Townsend mindful of home advantage

Date published: May 8 2016

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend firmly believes that playing in front of your home crowd does make a difference in knock-out matches. 

Townsend's men will travel to Galway to face the in form Connacht at Sportsground on May 21. 

Warriors finished in third position in the PRO12 table after winning fourteen of their twenty-two matches. 

Making reference to last year's semi-final loss to Ulster, the 43-year-old has admitted that playing at your home ground does give you the egde in those must win games. 

Ulster beat Townsend's men last year despite being thrashed by Warriors a week prior to the semi-final at Scotstoun. 

"Last year, we played Ulster at Scotstoun in the final game of the league proper and we beat them convincingly," Townsend told BBC Sport.

"A week later, we played them at Scotstoun in the semi-final and they were all over us for 50 minutes.

"If all these home wins in all these semi-finals were by 20 points then I'd say that home advantage was a massive factor, but last year we only own our home semi by two points and Munster only won theirs by three. 

"The year before that we had Munster in a home semi and beat them by a point. Leinster won their home semi by four points."

Despite having a huge following in Galway the former Scotland utility back concedes that Connacht's crowd could prove to be the deciding factor. 

"We had a lot of support in Galway but when they have 7,000 people then that's an advantage. 

"We didn't cope as well as we should have. We learned a lot about ourselves.

"We have to be more disciplined and more accurate. Connacht are really well-coached, they show innovation, they've got character and they defend well. We've just got to be better."