Glasgow's Gregor Townsend expects semi-final thriller

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend anticipates a cracking Pro12 semi-final away to Leinster next weekend.

It will be a repeat of last year's fixture which the Dubliners edged 19-15 before losing to Ospreys.

"It's the two best attacking teams, in terms of stats and tries scored up against each other," said Townsend.

"Leinster are a great team. For me, they are the role model for attacking rugby. We know the challenge that faces us but we can't wait for it."

Glasgow ended the league campaign in third position following a 20-3 success in Galway against Connacht.

And they will be back across the Irish Sea to meet the team that finished second in the standings, behind Ulster, who will meet Scarlets.

Glasgow lost 22-17 on their last visit to Dublin and went down 6-0 at home when the sides met in November.

"We played there six or seven weeks ago and it was a really good game," recalled Townsend.

"We had a chance to win at the end but a pass was deemed forward when we probably would have scored.

"They have been the best team in Europe for the last couple of seasons and I think they are back on their best form.

"They went down to Wasps and won easily and last week they smashed Biarritz."

Reflecting on his first season in the job, Townsend was full of praise for his squad.

"It was a really competitive league this year," he told BBC Radio Scotland. "There were six or seven teams chasing those four places two or three weeks ago.

"The way we have played at times has blown us coaches away.

"It all comes down to the effort and fight the players have for each other."

Glasgow had to overcome the elements as well as a battling Connacht side to produce their first win at the Sportsground in six years.

"Connacht are a very tough team to play against, especially at home," added Townsend after a bruising contest played out in heavy rain and high winds.

"But the players put in a huge amount of effort and they got their reward.

"We competed very well at the breakdown and I thought John Barclay was outstanding.

"We work a lot on that aspect of our defence. Last week there were a couple of fairly intense training sessions and that was transferred into the game."

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