Hogg’s back: European teams for the weekend

Those of us who were worried that Stuart Hogg’s shoulder surgery might have meant missing a fourth chance to play the All Blacks this year can rest a little easier.

He’s back this weekend, to take on Leinster.

Possibly he may try this by himself, but luckily Dave Rennie has another 22 players to give him a hand. Hogg is part of an all international back three of Leo Sarto and Tommy Seymour while Sam Johnson has the job of taking on the in-form Robbie Henshaw. The half backs remain the usual suspects and this game will hopefully be played at pace – although last weekend a lot of teams who usually play that way opted for much less positive approaches with the win-at-all-costs necessity of European rugby.

If Leinster do try and close Glasgow right down it wouldn’t be a surprise. If they can beat the hosts and perhaps deny them even a bonus they will know that all but ends their interest for this campaign and gives them one less thing to worry about. Glasgow on the other hand should be targeting a five pointer and denying Leinster anything to keep up with the furious pace of this Pool.

In the pack, that young first choice front row continues their baptism of fire – this time they will attempt to face off against Sean Cronin and two Lions props. With the scrum perhaps faring better than expected against Exeter (at least early in the game when Fraser Brown was on) this will be their toughest test yet, especially as Brown has injured his knee and will be out for 8 weeks. George Turner had a great game in the loose against Exeter but less so at set-piece so he’s got a bit to prove.

Jonny Gray, who many are talking up as the next Scotland captain (more on that over the weekend) partners Tim Swinson in the second row and the pack is completed by a pretty familiar unit of captain Wilson, Gibbins and Adam Ashe. Ashe has been perhaps the least impressive of the three so far this season despite some good games, but a strong ball carrying performance could put him in a great position with the Scotland squad set to be announced on Monday.

Glasgow Warriors: S Hogg, T Seymour, S Johnson, P Horne, L Sarto, F Russell, A Price; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson, T Swinson, J Gray, R Wilson, C Gibbins, A Ashe.
Replacements: P MacArthur, A Allan, D Rae, S Cummings, R Harley, H Pyrgos, N Grigg, L Jones

Leinster: J Carbery, F McFadden, R Henshaw, N Reid, B Daly, J Sexton, L McGrath, C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong, D Toner, S Fardy, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan
Replacements: J Tracy, J McGrath, M Bent, J Ryan, D Leavy, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, D Kearney

Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra)

Unavailable players: Brian Alainu’uese (knee), Bobby Beattie (illness), Fraser Brown (knee), Alex Dunbar (knee), Chris Fusaro (head), Rory Hughes (shoulder), Oli Kebble (foot), Paddy Kelly (ankle), Kiran MacDonald (thigh), Ratu Tagive (achilles), Richie Vernon (achilles), Samuela Vunisa (knee).

Edinburgh meanwhile are over in Russia to face Krasny Yar. Expect a frosty welcome from the side who beat Stade last weekend in Siberia – this match has been moved to Moscow for weather reasons — and Edinburgh will need to keep up the effort that saw them past London Irish last weekend. A win over in the Russian capital would put them in prime position for the pool with back to back matches with Stade to come.

Jason Tovey will once again direct things from 10 with James Johnstone back from injury and added to Edinburgh’s European squad but no sign of Dougie Fife this week, Hoyland and Brown the chosen wingers. Johnstone was very impressive in his previous game and partners with Junior Rasolea who is rewarded for his two tries last week with another start at 12. He’ll look to bring further dynamic to the midfield, something Edinburgh often lack. I don’t imagine playing in Moscow in late October was part of the plan when he left Australia though!

Richard Cockerill is still without his captain who has been benched with a self-inflicted head injury (Cockerill could pick up some tips from the KGB for the inquiry he says is to follow), so try-scorer Luke Crosbie is rewarded with a start at openside while erstwhile Western Force second row Lewis Carmichael returns to the Edinburgh fold at blindside. Jamie Ritchie has been rested from the look of things – might he appear in the Scotland squad come Monday?

The actual second rows are Bresler and Gilchrist with McKenzie on the bench. Up front it’s an experienced group with Allan Dell and WP Nel partnering Neil Cochrane (also captain) in the boilerhouse. There’s a lot of Georgian looking names in the Krasny Yar team. So, bruisers over athletes for this one… it will be a tussle in the forwards from the look of it.

