Franco Smith was “really proud” of Kyle Steyn for leading by example after the Glasgow Warriors captain scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance against Zebre Parma.

A sluggish start from the Scots left them 6-0 down after an error-strewn opening half-hour, but braces from Gregor Hiddleston and Steyn either side of the interval sent Warriors on their way to an emphatic 40-9 win.  

READ MORE: Five things we learned from Glasgow's bonus point win over Zebre

There were some nervy moments for Glasgow until Steyn showed his world-class finishing ability by running his first score in from halfway and powering into the corner to seal the bonus point.

“He played a captain’s innings today and I’m really proud of that because we were underperforming in the first 10-15 minutes,” Smith said.

“I asked him specifically - I got a message on to him - told him you have to put in an important shift and be a point of reference for us today.

“He played really well and through actions he showed his leadership.

Scotland Rugby News: Kyle Steyn was outstanding in ParmaKyle Steyn was outstanding in Parma (Image: SNS)

“Sometimes you can talk things right, sometimes you can motivate other people but to play things right is a special ability and I’m really proud of him.”

Steyn’s double directly followed Hiddleston’s, with both of the hooker’s tries coming from the back of Glasgow’s notorious driving lineout.

The 22-year-old was given an opportunity from the start before being replaced by Grant Stewart, making his first appearance for two years after re-joining the club this week, and impressed in the absence of injured trio George Turner, Johnny Matthews and Fraser Brown.

“Both him and Grant did very well. We scrummed particularly well with [Hiddleston] in between,” Smith said.

Scotland Rugby News: Franco Smith praised Gregor Hiddleston for his displayFranco Smith praised Gregor Hiddleston for his display (Image: SNS)

“He missed one from a lineout perspective, but that’s understandable. These young boys are the future of Scotland, we need to grow them and get them better.

“It’s games like these that takes them from being boys to men. It’s very important for them to perform well, and there was some good stuff in that regard.”

There was some concern when Sintu Manjezi was replaced in the first half after suffering a knock, but Smith allayed fears of a serious problem for the lock.

“It looks like his ankle,” he said.

“This was an important game before we leave for South Africa so [we took him off] just to make sure it was nothing serious and he doesn’t damage the injury more because we are low in the lock department. It was more precautionary than anything else.”