Need to Know: Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors, United Rugby Championship match preview 2022/23

KO 7.35 at BT Murrayfield
Friday 30th December 2022

Live on Viaplay 1

  • This will be the 51st time in the last 150 years that these two sides have clashed in Edinburgh (at Raeburn Place, Murrayfield, Inverleith, Myreside, Meggetland, Goldenacre, Easter Road and Meadowbank).
  • In those previous 50 meetings, Edinburgh have 32 wins, Glasgow 11 and there have been 7 draws.
  • The Warriors are looking for their third consecutive away win – a feat they haven’t achieved since October 2017.
  • Edinburgh are looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat in the league – something they haven’t suffered since losing 5 in a row across the end of the 2019/20 season and the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign.
  • The home side have scored 999 points under head coach Mike Blair at a rate of 27.0 points per game and including 3.65 tries per game. That’s compared to 22.7 ppg and 2.77 tpg in four seasons under Richard Cockerill.
  • The Glasgow pack weighs in at 948kg – actually 1kg lighter than their heaviest starting 8 this season, for their away fixture against Zebre.

Teams

EDINBURGH

GLASGOW

E. BOFFELLI (25)
W. Goosen (6)
M. BENNETT (77)
J. LANG (29)
D. VD MERWE (71)
B. KINGHORN (126)
H. PYRGOS (78)

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

O. SMITH (22)
S. CANCELLIERE (18)
S. TUIPULOTU (28)
S. McDowall (45)
K. STEYN (56) (c)
T. Jordan (10)
A. PRICE (118)

B. Venter (37)
T. Cruse (3)
W.P. NEL (181)
S. SKINNER (5)
G. GILCHRIST (183) (c)
J. RITCHIE (92) (c)
L. CROSBIE (79)
V. MATA (105)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

J. BHATTI (77)
F. BROWN (131)
L. SORDONI (5)
S. Manjezi (10)
R. GRAY (92)
M. FAGERSON (85)
S. VAILANU (6)
J. DEMPSEY (28)

P. Harrison (9)
P. SCHOEMAN (92)
A. Williams (18)

M. SYKES (32)
C. Boyle (26)
C. Shiel (49)
C. Savala (21)
C. Hutchison (14)

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

G. TURNER (85)
N. McBeth (10)
S. BERGHAN (19)
J.P. du Preez (9)
L. Bean (25)
C. Neild (2)
G. HORNE (88)
D. MIOTTI (12)

(players in CAPITALS are full internationals; figures in brackets are previous appearances for Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors)

Tale of the Tape:

BACKS
106 Tries 53
93kg Average weight 95kg
6 Capped players 5
412 Appearances 297
28.6 Average age 26.5

FORWARDS
899kg Pack weight 948kg
60 Tries 51
6 Capped players 7
685 Appearances 434
30.0 Average age 28.7

SUBS
24 Tries 56
2 Capped players 4
261 Appearances 250
24.6 Average age 28.6

Back 3 – ADV EDINBURGH

Centres – ADV GLASGOW

Half Backs – EVEN

Front Row – ADV GLASGOW

Second Row – ADV Edinburgh

Back Row – ADV EDINBURGH

Subs – ADV GLASGOW

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:

After 10 players made their 1872 Cup debuts at Scotstoun, this time round, Wes Goosen is the only one of the 46 men named who has never played in this fixture before.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinburghers:

Last week’s dual pro team players are all present and correct again for another go at their former teams (Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, Simon Berghan and Henry Pyrgos) and are joined by ex-Glasgow man – and King of Cumnock – Mark Bennett.

Ones to Watch:

Despite there being no fewer than 24 capped Scotland internationals on show at Murrayfield it’s actually pretty tricky to find players going directly head to head for a Test jersey. One such battle could take place in the boiler room, between a couple of wily veterans – 32 year old Grant Gilchrist and 33 year old Richie Gray.

Whilst they were in tandem during the Autumn Nations Series it feels like they could be fighting it out for the heavyweight, lineout technician slot in the second row, to be paired alongside a dynamic lock such as Sam Skinner or Scott Cummings – form and fitness permitting of course.

Gray was last season’s lord of the lineout, topping the URC charts with 12 steals. That stat is being shared around by more Glasgow players this season, as opposition teams simply look to avoid the human lighthouse. The big man has responded with a far more rounded game though and his best form in years.

While his opposite number has the edge on effective carrying, Gilchrist is a much bigger contributor on the other side of the ball, averaging 11 tackles per game in the league with a 94% success rate. Both players will know the scrutiny from the stands will be even more intense than usual – but equally, both will be primarily concerned with their performances delivering a crucial win and URC points for their side.

Glasgow’s record versus Edinburgh in league fixtures at Murrayfield:

  • 5 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 16 losses
  • 0 try BPs
  • 7 losing BPs
  • 29 points out of a possible 110 (26%)

Previous match-up at Murrayfield:

Officials:

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
AR1: Hollie Davidson (SRU)
AR2: Ian Kenny (SRU)
TMO: Mike Adamson (SRU)

Mr Grove-White’s regular season record so far in 2022/23:

Matches – 9
Average penalty count – 17.7 per game
Home side penalties conceded percentage – 49.0%
Average card count – 0.9 per game
Penalties per card – 19.9

Mr Grove-White has taken charge of one previous 1872 cup match – a 10 – 7 win for the home side at BT Murrayfield in January 2021 (Glasgow lost the penalty count 18 – 9). His only other outing as the man in the middle for a Glasgow game came when they beat the Ospreys 30 – 25 at Scotstoun in March 2021 although the Warriors did lose the penalty count 9 – 7 and had Ollie Smith and TJ Ioane yellow carded.


Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=4

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