Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Townsend concerned by defence

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend admits his side's defensive lapses have left him fearing the worst as they chase a RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final slot.

Warriors held on to beat compatriots Edinburgh 37-34 after a thrilling Scotstoun clash watched by a record 8,855 crowd.

But the scoreline was much narrower than it should have been after Tomas Leonardi and Tim Visser scored a pair of last-ditch tries in the final three minutes to hand the visitors two bonus points.

Townsend's team are now up to second in the RaboDirect Pro12 after claiming a bonus point of their own having run in five scores.

However, he was unhappy with the way his side handed their rivals two late gifts.

Townsend said: "It was a weird old game. It would have been good for the supporters to watch a game with so much open rugby.

"But we dropped off at times during the game. There were bits in the first half where I felt we did really well, but then we went to sleep and gave Edinburgh the chance to come back.

"In the final quarter we got a bit flat, but credit to Edinburgh, they played right to the final whistle and made it a bit closer in the end.

"However, we pride ourselves on our defence and that was not good enough. It concerns me, absolutely, and we will have to work hard to cut those out. The effort was there but it was concentration that let us down."

The victory, which also secured the hosts the 1872 Cup, moves Glasgow above Ulster and Munster into second with two games remaining.

If they can maintain their current position, they will land a home semi-final.

Townsend added: "I'm just glad we got the win and even more so that we got the bonus point. It puts us in a very good position in the league."

Peter Murchie's double and scores from Ruaridh Jackson, Mark Bennett and Rob Harley, as well as 12 points from kicker Finn Russell, clinched Glasgow's sixth successive victory.

Willem Nel and Matt Scott crossed over for Edinburgh, but after having both Izak van der Westhuizen and Mike Coman sin-binned, they looked well out of the contest until Leonardi and Visser ensured a nervy finish.

Skipper Greg Laidlaw contributed 14 points with his boot as they claimed bonus points for losing by less then seven, as well as for their four-try haul.

Gunners head coach Alan Solomons said: "We gave ourselves too much to do. Besides playing for 20 minutes of the 80 with 14 men, our error rate was too high.

"But I thought the team showed tremendous character to come back like that. The way we were playing at the end it just made me wish we'd had another five minutes because we could have sneaked it.

"We got two bonus points out of it, so at least that is pretty positive."


From Belfast Telegraph