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

KO 7.35 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 4th December 2021

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • Dragons 23-22 victory last December is the only win by a Welsh side at Scotstoun in the last two years.
  • There are only two survivors in the Warriors’ XV from the starting lineup in that defeat – Robert Harley and Ryan Wilson (Aki Seuili had the Glasgow number 1 shirt that night but will be on the opposite side on Saturday).
  • Dragons’ players Jamie Roberts and Tavis Knoyle have both been around so long that they have previously played against Glasgow at Firhill. Richie Gray, Robert Harley and Ryan Wilson are the only Warriors who played at the club’s old home.
  • Kyle Steyn’s only start in the 13 shirt since the PRO14 Final at Celtic Park came in November 2019 against Zebre. In the last 2½ years he has started 19 games on the wing.
  • Glasgow’s Test Lion Ali Price is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS

DRAGONS

Josh McKay
Sebastian Cancelliere
Kyle Steyn
Sione Tuipulotu
Cole Forbes
Ross Thompson
Ali Price

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Jordan Williams
Jonah Holmes
Aneurin Owen
Jamie Roberts
Rio Dyer
Sam Davies
Dan Babos

Oli Kebble
George Turner
Zander Fagerson
Robert Harley
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Rory Darge
Jack Dempsey

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Aki Seiuli
Ellis Shipp
Leon Brown
Will Rowlands
Joe Maksymiw
Harrison Keddie (c)
Ollie Griffiths
Aaron Wainwright

Johnny Matthews
Nathan McBeth
Murray McCallum
Lewis Bean
Kiran McDonald
Jamie Dobie
Domingo Miotti
Nick Grigg

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

James Benjamin
Josh Reynolds
Mesake Doge

Joe Davies
Huw Taylor
Tavis Knoyle
Josh Lewis
Adam Warren

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Josh McKay will be Warrior number 338 and Domingo Miotti will become number 339 when he comes off the bench. That will take the number of club debuts this season up to 11.

There will also be home debuts for both Sebastian Cancelliere and Nathan McBeth who have previously played away fixtures in Italy.

Once A Warrior:

Aki Seiuli’s time with Glasgow was sadly fairly brief – just over a year and a half with a Covid interruption to boot – but Warrior number 308 made a sizeable impression with his all action style and relentless workrate. The big prop only got to play half a dozen games in front of the Warriors’ faithful and there was no chance for a send off at the end of last season so hopefully he will get a warm ovation when he leaves the Scotstoun pitch on Saturday evening – in a Dragons’ loss of course!

Warrior to Watch:

As the only player ever to start a Lions’ Test match while a Glagow Warriors’ player, Ali Price occupies a pretty unique place in the club’s history. It’s back down to the nitty gritty on Saturday though as the scrum half makes just his seventh start at Scotstoun since the end of the 2018/19 season. (In that period he has started 13 matches at Murrayfield – 10 for Scotland and 3 for Glasgow.)

The half back pairing of Price and Ross Thompson is the 5th different combination used by the Warriors in 7 matches this season. As things stand, it’s likely that Danny Wilson will view this as his current first-choice pairing and he needs this duo to set the tone.

Seven years into his Glasgow career, Ali is one of the senior players now – he has more previous appearances for the Warriors (98) than the rest of the backline combined (75). The East Stand’s favourite will have a crucial role to play in the month of December. The Dragons’ fixture kicks off a series of very important matches and the club will need their experienced heads to the fore during this gap in Scotland duties.

Glasgow at home to Dragons in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • 7 wins
  • 2 losses
  • 5 try BPs
  • 1 losing BP
  • 34 points out of a possible 45 (76%)

Previous match-up:

Officials:

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 54th league game)
AR1: Ben Blain (SRU)
AR2: Dunx McClement (SRU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

Mr Murphy’s regular season record for 2020/21:

Matches – 18
Average penalty count – 21.6 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 45.6%
Average card count – 1.5 per game
Penalties per card – 14.3

This could be a perfect storm – the two teams with the worst disciplinary records in the United Rugby Championship and a referee who isn’t averse to dishing out the cards.

Mr Murphy was a regular for the Warriors last season, taking charge of five of their fixtures. In that time he issued a six yellow cards to Glasgow players as well as sending off Adam Hastings. Cole Forbes in particular will be keen to avoid an unwanted hat-trick having so far been sin binned both times he has played in fixtures officiated by Mr Murphy.


Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=3

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