Need to Know: Glasgow v Ospreys match preview

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 25th November 2016
Buy tickets online
Live on Sky

Team Talk

Between them Glasgow and the Ospreys will be missing no less than 46 players, with 27 of them (18 for the Weeg and 9 for the Os) absent on international duty. Hopefully Pro 12 MD Martin Anayi is expediting his plans to move games out of the Test windows…It’s taken a bit of improvisation for the Warriors to pull together a team this week: 2 players return from the injury list; 3 have been released by Scotland; 3 are Scottish Rugby Academy players; and 2 have been borrowed from club sides. If everyone makes it off the bench then by the final Glasgow will have used 49 players in their 11 matches so far this season.


15 Peter Murchie
14 Sean Lamont
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Lee Jones
10 Rory Clegg
9 Grayson Hart
15 Dan Evans
14 Dafydd Howells
13 Kieron Fonotia
12 Ashley Beck
11 Tom Grabam
10 Josh Matavesi
9 Tom Habberfield (c)

1 Gordon Reid
2 Corey Flynn
3 D’Arcy Rae
4 Tim Swinson
5 Brian Alainu’uese
6 Lewis Wynne
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Josh Strauss (c)

1 Paul James
2 Sam Parry
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 Rory Thornton
6 Olly Cracknell
7 Sam Underhill
8 Dan Baker

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Ryan Grant
18 Adam Nicol
19 Rob McAlpine
20 LangiLangi Haupeakui
21 George Horne
22 Patrick Kelly
23 Junior Bulumakau

16 Scott Otten
17 Gareth Thomas
18 Rhodri Jones
19 Adam Beard
20 Rob McCusker
21 Brendon Leonard
22 Luke Price
23 Tom O’Flaherty

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

Glasgow Greetings:
Stirling County’s Adam Nicol will become the second club player to make his Warriors’ bow this season if he comes off the bench. He’ll be joined by 2 SRA players in George Horne and Patrick Kelly – the 6th and 7th academy players to feature for Glasgow in this campaign. This trio could take Glasgow up to 15 debutants in 2016/17 – remarkably within sight of the 19 new faces last year, which of course covered 2 months of the RWC.

Matchday Milestones:
The game against the Ospreys will be the 100th for assistant coach Kenny Murray. This is Kenny’s fourth season with the club after joining up in 2013 following a very fruitful stint with Ayr and he has been an integral part of the Warriors success over that period.

Warriors One to Watch:
The players making up the starting XV have the fewest previous appearances for Glasgow of any side Toony has selected this season. With that being the case the experience of a player like Corey Flynn could be vital (not least, given that he comes from Invercargill, the sub-zero temperature at Scotstoun will feel positively balmy to the former All Black!) Injuries have interrupted his season and this will be just his second start for the Warriors but expect his physicality to be to the fore in the loose and he will provide a steadying presence at the setpiece as well.

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Ospreys:

  • 6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. 2 Try BP. 28 points in total.
  • Gregor Townsend’s men have won all 4 home games against the Os.

Last season’s match-up:

The Ospreys had a 1-point lead at half time. Ultimately though it was the Warriors that prevailed in a come from behind victory. This was the first of 9 wins last season where Glasgow were down after the first 40 minutes. Given the raw nature of the home bench that’s not something that can be relied upon this time out and a fast start is essential.

Penalty attempts by Dan Biggar. Despite only having 28% possession and 22% of the territorial battle the Os were kept in the game by Glasgow’s indiscipline (combined with first half profligacy in attack). There may be no Biggar (or Sam Davies) this time out but the Warriors need to keep the crime count down to give themselves the best chance of putting the men from Swansea away.

Carries by the Glasgow front row. The Warriors simplified their game plan in the second half and asked the big lads to get them going forward with low risk plays designed to freeze the Ospreys out of the game. Friday night may well see the sort of match that suits this more prosaic approach.

Home and Away:
Glasgow last 6 in Pro 12 (H) – W W W W L W
Ospreys last 6 in Pro 12 (A) – W W W L L L

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 85th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU), Bob Nevin (SRU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

Scotstoun must feel almost like a second home for Mr. Clancy and this will be the 7th time he has refereed in Glasgow in the last 2 years. The Warriors have yet to see a player sin binned by the Limerick whistler in those 6 previous matches. With 10 yellow cards already in the books this season Gregor Townsend will be crossing his fingers that Mr. Clancy continues in such tolerant fashion on Friday night.


  1. “6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. 2 Try BP. 28 points in total.”

    8 matches in total, we know that 4 of them must have been played in Wales with 1 loss and 1 draw meaning at least 2 away matches must have been victories, yet

    “There has only been one away win in fixtures between these 2 sides in the Townsend era.”


    Liked by 1 person

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