Maitland the menace
Maitland the menaceSHARE
Two tries from Henry Pyrgos and a stunning performance from Sean Maitland saw Glasgow Warriors storm back into the Pro12 play-off places with a 29-10 victory over Benetton Treviso.
In an early blitz Pyrgos grabbed the double either side of a Niko Matawalu score, but it was the lightning speed of Maitland that conjured up both of the tries.
And the utility back, making his first start since December for Glasgow after injury troubles, bagged one of his own in the second half – while Pete Horne also made his return following nine months out with cruciate ligament damage.
Treviso had cut the lead down to nine at the break through Alberto Sgarbi's score and five points from kicker Tobias Botes before the hosts raced away.
Warriors may have won two Pro12 games on the spin but Treviso had seen off Scottish rivals Edinburgh last time out for their fourth league win of the season.
Any questions of complacency were put to bed after 59 seconds however as Maitland skated down the right-hand side to feed Pyrgos for the try.
And a buzzing Scotstoun soon blew its roof off, this time Mark Bennett with the incisive break from midfield as Niko Matawalu slid under the posts.
Ruaridh Jackson nailed the conversion – after Finn Russell's attempt went astray for Warriors' first – but the visitors soon earned themselves respite.
Mesmerising play between the Italians' backs was finished off by centre Sgarbi, while Tobias Botes' conversion reduced the arrears to five.
But a sense of déjà vu set in almost immediately as Pyrgos again reaped the rewards of Maitland's menace on the right to bag his second score within the quarter-hour.
The impressive Russell was on target with the extras but the visitors were not letting the Warriors out of their grasp after a high tackle saw Botes slot through a penalty.
The scrumhalf would be left ruing missed opportunities before the interval however, failing to hit the target with a further two efforts as Townsend's men entered the break 19-10 up.
Only dogged defending prevented the hosts from burrowing over their fourth try at the start of the second half, though Russell was on target with a penalty.
But they did not have to wait long for their bonus point – Maitland touching down for the score his play had so richly deserved after another trademark burst.
Russell converted and in more good news for the home side, Horne made his return from injury as a replacement for Jackson with 20 minutes left to play.
Matawalu misplaced the final pass after a fine run while Tyrone Holmes was sent to the sin bin with 12 minutes to go, but it could not put a dampener on the Warriors' fine match.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Pyrgos 2, Matawalu, Maitland
Cons: Russell 3
For Benetton Treviso:
Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson. 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 James Eddie, 21 Peter Horne, 22 Richie Vernon, 23 Lee Jones.
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Christian Loamanu, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Marco Fuser, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Corniel Van Zyl, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 Alberto Di Bernardo, 23 Brendan Williams.
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)
Assistant referees: James Matthew (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)