RaboDirect Pro12: Three talking points as Glasgow beat Treviso
RaboDirect Pro12: Three talking points as Glasgow are 29-10 winners against Treviso
Warriors finally secure play-off bonus
Glasgow Warriors set club and RaboDirect Pro12 records last season for their try scoring abilities, racking up nine four-try bonus points in their 22 regular season matches as they racked up 66 tries, but much has been made this season of their lack of tries, particularly at their Scotstoun home. After 17 matches, Gregor Townsend’s side have managed just 30 – the lowest of the top five teams in the league, with fifth-placed Ospreys the league’s try-scoring leaders with 47 helped, in part, by their 75-7 demolition of Treviso at the Liberty Stadium in February. The Warriors have been hampered by a playing surface which succumbed to heavy rain in December and January and still far from perfect in areas, but their attack has also taken a battering. Record try scorer DTH van der Merwe has missed most of the season while fellow speedsters Sean Lamont, Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland have also spent time on the sidelines and that’s without full-back Peter Murchie and outside-half Peter Horne long-term absentees who have only recently returned. Versatile, unpredictable Fijian Niko Matawalu, who set alight the Pro12 last campaign on his way to nine tries, has faltered too often this season, but has recently returned to prominence and been a catalyst for the Scottish side in recent weeks, scoring four tries in five matches. With a trip to Munster next week before tricky home clashes with Ulster and Edinburgh up next for the Warriors their lack of bonus points earlier in the season could come back to haunt them.
Terrible travelling Treviso
The Italians have been notoriously inconsistent of late and can count themselves lucky not to have been on the end of another pasting. Boosted by the return of several internationals, they were better than they were against the Ospreys in February, but their aside from counterattacking from loose kicks, there was no real creativity from the Treviso backs for much of the match save for some brief moments from Angelo Esposito and Luke McLean. Their forwards were determined and caused the Warriors a few problems, but not enough to be a major worry over 80 minutes after failing to get their defence working in the opening five minutes. On this performance, Edinburgh may feel even more aggrieved that they lost in Italy last week. Had the Warriors’ attack been fully engaged the winning margin would, and should, have been far greater. Treviso haven’t won on the road since a 41-17 win over the Scarlets last May and never looked like doing so at Scotstoun. Their future in the Pro12 may be secure, but Marius Goosen’s side can expect to endure a tough end to the season and still have to host the Warriors next month.
Glasgow book European place
The Warriors may have five matches remaining in the regular season, but the win confirmed that the west of Scotland club cannot be caught by rivals Edinburgh and will take their place in the elite 20-team European tournament next season. Edinburgh have an outside chance of joining them if they finish sixth in the league, but Scarlets occupy that position and have an easier run-in to the end of the season with a run of home matches in Llanelli. The Warriors’ exit in the pool stages of this year’s Heineken Cup, however, will not do their chances of an easy group any favours with the Scottish side likely to be among the tier three clubs in the competition in the pool stages. Gregor Townsend’s side struggled against Toulon, Cardiff Blues and Exeter Chiefs in this year’s tournament and will need performances like that against Treviso to have any hope of progressing to the quarter-finals, which this year is dominated by the top tier teams and two from tier two. As has been the case in several matches this season, it is the Warriors’ inability to finish off moves that has been one of their major problems. There were signs against Treviso that the backs were getting their game together, but against such poor opposition cautioned should be urged. The next three weeks will prove whether a or not a corner has been turned.