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

KO 1.00pm GMT (2.00pm local time)
Stadio Monigo
Saturday 3rd January 2020
Live on Premier Sports 2

  • With 10 key players rested / missing for the Warriors, the advantage in the head to heads lies with their hosts.
  • Petrus du Plessis could extend his record as the oldest man to play for Glasgow in the PRO14.
  • Powerhouse centre Nick Grigg is the Warrior to Watch.
  • Glasgow’s defeat at the Stadio Monigo at the same time last year was their first loss in Italy during the PRO14 era.


15 Jayden Hayward
14 Leonardo Sarto
13 Ratuva Tavuyara
12 Luca Morisi
11 Monty Ioane
10 Tommaso Allan
9 Dewaldt Duvenage
15 Ruaridh Jackson
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Niko Matawalu
10 Peter Horne
9 George Horne

1 Nicola Quaglio
2 Hame Faiva
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Irne Herbst
5 Federico Ruzza
6 Sebastian Negri
7 Giovanni Pettinelli
8 Abraham Steyn

1 Aki Seiuli
2 George Turner
3 Adam Nicol
4 Robert Harley
5 Tim Swinson
6 Bruce Flockhart
7 Tom Gordon
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

16 Engjel Makelara
17 Cherif Traore
18 Tiziano Pasquali
19 Niccolo Cannone
20 Eli Snyman
21 Marco Lazzaroni
22 Tito Tebaldi
23 Antonio Rizzi

16 Grant Stewart
17 Oli Kebble
18 Petrus du Plessis
19 Andrew Davidson
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Nick Frisby
22 Huw Jones
23 Glenn Bryce

Head to Head:

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

Matchday Milestones:

Player/coach Petrus du Plessis could become the first 38-year-old to feature in a PRO14 match for the Warriors.

Once A Warrior:

After an injury-ravaged few seasons, Warrior number 263, Leonardo Sarto has settled back in Italy and is starting to get a few games under his belt. 9 tries in 18 games for Glasgow gives some hint of just how good he could have been for the Warriors if it wasn’t for some chronic shoulder problems. Leo also provided one of the moments of the 2017/18 season when he engaged beast mode against Munster at Scotstoun!

Warrior to Watch:

Rumours are swirling around the future of outside centre, Nick Grigg, with a number of sides said to be keen to secure his services. Given his output in attack for Glasgow that’s entirely understandable. Since turning pro at the start of the 2016/17 season, Squiggs has beaten more defenders than anyone else in the Warriors’ squad. His scoring rate of a try every 3.2 appearances is the best among Glasgow’s current centres and bears comparison with all bar the very top strike rates in the club’s history.

With Benetton getting round their problem of having 3 excellent wingers by shoehorning one into the 13 shirt, Glasgow must try and take advantage of Nick’s experience at outside centre to create space – and hopefully scoring opportunities.

Glasgow away to Benetton in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 6 wins
  • 1 loss
  • 4 try BPs
  • 1 losing BP
  • 29 points out of a possible 35 (83%)
  • Benetton also won the first encounter between these two sides on Italian soil when it was still the Magners League.

Previous match-up:


Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU, 182nd Championship appearance)
AR1: Andrea Piardi (FIR)
AR2: Wayne Davies (WRU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

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

Matches – 12 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 13.8 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 57% (all refs – 53%)
Average card count – 0.4 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 33 (all refs – 19)

Mr Owens is the most experienced official in the PRO14 and also the least likely to blow his whistle and award penalties. Along with George Clancy there’s also the lowest chance of cards being brandished. That can mean a fast, open game for sides with positive intent. It can also mean niggle and a free-for-all at the breakdown for the more cynical.

By OTOTM’s reckoning, this will be the 40th time Mr Owens has taken charge of a Glasgow game (including one abandoned match more than 19 years ago). He’s tended to be the go to official for matches between the Warriors and either Leinster or Munster. 16 of the club’s 23 encounters with the ref in the last decade have come in these fixtures, including three PRO12/14 finals. A trip to take charge of Glasgow in Italy will be a new experience for the Welsh whistler.

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