Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Sharks, United Rugby Championship match preview 2021/22

KO 3.05 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 2nd October 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • There has been a 588 day gap since fans last attended a competitive game at Scotstoun. Until the pandemic the longest the Warriors’ faithful have had to wait between home fixtures (since moving to Danes Drive in 2012) is 140 days. It’s been a long time coming!
  • The Sharks will be the 54th different side that Glasgow have played a competitive match against in their 25 year history.
  • Glasgow are aiming for their fifth consecutive victory at Scotstoun, the longest such streak since the end of the 2018/19 season when they won seven in a row at home to round out the campaign.
  • Try machine George Horne is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS

SHARKS

Cole Forbes
Kyle Steyn
Sione Tuipulotu
Sam Johnson
Rufus McLean
Ross Thompson
George Horne

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Curwin Bosch
Yaw Penxe
Werner Kok
Murray Koster
Thaakir Abrahams
Boeta Chamberlain
Ruan Pienaar

Jamie Bhatti
Fraser Brown
Murray McCallum
Scott Cummings
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Tom Gordon
Jack Dempsey

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Khwezi Mona
Fez Mbatha
Thomas du Toit
Le Roux Roets
Ruben van Heerden
Dylan Richardson
Gerbrandt Grobler
Phepsi Buthelezi (c)

George Turner
Brad Thyer
Murphy Walker
Lewis Bean
Ally Miller
Jamie Dobie
Peter Horne
Stafford McDowall

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Kerron van Vuuren
Nthuthuko Mchunu
Lourens Adriaanse
Hyron Andrews
Thembelani Bholi
James Venter
Tian Meyer
Jeremy Ward

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Club debuts:

  • Murphy Walker
  • Ally Miller

Home debuts:

  • Sione Tuipulotu
  • Murray McCallum
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Brad Thyer

Home re-debut:

  • Jamie Bhatti

First competitive match in front of the Scotstoun faithful:

  • Cole Forbes
  • Rufus McLean
  • Ross Thompson
  • Richie Gray
  • Lewis Bean

In all, just 12 of the Glasgow squad have previously played a competitive match for the Warriors in front of a home crowd at Scotstoun.

Warrior to Watch:

Last week against Ulster, George Horne kicked off the season doing what he does best – scoring tries. The pint-sized scrum half notched the 40th five-pointer of his top level career (34 for Glasgow and 6 for Scotland) when he crossed at Ravenhill.

Averaging a try for every 85 minutes played, wee George has re-defined try scoring for the Warriors – he can genuinely lay claim to being the best 9 in the world in this facet of the game. With Ali Price taking an extended rest, the opportunity is there for the younger Horne to show there’s more to his game than just tries though. Against Ulster he put in a huge defensive effort. Danny Wilson will be looking for the scrum half to lead the way with his kicking game over the next 9 months.

Competition for places is only likely to push George to greater heights. The aforementioned Price will soon return. Jamie Dobie will be breathing down both the senior scrum halves necks. Horne’s status as Scotland’s number 2 number 9 will also be under threat from his old sparring partner at u20s level, Ben Vellacott, who has looked reinvigorated in his early appearances for Edinburgh.

One thing about the Horne boys – they never back down from a challenge and George will be right up for the fight.

Glasgow at home to South African opposition in the PRO14 era:

  • 4 wins
  • 4 try BPs
  • 20 points out of a possible 20 (100%)
  • It has been 23 months since the Warriors last game against a South African side* when they defeated the now defunct Southern Kings 50-0.

Officials:

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 76th competition game)
AR1: Finlay Brown (SRU)
AR2: Dunx McClement (SRU)
TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)

Mr Whitehouse’s regular season record for 2020/21 in the PRO14:

Matches – 11
Average penalty count – 21.4 per game
Home penalty percentage – 45%
Average card count – 1.7 per game
Penalties per card – 12.4

An unusual event this time out with Mr Whitehouse taking charge of Glasgow at home to the Sharks just 8 days after refereeing the Warriors away to Ulster. The most surprising thing might be that this isn’t the first occasion a ref has been the man the in the middle for consecutive Glasgow games – in fact it’s happened 4 times before, all with Welsh whistlers:

Tony Rowlands:

  • 12/05/00 Neath v Glasgow (Welsh-Scottish League)
  • 26/08/00 Caerphilly v Glasgow (Welsh-Scottish League)

James Jones:

  • 23/04/10 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster (Magners League)
  • 07/05/10 Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors (Magners League)

James Jones:

  • 08/01/11 Munster v Glasgow Warriors (Magners League)
  • 16/01/11 Glasgow Warriors v Wasps (Heineken Cup)

Nigel Owens:

  • 31/05/14 Leinster v Glasgow Warriors (PRO12)
  • 06/09/14 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster (PRO12)

Mr Jones is the only ref other ref who has managed back-to-back games in the same competition in the same season – but at least on that occasion both parties had a week in between to get a break from each other!


* Although arguably Sale Sharks could be classed as a South African side…

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