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Benetton Treviso 13 Glasgow 24: Redemption for Wight as he kick-starts career

For much of last season it seemed that Scott Wight's professional career had come to an end on the evening of September 23, 2011.

In the last act of Glasgow's Firhill match against Treviso, it had fallen to the fly-half to clip over a straightforward penalty that would give the Warriors a 16-15 win, but instead he pushed it wide. Months passed before he featured on a Glasgow team sheet again.

Of course, Glasgow had Duncan Weir and Ruaridh Jackson on the books, but even the bit parts dried up for Wight. To all intents and purposes, his epitaph had been written by Treviso. So where better than the Stadio Monigo in the north Italian town to announce himself again? And how better than with an inch-perfect kick?

You could say Wight stuck one up Treviso. His steepling, crossfield kick was sent into the filthy night sky in the 69th minute and it fell beautifully for Al Kellock to rise above the diminutive Brendan Williams and palm the ball down (if perhaps just a little forward) for Tommy Seymour to pounce for his second try.

In so many other regards, this was an ugly win, an exhibition of pragmatism on a night that called for nothing more, but Wight's cameo had a marvellous redemptive quality. Perhaps the pudding was over-egged just a bit when he was handed the man-of-the-match award for a 25-minute contribution, but it would take a heart of stone to begrudge him the accolade. Seymour, for one, had no doubts that Wight deserved it.

"It was great for Scotty to come on like that, in a game poised as it was, and in those conditions, and maybe not having much game time recently," said Seymour. "It was a tribute to him. He is a class act.

"Goal-kickers miss kicks. It happens. You have to let go and get on with it. There must be big personal satisfaction to come here against Treviso, at their home, and turn the game around like that. He's crushed a few demons there."

It was not such a bad night for another Borders fly-half either. While Wight was seeing off the demons, Gregor Townsend oversaw a performance that buried the notion that his era of coaching would be characterised by profligate, harum-scarum rugby. This was a far-from-perfect display, but it was hard-nosed and smart. Critics might talk about winning ugly and winning lucky, but in reality it's only the winning that matters and Glasgow have now come out on top in their past five RaboDirect PRO12 games.

"I said to the boys that it shows great character to go behind away from home and come back to win," said the coach. "We've also shown the resilience that when things haven't gone well we have learned and got better as a result."

Glasgow's sequence of PRO12 wins was interrupted by Heineken Cup losses against Northampton and Ulster, and Townsend acknowledged that picking up a victory in Treviso had as much significance to squad morale as to their position in the PRO12 table.

"We knew we were up against a very good teams in the Heineken Cup with the leading team in the Rabo and the top team in the English Premiership," Townsend explained. "For a large part of both games we competed really well, but we could have done better. But every week is about learning and improving.

"What I find different this season, compared to my role with Scotland, is that you get the opportunity the next week to put right a defeat."

Historically, Glasgow have had a galling habit of backing up great wins with wretched displays against lowly opposition, so Friday's clash with Newport Gwent Dragons at Scotstoun has the classic Glasgow banana-skin look about it. If they can survive that one they will go into their November break in good fettle, and, most probably, keeping third place in the PRO12 table.

Which, given the perverse length of their injury list, is no mean achievement. There were tomes in this game where they seemed to be paying the price for the run of events that robbed them of Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir, Sean Lamont and a host of others, but while they lacked a touch of class and composure in the first half they were never short of determination and resolve.

Those qualities meant they trailed Treviso by just four points, 10-6, at half-time despite being pasted for territory. They had been prised open only once, when Manoa Vosawai powered over for his 22nd-minute try, but they had kept their shape throughout, two Jackson penalties even giving them an early lead.

Jackson's third, in the 43rd minute, reduced the gap to one point, and another in the 56th minute gave Glasgow the lead, although Tobias Botes soon changed that with a penalty for Treviso. A yellow card for Tim Swinson made things look bleak for Glasgow, but they responded magnificently, with Seymour collecting his first try four minutes later after some horrendous defensive fumbling by the Treviso backline.

All that was left was for Wight to perform his piece of magic. "Things like that stick in coaches' heads, and maybe they think they can't trust you," said Wight of last year's nightmare. "But Gregor has come in, done a lot more with me and I'm starting to pick up some game time."

And a heck of a lot of respect as well. All of it deserved.

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