Also returning to the fold are Fijian international Viliame Mata who is part of a competent looking bench. As with Glasgow’s trip to Exeter via South Africa, weathering the travel – and indeed the weather – could be the key in this one.

Krasny Yar: V Artemyev (capt), R Iagudin, I Galinovskiy, L Malaguradze, V Chaban, F Apikotoa, V Dorofeev; S Fukofuka, J Bregvadze, A Bitiev, A Mahu, A Garbuzov, V Gresev, V Arhip, A Ilin.
Replacements: A Kondakov, G Tsnobiladze, M Tsiklauri, E Zykov, A Khudiakov, A Riabov, E Kolomiitcev, K Golosnitskii.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn, D Hoyland J Johnstone J Rasolea, T Brown, J Tovey, S Hidalgo-Clyne, A Dell, N Cochrane (capt), WP Nel, A Bresler, G Gilchrist, L Carmichael, L Crosbie, C du Preez.
Replacements: S McInally, D Marfo, S Berghan, F McKenzie, V Mata, N Fowles, C Dean, G Bryce.

Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)

Sat 21st October, k.o 10.00 BST

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42 comments on “Hogg’s back: European teams for the weekend

  1. Neil on

    Thats one hell of a back 3 – Sarto , Seymour and Hogg , lets hope they are all on top form. nice to see cummings in the 23 , besides that though their is not much impact from the bench.

  2. TheSmidge on

    Initial thought on the Edinburgh selections in the pack, particularly the back row, is that heft has been opted for ahead of finesse. From all accounts, the Russians won the game last week by brutalising the Stade pack, so its not surprising to see a team picked to meet that threat.

  3. Alanyst on

    Leinster’s pack looks strong…I’ll watch in fear of every knock-on.

    Sexton & co will presumably look to play in the forward half, but will Glasgow run it from deep?

    Risky perhaps but one way to maximize advantage and minimize disadvantage…

    • Neil on

      Surprising thing about our scrum is when its our put in , i think we have the retention of ball more than most teams in pro 14 and champions cup , just not go forward

      • Iain Hay on

        If it keeps raining like it is just now, I’m very concerned. Front-row will be demolished at scrum-time, them Leinster lads know how to “go dark”, aka cheat.
        Finn v Sexton is the main point of interest for me. The crafty veteran Sexton may be a massive, whiny, injury-faking (Dunbar incident last year) person of I’ll standing, aka a ****, but he can ball.
        Peak Finn is just glorious in every facet. He gets belted late, he stands up, laughs, and thinks of cherry cola bottles.
        He could be the most important and inspirational player, so far, of this millennium for Scottish Rugby, even more so than Hogg.
        And now I’ve said that, he’ll probably have a shocker tomorrow.

  4. Not rocket science on

    Sarto for Jones (improvement); Johnson for Grigg (improvment); Hogg for Jackson (improvement); Turner for Brown (injury but maybe even…). Would have liked Mata on the bench, Jackson unlucky but probably still needs a rest after that Cheetahs try. Glad Cummings is there.

    Stats to one side. Healy, Cronin, Furlong is ominous.

  5. JohnMc on

    And now John Hardie’s been suspended from playing pending an internal investigation into some unspecified allegation! So, unless it’s an investigation conducted at light speed that clears him of whatever is alleged, there’s another top class player out of the reckoning for the AIs.

    • Andy Slow on

      Sounds serious and not ideal for Scotland going into the AIs. Hopefully he’s made a pass at Cockerill’s wife rather than failing a drugs test!

  6. Pio on

    Halanukonuka is playing for Tasman just now and just absolutely dismantled the LH he was up against. Him and Kebble will be needed as soon as possible

  7. FF on

    Not hard to see what the problems are. But…Rennie has only been in the saddle two months and we already have Kebble and the Tongan prop in the way to reinforce the pack. Question is whether given another season we’ll be playing Rennie’s style minus the bucketload of mistakes, and with a pack that can compete against the big boys, and whether we’ll have the class with Russell gone.

    I’d be happy with the season if Glasgow won the pro-12 again but Glasgow and Scotland need to solve this problem.

