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

KO 7.35
The RDS
Friday 28th February 2020
Live on Premier Sports 2

  • With somewhere around 40 to 45 players missing across the two squads the head to heads have a slight edge to Glasgow. Is that enough to overcome the home advantage factor and Leinster’s extraordinary winning run?.
  • There are just 4 players in each starting XV who also started the PRO14 Final last May (Lowe, McGrath, Cronin and Fardy for Leinster; Seymour, Steyn, Harley and Matt Fagerson for Glasgow).
  • All-action hooker George Turner is the Warrior to Watch.
  • Glasgow’s win against Leinster at the RDS in April (you know the one – the Jonny Gray game!) was the last time the Dubliners lost a match in the PRO14.

Teams

LEINSTER
15 Hugo Keenan
14 Dave Kearney
13 Jimmy O’Brien
12 Joe Tomane
11 James Lowe
10 Harry Byrne
9 Luke McGrath
GLASGOW
15 Glenn Bryce
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Huw Jones
12 Nick Grigg
11 Kyle Steyn
10 Peter Horne
9 George Horne

1 Peter Dooley

2 Sean Cronin
3 Michael Bent
4 Ryan Baird
5 Scott Fardy (c)
6 Josh Murphy
7 Will Connors
8 Max Deegan

1 Aki Seiuli
2 George Turner
3 D’arcy Rae
4 Robert Harley
5 Tim Swinson
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Tom Gordon
8 Matt Fagerson

16 James Tracy

17 Michael Milne
18 Jack Aungier
19 Jack Dunne
20 Rhys Ruddock
21 Jamison Gibson-Park
22 Ciaran Frawley
23 Fergus McFadden

16 Mesu Dolokoto
17 Alex Allan
18 Ewan Mcquillin
19 Andrew Davidson
20 Callum Gibbins
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Ruaridh Jackson
23 Niko Matawalu

Head to Head:

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

Matchday Milestones:

Aged just 21, Matt Fagerson will be making his 50th start for Glasgow. To be precise he’s 21 years and 227 days so still about 4 months older than the precocious John Barclay was when he made his 50th start for the club back in 2008 (JB was 21 years and 109 days). Matt is still well on course to be one of the youngest Warrior Centurions in history.

Warrior to Watch:

Whether in attack or defence George Turner is never likely to be far from the action. The former Edinburgh man is one of the hardest working players in the team, averaging 14 carries and 15 tackles per 80 minutes. As a key part of Glasgow’s work to get on the front foot his averages for both clean breaks and defenders beaten are the best among the Warriors’ forwards.

There may be something in the name George – like his namesake Horne, Turner loves to get in among the tries. While wee George leads the way in the backs with 9 try involvements (8 scored + 1 assisted) slightly bigger George is the top dog in the pack with 5 try involvements (3 scored + 2 assisted). Turner’s aggression, work rate and eye for the line will need to be to the fore if Glasgow are to break down the most parsimonious defence in the league.

Glasgow away to Leinster in the PRO12/14 era:

  • 2 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 4 losses
  • 2 try BPs
  • 4 losing BPs
  • 16 points out of a possible 35 (46%)
  • The aggregate score across these 7 regular season games is 181 – 186 in Glasgow’s favour.

Previous match-up at the RDS:

Officials:

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)

Does it even count as a Leinster v Glasgow game if Mr Owens isn’t refereeing? The Welsh whistler will take charge of these two clubs clashing for the 11th time. With the experienced official in charge it’s almost certain to be an open, flowing contest with few stoppages. Both these teams bring a positive intent and Mr Owens will do his best to let them play.

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