Glasgow Warriors youngsters step up in absence of Scotland Six Nations stars as win over Benetton earns URC top spot

How a hard fought match unfolded as Warriors claim 19-9 away win in Treviso
Glasgow celebrate Tom Jordan's try in the win over Benetton. Photo by Luca Sighinolfi/INPHO/Shutterstock (14372045aw)Glasgow celebrate Tom Jordan's try in the win over Benetton. Photo by Luca Sighinolfi/INPHO/Shutterstock (14372045aw)
Glasgow celebrate Tom Jordan's try in the win over Benetton. Photo by Luca Sighinolfi/INPHO/Shutterstock (14372045aw)

A gritty performance in Treviso saw Glasgow inflict a first home defeat on Benetton in nearly a year. It was a result that sent the Warriors to the top of the URC table ahead of last night’s matches, and one that was achieved without nine Scotland internationals and another nine injured players.

“I knew it was going to be tough tonight,” Glasgow head coach Franco Smith - who once occupied the same post with Benetton - said after the victory at the Stadio di Monigo. “They’ve shown it all season - they don’t lose here.

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“I think the character of the group is important. We came here with a lot of players not available for selection due to international duty.

“I feel our young guys stepped up tonight. We want to develop a great squad and the young guys are taking their first and second opportunities. Gregor Hiddleston, Euan Ferrie, Nathan McBeth - there are a bunch of players who have put their hands up for more responsibility.

"I think the conditions made it difficult. You could see that in how the pitch cut up and the water didn't make it easy to play. Despite that, for us to stick to what we do well - and do well without the ball as much as we did with the ball - I'm very happy with that.

"I think we know it's better to play without the ball and give them the ball because errors will come. I'm happy with the all-round performance.”

Errors certainly came in abundance in the first half, mainly courtesy of the home team, and it was from one of them that Glasgow opened the scoring. A Benetton mis-throw at the lineout sailed over the heads of the intended recipients and straight into the welcoming arms of Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews, who happily flopped over the line. Ross Thompson was off target with that conversion attempt, but towards half-time managed to add the two points after captain Stafford McDowall touched down.

Scrum-half Jamie Dobie started the move for that try by turning the defence with a clever kick, and a defensive fumble sent the ball into the path of Facundo Cordero. The winger hacked on, then McDowall put in a more controlled kick and dived on the ball just over the line.

Benetton tidied up their act a lot after the break, and got back into the contest with two penalties from Jacob Umaga in the opening 15 minutes of the half. A sense that the momentum was firmly with the home team increased when Warriors tighthead Lucio Sordoni was shown a yellow card for an off-the-ball elbow to the head of Thomas Gallo.

Under mounting pressure, the Warriors got a break when they were awarded a penalty for obstruction as a Benetton maul was about to drive over the goal line. The Italians continued to dominate, however, and just inside the final ten minutes a breakdown offence allowed Umaga to score a third penalty.

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But the Warriors were not to be denied their win, which they secured with a try just five minutes or so from time. Dobie again lobbed over the top of the defence, McDowall caught the ball on the first bounce, and Tom Jordan was on hand to receive the scoring pass from his captain. Duncan Weir’s conversion completed the scoring.



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