  8. pragmatic optomist on

    Tom English nailed it on the BBC. “That’s Glasgow’s European season as good as over after two games. Brutal reminder that Pro14 is peace-time rugby and Champions Cup is war”. So true.
    I do love the way that Glasgow play rugby, but the forwards just don’t have the grunt for an arm wrestle at the moment. All the other sides see this and target that area. Every game in Europe will be the same now, and probably the Pro 14 now as well. It really is more than an Achilles heel. Given their propensity for ‘knocking on’ and continually throwing away possession, they’re playing into the oppositions hands.
    I’ll be interested to see how Rennie deals with the situation now.

    • FF on

      Yep, style we are trying to play demands extremely high levels of execution. Otherwise…knock on, scrum, misery.

  9. Try Hard on

    Bit of an odd game to watch really. Glasgow look exciting in attack but were crying out for some leadership and directness when it mattered. Russell was guilty of over-playing a bit and needs a bit more patience. It looks like Price/Russell/Hogg have been given free reign to do pretty much whatever they want in attack and though their intention to go wide at every opportunity is admirable, I found myself wishing they’d trust the forwards more since Leinster weren’t committing any men to the ruck and the pick-and-gos were proving effective. Also the maul defence was a bit of a mess and that and Sexton’s commanding 2nd half performance were probably the difference between the teams

    Plenty of positives as well though. The obvious one was Hogg who, although Jackson has been very good, is a class above at the moment and completely justified his immediate re-entry into the team. Of the other backs Horne and Seymour also looked sharp.
    Scrum was a big worry coming into the game but for the most part the forwards held their own and didn’t get bullied too much.

    Unfortunately looks like Europe is over for this year so probably best focus on the league now. Showed enough promise to suggest we’ll do better next year but this was a murderous group and as a few others have said Glasgow are still somewhat in transition

    • TeamCam on

      I think that today was totally a coaching failure: it seemed to me that all the players put in 100% and some even had good games (the back three, for example), but the coaching team didn’t prepare correctly and didn’t react to changes in circumstance. If a bunch of nobodies on discussion boards across the land could predict what Exeter and Leinster were going to do – and what Montpellier are likely going to do – then why couldn’t seasoned professionals? The ERCC performances so far are both predictable and disappointing, and I believe the fans and the players deserve better.

      • Andy Slow on

        Ok but i’d be interested to hear your opinion on what they should have done differently. Which players are alternatives to the guys who played who could’ve changed the result? Criticise the coaches all you like but please offer some thoughts on tactics/selection which could’ve changed the outcome. Do you really think Rennie doesn’t realise teams are targeting Glasgow’s pack? Sadly our forwards are underpowered. Pace and skill can combat this to an extent but if the opposition are powerful and skilful then you’re in trouble. We miss Strauss massively and Gray is arguably our only big carrier.

        It’s easy to predict what’s coming, stopping it with the tools at your disposal is a different prospect entirely. Frustrating day but the team will improve.

      • TeamCam on

        Well, starting with the big picture: the signings. Good as they are, our back rows are all around 100kgs, which contributes to getting bosses around by bigger packs. Rennie’s going with lean, mobile players regardless of the opposition, and there’s no backup game plan if ‘rugby chaos’ doesn’t work. Exeter picked and went and scored. So did Leinster, so what was worked on in the week? Last season our scrum stood up and sometimes dominated, and our nail defence was solid. This year both those things just leak points. These are all symptoms of coaching issues, right? What i’d Do differently isn’t really relevant – i’m not a professional (or even amateur) coach. Plus i’ve got man flu and my brain is broken, hence the typos.

      • Andy Slow on

        I just find it hard to believe a coach that has won super rugby titles isn’t noticing or preparing/coaching how to defend pick and gos and lineout drives and hence if they are a continuing weaknesses it is a player issue, rather than a coaching problem. New coaches, new systems etc will take time to bed in and sometimes there isn’t a clever defensive trick to use over sheer grunt. Losing faith in a highly decorated and well regarded coach at this stage is, i feel, premature.

        Recruitment I’d say is a slightly different issue – I agree that our forwards are on the smaller side (incredible 100kg men are too small but that’s a different discussion!), but there is a limited budget and the team is there to feed the national side so developing the SQ players is part of a balancing act.

