Need to Know: Treviso v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 4.30 at Stadio Monigo, Saturday 2nd April
Live on BBC Alba

The Italian Job – primo parte
It’s more tweaking than full on Toony Tombola this week as Glasgow make 5 changes from the XV that started against Ulster. Gregor Townsend will be looking to rotate his resources across the Italian double header to ensure everyone is match sharp as the intensity ramps up towards the playoffs. Treviso are strengthened by the return of 5 Italian capped internationals as they look to recover from an 8 try thumping at the hands of the Blues last time out.


15 Jayden Hayward
14 Ludovico Nitoglia
13 Tommaso Iannone
12 Sam Christie
11 Angelo Esposito
10 James Ambrosini
9 Edoardo Gori
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Taqele Naiyarovoro
13 Mark Bennett
12 Peter Horne
11 Sean Lamont
10 Finn Russell
9 Henry Pyrgos

1 Alberto De Marchi
2 Luca Bigi
3 Filippo Fillippeto
4 Filo Paulo
5 Marco Fuser
6 Marco Lazzaroni
7 Alessandro Zanni
8 Robert Barbieri

1 Gordon Reid
2 Fraser Brown
3 Sila Puafisi
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Josh Strauss
7 Simone Favaro
8 Adam Ashe

16 Davide Giazzon
17 Matteo Zanusso
18 Rupert Harden
19 Dean Budd
20 Braam Steyn
21 Andrea De Marchi
22 Alberto Lucchese
23 Luke McLean

16 James Malcolm
17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Leone Nakarawa
20 Tyrone Holmes
21 Grayson Hart
22 Glenn Bryce
23 Lee Jones

Glasgow Greetings:
No new faces this week – but with the front row playing their 3rd consecutive match together will next week’s fixture against Zebre see debuts from Jarrod Firth or Djustice Sears-Duru who both travelled to Italy with the extended squad?

Matchday Milestones:
Congratulations to Sean Lamont who makes his 100th appearance (including Celtic Cup matches) for the Warriors. Sila Puafisi features in the match day squad for the 19th consecutive game, matching Leone Nakarawa’s single season record for the Townsend era. But can he beat the Tombola and continue his streak against Zebre?

Warriors One to Watch:
In Glasgow’s last 3 visits to the Stadio Monigo, Tommy Seymour has scored 7 tries – he just bloody loves that hedge! In his absence the weight of expectation falls upon the rather sizeable shoulders of one Taqele Naiyarovoro. With a few weeks rest behind him and (hopefully) the sun on his back this should be an ideal time for the one-man wrecking crew to show what he is capable of and add to his scoring tally for the season. Only DTH van der Merwe, Niko Matawalu and Thom Evans have managed 10+ try seasons for the Warriors in the last decade so a hat-trick tomorrow would put Mr. T among some fairly illustrious company.

Head to Head:
Back 3 – ADV Glasgow
Centres – ADV Glasgow
Half Backs – ADV Glasgow
Front Row – EVEN
Second Row – ADV Glasgow
Back Row – ADV Glasgow
Subs – ADV Glasgow
On paper there is no way to see anything other than a Glasgow win. Unfortunately the game isn’t played on paper and the Warriors will need to guard against complacency plus Italian passion and grit!

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Treviso:

  • 7 wins, 0 losses. 4 Try BPs. 32 points out of a possible 35 (91%)
  • No side have yielded more points for Gregor Townsend’s men.
  • Try BPs are also the highest in this period (tied with Zebre). The victory is absolutely essential for Glasgow but with margins likely to be very fine at the end of the season a BP win would be ideal in the chase for the playoffs.

Last season’s match-up:

Tries scored – adding in the trip to face Zebre later in the 2014/15 campaign and Glasgow notched 14 five-pointers on their travels to Italy last season. Something similar over the next week would do very nicely…

Passes made by Glasgow – the fewest of the season (except for in a monsoon at the Liberty Stadium). Treviso actually dominated much of the play but could do little with it. The counter-punching Warriors were able to cut through the home defences far more efficiently. Coach Gregor Townsend will probably be happier to see his side control territory and possession on Saturday – Henry Pyrgos and Finn Russell will be key in this respect.

Penalties conceded by the Warriors – the most in any game last season (they also saw 2 players yellow carded). Toony’s men cannot afford to let indiscipline keep Treviso in the game – ruthless efficiency needs to be the mantra of the day.

Home and Away:
Glasgow have only won twice away from home in the Pro 12 this season, but they haven’t lost in Treviso since their very first visit back in 2011. The hosts have only emerged victorious on 2 occasions on their own turf in this league campaign – both during the 6 Nations.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 21st competition game)
Assistant Referees: Claudio Blessano, Gregorio Piran (both FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Stefano Marrama (FIR)
TMO: Stefano Penne (FIR)

This match was scheduled to be the Warriors’ first experience of Nigel Owens’ game management in the 2015/16 season – he hasn’t officiated Glasgow since the Pro 12 final. Unfortunately illness means Jonny Gray won’t get the opportunity to test out his banter on the master.

Ben Whitehouse refereed both the Warriors’ games against Munster this season. Like most young refs will go to his pocket more readily than the old hands like Owens and Clancy – but he is a clear communicator so there will be no excuse for not knowing what he is looking for from the players.

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