Gregor Townsend: We must turn close defeats into victories

Castres flanker Yannick Caballero scores the winning try yesterday. Picture: Getty

Castres flanker Yannick Caballero scores the winning try yesterday. Picture: Getty

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GLASGOW coach Gregor Townsend says his side must learn to turn narrow defeats into victories if they are to succeed in the Heineken Cup.

In yesterday’s 10-8 defeat at Castres, Ruaridh Jackson narrowly missed the chance to win the game when his late penalty bounced back off a post. That left the Warriors winless from four games in Pool Four but the game against Northampton was tight, as have been both home and away encounters with Castres.

Glasgow led 8-3 at half-time yesterday but Townsend was left to rue his side’s inability to hold on to the advantages they have gained in Europe.

“We have been very competitive in every game and were 15-0 up at Northampton and we were up in the game against Ulster,” he said. “We have had two close games against Castres and we need to put those nearly wins into victories.

“Castres are fourth in the French league and have an excellent home record and I think that is seven wins in a row they have put together. We knew how hard it would be, but we believed in the team we had and we put them under pressure.

“For large parts of the game we took the game to Castres. In the second-half we struggled to get the same amount of possession from line outs. I was really proud of the players for their effort and ambition and we moved the ball really well. We looked dangerous.”

The Warriors paid the price for ill-discipline as lock Tom Ryder and centre Byron McGuigan were both sent to the sin bin before Yannick Caballero scored the winning try.

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