Need to Know: Glasgow v Dragons Pro 12 Match Preview 2016/17

KO 3.00 at Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 16th October
Buy tickets online
Live on Sky Sports 2

Even with both matches being played during international windows (the RWC last season and the 6 Nations this time out) the Warriors’ and Dragons’ sides have a very different look from their last meeting at Scotstoun – only 18 of the 46 players return from that game in October 2015.


15 Peter Murchie
14 Lee Jones
13 Mark Bennett
12 Nick Grigg
11 Rory Hughes
10 Peter Horne
9 Henry Pyrgos (c)
15 Tom Prydie
14 Pat Howard
13 Tyler Morgan
12 Sam Beard
11 Adam Warren
10 Angus O’Brien
9 Sarel Pretorius

1 Alex Allan
2 Corey Flynn
3 D’arcy Rae
4 Tim Swinson
5 Brian Alainu’uese
6 Robert Harley
7 Simone Favaro
8 Richie Vernon

1 Sam Hobbs
2 Elliott Dee
3 Brok Harris
4 James Thomas
5 Rynard Landman
6 Ollie Griffiths
7 Nic Cudd
8 Lewis Evans (c)

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Sila Puafisi
19 Scott Cummings
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Nemia Kenatale
22 Brandon Thomson
23 Ratu Tagive

16 Rhys Buckley
17 Thomas Davies
18 Lloyd Fairbrother
19 Matthew Screech
20 Harrison Keddie
21 Charles Davies
22 Dorian Jones
23 Will Talbot-Davies

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

Glasgow Greetings:
There are home debuts in the offing for all 3 of the backline replacements. Hopefully Nemia Kenatale, Brandon Thomson and Ratu Tagive get a suitably noisy Scotstoun welcome. Peter Horne also deserves an ovation – he’ll be playing in Glasgow for the first time in 3 months!

Matchday Milestones:
It’ll be half-centurion status for Lee Jones as he makes his 50th appearance for the club. Simone Favaro brings up his 50th career start in the Pro 12. The machine that is Bob Harley plays his 157th match for Glasgow – matching former skipper Al Kellock – and it will also be Rob’s 125th game in the Pro 12.

Warriors One to Watch:
Through a tough run of matches the second row partnership of Scott Cummings and Brian Alainu’uese has provided some of the most encouraging performances. Scott will be on the bench this week but Big Brian gets the chance to continue his good form as he tries to win a contract for next season.

Brian has carried the ball 46 carries times in last 3 games (plus he’s attempted 29 tackles). In fact as things stand he’s averaging more carries and more metres gained per carry than any other Glasgow lock this season. It’s sometimes difficult to remember but he is still only 22, on his first professional contract at this level and there is a huge amount of potential there if he gets to stick around for a proper preseason in terms of conditioning and preparing with his teammates.

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Dragons:

  • 7 wins and 2 losses. 4 Try BPs, 1 Losing BP. 33 points out of a possible 45 (73%).
  • The Dragons have a better record against Gregor Townsend’s men than the Cardiff Blues and Connacht (and of course the Italian sides) have managed.

Last season’s match-up:

Yellow cards for Glasgow. Taqele Naiyaravoro couldn’t make it to half-time on his debut before being sent to the sin bin. That was topped by Crazy Simone who came off the bench and was on the field for all of 12 minutes before having to sit back down again!

Minutes left on the clock when Glasgow were awarded a final penalty. At 22-15 skipper Rob Harley might have played it safe and gone for the posts to ensure the win. The bolder strategy of kicking to the corner paid off though with new forwards coach Dan McFarland’s influence shining through in a powerful-looking maul. Redemption for Simone with the BP try (and check out Big T in the foreground – quite something to see a 20-stone man jumping for joy!)

Percentage success rate for the Dragons lineout – the worst of any side at Scotstoun last season (Glasgow were at 90% in this match). Scott Cummings was in imperious form in only his 4th pro game, pulling in 9 takes on Glasgow’s throw and stealing 2 of Newport’s for good measure. The young lock should make an early appearance of the bench on Saturday and another chance to demonstrate why he will be a Scotland international before too long.

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

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU – 20th tournament game)
AR1: David Wilkinson (IRFU)
AR2: Dunx McClement (SRU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

A 3rd assignation of the season for the Warriors and Mr. Brace. He refereed the club’s last victory at Scotstoun – a BP win over the Cardiff Blues at the start of January – and (because the Pro 12 seem to think it’s a good idea) he was also the man in the middle for the reverse of this fixture down in Newport in September.

He’s not much for chat – there will be no “I’m the referee, not the coach” style banter at Scotstoun. However if Glasgow can communicate clearly with Mr. Brace and stay on his good side – as they did against the Dragons (4 penalties) and Cardiff (7) it will improve the team’s chances of coming away with their first win of the Test windows in 2016/17.


  1. Yes Disco, Big Bri is becoming a real handful and I agree with your theory re pre-season etc. Was he not a Dave Rennie recommends type signing ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spent a bit of time with the Chiefs and played 2 games so I’m sure Dave Rennie will have been involved in the signing somewhere. I think Brian’s done enough to earn a new deal – but do we also need to find room for Calum Hunter-Hill? Is 6 locks excessive?


  2. The good thing with Brian is he won’t be required for the six nations and I agree with all your points on him. Where does he sign..

    Liked by 1 person

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