Gregor Townsend says goodbye with pride in club’s advance

Gregor Townsend pays tribute to the strong Glasgow support. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
Gregor Townsend pays tribute to the strong Glasgow support. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS
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It was with mixed emotions that interim Edinburgh coach Duncan Hodge spoke to the media after this match. He was thinking exactly the same thing the journalists were, had his team played like this in every match he might have taken the Edinburgh reins on a permanent basis.

“There is a tinge of frustration there because that a bit too little too late,” said Hodge. “Had they had some of that application and performed like that in some of those other games we would have been at least a few more wins and that breeds confidence and that is what we have struggled with over the last couple of months.”

Edinburgh arrived without their best player Hamish Watson, but with a simple and effective game plan. Tackle everything that moved and compete like Wolverines at the breakdown. They did exactly that and even if they paid the price of their over-enthusiasm in the form of two yellow cards and a string of penalties, it worked as Gregor Townsend conceded.

“We weren’t able to produce the quick ball we always aspire to, and that was a lot to do with what Edinburgh were doing in defence. Some of it not legal, and that led to a number of penalties and two yellow cards,” he said.

It hasn’t been a great league season for Glasgow who have lost six matches at their Scotstoun ground where they were well nigh invincible not so long ago. Townsend will point to the youthful nature of his side which may bode well for the future, No.8 Matt Fagerson is still a teenager, but nothing builds confidence like winning and nothing undermines a club’s unity quite as much as losing, especially to Edinburgh.

Glasgow enjoyed enough possession to win two matches but couldn’t execute in the red zone when the opportunity arose although the TMO wiped off not one but two Glasgow tries, Lee Jones sticking a toe in touch and Tommy Seymour failing to ground the ball.

Townsend was another with mixed emotions at the end of his five-year period of coaching Glasgow, disappointed to end on a loss, happy with what he has achieved.

“Today’s disappointment is going to drift away,” said the new Scotland coach. “This whole week has been more about reflection and how we are going to miss this place as coaches.

“Also there is pride about what the club has become and today was another example; brilliant atmosphere, excellent supporters and a stadium that now looks fit for rugby.

“I will love coming back here as a supporter.”