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

KO 5.15pm GMT (6.15pm local time)
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saturday 2nd March 2019
Live on FreeSports *

  • It’s advantage Glasgow in the head to heads – but Zebre won their last home game against Scottish opposition while the Warriors lost on their last trip to Italy. Will home advantage / the travel factor prove too much to overcome?
  • 150 games up for the versatile Ruaridh Jackson.
  • New boy Kyle Steyn has had a great start to his time at the club and he is the Warrior to Watch.
  • This is the youngest Glasgow 23 selected this season.

Teams

ZEBRE
15 Francois Brummer
14 Gabriele Di Giulio
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Tommaso Castello (c)
11 Jamie Elliott
10 Carlo Canna
9 Joshua Renton
GLASGOW
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Robbie Nairn
13 Kyle Steyn
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Rory Hughes
10 Adam Hastings
9 Nick Frisby

1 Daniele Rimpelli
2 Oliviero Fabiani
3 Roberto Tenga
4 Samuele Ortis
5 David Sisi
6 James Brown
7 Jimmy Tuivaiti
8 R. Giammarioli

1 Oli Kebble
2 George Turner
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Tim Swinson
5 Scott Cummings
6 Robert Harley
7 Chris Fusaro (c)
8 Matt Fagerson

16 Massimo Ceciliani
17 Danilo Fischetti
18 Matteo Nocera
19 Apisai Tauyavuca
20 Iacopo Bianchi
21 G. Palazzani
22 Tommaso Boni
23 Paula Balekana

16 Grant Stewart
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Bruce Flockhart
20 Adam Ashe
21 Niko Matawalu
22 Brandon Thomson
23 Paddy Kelly

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

No brand new faces but Bruce Flockhart is back in Warriors’ action after a 4 month gap. There’s also the sight of Niko Matawalu in the number 21 shirt for the first time since Glasgow won the PRO12 Final in 2015. After a break of nearly 4 years (since the final regular season game of 2014/15) might we finally see the Fijiweegie get some game time at scrum half for the Warriors?

Matchday Milestones:

Warrior number 156, Ruaridh Jackson will play his 150th game for the club. It’s more than 12 years since Jacko made his Glasgow debut, also against Italian opposition in the form of GRAN Parma in the Challenge Cup at Hughenden. The Warriors emerged victorious 69-7 on that occasion (with Ruaridh nailing 2 late conversions for his first points). It’s definitely going to be vastly more difficult to come away with a win on Saturday!

Warrior to Watch:

Kyle Steyn has made a flying start to his Glasgow career. In his two games so far he’s been the club’s most consistently dangerous attacker, weighing in with 4 clean breaks and 9 defenders beaten. He’s also managed to provide the scoring pass for both of the Horne brothers so on his shoulder seems to be a good place for would be try scorers.

Having played on the wing in those first two matches Kyle will be featuring in the centres against Zebre. It’s a position he’s very familiar with though – 18 of his 26 starts for the Griquas in South Africa came at 13 (with another at 12). Dave Rennie will be looking for the powerful back to bring some physicality against a tough Zebre side.

Glasgow away to Zebre in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 7 wins
  • 0 losses
  • 5 try BPs
  • 33 points out of a possible 35 (94%)

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 43rd Championship game)
AR1: Johnny Erskine (IRFU)
AR2: Luca Trentin (FIR)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (FIR)

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 – 16.1 (all refs – 22)

In terms of penalty count Mr. Brace is as close to the league average as any of the referees who took charge of a game last season. He’s definitely a bit more likely to go to his cards though – something the Warriors need to be wary of on Saturday.

This will be the third time in this campaign that the Irish official has taken charge of a Glasgow game. It didn’t help much but the Warriors only conceded 5 penalties in that galling loss to the Kings (the home side were hit with 15 pens and 3 yellow cards!) On the road to the Ospreys the crime count was almost even with Glasgow again in single figures on 9.

Mr. Brace was also the man in the middle for this same fixture last season. Things definitely went the Wariors’ way, only conceding 7 pens to Zebre’s 11 as well as benefitting from a penalty try and a yellow card for the hosts’ number 10, Carlo Canna. More of the same this time round should be helpful – but as that game in South Africa shows it is only part of the battle.


* Other coverage:
Highlights of all matches in Round 17:

  • Premier Sports 1 – Sunday 3rd March at 9.30pm
  • FreeSports – Monday 4th March at 2.30pm
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