“We are hugely disappointed because we put a lot of effort into that game,” he continued. “We knew how important this game was for us and for the club as a whole. So to lose it in the last seven or eight minutes is even more disappointing. But the better team won. At times we played well, especially at the beginning of the second half, when we did things that we set out to do but just on occasion we weren’t at our best.”
Glasgow needed to bring their best game to beat a resurgent Munster but as their coach said, they were below par on the day. Glasgow’s forwards put in a monumental shift against a much vaunted Munster pack but the backs proved unable to unlock the visitors’ watertight defence.
The very fact that this game was an arm wrestle tells you all you need to know because Glasgow were unable to impose their high-tempo game on the opposition.
“There is a reason for that,” argued Townsend. “They have a very good defence and we had to find other ways of getting control which I think we did in the second half. There was definitely an upturn of passing, we were shifting the ball, and made a few tackle breaks and line breaks in the second half.
“The difference between the two teams was what happened within the 22s. I felt that they worked really well for their try, obviously getting a yellow card [for Hogg]. I think they had a penalty advantage from the next lineout drive.
“On the few occasions we got in the 22 they defended really well, better than we attacked.”