The Glasgow Warriors produced a trademark second-half surge and moved back into the play-off spots in the Guinness PRO12 with a bonus point victory over the Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun.
It was the Warriors’ fifth successive win and for once it was the supporting cast who grabbed the glory with two tries from full-back Peter Murchie and one each for the hookers, Pat MacArthur and James Malcolm.
But it was man of the match Tommy Seymour’s searing runs off his wing and Jonny Gray’s marshalling of the Warriors pack that were the key to victory.
Seymour’s two breaks in the second half produced both Murchie’s tries just as it seemed Glasgow had let a position of dominance in the first half slip away.
But that double from the full back and Malcolm’s try for the bonus point proved enough to take the Warriors into next week’s big European clash against Munster on a high.
It also took Glasgow back into the play-off spots and completed head coach Gregor Townsend’s goal of winning all three games over the Christmas and New Year period to get into the top four.
Glasgow enjoyed an almost complete monopoly on possession in the rainswept first half in front of another Scotstoun sellout but ended up only three points ahead thanks to the Blues’ tenacious defence and a gift of a try right at the break.
The home side owned the ball for the first 15 minutes and although they showed great continuity through multiple phases the Welshmen scrambled bravely to hold them out.
Eventually the visitors were broken in 13 minutes when the ball squirted clear from a ruck, Tim Swinson swept up the loose ball, and MacArthur was there under the posts for only his second try in nearly 150 appearances from the Warriors.
Russell converted but the stand-off was having a mixed game as he tried a number of little kicks to little effect, and the Warriors were fortunate when former Lions wing Alex Cuthbert spilled the ball close to their line.
Instead Russell kicked Glasgow further ahead with a point blank penalty after a scrum offence as the rain teemed down on Scotstoun.
And just before the half the Blues’ defensive effort was rewarded when Russell tried an unwise chip deep in his own 22, it was half charged down and wing Blaine Scully snatched the loose ball and scooted into the corner untouched, Steve Shingler converting from the touchline.
The stand-off once courted by Scotland landed an early penalty to level the scores just after half-time, but Murchie’s two tries in four minutes from Seymour’s brilliant running took Glasgow back in charge.
The wing first cut a line off quick lineout ball and supplied Alex Dunbar, who was felled close to the line but his full-back was there to pick up and twist over.
Then Seymour sliced through again off a neat pass from Ali Price and although he was caught, Glasgow quickly moved it for Murchie to stroll over untouched.
Russell converted both, and the bonus point try came just after the hour, a lineout drive splintering the Cardiff pack to ribbons and replacement hooker James Malcolm burrowing for the try.
A late try from replacement wing Ryon Williams for Cardiff was only consolation as the Blues left Scotstoun with nothing.
Glasgow: P Murchie; T Seymour, M Bennett, A Dunbar, L Jones; F Russell, A Price; G Reid, P MacArthur, D Rae; T Swinson, J Gray (capt); J Strauss, S Favaro, R Wilson.
Replacements: J Malcolm for MacArthur 57, A Allan for Reid 54, Z Fagerson for Rae 54, R Harley for Favaro 61, A Ashe for Wilson 52, G Hart for Price 67, R Clegg for Dunbar 71, S Lamont for Jones 61.
Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; A Cuthbert, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, B Scully; S Shingler, L Williams; R Gill, K Dacey, A Peikrishvili; M Cook, J Down; E Jenkins, S Warburton (capt), J Navidi
Replacements: M Rees for Dacey 70, B Thyer for Gill 54, S Andrews for Peikrishvili 64, J Hoeata for Down 31, BJ Edwards for Cook 75, T Williams for L Williams 59, N Robinson for Lee-Lo 61, R Williams for Cuthbert 70.
Ref: A Brace (IRFU)