Peter Wight banishes memories of costly missed kick at Firhill as Glasgow see off Treviso
WHAT a difference a year can make. Thirteen months ago, an unfledged Glasgow fly-half by the name of Scott Wight was presented with a chance to carve a name for himself when Benetton travelled to Firhill.
Making what was just his third appearance in professional rugby, the Melrose man was asked to convert a penalty from in front of the posts in the last minute of play, which, had it gone over, would have rescued victory from the jaws of defeat.
Instead, he skewed his kick wide, Glasgow lost the game and Wight was barely heard of again, failing to start a game for the rest of the season.
Fast forward to a rain-soaked Monigo Stadium on Saturday night, where, for 55 minutes, Glasgow struggled manfully to restrain a strong Benetton side.
Cue the introduction of Wight from the bench, an inspired substitution which helped Glasgow turn a one-point deficit into an 11-point winning margin.
Tommy Seymour claimed the headlines, for it was his brace of quick-fire tries which eventually did the damage. However, it was Wight who claimed the man of the match award, some achievement given he only played a quarter of the game.
Ah, but what a quarter! From his ranging touch finders to his clever game management, the 26-year-old was quite simply a revelation, banishing the ghosts of Firhill and giving coach Gregor Townsend a welcome selection headache. “I never doubted myself,” insisted Wight when it was all done and dusted. This was always something that I wanted to do, ever since I was a kid.
“The chance never came along but then Sean Lineen signed me last year and I’m grateful to him for giving me the chance.
“Obviously that [Firhill last season] wasn’t my finest hour. That sticks in coaches’ heads and maybe they think they can’t trust you, but Gregor [Townsend] has come in, done a lot more with me and I’m starting to pick up some game time.
“It’s hard, obviously, with Duncan [Weir] and Jacko [Ruaridh Jackson] being in front of me.
“So when I’m given these chances I just have to step up to the plate and take them.
“I wanted to have a decent impact on the game when I came off the bench but I don’t know if it deserved man of the match.”
If Wight was unconvinced about the merit of the award, he was in a minority. Coach Townsend said he was “outstanding”, whilst Seymour called him “a class act”.
And it wasn’t hard to see why, for it was Seymour himself who benefitted most from Wight’s industry, bagging two tries to celebrate his call-up to the Scottish national squad.
Both tries came at a time when Glasgow were down to 14 men following the sin-binning of Tim Swinson and both came directly as a result of Wight’s superb game-management.
For the first, his ability to continuously pen Treviso back into their corners eventually forced an error by the home side, from which Seymour ultimately hacked on a loose ball and grounded beside the posts.
The second, an inch-perfect crossfield kick which was tapped down by Al Kellock into the path of the American-born winger. “I’m a massive fan of Scotty,” said Seymour of his benefactor in-chief.
“It was unfortunate for him that he missed that kick last year but that was a long time ago. Goal-kickers miss kicks; you have to let it go and get on with it.
“For him, there must be huge satisfaction coming here against Treviso, at their home, and turning the game around like that. He’s certainly crushed a few demons.”
Treviso: L McLean; C Loamanu, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi, T Iannone (B Williams 63); K Burton (F Semenzato 45), T Botes; I Fernandez-Rouyet (M Rizzo 54), F Sbaraglini (L Ghiraldini 54), P Di Santo (L Cittadini 38); F Minto, C Van Zyl (A Pavanello 54); S Favaro, A Zanni, M Vosawai (M Filippucci 60). Subs not used: (V Bernabò 50).
Glasgow: P Murchie; T Seymour, S Hogg, A Dunbar, N Matawalu; R Jackson (S Wight 54), H Pyrgos; R Grant (G Reid 61), F Gillies (D Hall 41), M Cusack (O Fainga’anuku 71), T Ryder (T Swinson 54), A Kellock; R Harley (J Eddie 60), J Barclay, R Wilson.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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