Last season, Glasgow’s European dreams were all but over after just 40 minutes of rugby when Toulon ran riot in the south of France, and yesterday afternoon at Scotstoun Bath got an inkling of how they must have felt, writes Iain Morrison.
The English club were second best in almost every department yesterday. It was Glasgow’s biggest winning margin in Europe and still Duncan Weir left a few points on the table by missing three kicks at goal.
Warriors coach Gregor Townsend didn’t attempt to hide his pleasure at the performance. It was, he said, the best his team had played so far this season, despite a few mistakes.
“In a game when two very good teams are playing attacking rugby there will be some errors, but we are obviously delighted with the performance,” said Townsend. “The intent we played with and obviously our defence, after the 11th minute we didn’t concede a try, so it was a superb performance.”
Although the final score was impressive there were moments when the balance could have tilted Bath’s way. Two attacking lineouts by the visitors were repulsed in the first half when it was a three-point game and, after the break, Euan Murray’s tackle dislodged the ball from a Bath player as he dived to score.
“I am sure that, from the Bath coach’s point of view, losing the ball going over the line is disappointing, but the tackle that Euan Murray put in on the line is great to see and it really gives you psychological boost,” added Townsend. “They were dangerous at times. [Kyle] Eastmond is a big player for them… maybe in the second half they missed him but we know we missed a few tackles.”
With another tough encounter to come against Montpellier on Saturday, Tommy Seymour took a bang on his knee while scoring Glasgow’s third try and replacement flanker Tyrone Holmes injured his shoulder in the final minutes of the match.
Neither man will be hurting as much as Bath’s pride is today.