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Hooker hat-trick helps Glasgow to big win over Zebre Parma

By PA
Johnny Matthews of Glasgow Warriors, centre, and teammates celebrates their side's sixth try during the United Rugby Championship (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Glasgow hooker Johnny Matthews grabbed a hat-trick during a 40-12 win over Zebre Parma on an emotional night at Scotstoun.

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Oli Kebble, Ryan Wilson and Jamie Dobie also crossed as Warriors moved five points behind United Rugby Championship leaders Leinster. Only the width of a post stopped Ross Thompson adding six conversions.

Alessandro Fusco and Luca Andreani scored late in each half to give the Italians something to show for their visit.

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There was a poignant precursor as Warriors paid tribute to former player Federico Aramburu, who was shot dead in Paris a fortnight ago at the age of 42. The former Argentina back played for Glasgow during the 2010-11 season.

An Argentina flag flew and a Pumas shirt lay on the pitch during a minute’s applause as a group of the South American’s former team-mates, including Chris Cusiter and Ruaridh Jackson, lined up on the touchline.

Another of Aramburu’s former colleagues, Rob Harley, blew his cheeks out as he battled his emotions during the applause ahead of his 261st game for the club – and possibly his final match at Scotstoun. The 31-year-old announced earlier in the week that he would be departing in the summer.

Warriors wasted no time in atoning for losing a 13-point lead in Cardiff last weekend.

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Stafford McDowall’s kick into touch put the visitors on the back foot in the opening seconds and Matthews powered over in the fourth minute after a driving maul.

The front row continued to do the damage as Kebble showed great footwork and strength to go over in the 10th minute.

Wilson added the third when he dived underneath two tackles and stretched to touch down on the line after replacement scrum-half Sean Kennedy had got the ball out of a halted maul in the corner.

Dobie – back on after a head injury assessment – got in on the act when he took the ball out of the back of the scrum and darted between two Zebre players in the 33rd minute.

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The Italians had the final say of the half when Fusco intercepted opposite number Dobie’s pass inside his own half and sprinted for the line to make it 28-5 at half-time.

Glasgow could not add to their lead while Potu Leavasa was in the sin bin for a high tackle on Cole Forbes, but Matthews twice touched down during mauls either side of the offence.

Andreani finished well after a line-out in the 79th minute as the Parma men ended on a high.

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