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January 12, 2018

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors

Posted by Editor on January 12, 2018 09:57 PM | No comments | Print | E-mail author

Peter Horne is the Warrior to Watch
Disco looks ahead to Glasgow's Champions Cup match against Leinster in Dublin.

You can read Disco's thoughts on Glasgow's pursuit of the PRO14 title and European campaign as well as Scotland's international fortunes, at his excellent blog Top of the Moon.

KO 1.00 at the RDS Arena, Sunday 14th January 2018
Live on Sky Sports Action

This week's Glasgow Warriors' selection meeting would have been done and dusted in record time. Of the 41 man Champions Cup squad 14 are out injured. Academy hooker Grant Stewart was added but excluding an entire spare front row (Kebble, Malcolm and Nicol) Dave Rennie and co. only had to select 23 from 25 players. Finn Russell and Jonny Gray are the lucky 2 rested as Glasgow head into the game with 4 scrum halves in their squad...

Champions Cup stats:

The Warriors have only won 1 Champions Cup match away to an Irish side - 20 years ago they beat Ulster at Ravenhill in Glasgow's very first game in the tournament.

Historically Round 5 has been the Warriors' best in the tournament with a 50% winning percentage.
This will be Glasgow's 4th visit to Dublin for European action (3rd at the RDS with one trip to Donnybrook). The average margin of defeat in those previous games is a rather intimidating 25 points.

Leinster's Devin Toner has more previous Champions Cup appearances (59) than the entire Warriors's pack combined (58).

Teams

Leinster

15 Jordan Larmour

14 Fergus McFadden
13 Robbie Henshaw
12 Isa Nacewa (Captain)
11 James Lowe

10 Jonny Sexton
9 Luke McGrath

1 Jack McGrath
2 Sean Cronin
3 Tadhg Furlong
4 Devin Toner
5 Scott Fardy
6 Jordi Murphy
7 Josh van der Flier
8 Jack Conan

Substitutes

16 Brian Byrne
17 Cian Healy
18 Andrew Porter
19 James Ryan
20 Dan Leavy
21 Nick McCarthy
22 Ross Byrne
23 Rob Kearney

Glasgow Warriors

15 Ruaridh Jackson

14 Lee Jones
13 Huw Jones
12 Nick Grigg
11 Nikola Matawalu

10 Peter Horne
9 Ali Price

1 Jamie Bhatti
2 George Turner
3 Siua Halanukonuka
4 Robert Harley (Captain)
5 Greg Peterson
6 Matt Fagerson
7 Matt Smith
8 Adam Ashe

Substitutes

16 Grant Stewart
17 Alex Allan
18 D'arcy Rae
19 Kiran McDonald
20 Chris Fusaro
21 George Horne
22 Brandon Thomson
23 Henry Pyrgos

Starting XV stats:

BACKS

Champions Cup tries
Leinster - 38
Glasgow - 21

Champions Cup appearances
Leinster - 193
Glasgow - 130

Average age
Leinster - 27.9
Glasgow - 27.2

Capped players
Leinster - 5
Glasgow - 7

Irish / Scottish qualified
Leinster - 5
Glasgow - 6

FORWARDS

Pack weight
Leinster - 891kg
Glasgow - 880kg

Champions Cup appearances
Leinster - 207
Glasgow - 58

Average age
Leinster - 28.4
Glasgow - 25.1

Capped players
Leinster - 8
Glasgow - 6

Irish / Scottish qualified
Leinster - 7
Glasgow - 6

Glasgow Greetings:
Sunday could see the 12th Warriors' debutant of the season in the shape of Grant Stewart - who would be the 6th Academy player to feature in 2017/18. As seems to be the fashion for hookers these days Grant has shown he is equally comfortable playing in the back row, often turning out at openside for Glasgow Hawks in the BT Premiership. Brandon Thomson will make his first Champions Cup appearance if he comes off the bench.

Matchday Milestones:
Robert Harley continues to power through the appearances as he chases down Graeme Morrison's record of 177 games for Glasgow. This week will see Rob making his 150th start for the club - a feat only achieved by a couple of other Warriors' legends - the aforementioned Morrison (156) and The Captain himself, Al Kellock (152).

Warriors One to Watch:
Peter Horne is a player who can fly under the radar somewhat but he's one of the beating hearts of the club on and off the pitch. Pete is the longest serving player among the backs having made his debut back in March 2009. On that day he came off the bench at Ravenhill, replacing José María Núñez Piossek and uniting with Ruaridh Jackson in a centre pairing that certainly wasn't designed for crash ball tactics!

In the last couple of seasons Pete has been deployed more often at stand off than his usual inside centre berth (14 starts at 10 versus 9 starts at 12). Against Leinster he'll be contending with a home defence that will be in his face from minute one. If Glasgow are to have any chance of pulling off an upset victory then Horne the Elder's success dealing with that pressure and putting the team in the right areas of the pitch will be crucial.

Glasgow's Track Record...

...against Irish sides in the pool stages of the European Cup:

3 wins (2 at home, 1 away)
8 losses (4 at home, 4 away)

Key stats from Round 2:

The Good
34: tackles made by the second row pairing of Jonny Gray and Tim Swinson - with none missed. That's the kind of consistency the entire pack will need to aspire to if they are to contain the Leinster eight this time around.

The Bad
40: number of passes made by Finn Russell. It maybe seems like an odd stat to pick out as a negative but it illustrates how a combination of Glasgow inaccuracy in attack and Leinster intensity in defence made the Warriors' life very difficult indeed going forward. In all Finn had 50 touches of the ball - with those kind of numbers Glasgow would expect to be picking teams apart but it was very much a case of quantity over quality.

