The scrum-half positioned himself just to the right of the No.8, set his feet, glanced across to his fly-half and reached down for the ball. The kind of thing he could probably do in his sleep.
Then came the wake-up call. The ball was scarcely two inches off the ground when Chris Cusiter arrived, wrapped his arms round his opposite number and spun him to the ground. It was a classic Cusiter crunch, the 31-year-old packing more pounds than seems possible from such a slight frame. The Glasgow forwards piled in and won the ball back again.
Moments like these are worth waiting for - but 11 months and 22 days is taking patience to extremes. For Cusiter, that passage of time had stretched back to September 14, 2012, and the moment when his tap-penalty manoeuvre against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium had ended with an awkward fall and a dislocated shoulder.
It also measured the frustration of a player whose projected recovery time stretched from a few weeks, to a few months, to almost a year, taking in any number of false dawns and, at one point last March, an operation that had not been deemed necessary at the outset. It would understate Cusiter's medical history to say that his career has been ravaged by injury, but this was as much a test of his character and fortitude as it was of his physical durability.
Small wonder that he looked so relieved when he came off the Sandy Park pitch on Saturday afternoon. Cusiter is a thoughtful, self-contained sort of fellow, but there was something almost jaunty about him as he reflected on a comeback that had ticked every box, erased every doubt in his mind, and had been garnished by a collective performance which confirmed Glasgow as true and serious contenders for this season's RaboDirect PRO12 title.
"I was pretty nervous running on," he said. "It was strange. It has been so long that it didn't seem familiar anymore. The pre-match meal and all the things I must have done hundreds of times seemed like new experiences."
Having coped with such a prolonged absence, sitting on the bench for an hour was never likely to trouble Cusiter. As it happened, though, he was pitched into the fray after 50 minutes, Henry Pyrgos having created a vacancy at scrum-half when he was yellow-carded for illegal interference in a ruck.
Cusiter had only begun to take contact in training a few weeks ago. As he admitted, though, taking a few dunts from his team-mates at Scotstoun was never going to replicate the conditions or the ferocity of a full-on match against one of England's top sides.
"Until you get into a game and get involved then you don't really know what will happen," he said. "But you've got to do it, so today was a massive plus because there was no bad reaction at all. It feels solid and I know I can put it behind me now after more than 11 months. It was a long slog.
"I was a bit rusty, of course, but I feel fit. I was able to run all the time I was out injured, which is different from the last time [season 2010/11] when it was my knee that kept me out. It's just match sharpness that I need now. That was a good workout. I got a few hits on my shoulder and felt fine. There's lots to work on, but I'm really happy."
Of course, a lot has changed at Glasgow in the past year. At the time of his injury he was the club's undisputed first-choice scrum-half in the eyes of coach - and former Border Reivers half-back partner - Gregor Townsend. In his absence, Warriors fans have watched Pyrgos grow and develop into a full international No.9. And, of course, they have also witnessed the arrival of the rugby phenomenon that is Niko Matawalu.
Now 31 - the next RBS Six Nations will mark the 10th anniversary of his international debut - Cusiter is, by some distance, the senior figure in the Glasgow scrum-half roster. The likeliest role for him over the coming months might be as the wise head who comes on late to steady the ship. Yet with Matawalu out for another month with an ankle injury, Cusiter's performances over the next few weeks could still be very significant.
But nobody should doubt Cusiter's eagerness to get back. He spoke warmly of Pyrgos' emergence, but his praise came with a significant qualification. "Of course, I'll try and take his jersey back off him," he said.
"I thought Chris looked sharp," said Townsend. "He has trained really well for the past two weeks. He is playing with no fear, which is great for us, especially given our injury situation at the moment."
Townsend had much more to feel happy about on Saturday. A three-point margin of victory was an almost comically thin refection of his side's superiority over a workmanlike and well-organised Exeter side, which nevertheless had none of the flair that has become Glasgow's hallmark. As the two sides will meet again in this season's Heineken Cup, the confidence taken by the Warriors could be doubly significant.
For Glasgow, who turned down a number of kickable chances, the fast-improving Byron McGuigan delivered a brace of first-half tries, with others coming after the break from Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett. Exeter scored two tries from Tom James, with the rest of their points coming from Gareth Steenson's boot.