Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh part I, PRO14 Match Preview 2019/20

KO 5.45 at Sold Out Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 21st December 2019

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • This is the 27th match in the 1872 Cup series. Glasgow have won 14, Edinburgh 11 and there has been 1 draw.
  • 29 of the 46 players were in the matchday squads for these sides’ previous encounter at Scotstoun in April.
  • Until this season Edinburgh were the only side to have defeated Glasgow at Scotstoun in a PRO14 regular season fixture during the Dave Rennie era (Warriors – 20 wins, 1 loss across 2017/18 and 2018/19).
  • The Glasgow pack is the heaviest selected for any match in the current campaign.

15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Huw Jones
12 Sam Johnson
11 Kyle Steyn
10 Adam Hastings
9 George Horne
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Darcy Graham
13 Mark Bennett
12 George Taylor
11 Duhan van der Merwe
10 Simon Hickey
9 Henry Pyrgos

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray
6 Robert Harley
7 Callum Gibbins (c)
8 Ryan Wilson
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh

1 Pierre Schoeman
2 Stuart McInally (c)
3 Pietro Ceccarelli
4 Ben Toolis
5 Grant Gilchrist
6 Magnus Bradbury
7 Hamish Watson
8 Viliame Mata

16 George Turner
17 Oli Kebble
18 Adam Nicol
19 Adam Ashe
20 Tom Gordon
21 Ali Price
22 Nick Grigg
23 Niko Matawalu
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 Mike Willemse
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Simon Berghan
19 Lewis Carmichael
20 Jamie Ritchie
21 Nic Groom
22 Jaco van der Walt
23 James Johnstone

Tale of the Tape:

104   Tries   67
486   Appearances   260
38   1872 Cup appearances   25
27.2   Average age   25.2
6   Capped players   4

910kg   Pack weight   905kg
779   Appearances   687
65   1872 Cup appearances   58
27.7   Average age   27.6
6   Capped players   7

443   Appearances   295
33   1872 Cup appearances   24
26.4   Average age   27.0
5   Capped players   4

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:

1872 Cup debuts:

  • Aki Seiuli
  • Adam Nicol
  • George Taylor
  • Jamie Bhatti *
  • Mike Willemse
  • Nic Groom

* 1872 Cup debut for Edinburgh – Jamie played the last 6 fixtures in this series for Glasgow. He started the most recent encounter between these two teams on the Warriors’ side back in April when they emerged victorious by 34-10.

Jamie will become the 8th man to appear for both sides of the M8 divide in 1872 Cup matches, following in the footsteps of:

Glasgow then Edinburgh – John Barclay, Mark Bennett, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir.
Edinburgh then Glasgow – Grayson Hart, Lee Jones, George Turner.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinburghers:

Warriors’ numbers 184 (Henry Pyrgos – 147 appearances); 193 (Mark Bennett – 66 apps); and 274 (Jamie Bhatti – 47 apps) will all be on the opposing side on Saturday. George Turner (14 games for Edinburgh) has made the reverse journey.

Matchday Milestones:

Duhan van der Merwe will play his 50th match for Edinburgh. The big winger has featured in 50 out of 61 games since making his debut against the Cheetahs in November 2017. Given his strike rate of 26 tries in those appearances, it’s entirely understandable that he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet when available!

Warrior to Watch / Edinburgher to Eyeball:

With the announcement of Greig Laidlaw’s international retirement this week any contest involving Scottish scrum halves in the next month or so is going to take on added importance. Both George Horne and Henry Pyrgos will be looking to impress – in their contrasting styles.

One stat that illustrates the difference between these two former teammates is how often they choose to kick, pass or run the ball:

Horne – 3% kick / 90% pass / 7% run
Pyrgos – 15% kick / 79% pass / 5% run

Pyrgos has a much more central role in Edinburgh’s game management. It’s one that can frustrate the fans but it’s crucial to how Richard Cockerill wants his side to exercise control and play in the right areas. It also takes the pressure off whoever is playing stand off for the capital club.

Horne’s initial job is very much to get the ball moving but after that he’s far more likely to get involved again with second (or even third touches) in the same phase of play before even thinking about getting back to his main duties at the back of rucks.

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

  • 6 wins
  • 3 losses *
  • 2 Try BPs
  • 1 Losing BP
  • 27 points out of a possible 45 (60%)
  • * 1 of the ‘home’ losses was played at Murrayfield

Most recent match-up:


Referee: Ben Blain (SRU, 5th championship appearance)
AR1: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
AR2: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

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

Matches – 2 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 18.5 per game (all refs – 19.0)
Home penalty percentage – 35% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 0.5 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 37 (all refs – 22)

Young refs tend to be both whistle and card happy but, so far anyway, Mr Blain appears to be a bit more laissez-faire and looking to keep the game going. That attitude is likely to be tested by a fixture which was a bit of a scrumfest at a similar stage of last season (an area that was won handily by Edinburgh – and in particular Pierre Schoeman – on that occasion).

The young ref will be taking charge of both Glasgow and Edinburgh for the first time so there may be some in-game adjustments to be made as the sides look to adapt to the official’s interpretations.

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