RaboDirect Pro12: Townsend hails Glasgow’s final feat
RaboDirect Pro12: Gregor Townsend hails Glasgow Warriors after beating Munster to reach the final
Gregor Townsend praised his squad’s effort as Glasgow Warriors became the first Scottish club to reach the RaboDirect Pro12 final.
The Warriors came from 7-0 down to win 16-15 against three-time champions Munster to win their ninth successive game and set up a final against reigning champions Leinster at the RDS on 31 May.
It had to be a 23-man effort and I’m glad that all 23 men contributed
“To be involved in a game like that, when the players put everything into it but also show skill and ambition involved, is fantastic,” said Warriors head coach Townsend.
“The performances of all 23 were really good—that was a huge squad effort and some of the subs made massive contributions.
“It had to be a 23-man effort and I’m glad that all 23 men contributed.”
It was the first time the Warriors has hosted a semi-final, having lost three times on the road in the last four years, twice to Leinster and, in front of a record crowd for a match in Glasgow, Townsend was delighted with the manner of the win.
“Munster played top-quality rugby,” he added. “They came at us right away and were 7-0 up when we were playing with the wind behind us was always going to be very tough and they carried on playing well, but we played well as well.
“It was important that we got ourselves ahead because Munster have been in these situations for the last 10 or 15 years and when they get ahead, it’s very tough to get that lead back. It was a top-quality match to be involved in and to get the win is fantastic.
“We just had to keep our discipline when it got to one point ahead. We were still playing attacking rugby but, in a game like that, one penalty for offside or not being at the ruck at the right time could have cost us, but the effort in defence to keep them out at the end was superb.”
Townsend admitted that reaching the final was the proudest moment of his coaching career, but conceded there was still work to do if they are to spoil a farewell party for the retiring Brian O’Driscoll and Leo Cullen at their home ground.
“Thankfully we have got two weeks because if it had been a final next week, we would have found it tough to get the bodies back out there,” he said.
“Going to Leinster is something we’re all looking forward to. We’ve played a semi-final there last year and the year before, we played a close game against them this year, and it’s certainly a place we got out and play good rugby.”