Elated Townsend hails departing players

Date published: April 30 2016

Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend was elated with his side’s performance in their 70-10 win over Zebre, hailing the atmosphere at a sold-out Scotstoun.

Speaking after his side’s record-breaking victory, Townsend told glasgowwarriors.org: “We’re obviously thinking about our individuals that won’t be here next season and I’m so proud of the way they played tonight. The atmosphere was excellent tonight – it really showed the connection between the supporters and the players.

“The first half wasn’t as good as we would have liked, but the second half was so much better and some of the tries we scored were great to see. It was one of those special nights at Scotstoun.”

Townsend also praised the efforts of those leaving the club at the end of the season, as Leone Nakarawa, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Glenn Bryce and Duncan Weir all crossed for tries. 

“They’ll be as determined to play in the next few weeks as anyone else, to represent the club they’ve played with such pride for over the years," he said.

"We’re really pleased they managed to show themselves in a positive light. Sometimes the game doesn’t go your way, but tonight it couldn’t have gone any better for them.”

With a home play-off now riding on the result of next week’s match with Connacht, Townsend is well aware of the challenge his side will face. 

“We always knew it was going to be a shoot-out against Connacht," he added.

"They’re an excellent team. They play really open rugby with some similar traits to us in how they play. The Sportsground is a tough place to play with a noisy atmosphere. They’ve been up there all year for a reason, and we’ve got to work really hard to prepare for them.

“There’s no more added incentive than knowing we’ll be back here if we win next week. We’ve got to prepare for the opponent ahead. It will be excellent to be back here, but if it doesn’t go our way, we’ll be focused on getting the result away from home.”

With the win marking the final home game of the regular season, Townsend paid tribute to the efforts of everyone at the club. 

“It’s been a huge squad effort," he said. 

"People have talked about the challenges we’ve faced this season with the Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations, but I think some of our best rugby was played during those periods by players not necessarily involved now.

“We’ve only had one game out of the 21 we’ve played this season where we haven’t picked up a point of any kind, so it’s a real credit to the 57 players that have been involved this season and the staff at the club to have kept that standard up all season.”