Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys, PRO14 match preview 2020/21

KO 8.00 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 12th March 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • It’s a little over two years since the Ospreys last visited Scotstoun – just 11 of the 46 players involved in that fixture return on Friday night.
  • On the Glasgow side 13 of that previous 23 have moved on or retired; 4 are currently injured; and 1 is on Scotland duty.
  • The Warriors have 20 missing from their full-time squad. They are making use of 3 loan players; 1 covering from Scotland 7s; and 2 from the Scottish Rugby Academy.
  • Rob Harley will be his usual niggly, hard grafting self and he is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW
15 Ollie Smith
14 Rufus McLean
13 Nick Grigg
12 Robbie Fergusson
11 Lee Jones
10 Ross Thompson
9 Sean Kennedy
OSPREYS
15 Dan Evans (c)
14 Dewi Cross
13 Owen Watkin
12 Joe Hawkins
11 Keelan Giles
10 Luke Price
9 R Morgan-Williams

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Grant Stewart
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 James Scott
5 Leone Nakarawa
6 Robert Harley
7 Tom Gordon
8 Ryan Wilson (c)

1 Garyn Phillips
2 Ifan Phillips
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 Rhys Davies
6 Will Griffiths
7 Morgan Morris
8 Gareth Evans

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Dylan Evans
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Kiran McDonald
20 TJ Ioane
21 Jamie Dobie
22 Ian Keatley
23 Ratu Tagive

16 Dewi Lake
17 Rhys Henry
18 Tom Botha
19 Olly Cracknell
20 Sam Cross
21 Shaun Venter
22 Josh Thomas
23 T Thomas-Wheeler

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Home debuts in the offing for both Dylan Evans and Ian Keatley from the bench. Ian, of course, has previous experience of Scotstoun as an opposition player, including a dagger to the heart game-winning drop goal for Munster back in 2016. Helping guide Glasgow to a win on Friday night would go some way to wiping out the memory of that traumatic event for Warriors’ fans!

Warrior to Watch:

Last week the spotlight was on the garrulous, gallus Ryan Wilson. This week it’s a rather quieter, but no less effective, veteran who is making a huge contribution to getting Glasgow through these challenging times. Rob Harley might be seen as the yang to Ryan’s yin but their differing approaches are both predicated on vast amounts of hard graft and doing the dirty work.

In recent weeks, Rob has showcased his outstanding abilities to spoil a maul and turn over possession. It’s his less obvious efforts at tackle and ruck situations that are his bread and butter though. There are few players who will be back on their feet for repeated efforts in the defensive line more quickly or more frequently than Rob. If he does stay down for any length of time you can guarantee it’s because he’s slowing the ball, players, anything to try and give his side an edge.

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

  • 7 wins
  • 1 loss
  • 3 Try BPs
  • 0 Losing BPs
  • 31 points out of a possible 40 (78%)

Previous match-up:

How bad was this game? Well the ‘highlights’ include slow motion replays of penalty kicks being scored. You have been warned.

Officials:

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU, 13th competition game)
AR1: Fin Brown (SRU)
AR1: David Sutherland (SRU)
TMO: Ben Blain (SRU)

Mr Grove-White’s regular season record for 2017/18 in the PRO14:

Matches – 3 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 15.0 per game (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 72% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 1.3 per game (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 11 (all refs – 15)

Mr Grove-White made his Warriors’ debut just over two months ago in the 1872 Cup match at Murrayfield. Glasgow conceded a barely believable 18 penalties with the front row most definitely on the wrong side of the ref. A repeat performance against the Ospreys will make it incredibly hard to come away with the win. Everyone – but particularly the big lads in the scrum – has to find a way to keep the officials sweet.

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