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

KO 5.15 at Sold Out Scotstoun Stadium, Saturday 26 May
Live on BBC2 Scotland

It’s time for the 147th and final match in the tenure of Glasgow head coach, Gregor Townsend. The maestro is packing up his tombola and heading for an office at Murrayfield. Before he goes though there is just the small matter of one final piece of silverware…

  • This will be the 20th game in the 1872 Cup series since the trophy was reintroduced in the 2007/08 season.
  • So far Glasgow have won 12 matches, Edinburgh 6 and there has been 1 draw.
  • The Warriors victory in December was just the 4th genuine away win. Edinburgh have yet to avoid defeat in Glasgow during the current incarnation of the 1872 Cup.
  • 33 of the 46 players return from the first leg at Murrayfield.

15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Alex Dunbar
12 Peter Horne
11 Lee Jones
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Glenn Bryce
14 Damien Hoyland
13 Chris Dean
12 Phil Burleigh
11 Blair Kinghorn
10 Duncan Weir
9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1 Gordon Reid
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Robert Harley
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Matt Fagerson
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh

1 Allan Dell
2 Ross Ford
3 Simon Berghan
4 Grant Gilchrist (c)
5 Ben Toolis
6 Jamie Ritchie
7 John Hardie
8 Cornell Du Preez

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Alex Allan
18 Sila Puafisi
19 Tim Swinson
20 Adam Ashe
21 Henry Pyrgos
22 Nick Grigg
23 Sean Lamont
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 Neil Cochrane
17 Murray McCallum
18 Kevin Bryce
19 Fraser McKenzie
20 George Turner
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Junior Rasolea
23 Rory Scholes

Tale of the Tape:

99   Pro 12 tries   44
480   Pro 12 appearances   340
39   1872 Cup appearances   24
26.6   Average age   24.7
7   Capped players   3

892kg   Pack weights   902kg
473   Pro 12 appearances   458
36   1872 Cup appearances   40
24.6   Average age   26.5
6   Capped players   7

532   Pro 12 appearances   191
35   1872 Cup appearances   12
28.4   Average age   26.6
7   Capped players   1

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:
First 1872 Cup appearances in the offing for no less than 6 players (Ritchie, McCallum [an unused sub in the 1st leg], K Bryce, Turner, Rasolea and Scholes) on the black and red team and another 2 (Cummings and M Fagerson) on the black and blue side.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinbuggers:
7 of the players on show have featured for both clubs – G Bryce, Weir, K Bryce, McKenzie, and Kennedy were privileged to run out for Glasgow. Jones and Allan had lucky escapes from the capital! In fact, after this match, Wee Lee will only be 3 appearances short of playing more games for the Warriors than he did in his Edinburgh career.

Matchday Milestones:
The total attendance for the Warriors’ home matches tops 100,000 for the first time in the club’s history, finishing up at 101,974 for the 2016/17 campaign. Glasgow’s 5 seasons at Scotstoun have seen them pull in more punters than in the previous 14 years of the club’s existence.

Blonde bombshell, Sean Lamont becomes the 3,379th and last player to be selected by Gregor Townsend for the Warriors.

Glasgow have scored 90 tries so far this season, a record for the Townsend era. A bonus point win would see them top the club’s all-time best haul of 93 tries from the 2000/01 campaign.

Stuart Hogg will be the 4th player this season to become a Warrior Centurion while Zander Fagerson features for the 50th time for Glasgow. Elsewhere, Fraser Brown will play his 50th Pro 12 match and Duncan Weir will make it 100 appearances in the same tournament.

Warriors One to Watch / Edinburgh Ego to Eyeball
This has been a real breakthrough season for Ali Price. He has established himself in the Glasgow first team with more starts in this campaign than he had managed in his previous 3 years with the club. Injury to Greig Laidlaw also allowed Ali to take on the mantle of the Scotland number 9 shirt. He loves when the game gets a bit loose and the ball is flying around but he’s also shown (particularly in European competition) that he has the patience to wait for the right moments to attack by himself or release his backline.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has been where Ali was prior to getting that opportunity for the national side. SHC was the young up-and-comer who was going to force his way past Greig Laidlaw and bring an excellent all-round game to the Test circuit. Unfortunately sitting doing nothing during the 2015 RWC was seemingly the worst thing that could have happened to Sam and his game seems to have regressed. There is still a fine player in there and if the new coaching setup at Edinburgh can put him back on track then he and Price could have some great battles in the future for the Scottish scrum half slot.

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Edinburgh:

  • 6 wins, 3 losses. 1 Try BP. 1 Losing BP. 26 points out of a possible 45 (58%)
  • No other Pro 12 opponent has provided fewer bonus points for Gregor Townend’s men.

Last season’s match-up:

Lineouts lost by the 2 teams – 3 by Glasgow and 6 by Edinburgh. Jonny Gray and Ben Toolis are 2 of the best setpiece operators in the Scottish game and they will make it very difficult for the respective hookers. With Cummings and Harley to assist him, Gray should have an advantage but Toolis has frequently shown he can almost operate as a one-man team for Edinburgh in this facet of the game. His 137 takes in the Pro 12 this season are almost twice as many as anyone else in the league.

Percent possession for Glasgow in the first half. The Warriors dominated in the opening 40 minutes, preventing Edinburgh from getting the ball and pinning the ‘away’ side back in their own half for 79% of that first period. Without points on the board it meant little though and an 8-6 lead at the break let Edinburgh stay in the game. Gregor Townsend will expect his side to be far more clinical when they have the ball on Saturday.

Metres made with ball in hand by the 2 sides combined – the lowest of any match Glasgow played in last season. In fact there were 18 games where the Warriors made more ground than that on their own! The dreich conditions were a significant contributor but so also was the tendency of the teams to negate each other.

Hopefully the artificial surface and fine weather conditions will lead to a more open match – similar to the last time the 1872 Cup was contested outside the winter months. That occasion saw a 69-point, 9-try extravaganza at Scotstoun in April 2014. More of the same please…

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

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 8th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White and Keith Allen (both SRU)
TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)

This will be Mr. Adamson’s second Warriors debut after making a single appearance for the club as a player (replacing Sam Pinder against the Dragons back on the 4th of January 2008 trivia fans). Although this is his first time refereeing both Scottish sides, he has had plenty of experience as an assistant ref and 4th official at both Scotstoun and Murrayfield in recent seasons.

It’s early days to judge Mr. Adamson’s officiating style but one point both teams might want to note is that he has issued 1 red and 7 yellow cards in his 7 league matches so far. As the second bottom side in the Pro 12’s Fair Play League this warning should maybe go double for Glasgow…

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