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

KO 1.45
Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 27th March 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • What with one thing and another allied to the vagaries of the conference system 3½ years have elapsed since Benetton last travelled to play at Scotstoun.
  • Alberto Sgarbi started at inside centre in that last encounter in Glasgow. He will wear the number 6 shirt and pack down at flanker on Saturday.
  • The starting XV have made a combined 531 previous appearances for the Warriors. In the last four seasons the only side with a lower tally had 499. That team travelled to play the Ospreys in November 2017 and came away with a 47-6 victory.

Teams

GLASGOW
15 Ollie Smith
14 Ratu Tagive
13 Nick Grigg
12 Robbie Fergusson
11 Lee Jones
10 Ross Thompson
9 George Horne
BENETTON
15 Edoardo Padovani
14 Iliesa Ratuva
13 Joaquin Riera
12 Marco Zanon
11 Angelo Esposito
10 Tommaso Allan
9 Luca Petrozzi

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Fraser Brown (c)
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 Richie Gray
5 James Scott
6 Kiran McDonald
7 Fotu lokotui
8 TJ Ioane

1 Thomas Gallo
2 Gianmarco Lucchesi
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Niccolo Cannone
5 Federico Ruzza
6 Alberto Sgarbi
7 Manuel Zuliani
8 Riccardo Favretto

16 Johnny Matthews
17 Dylan Evans
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Hamish Bain
20 Thomas Gordon
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Ian Keatley
23 Niko Matawalu

16 Corniel Els
17 Derrick Appiah
18 Ivan Nemer
19 Nicola Piantella
20 Eli Snyman
21 Charly Trussardi
22 Jayden Hayward
23 Tommaso Benvenuti

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

It’s a big welcome back for George Horne who will play his first game for the Warriors since the 2nd of November 2020. Fraser Brown will be making just his second appearance at Scotstoun in the last 14 months..

Matchday Milestones:

It wil have been 512 days since the Warriors last played a match without Ryan Wilson in the lineup. The club co-captain managed a run of 32 consecutive starts which is brought to an end by his involvement on the bench for Scotland in Paris. Only Jon Petrie (37 starts from 2000-2001) and Bernardo Stortoni (43 starts from 2007-2009 and 36 starts from 2009-2010) have had longer sequences for Glasgow.

Warrior to Watch:

Aki Seiuli loves a bit of graft. From the moment the big man touched down in Scotland he’s consistently hit double digits for carries and tackles (this season in the league he averages 11.3 carries per 80 minutes and 13.5 tackles per 80 minutes).

That level of consistency of effort on both sides of the ball would be admirable in any player but particularly so in a prop. His setpiece fundamentals have been pretty good too. Sometimes it can come down to who the referee is but when he’s found the right picture for the officials he has been an outstanding scrummager – eg Edinburgh at Scotstoun where he must have been a close second to Ross Thompson for the Player of the Match award.

Glasgow v Benetton Rugby at home in the PRO12/14 era

  • 6 wins
  • 1 loss
  • 4 Try BPs
  • 1 Losing BP
  • 29 points out of a possible 35 (83%)
  • Benetton’s sole win in Glasgow came during the 2011/12 season when they edged out the Warriors 15 – 13 at Firhill. This is the only time Glasgow have lost at home to Italian opposition in the PRO12/14.

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 43rd competition game)
AR1: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
AR2: Ben Blain (SRU)
TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Mr Murphy’s record last season in the PRO14::

Matches – 10 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 18.9 (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 45% (all refs – 52%)
Average card count – 1.5 (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 15 (all refs – 15)

Remarkably in a season running to just 16 games this will be the fourth time in this campaign that Glasgow will have been refereed by Mr Murphy. On the positive side, the Warriors have won two of those three previous fixtures. On the negative side, already this season the Irish whistler has yellow carded Richie Gray, Nick Grigg, Cole Forbes and TJ Ioane as well as sending off Adam Hastings. Not the perfect setup when Glasgow average more than 20 minutes a game shorthanded across their last six fixtures!

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