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

KO 3.00pm
RDS Arena
Saturday 13th April 2019
Live on Premier Sports 1 *

  • Leinster underline their strength in depth by making 12 changes to their XV from their game against Benetton – but will still only kick off the match with 4 of the players who started their Champions Cup quarter-final 2 weeks ago.
  • A few injuries aside the Warriors are much closer to full strength than their hosts and have the edge in the head to heads. Will it be enough to overcome the away game factor though? Especially at a ground where Glasgow have not won for more than 7 years.
  • The ever dangerous Stuart Hogg is the Warrior to Watch.
  • In the 4 years since Glasgow drew 34-34 with Leinster at the RDS the only team to come away from a PRO14 regular season game in Dublin with anything other than a defeat are Benetton. The Italian side won their game in 2017/18 and also drew with the Conference B leaders last week.

Teams

LEINSTER
15 Rob Kearney
14 Jordan Larmour
13 Joe Tomane
12 Robbie Henshaw
11 Dave Kearney
10 Ross Byrne
9 Jamison Gibson-Park
GLASGOW
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Kyle Steyn
12 Sam Johnson
11 Niko Matawalu
10 Adam Hastings
9 Ali Price

1 Ed Byrne

2 James Tracy
3 Michael Bent
4 Devin Toner
5 Jack Dunne
6 Josh Murphy
7 Sean O’Brien (c)
8 Caelan Doris

1 Jamie Bhatti
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray
6 Robert Harley
7 Chris Fusaro (c)
8 Matt Fagerson

16 Sean Cronin

17 Cian Healy
18 Tadhg Furlong
19 Will Connors
20 Max Deegan
21 Hugh O’Sullivan
22 Ciaran Frawley
23 Adam Byrne

16 Grant Stewart
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Bruce Flockhart
20 Adam Ashe
21 George Horne
22 Peter Horne
23 Huw Jones

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

There’s a very welcome return to action for Huw Jones who hasn’t featured for the Warriors since the first of this year’s visit’s to Allianz Park on 19th January. It will also be just the second PRO14 appearance since the beginning of October for the former Western Province centre.

Matchday Milestones:

This will be just the second time that Dave Rennie has named the same backline for consecutive matches (the first was in Rounds 1 and 2 of this season’s PRO14). The Kiwi coach, in his 54th game in charge, has still never picked the same starting XV in back to back games.

Warrior to Watch:

The last two seasons have been pretty stop start for Stuart Hogg at Glasgow with injuries and international duty not helping him to build much momentum in domestic action. Even with that disadvantage though Hoggy has continued to be one of the most dangerous players on the pitch when he has been available.

Across 17 appearances for the Warriors in the last two seasons he has scored or assisted on 13 tries (as well as notching a game-winning drop goal away to Connacht). The bleached blonde back’s pace and footwork can cause chaos for even the most organised of defences. Whether it’s finishing chances himself or even just creating the space for others by drawing defenders who are scared to give him an inch of space, Stuart will be key to Glasgow’s attack on Saturday afternoon.

Glasgow away to Leinster in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 1 win
  • 1 draw
  • 4 losses
  • 1 try BPs
  • 4 losing BPs
  • 11 points out of a possible 30 (37%)
  • The aggregate score across 6 regular season games is 157 – 147 in the home side’s favour.
  • Glasgow have also visited the RDS for 3 PRO12 knockout matches, losing 2 semi-finals by a combined margin of 6 points and a final (rather more heavily!) in 2013/14.
  • It’s been more than 7 years since the Warriors’ last win at the RDS. Nick Campbell opened the scoring that day before going on to round out his weekend by coming up with the phrase “on top of the moon” to describe how he was feeling…

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 90th Championship game)
AR1: Joy Neville (IRFU)
AR2: Mateo Liperini (FIR)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

Sig. Mitrea’s record last season in the PRO14:

Matches – 9 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 17.6 per game (all refs – 19.0)
Home penalty percentage – 49% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 0.6 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 26.3 (all refs – 22)

It’s been more than a year since Sig. Mitrea last took charge of a Glasgow match – the trip to Irish Independent Park when they lost to Munster in March 2017. In fact the Italian official has had far less Warriors’ games than the league’s other experienced refs – 12 matches since his debut in 2011. That’s compared to 21 for Nigel Owens and 26(!) for George Clancy over the same period.

Last season the Romanian-born ref was the only member of the PRO14’s elite panel to penalise home sides more than their visitors. Hopefully he’s feeling generous to Glasgow as the away team on very tough assignment for the club in Dublin!


* Other coverage

Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • Thursday 18th April at 1.00am

Highlights of all matches in Round 20:

  • Premier Sports 1 – Sunday 14th April at 9.45pm
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