Glasgow Warriors V Zebre
Glasgow Warriors secured a GUINNESS PRO12 Play-Off spot for the fifth successive season with a record-breaking 70-10 win over Zebre at a sold-out Scotstoun. Leone Nakarawa
Man-of-the-match Leone Nakarawa crossed for a hat-trick as the Warriors notched 10 tries in total, with Duncan Weir finishing with a 100% record from the tee.
The early attacking intent was shown by the visitors, as Italy centre Gonzalo Garcia came up just short with a long-range penalty before being denied a try by the bounce of the ball.
However, it was Glasgow who registered the game’s opening try, as Leone Nakarawa cantered through the Zebre defence to touch down. Duncan Weir added the extra two points to give the home side a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes.
Zebre hit back almost straight away, however, as Kayle van Zyl crossed in the corner despite the attentions of two Warriors defenders. The conversion attempt sailed wide, leaving the score at 7-5.
Having turned down a relatively simple kick at goal, Glasgow were rewarded with their second try of the game after 24 minutes, as Adam Ashe was on hand to finish off Grayson Hart’s break. Weir was again successful with the conversion, taking the lead to 14-5.
The home side were now showing their trademark attacking flair and were rewarded with their third try on the half-hour mark. A set move from a midfield scrum saw Glenn Bryce outpace the defence from 40 metres to score. Weir judged the conversion from out wide to perfection to extend the lead to 21-5.
Almost immediately, Glasgow crossed for the bonus point try. When the ball was worked wide to Taqele Naiyaravoro, the Australian international winger raced home for the home side’s fourth try. Weir was accurate yet again from the tee to make it 28-5 to the Warriors.
Gregor Townsend’s men crossed the whitewash straight from the restart. A midfield burst by Jerry Yanuyanutawa set up field position, before Bryce touched down unopposed for his second try of the game. The conversion was once again added by Weir for a 35-5 lead.
It was the Italian side who had the last word of the first half, though, as centre Tommaso Boni finished a flowing move out wide for Zebre’s second try. However, the home side led 35-10 at the break after a scintillating 40 minutes. Duncan Weir
The free-flowing rugby continued in the second half, as Nakarawa capitalised on a loose pass to stroll over for his second of the game just three minutes after the interval. Weir’s excellent form with the boot continued as his conversion took the score to 42-10.
Nakarawa was now on a hat-trick, and the Fijian second-row was not to be denied as he burst through two tackles to claim his third of the night on 52 minutes. The simple conversion was no problem for Weir, extending the lead to 49-10.
The Fijian then turned provider for Glasgow’s eighth try, as his offload close to the line allowed second-row partner Greg Peterson to crash over. Weir’s impeccable record from the tee continued to take the score to 56-10.
Then came an incredible solo effort from Ali Price. The replacement scrum-half darted through a gap 60 metres out, before his pace and some neat footwork took him all the way to the line. Yet again, Weir added the conversion to make it 63-10.
Glasgow’s tenth try arrived six minutes from time. A break from Bryce saw Mark Bennett sprint under the posts. Instead of scoring himself, though, the centre unselfishly handed the ball to allow Weir to do the honours. The fly-half added the conversion before departing to a standing ovation from the Scotstoun crowd.
That was to be the final score of the evening, as the Warriors signed off on their regular-season home games with their biggest ever win in the PRO12. Attention now turns to the trip to Connacht next week, as Glasgow look to secure a precious home Play-Off.