Need to Know: Glasgow v Ospreys match preview

KO 2.30 at Scotstoun Stadium, Sunday 1st November 2015
Buy tickets online
Live on BBC Alba and S4C

Team Talk

Glasgow welcome back another 5 internationals leaving 7 who’ve still to pull on the black and blue for a game this season. 8 players are in line for their first appearance of the season and Glasgow will have used 46 players in just 6 matches if the bench is cleared. Ospreys bring back most of their RWC contingent but have some key players missing through injury so neither side is at 100% full strength.

                                                .

Teams

15 Tommy Seymour
14 Lee Jones
13 Richie Vernon
12 Peter Horne
11 Sean Lamont
10 Duncan Weir
9 Mike Blair
1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Sila Puafisi
4 Greg Peterson
5 Leone Nakarawa
6 Rob Harley (c)
7 Simone Favaro
8 Ryan Wilson
15 Dan Evans
14 Tom Grabham
13 Ben John
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Brendon Leonard
1 Paul James
2 Sam Parry
3 Aaron Jarvis
4 Lloyd Ashley (c)
5 Rory Thornton
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Justin Tipuric
8 James King

16 James Malcolm
17 Alex Allan
18 Zander Fagerson
19 Scott Cummings
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Ali Price
22 Sam Johnson
23 Taqele Naiyarovoro

16 Scott Baldwin
17 Ryan Bevington
18 Dmitri Arhip
19 Alun Wyn Jones
20 Dan Baker
21 Tom Habberfield
22 Sam Davies
23 Jonathan Spratt

Glasgow Greetings:
Tongan tighthead, Sila Puafisi will be the 14th Warriors new boy this season and Sam Johnson and James Malcolm are also in line to make their competitive debuts from the bench. Greg Peterson makes his first start with 2 substitute appearances already under his belt.

Matchday Milestones:
Greg Peterson will be the 80th player to start a match for the Warriors during the tenure of head coach, Gregor Townsend. This will be the 122nd appearance for Rob Harley putting him out on his own as the most capped player in the current Glasgow squad

Warriors One to Watch:
There are a few candidates with new boy Sila Puafisi filling what is a vital position for Glasgow in the number 3 jersey and the return of the human highlight reel, Leone Nakarawa. However it’s last season’s glasgowwarriors.com player of the year, Peter Horne that could be most influential for the team. The Warriors have been short at centre all season and Pete will shore up the midfield defence and provide a significant attacking threat. His trusty left boot and quick decision-making will also help take some of the pressure off Duncan Weir who’ll be facing a very quick and aggressive Ospreys back row.

Head to Head:
Back 3 – EVEN
Centres – EVEN
Half Backs – ADV Ospreys
Front Row – EVEN
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – ADV Ospreys
Bench – ADV Ospreys

Toonie’s Track Record…
…against Ospreys:

  • 5 wins and 1 loss. 1 Try BP. 21 points in total.
  • 21 points is the most Glasgow have taken from any of the rest of the perennial playoff contenders.
  • Glasgow have won all 3 home games against the Os under Gregor Townsend.
  • Of the Welsh sides only the Blues have provided more points for the Warriors.

Last season’s match-up:

1
Try scored by Pat MacArthur – the only one he has managed in what is now a 116 game career with Glasgow!

3
Metres run with ball in hand by Leone Nakarawa – from 11 carries! This was not the big man’s best night for breaking free. He’ll be looking for a big performance to celebrate his return to Scotstoun after RWC duty.

9
Points missed by Sam Davies which proved extremely costly in what ended up a 3 point game. Glasgow are unlikely to have the luxury of their opponent not taking kicking opportunities with Dan Biggar in the 10 shirt on Sunday.

100
Percentage of Ospreys mauls successfully completed. Glasgow have had mixed results with their maul defence this season. At times they’ve been effective in stopping its progress but on too many occasions it has been easy ground gained and even tries scored for the opposition.

433
Metres run by Glasgow – almost twice as many as the Ospreys. Despite this disparity the Warriors couldn’t reflect their dominance on the scoreboard. The men from Swansea are always difficult to put away, no matter the circumstances.

Home and Away:
Glasgow have been victorious in 2 of their 3 home games this season. The Warriors have a 5 game home winning streak against the Os but the last 2 of these matches have been settled by just 2 and 3 points respectively – expect another tight contest at the weekend.

Ospreys have only won once in Scotland (Glasgow and Edinburgh) in the Pro 12 era. They have 1 win from their 3 away fixtures so far this season (against Treviso) but the side they are sending out for Sunday’s match is very different to their early season teams. Little can be read into form in the opening matches and in some ways the campaign is restarting this weekend with Pro 12 teams returned to nearly a full complement of players for selection.

Officials:
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU, 64th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Linton, Mike Adamson (both SRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (SRU)
TMO: Jim Fleming (SRU)

It will be 3 weeks shy of 2 years since the league’s 3rd most experienced match official last refereed the Warriors. The previous occasion was the disastrous defeat by the Dragons at Scotstoun where, despite Mr. Fitzgibbon whistling the Welshmen off the park (and issuing them with 3 yellow cards), the Warriors still found a way to lose the game. In previous seasons Mr. Fitzgibbon has been above average for sin bins but after missing most of the 2014/15 campaign he has started this year with one of the lowest yellow card counts in the league. Here’s hoping he doesn’t try to bump up his average on Sunday…

Jim Fleming provides the expert analysis on random replays from a truck in the car park. Fact – Mr. Fleming retired from refereeing 14 years ago. Fact – if (like me) you said to yourself “surely it’s not as long ago as that” then you are officially old!

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