European Rugby Champions Cup: Glasgow Warriors hammer Bath
|Glasgow (23) 37|
|Tries: Bennett 2, Maitland, Seymour, Matawalu Cons: Weir 3 Pens: Weir 2|
|Bath (10) 10|
|Tries: Joseph Cons: Ford Pen: Ford|
Glasgow Warriors opened their European Champions Cup campaign with a blistering bonus-point win over Bath.
Mark Bennett, Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour all touched down as the hosts dominated the first half at a sold-out Scotstoun Stadium.
Jonathan Joseph profited from a Stuart Hogg drop to score for Bath.
But that was just about the the only error from Glasgow, with Niko Matawalu and Bennett adding further tries against the tiring Pool 4 opponents.
This is the third time these sides have been drawn together in Europe but the visitors looked taken aback by the ferocious intensity of Gregor Townsend's side.
Last season's Pro12 runners-up were unyielding in defence and ruthless in attack.
Bath, who have been free-scoring in the Premiership, were first on the scoreboard when George Ford knocked over a penalty.
Bennett replied by bulldozing through two tackles under the posts, following a lovely cut-back from Duncan Weir, who knocked over the conversion.
Bath were ahead again after Hogg fumbled a big up-and-under from Ford and Joseph was alert enough to kick on for a simple converted score.
Two penalties in quick succession from Weir nosed the home side in front soon after and the Warriors did not look back.
Having repelled three driving mauls close to their own line, Glasgow added a second try following a fantastic aerial gathering from Seymour, which allowed the ball to be worked out wide for Maitland to plough over.
Hogg supplied the final pass for that score and did so again for Seymour to slide in on the opposite flank.
Weir missed two tricky conversion attempts and the first half ended with his penalty striking the outside of the upright.
Glasgow kept up the pressure after the interval and the television match official spotted a knock-on to deny Chris Fusaro a try, following a cute grubber kick from Hogg.
Bath briefly rallied after the introduction of experienced scrum-half Peter Stringer but the hosts held firm with impressive defensive work.
Crowd-favourite Matawalu finally put the contest out of the visitors' reach and secured a bonus point when the replacement chased down his own bobbling kick, beating Ford to it, to set up an elaborate dive over.
And there was time for more celebrations from the boisterous crowd when Bennett ran on to score from a measured Van der Merwe kick, with Weir splitting the posts with both conversions.
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend: "We are delighted with the performance from the team, the intent we played with and our defence, having not conceded a try after the 11th minute.
"It is the best team performance we have had this season.
"There was a period in the middle of the second half where we kicked away possession, maybe subconsciously thinking that we could defend the lead, but after that we attacked again, which was great to see. It was a really good 80-minute performance."
Bath head coach Mike Ford: "It was disappointing. It is a lesson learned in a tough European tie.
"We are disappointed with the tries that we let in and we let the game get away from us. We didn't finish off the breaks that we had and then they scored a couple of quick tries.
"When that happens, all of a sudden you are on the wrong end of a poor scoreline. We will learn from it though. We are a young side."
Glasgow: Hogg; Maitland, Bennett, Horne, Seymour; Weir, Pyrgos; Reid, MacArthur, Murray, Nakarawa, Gray, Harley, Fusaro, Ashe.
Replacements: Russell for Hogg (73), van der Merwe for Seymour (40), Yanuyanutawa for Reid (64), Hall for MacArthur (56), de Klerk for Murray (70), Swinson for Nakarawa (56), Holmes for Fusaro (59), Matawalu for Pyrgos (55).
Bath: Henson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Eastmond, Watson; Ford, Young; Auterac, Batty, Thomas, Hooper, Attwood, Day, Mercer, Sisi.
Replacements: Agulla for Henson (44), Devoto for Eastmond (37), Stringer for Young (51), James for Auterac (49), Webber for Batty (49), Wilson for Thomas (51), Ewels for Sisi (56).
Not Used: Ellis.
Ref: Jerome Garces (France).