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

KO 3.00 at BT Murrayfield
Saturday 28th December 2019

Buy tickets here
Live on Premier Sports 2

  • Head to heads are pretty even – will home advantage prove to be the crucial factor?
  • There are just 4 new faces with 42 of the players having also been selected for last week’s game at Scotstoun. WP Nel and Matt Scott are in for Edinburgh, as are Ratu Tagive and DTH van der Merwe for Glasgow (Pietro Ceccarelli, James Johnstone, Tommy Seymour and Kyle Steyn the players to drop out of the 23s).
  • This is the 28th match in the 1872 Cup series. The aggregate score could hardly be closer, standing at 511 – 508 in favour of the Warriors.

15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Darcy Graham
13 Mark Bennett
12 George Taylor
11 Duhan van der Merwe
10 Simon Hickey
9 Nic Groom
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Ratu Tagive
13 Huw Jones
12 Sam Johnson
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Adam Hastings
9 Ali Price

1 Pierre Schoeman
2 Stuart McInally
3 WP Nel
4 Ben Toolis
5 Grant Gilchrist
6 Jamie Ritchie
7 Hamish Watson
8 Viliame Mata
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh

1 Oli Kebble
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Scott Cummings
5 Jonny Gray
6 Robert Harley
7 Callum Gibbins (c)
8 Ryan Wilson

16 Mike Willemse
17 Jamie Bhatti
18 Simon Berghan
19 Lewis Carmichael
20 Magnus Bradbury
21 Henry Pyrgos
22 Jaco van der Walt
23 Matt Scott
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow

16 George Turner
17 Aki Seiuli
18 Adam Nicol
19 Adam Ashe
20 Tom Gordon
21 George Horne
22 Nick Grigg
23 Niko Matawalu

Tale of the Tape:

70   Tries   104
242   Appearances   496
29   1872 Cup appearances   48
25.1   Average age   28.2
3   Capped players   6

905kg   Pack weight   910kg
805   Appearances   824
77   1872 Cup appearances   76
28.2   Average age   27.8
7   Capped players   6

374   Appearances   379
35   1872 Cup appearances   33
27.1   Average age   26.1
6   Capped players   5

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:

Ratu Tagive will become the 233rd man to play in an 1872 Cup game (festive quiz – see if you name the other 232…) Glasgow tighthead Adam Nicol is still looking for his debut in this fixture after being an unused sub last week. Jamie Bhatti was similarly left on the bench last week – he’ll be hoping for his inaugural Edinburgh 1872 Cup appearance after 6 previous outings for the Warriors.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinburghers:

It’s the same again as last week – former Warriors Henry Pyrgos, Mark Bennett and Jamie Bhatti feature for Edinburgh. George Turner has made the move away from the dark side…George’s score last week means he joins Lee Jones as the only players to score a try against their former team having played 1872 Cup matches for both sides.

Matchday Milestones:

Wee George Horne brings up his 50th appearance for Glasgow (with just the 24 tries so far). He’s still got some catching up to do with big brother Pete though who is more than 100 games ahead on 163.

Rob Harley will feature in his 19th 1872 Cup match, tying the record set by Ross Ford. Rob has only missed 3 matches in this series since his first Edinburgh encounter in December 2010 (those with long memories may recall the Ginger Ninja galloping through from a kick off to put DTH van der Merwe in for a classic try in that game).

Warrior to Watch / Edinburgher to Eyeball:

The latest data is due to be published in a couple of days but based on 2018/19 figures, hooker is the lowest-paid position in the PRO14 and Premiership and the 3rd lowest paid in the Top 14. Anyone who watched the level of effort Stuart McInally and Fraser Brown put into knocking lumps out of each other last week would question how that can be possible!

This pair are workaholics on both sides of the ball, averaging 10+ carries and 10+ tackles per 80 minutes. That’s over and above setpiece duties, providing an additional turnover threat at the breakdown and, in Brown’s case mainly, being one of the primary distributors and decision-makers in the pack. Quite frankly if these two aren’t among the top paid players at the pro teams there’s something very wrong!

Fraser may have only lasted 49 minutes last week but he’ll be happy that his side really took it to the more heavily-fancied Edinburgh tight 5. As well as having the upper hand in the scrums the Warriors were able to restrict Edinburgh’s front row and second row to just 6 metres of ground gained – from 40 carries. That level of intensity will be required again this week if Glasgow are to back up their win. If the capital club’s big men get on the front foot more regularly it will be a very long afternoon for the visitors.

Glasgow away to Edinburgh during the PRO12/14 era:

  • 3 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 5 losses
  • 1 losing bonus point
  • 15 points out of a possible 45 (33%)

Previous match-up:


Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 40th competition game)
AR1: Keith Allen (SRU)
AR2: David Sutherland (SRU)
TMO: Neil Patterson (SRU)

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

Matches – 13 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 17.2 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 51% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 1.0 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 16 (all refs – 19)

Mr Adamson appears to be on the well-trodden path from whistle happy newbie to experienced game manager. Quite simply the more games refereed at the top level the lower the penalty counts seem to go, with the PRO14’s refereeing centurions – Nigel Owens and George Clancy – almost always the least likely to stop play.

Scotland’s top ref’s average penalty count dropped from 21.2 in 2017/18 to 17.2 in 2018/19 and his penalties per card increased from 13 to 16. That latter figure remained the second lowest among the PRO14’s Elite Refereeing Squad (Frank Murphy – card every 12 penalties – the only one with a lower count). Mr Adamson is still pretty quick to go to his pocket – as 6 yellows in 4 games so far this season can attest – and discipline on both sides will need to be better this week if another sin bin fest is to be avoided!

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