Benetton Treviso v Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors showed impressive grit, resolve and nerve to claim a vital 24-13 win away to Benetton Treviso on Saturday night.
It was their fifth straight success in the RaboDirect PRO12 and owed much to two brilliantly taken opportunistic scores from Tommy Seymour. Replacement stand-off Scott Wight did enough in a late cameo to be named RaboDirect Man of the Match as Glasgow battled back from a below-par first half performance to secure a priceless victory in an arena from which few teams emerge unscathed.
Head coach Gregor Townsend said: "We're delighted with the spirit of the players showed to pursue and claim a win against extremely tough opposition.
"We didn't play as well as we wanted to in the first half and Treviso put us under pressure. But we really stepped up in the second half, and to a man we delivered.
Tommy Seymour, Niko Matawalu and Scott Wight were all terrific, and we deserved the win in the end.
The Warriors will now look to make it six in a row when they take on the Dragons at Scotstoun on Friday 2 November (kick-off 7.30pm).
If the sodden overhead and underfoot conditions weren't conducive to expansive rugby, both teams’ attempts to establish momentum were further hindered by the string of penalties awarded at the scrum. The front rows were pinged almost on a turn about basis, much to the exasperation of their respective coaches and supporters.
Once such award, when Treviso dropped their bind, gave Ruaridh Jackson the opportunity to knock over the first points of the night from a position to the left of centre 12 minutes in. The stand-off duly did the business to give Glasgow an early settler.
A great kick/chase from Jackson and winger Matawalu swiftly produced another Warriors penalty as the hosts went off their feet at the ruck. Jackson slotted the ball between the sticks to put Glasgow 6-0 to the good.
Sadly for the visitors, they soon succumbed to one of Treviso’s trademark moves, the punishing lineout drive. Powerful No.8 Manoa Vosawai was the man who crashed over the sodden whitewash, Kristopher Burton’s conversion turning the scoreline on its head.
In the 28th minute, the stand-off kicked a penalty, given for the Warriors front row all going to ground.
There were no further points in the first half, Glasgow coming closest to making a further incursion when Treviso full-back Luke McLean just beat the onrushing Henry Pyrgos to the ball behind the home line after a gripping footrace.
It was vital that the Warriors made a quick start to the second period, and this they duly did, showing more crispness and urgencty in their work right across the field.
Jackson pulled them back to within a point with a 44th minute penalty, but Treviso came again courtesy of that favoured trick, the lineout drive. Glasgow held firm on a couple of potentially troublesome occasions, with Henry Pyrgos mopping up brilliantly both times with fantastic clearing kicks.
The Warriors crept into the lead in the 56th minute, as Wight goaled confidently from left of centre after Treviso went off their feat in the wake of a nice break and offload from Alex Dunbar.
The tide soon turned yet again, however, with Tim Swinson, a second row replacement for Tom Ryder, sent to the sin bin for pulling down the Treviso maul as it gathered pace once again.
The hosts kept up the pressure, and when Glasgow went in from the side, Botes put Franco Smith’s men 13-12 ahead with a little over 16 minutes to play.
To the Warriors’ immense credit, they roared straight back and landed their first try of the night almost immediately. Treviso looked to have coped with the initial danger as Glasgow put the play where they wanted it, but a crucial fumble close to the line allowed the ever alert Seymour to nip in and dot down with only a sliver of the in goal area to play with. Wight’s conversion made it 19-13 to the Warriors.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Seymour grabbed a second score. Matawalu made the initial dent down the left, before Glasgow pushed the play right and Wight delivered an inch perfect cross-kick to the far corner where Seymour was waiting to deliver.
Full-time: Treviso 13 Warriors 24
Benetton Treviso: 15 Luke McLean; 14 Christian Loamanu, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tommaso Iannone; 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Tobias Botes; 1 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 3 Pedro Di Santo, 4 Francesco Minto, 5 Corniel Van Zyl (Captain), 6 Simone Favaro, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 8 Manoa Vosawai
Substitutes: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Valerio Bernabo’, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Brendan Williams
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie; 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Stuart Hogg, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Niko Matawalu; 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos; 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Finlay Gillies, 3 Mike Cusack, 4 Tom Ryder, 5 Al Kellock (Captain), 6 Rob Harley, 7 John Barclay, 8 Ryan Wilson
Substitutes: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ofa Fainga’anuku, 18 Gordon Reid, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 James Eddie, 21 Scott Wight, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Taylor Paris
Referee: L Colgan (IRFU