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PRO14 Round 2: Glasgow v Munster

Glasgow v Munster
Graphic © Scottish Rugby Blog

Glasgow squeaked home in Galway thanks to a Stuart Hogg drop goal and a missed last-minute penalty while their next opponents Munster thrashed the Cheetahs 38-0 in Limerick putting them top of the conference. The recent head-to-head record is not pretty in any competition, with a win in Round 4 of last year’s league the only victory for the Warriors in six attempts.

With that in mind you would think Dave Rennie might have restored Alex Dunbar to the starting XV as his power and control in defence was missed last weekend. He’s retained the same backline again though, with the main changes in the pack as Adam Ashe and Fraser Brown are picked to start and Rob Harley shuffled to lock to get a powerful looking back row combo together.

On the bench things are much the same as last week too although Matt Fagerson and Ali Price are introduced. Nick Frisby offered a steady presence last time out so it will be interesting to see how Price approaches things with young Horne now the key exponent of “organized chaos” in the west – emphasis on the chaos.

With the team much the same, let’s hope the performance is more along the lines of what the Warrior Nation expects. Getting Hoggy involved earlier could be a good idea, and as many noticed here, allowing Adam Hastings a bit more control of his own game might push him on to better things.

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Peter Horne, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Rob Harley, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Ryan Wilson (capt), 7. Callum Gibbins (capt), 8. Adam Ashe
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Scott Cummings, 20. Matt Fagerson, 21. Ali Price, 22. Alex Dunbar, 23. Niko Matawalu.

Players unavailable due to injury: Brian Alainu’uese (back), Bruce Flockhart (shoulder), Chris Fusaro (head), Siua Halanukanuka (foot), Sam Johnson (head / knee), Huw Jones (wrist), Lee Jones (achilles), Lelia Masaga (shoulder), Kiran McDonald (hand) and Tim Swinson (lower limb).

Munster: Mike Haley, Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly, JJ Hanrahan, Neil Cronin; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne, Duncan Williams, Joey Carbery, Jaco Taute.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

At Scotstoun Stadium, Friday 7 September, kick off 7.35pm – live on Premier Sports 2.

39 Responses

  1. Think we’ll struggle. Munster bench is very strong. Not keen on the Horne-Grigg combo in midfield. Pack need to front up or it’s going to be a long day.

    Exactly the type of game Hastings needs to be exposed to though! If we get anything out of it it’ll be a huge result.

      1. Think with him only coming back from injury it would ridiculous to over play Dunbar. Just look at what’s happened to Duncan Taylor.

  2. Thanks to Premier Sports I can watch more games this season, so am looking forward to this one tonight. Have not yet explained this to my wife about the subscription but then again the investment required was modest so it has not been noticed yet, but I fear it will be when she notices there is no more BBC Alba blaring out and she may wonder why at which point I will be unable to actually lie but there may room for some ambiguity…

    Let’s hope Glasgow can put together a full on physical and street wise performance tonight.

    1. Premier Sports coverage has been good so far, definitely a step up from BBC. Seems to be a free month this month as I’m watching with our a subscription so you might want to check if you’ve paid for this month! Definitely going to sign up for the year though.

  3. Absolutely woeful second half by Glasgow and a defence that will lead to us not being a tangible threat for the title. Pathetic.

    1. They kept them out 2nd half, good enough for me.The pro14 Tables are already making interesting reading. Conference B has a for and against differential of only a few points . Scarletts are evens 36 for and against. Very competative.

      Conference A shows a much bigger differential , it is early but Munster are hard to score against and the rest are as vulnerable in defence as Glasgow. Very entertaining.

      Smart money must be on a winner from Conf B.

      1. Munster have conceded the same number of tries as us. In fact, most of our points have been conceded from kicks rather than tries.

      2. Few will put three tries on Munster this season. Glasgow have scored 8% more points than Munster , Glasgow have conceded 44% more points than Munster.

      3. Munster have played us and the second worst travelling team in the league. There aren’t enough data to draw even vaguely reasonable conclusions yet – Ospreys have scored the greatest number of tries!

      4. It would appear it is not too early to ‘even vaguely conclude’ Munster are the second worst travelling team in the league! Please have the last word on this one .

      5. Hard not to when you make such easily disproven claims, given that Munster have lost one away match whereas Kings, Edinburgh and Cheetahs have lost two. Munster have travelled as poorly as Scarlets…

  4. I for one despise the decision to give Premier Sports the rights.

    With 3 Pro14 teams reaching the champions cup Semi Final’s last season, now is the time the Pro14 should be taking advantage of this by trying to attract more fans.

    How is domestic pro rugby in Ireland, Scotland + Wales supposed to grow if it’s on a channel no one is willing to pay to watch. Should either be on a free-to-view channel or on a platform with millions of paying viewers such as BT/Sky. This move will be short term gain for long term pain.

    You just need to see what BT and Sky Sport offer for £10 and £20 per month respectively, to see how overpriced Premier Sports is. After the Pro14 and France’s Autumn internationals the best thing Premier Sports has on offer is Polish Speedway and Swedish Ice Hockey.

    At least if it went to Sky/BT it would have had exposure to millions of viewers whereas the only people willing to pay a tenner a month for 1 domestic rugby competition are the most avid Pro14 fans.

