Glasgow hold off Zebre
Scots battle back from 13-0 deficit
Last Updated: 28/09/12 10:35pm
An experimental Glasgow line-up featuring a host of debutants made it three wins in a row for new coach Gregor Townsend.
Zebre, the new Italian franchise in the RaboDirect PRO12, got a deserved first bonus point for a spirited performance.
In a high-scoring first half, Zebre took a shock 13-0 lead that they extended to 16-7 as half-time approached. However, Glasgow scored two quick tries to go in 19-16 ahead.
A tense second half saw the scores soon tied and for all their pressure Glasgow could not get the fourth try and had to settle for a penalty from substitute Peter Horne in the 73rd minute to seal a narrow win.
Glasgow scored their three tries through Tim Swinson, DTH Van Der Merwe and Graeme Morrison, with Ruaridh Jackson converting two.
Zebre's points came from a try by Luciano Orquero, who also kicked the conversion and three penalties while Gonzalo Garcia kicked the other penalty.
With a host of new players at the club, and a big match at Cardiff to come next week, Townsend made 13 changes to his starting line-up, with another three fresh faces waiting on the bench.
Poor game management on a sodden night meant that when Glasgow's first possession was moved along their twenty-two it was inevitably dropped.
A penalty for Zebre was converted by Orquera, and that was soon followed by a long-range effort from Garcia as the visitors forged into an early lead.
Things got worse for Glasgow when the ball was dropped allowing Leonardo Sarto to hare up the wing, and from the ruck Orquera sold a lovely dummy to touch down under the bar and convert.
Glasgow pulled back to within seven points after the greasy ball was finally put in the air to be spilled for Swinson to touchdown with Jackson converting.
Filippo Cristiano and Mauro Bergamasco were sent to the sin-bin within five minutes but Glasgow allowed a second Orquero penalty while Zebre were short-handed.
However as the half closed Van Der Merwe dived over in the corner following a massive scrum and the half closed with Morrison touching down. With Jackson converting the second. Glasgow went in at the break with a 19-16 lead.
Resilient Zebre tied the scores in the 45th minute with Orquero's third penalty.
Glasgow then piled on pressure but lacking guile against Zebre's resilience they made nothing of it. Finally Jackson - on another unhappy night - missed a decent penalty chance.
Finally his nerveless replacement Horne struck one home in the 73rd minute.
Van Der Merwe was injured in creating Morrison's try which allowed young Scotland cap Stuart Hogg to take the field for the first time this season following an ankle operation.
But it was a bad night for Glasgow in terms of injuries, with international prop Moray Low stretchered off in the second half with a bad leg injury.
Sun 12th Apr
Dragons25 - 22Leinster
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh0 - 0Zebre
Ulster0 - 0Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Munster0 - 0Treviso
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Ospreys
Dragons0 - 0Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets