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

KO 3.15 at RDS Arena
Saturday 4th June 2022

Live on Premier Sports 2

  • Glasgow and Leinster will meet for the 53rd time – the only opponent the Warriors have faced on more occasions is Edinburgh.
  • Glasgow have won 15 matches in this series, with just 2 of those victories coming at the RDS (in 2011/12 and 2018/19).
  • Previous appearances for Leinster / Glasgow:
    • Backs – 614 v 310
    • Forwards – 508 v 841
    • Subs – 1,001 v 416
  • The Warriors have more British and Irish Lions in their starting lineup (3) than their hosts (1) – although Leinster can call on another 3 Lions from the bench.
  • In what could be his final game for Glasgow, Robert John Harley is the Warrior to Watch.

Teams

LEINSTER

GLASGOW

Jimmy O’Brien
Jordan Larmour
Garry Ringrose
Ciaran Frawley
Rory O’Loughlin
Ross Byrne
J Gibson-Park

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Ollie Smith
Josh McKay
Sione Tuipulotu
Sam Johnson
Rufus McLean
Ross Thompson
Ali Price

Andrew Porter
Dan Sheehan

Tadhg Furlong
Joe McCarthy
James Ryan (c)
Ryan Baird
Josh van der Flier
Caelan Doris

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Jamie Bhatti
George Turner
Zander Fagerson
Robert Harley
Richie Gray
Ryan Wilson (c)
Gregor Brown
Jack Dempsey

Sean Cronin
Cian Healy
Michael Ala’alatoa
Ross Molony

Jack Conan
Luke McGrath
Harry Byrne
Robbie Henshaw

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Fraser Brown
Oli Kebble
Simon Berghan
Lewis Bean
Kiran McDonald
Thomas Gordon
George Horne
Domingo Miotti

Head to Head:

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

Glasgow Greetings:

George Horne is in line for his first appearance for 106 days while Gregor Brown makes just his second start for the club with the previous occasion coming nearly 15 months ago.

Matchday Milestones:

This will be Danny Wilson’s 50th game in charge of the Warriors. He is the sixth Glasgow coach to reach this mark:

  • Sean Lineen – 163 matches
  • Gregor Townsend – 147 matches
  • Richie Dixon – 91 matches
  • Dave Rennie – 77 matches
  • Hugh Campbell – 76 matches
  • Danny Wilson – 50 matches

Warrior to Watch:

11 years and 9 months ago, Rob Harley made his Glasgow debut against Leinster at Firhill. On Saturday afternoon he could play his final match for the club against the same opponents at the RDS.

This will be Bob’s 206th game in the URC / PRO14 / PRO12 / Magners League. That takes him to 5th equal all-time for league appearances alongside Ross Ford. The only other man to play more than 200 games for a single club in URC history is John Muldoon (who featured 254 times for Connacht).

It’s never easy saying goodbye to players but this one will be especially tough. Rob has been part of the fabric of the club during the most successful 10 years of its existence. He has been a central figure on and off the pitch and his absence will leave a big gap to fill.

Everyone involved with the Warriors will be hoping Glasgow can upset the odds and that the Ginger Ninja gets one last dance at Scotstoun next week (in what would be his 100th competitive appearance at the ground) and a chance of playing in a fourth playoff final.

Glasgow versus Leinster in the playoffs:

07/12/01 at Landsdowne Road:
Celtic League semi-final
Leinster 35 – 13 Glasgow (report)

The Warriors weren’t really able to get close to a classy Leinster backline featuring the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey, Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan. Current Leinster head coach, Leo Cullen, started in the second row.

12/05/12 at RDS Arena:
PRO12 semi-final
Leinster 19 – 15 Glasgow (report)

Richie Gray and Rob Harley both started for Glasgow in a game jn which the visitors didn’t really fire a shot until it was too late, when both Dougie Hall and Stuart Hogg crossed for tries.

11/05/13 at RDS Arena:
PRO12 semi-final
Leinster 17 – 15 Glasgow (report)

A late missed conversion prevented the Warriors from evening the scores with just minutes remaining, while Leinster had the composure to see out the frantic final monents of the game.

31/05/14 at RDS Arena:
PRO12 final
Leinster 34 – 12 Glasgow (report)

The Warriors’ first ever trip to the big show saw them look a little overawed at a sun-drenched RDS Arena. This may have stood them in good stead for another final 12 months later but at the time it was a chastening experience for a team on the up.

25/05/19 at Celtic Park:
PRO14 final
Glasgow 15 – 18 Leinster (report)

Warriors’ fans were left wondering what might have been. Not least if the weather had turned out a bit better as Leinster mastered the conditions with a controlled performance that shut down run and gun Glasgow at the very peak of the Dave Rennie era.

Officials:

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 23rd league game)
AR1: Craig Evans (WRU)
AR2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
TMO: Matteo Lipperini (FIR)

Sig. Piardi’s record for 2021/22:

Matches – 13
Average penalty count – 18.6 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 50.4%
Average card count – 1.2 per game
Penalties per card – 15.1

Sig. Piardi has only refereed Glasgow on one previous occasion – an away trip to face Zebre in March 2021. The Warriors did ultimately emerge victorious in that match but slipped to a 20-10 deficit earlhnin the second half, in no small part due to overlapping yellow cards dished out by the Italian official to Sam Johnson and Ollie Smith.

It may not feel like it to Glasgow’s fans but they are above average when it comes to discipline in the league, 7th best out of 16 teams for penalties conceded – slightly ahead of 9th ranked Leinster. Given the home side’s normal efficiency in the 22, the Warriors will need to be at the very top of their game when it comes to controlling the penalty count if they are to have any chance of what would be their biggest win of the season.


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

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