Glasgow’s Heineken Cup campaign started with defeat after a powerful Northampton side put on an impressive second-half show to win 24-15 at Franklin’s Gardens.
Gregor Townsend’s men held a 15-0 lead at one point but a flurry of tries either side of half-time put Northampton in command and they saw out what was in the end a convincing win.
Despite an attacking performance, Warriors could not even take a bonus point from the match, though they will take encouragement from how a physical approach unnerved their hosts at times.
Glasgow took an early lead with a Peter Horne penalty but Northampton wing Ken Pisi served notice of the home side’s attacking threat.
After a Sean Lamont tackle denied Pisi an early score, Glasgow roared back and driving play gave Josh Strauss the opportunity to touch down.
Horne converted to make it 10-0 and Warriors had a comfortable lead but were still feeling pressure.
Northampton were suffering from a lack of an incisive finish and eight minutes later, Glasgow showed they could be more clinical when slick movement and passing in attack ended in Lamont powering over.
This time Horne could not convert but the visitors were looking to the approaching half-time hoping to preserve a healthy score.
In injury-time, Northampton finally clicked and stunned Glasgow with two tries, forcing Townsend to rethink his team talk.
First George Pisi broke from midfield to score, then he took his second try after combining with brother Ken to take advantage of gaps in the Warriors defence. Stephen Myler converted the second to cut the gap to just three points at the break.
Glasgow made a change with fly-half Ruaridh Jackson, who suffered a knock during the opening 40 minutes, being replaced by Niko Matawalu. Horne switched to number 10 duties. There was no change for Northampton as they picked up where they left off. A surging run from prop Soane Tonga'uiha that set up Myler to score.
Glasgow sought a way back into the game but were frustrated by a resilient Northampton who continued to look like they may add to their tally.
Six minutes from time they did just that, Vasily Artemyev sprinting over to put the result beyond doubt and leaving Glasgow dejected.