Pro12: Glasgow Warriors 70-10 Zebre
|Glasgow Warriors (35) 70|
|Tries: Nakarawa 3, Ashe, Bryce 2, Naiyaravoro, Peterson, Price, Weir Cons: Weir 10|
|Zebre (10) 10|
|Tries: Van Zyl, Boni|
Leone Nakarawa grabbed a hat-trick as Glasgow ran in 10 tries to demolish Zebre and move top of the Pro12.
The thoroughbred lock, who is leaving at the end of the season, was the star of the show as full-back Glenn Bryce, also departing, touched down twice.
Duncan Weir, another who is moving on, converted all 10 scores, the last of which he dotted down.
Adam Ashe, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Greg Peterson and Ali Price all added tries in a one-sided contest.
With a weakened Connacht going down to a stunning loss in Treviso, the defending champions go to Galway for the final league phase next weekend needing only a draw to secure a valuable home semi-final.
Leinster can regain top spot if they prevail in Saturday's visit to fourth-placed Ulster.
Warriors equalled a club record of nine consecutive victories in a turkey shoot at Scotstoun to make the play-offs for the fifth year running.
The hosts started with only a handful of their frontline team but they did the job with a consummate ease against an Italian side who ran out of heart painfully early. Their defence, for much of the night, was embarrassing bordering on disgraceful.
Glasgow are a team that will punish weak-willed opponents to the maximum and they started the deconstruction when Nakarawa skipped through two defenders after quarter of an hour. Kayl van Zyl responded for Zebre but that was just a prelude to serious pain for the visitors.
Ashe got Glasgow's second - credit to the broken-field running of the excellent Jerry Yanuyanutawa - then Bryce scored the third after a clever switch by Grayson Hart that bamboozled a comatose Zebre defence.
Naiyaravoro - like so many others in his last weeks as a Glasgow player - got the bonus point try after running over the top of Van Zyl.
Thirty-four minutes of this rout had been played and Glasgow didn't let up. The fifth try was a beauty and had at its heart some sensational offloading from the great Nakarawa. Bryce finished it off and Weir carried on with his metronomic converting.
Tommaso Boni, the Zebre centre, stopped the bleeding just before the break but it was 35-10 at half-time and the certainty was that it was only going to get worse for the Italians thereafter.
Nakarawa got his second when Zebre tried a suicidal exit strategy from their 22 and then completed his hat-trick soon after.
Glasgow were ruthless, roared on by a sell-out home crowd. Seven tries on the board? They wanted more.
Peterson made it eight, from a Nakarawa assist, then Price ran a great distance for the ninth before Mark Bennett dashed through another gaping hole. Bennett could have scored under the posts but instead flung the ball to his mate, Weir, for the touchdown.
Weir tapped it down, banged over his 10th conversion from 10 attempts then left the field to a huge roar of approval
When Nakarawa was withdrawn the crowd got even louder.
Zebre were beyond shocking, a shambles of a team, but Glasgow's momentum is huge now. Their hunger for victory, and silverware, looks as big as it was at this time last year when they became champions.
At the end, club captain, Jonny Gray took the microphone to thank the departing Warriors. They've a bit of rugby to play before they go, though. Next stop Galway - and a battle to savour.
Glasgow Warriors: G. Bryce, Naiyaravoro, Bennett, Dunbar, Lamont, Weir, Hart, Yanuyanutawa, MacArthur, Rae, Peterson, Nakarawa, Harley, Favaro, Ashe.
Replacements: Russell for Weir (74), Price for Hart (51), Reid for Yanuyanutawa (67), Fagerson for Rae (57), Wilson for Nakarawa (77). Not Used: Brown, Swinson, Seymour.
Zebre: Beyers, Toniolatti, Boni, Garcia, Van Zyl, Canna, Burgess, De Marchi, Fabiani, Chistolini, Geldenhuys, Bortolami, Caffini, Cristiano, Ruzza.
Replacements: Palazzani for Toniolatti (51), Bisegni for Garcia (14), Postiglioni for De Marchi (53), Coria Marchetti for Fabiani (70), Ceccarelli for Chistolini (47), van Schalkwyk for Caffini (41), Koegelenberg for Ruzza (57). Not Used: Haimona.