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May 31, 2024

Glasgow Warriors 38 - 26 Zebre

United Rugby Championship match played at Scotstoun on Friday May 31st 2024 | No comments

Johnny Matthews added a double to bring his season's try tally to 14
Glasgow Warriors made hard work of it but eventually ran out 38-26 winners over Zebre Parma at Scotstoun this evening.

Johnny Matthews scored two tries on the night in a result that puts Glasgow in second position before the Bulls and Munster play their final fixture on Saturday.

The Warriors were already assured of a top-four finish but their bid to go into the play-offs on a high note were in jeopardy for much of the evening as the spirited Italians led until the 66th minute before wilting in the closing stages.

Glasgow had Scotland internationals Richie Gray and Huw Jones back in their starting XV for the first time since they sustained injuries on Six Nations duty.

The hosts made a strong start and got themselves ahead in the third minute when prop Jamie Bhatti scored off the back of a lineout maul. Veteran fly-half Duncan Weir, on his 150th appearance, added the extras.

Zebre reduced their arrears to just one point, however, with a couple of penalties from Giovanni Montemauri in the 13th and 24th minutes.

The hosts stretched their lead in the 32nd minute, however, as hooker Matthews touched down for his 14th try of the season - his 13th in the URC - from another lineout maul. Weir was off target with the conversion.

Zebre finished the first half with a flourish. With 38 minutes on the clock, full-back Jacopo Trulla sent a penalty from just inside his own half soaring between the posts.

And in the last action of the first half, the Italians got their noses in front with a scintillating try as some excellent play by Trulla and Pierre Bruno created an opening for Montemauri to race clear down the right. Montemauri converted himself to give Zebre a surprise 16-12 lead at the break.

Glasgow regained the initiative two minutes after the break, however, when Rowe applied the finish after some excellent play by Sione Tuipulotu to set him free. Weir was again unable to add the conversion.

But Zebre roared back into the lead in the 50th minute when Bautista Stavile intercepted a Rory Darge pass and darted over, with Montemauri again on point from the tee.

The topsy-turvy nature of the match continued on the hour mark when Sebastian Cancelliere burst in on the right to finish off a lovely flowing Glasgow build-up, with substitute George Horne converting.

But the visitors went ahead again just two minute later with another excellently-struck penalty from Montemauri.

Glasgow finally managed to seize control in the closing stages, however, with tries from Matthews and substitute Tom Jordan - both converted by Horne - taking the game away from the Italians.

Rory Darge was named player of the match and told Premier Sports: "It was some game, a bit nervy towards the end. That's because of how well Zebre play, they put us under a bit of pressure so we're delighted to get the win.

"We were under no illusions as to what kind of team we were up against. You watch all their games and they're right in it until the last 20.

"Off the back of two losses it's good to get the win going into the play-offs. We've got the confidence that we can win those gritty games. We're delighted to show that sort of character and get the win."

Referee Peter Martin (Ireland)
Man of the Match Rory Darge
Jamie Bhatti
Johnny Matthews
Zander Fagerson
Max Williamson
Richie Gray
Matt Fagerson
Rory Darge
Jack Dempsey
Jamie Dobie
Duncan Weir
Sebastian Cancelliere
Sione Tuipulotu
Huw Jones
Facundo Cordero
Kyle Rowe
Gregor Hiddleston
Nathan McBeth
Oli Kebble
Scott Cummings
Euan Ferrie
George Horne
Ross Thompson
Tom Jordan
Match Substitutions
Off On
Max Williamson Scott Cummings
Off On
Duncan Weir Ross Thompson
Off On
Facundo Cordero George Horne
Off On
Jamie Bhatti Nathan McBeth
Off On
Huw Jones Tom Jordan
Off On
Richie Gray Euan Ferrie
Off On
Zander Fagerson Oli Kebble
Off On
Johnny Matthews Gregor Hiddleston
Jamie Bhatti Try 
Duncan Weir Conversion
Johnny Matthews Try 
Kyle Rowe Try 
Sebastian Cancelliere Try 
George Horne Conversion
Johnny Matthews Try 
George Horne Conversion
Tom Jordan Try 
George Horne Conversion