THERE have been a few false dawns in Glasgow’s season already, and one victory cannot cancel out the shortcomings of previous months. Nonetheless, if the Warriors do go on to reach the PRO14 play-offs, they will surely look back on this match as a critical juncture in the campaign.

We may not have expected a great deal of a much-changed side, deprived of most of their key players, at a venue which has not always been a happy hunting ground for Scottish teams. But, in a terrific two-hour tussle at Treviso’s Stadio Monigo, Glasgow showed magnificent character to come out on top, scoring six tries and bagging five valuable league points.

Some of their old failings were still in evidence, notably a willingness to indulge in loose play at times when they should have tried to keep it tight. But even that flaw had its positive side in the end, as Benetton, forced into an unfamiliar adventurism, coughed up a couple of late scores as a result.

Those tries, by Niko Matawalu and Andrew Davidson, put a gloss on the final scoreline, but there was no denying that the Warriors deserved the win.

After opening up a 12-point lead in the first dozen minutes, they were pegged back to seven points after Aki Seiuli had been sin-binned for repeated scrum offences just before half time, then had the same meagre advantage with only quarter- of-an-hour to play. It may have looked like anyone’s game at that point, but the Glasgow defence had the guile and the grit to deny Benetton an equalising score before that late flourish in attack made sure of the win.

While Bruce Flockhart caught the eye in the loose, player/coach Petrus du Plessis played an equally important role in the tight, coming off the bench for the last 25 minutes to shore up a scrum which had been getting heavily penalised.

Sam Johnson got the ball rolling with the opening score inside three minutes, while the Horne brothers were key players too, with scrum-half George scoring two tries and Pete adding a try and four conversions.

The one real down side of the game was an ugly but accidental clash of heads with Cherif Traore that saw Nick Grigg knocked out. The centre regained consciousness in about a minute, Glasgow coach Dave Rennie said, but was stretchered off and taken to hospital for tests.

Apart from that unfortunate incident, Rennie was delighted with his team’s performance.

“I thought we started pretty well, then got under pressure near half time,” he said. “But we’re really rapt. It was a great performance from a lot of young men, and getting five points over here is not an easy thing to do.”

Johnson’s try was created by good work from Grigg and Kyle Steyn, then the latter combined with George Horne to put Pete Horne through.

Benetton appeared stunned by that early blitz, but got off the mark midway through the half when hooker Hame Faiva scored from a maul, their favourite weapon, after a penalty had been sent to touch.

The Horne brothers combined again after half-an-hour, George this time being the one to finish off, but the home side had the last word in the first 40. After opting to scrum a penalty, they won four more awards at the set-piece, and after Seiuli was yellow-carded, they at last made their pressure tell, with Braam Steyn forcing his way over and Tommaso Allan converting.

But, if the momentum appeared to be with the Italians as the second half began, Glasgow had other ideas. Under heavy pressure on their own line, they first held up Hame Faiva and then pressurised Braam Steyn into knocking on as he crossed.

Restored to 15 men, the Warriors eventually stretched their lead when Flockhart burst through two tackles and sent George Horne racing into the right corner for the bonus-point try. The game had opened up considerably by that time, and after Matawalu needlessly lost possession, Benetton scored through Antonio Rizzi after a good break by his fellow-substitute Tito Tebaldi.

That was the last word from the home team, however. After Rizzi was brought to ground behind his own line by Huw Jones, Matawalu eventually scored from the scrum five. Davidson then iced the cake with an interception try two minutes from time.

Scorers, Benetton - Tries: Faiva, A Steyn, Rizzi. Cons: Allan 2.

Glasgow - Tries: Johnson, P Horne, G Horne 2, Matawalu, Davidson. Cons: P Horne 4.

Benetton J Hayward; L Sarto, R Tavuyara, L Morisi, M Ioane; T Allan, Dewaldt Duvenage; N Quaglio, H Faiva, M Riccioni, I Herbst, F Ruzza, S Negri, G Pettinelli, A Steyn. Substitutes: E Makelara, C Traore, T Pasquali, N Cannone, E Snyman, M Lazzaroni, T Tebaldi, A Rizzi.

Glasgow Warriors R Jackson; K Steyn, N Grigg, S Johnson, N Matawalu; P Horne, G Horne; A Seiuli, G Turner, A Nicol, R Harley, T Swinson, B Flockhart, T Gordon, R Wilson. Substitutes: G Stewart, O Kebble, P du Plessis, A Davidson, C Fusaro, N Frisby, H Jones, G Bryce.

Referee N Owens (Wales).