Benetton Rugby 20-17 Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors could only earn a losing bonus point in Italy as Benetton edged a tight encounter.
It was a game where the momentum swung between both sides and it was the hosts who started the brighter, looking more likely to break the deadlock in a scoreless opening 10.
They soon did cross the whitewash, from close range captain Dean Budd forcing his way over.
It was then Glasgow’s turn to experience a spell of dominance and they were eventually rewarded, Sam Johnson’s hard line earning the try that the Warriors pressure had deserved.
Once again the game see-sawed and Benetton were back in front. Again from close range and again Budd, no conversion added this time.
Just as it looked like the home side were going to win the first half battle Glasgow struck. Johnson again, on his first start back from injury, stepping and fending his way through a challenge before releasing George Horne who in true George Horne fashion was on his shoulder to apply the finish.
Both teams exchanged blows in the early moments of the second period but it was the Italians who landed a punch. The Glasgow defence fell off a tackle as the hosts looked to play with penalty advantage and they scored their third in the corner.
Adam Hastings evened the scores at 17-17 with a penalty from in front of the sticks after Glasgow had opted for the corner for previous Benetton infringements.
With just 10 minutes to play the home side re-took the lead with a penalty of their own as the Warriors were caught offside in defence.
Glasgow threw everything at their opponents. Working hard through the phases they stretched the green defence however Adam Hastings’ miss pass to an unmarked Niko Matawalu drifted forward.
The Italians’ discipline began to waver and after sending consecutive penalties to the corner Brandon Thomson lined up a shot at the sticks with two minutes left to even things up but pushed his kick wide.
The drama didn’t stop there. Benetton were awarded a late penalty of their own but the kick at goal dropped short with the clock gone red and Glasgow looked to play from their own try line.
They forced a penalty but decided to take it quickly rather than kick territory and the home side earned the turnover and kicked the ball out to take the victory.