Glasgow's first-half blitz destroys Zebre
PRO14 REPORT: A first-half blitz from Glasgow Warriors saw them hit the top of Conference A as they notched up a 42-10 win over Zebre in Parma.
Matt Fagerson ran in a pair of tries, with Ruaridh Jackson getting his name on the score-sheet on his 150th game for the Scottish side.
An encouraging second 40 from the Italians saw Tommaso Castello cross, but they had left themselves too much to do as the Warriors saw out proceedings in relative comfort.
Carlo Canna kicked the hosts into an early lead but from the restart it was the Warriors who recovered from Adam Hastings’ kick, eventually setting up Matt Fagerson to score from a powerful drive.
And just as Zebre looked to build up some momentum with the ball in hand, Warriors skipper Chris Fusaro stole in behind an unmanned ruck to nick the ball and take it 60m uncontested for a try.
They made it three when a confidently won line-out saw Stafford McDowall insouciantly brushing past a couple of tacklers while Zebre anticipated a maul, forging a path to his first score in a Glasgow shirt.
Jackson sealed the bonus point for the visitors on his landmark appearance for the side, latching onto Adam Hastings’ deft chip through as he juggled a favourable bounce to dot down with glee.
Fagerson doubled up on the half hour, Oli Kebble hopping but not falling with Zebre defenders wrapped round his legs, staying on his feet just long enough to dish an offload to the 20-year-old who charged through a gap to cross.
Half-time came and went, and when Canna was shown yellow at the start of the second 40, the Warriors were once again in the ascendancy, Tim Swinson carrying at the back of a line-out maul to crash over down the left.
The hosts got on the board when captain Castello wriggled past Scott Cummings after Zebre had built up the phases and punched a hole in the Warriors defence, the centre taking advantage to cross.
After good Zebre pressure, Canna saw red late when he was on the wrong end of a late D’arcy Rae tackle before kicking out in retaliation and the hosts had their wings clipped, but fought to the death nonetheless.
Tries: Fagerson 2, Fusaro, MacDowell, Jackson, Swinson
Cons: Hastings 6
Yellow card: Carlo Canna (Zebre, 41)
Red card: Carlo Canna (Zebre, 65)
Zebre: 15 Francois Brummer, 14 Gabriele Di Giulio, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 James Elliott, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Joshua Renton, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 6 James Brown, 5 David Sisi, 4 Samuele Ortis, 3 Roberto Tenga, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Daniele Rimpelli.
Replacements: 16 Massimo Ceciliani, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Matteo Nocera, 19 Apisai Tauyavuca, 20 Jacopo Bianchi, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Tommaso Boni, 23 Paula Balekana.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Robbie Nairn, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Chris Fusaro (captain), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Bruce Flockhart, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Paddy Kelly.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Luca Trentin (Italy), Jonny Erskine (Ireland)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (Italy)