Pro14: Glasgow Warriors 37-21 Benetton Rugby
|Pro14: Glasgow Warriors v Benetton Rugby|
|Glasgow (17) 37|
|Tries: Seymour, Harley, Horne, Johnson Cons: Horne 3, Thomson Pens: Horne 2, Thomson|
|Benetton (9) 21|
|Tries: Lazzaroni, Ruzza Cons: Banks Pens: Banks 3|
Glasgow overcame a spirited Benetton to make it five wins in a row at the start of the Pro14 season.
Tommy Seymour, Rob Harley and Peter Horne all crossed the try-line for Glasgow, but the Italians narrowed the gap to six points with scores from Marco Lazzaroni and Federico Ruzza.
Sam Johnson crossed at the death to secure a bonus point for the home side.
The win maintains Glasgow's 100% record under Dave Rennie and cements their position at the top of Conference A.
Heavy rain-showers battered the Scotstoun pitch before kick-off and the players spent the opening 10 minutes struggling with the wet ball. When Glasgow finally clicked into gear, they immediately cut loose.
A clean line-out off the top saw Chris Fusaro feed Henry Pyrgos on the attacking 22 and his delayed pass allowed Seymour to slice through and coast over under the sticks.
Horne's conversion and subsequent penalty put Warriors 10 points to the good, and although Benetton fly-half Martin Banks reduced the arrears with a penalty of his own, the home side would soon turn the screw again.
After multiple phases near the Italian line, Pyrgos again supplied the killer pass, his offload putting the supporting Harley over.
Benetton have represented little more than cannon fodder in this league for the longest time, but after back-to-back wins over Edinburgh and Ospreys, they were not simply for rolling over here.
The big forwards rumbled up into Glasgow territory, with Traore Cherif, the powerhouse loose-head prop, blasting through several tackles. Banks kicked two more penalties late in the half to ensure the game was still in the balance at 17-9 at the break.
The second period began in remarkably similar fashion to the first, with the ball spending almost as much time on the deck as it did in hands.
Dave Rennie looked to the bench for fresh impetus, introducing Fraser Brown, Tim Swinson and Ali Price.
As it turned out the spark arrived from a man already on the pitch. Horne collected a pass off the base of a scrum on the 22m line and showed marvellous footwork to step away from two or three tackles to touch down.
At 27-9 it was there for Warriors to go on and press home their advantage, but still they could not shake off the Italian resistance.
The Benetton forwards got the rolling maul from a five-metre line-out heading for the Glasgow line and it was left to substitute Marco Lazzaroni to flop over the line.
This was an impressive response from the visitors, and they strung the phases together again near the Glasgow line, Warriors ran out of defenders and Federico Ruzza ran it in to make it a six-point game with 10 minutes to go.
Substitute Brandon Thomson, on for Horne at 10, kicked a penalty to ease some of the nerves around Scotstoun, and the place went wild when Johnson crashed over well beyond the 80-minute mark to seal a hard-earned bonus point.
Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson, T Seymour, N Grigg, S Johnson, L Jones, P Horne, H Pyrgos, A Allan, P MacArthur, D Rae, B Alainu'uese, S Cummings, R Harley, C Fusaro, R Wilson (capt)
Replacements: F Brown, J Bhatti, A Nicol, T Swinson, M Fagerson, A Price, B Thomson, N Matawalu
Benetton Rugby: J Hayward, A Esposito, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi, L Sperandio, M Banks, T Tebaldi, M Barbini, A Steyn, S Negri, D Budd (capt), M Fuser, S Ferrari, L Bigi, C Traore.
Replacements: F Zani, A De Marchi, T Pasquali, F Ruzza, M Lazzaroni, R Barbieri, G Bronzini, I McKinley
Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Cammy Rudkin (SRU)