Glasgow’s Heineken woes won’t go away

Gregor Townsend: Proud, if frustrated. Picture: SNS/SRU
Gregor Townsend: Proud, if frustrated. Picture: SNS/SRU
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On MY way to Scotstoun yesterday afternoon I was accosted by a man walking a dog who asked if I was going to watch Glasgow. I confirmed as much and he said: “Good luck…they might need it!” They did.

Glasgow did so much right on the day but somehow finished on the wrong side of the scoreboard. The home team scored the only try of the match, they looked by far the more dangerous team with the ball in hand and they matched their vaunted opponents in the physical battle for most, if not quite all, of this game.

“Mostly pride,” was Gregor Townsend’s response when asked about his post-match emotions.

“We played some really good rugby today, we showed tremendous effort. We also showed tremendous character as well to come back from 15-3 to almost get that draw. I thought there was a lot of good rugby, there was a lot of attacking intent in the first half. Defensively we were very solid throughout the game, we really put them under pressure. The difference was a few penalties and obviously us not taking our opportunities.”

Glasgow targeted this Heineken Cup at the beginning of the season so to finish up with two wins from six is disappointing, even if they improved on last season’s one victory. Townsend knows the campaign didn’t slip away yesterday, instead he blamed his side’s continued woes in Europe on those twin defeats in the middle of the group stages.

“We weren’t able to play as well against Cardiff and that is what cost us our place (in the quarter-finals),” said the coach, referring to home and away losses to the Blues. “There was always an outside chance today but we were on the back foot because of our results against Cardiff.”

The coach talked up his side’s attack for 40 minutes in Toulon, their ferocious defensive tenacity yesterday at Scotstoun and pointed out that they had beaten a very useful Exeter side both home and away. Still, Townsend must have been frustrated by the fact that his wayward side produced their best, rather than their worst, against the Blues?

“Not at this moment. I feel pride,” he insisted. “I feel that we’ve shown what we are about these last two games especially. It was incredibly frustrating at the time.”

It still is, for long-suffering Glasgow fans, it still is.