To paraphrase the great Sir Alex Ferguson, “Rugby! Bloody hell!”

And to me that encapsulates what we watched on Saturday night. It was the cliched rollercoaster of emotions. A proper old-fashioned knockout game of rugby. Cagey in the first 40 giving way to two sides giving it everything to progress. It was fascinating to watch.

The first thing I’d like to mention is the weather. I have never been so cold in June before! 

Wind and rain is probably the last things the Stormers players wanted to see when they came off the bus, the first thing they saw being my son handing out fist bumps to the visitors (yes sometimes he just doesn’t know whether to support Scottish or South African interests!), and the weather played a part in the game.

Kicks went astray, they held up in the wind and then made kicking for the posts something of a lottery (more on that later).

But this was cagey stuff. Neither side looked close to scoring a try first half as they fronted up and played in the middle of the pitch. Manie Libbok was content to stick as many high balls into the Glasgow sky and let his wingers have a go at catching them; Tom Jordan tried to play for territory to get that rolling maul working.

READ MORE: Glasgow's URC dream goes on as they stun Stormers to reach semi-finals

These games are often about who handles the pressure better and who takes their chances so with George Horne’s boot working perfectly, it was up to Libbok to ensure he did the same for his side.

Now far be it for me to criticise a Springbok World Cup winner (I’ll do it anyway)  but he’s flaky from the tee at best, and this was not his best.

He missed two penalties in the first half. It would have been level at half-time had he kicked those. He then missed the conversion from Loader’s try, and the conversion from De Wet’s score.

Ben Loader's try dragged Stormers into the game, but Manie Libbok's missed kicks proved costlyBen Loader's try dragged Stormers into the game, but Manie Libbok's missed kicks proved costly (Image: SNS)

It’s all hypothetical I know and in no way takes away from what I’m about to say about the Warriors, but had he made all those, it’s 13-20 with 14 minutes to go.

We could have overturned that, but think of the psychological advantage it would have given them.

But this was probably the best all-round Warriors performance of the season. They fronted up, they tackled hard, they conceded less penalties, they missed fewer tackles, beat more defenders, had more possession, more clean breaks and, most importantly, scored more points.

And ultimately that’s the stat we all care about. This was not the naïve Glasgow we have seen previously in knockout games, this was a side who were smart, disciplined, and effective when they needed to be.

READ MORE: Glasgow Warriors player ratings in Stormers quarter-final win 

There was no lack of killer instinct, there never is with Glasgow, but there was patience to what they did. Against Zebre we rushed so many plays and did so many silly things.

This was different. nothing silly, only patient build up and go for the throat when the chance presented.

You know what you’re getting with a South African side. A great big pack, there to bully, harass and tenderise their opponents. They don’t ask, they take. But the Warriors refused to yield. They would not be bullied, bent or broken.

Another 80-minute shift from big Zander, who was absolutely solid in the scrum.

Zander Fagerson put in a huge shift for GlasgowZander Fagerson put in a huge shift for Glasgow (Image: SNS)

The back row, Dempsey battering Boks where he could, looking for brick walls to run into, Darge there to disrupt and Matt Fagerson covering every piece of turf like his life depended on it.

Then go into the backs. Jordan won the battle at 10, George’s Man of the Match performance, Steyn and Seb causing mayhem on the wings and McKay ensured that mullet got a fair bit of wind through it as he ran from deep whenever he could.

The style of a win in a play-off match isn’t necessarily the important thing. It’s the win that counts at the end of the 80 minutes, but this ticked both boxes.

It was a win and a win that gives hope moving forward.

And we’ll need that hope because there’s a massive test still to come…