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

KO 8.15 at Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 11th February 2022

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • There are just three players in the Warriors’ XV who started the last encounter between these two clubs in 2020/21 – Robbie Fergusson, Ryan Wilson and Tom Gordon. In total there are 18 changes from the Glasgow 23 from that last fixture.
  • For Munster, seven players return in the starting lineup and there are 13 changes to their matchday squad.
  • Remarkably, academy lock/back row Cian Hurley is line to be the 59th player used by the visitors this season. By contrast, Robbie Fergusson will be the 43rd Warrior to see game time during this campaign.
  • With an average age of 28.2 years this is the oldest starting lineup selected by Glasgow so far in 2021/22. In the XV, there are more players born in the 1980s (3) than in the 2000s (2).
  • Bemulleted flanker Tom Gordon is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

GLASGOW

MUNSTER

Ollie Smith
Sebastian Cancelliere
Robbie Fergusson
Sam Johnson
Rufus McLean
Duncan Weir
George Horne

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Mike Haley
Shane Daly
Chris Farrell
Rory Scannell
Simon Zebo
Ben Healy
Neil Cronin

Oli Kebble
Fraser Brown (c)
Simon Berghan
Scott Cummings
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Thomas Gordon
Jack Dempsey

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Jeremy Loughman
Diarmuid Barron
Stephen Archer
Jean Kleyn
Fineen Wycherley
Jack O’Donoghue (c)
Chris Cloete
Gavin Coombes

Johnny Matthews
Nathan McBeth
Enrique Pieretto
Kiran McDonald
Ally Miller
Jamie Dobie
Domingo Miotti
Stafford McDowall

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Kevin O’Byrne
Josh Wycherley
John Ryan

Cian Hurley
Alex Kendellen
Paddy Patterson
Jack Crowley
Josh Hodnett

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

Warrior number 250, Robbie Fergusson, returns for what feels like it has to go down as a third debut! The former Ayr player first appeared for the club against the Scarlets in the opening game of the 2015/16 season. He then came back in 2020/21 when he redebuted against Ulster before heading off to play 7s at the Tokyo Olympics. Now Robbie’s third spell with the Warriors kicks off with another tough test against Munster.

Matchday Milestones:

Oli Kebble will play his 50th game in the United Rugby Championship. His first match in the competition came back in September 2017 when he was welcomed to northern hemisphere rugby with gale force winds and torrential rain at the Sportsground against Connacht. The big prop did well to stick it out after a start like that…

Warrior to Watch:

Until the arrival of a certain flanker from along the M8, Tom Gordon had made a fine job of nailing down the number 7 jersey left up for grabs by the departure of Callum Gibbins. The former Currie Chieftains man was a regular starter during the 2020/21 PRO14 campaign but has had to bide his time so far this season.

This game will represent the first time that Tom has managed consecutive starts for Glasgow since Rory Darge arrived at the club in April last year. Gordon’s performance away to Connacht a fortnight ago certainly didn’t suggest a shortage of minutes had dulled his edge in any way. The mullet was flying and he was just as much of a pain for the opposition as he was when he announced himself to the Warriors’ faithful with a Man of the Match showing against Edinburgh a couple of years back.

While he plays the game with ferocious energy his performances are actually remarkably controlled. He returned a tackle completion rate of 97% during 2020/21 and has yet to miss a tackle in this campaign. Despite being in the middle of all the chaos at the breakdown, he conceded penalties at the lowest rate of any Glasgow forward last season – one for every 241 minutes of game time.

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

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

Previous match-up at Scotstoun:

Officials:

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 12th league game)
AR1: Keith Allen (SRU)
AR2: David Sutherland (SRU)
TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Sig. Gnecchi’s regular season record for 2020/21:

Matches – 9
Average penalty count – 21.0 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 50.3%
Average card count – 1.2 per game
Penalties per card – 17.1

Signore Gnecchi will make his second trip to Scotstoun of the season. On his Warriors’ debut…well, let’s just say it didn’t go too well for the home side. In a game during which the visiting Lions really couldn’t string together much in the way of attacking play, Glasgow’s continuous concession of penalties gave the South African side a lifeline and kept them in the match until the death.

Stand in coach, Nigel Carolan, will be expecting much better from his charges than the 15 penalties and free kicks they conceded in October (compared to 7 by the Lions).


Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=6

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