Gregor Townsend hails Glasgow’s best win of the season
Glasgow Warriors head coach delighted with "most complete performance" after five-try 37-10 Champions Cup win over Bath
Gregor Townsend hailed Glasgow Warriors’ best win of the season as they routed Bath Rugby 37-10 in the opening round of their European campaign.
Admitting the match would have been great to watch for the neutral, the Warriors head coach was delighted with the bonus-point win over the much-fancied England side, who were shut out from the 11th minute of the match having twice taken the lead.
Townsend said: “In a game that two very good teams are up against each other, playing attacking rugby, there will be some errors, but we’re delighted with the performance of the team, the intent, our defence after the 11th minute.
“This season, it’s the most complete performance.”
Despite the Warriors dominating the scoreboard, it was the visitors to Scotstoun Stadium who had the upper hand in many of the game stats, enjoying more possession and territory as well as having more success at the set-pieces.
But their demise ultimately came at the breakdown, where their depleted back-row was shown up and outmatched by a ferocious Warriors defence.
There was also a warning for future opponents, including French clubs Montpellier and Toulouse, also in Pool 4.
Townsend conceded that their performance could have been better, with 13 turnovers and 12 penalties conceded as well as 17 missed tackles giving Bath plenty of chances to claw their way back into the game.
“There was a period in the middle of the second half where we kicked away possession, maybe thinking subconsciously that we could defend the lead, but after that we attacked, so that was great to see,” he added.
“At the beginning of the second half, we were on their line and were disappointed we didn’t score, which would have been our fourth try.
“For the next 15 minutes, we didn’t see much of the ball, so there were opportunities, and we’ll look at the ones we could have taken.
“I thought they were dangerous at times. I thought there were a few breakaways at the end of the game. [Kyle] Eastmond is a big player for them in the way they attack. Maybe in the second half they missed him, but we know we missed a few tackles there because [Horacio] Agulla, [Ollie] Devoto, [Jonathan] Joseph and [Anthony] Watson made a lot of yards.”
Scrum-halves Henry Pyrgos and Niko Matawalu took the plaudits, but Townsend was keen to point out the effort of his 23-man squad, with his second-half replacements stemming the tie as Bath – led by veteran Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer – looked to get back into the match, while the Warriors backline was superb throughout.
“The players who came on in the front row had a big job to do, DTH [van der Merwe] coming on at half-time – I thought the whole squad effort was excellent today,” he said.
“Niko’s so keen to play. Henry was rightly awarded man of the match – he had a fantastic game and, to have someone like Niko who has that energy when maybe the game breaks up, we know how good our scrum-halves are, and they’re both playing well.”