Warriors account for winless Zebre
URC MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors made it three wins on the bounce, with a 17-6 victory over Zebre in Italy.
Having lost their season opener at Ulster, the Warriors have now chalked up consecutive wins against the Sharks, Lions and Zebre ahead of next weekend’s home clash with Leinster – their final match before the international break.
First-half tries from Lewis Bean and Sione Tuipulotu put the visitors in control, while a Duncan Weir penalty was all either side could muster after the break.
Zebre – limited to six points from the boot of Carlo Canna – did show some threatening glimpses but have now not won a game in any competition since February and their record against Glasgow stands at 18 defeats and no victories.
Glasgow put the Zebre defence under some early pressure and was rewarded in the fifth minute when Bean overpowered Canna to barge over from close range, with Weir adding the extras.
Bean went over again seven minutes later after more good work by the Glasgow forwards, but he lost control of the ball before being able to ground and a swift trip to the TMO confirmed the on-field verdict of no try.
Poor handling proved costly just as Zebre started to look capable of breaching the Glasgow defence, while a misjudged tap-and-go from Alessandro Fusco compounded the frustration.
Canna’s penalty midway through the half proved a momentary reprieve as some quick passing down the left wing sent Tuipulotu over after 28 minutes, with Weir again on target from the tee.
Another three points from Canna’s boot kept Zebre in the contest at 14-6 at half-time, but they were unable to convert some early second-half pressure into points.
A knock-on denied Glasgow a third try after Rufus McLean had carved through the Zebre defence just short of the hour mark, before Canna squandered an opportunity to reduce the deficit when Fraser Brown was penalised for a high tackle.
Weir made no such mistake at the other end to stretch the advantage to 11 points, which was enough to preserve Glasgow’s position at the top of the Scottish/Italian Shield heading into round five.
Player of the match
Tuipulotu was a key man for Glasgow, making more successful carries (five) and beating more defenders (six) than any of his teammates, as well as scoring his first try for the club.
However, it was captain Ryan Wilson who took home the individual honour for his tireless work in the Warriors pack.
Play of the match
The quick passing that led to Glasgow’s second try had Zebre scrambling.
Cole Forbes released Rory Darge, who got a clever offload to Tuipulotu, and the centre sent the ball wide to McLean before taking the return pass and going over.
Pens: Canna 2
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Bean, Tuipulotu
Cons: Weir 2
Zebre: 15 Junior Laloifi, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Giulio Bisegni (captain), 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 Asaeli Tuivuaka, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Alessandro Fusco, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Renato Giammarioli, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 David Sisi, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Cristian Stoian, 20 Luca Andreani, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Paolo Pescetto, 23 Erich Cronjé.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Cole Forbes, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Rufus McLean, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 George Horne, 8 Ryan Wilson (captain), 7 Rory Darge, 6 Ally Miller, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Lewis Bean, 3 Oli Kebble, 2 Johnny Matthews, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Thomas Gordon, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Stafford McDowall.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Riccardo Angelucci (Italy), Dario Merli (Italy)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)