        On tactics, I would say is that we need to kick more for territory before the rugby chaos ensues. Rennie himself has said this a number of times, so again I’d say a player issue. Throwing a wet ball around the 22 is asking for trouble. Spectacular when it works but it has a low return.

        I think it will come good and someone will be subject to a pasting from us soon. Sadly it’s too late for Europe.

      • Try Hard on

        Not convinced the coaches were entirely to blame. Glasgow were suffering from a large amount of missing players in the forwards so came out with the obvious game plan of going wide early and using their pacier backs. However when it became clear that Leinster had anticipated this and weren’t committing any men to the rucks, it’s the job of the on-field leaders to adapt and start targeting the weaker defended areas. Losing Wilson so early won’t have helped but Price, Russell and Gray should have stepped up.

        There’s only so much a coach can do in training and given the players available the tactics used were probably the most logical, if slightly naive in hindsight. The conditions won’t have helped either.

  10. JohnMc on

    Don’t think Glasgow are completely down and out in the group after only two rounds. Not unexpected result last week at Exeter, and a pity there was no losing BP there. Poor result today. Didn’t really expect them to be overwhelmed like that at Scotstoun. Can still see them beating Exeter at home, as well as Montpelier at home. Leinster away and Montpelier away will be tough though. Uphill from now, but a team doing so well in the Pro 14 must feel they can get there.
    Well done, Embra. On course to get out of that group. Not so much today’s romp, but last week’s away win v London Irish, is encouraging.

  11. Allan on

    I suppose we’ve learned over the last two games that Glasgow are badly in need of a big eight and some meatier more agressive forward play. And that Finn when he’s not in tip top form tends to force things and make a lot of very silly errors as opposed to just playing the percentages. Rennie is tryng to get them playing like the Chiefs but the instinctive understanding of what to do and the basic skills just aren’t there. Ashe to me is just not big enough, aggressive enough or skilful enough to compete with the heavy mob. Swinson too just doesn’t carry enough for me. Look at Brodie Retallick and how much work he puts in with ball in hand and without and really only JG and Gibbins are working as hard for Glasgow. Scotland cannot afford to go into the six nations with a lightweight pack or we will suffer the same fate as Glasgow. If cockers can get CDP firing I really do think he could do a brilliant job for Scotland at six alongside Strauss and Watson. Tough on Wilson, and esp. Barcs who has been great but as he’s only just come back from a head injury, I would rather see Toony try something different now, rather than in the Spring.

  12. Niddrie Exiler on

    I think a good shout would be to try Cummings at 8, he’s played there as a youth and we have a larder full of locks at the moment. He would be a fantastic mobile ball carrier Agree that Ashe seems a little underpowered for an 8 but I still hope he comes through. Wilson also is under powered but is a dog of war and nasty. Swinson is aggressive but – no power The pack overall is on the light side and can only operate efficiently on the front foot where Rennie has upped their game at the contact area . On the back foot though it’s lack of overall strength makes it second best to top Euro teams who have top draw pick and go and rolling maul games.
    On a brighter note Rennie’s efforts to get them playing like the Chiefs can pay dividends longer term. Remember NZ rugby culture has sense, anticipation and natural instinct born and bred into players.

    • TeamCam on

      Agree about Cummings, but is he still a little lanky for that job? And is it worth considering that, while we’d love Glasgow to be The Chiefs of the NH, the work required to do this is impossible because we don’t have w strong rugby culture up here, so that kind of nous is only born and bred into a few stand-out players?

    • Alanyst on

      We shouldn’t compare too much with Super Rugby…the tournament that defence forgot…

      European defences (and refs and weather) are a different challenge, the ball is slowed more, aerobic capacity is less important (no heat/humidity or altitude).

      A hybrid is needed…put simply I think Glasgow have gone a bit “super” and need to get more back to basics…

  13. Alanyst on

    Glasgow had the cart before the Clydesdale last night….I think they are really missing Brown and Dunbar, Gray looks like he’s really suffering

    Hard to see who they could have picked differently, and certainly the execution was below standard.

    Would a more conservative game plan have worked better? Dunno, but I think a few more phases are needed before launching the backs.

