URC: Zebre v Glasgow: Kyle Steyn inspires Warriors surge to bonus-point win

Much-changed visitors shake off early scrappiness to reinforce their home play-off push

Kyle Steyn delivered an inspirational captan's performance as Glasgow Warriors secured a bonus-point win away to Zebre. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Kyle Steyn delivered an inspirational captan's performance as Glasgow Warriors secured a bonus-point win away to Zebre. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Zebre 9

Glasgow Warriors 40

ALASDAIR MACKENZIE @ Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

ON a day when nothing less than a bonus-point victory would do, a much-changed Glasgow Warriors side delivered.

A 40-9 trouncing of bottom side Zebre Parma stretched Glasgow’s winning run in the URC to six matches, kept the pressure on Leinster in the battle for top spot, and edged them a step closer to a home quarter-final in the play-offs.

While there was much to gain, there was more to lose against a home side rooted to the bottom of the table with just one league win all season.

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That much was underlined after a wobbly opening half-hour where the hosts dominated but could only take a 6-0 lead against an ill-disciplined Glasgow side featuring nine changes from a week earlier.

However, Warriors’ not-so-secret weapon came to their aid as Gregor Hiddleston scored twice from driving line-outs before the break to edge the Scots in front.

The visitors finally started to get their hands on the ball after the break and let loose as player of the match Kyle Steyn’s superb brace clinched the bonus point, before Jamie Dobie and George Horne crossed inside the final five minutes.

Smith was delighted with the performance of his captain Steyn, who led by example by turning the tide in Glasgow’s favour when they needed him most.

“He played a captain’s innings today and I’m really proud of that,” Smith said. “We were underperforming in the first 10-15 minutes and I asked him specifically – I got a message on to him – told him you have to put in an important shift and be a point of reference for us today.

“He played really well and through actions he showed his leadership. Sometimes you can talk things right, sometimes you can motivate other people but to play things right is a special ability and I’m really proud of him.”

If last week’s confident win over the Sharks left one sour taste, it was Warriors’ inability to grab a bonus point victory despite scoring three tries by half-time.

But this time around, some of the more fearful travelling fans may well have spent the first half wondering if there would be any win at all.

Zebre started like a side with a point to prove in front of their home fans after a difficult campaign and took the first points of the game when Dominguez landed a seventh-minute penalty after Glasgow were pinged while defending under their posts.

It was the least the Italians deserved after a sloppy start from Warriors, who lost Sintu Manjezi to injury and struggled to lift themselves out of their rut as the penalty count continued to climb and the score rose to 6-0. Thankfully, Manjezi’s knock doesn’t appear to be serious.

“It looks like his ankle,” Smith said. “This was an important game before we leave for South Africa so [we took him off] just to make sure it was nothing serious and he doesn’t damage the injury more because we are low in the lock department. It was more precautionary than anything else.”



Glasgow turned to a familiar friend in their search for a response, pouncing on some rare territory by striking twice from driving line-outs in the final 10 minutes of the first half, hooker Hiddleston the man dotting down from the back of both.

Dominguez reduced the deficit from the tee early in the second half to encourage the home crowd once more, but Steyn soon responded with a wonderful individual effort to allay any nerves, going on a weaving run from halfway and leaving two defenders in his dust.

Zebre momentarily thought they had pulled a try back, only for the referee to instead award Glasgow a penalty.

But another moment of Warriors magic ended the Italians’ resistance for good when a flowing move through the hands was finished off with a Dobie miss pass to Steyn, who powered into the corner to seal the bonus point.

Glasgow’s powerful bench further aided their cause in the final quarter, as substitute Tom Jordan broke through the Zebre line and offloaded to Dobie, who surged through to score, before Horne was teed up by fellow replacement Euan Ferrie as the 40-point mark was struck.

The two sides will meet again before the season is out, with Zebre travelling to Scotstoun for the final round of the regular season following Glasgow’s tour of South Africa.


Teams –

Zebre Parma: L Pani, J Trulla, F Smith Jr (F Pea 69), E Lucchin, S Gregory, G Prisciantelli, T Dominguez (R Jelic 65); D Fischetti (S Taddei 63), M Manfredi (G Ribaldi 46), M Hasa (J Pitinari 46), L Krumov (M Canali 68), D De Leeuw (D Sisi 46), G Volpo (T Fox-Matamua 43), I Bianchi (D De Leeuw 73), G Ferrari

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay, K Steyn, S McDowall (T Jordan 72), S Tuipulotu, K Rowe (G Horne 57), R Thompson, J Dobie; A Dell (N McBeth 56), G Hiddleston (G Stewart 65), L Sordoni (Z Fagerson 56), S Manjezi (S Cummings 20), M Williamson (G Brown 65), A Miller, T Gordon, H Venter (E Ferrie 57)

Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)


Scorers –

Zebre Parma: Pens: Dominguez 3.

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Hiddleston 2, Steyn 2, Dobie, Horne; Cons: Thompson 4.

Scoring sequence (Zebre first): 3-0; 6-0; 6-5; 6-7; 6-12; 6-14; (h-t); 9-14; 9-19; 9-21; 9-26; 9-31; 9-33; 9-38; 9-40


Attendance: 2,500

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  1. Kyle had a busy day popping up all over the park and well deserved his tries (only a desperate last ditch tap tackle saved a nailed on further try). Thought that Jordan had a really effective stint when he came on too – direct and aggressive running in the middle. But Zebre’s defence was really organised and in our faces in the first half. Along with us being far too error prone (again) that made for a stodgy half. In the 2nd, the Glasgow version of the Bam Squad definitely marked a change in the game. You could say that Zebre were tiring and the starters had softened them up but it did look like a step up in quality for us at that point.

  2. Job done – and more importantly we were starting to to play a bit in second half, good to click a bit before going to SA as we have been a bit clunky the past few weeks despite results.

    Got to push on and get say 5-6 points from our SA trip, great if more, but both Lions and Bulls will be smarting after losing to what looks like a Munster team peaking (again!) at the right time.

    But isn’t it just the the best to be top, with three games to go and our destiny in our own hands!

  3. Are you sure it would help financially? The TV rights would presumably be higher than for either the premiership or the URC but I am not sure they’d be double (which is what you would need to break even given the money will be split between twice as many clubs). It might also eat into the TV deal for the Champions Cup.

  4. Didn’t manage to see it from the golf course but thats still a good result with a lot of 2nd choice players. Glasgow have really developed some depth in their squad in a lot of positions and with a long injury list. This is a perfect result before the SA trip where they will need to win at least once to get a top 2. I think with a few of the players rested and a few injured returning this is achievable.Just saw Munster win both games in SA against the Bulls and Lions which is the same opportunity as Glasgow, so it is possible

  5. I was disappointed in Dobie’s performance at scrum half. His service was average and his box kicking was poor. He is a talented rugby player but he needs time in the scrum half saddle if he is to realise his potential.
    I thought Thompson was looking better (he has certainly bulked out) and he kicked well. I don’t understand Hastings being brought back when there are other areas that need strengthening (2nd Row for instance). Money is always going to be tight. I just wish all the officials could see a bigger picture and go for a bigger league involving all of the English premiership and the URC. It is not as if the English Premiership is exactly sustainable and solvent!!
    TV rights determine the success of the game and such a revitalised league would help all clubs become more of an attractive and sustainable proposition.

    • Jordan is a 12 not a 10 and Weir is not the answer. The only actual 10’s we have are Thompson & Simpson but the former has gone wayward and is rumoured to be leaving and the latter is very very green. Hastings is being brought in to develop both of them whilst managing his injuries/fitness so we can get him back playing properly.


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