Glasgow Warriors 17-22 Ulster: Gregor Townsend proud despite defeat

Glasgow players reflect on their defeat by Ulster
Glasgow suffered another narrow loss after defeat at Cardiff Blues last week

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend took pride in the way his side fought in adversity despite a second successive loss, against Ulster at Scotstoun.

The Warriors lost three players to injury in the first half and conceded a controversial penalty try.

"I was really proud of them," Townsend told BBC Scotland. "It was backs against the wall with the changes we had to make before and during the game.

"I felt we were the better team second half and played really good rugby."

Glasgow lost lock Greg Peterson with a dislocated shoulder, while prop Gordon Reid and flanker Tjiuee Uanivi also departed with injuries.

Hooker Fraser Brown was moved into the back row while academy graduates Sam Thomson and Matt Fagerson both made their senior bows as replacements.

"We managed to get ahead but there was just a lapse at a line-out," Townsend lamented.

"We have watched it again and it looks like an Ulster player comes from an offside position, but we needed to defend it better and the subsequent turnover ball.

"But we were in their 22 a lot and it was a terrific effort in the second half.

"That was a better reflection of who we are and if we go with that mind-set in the next few weeks, we should be OK."

Leonardo Sarto stops Ulster wing Charles Piutau close to the Glasgow line
Leonardo Sarto's challenge on Ulster's Charles Piutau earned the Glasgow wing a yellow card

Towsend believes the yellow card shown to wing Leonardo Sarto, and subsequent penalty try, for bringing down Ulster wing Charles Piutau, was a harsh call.

"You have got make a distinction as to what is a no-arms tackle. Leo has got on the wrong side but his arm has brought down Piutau's leg. It was quite clear. I can't believe the TMO didn't see the angle we saw.

"To call it a no-arms tackle and then give a yellow card and a penalty try was a triple whammy."

Townsend also said one of his Glasgow players was injured by an off-the-ball tackle, but refused to be downhearted by the defeat or his growing casualty list.

"I am sure there will be a couple more players unavailable next week after tonight," he added. "But we have to re-group now, work really hard and get a win down at the Dragons."

'Frustrated' Russell pleased with comeback

Glasgow fly-half Finn Russell gives a thumbs-up to team-mates against Ulster
Russell landed all his kicks and showed control and creativity at fly-half

One distinctly bright spot for the Warriors was a successful return for fly-half Finn Russell, who was named man of the match in his first Glasgow outing since a serious head injury in May.

"It was great to be back out there with the boys in front of our home crowd," Russell said. "My head felt fine, I felt good out there, so that was pleasing.

"But it's a tough result to take, especially after we got up with 20 minutes to go.

"But fair play to Ulster,. They played the better rugby and they deserved it. They got the ball wide and scored some good tries.

"It was frustrating to lose at home but will take the bonus point and try to bounce back next week."

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