Need to Know: Glasgow v Leinster, Champions Cup match preview 2017/18

KO 1.00 at Sold Out Scotstoun Stadium, Saturday 21st October
Live on Sky Sports Action

There are many reasons to expect a close encounter at Scotstoun on Saturday. Chief among them are Glasgow and Leinster’s last dozen meetings in the day to day surroundings of the Pro 12 regular season which have produced 5 wins for each club (plus 2 draws) and an aggregate score with just a 6 point gap (236 – 230 in the Warriors’ favour). Glasgow will need to match Leinster’s ability to raise their game for these types of fixtures though. During that same period that saw honours even in the league the Warriors lost 5 out of 5 against the men from Dublin in European or playoff matches.

Champions Cup stats:

  • Glasgow haven’t beaten an Irish province in European competition since they defeated Leinster at Hughenden on 26th November 1999.
  • The Warriors’ win percentage (25%) against sides from Ireland is the lowest they have against any of the nations contesting the European Cup.
  • Glasgow almost certainly need to win all 3 of their home games to make it out of their pool. They will need to break new ground to achieve this having never before managed a 100% home record in the pool stages in 18 previous attempts.

15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Sam Johnson
12 Peter Horne
11 Leonardo Sarto
10 Finn Russell
9 Ali Price
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leinster
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leinster
15 Joey Carbery
14 Fergus McFadden
13 Robbie Henshaw
12 Noel Reid
11 Barry Daly
10 Johnny Sexton
9 Luke McGrath

1 Jamie Bhatti
2 George Turner
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Tim Swinson
5 Jonny Gray
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Callum Gibbins
8 Adam Ashe

ADV Leinster
ADV Leinster
ADV Leinster
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Leinster

1 Cian Healy
2 Sean Cronin
3 Tadgh Furlong
4 Devin Toner
5 Scott Fardy
6 Rhys Ruddock
7 Josh van der Flier
8 Jack Conan

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Alex Allan
18 D’Arcy Rae
19 Scott Cummings
20 Robert Harley
21 Henry Pyrgos
22 Nick Grigg
23 Lee Jones

ADV Glasgow
ADV Leinster
ADV Leinster
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 James Tracy
17 Jack McGrath
18 Michael Bent
19 James Ryan
20 Dan Leavy
21 J Gibson-Park
22 Ross Byrne
23 Dave Kearney

Starting XV stats:

17   Champions Cup tries   22
124   Champions Cup appearances   141
26.1   Average age   26.8
6   Capped players   6

894kg   Pack weights   904kg
104   Champions Cup appearances   229
25.9   Average age   28.5
5   Capped players   8

Glasgow Greetings:
A welcome return for Stuart Hogg, 133 days after his last game of rugby (and a smack in the eye) against the Crusaders for the Lions. George Turner makes his first Champions Cup start.

Matchday Milestones:
When he comes off the bench Pat MacArthur will make his 36th European Cup appearance for Glasgow. Only fellow hooker Gordon Bulloch (41 games between 1997 and 2005) has made more.

Warriors One to Watch:
Loosehead props are very rarely in the running for Man of Match awards but it doesn’t mean their contributions aren’t worthy of some attention. This time last year Jamie Bhatti had yet to make his Glasgow debut – in fact on the equivalent weekend he was on the bench for Melrose in their BT Premiership fixture against Hawick. Since then he has made huge strides.

Coming into his first season as a full-time pro, Jamie might not have been expecting to see much action early on with Scotland international Alex Allan and new signing Oli Kebble also in his position. Having been selected to start the season opener against Connacht he hasn’t looked back and is the only member of the front row union to play in every one of Glasgow’s games – with Saturday’s fixture bringing his 7th start in 8 matches.

Jamie has put in some strong work  in the setpiece and has the best record of the Warriors’ four main props in terms of conceding penalties. He’s also got through plenty of work in the loose. His combined 19.4 carries + tackles per 80 minutes is again the best for Glasgow’s props and is only slightly behind the record of fellow front row George Turner – a man who is often considered to play the game like an auxiliary flanker.

Glasgow’s Track Record…
…against Irish sides in the pool stages of the European Cup:

    • 3 wins (2 at home, 1 away)
    • 9 losses (4 at home, 5 away)

Most recent meeting in Europe:
15/01/12 Firhill Report

Glasgow 16
T: Colin Gregor
C: Duncan Weir
P: Duncan Weir (3)
Leinster 23
T: Rob Kearney, Isaac Boss
C: Fergus McFadden (2)
P: Johnny Sexton, Fergus McFadden (2)

Only 4 players return from the Glasgow 23 on that day – Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Pat MacArthur and Robert Harley. Leinster call on 7 from that last European clash between the sides – Fergus McFadden, Johnny Sexton, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock and Dave Kearney.

Home and Away:
Glasgow last 6 pool matches (H) – L W W W W L
Leinster last 6 pool matches (A) – L L L L W D


Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra, 48th competition game)
AR1: Ludovic Cayre (Fra)
AR2: Jonathon Dufort (Fra)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (Fra)

M. Garces’ record in Warriors’ fixtures over the past 4 seasons:

Matches – 3 (118 for all refs)
Average penalty count – 17.0 (19.1 all refs)
Average penalties for Glasgow – 7.0 (9.6 all refs)
Average penalties against Glasgow – 10.0 (9.5 all refs)
Yellow cards – 2 in total (1.0 per game all refs)

At least this time out Glasgow will be dealing with a team with a relatively normal disciplinary record as against the almost inhumanly low penalty count of Exeter. So far this season Leinster have averaged 9.1 penalties per game (compared to 11.4 ppg for the Warriors). Glasgow have still to receive a yellow card in this campaign whereas Leinster have had 4 players sent to the sin bin in their 7 matches.


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