Pete Murchie insists Glasgow Warriors will be ignoring Sharks' position in the United Rugby Championship (URC) table ahead of their visit to Scotstoun on Friday night. 

The Glasgow assistant coach says the South African side's 13th-place league placing is not a true reflection of their ability. 

Minus many of their Springbok stars after the World Cup success, The Sharks found it difficult in the early part of the URC season and only had one win in the competition until last month.

They won two on the bounce by defeating Ulster and Edinburgh and have also reached the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-final after beating the capital club again on Saturday. 

READ MORE: Five things we learned as Edinburgh knocked out of Challenge Cup 

Murchie insists they are a far better team than their league position suggests. It’s hard to argue with that too given eight players who played against Edinburgh last Saturday were part of South Africa’s World Cup-winning squad last year.

Their full focus is now on the Challenge Cup though so head coach John Plumtree may opt to leave some of his star names at home to ensure they are fit and available for their semi-final clash with Clermont next month. 

Murchie expects a top team to travel, though, and said Glasgow will be looking more at their visitors' recent improved form rather than what happened earlier in the season. 

The former Scotland fullback said: “When you’re analysing a team you generally go off the most recent history anyway. It gives you the best idea of where they’re at as a collective.

"You might go back to a game where you played them because it can tell some stories but we always look at recent games.

Scotland Rugby News: Edinburgh suffered defeat in South Africa

“If you look at their team sheet, they shouldn’t be where they are in the URC and they aren’t playing like that at the moment. We’re disregarding where they are in the URC at the moment. They’ve got threats and are a danger.

“I think they’ve said they are going to make changes. What changes and who and how, we don’t know. The best thing we can do is concentrate on us.

“Whoever plays there is general themes there when they dip someone in or out, there is still the same general patterns of play. We can do our work like we normally would and concentrate on ourselves. You can do go down a rabbit hole trying to guess their team so we won’t do that.

“They’ve played Edinburgh in quick succession now. They’re playing a lot better, there is no coincidence when they are having a bit more consistency in their selection recently, a lot of their bigger names are starting to fire. They’ve won the last four."

Murchie also gave his assessment of the weekend's win over Edinburgh, who led at the break but were outmuscled in the second half by Eben Etzebeth and company.

He added: “It was a pretty scrappy game with a lot of penalties for either side. Edinburgh were in the game at half-time and the scoreline got away from them a little bit.

"They have a classical South African style with big forwards and a lot of backs who can cause problems with individual threats.

“A lot of their tries were very similar. It’s maybe not stringing 20 phases together but it’s wham bam and they’re in. They have serious wheels whether it’s at nine, on the wing or at 15. If you clock off or give them an opportunity they can punish you.

“Concentration is going to be huge this week. We have to stay on it for the full game and if we do our things right we can nullify threats and if we don’t we can get punished.”

READ MORE: Time is running out for current Scotland squad to win trophy, admits Sione Tuipulotu

Teams who travel to South Africa often point out the difficulties of adapting to the weather.

This time, though, it’s Sharks who have to figure out how best to cope with the change in conditions as they travel to Scotland.

Murchie does believe the South African side will be keeping a close eye on the forecast over the next few days. 

He added: “We’ve had enough rain and wind this season. If we didn’t think it would be similar the other way around we would probably be slightly naïve. I’m sure it’s a shock to go from 26, 27 or 30 degrees to six or seven.

That’s going to be a different feel for the body so I’m sure they will be checking the weather apps and seeing what it’s like.

“It’s not something we can control. We want to play in nice weather as well, we can’t control the weather and we’ve got good experience if it’s not particularly nice and how to play in it.

"The good thing about our pitch is no matter how bad it is you can still get a level of play out of it, it’s not a mud bath and you’re not rolling around unable to tell who’s who.”

Scotland Rugby News: Huw Jones

Friday's clash will come too soon for injured trio Huw Jones, Richie Gray and Sione Vailanu, but Murchie said some of those on the sidelines are not far from making their returns. 

Gray hasn't played since the opening round of the Six Nations, while Jones was injured in Scotland's championship finale in Dublin.

The Warriors assistant continued: “There’s a decent cohort who are not a million miles away but at the same time they aren’t imminent, but there’s a big group who are coming along nicely.

"If we go all the way to the final we still have eight games to play so we’re going to need everyone. When they do get fit they will be a boost.”