Need to Know: Racing 92 v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 1.00 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Saturday 9th January
Live on Sky Sports

Team Talk
It’s a very different Glasgow line-up that takes on Racing compared to the side named back in November. Only 6 players start in the same positions with a 7th (Finn Russell) shuffled out from stand-off to inside centre. By contrast Racing have been able to add players of the quality of Juan Imhoff and Dan Carter to their starting line-up (not to mention the likes of Brice Dulin and Mike Phillips on the bench) as they look to press home their case as one of the elite sides in Europe.

Teams

RACING 92
15 Johannes Goosen
14 Juan Imhoff
13 Henry Chavancy
12 Alexandre Dumoulin
11 Marc Andreu
10 Dan Carter
9 Maxime Machenaud (c)
GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Taqele Naiyarovoro
13 Mark Bennett
12 Finn Russell
11 Sean Lamont
10 Duncan Weir
9 Ali Price

1 Eddy Ben Arous
2 Dimitri Szarzewski
3 Ben Tameifuna
4 Luke Charteris
5 Manuel Carizza
6 Yannick Nyanga
7 Wenceslas Lauret
8 Chris Masoe

1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Leone Nakarawa
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Ryan Wilson
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Adam Ashe

16 Camille Chat
17 Julien Brugnaut
18 Luc Ducalcon
19 Benrard Le Roux
20 Antonie Claassen
21 Brice Dulin
22 Mike Phillips
23 Casey Laulala

16 Fraser Brown
17 Alex Allan
18 Sila Puafisi
19 Greg Peterson
20 Hugh Blake
21 Lee Jones
22 Sam Johnson
23 Glenn Bryce

Glasgow Greetings:
5 players are in line to make their European debuts for the Warriors on Saturday. Ali Price starts and will be joined by fellow Heineken Cup virgins Greg Peterson, Hugh Blake, Sam Johnson and Glenn Bryce from the bench.

Matchday Milestones:
Ali Price will become the 200th Glasgow player to appear in European competition since their inaugural match back in 1996. It’ll be the 30th Warriors’ European Cup game for Pat MacArthur – the most among the current squad. Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones play, respectively, their 75th and 25th matches for Glasgow.

Warriors One to Watch:
Gordon Reid. Over recent seasons the Scotstoun Express has improved his setpiece work to the point where he is now the cornerstone of the Glasgow scrum. How he copes tomorrow with a very strong Racing pack will go a long way to dictating the quality of possession available to both sides. His high workrate, both with and without the ball, will also be crucial as the Warriors try to overcome one of the form teams in Europe.

Head to Head:
Back 3 – EVEN
Centres – EVEN
Half Backs – ADV Racing
Front Row – ADV Racing
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – ADV Racing
Subs – ADV Racing

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Top 14 teams in the Champions Cup:

    • 2 wins, 8 losses. 1 Try BP, 3 Losing BPs. 12 points in total out of a possible 50.
    • Castres, Toulon and Toulouse all did the double over the Warriors.
    • Montpellier are the only French side that Toony’s men have won against.

Key battles:
Setpiece:
The Glasgow scrum took a big step up in the 2nd leg of the 1872 Cup against Edinburgh. The Racing pack will provide a similarly powerful challenge and will also look to target the Warrior’s lineout where there have been problems around the throw/timing of jumps. Glasgow need both these areas to function at close to 100% if they are to have any chance of pulling off an upset.

Get Carter:
Almost impossible to do – as many have found to their cost over the past decade or so – but Glasgow need to minimise the All Black legend’s influence on the game. The pack will look to spoil the French side’s ball as much as possible. Ali Price has to harry and harass his opposite number to further reduce the quality of possession. Beyond that primary duties for shutting down Dan the Man will fall to Duncan Weir and Chris Fusaro who need to press the line and trust those behind them to cover any space left.

Two for T? Or Just Juan?
Both sides are comfortable moving the ball around and the game could become stretched. The wing positions will feature a real clash of styles with the brutality of Naiyaravoro and Lamont facing off against the silky stylings of Imhoff and Andreu. Neither of the Racing wingers is one to shirk a challenge so expect some crunching collisions if the ball gets some air.

Home and Away:
Racing have only won 8 of their 17 Heineken Cup matches at home over the past 5 seasons, although they have been victorious in their last 4 pool games at Stade Yves du Manoir.

Glasgow have only won twice in 16 attempts on French soil in the European Cup. It would be nice to create some new winning memories so I didn’t have to keep posting this video:

 

Officials:
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Touch Judge 1: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Touch Judge 2: Nigel Correll (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)
Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Mr. Lacey is a familiar face to the Warriors having refereed the first leg of the 1872 Cup just a couple of weeks ago and another 5 of their games over the past 2 seasons. This doesn’t seemed to have helped them to get on the right side of the Irish whistler with the penalty count of 13-8 in Edinburgh’s favour being pretty much bang on the average for Glasgow games reffed by Mr. L. The foundation of avoiding a repeat will be based on how the front row present the scrum – even just getting the look of the thing right could be enough to keep the ref onside.

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