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

KO 2.55 at the Sportsground
Saturday 29th January 2022

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • For the first time in nearly six years the Warriors will travel to Galway for a game that is not the opening fixture of the season.
  • Glasgow are playing Connacht at the Sportsground for the 20th time. The visitors won just twice in their first 10 attempts but have triumphed in 6 out of the last 9 matches at this venue.
  • At an average age of 27.3 years this is the oldest starting lineup so far this season for the Warriors. The pack averages 29.3 years old with Tom Gordon (who turns 25 on Sunday) the youngest player among the forwards.
  • Flying Pumas winger (or is he?) Sebastian Cancelliere is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

CONNACHT

GLASGOW

Tiernan O’Halloran
Alex Wootton
Tom Farrell
Sammy Arnold
Diarmuid Kilgallen
Cathal Forde
Kieran Marmion

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Ollie Smith
Sebastian Cancelliere
Kyle Steyn
Sione Tuipulotu
Rufus McLean
Duncan Weir
George Horne

Jordan Duggan
Dave Heffernan
Greg McGrath
Ultan Dillane
Leva Fifita
Eoghan Masterson
Jarrad Butler (c)
Paul Boyle

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Oli Kebble
Fraser Brown (c)
Enrique Pieretto
Kiran McDonald
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Thomas Gordon
Jack Dempsey

Shane Delahunt
Denis Buckley
Tietie Tuimauga

Oisin Dowling
Sean Masterson
Colm Reilly
Shayne Bolton
Oran McNulty

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Johnny Matthews
Jamie Bhatti
Simon Berghan
Lewis Bean
Ally Miller
Jamie Dobie
Ross Thompson
Stafford McDowall

Head to Head:

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

Matchday Milestones:

12 years and 329 days since he made his first appearance (in what was then the Magners’ League) Richie Gray will play his 50th match in the tournament that has morphed into the United Rugby Championship.

Warrior to Watch:

Glasgow’s fans have history with Argentinian back 3 players which is one of the reasons why many will be excited for a rare sighting of Sebastian Cancelliere. The Pumas winger has the misfortune to be trying to win a place in a pretty competitive area of the Warriors’ squad but the game against Connacht hopefully brings a chance for him to show what he is capable of.

Wherever he has played tries have never tended to be in short supply – he’s scored 100 for clubs and country. There must be more to his game than just finishing though as he has also turned out as a scrum half for both Hindu and (in non-cap matches) Argentina XVs.

Remarkably four fixtures for Argentina in the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship saw him form a half back pairing with another future Warrior as Domingo Miotti started at stand off! To further enhance the ‘it’s a small world’ vibes the Argentina XV full back for their final game against the USA was former Glasgow player Gabriel Ascarate.

While the chances of him covering 9 in a game for Glasgow might be slim surely there’s the option of some trick plays with Sebastian at scrum half and wee George Horne on the wing?!?

Glasgow away to Connacht in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • 6 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 2 losses
  • 3 try BPs
  • 2 losing BPs
  • 31 points out of a possible 45 (69%)
  • The Warriors also lost their playoff semi-final at the Sportsground in 2015/16

Previous match-up at the Sportsground:

Officials:

Referee: Nic Berry (RA, 1st league game)
AR1: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU)
AR2: Stuart Douglas (IRFU)
TMO: Brett Cronan (RA)

Mr Berry’s record for 2021/22:

Matches – 13
Average penalty count – 21.8 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 47.7%
Average card count – 1.2 per game
Penalties per card – 17.7

Mr Berry’s previous elite level club match was Rebels v Crusaders in Melbourne last June as part of the Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition. On his URC debut, Connacht v Glasgow in Galway might come as a bit of a culture shock!

The ref can doubt look forward to some supportive comments from fellow Ozzies, Jack Dempsey and Jarrad Butler. Between the two combative back rows and the scrum halves – who will no doubt be in his ear all afternoon – Mr Berry is unlikely to get much peace.

The primary reason for Mr Berry’s sojourn in the Northern Hemisphere is the upcoming Six Nations. Gregor Townsend will undoubtedly be an interested spectator as the Australian official will take charge of Wales v Scotland in a fortnight’s time.


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

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