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

KO 3.00pm
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saturday 9th November 2019
Live on FreeSports
Highlights on BBC Scotland, Mon 11/11/19 at 7.00pm

Glasgow are defending a perfect record against Zebre (and their previous incarnation, Aironi). 18 wins out of 18 – and 13 of those victories have come with a try BP. With a couple of slip-ups already this season by the Warriors there really is no room for manoeuvre in the race for playoff spots and even this early in the season Saturday’s game is a must-win.


15 Michelangelo Biondelli
14 Charlie Walker
13 James Elliott
12 Enrico Lucchin
11 Mattia Bellini
10 Carlo Canna
9 Joshua Renton
15 Tommy Seymour
14 Ratu Tagive
13 Kyle Steyn
12 Sam Johnson
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Adam Hastings
9 George Horne

1 Andrea Lovotti
2 Luca Bigi
3 Alexandre Tarus
4 Mick Kearney
5 Ian Nagle
6 Giovanni Licata
7 Johan Meyer
8 David Sisi

1 Oli Kebble
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Tim Swinson
5 Scott Cummings
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Chris Fusaro
8 Matt Fagerson

16 Marco Manfredi
17 Danilo Fischetti
18 Giosue Zilocchi
19 Leonard Krumov
20 Renato Giammarioli
21 Marcello Violi
22 Tommaso Boni
23 Pierre Bruno

16 George Turner
17 Alex Allan
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Kiran McDonald
20 Tom Gordon
21 Nick Frisby
22 Ruaridh Jackson
23 Huw Jones

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

It’s that rarest of sights – a Warriors’ 23 that does not include Rob Harley. The Ginger Ninja had played Glasgow’s previous 23 matches in a row, including 18 consecutive starts. This will be just the third time in the club’s last 50 games that Bob has not featured. He’s replaced by Ryan Wilson who hasn’t played an away game in the PRO14 for over 11 months – since the Warriors played Benetton on 5th January.

Warriors One to Watch:

It will be fascinating to watch how Tommy Seymour’s positional switch to full back works out as Dave Rennie explores the best way to use his back 3 resources following the departure of Stuart Hogg. Tommy has moved positions during games on occasion but this will be just his fifth start in the 15 jersey for the Warriors. Having finished last season in some outstanding scoring form (including tries in 5 consecutive appearances leading up to the PRO14 final, tying the club record) the Nashville Express will be looking to bring real attacking intent to the full back role.

Tommy’s always enjoyed a wee trip to Italy – although he has a clear preference for the hedge at Benetton’s Stadio Monigo where he’s notched 8 tries in 5 games. This would seem like an ideal time to break his duck at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. If he needs any tips on scoring against Zebre he could always just ask his winger, DTH van der Merwe, who has bagged 6 tries and 2 assists against the stripy Italians in just 4 matches!

Glasgow away to Zebre (Aironi) in the PRO12/14 era:

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

Previous match-up:


Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 78th Championship appearance)
AR1: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
AR2: Kelvin Short (WRU)
TMO: Wayne Davies (WRU)

Mr Davies’ record last season in the PRO14:

Matches – 4 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 22.0 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 57% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 0.8 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 29 (all refs – 19)

Based on the last 12 months it had appeared that Mr Davies had moved upstairs (or out into to the car park at least) to take on a role primarily as a TMO. Certainly he’s no longer listed among the PRO14’s Elite Referee Squad – but he will be an experienced head out in the middle as he referees his second match of the season so far.

The Welsh whistler has a pretty spectacular record of carding Warriors’ players. Across the club’s last dozen encounters with the official he’s dished out 11 yellows and 3 reds (as well as 3 penalty tries) against them. The last time he took charge of a Glasgow match was Round 1 in 2018/19 against Connacht. Adam Hastings was the player sin binned that day and there was an erroneously awarded late penalty which nearly cost the game. Hopefully Mr Davies has mellowed as he reaches the twilight of his career but the Warriors would be well advised to be wary!

One comment

  1. Oh no!. Ian Davies on the whistle. He normally goes out of his way to spoil the game. I thought he had been retired but obviously not.


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