By contrast Jonny Sexton and Ross Byrne only made 13 passes from stand off for Leinster - but working behind an advancing pack that was more than enough for them to run the show and find the 4 tries they needed for the Bonus Point win.

The Ugly
40: minutes on the clock when Leinster scored their second try. The raw numbers don't actually paint that bad a picture for Glasgow, there are no stats that really jump out and say this is where the game was lost. Those championship minutes just before half-time really did swing momentum in favour of the visitors though.

The game was tied at 10-10 and there were only a couple of minutes left in the opening period when the Warriors won a penalty close to half-way. Instead of Glasgow edging in front at the interval the whistle blew with Leinster 17-10 ahead. So how did things switch around so quickly?

Decision making:
Instead of going to the corner and a chance for a try (and running the clock right down to half-time) Glasgow opted for a speculative shot at goal - and missed.

Handling errors:
Jonny Sexton sent the subsequent drop-out up towards the Warriors' half. With literally seconds left in the first 40 minutes the home team knocked the ball on from first phase possession.

The scrum:
Leinster had an advantage at the setpiece all afternoon but the impending break seemed to concentrate their minds for one concerted effort (while Glasgow seemed to almost switch off a little) and the most powerful drive of the day won a penalty to keep the play alive.

Defending the maul:
In contrast to Glasgow the visitors opted to go down the line. Sexton's kick wasn't perfect but it didn't matter as the Leinster maul rumbled and rolled in from the lineout with the Warriors' pack seemingly powerless to stop its progress.

A microcosm of negative side of this season then with some of the key issues that Glasgow have faced in this campaign as they seek to step up a level - particularly in Europe. The scrum has improved since October, as has the maul defence (although both will be tested as never before on Sunday afternoon). Decision-making still seems to be a work in progress, especially in the absence of some key leaders.

It's handling errors that have really held the team back at times though, snuffing out attacks and handing the opposition good field position. If the Warriors can protect the ball better without losing their attacking flair then they will at least be able to consistently challenge a very good Leinster defence.

Home and Away:
Leinster last 6 Champions Cup pool matches (H) - W W W W W W
Glasgow last 6 Champions Cup pool matches (A) - L L W W L L

Officials:
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Ita, 17th competition game)
AR1: Matteo Lipperini (Ita)
AR2: Simone Baoretto (Ita)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Ita)

Sig. Mitrea's record in Warriors' fixtures over the previous 4 seasons:

Matches - 6 (118 for all refs)
Average penalty count - 22.5 (19.1 all refs)
Average penalties for Glasgow - 9.0 (9.6 all refs)
Average penalties against Glasgow - 13.5 (9.5 all refs)
Yellow cards - 7 in total (1.0 per game all refs)

Glasgow have struggled to get on Sig. Mitrea's good side in recent years. Not only have they conceded 50% more penalties than their opponents they've also picked up 6 of the 7 yellow cards the Italian whistler has brandished in these games. Given the threadbare nature of Sunday's squad (only 3 first choice players in the starting XV) the Warriors simply cannot afford to play short-handed at any stage.

Previous Matches with Leinster
Sunday January 14 2018
Leinster 55 19 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday November 3 2017
Glasgow Warriors 31 21 Leinster Match Report
Saturday October 21 2017
Glasgow Warriors 18 34 Leinster Match Report
Friday April 28 2017
Leinster 31 30 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday September 10 2016
Glasgow Warriors 33 25 Leinster Match Report
Friday March 18 2016
Glasgow Warriors 12 6 Leinster Match Report
Saturday December 5 2015
Glasgow Warriors P P Leinster Match Report
Friday October 23 2015
Leinster 23 18 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday March 27 2015
Leinster 34 34 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday September 6 2014
Glasgow Warriors 22 20 Leinster Match Report
Saturday May 31 2014
Leinster 34 12 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday March 1 2014
Leinster 28 25 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday September 20 2013
Glasgow Warriors 12 6 Leinster Match Report
Saturday May 11 2013
Leinster 17 15 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday March 23 2013
Leinster 22 17 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday November 23 2012
Glasgow Warriors 0 6 Leinster Match Report
Saturday May 12 2012
Leinster 19 15 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday February 25 2012
Glasgow Warriors 10 10 Leinster Match Report
Sunday January 15 2012
Glasgow Warriors 16 23 Leinster Rugby Match Report
Sunday November 20 2011
Leinster Rugby 38 13 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday September 17 2011
Leinster 19 23 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday May 6 2011
Leinster 38 3 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday September 3 2010
Glasgow Warriors 22 19 Leinster Match Report
Friday April 23 2010
Glasgow Warriors 30 6 Leinster Match Report
Thursday March 18 2010
Leinster 20 14 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday January 8 2010
Leinster P P Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday April 25 2009
Leinster 36 13 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday October 24 2008
Glasgow Warriors 15 12 Leinster Match Report
Friday March 21 2008
Leinster 34 18 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday October 12 2007
Glasgow Warriors 21 17 Leinster Match Report
Friday April 6 2007
Glasgow Warriors 26 20 Leinster Match Report
Friday November 10 2006
Leinster 38 23 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Sunday May 7 2006
Glasgow Warriors 18 21 Leinster Match Report
Saturday January 14 2006
Leinster 46 22 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Sunday October 30 2005
Glasgow Warriors 20 33 Leinster Match Report
Saturday September 10 2005
Leinster 26 21 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday April 29 2005
Leinster 33 24 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Saturday April 16 2005
Glasgow Warriors 23 30 Leinster Match Report
Friday November 26 2004
Leinster 22 16 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday April 2 2004
Leinster Lions 31 30 Glasgow Warriors Match Report
Friday October 31 2003
Glasgow Warriors 10 31 Leinster Lions Match Report