Gregor Townsend was thrilled with his team’s decision-making and defensive effort as they secured a narrow 15-13 win in Montpellier.
Gregor Townsend was delighted with his team’s decision-making and defensive effort as they secured a narrow 15-13 win in Montpellier.
The win puts Glasgow at the top of Pool 4, one point clear of Toulouse, with the two sides set to face off twice in as many weeks in December.
Finn Russell’s boot proved to be the difference between the two sides, as he slotted five penalties, with Montpellier earning only a losing bonus point after a late penalty try.
And while the two free-scoring sides largely cancelled each other out when it came to scoring tries, Glasgow were able to grind out a vital win which leaves them well-placed to reach the knock-out stages for the first time in Europe’s top tier since 1997.
“We understood what this game meant. This was our first away game, Montpellier picked up a bonus point last week, Toulouse won today and could have been clear at the top of this group,” Townsend told the Press Association.
“We produced a huge defensive effort, and kept knocking Montpellier back, especially in our part of the field.
“This was Finn Russell’s first European start. He had a very mature performance, it was only his second start of the season, coming back from injury.
“He had learned a lot from his last game, some of his kicking and decision making was excellent, his composure for the goal-kicking was superb.
“I sort of had an insight to the French psyche this week and what we could expect on how Montpellier would try to assert their dominance, a lot of driving mauls, pressure in the scrum.
“We made good decisions when we had possession in the first half, and it gave us a little lead. It kept the pressure on Montpellier to do something, and they have the players to do so. But we defended really well.”