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

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 12th October 2019

Live on Premier Sports 1*

  • Head to heads favour Cardiff Blues who are impacted less by the RWC.
  • George Thornton will become Warrior number 307 if called upon from the bench.
  • Centre Stafford McDowall is the Warrior to Watch.
  • The Warriors have won 8 out of 8 at home in the league against Cardiff Blues during the PRO12/14 era.


15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Nick Grigg
12 Stafford McDowall
11 Rory Hughes
10 Brandon Thomson
9 Nick Frisby
15 Matthew Morgan
14 Owen Lane
13 Garyn Smith
12 Willis Halaholo
11 Aled Summerhill
10 Jarrod Evans
9 Lloyd Williams (c)

1 Alex Allan
2 Grant Stewart
3 Adam Nicol
4 Robert Harley
5 Kiran McDonald
6 Bruce Flockhart
7 Callum Gibbins (c)
8 Matt Fagerson

1 Brad Thyer
2 Kristian Dacey
3 Dimitri Arhip
4 Seb Davies
5 Rory Thornton
6 Josh Turnbull
7 Olly Robinson
8 Will Boyde

16 Johnny Matthews
17 George Thornton
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Tim Swinson
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Huw Jones
23 Glenn Bryce

16 Liam Belcher
17 Corey Domachowski
18 Scott Andrews
19 Shane Lewis-Hughes
20 Nick Williams
21 Lewis Jones
22 Jason Tovey
23 Harri Millard

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

It could be debut time for George Thornton who joined up from Wasps over the summer. He’ll have found plenty of familiar faces in the Glasgow squad from his time with Scotland U20s. Just from Friday night’s team Stafford McDowall, Adam Nicol, Bruce Flockhart and Matt Fagerson were all alongside big George in the 2017 group that finished 5th at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia.

Warrior to Watch:

Skipper for that record-breaking generation of Scotland U20s mentioned above was Stafford McDowall. The giant centre made his breakthrough into the Glasgow team last season after an injury to Sam Johnson. Looking as if he was to the manor born, Stafford settled in quickly and formed a successful partnership with Nick Grigg that will be reunited for this game.

There will be an all-round range of skills from 12. Stafford isn’t the most likely to kick the ball but it’s certainly something that he has more of in his locker than some of the Warriors’ midfielders. It’s his carrying that will lead the way though. He was given a heavy workload when on the pitch last season but it’s worth noting he’s more than just a battering ram. A lovely balanced runner he’s excellent at using his size to get his hands through contact and away to support runners. Expect a lot of Glasgow’s attack to flow through the youngster on Friday night.

Glasgow at home to Cardiff Blues in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 8 wins
  • 0 losses
  • 6 Try BPs
  • 38 points out of a possible 40 (95%)

Previous match-up:


Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU, 16th Championship game)
AR1: Ben Blain (SRU)
AR1: Johnny Erskine (IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

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

Matches – 5 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 22.4 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 50% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 1.4 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 16 (all refs – 19)

After the laissez faire George Clancy last week a complete contrast with one of the league’s newer generation of refs in Mr Gallagher. The Irish whistler had the highest average penalty count of any of the regular PRO14 officials last season. There were only a couple who were quicker to go to their cards as well. All in all Glasgow will be well advised to tread carefully, especially in the early exchanges as they try to get on the wavelength of a referee who has never taken charge of a Warriors’ match before.

* Other coverage:

Match re-runs on FreeSports:

  • none

Highlights of all matches in Round 3:

  • Premier Sports 1 – Monday 14th October at 12.00pm
  • FreeSports – Monday 14th October at 11.00am and 11.30pm


One comment

  1. Looks very tight on the head to heads. The Cardiff back 3 look very dangerous, but Glasgow have obvious advantage in the centres IF Grigg is fully fit both in attack and defence. Glasgow need to look after the ball much better than last week.

    Liked by 1 person

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