Need to Know: Treviso v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 1.05 at Stadio Monigo, Saturday 31st December
Live on BBC ALBA

Sometimes Toony Tombola is a thing of beauty. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows…This week’s showstopper is starting Stuart Hogg at stand off for the first time in his 93 game Warriors career. There is of course method to the head coach’s genius – 11 of the 14 players who started both games against Racing have been rested either against Edinburgh or Treviso. Only Hoggy, Rob Harley and Zander Fagerson are still due a break, most likely against the Cardiff Blues, meaning fresh limbs for 2 huge Champions Cup matches in mid-January.

Adding the 11 members of the squad on the injured list to those rested this week, Glasgow have 18 players unavailable. The equivalent figure for Treviso is 15. So in total 33 players not in contention for selection from just this one game – a number which maybe gives some idea of the attritional nature of professional rugby in 2016.

Teams

TREVISO
15 Luke McLean
14 Angelo Esposito
13 Tommaso Benvenuti
12 Luca Morisi
11 Luca Sperandio
10 Tommaso Allan
9 Giorgio Bronzini
GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Peter Murchie
14 Junior Bulumakau
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Tommy Seymour
10 Stuart Hogg
9 Henry Pyrgos (c)

1 Alberto De Marchi
2 Davide Giazzon
3 Matteo Zanusso
4 Marco Fuser
5 Dean Budd
6 Robert Barbieri
7 Abraham Steyn
8 Marco Barbini

1 Gordon Reid
2 Pat MacArthur
3 D’arcy Rae
4 Tim Swinson
5 Brian Alainu’uese
6 Adam Ashe
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Ryan Wilson

16 Roberto Santamaria
17 Federico Zani
18 Tiziano Pasquali
19 Teofilo Paulo
20 Marco Lazzaroni
21 Edoardo Gori
22 Ian McKinley
23 Tommaso Iannone

16 Corey Flynn
17 Alex Allan
18 Zander Fagerson
19 Rob Harley
20 Simone Favaro
21 Nemia Kenatale
22 Rory Clegg
23 Sean Lamont

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

Glasgow Greetings:
A second chance for Nemia Kenatale to become the 51st player (and 16th debutant) to feature for the Warriors in the 2016/17 season.

Matchday Milestones:
When he makes what will be a rare appearance off the bench, Rob Harley will rack up his 150th game for Glasgow. Big Bad Bob will have featured in 79% of all Warriors games since making his debut against Leinster back on the 3rd of September 2010. With only Graeme Morrison (177), Al Kellock (157), Jonny Petrie (155), Dougie Hall (153) and John Barclay (152) having played more matches for Glasgow it’s more than feasible that by the end of this season Bob could be second on the all-time appearances list.

Gordon Reid is one of 7 other Warrior Centurions in the matchday squad and the big loosehead will be making his 50th Pro 12 start at the Stadio Monigo.

Warriors One to Watch:
There can only be one name in contention this week – Tommy Seymour. He missed last season’s fixture in Treviso but in Glasgow’s previous 3 visits to the Stadio Monigo, Tommy scored no less than 7 tries. Nobody in the world of rugby loves that hedge quite as much as the man from Nashville!

Tommy hasn’t crossed for a try since he touched down against Georgia in Scotland’s final Test of the Autumn series but with lucky number 11 on his back again expect some fireworks. He will also be able to keep the home defence guessing by popping up on the shoulders of Stuart Hogg or Sam Johnson in the early phases so it’s crucial the rest of the Warriors are following up to support him when he breaks through.

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Treviso:

  • 8 wins, 0 losses. 5 Try BPs. 37 points out of a possible 40 (92%)
  • Only Zebre (38) have yielded more points for Gregor Townsend’s men.

Last season’s match-up:

4
Tackles missed by Taqele Naiyaravoro – out of 6 attempted. Big T never really got the hang of a Glasgow defence that did have an unfortunate tendency to leave him isolated out wide. Another Fijian born winger, in the shape of Junior Bulumakau, has to to take the chance to demonstrate his defensive work can match up to his try-scoring prowess if he is to earn a contract extension for 2017/18.

6
Tries scored by Glasgow – for the second consecutive season. This was the first of 4 games in April that saw the Warriors rack up 30 tries. With bonus points likely to play a significant role in the chase for the playoffs some of that ruthlessness in attack will be welcome after leaving the BP hanging in both of their last 2 fixtures.

18
Carries made by Adam Ashe – the most by any player. Adam proved his credentials as an absolute workhorse during the RWC window and carried that form through the rest of the season. After 7 months out he’s making a timely return to strengthen Gregor Townsend’s back row options. Expect him to be heavily involved in attack and defence as part of a hard grafting loose trio.

Home and Away:
Treviso last 5 in the Pro 12 (H) – L W L L W
Glasgow last 5 in the Pro 12 (A) – L W W L W

Officials:
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 33rd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (WRU), Claudio Blessano (FIR)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

Ben Whitehouse refereed this same fixture last season – one of 3 occasions the young Welsh whistler was in charge of a Warriors game. The penalty count was in Glasgow’s favour across those matches (26-36) although there were a couple of costly yellow cards away to Munster.

20+ penalties a game is fairly typical for a ref still in the early seasons of his Pro 12 career – and he’s also not afraid to regularly brandish cards. Mr. Whitehouse follows the modern template for match officials by being a clear communicator though. If the players listen they should have the chance to minimise the referee’s interventions in the game.

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