Townsend has learnt from Connacht loss

Date published: May 20 2016

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend believes that the loss to Connacht has allowed them to identify and improve their problem areas.

Townsend's men fell short against the in form Irish province 14-7 two weeks ago, which subsequently denies them a home PRO12 semi-final.

The defending champions will have to rewrite the PRO12 playoff history books if want to return from Galway with a victory as no visiting team has won a semi-final. 

A confident Townsend said that the loss to their semi-final opponents, a couple of weeks ago, has given the Scotstoun outfit a good perspective on what they need to focus on for a victory.

"It was the best thing that could have happened to us," Townsend told the Belfast Telegraph.

"You learn more from defeat. You do get confidence from victories but you find out how to be better after a loss. 

"Things get put through the magnifying glass.

"We've had two weeks' preparation to put things right. It would have been better for the club and our supporters to have been at home but having that defeat has really sharpened our focus ahead of this weekend.

"Our preparation has been better than normal because the team we just lost to and who we want to put a few things right against is who we play in the next game.

"We will learn from where we could be better and try to get our strengths out.

"But whether you are home or away, these games are always going to be tough. We lost away to Leinster three years ago by just two points.

"We won two years ago at home to Munster by a point and then against Ulster last year by a point. So they are always tight. Whoever takes their opportunities will win."

The Scotstoun side have reached the playoffs for the last five consecutive years this is however Connacht's first appearance in the semi-finals.

Townsend admitted that, despite the fine season that their hosts are experiencing, his charges know exactly what is expected of them and believes that the visitors will give it their all.

"That experience might help us, it might not, given Connacht beat us last time and are at home, so they will be pretty confident," he said. 

"It's a new experience for them and I'm sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere at the Sportsground. It's great for Connacht and their supporters that they are getting to host a semi-final.

"But we want to put them under pressure and see if they will make mistakes. Whether that is because they have not played in a semi-final before or because they are playing a very good Glasgow team doesn't matter so long as we get the right outcome and Glasgow win the game."