Franco Smith promised his Glasgow players could enjoy “a wee dram of whisky and a cigar” after becoming URC champions.

Warriors put on a dogged and determined display as they claimed the club’s first trophy for nine years by beating the Bulls at their Loftus Versfeld home.

It has been a thrilling playoff run for the Scotstoun side who defeated the 2022 champions Stormers in the quarter-finals, knocked out last year’s winners Munster in Limerick and then got the better of the Bulls in front of 50,00 hostile fans in Pretoria.

READ MORE: Five things we learned as Glasgow crowned URC champions

Smith, as befits his forward-planning nature, was already looking to next season as he spoke to former Warrior, Ryan Wilson, on Premier Sports after the match.

But the South African did admit he and his players would enjoy the celebration.

He said: “The boys have played well tonight and bought in to what we wanted.

“The half time chat was easy. We knew we had a good plan for the second half and they stuck to the script.

"There's a lot to be said about the hard edge of the European teams and we brought it tonight, especially in the last 10 to 15 minutes.

“We defended our line well and applied a lot of pressure to the maul. The boys fronted up to a very strong South African team with 50,000 people behind them. They can be very proud.

“This team shouldn't be done after tonight. We've got the building blocks to go further still. But I promised the boys at the start of last season we'd have a wee dram and a cigar [if we won the title] so we'll enjoy that tonight.”

READ MORE: Glasgow Warriors boss Franco Smith says URC win 'pinnacle'

Warriors’ number eight Jack Dempsey was one of several players to make a substantial contribution to the second-half comeback. But for once the usually gregarious Australian-born forward was lost for words.

He said: “I'm speechless, I'm without speech. What a game. I'm so proud of the boys.

“To come all this way after Munster last week - that was like a grand final. Then we have to come all the way here in six days and play another grand final in front of 50,000.”

Huw Jones was another who played his part by scoring what turned out to be the decisive third try.

Huw Jones celebrates his try with Zander FagersonHuw Jones celebrates his try with Zander Fagerson (Image: Getty Images)

The Scotland centre said: “It's incredible. What a shift from the boys, that's such a cliche but I don't know what to say. This is everything. Coming away to South Africa - we don't complain about travel – but this is a tough place to play regardless.

“The Bulls were immense. What a game. We had to dig deep in those defensive sets. We pulled through and kept them out.”

Man of the Match Matt Fagerson added: “It's something we've been working towards all season and to do it in a place as historic as this in front of all these fans is, I can't put it into words.

"I think in the last three or four games, we've really taken a liking to knock-out rugby in a sense of we're not overplaying the ball and when you've got a kicker like George Horne, it makes things so much easier. We went the hard way but we wouldn't change it for the world."

And skipper Kyle Steyn said: “I'm so proud of the guys. Credit to the Bulls, they came out firing in front of their fans and put us under pressure.

"I'm so proud of the belief of my guys, no matter what's been thrown at us in the last three weeks. No matter what's been thrown at us, they've stuck at it.

The Warriors celebrate their title win The Warriors celebrate their title win (Image: INPHO/URC)

“The defensive shift at the end there, some of the hits up front... I'm over the moon. To go into half-time 13-7 down, we'd have taken that after the first half we had. That settled us.

"We started the second half really well. We took the intensity up a notch and I'm just chuffed to bits. Franco has been amazing for us. Anyone can see by the way he does things that he does it with conviction. It's easy for guys to follow him.

“It was tough in the beginning but he stayed true and consistent. He got the buy-in from players and we've seen the results.”

An emotional Josh McKay admitted this was the stuff of dreams.

READ MORE: Josh McKay hoping to realise boyhood dream by beating Bulls

“These are the games you want to play in,” said the full-back. “As a young kid growing up in New Zealand, you watched big games at Loftus, getting up at 4am to watch them.

"To play in one and win a final with the Glasgow brothers is unbelievable.