Need to Know: Glasgow Warriors v Exeter, Champions Cup match preview 2021/22

KO 5.30 at Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday 18th December 2021

Live on BT Sport 2

  • Glasgow have won 12, drawn 1 and lost 8 of their Champions Cup matches at home to English opposition, including 2 wins and a draw against Exeter.
  • From 2009 onwards that record reads won 9, drawn 1, lost 2.
  • The seemingly ageless Ian Whitten, Ben Moon and Robert Harley will be the only players to have featured in all 8 matches played between these two sides – the first of which was on 20th October 2013.
  • Whitten played 8 times versus the Warriors while he was with Ulster and his history against Glasgow stretches back to 7th March 2009 and a fixture at Ravenhill that saw the debuts of Richie Gray and Peter Horne.
  • 13 of Exeter’s starting XV and 17 of their 23 played when these sides met last season at Sandy Park. That’s compared to 7 of the XV and 9 of the 23 for Glasgow.
  • The precocious Rory Darge is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW WARRIORS

EXETER

Josh McKay
Kyle Steyn
Sione Tuipulotu
Sam Johnson
Cole Forbes
Ross Thompson
Ali Price (c)

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Stuart Hogg
Jack Nowell
Henry Slade
Ian Whitten
Tom O’Flaherty
Joe Simmonds
Jack Maunder

Jamie Bhatti
George Turner
Zander Fagerson
Scott Cummings
Richie Gray
Matt Fagerson
Rory Darge
Jack Dempsey

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Alec Hepburn
Luke Cowan-Dickie (c)
Sam Nixon
Jonny Gray
Jonny Hill
Dave Ewers
Sam Skinner
Sam Simmonds

Johnny Matthews
Oli Kebble
Enrique Pieretto
Kiran McDonald
Robert Harley
Thomas Gordon
George Horne
Duncan Weir

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Jack Yeandle
Ben Moon
Patrick Shickerling

Don Armand
Jannes Kirsten
Sam Maunder
Harvey Skinner
Tom Hendrickson

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Scott Cummings and Tom Gordon will both be playing at Scotstoun for the first time in 2½ months.

Once A Warrior:

There are two Centurions in the Exeter lineup – Warrior number 191, Stuart Hogg (who has more previous appearances for the club than anyone in Glasgow’s starting backline) and Warrior number 216, Jonny Gray (who has more previous appearances for the club than anyone in the Warriors’ starting pack). Jonny’s last game at Scotstoun was the 31 all draw between these two sides in the 2019/20 season.

Hoggy is currently 5th equal on Glasgow’s list of all-time try scorers. Richie’s wee brother was on a run of 170 tackles without a miss in the PRO14 when he left the club. Both of them need to come home soon to see how far they can extend those stats!

Matchday Milestones:

Between them, Richie Gray and Jonny Gray have played in 329 club matches at the professional level. Remarkably they haven’t shared the pitch in a single one of those fixtures – either on the same side or as opponents – so game number 330 will be something special as the giant brothers go head-to-head for the first time.

Given the 4½ year age difference it’s unlikely that the siblings ever played with or against each other at school or club level either. They have of course teamed up on 26 occasions for Scotland, starting 21 out of 31 Tests together between 8/1/14 and 11/3/17 in one of the national side’s best ever second row combinations.

Warrior to Watch:

Rory Darge is just 11 games into his Glasgow career but the 21-year old has already made the number 7 shirt his own. A precocious talent, who was playing for Scotland under 20s aged just 17, Rory has all the attributes required for a great openside.

He notched 2 turnovers in the teeth of a giant La Rochelle pack last week, having already put himself in the top ten in the United Rugby Championship for this stat. He carries way above his weight, using great footwork and aggressiveness to force his way through tackles. Add in his exceptionally consistent tackling and the parallels with Scotland’s incumbent at 7, Hamish Watson, start to mount up.

For now, the Warriors’ faithful can enjoy having all of Rory’s game time in a Glasgow jersey but the next RWC cycle could see Darge dominate the openside role for Scotland the way Watson has since 2016.

Glasgow at home to Exeter in the Champions Cup:

20/10/13 Scotstoun Report

Glasgow Warriors 20
T: Tim Swinson, Tyrone Holmes
C: Ruaridh Jackson (2)
P: Ruaridh Jackson (2)
Exeter 16
T: Dave Ewers
C: Henry Slade
P: Gareth Steenson (3)

20/10/18 Scotstoun Report

Glasgow Warriors 28
T: Stuart Hogg, Penalty Try, Tommy Seymour, Matt Fagerson
C: Finn Russell (3)
Exeter 21
T: Sam Simmonds, Don Armand, Ian Whitten
C: Gareth Steenson (3)

11/01/20 Scotstoun Report

Glasgow Warriors 31
T: Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, George Horne, Niko Matawalu
C: Adam Hastings (4)
P: Adam Hastings
Exeter 31
T: Nic White, Matt Kvesic (2), Jacques Vermeulen
C: Joe Simmonds (4)
P: Joe Simmonds

Previous match-up at Scotstoun:

This fixture was the last time Glasgow played a home game in the Champions Cup – a gap of 708 days.

Officials:

Referee: Pierre Brousset (FFR)
AR1: Luc Ramos (FFR)
AR2: Flavien Hourquet (FFR)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (FFR)

M. Brousset’s regular season record for 2020/21:

Matches – 15
Average penalty count – 22.0 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 46.5%
Average card count – 1.5 per game
Penalties per card – 15.0

Assuming he isn’t caught up in the travel restrictions that have affected French clubs this weekend, this will be M. Brousset’s first time refereeing the Warriors. In fact, this will be the first Warriors v Exeter at Scotstoun fixture reffed by anyone other than Romain Poite who was the man in the middle for all three previous encounters in Glasgow.

The home side have one of the poorer disciplinary records in the URC – ranked 12th in penalties conceded – whereas their visitors are ranked 2nd for this stat in the Premiership. Ultimately though there is a differential of just 1.2 penalties per game between the two sides. With a raucous Scotstoun crowd behind them can the Warriors manage to get the better of the penalty count for a change?


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

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