The title as a pre-season friendly extended to the scoring at Kingsholm last night as both sides were prepared to gift each other points to make up for the fact they were unable to create enough to cross the try line any other way.
At least that was the case during the first half when both teams were something close to full strength, a strange opening period that ended seven-all with an interception for the home team and a charge down for Glasgow. The changes were rung in the second half to give players some time on the pitch, so the main business of the night took place in that toothless opening 40 minutes. The final score was a bit of a points spree, but that was less relevant.
There were positives for Glasgow if scoring points was not the priority. The scrum was strong, perhaps thanks to the addition of former All Black Corey Flynn as hooker which saw Scotland’s Fraser Brown moved back to flanker.
No 8 Ryan Wilson also appeared to have added an offloading dimension to his power game, the lineout was solid and making half breaks seemed to come easy. It was just finishing off those opportunities which will have worried the coaching team.
With champions Connacht away first up in the Guinness Pro12 opener next week, a repeat of last season’s final at BT Murrayfield, Glasgow will certainly have to sharpen up that cutting edge to threaten the Irish province.
The opening scoring was an all-Scottish affair at least, but not in the way Glasgow would have wanted. Visiting outside half Peter Horne provided the scoring pass for Scotland team-mate Matt Scott, but of course the former Edinburgh man has made the summer move to Gloucester.
He ran 50 yards for the try, converted by Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw to put the home side ahead against the run of play.
Glasgow responded by dominating even more in terms of territory and possession, but only got a score of their own in the last seconds of the half as centre Alex Dunbar was able to charge down a kick from Laidlaw at the base of a defensive ruck.
Henry Pyrgos converted and then started the second half with a clean break, handing on to Tijuee Uanivi before Horne was put clear in the left-hand corner for the first try of the second half.
Laidlaw made up for his earlier mistake by scoring in the corner and adding the conversion himself before going off to a tremendous reception from the home crowd.
The substitutions flowed like water as both teams took off the players who will be starting the league season next week and the points started to come as well.
It was still 65 minutes before a non-Scot got onto the scoreboard as home full-back Tom Marshall scored a try which was quickly followed by one from replacement scrum-half Callum Braley.
Glasgow finally showed some sharpness in attack as some neat passing created space for Sean Lamont to come off his wing to score, but it was Gloucester who ended comfortable winners.