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

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 22nd February 2019

Live on Premier Sports 2 *

  • Head to heads are fairly even for the starting XVs. The way the respective half backs run the game could make the difference.
  • Chris Fusaro has shown some strong form this season and he is the Warrior to Watch.
  • Glasgow have 21 players missing through injury or international duty – the most for any game this season.
  • The match will be the 50th of the Renniessance as Dave Rennie brings up his half century for the club.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Paddy Kelly
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Niko Matawalu
10 Brandon Thomson
9 George Horne
CONNACHT
15 Tiernan O’Halloran
14 Stephen Fitzgerald
13 Kyle Godwin
12 Tom Daly
11 Matt Healy
10 Conor Fitzgerald
9 Kieran Marmion

1 Oli Kebble
2 Grant Stewart
3 Siua Halanukonuka
4 Tim Swinson
5 Scott Cummings
6 Robert Harley
7 Chris Fusaro (c)
8 Adam Ashe

1 Denis Buckley
2 Dave Heffernan
3 Finlay Bealham
4 Cillian Gallagher
5 James Cannon
6 Eoin McKeon
7 Colby Fainga’a
8 Jarrad Butler (c)

16 Kevin Bryce
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Adam Nicol
19 Matt Fagerson
20 Thomas Gordon
21 Nick Frisby
22 Rory Hughes
23 Robbie Nairn

16 Shane Delahunt
17 Peter McCabe
18 Conor Carey
19 Joe Maksymiw
20 Paul Boyle
21 Caolin Blade
22 Peter Robb
23 Cian Kelleher

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

There’s a home debut for Kyle Steyn so let’s welcome the big winger to Glasgow! Paddy Kelly will make his first start and just his second appearance at home, almost 2½ years since he made his debut at Scotstoun against the Ospreys during the 2016/17 season.

Matchday Milestones:

Friday’s game will be the 50th since Dave Rennie, Jonathan Humphries and Jason O’Halloran took charge. The coaching crew will be hoping they can celebrate with the 31st win of their tenure.

Warrior to Watch:

Matchday skipper Chris Fusaro’s recent performances have seen the veteran openside rolling back the years. Against Scarlets in particular Fuzzy was absolutely everywhere – carrying hard in attack and terrier-like in defence. He was turning over ball for fun and made the Welsh side’s life very difficult around the  breakdown.

It’s nine years ago this week that Warrior number 179 made his debut while the 2010 Six Nations was on. That kind of experience should mean Fuzzy can guide some of the younger players who are going through the challenge of these Test window fixtures themselves tomorrow night.

Glasgow at home to Connacht in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 7 wins
  • 0 losses
  • 4 Try BPs
  • 0 Losing BPs
  • 32 points out of a possible 35 (91%)

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 54th Championship game)
AR1: Lloyd Linton (SRU)
AR1: Elgan Williams (WRU)
TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)

Mr. Whitehouse’s regular season record for 2017/18 in the PRO14:

Matches – 13 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 19.8 per game (all refs – 19.0)
Home penalty percentage – 50% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 0.7 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 29 (all refs – 22)

This will be the second visit to Scotstoun this season for Mr. Whitehouse. The Welsh whistler was also in charge in Round 2 when Glasgow beat Munster. It was a decent night for the Warriors discipline-wise as they only conceded 7 penalties to the visitors’ 10. Having coughed up 3 penalty tries and a cavalcade of yellow and red cards against Connacht in recent years, Dave Rennie will be hoping to see plenty of precision and control around the crime count on Friday night.


* Other coverage:

Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • Monday 25th February at 8.00am

Highlights of all matches in Round 16:

  • Premier Sports 2 – Sunday 24th February at 4.30pm
  • FreeSports – Monday 25th February at 4.30pm

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