Glasgow Warriors vs Bath match report: Mark Bennett leads a highland charge

Glasgow 37 Bath 10: Bath's optimism quickly squashed as they are trounced by in-form Pro12 side

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The Independent Online

Glasgow made a stunning start to their Champions Cup campaign with a bonus-point success against Bath.

Mark Bennett opened and closed the try-scoring for the Warriors, who twice fought back from behind to achieve one of their finest European results.

Duncan Weir kicked the remainder of his side’s points, while Bath could only muster an opportunist try from Jonathan Joseph and five points from the boot of George Ford.

It was the visitors who drew first blood when Ford knocked over a penalty after Glasgow had collapsed a scrum. A period of Bath pressure followed, only for Glasgow to cross the whitewash in their first attacking move of any threat, Bennett darting between two tacklers to dot down under the posts. Weir added the extras.

 

Their lead was short-lived though, as Stuart Hogg fumbled a high ball from Ford. Centre Joseph hacked the loose ball ahead before gathering to slide in and Ford landed the straightforward conversion.

It was not long until the pendulum swung back in the hosts’ favour, two successful penalties from Weir giving his side the upper hand midway through the half.

Glasgow then stretched their advantage, Tommy Seymour brilliantly collecting an up and under from Henry Pyrgos to send flyer Sean Maitland crashing over in the corner for an unconverted score.

Seymour extended the Glasgow lead in the 35th minute, touching down having been set free after a tapped free-kick from Pyrgos.

Bath, who lost star centre Kyle Eastmond to injury late in the first half, appeared to regain a foothold after half-time yet failed to convert their pressure into points. Stuart Hooper came closest to breaching the stoic Glasgow defence, only for the lock to lose the ball forward as the line beckoned, the presence of home prop Euan Murray proving key as the hosts held out.

Having weathered the Bath storm, Glasgow again imposed themselves on the tie, dominating the ruck battle and consistently breaking the gain line.

With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Niko Matawalu skipped through one tackle, chipping ahead before gathering and seeing off the challenge from the covering tackler to secure Glasgow a try bonus point. Weir converted.

Bennett rounded things off by splitting the Bath defence and, having offloaded to DTH Van der Merwe, he continued his run to collect the Canadian’s chip in the dead ball area to grab his second try.

Line-ups:

Glasgow: S Hogg (F Russell, 71); S Maitland, M Bennett, P Horne, T Seymour (DTH van der Merwe, 40); D Weir, H Pyrgos (capt, N Matawalu, 61); G Reid (J Yanuyanutawa, 62), P MacArthur, E Murray (R de Klerk, 68), L Nakarawa (T Swinson, 55), J Gray, R Harley, C Fusaro (T Holmes, 58), A Ashe.

Bath: G Henson (H Agulla, 43), S Rokoduguni, J Joseph, K Eastmond (O Devoto, 36), A Watson; G Ford, M Young (P Stringer, 50); N Auterac (P James, 48), R Batty (R Webber, 48), H Thomas (D Wilson, 50), S Hooper (capt), D Attwood, D Day, G Mercer (T Ellis, 61), D Sisi (C Ewels, 55).

Referee: Jerome Garces (France).

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