Horne helps Glasgow to bonus-point win
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: A man-of-the-match performance from George Horne helped Glasgow Warriors to a 12th victory of the season.
The Conference A leaders outscored Zebre by six tries to three, with the Scots recording five different try scorers.
With a bonus point in the bag before the first half was out, Glasgow could have run riot in the second period, but a never-say-die attitude from the Italians saw them go in search of their own bonus.
After some early possession and territory for Zebre it was Glasgow that got on the board with their first attack of the game.
A penalty just inside the Zebre half saw Finn Russell kick to touch, with Jonny Gray collecting from the line-out and the ball eventually finding its way to Matt Fagerson to rumble over from the rolling maul – Russell converting.
But Zebre hit back almost immediately as they swiftly switched play from right to left, with Giulio Bisegni playing the telling pass to Renato Giammarioli, who went over on the left flank and Carlo Canna levelling matters with the conversion.
Before the 20-minute mark Glasgow almost had a second score but Huw Jones’ chip to the in-goal area was collected by Edoardo Padovani just before the centre could latch onto it.
Two minutes later the score did come, though, with Lee Jones going in under the posts after collecting from George Horne at the back of scrum and scything through the Zebre defence with a cutting line – Russell easily converting.
Canna had the opportunity to reduce the Zebre deficit five minutes later but his long-distance penalty drifted to the right of the posts.
And making a further statement of intent before the half hour mark, Russell again went for the corner when he could have taken a shy at the posts.
The decision proved fruitful as a try-bound drive was brought down prematurely and the referee awarded a penalty score.
Zebre were doing their best to keep in touch and Canna took them into double figures as Glasgow infringed and this time he bisected the posts with the resultant penalty.
But Glasgow got their bonus point with the clock in the red as Adam Ashe – an early replacement for Chris Fusaro – exchanged passes with Horne before the scrum-half found a gap in the Zebre defence to score in the right corner – Russell missing the conversion from wide out.
Zebre did not let their heads drop, though, as they came out in the second half and laid siege to the Glasgow line.
And after three minutes it was Maxime Mbanda who sniped through a gap in the Warriors defence to cross from just a couple of yards out – Marcello Violi missing the conversion.
After a period of inaction Warriors sparked into life as a miss-pass found Ruaridh Jackson, whose quick hands found Lee Jones to race over on the left wing – Russell making the tough conversion.
But despite being behind, with more than 20 minutes to play Zebre were going in search of bonus points and almost took a step closer in the 58th minute – only for the TMO to rule they failed to ground the ball over the try line.
The score eventually came two minutes later, though, as Glasgow could not clear their lines and Tommaso D’Apice drove over from short range for their third score of the game – Canno missing the penalty.
Glasgow gave the perfect response, though, as Nick Grigg received the ball following a smart grubber kick and tap inside from his fellow centre Jones before racing clear to give Russell a simple conversion.
Neither side could make a further breakthrough in the final ten minutes, though, as Zebre’s hunt for a bonus point went unfulfilled.
Tries:Giammarioli, Mbanda, d'Apice
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries:Fagerson, Jones 2, Horne, Grigg, Penalty try
Cons: Russell 4, Penalty try does not require a conversion
Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Rory Parata, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Tommaso D’Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Maicol Azzolini, 23 Ciaran Gaffney.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Finn Russell, 9 George Horne, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan.
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Brandon Thomson.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland), Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)