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Glasgow hail Munster effort on 'inspiring occasion' but leave disappointed

Gregor Townsend credited the Munster supporters for their welcoming nature.

WHAT A TRICKY situation Glasgow found themselves in at Thomond Park on Saturday, attempting to negate an emotional onslaught from Munster and their vocal supporters.

The Scots, so brilliantly confrontational and clinical just over a week before against Leicester, failed to deal with the occasion and delivered an uncharacteristically error-heavy performance.

Ian Keatley dejected Munster thank their fans after their 38-17 win. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Gregor Townsend was frustrated by the failure of a handful of his players to deliver the effort and application required at the top level of club rugby in Europe, but he was magnanimous in his review of Saturday’s game.

“I am inspired by what our community has done to come together and done it in such a respectful way, inspired by Anthony’s family, inspired by rugby,” said the future Scotland head coach at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon.

“The amount of rugby teams from juniors to international players that were at that funeral yesterday, and then the reaction today. We arrived off the bus and the Munster supporters were applauding us coming off the bus.

“It was great to see the whole atmosphere of the game which had a red card in it as well. It was what you wanted to see in the rugby game, a home crowd backing their team. It can affect you both ways.

“If you are a supporter and rugby fan you think that was a special occasion. But obviously our players missed out today and in hindsight maybe the build-up was tougher than we thought for them.”

Kenny Dalglish was a visitor to the Glasgow set-up last week to speak with the squad, and the Warriors did attempt to plan for what was always likely to be a strange afternoon.

“We talked a lot about what might happen and Munster have been excellent with their communication on what’s happening during the day,” said Townsend. “We felt we played a part in a really special occasion. I thought it was a tremendous, inspiring occasion.

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Gregor Townsend Townsend's Glasgow left without a losing bonus point. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“The last two days have been really inspiring, for obviously terrible reasons this has come about, but it’s just a pity that we didn’t really get involved in the game.”

Glasgow have a home tie against Treviso in the Guinness Pro12 on Friday evening to work towards now, with Townsend eager to see improved work rate from a number of his players.

“In a game like that [against Munster] you see the players who are working really hard. There were a few out there, I am very proud of their efforts.

“And then what you want to see is a reaction from those who didn’t play as well, missed the game let’s say for whatever reason, and we see from Monday. Some of them did show a reaction late in the game, but others will have to wait until next week.

“Obviously, we have got a big squad so [there are] opportunities you have to grab in this game, and we will see what happens next week.”

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Murray Kinsella

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