Pro12 final: Gregor Townsend demands Glasgow Warriors focus

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend has led Glasgow to successive Pro12 finals
Pro12 final: Glasgow Warriors v Munster
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Saturday 30 May Kick-off: 18:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Scotland, Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Gregor Townsend says Glasgow must not make the same mistake as last season - when they focused too much on enjoying the occasion at the Pro12 final.

Warriors face Munster in Belfast on Saturday, 12 months after losing to Leinster in their first-ever final.

"We had a focus on the occasion," said Glasgow head coach Townsend. "We took it in. We had a great send off.

"It was a great experience, but we know that this time we have to focus on the 80 minutes."

Glasgow, who finished top of the Pro12 table, level on points with Munster, narrowly beat Ulster last weekend to reach the final, with Ospreys beaten by Munster in the other semi-final.

And Townsend thinks it will be the experience of losing the final last season that will benefit his side most in this term's finale.

Glasgow Warriors wing DTH van der Merwe in action against Ulster
The Warriors overcame Ulster to reach the final

"They will remember the emotions they had last year and what they need to do to make sure it gets channelled to a better performance," explained the former Scotland fly-half.

"I have certainly seen more of a focus this year on what we need to do on the game. Certainly from what we have learned, emotional control will be very important on Saturday.

"From a coaching perspective, we are certainly preparing as if we are playing Munster in the league.

"We are trying to be as low key as possible. Afterwards we can take in the atmosphere and during the game we can appreciate the noise both sets of fans are making."

Townsend regards Anthony Foley's side as "more like the Munster of old than at any time in the last five years".

And he added: "They are coached by someone who played when they won European Cups and they have gone back to the traditional Munster way of playing, which is uncompromising in the contact area, really direct, winning the gain line, strong set-piece. They have always produced excellent forwards.

"They pick a passing 10 and have some great strike runners out wide. But their game is based on winning the collision and forcing opposition to give up penalties so they can go to line-out drives, which they are very strong at.

"We know that Munster playing to their strengths are one of the best teams in Europe."

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