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Rassie Erasmus thinks Munster can be the champions of Europe

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes his side are in with a chance of conquering Europe after watching them book their place in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The Limerick outfit edged out Group 1 rivals Glasgow 14-12 at Scotstoun thanks to Francis Saili's late try.

Defeat leaves Warriors' hopes of escaping the pool stage for the first time ever hanging by a thread.

But Red Army head coach Erasmus believes with a little luck his side could find themselves going all the way.

Asked if he agreed with the pundits who have included his team amongst the competition favourites, he said: "If the players play as hard as they can and that takes us as far as possible, I think we would be stupid to put targets out there.

"We are still a fairly new team, a fairly new management team, so it's difficult to gauge where we can go.

"But if we avoid picking up a lot of injuries and keep our form like this, I think we've got a chance of getting somewhere."

Glasgow had their noses in front with 10 minutes to go b ut they saw their hopes of victory crushed when Stuart Hogg found himself sin-binned after his flailing arm connected with the face of rival wing Andrew Conway.

That opened up the space for Saili to score the decisive touchdown as he dived over in the corner within two minutes of Warriors going down to 14 men.

Yet the hosts had one last chance to snatch the win. Stand-off Finn Russell, however, decided to go for a chip-and-charge behind the Munster defence when the drop-goal attempt looked the safer option.

His gamble failed to pay off as the Irishmen covered up and Glasgow will now have to beat Leicester at Welford Road next week to rescue their qualification prospects.

Townsend said: "We will have to play better but we are looking forward to it as we always knew we would have to win next week, even if we had won today.

"I still believe a win will get us into the quarter-finals but that will become clearer in the next few days.

"I believe in this squad and I believe we can play better. We need to up our game by 20-per-cent next week.

"We knew how important this game was for us and for the club as a whole and to lose it in the last eight minutes was even more disappointing.

"The better team won, at times we played well but on a few occasions we weren't at our best. They defended better than we attacked."


From Belfast Telegraph