Strength in depth pleases Townsend

Gregor Townsend was proud of his team's performance in their 45-10 victory over Zebre at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday night.Gregor Townsend highlighted a num,her of positives following Friday night's win over Zebre

A crucial factor in the win was the strength in depth of the squad being utilised, with a number of younger players being given an opportunity in front of the Scotstoun faithful and Townsend says that bodes well for the future.

Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org he said: “Matt Fagerson showed he can play at this level. Matt Smith and Scott Cummings were in the under-20s last season and that is a real positive for the club and its future.

"Nick Grigg has been great throughout the season, especially since Christmas.

"He times his runs well and is difficult to tackle because he runs so hard and he really fights to get through the tackle. He has built up a good relationship with Sam (Johnson) and it was great to see them working well outside Peter (Horne).

"I was really pleased with Sam Johnson. The timing of his injury meant he just missed out on selection for Connacht leading into Saracens and Munster so he has had to wait for an opportunity. I thought he played really well and made a couple of excellent breaks and tackled hard.

"It was Leonardo Sarto's first game back from injury, so we weren't expecting him to play 80 minutes but he did.

"He was really looking for work so it is pleasing he got through the game in good condition and he will be very confident now he has got that game under his belt, likewise with Greg Peterson who played a lot of good rugby for us last season and has also come back from injury.

"The bench really helped too. When three of the front five came on and pushed Zebre back at the first scrum, to Matt Smith getting his hands on the ball and getting a couple of tries to Sean Lamont coming on and I thought Lewis Wynne looked really busy when he came on too."

The Warriors scored seven tries on the night and Townsend says he was pleased with the way the players approached the match.

"It was a good performance. There are always areas you want to improve, so we will look at the review this week, but for a team that has never played together I thought the mindset was really good,” he said.  

"We took the game to the opposition, we played at tempo and there was defending to do especially at the beginning of the game, but the players kept to their systems and put in really good low tackles.

"It was pleasing that we had the wind behind us in the first-half so we certainly wanted to create some chances and play a lot of the rugby in the Zebre half, so to score four tries was great.

"Sometimes when you score four tries and get the bonus point the intensity drops off a little, but I thought at times in the second-half we really lifted the intensity and were looking for more tries."

A number of Glasgow's Scotland internationals earned a night off, but Townsend is looking forward to them returning this week.

He added: "The Scotland guys deservedly had some time off last week after a tough 6 Nations and then our games which followed.

"They will be back in tomorrow and we're giving the guys who played on Friday a couple more days’ rest and then we have a good preparation window for the Leinster game a week on Friday.

"As a coach I always look forward to taking on Leinster, who have been one of the best teams in Europe, if not the best team in Europe over the last five years on their own patch.

"They play really positive rugby so we have got to go there and play really well and it would be fantastic if we could produce a winning performance there, as we build up to the second-leg of the 1872 Cup the following weekend."