Planet Rugby

Townsend eyes strong Euro finish

06th January 2014 09:56


Gregor Townsend Glasgow Warriors 2013

Determined: Gregor Townsend

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend is determined to see his side finish a disappointing European campaign on a high.

The Warriors' hopes of qualification from their Heineken Cup pool were ended by a brace of uninspiring defeats to Cardiff Blues - two games from which they could have emerged victorious.

Glasgow have never reached the knockout stages of the pan-European tournament, and Townsend is keen to ensure his charges put past failures behind them to round off their pool fixtures in style.

The Scots travel to Sandy Park on Saturday to take on Exeter Chiefs - a side over which they triumphed at Scotstoun in Round 2 - before welcoming Top 14 giants and current holders Toulon to Glasgow.

"We know that over the last two Heineken Cup games we are playing for pride in European terms," Townsend told the Glasgow Evening Times.

"But we also have a great chance to show that if we produce our best form we are capable of matching any side in Europe.

"We went down to Sandy Park in pre-season and got a win there, and while you can't for one minute compare a friendly game with a Heineken Cup tie, at least the players are familiar with the venue and have also had a look at the Exeter squad in their environment. On top of that, we produced one of our best performances of the season to beat them at Scotstoun, in the first Heineken Cup tie with them.

"And and if we could back that up by winning at Exeter it would provide a huge boost.

"Then it is the European champions Toulon coming to Scotstoun and we will be determined to go out on a high at home in front of our support.

"So we have two fantastic European games awaiting us in the next fortnight, and although we would have preferred to be going into them with qualification still a possibility, they are still massively important to us in terms of the knock-on effect for the rest of the season."

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