GLASGOW rose to the top of the Guinness Pro12 with a convincing six-try romp in Stadio Monigo that extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Treviso, who have now lost five out of five, gave them a fright in the bright sunshine of the first half, snatching an early lead and then fighting back as they fell behind.
But Glasgow powered away in the second 40, quickly wrapping up the bonus point with a fourth try and adding another couple to ensure there was no way back for the Italian side. Even when the Warriors were reduced to 13 men in the last ten minutes, they held out as Treviso searched for a kitchen sink to throw at them. In the end, the comprehensive nature of the victory masked some poor play and error-prone handling by Glasgow in a performance that ranged from the scrappy to the sublime.
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend shuffled his squad to keep players fresh after the win against Connacht. Tommy Seymour came in on the wing, with Sean Lamont going to outside centre with Peter Horne inside him. The irrepressible Fijian Niko Matawalu took over from Henry Pyrgos at scrum half.
Pat McArthur ran on for his 100th appearance at hooker, flanked by Alex Allan and Rossouw de Clerk. Tom Ryder was at lock for his first start since February in front of a whole new back row of James Eddie, Tyrone Holmes and Josh Strauss.
But it was the Italians who went ahead in less than a minute when a simple knock-on from the kick-off led to an offside and stand-off Joe Carlisle kicked the penalty. It was the first in a series of errors that allowed the home side to edge possession and territory and dictate the pattern of the game.
Treviso’s bright start continued with some good inter-passing, catching Glasgow cold and taking the game into the visitor’s 22. A penalty wasn’t enough and a quick tap by scrum half Edoardo Gori kept up the momentum, No 8 Mat Luamanu rattled against a post and the ball went out to centre Michele Campagnaro to score on the right with a two-man overlap outside him. Englishman Carlisle added the conversion.
But the Warriors weathered the early storm and hit back with a try of their own. A short pop pass by Strauss
allowed Peter Horne to make the line break. He passed to full-back Stuart Hogg and he, in turn, gave it back inside for winger Tommy Seymour to run in unchallenged.
Treviso missed an easy penalty chance but their adventurous style was asking serious questions of Glasgow which they answered with some brilliant off-loading by the back row and a kick and chase that set up a five-metre lineout which led to a maul and a try for Holmes. Duncan Weir’s conversion put the visitors in the lead by two.
Treviso attacked, retaining possession through several phases but stretching themselves wide so that when the ball was spilled and snapped up by Seymour there was nobody to stop him going round a thinly-spread defence and sprinting 80 metres for the try. Weir knocked over the conversion.
Treviso reeled in Glasgow with two Carlisle penalties that made it a three-point game at half-time.
After the restart, Treviso kept faith with their wide game, but Glasgow had the measure of them by now and the bonus-point try came nine minutes in with players rolling off a lineout and recycling the ball until Matawalu passed to James Eddie who drove over the line. Weir added the conversion.
Both teams put on a slew of fresh legs, including a Warriors debut for 18-year old prop Zander Fagerson as a blood substitute in place of de Clerk.
The game was won with half an hour to play and if there was any doubt DTH van der Merwe removed it with an interception and a burst of speed for a fifth try. Then Matawalu ran through the middle of a disintegrating ruck and chipped ahead for Sean Lamont to scoop up and dive over to complete the half dozen. Replacement stand-off Finn Russell converted both tries.
Treviso rallied as Glasgow relaxed and Campagnaro went in for his second try, but it was small consolation in a performance that had started so well but faded badly before a final revival and assault on the visitors’ line.
Glasgow’s de Clerk and Matawalu were sent to the sin bin, leaving their team-mates to defend frantically with only 13 men and put up a physical barrier the Italians couldn’t break through and were left frustrated and pointless.
Scorers: Treviso – Tries: Campagnaro 2. Cons: Carlisle, Hayward. Pens: Carlisle 3. Glasgow – Tries: Seymour 2, Holmes, Eddie, van der Merwe, Lamont. Cons: Weir 3, Russell 2.
Treviso: J Hayward, A Esposito, M Campagnaro, L Morisi, L Nitoglia, J Carlisle, E Gori, M Luamanu, M Lazzaroni, S Favaro, M Fuser, A Pavanello (c), R Harden, D Giazzon, M Muccignat. Replacements: G Maistri, M Zanusso, R Acosta, F Minto, L Auva’a, M Barbini, S Christie, A Lucchese.
Glasgow: S Hogg, T Seymour, S Lamont, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe, D Weir, N Matawalu, A Allan, P MacArthur, de Klerk, T Ryder, A Kellock (captain), J Eddie, T Holmes, J Strauss. Replacements: F Brown, J Yanuyanutawa, Z Fagerson, L Nakarawa, C Fusaro, A Price, F Russell, J Downey.