Fagerson and centres impress Townsend

Date published: April 17 2017

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend praised his team’s showing in their 45-10 win over Zebre on Friday, highlighting Matt Fagerson’s qualities.

Townsend utilised the depth in his squad at Scotstoun as youngster Fagerson stood out at number eight in a try-scoring shift for the Warriors.

After the game, Townsend told Glasgow’s official website he was pleased with the back-row’s effort: “Matt Fagerson showed he can play at this level. Matt Smith and Scott Cummings were in the U20s last season and that is a real positive for the club and its future,” he said.

“Nick Grigg has been great throughout the season, especially since Christmas.

“He times his runs well and is difficult to tackle because he runs so hard and he really fights to get through the tackle. He has built up a good relationship with Sam (Johnson) and it was great to see them working well outside Peter (Horne).

“I was really pleased with Sam Johnson. The timing of his injury meant he just missed out on selection for Connacht leading into Saracens and Munster so he has had to wait for an opportunity. I thought he played really well and made a couple of excellent breaks and tackled hard.”

He added: “It was Leonardo Sarto’s first game back from injury, so we weren’t expecting him to play 80 minutes but he did.

“He was really looking for work so it is pleasing he got through the game in good condition and he will be very confident now he has got that game under his belt, likewise with Greg Peterson who played a lot of good rugby for us last season and has also come back from injury.”

Glasgow crossed the try-line seven times on Friday and after a loss to Munster, Townsend was happy with the response from his charges.

“It was a good performance. There are always areas you want to improve, so we will look at the review this week, but for a team that has never played together I thought the mindset was really good,” he continued.

“We took the game to the opposition, we played at tempo and there was defending to do especially at the beginning of the game, but the players kept to their systems and put in really good low tackles.

“It was pleasing that we had the wind behind us in the first-half so we certainly wanted to create some chances and play a lot of the rugby in the Zebre half, so to score four tries was great.

“Sometimes when you score four tries and get the bonus point the intensity drops off a little, but I thought at times in the second-half we really lifted the intensity and were looking for more tries.”