Stadio Comunale di Monigo. Not the happiest of hunting grounds for Glasgow over recent years and on a wet, sticky, muddy pitch, this one had slip up written all over.

Not that there is any shame in losing to a Benetton side. Once a team seen as a league whipping boys, they were top four going into this tie and looking to stretch their winning home record to a year.

Enter Franco and his boys. His old side, scene of his first Warriors league game (and defeat). Smith would have been keen to avoid defeat. And his side certainly did that!

It wasn’t an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. Treviso play some lovely stuff and the league table doesn’t lie. They’ve not been lucky or fortunate, they are where they are because they are improving all the time and there was a scare early on as Alessandro Izekor went rampaging through Weegies like a knife through tiramisu.

But Glasgow have the leagues top try scorer. A man who’s physical ability and try scoring prowess is without question. Everything he touches turns to five points. And he’ll never score an easier meat pie in his life. Sustained pressure on the Benetton line almost lead to a Warriors score but Josh McKay was forced out and line out to the Italian team. Lineout overthrown and Matthews, standing at the end of the row took about four steps and flopped over the line. Majestic! Seven minutes gone, and a vital lead gifted to the deadliest finisher in the URC!

Glasgow played the conditions. It was not the day for fancy flicks, offloads and the usual running rugby we’ve come to expect. Instead they were disciplined, instead they played the percentages and went low risk. They booted the leather off the ball but they did it effectively. No messing around, no making life difficult for yourself. Was it pretty? Not particularly. Was it pretty effective? Absolutely. They had their moments of how we expect them to play, but it was a mature performance from a relatively young Warriors side.

Central to that were guys like Henco Venter and Thomas Gordon. Gordon had 17 tackles and not one missed . He’s a ferocious player who just keeps going and going and he’s a very valuable asset to have in international windows. And that brings me to Venter. I know some people who questioned his signing at the start of the season but the guy has been a fantastic addition. He never seems to take a step back. He gets the ball, he tucks it under those big Bloemfontein wings and then smashes whatever is in front of him. Could be a winger, a lock, a flanker, a wall! He’ll hit it like a Cape buffalo barrelling into a lion. And more often that not, he’ll make metres.

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As the half approached it looked like Glasgow would be settling for the slender lead when they struck a blow to the Italian hopes of extending that unbeaten home record. Good work from Glasgow on the Benetton wing, McKay making metres, a nice kick from Dobie and then Cordero slapping the ball backwards, meant the Warriors worked their way into the Treviso half and another lovely little kick from Dobie caused chaos for Umaga in the wet and Cordero stuck a sliding boot to the ball that Nicolas Otamendi or Lisandro Martinez would have been happy with on the way to Argentina winning the football World Cup! And there was big Stafford to just deftly tap it over the line and pounce. The big fella is playing out of his skin just now and with Sione out for the rest of the Six Nations, a spot might have just opened up in the dark blue of Scotland for him. 12-0 at the half.

Umaga had the Italians on the scoreboard within just four minutes of the restart and it began a little revival for them as they clawed away at Glasgow and made life uncomfortable for the visitors. They moved faster and kept pressing around the Warriors 22 but Glasgow’s defence was effective and gave very little away. It was from this pressure that Sordoni went high with a tackle and Umaga decided he was kicking again, reducing the deficit again to just six.

The Warriors however would not be spooked and refused to panic. They stuck to their task and they continued to kick and play low risk stuff. Then a moment of controversy.

Sordoni was part of the initial tackle on Maile and then seemed to follow through on Gallo with an arm into the face of the prop. It was directly to the side of the head and the TMO was very much of the opinion it was a red but only a yellow was issued to Sordoni and to be honest, I think he was very, very lucky. There was no need for his arm to be there and it was a rub of the green Glasgow were more than happy to take.

The Warriors managed to prevent any points being scored while a man down only to concede another Jacob Umaga penalty when back to full compliment. With minutes remaining and only 3 points separating, this one was on a knife edge.

That is until a little bit of Warriors magic in the centres put paid to an Italian comeback! Dobie’s lovely little chip through was gathered by McDowall, taking out 3 Treviso players as he did so, and as he looked to his left, there was Tom Jordan on his shoulder with possibly an even easier finish than Johnny Matthews and Glasgow were home and hosed!

It was an ugly game and a relatively ugly win. And I loved it. Too often in these arm wrestle type of games we’ve been on the receiving end of defeats and these games have cost us dearly later in the season when we miss out on a home play-off or get a more difficult game. This was a mature performance. It was about getting the job done and getting back on the plane and that is exactly what they did. And to prevent Benetton from taking any points from the game was a bonus in itself.

With the Six Nations now taking the next two weekends it will be time to rest and recuperate for some players and then take on Cardiff under the Friday night lights on the 22nd. With only three wins to their name this season, the Welsh outfit are certainly not the favourites for this one and Glasgow will be looking to get a bonus point victory in the push to the play-offs. Both sides will no doubt be boosted by the return of a few internationalists and it will be interesting to see if Glasgow can get any of their injured players back. Seb Canciliere returned on Saturday and to have him, Rowe and Steyn fit for the run in will be crucial.

If we can get a dry night, under the lights at a sold out Scotstoun then I can see only one winner in truth. Hopefully a return to the free flowing, run it from anywhere stuff we’re used to as well. But approaching the business end of the season, I’ll take stodgy, dirty wins if needs be!