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

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 4th October 2019

Live on Premier Sports 1 *

  • The last time these sides met was a classic at Scotstoun back in December 2018. Alex Allan’s early red card set things up for one of the Warriors’ most remarkable victories in recent years.
  • Head to heads favour Scarlets. There will be a tough battle at the scrum with props Rob Evans and Samson Lee being first choice for Wales not that long ago.
  • Matt Fagerson will play his 50th game for the club – and is also the Warrior to Watch.
  • Scarlets have won 4 times at Scotstoun since 2012/13 – more than any other away side.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Huw Jones
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Rory Hughes
10 Brandon Thomson
9 Nick Frisby
SCARLETS
15 Johnny McNicholl
14 Tom James
13 Steff Hughes (c)
12 Paul Asquith
11 Steff Evans
10 Dan Jones
9 Kieran Hardy

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

1 Rob Evans

2 Marc Jones
3 Samson Lee
4 Lewis Rawlins
5 Steven Cummins
6 Tom Phillips
7 Josh MacLeod
8 Uzair Cassiem

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Alex Allan
18 Adam Nicol
19 Tom Gordon
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Paddy Kelly
23 Glenn Bryce

16 Taylor Davies

17 Phil Price
18 Werner Kruger
19 Josh Helps
20 Dan Davis
21 Dane Blacker
22 Angus O’Brien
23 Corey Baldwin

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

There should be home debuts for newly minted Warriors’ number 305, Jamie Dobie, and 306, Johnny Matthews. Last week against the Cheetahs wasn’t the ideal place to start their Glasgow careers so let’s hope they get a warm Scotstoun welcome and a positive performance and result on Friday night!

For a number of the other players (including Ruaridh Jackson, Stafford McDowall and Paddy Kelly) it’s been 7 months since they last took to the Scotstoun ‘turf’ in a competitive fixture. For some, like Brandon Thomson and Adam Nicol, it’s been 8 months. The longest gap though is undoubtedly the 3 years and 5 months break for Glenn Bryce since he last featured for Glasgow in a league match. They deserve an even bigger noise than usual to greet them and give them some added motivation against the Scarlets.

Matchday Milestones:

Matt Fagerson will make the 50th appearance of his Warriors’ career. At 21 years and 79 days he’s not quite the youngest to achieve this feat for the club – almost inevitably that’s another record that lies with the precocious John Barclay. Matt has managed to beat his big brother to a half century though – Zander was 21 years and 108 days when he brought up the same milestone.

Warrior to Watch:

He’s getting the milestone and Matt Fagerson is also the one to watch. Last season he put up some pretty extraordinary numbers as he became increasingly influential within the team as the campaign wore on:

  • Averaged 13.5 carries per 80 minutes.
  • Averaged 15.0 tackles per 80 minutes.
  • His combined workrate for tackles + carries was the highest in the squad with the exception of Jonny Gray (who racked up 31.7 carries + tackles per 80 minutes).
  • He broke nearly 3 times more tackles than any other Glasgow forward and only Adam Hastings had more defenders beaten among all Warriors in 2018/19.

Matt is developing into a really aggressive ball carrier which is ideal for the club. All this and, allegedly, he still only weighs 98kgs. When people talk about lies, damned lies and statistics this may well be one of the numbers they have in mind…

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

  • 4 wins
  • 3 losses
  • 0 Try BPs
  • 2 Losing BPs
  • 18 points out of a possible 35 (51%)
  • Since the inception of the PRO12, Scarlets are the only side in the league that Glasgow have never picked up a try bonus point against at Scotstoun (although the Warriors did manage that feat against the Welsh club at home in the Champions Cup thanks to Taqele Naiyaravoro’s hat-trick in 2015).

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 116th Championship game)
AR1: Ben Blain (SRU)
AR1: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)

Mr Clancy’s regular season record for 2018/19 in the PRO14:

Matches – 12 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 16.7 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 48% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 0.4 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 40 (all refs – 19)

This will be Mr Clancy’s 42nd appearance in a Warriors’ game – that’s more than 15 of the players in the Glasgow matchday squad have managed! The Irish official has been a regular at Scotstoun in recent years and the coaches and analysts will have a significant dossier of information to work on in preparing for his approach.

He’s highly likely to keep his cards in his pocket – no ref in the league had a higher ratio of penalties awarded to cards during 2018/19, not even the arch game manager himself, Nigel Owens! That’s not to say he won’t hammer foul play though and Dave Rennie will be emphasising the need to avoid a repeat of the red card Glasgow suffered the last time Scarlets were in town.


* Other coverage:

Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • none

Highlights of all matches in Round 2:

  • FreeSports – Monday 7th October at 12.00pm
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