Glasgow Warriors shell-shocked by Benetton - “it’s an embarrassing performance” admits Danny Wilson

A disorganised and dispirited performance by Glasgow Warriors saw them get their Rainbow Cup campaign off to just about the worst possible start as they lost 46-19 to Benetton in Treviso.

Ian Keatley's try was a rare bright moment for Glasgow Warriors against Benetton. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport/Shutterstock

Danny Wilson the head coach, suggested afterwards that it marked a low in his time at the club, but it has to be said that this was far from the first time this season that the Warriors had seemed short of motivation.

They looked purposeful enough at the very start of the game, but after falling behind to a second-minute score they lost their sense of direction. They did not find it again until the closing dozen minutes, a period in which they scored all their points, and by which time the match had already been lost.

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“I’m a bit shell-shocked, probably like most people,” Wilson admitted. “I didn’t see that performance coming.

“I thought we had a decent week training and came into the game in a reasonable place. We had picked enough experienced players to go with the younger players, and it’s an embarrassing performance, as simple as that.

“It’s the worst performance since I’ve been here, no doubt about that, from any team we have put out. It’s a bad day. It looks to me like we haven’t turned up.

“The boys have not tried to gloss over it. The leaders have spoken and said it’s a dark day that can’t happen again. We need to get to the bottom of where that came from and more importantly make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Winger Monty Ioane was the man who got the scoreboard going at the Stadio Monigo with that early try off a counter-attack, and lock Niccolo Cannone ran in two more before half-time. Paolo Garbisi converted all three to make the score at the break 21-0.

A Garbisi penalty made it 24-0 in the first score of the second half, and then the Warriors thought they had broken their duck on the hour mark when full-back Cole Forbes touched down. But Benetton used their captain’s challenge - one of the new rules for the Rainbow Cup - and the score was chalked off when replays showed a Glasgow offence in the build-up, a high tackle by Sam Johnson on former Warrior Leonardo Sarto.

Within minutes Toa Halafihi got his team’s fourth try following a clever lineout move to end the visitors’ faint hopes of a fightback. His back-row team-mate Michele Lamaro grabbed a fifth with quarter of an hour to go, and only then did Glasgow manage to score.

A clever drop-out by substitute Ian Keatley was gathered by Forbes, who ran the length of the pitch to score and leave his team-mate a straightforward conversion. But soon Gianmarco Lucchesi made it six tries to the home side when he touched down from a Benetton maul, with Garbisi missing his conversion attempt for the first time of the afternoon.

The home stand-off then rounded off a memorable afternoon for himself and his team-mates by getting yellow-carded a few minutes from time for two deliberate knock-ons in rapid succession. Glasgow were quick to capitalise on the extra man, and Keatley and Nick Grigg got consolation scores, with the Irishman failing to convert his own score but adding the two points to Grigg’s.

Fittingly, however, the last word went to Benetton.

Edoardo Padovani completed the rout with a last-minute penalty, leaving Wilson and his squad with a lot of thinking to do before the 1872 Cup decider against Edinburgh a week on Friday.

Scorers: Benetton: Tries: Ioane, Cannone 2, Halafihi, Lamaro, Lucchesi. Cons: Garbisi 5. Pens: Garbisi, Padovani.

Glasgow: Tries: Forbes, Keatley, Grigg. Cons: Keatley 2.

Benetton: J Hayward; L Sarto (E Padovani 69), I Brex, M Zanon, M Ioane; P Garbisi, D Duvenage (captain) (L Petrozzi 60); T Gallo (T Baravalle 62), C Els (G Lucchesi 62), F Alongi (I Nemer 41, Alongi 71), N Cannone (I Herbst 64), F Ruzza (M Zuliani 53), R Favretto, M Lamaro, T Halafihi (A Sgarbi 65).

Glasgow Warriors: C Forbes; R McLean, N Grigg, S Johnson, K Steyn (O Smith 59); R Thompson (I Keatley 50), G Horne (A Price 48); O Kebble (T Lambert 15), G Turner (G Stewart 55), Z Fagerson (D Rae 68), R Gray (L Nakarawa 64), R Harley, F Lokotui (R Darge 64), F Brown, R Wilson (captain).

Yellow card: Benetton: Garbisi 76.

Referee: M Mitrea (Italy).

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