Townsend looks to build on second-half display

Gregor Townsend was disappointed after his side’s narrow defeat to Munster at Scotstoun last night, but insists the team will build on an encouraging second-half display.Townsend was disappointed with the first-half display at Scotstoun last night

A late Ian Keatley drop-goal consigned Glasgow to a 16-15 defeat, despite two second-half tries having put the Warriors in the driving seat as the game entered its closing stages.

Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org Townsend said: “I think it was quite similar to the Ulster game, in that we fought hard to get in front on the scoreboard only to lose out late on. Obviously it’s tougher to take when you’re ahead with just five minutes to go, but we were up against a good team.

“We were much improved in the second-half. The players showed a real desire to get points on the board, something that we were missing in the first-half as well as our accuracy. You get punished for that against a good team like Munster, so we’ll work out why that was. I thought Munster defended very well and were very physical around the breakdown.”

The Warriors were dealt a couple of injury blows in the process of last night's game, with both Peter Horne and Rory Hughes being forced to leave the field. Townsend is hopeful, though, that the pair will be back in action sooner rather than later.

He said: “We took a while to get over the disruption caused by Peter’s injury, but we reacted well in the second-half. Both he and Rory picked up knee injuries, just twisting them as they were being tackled. They’re in good spirits, though. We'll need to wait 48 hours to see how things settle, but it’s disappointing for them.

“They’re two of the hardest working players and to miss out on a chance to play a full part, having trained all week and full of confidence after being with Scotland, is tough to take. Hopefully they won’t miss too much rugby.”

Despite the narrow defeat, Townsend was quick to praise his players for their efforts.

He said: “I was very pleased for Ali Price – he worked very hard throughout the game and took his try really well. A number of players worked hard through the pain barrier as well. This club means a lot to them, and we got the reward from that in the second-half. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough.”

With the European Rugby Champions Cup double-header against Racing 92 next on the agenda for the Warriors, Townsend is aware of the need for his side to improve.

He added: “We know we have to be better when we face Racing. They’re one of the top teams in Europe, and will pose a different challenge than we’re used to. We need to get our preparation right, as well as transfer over what we’ve been doing in training onto the pitch.

“The players have trained really well recently, so we just need to make sure we set up the right circumstances to allow them to play with aggression and ambition.”