Need to Know: Scarlets v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 3.15 Parc y Scarlets, Saturday 16th April
Live on Sky

Team Talk
Only 17 out of the 46 players on show were involved in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season – 10 for Scarlets and 7 for Glasgow. It’s reached the stage of the season where Toony’s Tombola starts to get a bit of a rest and the coach focuses in on a core group of players and that’s lead to the 23 picked for the away side boasting more than 1,500 previous appearances for the Warriors – the first time this has been the case in the current season. (On the subject of appearances a special mention for Scarlets’ Phil John who has no less than 300 matches under his belt for the region!)

Teams

SCARLETS
15 Liam Williams
14 Steffan Evans
13 Gareth Owen
12 Hadleigh Parkes
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Steve Shingler
9 Gareth Davies
GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Lee Jones
13 Mark Bennett
12 Alex Dunbar
11 Tommy Seymour
10 Finn Russell
9 Henry Pyrgos

1 Rob Evans
2 Ken Owens
3 Samson Lee
4 Jake Ball
5 David Bulbring
6 Maselino Paulino
7 James Davies
8 John Barclay

1 Gordon Reid
2 Fraser Brown
3 Sila Puafisi
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Robert Harley
7 Ryan Wilson
8 Josh Strauss

16 Kirby Myhill
17 Phil John
18 Peter Edwards
19 George Earle
20 Morgan Allen
21 Aled Davies
22 Aled Thomas
23 Steffan Hughes

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18 Zander Fagerson
19 Leone Nakarawa
20 Tyrone Holmes
21 Grayson Hart
22 Duncan Weir
23 Taqele Naiyarovoro

Once Were Warriors:
2 Glasgow stalwarts face off against their old side with John Barclay and DTH van der Merwe having made a combined 248 appearances for the Warriors. As 2 of the club’s favourite sons the Scotstoun faithful always like to see JB and DTH do well – just not on Saturday…

Matchday Milestones:
Tim Swinson makes his 75th appearance for the Warriors. The Gun Show notched his 10th try for Glasgow a few weeks ago and he is the top scorer among all forwards in the current squad! Finn Russell is just 4 points short of 100 for the season and there is a battle brewing for top dog status at the club with Duncan Weir who currently has 101.

Warriors One to Watch:
The battle at the breakdown will be crucial to the outcome of this fixture and Gregor Townsend has gone with the back row that served him so well in the Grand Final last May. It’s a powerful trio and at 6 Rob Harley will be a key man. With the twin turnover threat of James Davies and John Barclay lurking Bob will be expected to protect the Glasgow ball carriers and tie up the Scarlets back rowers for that vital extra couple of seconds that may create space for his teammates. The Ginger Ninja’s work rate is always of the highest level and it will need to be yet again to help contain the men from Llanelli.

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

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Scarlets:

  • 3 wins, 4 losses. 2 Losing BPs. 14 points out of a possible 35 (40%)
  • Even if Glasgow were to win on Saturday they will still have taken less points from these games than against any other side in the Pro 12 during Gregor Townsend’s tenure.
  • Toony’s side have collected just 4 points from their 3 previous trips to Parc y Scarlets.

Last season’s match-up:

5
Times Glasgow lost the ball at scrum and lineout. Every possession is likely to be hard won so forwards coach, Dan MacFarland will have been drilling into his charges that they must win their own ball and give the backs the platform they need.

28
Minutes played by Zander Fagerson before he was substituted. The big man, making his first ever start, found himself instantly on the wrong side of referee, Mr. Wilkinson. With a new 3 year contract and his first Scotland cap on the mantelpiece Ragnar will be keen to show how far he has come in the last 18 months.

37
The number of times Glasgow kicked the ball – the most in any match last season. Conditions were horrendous and with Scarlets throwing in 30 kicks of their own the game was not  a great advert for the league. Saturday’s match should be a real contrast with 2 high tempo teams who like to keep the ball in hand and attack.

Home and Away:
Scarlets last 5 (H) – L W W W L
Glasgow last 5 (A) – D L W W W

Officials:
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 80th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies, Simon Brickell (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Dennis Jones (WRU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

This will be second time around this season for the Warriors and Mr. Clancy with the Irish whistler having taken charge less than a month ago in Glasgow’s fine win over Leinster. The scouting report on Mr. Clancy remains the same – excessively pedantic over some minor technical offences but lax at the breakdown. Reticent to bring out the cards but he does love a free kick.

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