Warriors thump Tigers in Euro Cup opener
MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors got their European Champions Cup campaign off to a perfect start with a 42-13 victory over Leicester Tigers on Friday.
Two interception tries were the icing on the cake for home coach Gregor Townsend, although the truth is there should have been more tries. Thee scrums on the Tigers' five-metre line were so dominant that Leicester lost a player to the sin-bin, but Glasgow failed to score.
Tigers were on the scoreboard first thanks to the boot of Owen Williams and also grabbed the game's first try when wing Adam Thomstone got wrapped up in a driving line-out moments after home flank Ryan Wilson had seen yellow.
Williams nailed the conversion and the visitors' looked well in control of their destiny. Glasgow were giving away penalties at a rate of knots and they weren't able to make the most of Matt Toomu's 10 minute break after he tip-tackled Finn Russell.
But as soon as the home pack got to grips with the pace of the game, and began to dominate the battle of the gain line, there was only going to be one winner. Glasgow attacked close to the fringes of the rucks and Italian wing Leonard Sarto burst over for the first of three first half tries.
Next over the Tigers line was hooker Fraser Brown and scrumhalf Henry Pyrgos made it three tries in nine minutes with his close range snipe. That made it 22-13 at the break - Williams kicked another penalty just before the interval - but Russell extended the lead with a penalty 15 minutes into the second half.
Glasgow's set-piece dominance should have yielded them something, but they had to be content with another Russell penalty that made it 28-13 after 67 minutes. The bonus-point arrived moments later thanks to a 70-metre interception try from Olympic Sevens silver medallist Mark Bennett.
Then Sarto followed suit to cap off a great night at a sold-out Scotstoun. That was enough to earn the Italian flyer the man-of-the-match award and Russell's conversion took the score beyond the 41 points notched by Ulster against Leicester in the 2010/11 season.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Sarto 2, Brown, Pyrgos, Bennett
Cons: Russell 4
Pens: Hogg, Russell 2
For Leicester Tigers:
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos (co-captain), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Ryan Wilson, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray (co-captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Matt Fagerson, 20 Lewis Wynne, 21 Ali Price, 22 Mark Bennett, 23 Sean Lamont.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Peter Betham.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Salem Attalah (France), Thomas Déjean (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)