Friday 9 December 2016

Townsend hails victorious Warriors

Published 31/05/2015 | 00:56

Gregor Townsend was thrilled after his side won the club's first major silverware
Gregor Townsend was thrilled after his side won the club's first major silverware

Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend hailed his side's performance in securing their first ever trophy after defeating Munster 31-13 to lift the Guinness PRO12 title at the Kingspan Stadium.

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They scored four tries with Rob Harley, DTH van der Merwe, Henry Pyrgos and Finn Russell crossing the Munster line and led 21-10 at half-time.

Russell also converted all four scores while Duncan Weir kicked a solitary penalty and the immense Leone Nakarawa was named man of the match.

"I'm very proud and getting the trophy is superb," an emotional Townsend said while paying tribute to his players.

"The players delivered and having been getting better and better over the last few seasons."

He added: "We'd had experience of going to the final before, but we were calm all week and we knew that last year we didn't do ourselves justice and that this was the time.

"Getting the trophy is fantastic and very satisfying but it will also make this team a better team.

"Glasgow have delivered and we know now what to do with big games coming up."

The Warriors produced a stunning first half display and scored three times in a performance which won praise from their coach. He was, though, critical of his side's efforts at the start of the second half.

"We started the second half poorly for the first six or seven minutes but after that we went on and finished strongly," he said.

Townsend also felt that this success would have a knock-on effect on Scottish rugby and that a brighter future may now await for both the club sides and the national squad.

"When I played I saw Irish teams winning trophies and I believe we've had momentum and this trophy can really help kick-on what we intend to do in professional rugby in Scotland," he added.

Munster coach Anthony Foley said that the key for them had been the need to score first after half-time but with the Irish province only coming away with a penalty it made the task too difficult.

"Being 21-10 down at half-time, it became very important to score first, which we did," he said.

"We took three but you could argue that we should have stayed there and tried to get seven.

"But we went for three and at that stage, the game was in the balance and unfortunately we didn't get to within a score of them.

"If we had done that they might have been catchable but it didn't materialise for us and fair play to them some of their support play and off-loading was second to none."

He added: "It's hard to take but a lot of us have been through this situation before."

As for Paul O'Connell being widely tipped to leave Munster for what is believed to be a contract with Toulon, Foley added: "Paul's situation is that he'll be going on holidays now for four weeks and I'm sure he'll make an announcement in those four weeks. I'll wait like everyone else."

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