Need to Know: Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors, PRO14 match preview 2019/20

KO 6.05pm BST (7.05pm local time)
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Friday 27th September 2019
Live on Premier Sports 2 *

Just 3 of the Glasgow players who started the win over the Cheetahs in Round 3 of last season’s PRO14 are in the XV for Friday night’s game with the RWC being the primary cause of some high profile absences. There’s the chance for some excellent young talent to stake a claim for a first team place though.

It will be a tough test with the Cheetahs battle hardened after a Currie Cup campaign. They’ve still struggled to hang onto their best players (and loosehead Ox Nche will join that list when he departs at the end of October) but can at least call on 7 of the men who started against the Warriors in the two sides’ 2018/19 clash in Bloemfontein.


15 Rhyno Smith
14 William Small-Smith
13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg
12 Dries Swanepoel
11 Anthony Volmink
10 Tian Schoeman
9 Ruan Pienaar

15 Glenn Bryce
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Nick Grigg
12 Huw Jones
11 Rory Hughes
10 Brandon Thomson
9 Nick Frisby

1 Ox Nche
2 Joseph Dweba
3 Erich de Jager
4 Sintu Manjezi
5 Walt Steenkamp
6 Gerhard Olivier
7 Junior Pokomela
8 Henco Venter

1 Oli Kebble
2 Grant Stewart
3 D’arcy Rae
4 Andrew Davidson
5 Tim Swinson
6 Robert Harley
7 Callum Gibbins (c)
8 Matt Fagerson

16 Reinach Venter
17 Boan Venter
18 Luan de Bruin
19 JP de Preez
20 Sias Koen
21 Jasper Wiese
22 Tian Meyer
23 Louis Fouche

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Alex Allan
18 Adam Nicol
19 Bruce Flockhart
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Ruaridh Jackson
23 Robbie Nairn

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Hooker Johnny Matthews and scrum half Jamie Dobie are in line to make their full debuts for the club. They’ll go on the board at Scotstoun as Warrior numbers 305 and 306 if they get on. Jamie will be one of the youngest ever players to feature for Glasgow – 18 years and 112 days. He won’t be the youngest though. That record remains with John Barclay who was 18 years and 41 days old when he debuted back in 2004.

Warriors One to Watch:

Brandon Thomson’s consistency has been a real boon for Glasgow. The stand off has frequently been called on to drop in and out of the team for short periods, mainly during international windows, and every time he has come ready to play and contribute around the pitch.

The Warriors won all 5 of the matches that Brandon started last season and with every point being precious in this 5 game stretch while 16 players are away at the RWC the former Western Province playmaker’s influence cannot be overstated. If he can continue to blend keeping his backline running and kicking his goals it will go a long way to ensuring Glasgow get off to a good start this season.

Glasgow away to Cheetahs in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 2 wins
  • 2 Try BPs
  • 10 points out of a possible 10 (100%)

Previous match-up:


Referee: Dan Jones (WRU, 25th Championship game)
AR1: Ben Crouse (SARU)
AR1: Griffin Colby (SARU)
TMO: Lourens Van Der Merve (SARU)

Mr Jones’ record last season in the PRO14:

Matches – 10 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 17.7 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 44% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 0.9 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 20 (all refs – 19)

Mr Jones joins Ben Whitehouse as the heirs apparent among Welsh whistlers for the day that Nigel Owens retires. The younger man has one of the lower penalty counts among the new generation of PRO14 referees – but he still has a long way to go to match Mr Owens who only dished out 13.8 pens per game last season!

Glasgow will hope that Mr Jones’ unusual tendency to award more penalties to the away side continues – 44% of pens to the home team was the lowest of any of the PRO14’s regular refs during 2018/19.

* Other coverage:
Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • none

Highlights of all matches in Round 1:

  • Premier Sports 1 – Monday 30th September at 4.45pm
  • FreeSports – Monday 30th September at 10.00am

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