Zebre 10 - 42 Glasgow Warriors: Warriors go back top after thumping win

Glasgow are back on top of PRO14 Conference A after a ruthless demolition of Zebre saw them secure all five match points after barely 25 minutes of a one-sided contest. Munster, who lost narrowly at Scarlets, are now three points behind the Warriors with four games to go as the two teams fight it out for the right to a home semi-final.

Matt Fagerson scored Glasgow's opening try. Pic: SNS/Ross MacDonald

After scoring five tries in the first half, Dave Rennie’s team were more subdued after the break, claiming only one more. Zebre, while well beaten, at least took some credit for drawing the second half 7-7, and they showed a lot of character to keep up the fight after stand-off Carlo Canna was sent off for a second yellow-card offence some 15 minutes from the end.

Canna had actually given the home team the lead in Parma with an early penalty, but Glasgow wasted little time in ramming home their dominance. Matt Fagerson picked up and powered over off the back of a scrum for try No 1, then captain Chris Fusaro got the second, seizing on a loose ball and racing clear down the left wing.

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The third try came when clean lineout ball inside the Zebre 22 was tipped back to Stafford McDowall, and the centre took a good line to force his way over for his first try for the team. Ruaridh Jackson celebrated his 150th appearance for Glasgow by grabbing the bonus-point score from a chip ahead by Adam Hastings, who ended up with a 100 per cent conversion record.

Fagerson’s second try - his team’s fifth - merely emphasised their superiority. After the break, things got worse for Zebre when Canna was yellow-carded within a minute of the restart for a deliberate knock-on. Glasgow had been well on top physically when it was 15 against 15, and with a man advantage their superiority was all the more evident, as Tim Swinson made no mistake from a mauled lineout to claim converted try No 6.

To their credit, Zebre lifted their game after that and got their first try through captain Tommaso Castello after good work by scrum-half Josh Renton. Zander Fagerson came off after 55 minutes, having put in a good shift on his return from injury, and that and other changes saw a lot of the shape go out of the game.

With quarter of an hour left Canna was sent off for a second yellow-card offence - kicking out from the ground at D’Arcy Rae after being late-tackled by the replacement prop.

Zebre: F Brummer; G di Giulio, G Bisegni, T Castello (T Boni 53), J Elliott; C Canna, J Renton (G Palazzani 55); D Rimpelli (D Fischetti 54), O Fabiani (M Ceciliani 54), R Tenga (M Nocera 75), S Ortis (I Bianchi 52), D Sisi, J Brown, J Tuivaiti (A Tauyavuca 53), R Giammarioli.

Glasgow Warriors: R Jackson; R Nairn, K Steyn, S McDowall, R Hughes (P Kelly 63); A Hastings (B Thomson 63), N Frisby (N Matawalu 55); O Kebble (A Allan 49), G Turner (G Stewart 35), Z Fagerson (D Rae 55), T Swinson, S Cummings, R Harley (B Flockhart 54), C Fusaro (captain, A Ashe 49), M Fagerson.