All the omens were in Glasgow's favour, having already amassed a 100% record in the RaboDirect tournament.
Yet, considering the Scottish pro teams' history when installed as favourites, perhaps the anxiety was justified. No matter. Al Kellock, one of the most redoubtable figures in Scotland and a lad who understands the true meaning of professionalism, last night returned from injury, made his 150th appearance for his club and guided his personnel to an ultimately deserved victory away to Italian side Zebre. Only diehard fans would wish to view the action again, but the manner in which Kellock's side bossed proceedings told its own story.
Unbeaten, unbowed and unfazed at standing on the summit of the RaboDirect Pro12, Glasgow have learned the knack of winning ugly. No excuses, no faffing around; the mantra is to get the job done and it is clearly succeeding.
In the grander scheme, it never pays to get carried away in Scottish sport, but there is a vibrancy, a brio and a pragmatism, which adds up to a rare mix for the Warriors under Gregor Townsend. It is as if the former Test player has combined all his natural attacking instincts with the realisation that "pretty" and "prizes" do not often sit together. Indeed, who cares how you score points as long as you score them?
In the past, the visitors, having vanquished Leinster, would have mucked up against the team which only won its first RaboDirect match last weekend, against Cardiff Blues. But last night, Glasgow defended resolutely, withstood the Italians' attempts to up the physicality and eradicate the creativity and, although it was a dour old struggle for a long time, gradually the Scots began to find openings here and opportunities there.
It hardly made for aesthetic pleasure - the Italians prefer machismo to magic in the rugby stakes - but the Scots kept nagging away at the Zebre resolve and regularly broke from within their own territory with a sublime va-va-voom. Although they would have to wait, ascendancy beckoned.
Briefly at least, in the 24th minute, it seemed they had broken the deadlock when Alex Dunbar dived over, but he had knocked on from an advantage, so it was left to Henry Pyrgos to push the Warriors ahead with the ensuing penalty. However, almost from the restart, Townsend's team upped the ante and gave themselves a significant cushion when they produced a scintillating backs move which was finished off by Byron McGuigan with aplomb, prior to Pyrgos slotting the conversion.
It would always be stupid to dismiss the Italians, particularly on their home turf, and when Luciano Orquera, the international stand-off, narrowed the gap to 10-3 with a penalty before the interval, the contest remained in the balance, especially considering how Zebre had performed in Wales.
But last night the Italians were a pretty dishevelled bunch and, both through a combination of their own indiscipline and their rivals' dexterity, Zebre began to wither on the vine. Other, better teams will toil to cope with Glasgow in full flight and when Tommy Seymour sparked a coruscating break, it was only left for fans to discover whether veteran hooker, Dougie Hall, had scored a try as the decision went upstairs.
He had, within a minute of the restart, and that was the end of the stomach churning. In other cases, one might have feared a late backlash from the hosts and they certainly flung themselves into the fray with a vengeance, but, perhaps reflecting the crisis among the Welsh regions at the moment, the pervading thought lay in how the hell Salvatore Perugini's band of brothers had ever defeated Cardiff.
To their credit, Glasgow never relinquished their stranglehold on the match and kept battering away in search of the coveted try bonus point.
It helped that Maitland looked like an entirely natural No.15 and when he sparked fresh panic in the Zebre rearguard, who should pop up but McGuigan for his second touchdown as Glasgow moved 24-3 in front.
Even at the death, with the Italian job virtually done, Zebre mounted wave after wave of assaults, only to be denied by some defending straight from Dunkirk. In the end, Samuela Vunisa broke through in the 73rd minute, but his celebrations were muted. Not just because his club were beaten, but because the big man was absolutely knackered.
Thee was one last scare when Zebre, a powerful unit in anybody's terms, added a second try through Leonardo Sarto and, at 24-17, one wondered if this could be another of the late collapses which have plagued Scotland's efforts to become a real force in the competition.
It wasn't, though, and, as they enjoy life on the crest of a wave, Glasgow could and should be thinking that they can use triumphs like this to win the league.