With Friday night’s match representing the inaugural visit of a South African side to Scotstoun in the Pro 14 here’s a look back at how the other nations who make up the league fared on their first trips to the West end of Glasgow.
Opening night at the Warriors’ new home at Scotstoun brought Welsh opposition in the shape of the Scarlets. With the new facilities just bedding in after the transfer from Firhill the crowd saw the men from Llanelli poop the Warriors’ party in head coach Gregor Townsend’s first home game (something that would become a bit of a theme with a side who could fairly be described as Toony’s bogey team!)
Glasgow Warriors 13 – 18 Scarlets, 7th September 2012
T: Chris Cusiter
C: Duncan Weir
P: Ruaridh Jackson (2)
The first Irish side to travel across the water to the Warriors’ new home were Connacht. They provided a typically awkward examination of Glasgow’s credentials but off the back of a DTH van der Merwe try double the home team were able to ease to their first Pro 12 bonus point victory at Scotstoun. Warrior Centurion Tim Swinson made his first appearance for the club, starting the game after a late call off from an ill Tom Ryder.
Glasgow Warriors 27 – 17 Connacht, 21st September 2012
T: Sean Lamont, Peter Murchie, DTH van der Merwe (2)
C: Scott Wight (2)
P: Scott Wight
One week later it was the turn of the Italians to take their bow on Danes Drive. In just their fifth match after taking over the league place of Aironi it was Zebre who provided the opposition. It certainly wasn’t a classic as an understrength Glasgow struggled to put away the team who would ultimately finish last in the Pro 12 that year. The game was really only notable for the first appearance of future Warrior Centurion Josh Strauss and the solitary start made for the club by All Black Angus McDonald.
Glasgow Warriors 22 – 19 Zebre, 28th September 2012
T: Tim Swinson, DTH van der Merwe, Graeme Morrison
C: Ruaridh Jackson (2)
P: Peter Horne
The last of the Pro 12 nations to visit Scotstoun was our very own. Edinburgh came to town on the 21st of December 2012 for the first leg of the 1872 Cup festive double header back in the days when Lee Jones was on the other side of the M8 divide, playing against Glasgow instead of for them and allotted the near impossible task of stopping DTH (who scored another double). An 18 year old lock by the name of Jonny Gray made his Warriors’ debut when he came off the bench to replace Tim Swinson.
Glasgow Warriors 23 – 14 Edinburgh, 21st Deember 2012
T: DTH van der Merwe (2), Robert Harley
C: Peter Horne
P: Duncan Weir (2)
So what will be the memorable moments when the Kings come to town? Which future stars / Scotland caps / Warrior Centurions might be on show at Scotstoun on Friday night? With two of the most attacking sides in the Pro 14 going head to head it should be an entertaining evening…