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

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 14th February 2020

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • Glasgow field a particularly strong side for the time of year. The head to heads are in their favour – crucial given 5 points are essential for their playoff push.
  • It’s the return of the Nak as Leone Nakarawa makes a triumphant return to Scotstoun.
  • The Warriors have won all 15 of their previous encounters with Zebre.
  • He loves a try against the stripy Italians and DTH van der Merwe is the Warrior to watch.


15 Glenn Bryce
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Nick Grigg
12 Stafford McDowall
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Peter Horne
9 George Horne
15 Junior Laloifi
14 Paula Balekana
13 Jamie Elliott
12 Tommaso Boni (c)
11 Pierre Bruno
10 Michelangelo Biondelli
9 Joshua Renton

1 Aki Seiuli
2 George Turner
3 Oli Kebble
4 Robert Harley
5 Leone Nakarawa
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Tom Gordon
8 Matt Fagerson

1 Daniele Rimpelli

2 Massimo Ceciliani
3 Eduardo Bello
4 Ian Nagle
5 Mick Kearney
6 Maxime Mbanda
7 Apisai Tauyavuca
8 Renato Giammarioli

16 Mesu Dolokoto
17 Alex Allan
18 Adam Nicol
19 Tim Swinson
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Ruaridh Jackson
23 Kyle Steyn

16 Oliviero Fabiani

17 Riccardo Burgnara
18 Alexandru Tarus
19 Leonard Krumov
20 George Biagi
23 Jimmy Tuivaiti
21 Marcello Violi

22 Enrico Lucchin

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Homecoming hero Leone Nakarawa runs out at Scotstoun for the first time since 29th April 2016. Coincidentally, the opposition for his final home game was also Zebre – a match that saw a record 70 points scored by the Warriors, including a hat-trick for the big man himself.

Mesu Dolokoto should become Warrior number 309 when he’s sprung from the bench. The Fijian hooker may not be the tallest but he’ll be one of the most powerful players in the Glasgow pack.

He’s been a regular this season for the Warriors but this game will be the first time for almost 7 years that Tommy Seymour has played for the club during the month of February. That last encounter was against Ulster on 22nd February 2013 – inevitably Tommy scored that night as he almost always does against his old team!

Matchday Milestones:

Rob Harley is well out in the lead when it comes to the most games for Glasgow (Friday will be his 228th). When he comes off the bench against Zebre though, Chris Fusaro will move into second place all-time on 177 appearances (level with Graeme Morrison).

Warrior to Watch:

There are some teams that players particularly enjoy playing against. Tommy Seymour loves games against Benetton (especially when he’s playing towards the hedge at Stadio Monigo!) For Niko Matawalu it’s Cardiff Blues. In the case of DTH van der Merwe, it’s Zebre. The Canadian winger hasn’t exactly been shy of a try or two during his time at Glasgow but his stats for games against the side from Parma are especially impressive.

In 360 minutes of action across 5 matches, DTH has picked up no less than 6 tries and had the final pass on another 2. That’s a try involvement every 45 minutes on average. His attacking numbers are pretty potent across the board including 7 clean breaks and 10 defenders beaten – a CB or DB for every 2.1 carries he’s made. Hopefully, DTH can spearhead the Warriors’ attack and continue his prolific form this Friday night!

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

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

Previous match-up at Scotstoun:


Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU)
AR1: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
AR1: Chris Busby (IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

Ms Neville’s regular season record for 2018/19 in the PRO14:

Matches – 3 (all refs – 147)
Average penalty count – 18.3 per game (all refs – 18.4)
Home penalty percentage – 51% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 1.0 per game (all refs – 0.9)
Penalties per card – 18.3 (all refs – 19)

This will be Ms. Neville’s second trip to Scotstoun this season. Last November the Kings definitely got on the wrong side of the ref, conceding 13 penalties, 2 yellow cards and a penalty try. The Warriors gave up just 8 pens in a game that they won comfortably, 50-0. Undoubtedly the Warriors’ faithful (and Dave Rennie) would take more of the same this time round!

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