  14. pragmatic optomist on

    For me, Glasgow still need to stick to their fast rugby principles. I’d be mortified if they started to play like Munster or Exeter. I’d rather we lost playing great rugby than play like those two.
    I think the coaches did see the need for more heft in the pack, so signed Kebble, Halanukanuka and Vunisa at no 8. The last 2 particularly are big ball carriers. Unfortunately, they’re injured or fulfilling contracts elsewhere. (Huw Jones might make a difference, and I do believe we’re missing Mark Bennetts skills more than we realise)
    Glasgow play a brand of high octane rugby, so more errors are likely, but it isn’t all doom and gloom yet. Bear in mind we have just played the English champions and a team with 2 of the Lions front row, so out front five were always be under pressure, and are very inexperienced in comparison. Let’s try and keep things in perspective here. (remember Toulon and Toulouse a few years back?) We’re still close in these games; just not winning.
    We do have one or two bigger guys available, like Big Brian and Greg Paterson, so maybe Rennie should be selecting more ‘horses for courses’.
    Some of the other comments above about Glasgow ‘impatience’ to go through the phases, are still true and need to be worked on.

    • Alanyst on

      I Agree…they can’t ditch that (very sound) principle. I felt that yesterday they just went a bit too early. Modern tight 5 forwards are fit, so it needs maybe 3 or 4 quick ‘narrow’ phases to get them peching…I wasn’t counting but it seemed like Glasgow went wide 2nd or 3rd phase often, with few inside runners, so it allowed Leinster not to over-commit to the breakdown area.

      • Bulldog on

        We were beaten by a better side at Exeter, however played some positive rugby.

        But at home, fielding our preferred back three to a side we need to beat in the pro 14 is a red flag !!!

        Playing the ball wide in the early phases (too early) was playing to our strengths, so who is calling the shots, has to be the question !

        Not impossible to progress , but not like this. It is a long season , still loads of rugby to play away from the Cup.

  15. CptDnt on

    I just don’t get why Dave keeps picking Bhatti and Turner game in and game out when he has more experienced players to use. I know MacArthur isn’t the biggest hooker but he is at least experienced which two young props need. This was a big game and Glasgow do have an ex lions prop in their squad. Why not use him and MacArthur to bring a bit of experience and stability to the scrum? All teams know that is Glasgows weakness, but instead he throws in new blood and is letting them get destroyed game after game. It just seems a bit mad to me!

    • FF on

      I don’t think starting MacArthur and Grant would have improved our result. Grant wouldn’t have a pro contract at the moment if it wasn’t for Glasgow’s prop crisis. Losing Brown and Kebble before Togan prop got here was bad luck and those three in the squad will help.

      I think at the start of the season most Glasgow fans thought squad in transition, coach arriving after preseason complete and change to new style would mean this season would be a struggle. Winning the first 6 games has raised expectations but euro rugby is unforgiving – the last two games have been v disappointing but there is plenty to play for in the season and I don’t think Rennie has suddenly become a bad coach. Let’s remember that in 5 years Toonie qualified for QF once. Rennie will go into next years competition better prepared.

      • CptDnt on

        It just looks like we where out played both through power and technique at the scrums and set pieces, surely players who have been around for a while have the ability to work around these issues. Grant has been signed and has a wealth of experience so why not use him? Seems a bit of a waste signing him if he wont get some game time to show us what he can do.

        I think Rennie is a fantastic coach but I just question on a must win game why he has gone with a prop who is still wet behind the ears and a hooker who spent 4 years at a worse team and never played over a seasoned player who has helped Glasgow win the pro 12 and get to the QF. Also he is continually picking the same players. Surely some of the guys need a rest especially after the Africa trip???

  16. RuggersB on

    Its the same issue that gets the better of Glasgow as it does Scotland… a lightweight front 8.

    J Gray, I think, has either stagnated or simply isn’t as good as most people thought and hoped he’d be.

    Its starting to look like the Scotland team should be selected from Edinburgh front 8 and Glasgow backs …+ obviously the top players playing outwit Scotland. A combination of guile, power, pace and handling wins the big games. Playing with 2 or 3 of those generally falls short.

