Need to Know: Southern Kings v Glasgow Warriors, PRO14 match preview 2018/19

KO 2.00pm BST (3.00pm local time)
Nelson Mandela University Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 22nd September 2018
Live on FreeSports and Premier Sports 1 (in HD) *

Warrior’s head coach Dave Rennie has been pretty consistent with his selections so far this season. In the opening 3 matches he picked 27 players compared to 34 at the same stage of the previous PRO14 campaign. Injuries and rotation mean first appearances this week for Kevin Bryce, Greg Peterson and Robbie Nairn but that still only takes the relative position to 30 vs 35 through 4 rounds in 2017/18. The Glasgow boss will be hoping the team can reap the benefit of increased cohesion when when they face the tougher tests yet to come.


15 Masixole Banda
14 Yaw Penxe
13 Harlon Klaasen
12 Berton Klaasen
11 Bjorn Basson
10 Martin Du Toit
9 Rudi van Rooyen
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Huw Jones
12 Nick Grigg
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Peter Horne
9 Nick Frisby

1 Schalk Ferreira
2 Michael Willemse (c)
3 Luvuyo Pupuma
4 Bobby de Wee
5 John-Charles Astle
6 Henry Brown
7 Andisa Ntsila
8 Ruaan Lerm

1 Jamie Bhatti
2 George Turner
3 D’arcy Rae
4 Greg Peterson
5 Scott Cummings
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Adam Ashe

16 Alandre van Rooyen
17 Justin Forwood
18 Martin Dreyer
19 Stephan Greeff
20 CJ Velleman
21 Godlen Masimla
22 Ntabeni Dukisa
23 Michael Botha

16 Fraser Brown
17 Alex Allan
18 Kevin Bryce
19 Robert Harley
20 Callum Gibbins
21 Ali Price
22 Adam Hastings
23 Robbie Nairn

Head to Head:

Back 3 – ADV Glasgow
Centres – ADV Glasgow
Half Backs – ADV Glasgow
Front Row – EVEN
Second Row – ADV Kings
Back Row – ADV Glasgow
Subs – ADV Glasgow

Glasgow Greetings:

Flying winger Robbie Nairn is in line to make his club debut when he comes off the bench on Saturday. The former Harlequins man was in the Scottish Rugby Academy last season but injuries hampered his chances of cracking the first team. With all 4 of the Warriors’ top choices on the wing being over-30s young Robbie will be keen to grab his opportunity and show what the future holds in this position for Glasgow.

Greg Peterson and Kevin Bryce will both make their first appearances of the season. Greg has only played once for the Warriors in the last 7 months. After recently returning from a spell with Edinburgh it’s just shy of 3 years since Kevin last featured for Glasgow. This is a huge opportunity for both men to stake a claim to more game time for the club.

Matchday Milestones:

The game against the Kings will be the 150th for assistant coach Kenny Murray. Initially recruited as part of Gregor Townsend’s staff back in July 2013, following a very successful spell at Ayr, Kenny has been an integral part of the club and a key figure in the transition from the Toony era to the Renniessance.

Warriors One to Watch:

Ruaridh Jackson started last season as a late arrival to provide depth at 10 and 15. He ended it with more minutes played than anyone else in the Glasgow squad; over 1,000 metres run with ball in hand; the most tries he’d ever scored in a season; oh and the first yellow card he’d received for almost 7 years!

With the recent news that Stuart Hogg is likely to miss 10-12 weeks of action following an ankle operation, Jacko’s resurgence becomes even more important. With Pete Horne moving into the 10 jersey against the Kings it leaves the centres short of a kicking option – so Ruaridh’s skills in this area will be essential to support his stand off.

Glasgow away to Southern Kings in the PRO12/14 era:

  • This is the Warriors’ first ever visit to Port Elizabeth.
  • The two sides’ only previous meeting came back in October 2017 at Scotstoun.
  • Glasgow picked up a BP win with 7 tries in a 43 – 13 victory that featured first starts for both George Horne and Adam Hastings.

Previous match-up:

Key stat – last season in the PRO14:

1. Glasgow – 214
2. Ulster – 212
3. Cheetahs – 211
4. Zebre – 196
5. Scarlets – 181
6. Leinster – 177
7. Cardiff Blues – 172
8. Ospreys – 161
9. Edinburgh – 153
10. Benetton – 151
11. Connacht – 149
12. Munster – 139
13. Dragons – 122
14. Kings – 120

Glasgow’s attack was pretty lethal last season. They were particularly dangerous off early phases from setpiece (when they could get their key attacking threats one-on-one with their opposite numbers) and turnover ball (when they could find mismatches against the transitioning defence).

It’s early days in the current season but there does seem to have been a bit of a shift to working their way through the phases more rather than heavily relying on complex (and risky) strike moves. It may well be a pattern being put in place to tackle the bigger, better sides like Saracens and Leinster where line breaks tend to be at a premium against stifling defensive pressure.

During the South African sides’ first campaign in the PRO14 the Cheetahs were at least able to cover up some of their defensive deficiencies with an explosive attacking game. The Kings on the other hand struggled on both sides of the ball. They were much stuffier in defence last week with some hard graft that saw Ulster miss out on a bonus point. The Eastern Cape side toiled in attack though with just a single clean break to show for their efforts.


Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 37th Championship game)
AR1: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
AR1: Paul Mente (SARU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)

Mr. Brace’s record last season in the PRO14:

Matches – 12 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 18.8 per game (all refs – 19.0)
Home penalty percentage – 54% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 1.2 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 16 (all refs – 22)

Among the PRO14’s Elite Refeering Panel only David Wilkinson had a lower penalties per card count than Mr. Brace. There was plenty of mumping after last weekend from both Edinburgh and UIster about opponents who got away with persistent infringing. That’s unlikely to be the case in the Kings v Glasgow game and both sides should be warned that the Irish official is likely to take a hard line on multiple and / or serious offences.

Mr. Brace had a close look at how Glasgow were playing last Saturday as Assistant Referee 1 in their game against the Cheetahs. This time round he and Frank Murphy swap roles. It will be interesting to see if the Welsh-born whistler has picked up anything from last week – and if so will he warn the Warriors what he’s looking for or just start blowing up early on in the match?

* Other coverage:
Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • Sunday 23rd September at 3.00pm
  • Monday 24th September at 10.00am

Highlights of all matches in Round 4:

  • Premier Sports 1 – Sunday 23rd September at 6.00pm
  • FreeSports – Monday 24th September. Part 1 at 6.30pm and part 2 at 10.00pm


  1. Hi disco. I see you’re saying the KO is 2pm “GMT”. I think it’s 2pm BST isn’t it ? That would be 1pm GMT and 3pm in Bloemfontein wouldn’t it ?



    R J A Hunter ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

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