Townsend delighted with Glasgow triumph

Date published: March 26 2016

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend was delighted at his side’s second-half performance in Friday's 27-17 win over play-off rivals Ulster, but conceded they were made to work for the win. 

The win consolidates Glasgow's position on the table. They are still sixth but are now level on 51 points with Ulster, who have a better points difference.

Speaking after the match, Townsend praised his side’s response to the initial setback of conceding a try within five minutes.

"Ulster came here fired up for this match," he said.

"They definitely deserved their lead at half-time and could maybe even have scored a couple more tries in that first half. They really targeted us in the contact, disrupting our rhythm, and they were a real handful.

"I thought that, as the first half went on, we grew into the game. We had a lot of the ball and spent a lot of time in their half. We needed to improve defensively, which we did. Then in the second half, apart from their try, I felt we played in the right areas of the pitch.

"We maybe didn’t execute as well as we could have done, but the pressure told in the end and two really good pieces of finishing gave us the edge."

Finn Russell produced a man-of-the-match performance on his return to the starting line-up, with Townsend praising the performance of the fly-half. 

"Finn did really well for us tonight and had a key hand in both of our tries," he added.

"The long pass over the top to Hoggy in the lead-up to his try was the right decision done well whilst running at pace, which is a really difficult skill.

"Duncan (Weir) had identified at half-time that there might be space in behind their wingers for us to exploit and I thought we executed it very well for Tommy’s try. It was an inch-perfect kick and a tremendous finish by Tommy."

Townsend was also quick to express his appreciation for the Warriors' supporters, as a sell-out Scotstoun crowd roared their side on to victory. 

"Even though we were behind on the scoreboard for a lot of the game, the crowd stuck with us," said the coach.

"The chants got louder as the game went on and I love the atmosphere our supporters create. I love our fans. I know I’m biased, but I’ve been in other grounds and they’re not as loud as our supporters!

"It reminds me of our two play-offs here – we used to think of them as one-off atmospheres and now we’re seeing it week in, week out. 

"We’ve only got one home game left in the regular season, so we need to tough it out away from home. 

"The week in Italy will be a real boost for us – it’ll allow us to take a squad of 30 or so out and work on areas of our game. It’ll be great to spend time with the players, some of whom have been away from the squad for a few weeks."