    We need variety of game styles to win at the highest levels. Playing ‘chaos’ rugby will win many matches but will probably lose the crucial ones.

    • John Cena ! on

      Their is of course a solution to glasgows front 8 issue. buy out the top edinburgh players for a few 2nd choice backs. i mean glasgow is the important club anyway, sign hardie for pennies after his snorting stuff is done, cornell seems to struggle at edinburgh and will be more suited to glasgows play, may aswell take ritchie and toolis (swino and harley getting on)
      We also need a decent loosehead and edinburgh have 3 or whatever so lets take 2 of them also , see if we can grab Nel although depends on how buloraka gets on whenever he joins.

  17. IMacT on

    And down south it is a bit of a mixed bag of form from the exiles

    Back 3
    Byron McGuigan *** ( top scorer in premiership)
    Josh Bassett ** (playing most weeks for wasps and scored today)
    Tim Visser ** (now back in team)
    Tonks *
    Duncan Taylor ***( hopefully injury yesterday not too serious)
    Matt Scott (no stars – what happened)
    Fly Half
    Heathcoat * (still not firing)
    Ben Vellacott ** (exciting talent)
    Front Row
    Jon Welsh ***(worth a recall – part of buzzing Newcastle team)
    Lawson (well – still doing his stuff)
    Gordon Reid (not really done much)
    Davidson ( not broken through at Newcastle)
    Back Row
    Cowan *( always gets good reviews)
    Denton *(barely back in losing Worcester team)
    Strauss **(doing ok)

    So from down south and hoping Maitland is fit soon …hopefully we will see Bassett, Visser, Welsh, Taylor, Vellacott and Strauss in the squad tomorrow

  18. Andy on

    I was a bit doom and gloom on the way back from Scotstoun on Saturday, but as the fog of war cleared, I think the performance we saw was always likely.

    In the past couple of weeks, the boys have travelled to South Africa and played a hard fast game at altitude, then a quick turnaround for a bruising encounter against Exeter, which one ex England International described as the closest he has seen a club rugby match get to test match intensity. Is it any wonder then that on Saturday we saw the boys simply run out of steam – the hearts were willing, but the bodies eventually started to give way, they started to drop off tackles, couldn’t press in defence and ended up chasing the game.

    This group is brutal, but even more so is the way that the match scheduling favours teams with more depth. We need to lick our wounds, take the opportunity to rest everyone involved in the past few weeks against the Kings next week – even if we lose, it doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Rennie is quite happy to play the “Europe is over for this year” card, but don’t believe a word of it. Given the remaining fixtures for all teams, qualification is definately still there to play for, win our remaining 4 games and I reckon we’re through – couple of bonus point wins and we top the group.

  19. Niddrie Exiler on

    Glasgow can still qualify without other teams helping. They need to win their remaining matches, two with a bonus point to get to 18 points which gives then a fair shout.
    Exeter and Montpellier home are very possible bonus point wins whilst Montpellier away, given what Exeter achieved, is also a good possibility. All crowned with a superlative display in defeating Leinster in Dublin. A rose tinted view absolutely but with no pressure on them, Huw Jones back soon plus the new props in to bolster the pack I bet Rennie is thinking it’s possible as well.

    • Neil on

      It is but is it worth it ? we would have to go away from home for quarters against who knows now.

      if we were to get a loosing bp from both games id be more enthused but i reckon its time to focus on winning the the pro14 starting with a 100 point drubbing of southern kings. take the chamionps cup game by game and if we somehow win the next 3 and end up with a realistic shot then sure go for it. what worries me if the amount of injuries we may pick up along the way in we still go hard in challenge cup, how many did we get yesterday and to try this while away to montpellier (who in fairness may just give up now) and leinster … i just question our recourses this year and alot will depend on how injuries and looking at the start of year.

      i would also like to see some consistently high performances as despite winning alot of games its nowhere close to were we should be (munster and ospreys aside)

  20. Niddrie Exiler on

    Injuries are a nightmare but especially for the Scottish pro teams. Of equal importance to the European tournaments are individual and combination displays ready for the Scotland games. I an encouraged by Edinburgh and some of their players performances. I like the look of Chris Dean and Luke Crosbie. Let’s see how many make Gregor’s squad today

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