need to do’. Thankfully, after the Six Nations, we pushed on and did exactly what we needed to do and now we’re in the semi-finals, which is great for the club.
"The Play-Offs give you a definite target. From a few weeks ago, it’s been quite apparent that we’d need to win quite a lot of our remaining games.
"We had three home games in a row having been away from home a lot in the first half of the season. Home games aren’t a given but we worked incredibly hard in that spell and got the wins.
"Then it was the icing on the cake to go down to the Scarlets and get the five points. It’s a difficult place to play and we’re pleased that we got those points.
"The other thing about that game is that we can learn lessons from some of our defensive stuff and some of our contact work and take them into the semi-final."
The suggestion from within the Glasgow camp is that, despite all their attacking brilliance in Llanelli, the Scots will need an improved all-round display if they are to upset the Ospreys on Friday. But improvement is what the Warriors have been striving for all along.
Always capable of beating the very best, Sean Lineen’s men have finally found the type of consistency that leads to success.
And having secured a semi-final berth against the odds, Kellock and co won’t be content to sit back on their laurels and congratulate themselves on a fantastic season to date.
Glasgow want glory, not well-meaning plaudits for being Magners League nearly men.
"I’ve been here for four years and I want to build something at Glasgow," added Kellock.
"The crowd’s are getting better and better, our squad’s getting better and better and this is just another step forward in providing what will be a very, very good team in Glasgow.
"You’ve got to get success to breed success. That’s been shown this season with the crowd number’s going up and the players we’ve managed to hang on to. It’s been difficult keeping a lot of guys at the club because there’s been a lot of interest because we’ve being going so well, but it’s fantastic that we have done.
"You look at the other teams who are around and about us and you can see how good the Magners League is.
"There’s only been two or three teams that have done consistently well in this league over the last few years but, now that we’ve got into the Play-Offs, we want to continue to push on and stay there for a number of years."