To all intents and purposes, Glasgow were dead in the water at half-time in this match, swept away by a red tide of Toulon attack. They had conceded four tries, had made a succession of blunders and looked horribly out of their depth against the Heineken Cup holders.
But then, something clicked. The task facing them at half-time was daunting, but a tactical switch that saw Niko Matawalu take over from Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half and DTH Van der Merwe introduced on the wing changed the complexion of the Glasgow attack and turned that tide back against Toulon.
They were too far back to think about winning, but they could still dream about salvaging a bonus point. And so they set about their task, showing all the self-belief that had been invisible during an opening period in which they had retreated into their shells. From a position that would have seemed impossible to most sides, they hauled themselves back, scored the four tries they needed, through Van der Merwe (2), Matawalu and Jonny Gray, and duly gathered the point.
Small consolation, maybe, but potentially significant in a competition where these things so often prove critical. Many better celebrated sides than Glasgow have come to this Mediterranean city and left the place empty-handed. The Toulon fans had scoffed at Glasgow for the first 40 minutes, but at the end there was warm respect in their applause for the sense of defiance Gregor Townsend's side had shown.
That said, the failings of the first period cannot be swept under the carpet. The worst aspect of Glasgow's first half was that their much vaunted defensive organisation let them down badly. Time and again they were sliced open by the star-studded Toulon attack, to whom they had gifted a try bonus point with barely half an hour gone.
It was a massively disappointing period, as even from the stands it had been clear that captain Al Kellock was laying down the law with a ferocious team talk in the pre-match huddle. It certainly seemed to embolden his Warriors mates, who showed no undue deference to the reigning European champions in the opening stages of the game.
That boldness almost brought sensational reward after just four minutes. From a position near the Glasgow 10 metre line Toulon worked the ball right, and momentarily the Scots seemed to be in trouble. However, Niku Matawalu seized on a loose pass, hacked the ball on and touched down at the other end of the pitch. Then, though, the rapture of the travelling Glasgow fans turned to despair, as the video official ruled that the Fijian had knocked on at the outset of the move.
That gave Toulon a scrum, which became a penalty, which became, predictably, three points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson. But worse was to follow soon afterwards, when Wilkinson made his second significant contribution of the game.
The English fly-half did superbly well to catch a loose kick from the Glasgow defence. Possession secured, he worked play right, bringing both centres into the move. Wilkinson popped up again as the speed of Toulon's passing confounded their Glasgow opponents, and Delon Armitage finished off by diving over in the right corner. With Wilkinson's conversion, Glasgow were 10 points down in as many minutes.
The ratio was maintained a few minutes later when Toulon collected their second try. It came when Matawalu, probably desperate to make amends for what had happened earlier, raced out of the defensive line to try for another intercept. This time, though, he mistimed his effort horribly, creating a huge gap for Toulon to exploit. And exploit it they did, Maxime Mermoz finishing with a try off Josua Tuisova's (suspiciously forward) pass.
Matawalu did make one potentially valuable contribution when his collision with Wilkinson led to the Englishman leaving the pitch with a wrist injury. Such is the depths of Toulon's resources, however, that Glasgow's glimmer of hope was quickly extinguished by the sight of Frederic Michalak, the mercurial French international playmaker, trotting out to take Wilkinson's place.
Michalak might not exert Wilko-esque levels of control, but he certainly likes to zip the ball around the place. So there was no respite for Glasgow as their French tormentors, on the cushion of the 24-0 lead created when Chris Masoe had been driven over for the third try after 25 minutes, simply upped the tempo a little more.
Mermoz claimed his second, and Toulon's fourth, try in the 34th minute. It came after Toulon's driving maul had churned out a few yards near the right corner before releasing the ball to their backs. Scrum-half Michael Claasens whipped the ball to Michalak, who timed his offload to Mermoz superbly. Giteau's conversion, followed by a Michalak penalty just before the break, gave Toulon their 34-0 interval lead.
Bu the pattern of the first half was turned on its head at that point. Pyrgos had been chosen partly as the Glasgow goal-kicker, and that skill was no longer needed given the scoreline they faced. Matawalu moved in, and things started to happen.
Two minutes after the break, Byron McGuigan and Chris Fusaro carved an opening and Van der Merwe rocketed through for Glasgow's first try. Another 10 minutes after that - by which time Matt Giteau had also scored Toulon's fifth - Matawalu finished off a sizzling line-break by Ruaridh Jackson. Suddenly, a game that seemed to have told its story acquired a new and rather intriguing plot line.
It was carried forward by Gray, who ploughed over in the 59th minute after good build-up work by Ed Kalman and Van der Merwe. And Glasgow finally had what they wanted just a few minutes later when Van der Merwe rode two tackles and sliced through for his second, Glasgow's fourth, and the bonus point to boot. It mattered little that Giteau, the man of the match, claimed another for Toulon at the end. Glasgow had what they wanted by then.
They will kick themselves for their dozy start, of course. Even allowing for the quality of the opposition, there were alarming failings in the Glasgow ranks. But that solitary point could yet be their ticket, as it has for so many sides in the past, to the knockout stages. And they will relish the return fixture against Toulon at Scotstoun in January.