Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Round 8: Glasgow v Leinster

Jamie Bhatti carries against Leinster
Jamie Bhatti carries against Leinster - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Dave Rennie continues what could be termed the Rennie Raffle (in the absence of tombolas) in an attempt to figure out his best team for the lean times ahead when he will be deprived of most of his first choice picks by Gregor Townsend.

One man who will be present and is already a first choice after less than ten games is Callum Gibbins who will lead the team from openside. Elsewhere in the pack Jonny Gray and Zander Fagerson are absent so D’Arcy Rae gets a chance at more game time alongside Rennie’s trusted Bhatti/Turner combination, while Harley and Fagerson Jr complete the back row.

The Horne brothers have a chance to partner up at 9 and 10, with the younger very impressive against the Kings last week. Lelia Masaga will hope for more ball than he was given on his cameo last weekend (none) while the reliable combo of Grigg and Johnson pair up in midfield and will be hoping to do some damage to the at-times porous Leinster back line.

There’s plenty of heft on the bench – although not noticeably a second row player – and the welcome return of Alex Dunbar just in time for the Autumn who will need to get his sharpness up to speed, rapidly.

The visitors have sent a considerably different team to the one that dismantled the Warriors game plan quite effectively in the Champions Cup and with only Sean Cronin and Scott Fardy remaining from that side, Rennie will be hoping the result can be different too.

Glasgow: 15. Ruaridh Jackson, 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Niko Matawalu, 10. Peter Horne, 9. George Horne; 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. George Turner, 3. D’Arcy Rae, 4. Tim Swinson, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Rob Harley, 7. Callum Gibbins (CAPT), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. Pat MacArthur, 17. Alex Allan, 18. Adam Nicol, 19. Lewis Wynne, 20. Matt Smith, 21. Henry Pyrgos, 22. Alex Dunbar, 23. Leonardo Sarto.

Leinster Rugby: 15. Jordan Larmour, 14. Adam Byrne, 13. Rory O’Loughlin, 12. Conor O’Brien, 11. Dave Kearney, 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Ed Byrne, 2. Seán Cronin, 3. Michael Bent, 4. Ross Molony (CAPT), 5. Mick Kearney, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Max Deegan.
Replacements: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Peter Dooley, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Josh Murphy, 20. Dan Leavy, 21. Nick McCarthy, 22. Cathal Marsh, 23. Hugo Keenan.

Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)

Unavailable players: Adam Ashe (ankle), Brian Alanu’uise (knee), Fraser Brown (knee), Rory Hughes (shoulder), Oli Kebble (foot), Paddy Kelly (ankle), Ratu Tagive (achilles), Richie Vernon (achilles).

TV Coverage on BBC Alba, Friday 5th Nov, 7.30pm

8 Responses

  1. Wynne and smith bench is very lightweight for last 20 minutes.

    Bit harsh on Hastings not making the 23, glad to see Masaga back, he did look good early on.

    1. You say lightweight – I say fast. Both capped at U20 at flanker so I see Gibbins moving to 8 and Harley moving to lock for the last 20. Blow them away.

  2. Overall my impression is Glasgow have the “names” edge over Leinster this time…and at home, so hoping for a win. Mind you I don’t know much about the Leinster side…

  3. I think with wholesale changes in the Leinster team it’ll be a completely different result from the euro tie. Even with Finn and Hoggy out, there are enough game-changers in this warriors side (Hornex2, Grigg, Matawalu, Masaga, blimey even JOhnson and Jackson).
    On another note, anyone know what went on at Howe of Fife RFC?
    Internal injuries?? That’s just sick.

  4. I see the ref is SA Stuart Berry who was very impressive last time I saw him (may have been a televised Embers game in early season) . . . but almost immediately see one of the SA franchises has lodged a formal complaint about his handling of a recent game. But we don’t want to get in to the ref moaning mindset which is in danger of becoming a fixation at Scotstoun (esp that know-nothing nyaff who sits along my row – main stand, Section E – you know who you are . . back to Ibrox with you!). Rise above, channel your inner Harley, use irony or French, both preferably. The referee will not (usually) mean the difference between W or L, Joubert excepted.

  5. Would’ve started with Dunbar and given him 60-70 to get his match fitness then take him off – not sure he’ll get a huge benefit from coming on for last quarter and similarly there is the risk of him being called on after 2 mins and needing to play virtually whole game.

  6. Have to say im really impressed with the youth development shown during the halftime show of warriors v leinster , focus is completely on skill sets under pressure at high intensity.

    Also Niko is having a stormer.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion