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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Fortress Thomond
Townsend: 'It seemed like we were playing against 15 and 25,000'
The Glasgow Warriors coach was deeply disappointed with his side’s effort.

CLEARLY, THERE WAS deep frustration for Gregor Townsend that his Glasgow Warriors couldn’t back up their brilliant start to the Champions Cup by beating Munster yesterday, but he was as gracious as ever afterwards.

The future Scotland head coach has always been a classy figure and he shared his respect for Munster after they produced a stunning performance to win 38-17, paying tribute to Anthony Foley in some style.

Simon Zebo with Michael D. Higgins Dan Sheridan / INPHO Michael D. Higgins with Simon Zebo after Munster's win. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The occasion was always likely to be testing for the 46 players involved, but it was Munster – after their torrid week – who delivered far more composure and maturity at Thomond Park.

“It’s disappointing that only one team turned up today,” said Townsend after yesterday’s game. “I have to say, it was a great occasion and a great tribute for Anthony Foley.

“The way the whole build-up to the game was, the way Munster played as well.

“I’m obviously very disappointed from the perspective of how my team played and also the way that we didn’t show the reaction in the second half that was required.”

Munster’s bonus-point performance was all the more impressive for the fact that Keith Earls was red-carded just 19 minutes into the contest, sent off for a dangerous tackle on Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown.

Even the numerical disadvantage made little difference, however. Munster went into half-time 24-3 ahead and then extended that lead with a determined scrum penalty try early in the second half, notching a bonus point in the process.

“Munster started very well and they never stopped,” said Townsend.

“Maybe neutrals or some of our players thought we would have an advantage playing against 14 but it never looked like we were playing against 14.

Rassie Erasmus and Gregor Townsend ahead of the game Dan Sheridan / INPHO Townsend was gracious in defeat. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“It seemed like we were playing against 15 and 25,000 today. Munster were better in every aspect of the game.

“The most important aspect of any performance is effort and they put in much more effort than we did. It didn’t look like us out there at times.”

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The disappointing defeat for Glasgow follows a superb 42-13 victory over Leicester Tigers in the opening round of the competition, with head-to-head clashes against Racing 92 next up for the Scots.

Glasgow and Munster meet again in Scotstoun on the weekend of 13/14/15 January, and Townsend understands that missing out on even picking up a losing bonus point in Thomond Park may prove costly.

“It’s Champions Cup and we know every game is difficult. This was really difficult today but we’ve missed not picking up any points today and we’ve given one of our rivals five points. It will be tougher now.”

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