Glasgow have been urged to take a leaf out of champions Munster’s book and embrace the “test of character” that awaits in the URC play-offs following a humbling defeat by the Lions in Johannesburg.

Warriors started the weekend top of the table but ended it in fourth place, having seen Munster, Bulls and Leinster all overtake them in the standings.

While Glasgow are guaranteed a home quarter-final despite picking up no points in their 44-21 thumping by the Lions, their hopes of a top-two finish – which could have seen them retain home advantage if they progress to the semi-finals – are now outside their control.

But captain Kyle Steyn and head coach Franco Smith both pointed to the example of Munster for inspiration on how to respond to such adversity.

READ MORE: Five things we learned as Glasgow slip to Lions defeat

The Irish province were humbled 38-26 at home by Glasgow in late March last year and then suffered a 50-35 defeat at Sharks a week later in the last 16 of the European Champions Cup.

But those setbacks galvanised them on their return to league action as they won on the road at defending champions Stormers before three away knockout triumphs against Glasgow, Leinster and Stormers, again, in the Cape Town final to claim the title after finishing fifth in the regular season.

“Munster had these kind of watershed moments last season and the way you bounce back and learn those lessons and actually put them into action is everything in this competition,” said Steyn.

“We would have loved to have played as many games [as possible] at Scotstoun in front of our fans. But you look at last year and Munster won all their three [play-off] games away from home so it can be done.

“It is a test of character for this group now and we can’t look too far ahead to that semi-final. We have a big game at home against Zebre and then the quarter-final, so there is lots to focus on before we get there.”

Head coach Smith also insisted Glasgow remain in a strong position despite Saturday’s heavy defeat, which saw them ship 28 unanswered points from 14-8 up early in the second half.

“At this stage last year Munster bounced back and showed the character of that team. They came to us [in the quarter-finals] where we don’t lose that often and also to Leinster and beat them [in the semis]. They managed to play important games from the lessons they learned from defeats like this.

Scotland Rugby News: Glasgow Warriors boss Franco SmithGlasgow Warriors boss Franco Smith (Image: PA)

“We’ve definitely got an opportunity now as a group because this whole season we’ve been doing good enough and something like this rips that band-aid off and gives us an opportunity to have a different mindset.

“There are a lot of lessons learned that we need to apply. We’re going to be challenged but we’re well positioned still to bounce back.”

Steyn said there will be a “fairly honest review” of Saturday’s second-half collapse and “no hint of complacency” as they prepare to host bottom side Zebre on 31 May in their final regular-season game, having departed South Africa with only two losing bonus points from their 40-34 loss to Bulls.

“It was a tough one because it felt like we were saying the right things again but not getting the correct action off the back of that,” added the Scotland wing.

Scotland Rugby News: Glasgow captain Kyle SteynGlasgow captain Kyle Steyn (Image: SNS)

“That is something that we have to review as a player group, me as a captain and the leadership group going forward.”

Fly-half Tom Jordan faces a 12-day stand-down period after failing a head injury assessment following the incident which saw Lions flanker Ruan Venter sent off, but could still feature against Zebre. “The fact that we’re not playing next week allows him to recover,” Smith added.