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Saturday 10 December 2016

Gregor going for first gold

Townsend used Leinster and All Blacks models

Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend's template to secure a trophy is based on the culture of winning cultivated by Leinster and the All Blacks.

"Before I came into the job, the teams I looked up to as role models were Leinster at club level and the All Blacks at Test level. Those teams move the ball," he said.

There is very little in professional sport that is invented. The copy-cat style of coaching is inbuilt because there is always someone, somewhere who has done it before and better.

"If you really want to win the big games, you really have to have an all-round game," pushed the former mercurial Scotland fly-half.

"If we were to score five tries but lose because the defence was poor or loose or undisciplined then we'd change the way we play.

"We do change from game to game and we believe it will put us in a position of winning."

The fact is Glasgow have grown their support in the last number of years to become a rising force in the PRO12 League.

"There's definitely more and more people getting behind the team in Glasgow, more non-rugby fans are coming to our games.

"Our average crowd is over 6,000 now where three years ago it was down at 3,000," he said.

EDGE

They just need to turn their consistency into a championship winning edge. They need to cross the line, not just get to it.

Glasgow have come to the point in their evolution where winning silverware is their next step forward.

No doubt, Townsend has also noted how Leinster and Munster have had to build their winning cultures on the heartbreaking foundations of multiple big-game defeats.

The Ulster that will stand in the way of The Warriors at Scotstoun on Friday night will be a different proposition than that which was there last Saturday.

Townsend is not too perturbed about it.

"I think the relevance is we just managed to get a semi-final and we are back at Scotstoun so we can get energy from that crowd," he said.

"We prepared to play the strongest Ulster team (last week), so the games we looked at - Leinster, Munster, the games before us - they had their strongest teams.

"I'm sure that will be similar to the team they will play against us.

"It will be back to preparing for the likes of (Rory) Best and (Ruan) Pienaar and (Iain) Henderson and (Tommy) Bowe and those fantastic players they have.

"Last year, we had to play an outstanding game to beat Munster by a point at home so home advantage doesn't give you more than having to play really well and have the crowd behind you if you do."

Ulster will also be burdened by the fact most of their men have not won a club trophy of consequence.

"Ulster will be hugely motivated because two years ago they missed out on a chance of a home final because their stadium was being renovated. This year they have a home final if they beat us."

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