March 23, 2018
Glasgow Warriors 68 - 7 Zebre
GUINNESS PRO12 match played at Scotstoun on Friday March 23rd 2018 | No comments
DTH van der Merwe marked his return to Scotstoun within a double Warriors got back to PRO14 business with a big win over Zebre at Scotstoun this evening.
Two tries from DTH van der Merwe on his return to the club, a brace from Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos' score and a penalty try put Warriors 40-0 up.
And Zander Fagerson, Callum Gibbins and Leila Masaga added further tries after Carlo Canna had replied for Zebre.
Warriors need one more win to secure a home semi-final in the play-offs.
Adam Hastings, who successfully kicked eight of nine conversion attempts, orchestrated the play throughout, turning in another composed performance at fly-half in only his sixth Warriors start.
A delightful quick interchange between Prygos and Hastings overstretched the Zebre defence and Hastings' long floated pass out was gratefully gathered and touched down by Van der Merwe, who rejoined the club from Newcastle Falcons this week.
The second try came after Prygos quickly took a tap penalty to catch the Italians off guard. Sam Johnson supplied the supporting run, offloaded to Hastings and his return pass intended for Johnson was gathered instead by Jackson to score under the posts.
Zebre, who had won for the first time in Ireland last time out against Connacht, struggled to get a foothold as Glasgow demonstrated attacking intent at every opportunity.
The Italians' night got worse after a misplaced pass was kicked through by Jones for 30 metres out. Jones was impeded in the act of scoring as he attempted to scoop the ball up to cross. After deliberation with his stand-side touch judge, referee Craig Evans showed Canna a yellow card for his intervention and awarded the penalty try.
Warriors secured a bonus point inside 27 minutes with a perfectly executed line-out move. Van der Merwe cut through the Italian defence - leaping gleefully as he went in to score and throwing the ball into the crowd to celebrate.
Glasgow had thumped Zebre 70-10 in the PRO12 in season 2015-16 and they reached the halfway mark of that total after 33 minutes when Hastings released Prygos to easily score through a fractured defence. Hastings, as he had done three times previously, converted to extend the lead to 35-0.
The first half scoring was completed when Jackson finished from close range, Hastings' conversion miss the only minor blemish on the first-half performance.
The second half started with Jones racing in to score within 90 seconds of the restart and it looked like a long second half for the visitors but they showed determination and got on the scoreboard, a rare trip to the Glasgow 22 rewarded as Canna broke through to score. Canna added the conversion.
Fagerson and then Gibbins scored from close range as the power of the Glasgow pack dominated their visitors and Masaga ran in his first Warriors try, knocking away the efforts of the Zebre defenders to bring him down.
And Van der Merwe was denied a hat-trick when referee Evans judged the final pass to send the Canadian in was forward.
Report from BBC Scotland