Zebre 10-54 Glasgow Warriors
|Zebre (10) 10|
|Try: Cristiano Con: Orquera Pen: Orquera|
|Glasgow Warriors (33) 54|
|Tries: Horne 2, Van der Merwe, Murchie 2, Swinson, Lyle, Bordill Cons: Horne 5, Braid 2|
Five first-half tries sent Glasgow Warriors on their way back to the top of the Pro12 table as they swept aside bottom side Zebre in Parma.
Peter Horne ran in two tries in the opening period, as DTH van der Merwe, Peter Murchie and Tim Swinson helped to establish a commanding 33-10 lead.
Zebre, who had beaten Ulster and Edinburgh at home this season, held firm for a spell after the break.
But Fraser Lyle, Murchie and Will Bordill tries added to the win margin.
The length of the Pro12 table now separates these teams and, in truth, Glasgow did not have to be anywhere near their best to punish the hosts in the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
A combination of poor tackling and interceptions allowed them to run in those five tries in the first half alone, though the Zebre captain Filippo Cristiano's charge-down of a Horne clearance did result in a score for the Italians.
Before that, Horne, playing at fly-half, had put seven points on the board with a try and conversion, a lead cut by Luciano Orquera's confidently struck penalty soon after.
The Italians, arguably suffering more from international call-ups than Glasgow, turned the ball over too readily and when Micro Bergamasco's pass slipped through the hands of Giulio Toniolatti, Van der Merwe was the grateful recipient as he raced in to score under the posts, with Horne converting.
Cristiano's try reduced Glasgow's lead to 14-10 but half-hearted challenges failed to prevent Horne sprinting clear and laying the ball off for Murchie to touch down.
Warriors skipper Al Kellock made his 150th appearance for the team and he was instrumental in the success of the Scots' line-out, which helped to cement their command in the match.
The lock was given a talking-to by Irish referee Leo Colgan about his team's indiscipline so it was not a great surprise when Alex Allan was sent to cool off in the sin bin for 10 minutes soon after.
Murchie scored a second try late in the game but he ought to have had a hat-trick.
Five minutes from half-time he darted between Agustin Cavalieri and Valerio Bernabo and looked a good bet to score but opted to pass to Jerry Yanuyanutawa five metres out, only for Brendon Leonard to break up the move.
That was a timely intervention but Zebre continually failed to clear their lines and they were punished when Horne ran in the bonus-point try in the right-hand corner, though Horne missed with the conversion.
And their was further sloppiness in the Zebre back line when forward Swinson found space to barge over the line on the stroke of half-time.
Zebre improved after the break and probably deserved a try of their own, especially in the period when Niko Matawalu was off for a deliberate knock-on.
However, it was Lyle on his debut who scored the next points, picking up the ball and touching down in 65 minutes after van der Merwe, who had slalomed his way through the white shirts, had been halted two metres from the try line.
And when substitute Rory Hughes released Murchie for the seventh try and Will Bordill added the final score of the game they served only to underline the gulf between the teams on the day.
Glasgow Warriors: Peter Murchie, Lee Jones, Richie Vernon, Fraser Lyle, DTH van der Merwe, Peter Horne, Niko Matawalu; Alex Allan, Pat MacArthur, Mike Cusack ,Tim Swinson, Al Kellock (capt), James Eddie, Tyrone Holmes, Leone Nakarawa.
Replacements: Kevin Bryce, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Rossouw de Klerk, Josh Strauss, Will Bordill, Ali Price, Connor Braid, Rory Hughes.
Zebre: Hennie Daniller, Dion Berryman, Tommaso Iannone, Micro Bergamasco, Giulio Toniolatti, Luciano Orquera, Brendon Leonard; Andrea Lovotti, Oliviero Fabiani, Luca Redolfini, Andrei Mahu, Agustin Cavalieri, Valerio Bernabo, Filippo Cristiano, Jacopo Sarto.
Replacements: Luigi Ferraro, Andrea De Marchi, Luciano Leibson, Federico Ruzza, Ruben Riccioli, Alberto Chillon, Matteo Pratichetti, Edoardo Padovani.
Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini, Stefano Roscini (both FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Marco Cordelli(FIR)
TMO: Stefano Penne (FIR)