FRASER Brown was in no mood to mince his words after Glasgow’s 46-19 defeat by Benetton on Saturday. 

The home team had the Rainbow Cup match all but won by half-time at Treviso’s Stadio Monigo, and only a late rally by Brown’s side gave the final score the slightest semblance of respectability. Even by the low standards set this season, it was an abysmal performance by the Warriors - one which the co-captain labelled the worst he had been part of in his eight years with the team. 

“That was a pretty lamentable, embarrassing performance,” Brown said after the six-tries-to-three loss to opponents who had failed to win a single game in the PRO14 this season. “It's the most embarrassing performance I've ever been involved in with Glasgow. 

“Unacceptable is putting it lightly. That was an embarrassment and we've let people down - other guys in the changing room, the coaching staff, guys who are back home and our supporters and families.

“I can't emphasise enough how gutting it is for everyone to know that that's what we've done. But we can't dwell on that. We've got to attack it as professionals and find solutions, and make sure that when we come back into training that we don't forget about this.

“This is a marker for us. This is what has to push us on for the rest of the season and into next season as well.”

Brown, who was at openside inside of hooker, was one of the few Warriors whose individual performance merited pass marks. Full-back Cole Forbes also appeared eager to get involved, but in general too many Glasgow players had turned up in body only, not in spirit.

“It's hard to answer immediately after the game,” Brown continued when asked why his team had failed to turn up. “I can't really put my finger on it, but it will certainly be something that everyone will be asking themselves over the next three or four days. It’s something we have to find an answer to, because we have a huge game [against Edinburgh] in two weeks’ time.

“A lot of their points came off the back of mistakes. That's not taking anything away from Benetton: we were just too loose at times. We didn't earn our opportunities.

“We talked all week about keeping the ball and retaining our shape. We knew we would have to ride some big collisions but opportunities would open up. I just thought we were lazy, to be honest. We didn't work hard enough off the ball to try to get into our shape to stress them.

“In the brief moments that we kept our shape we worked hard together. We created opportunities for ourselves. It’s difficult, because they just out-enthused us, especially in that first half-hour.”

The one moment where things might have turned out differently for Glasgow came midway through the second half, by which time they were already 24-0 down. Cole Forbes touched down at the end of a break also involving Ian Keatley, Rufus McLean and Ali Price, but the score was chalked off after Benetton used their captain’s challenge and it was decided that Sam Johnson had committed an offence in the build-up.

A minute later Benetton scored their fourth try off a lineout after sending the penalty to touch, and what might have been a 24-7 deficit became 31-0. “That was a bit of a sucker punch,” Brown said. “You can't deny the significance of a 14-point swing in such a short period of time.”

Benetton’s lead had stretched to 38-0 by the time Keatley found Forbes with a drop-out and the full-back ran the length of the pitch to open his team’s account. Keatley and Grigg added further tries, with the former converting two of the three, but Benetton scored a sixth and had the last word with a penalty.

The best you could say about such a humiliation is at least it was only the Rainbow Cup, but Brown, while accepting that the new competition has been problematic, did not attempt to make any excuses on that ground. “It’s clearly got its challenges. It's obviously a very strange and unique competition, but that's the reality we've had all year and we have to get as many positives out of it as we can.

“Could  things have been done better in terms of organising? Undoubtedly yes. But it is where we are now and we have to take as much as possible out of this game and build as much as we can. 

“It’s been a stop-start season, but that's been the same across the entire world. Not just our club and not just our league.”