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Townsend peeved as hopes end and Cardiff leave Scotstoun in the pink

Gregor Townsend, the Glasgow Warriors head coach, last night refuted suggestions that off-field distractions had contributed to the back-to-back losses to Cardiff Blues that have ended the club's interest in the Heineken Cup for another season.

Cardiff's Rhys Patchell is successful with a penalty from close to his own 10-metre line. Picture: Sportpix
Cardiff's Rhys Patchell is successful with a penalty from close to his own 10-metre line. Picture: Sportpix

Speaking after the Warriors were beaten 9-7 by the Blues at Scotstoun, Townsend issued a terse "no" when asked if the recent disciplining of seven employees and a court appearance for the No.8 Ryan Wilson had been a distraction for the players.

On Thursday, Wilson appeared in private at Glasgow Sheriff Court on two assault charges. He made no plea or declaration.

Townsend was clearly upset at the manner of Glasgow's defeat, which included the barely believable sight of Cardiff's Rhys Patchell dispatching a 62-metre penalty, and admitted that the Warriors' displays over their two games against the Blues had not been up to scratch.

However, he was also angry with referee Pascal Gauzere for disallowing a try by Niko Matawalu for an obstruction offence.

"We're very disappointed," said Townsend. "We're all aware that if you want to progress in this competition you have to be close to your best. We did that in the Exeter game and in the second half against Toulon, but the last two weeks we haven't been at our best.

"We had a few errors. But the try that Niko scored in the first half was a clear try in my book. If you are clearing a ruck and somebody picks and goes through the hole then it is a try. I must be coaching something different because I don't know those laws."

With any possibility of an appearance in the Heineken or Amlin Cup quarter-finals now obliterated, Townsend said that his side would now concentrate on securing a play-off place in the RaboDirect PRO12.

"We're sitting third in the league," he said. "We've won two more games than we had at this stage last year. We have to focus on the league now and try to bounce back with a win next week.

"It is a concern that we didn't play at our best tonight or last week, but before that we had a terrific win down at Ospreys. We know we have to play better at home and we have to start better and impose ourselves on the opposition."

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