Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Leinster, PRO14 Rainbow Cup match preview 2020/21

KO 8.15 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 4th June 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • It has been more than two years since Leinster’s last defeat in an away fixture in the PRO14 or Rainbow Cup (27 April 2019 v Ulster).
  • This will be the third meeting of these sides during 2020/21. There are just three Warriors (Sam Johnson, Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson) and five for the visitors (Jimmy O’Brien, Rory O’Loughlin, Luke McGrath, Michael Bent and Josh Murphy) who will have started all three encounters.
  • Glasgow are going for their fourth consecutive victory at Scotstoun, a feat they have not managed since the end of the 2018/19 season when they won seven in a row at home to round out the campaign.
  • Powerhouse tighthead Enrique Pieretto is the Warrior to Watch

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS
15 Adam Hastings
14 Kyle Steyn
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Cole Forbes
10 Ross Thompson
9 George Horne
LEINSTER
15 Hugo Keenan
14 Tommy O’Brien
13 Garry Ringrose
12 Rory O’Loughlin
11 Jimmy O’Brien
10 Ross Byrne
9 Luke McGrath (c)

1 Aki Seiuli
2 Fraser Brown (c)
3 Enrique Pieretto
4 Robert Harley
5 Scott Cummings
6 Ryan Wilson (c)
7 Rory Darge
8 Matt Fagerson

1 Ed Byrne

2 Ronan Kelleher
3 Michael Bent
4 Ross Molony
5 James Ryan
6 Josh Murphy
7 Josh van der Flier
8 Caelan Doris

16 George Turner
17 Tom Lambert
18 D’arcy Rae
19 Kiran McDonald
20 Tom Gordon
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Stafford McDowall
23 Niko Matawalu

16 Dan Sheehan

17 Peter Dooley
18 Andrew Porter
19 Ryan Baird
20 Scott Penny
21 Rowan Osborne
22 Jordan Larmour
23 Cian Kelleher

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Goodbyes:

Sad times as Warriors’ fans won’t be in the stadium to see Adam Hastings, D’arcy Rae and Niko Matawalu make their final appearances for Glasgow at Scotstoun. There’s also a question mark over Aki Seiuli with no contract extension announced yet. Hopefully the big prop will be around for at least a couple more seasons!

Warrior to Watch:

It was a slow burn to start Enrique Pieretto’s career at Glasgow. Having joined up in time for the final two fixtures of the 2019/20 season, after the opening three rounds of 2020/21 the big Argentinian had just 11 minutes of game time under his belt.

It was the previous visit of Leinster to Scotstoun that was the turning point with the prop getting 26 minutes off the bench, then going on to start the next four matches in a row. Enrique has been selected for every game bar one since then (he was injured for the Benetton away fixture in the Rainbow Cup – a good one to miss!)

There’s a lot more to his game than just durability and consistency though. He averages 20.6 carries + tackles per 80 minutes which is a mighty effort for a prop. Among the big lads only Oli Kebble (93%) can top Enrique’s tackle completion percentage of 91%. He’s conceded a penalty every 69 minutes which is the lowest rate among the four props who would fill out the Warriors’ first choice match day squad.

Glasgow at home to Leinster in the PRO14 era:

  • 5 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 3 losses
  • 2 try BPs
  • 1 losing BP
  • 25 points out of a possible 45 (56%)

Previous match-up:

As it’s Niko’s last run out at Scotstoun it would be churlish not to watch the magician himself going full Niko three and a bit years ago. Shame he didn’t finish off the length of the field effort himself but then he always did seem to be a bit scared of scoring in front of the East Stand Massive!

Officials:

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 47th competition game)
AR1: Fin Brown (SRU)
AR2: Graeme Ormiston (SRU)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

Mr Murphy’s regular season record for 2019/20 in the PRO14:

Matches – 10 (all refs – 101)
Average penalty count – 18.9 per game (all refs – 19.1)
Home penalty percentage – 45% (all refs – 48%)
Average card count – 1.3 per game (all refs – 1.3)
Penalties per card – 15 (all refs – 15)

This will be the Warriors’ 21st game in the PRO14 and Rainbow Cup combined. Remarkably, it will be the 5th time this season they will have been refereed by Mr Murphy, meaning that the Irish whistler will have taken charge of nearly a quarter of the club’s domestic fixtures.

This is not necessarily a negative though. Glasgow only won six games during their PRO14 campaign – and Mr Murphy was the referee for three of those victories. The only fixture the club lost with him in the middle was against Leinster mind you.

That night in Dublin, Mr Murphy red carded Adam Hastings as well as sin binning Cole Forbes and TJ Ioane. Earlier in the season he yellow carded Richie Gray and Nick Grigg. Tread carefully boys…

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