    1. What BT sports offers for £10 a month; EPL, SPL, FA Cup, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Champions League, Champions Cup, MMA

      What PS offers for £10 a month; Pro14, French Nov ints, Sweedish Hockey, Polish Speedway

      1. I’ve seen you posting the same on the BBC (or perhaps you have copied, been copied) and I think it is hugely disingenuous. The absolute cheapest package for Sky is £38 per month as you have to take regular sky TV too, plus there is a one off cost for the box of £20 and an installation fee (from memory, I think this is £199). All in, year one of Sky is £675 where Premier sports for the 9 months the season is active would be £89.91. Not even vaguely comparible. Even if there is no one off cost, and no installation fee in year two, the annual cost is still £456, 5 times that of Premier Sport. And they still have no rugby.

    2. Agree would be nice to be on BT but given they have shelled out loads for the Prem we’d always be playing 2nd fiddle. Their subscription prices are reasonable.

      Totally disagree that we’d be better with Sky than Premier Sports. Sky costs an absolute fortune and theres no way they’d offer every Pro14 game. £9.99 is reasonable in my book, I’ve spent that kinda money to watch 1 Glasgow European match on sky using now tv. Enjoyed most of the coverage, can’t say I’m impressed with the Irish commentary teams, they’re overly biased. Welsh and Scottish ones much better.

  5. Superb first half performance and fantastic result. Growing evidence that Rennie/Humphries have addressed some of the forward issues that plagued Glasgow last year which is encouraging. Also, Kebble looks great – perhaps lack of new signings won’t be an issue and will confound Glasgow’s sky-is-falling fans. Maybe Rennie knows what he’s doing after all? Long way to go but some good signs.

    Heartbreaking way to lose the game from Edinburgh.

  6. What’s with the ‘goalkicking lotto’ of the last two games?…Hastings doesn’t seem to, Horne starts but then after a couple of misses Hogg takes over. Surely by now Glasgow know who’s the best kick?

    1. To be fair that’s only real weakness of this Glasgow side – no top place kicker. None of Horne, Hogg or Hastings are top place kickers. Finn leaving gives far more game time to Hastings and Pete which will means Scotland will have far more depth at 10 but his place kicking is something which has not been replaced

      1. Finn not exactly a great kick himself…

        Havent seen either game so main thing I was wondering is if it seems ad-hoc or some sort of tactical/strategic thing, like letting AH run the game without worrying about place kicking too….

      2. “Finn not exactly a great kick himself…” Finn was most successful place kicker in the Pro14 last season in terms of percentage so you are talking rubbish

      3. Well, I couldn’t find that stat now, but we can use percentage, if we are going to be simplistic.

        Or we could also think about other factors like range, angle, pressure, howling gales, degree of captain’s preference for the corner over “risky” kicks…context is key.

        Percentage says Finn had a professional, consistent year off the tee…and didn’t have to kick too many difficult ones.

      4. Look I’m not saying he’s the best but he’s reliable and you’d expect him to kick anything within 40 yards which is fairly straight. Plus he’s scored a hell of a lot of pressure penalties/conversions in his time.

        82% of 35 place kicks makes him a more than decent place kicker and I think you are underestimating his abilities.

      5. Didn’t Finn also land something obscene like 19 kicks in a row. He is a top quality kicker. You’re basing a judgement on a few seasons ago when he was ironing out a lot of wrinkles in his game. Cheers tho I laughed out loud when I read your comment, good for my hangover.

      6. Fair enough…hope he keeps it going in Paris.

        Did find some more detailed analysis of 6N 2018…in terms of “value” relative to a baseline kicker around the field.

        Halfpenny (8), Machenaud (4) clear positives.

        Laidlaw on 2 (16 from 19), Russell 0 (but 2 from 2), Hogg -2 (0 from 1 – tough kick though).

        Farrell (-5) and Sexton (-10!) last…hoping they keep that going too…

  7. Man of the Match for young Adam – another useful night for the development of the Hornstings partnership. And when a steadying hand was required Glasgow were able to switch over to the Prorne pairing…

  8. That was a good game, even if we did leave some tries out there. Great to see the forwards stepping up, too. However, 85% possession in the first half against Munster’s reserves should’ve resulted in more than 22 points being scored, and we seemed to have forgotten how to attack in the second half. We reverted to single runners rather than pods and kicked more.

    Also, for all the whinging about Gibbins’ alleged shoulder charge (which Munster were guilty of, too), in the previous ruck a Munster player on the ground grabbed Horne’s ankle to stop him from scoring, which should’ve been a YC, and he penalised is for stuff that he let Munster get away with, so really they can’t complain! Edinburgh, however, got screwed by ref in the last play of the game again, poor guys. That said, if they’d simply caught the restart…

    1. They were missing four Irish internationals (Murray, Stander, O’Mahoney, Earls) but otherwise it was their strongest team, no?

      That said, it think they have been giving home town hero JJ a chance to nail down the jersey after Bleyendaal failed to last year. Looks like he’s at risk of becoming another Keatley rather than O’Gara figure and Carberry will surely be given the shirt from now on.

  9. Both games were very exciting. Glasgow match impressed me with the forwards set piece and ability to make yards.

    Edinburgh next year are going to be some team once the midfield gels. Hickey looks like a class player. Ritchie was supberb, totally outplayed Jordi Murphy. That group is literally going to go down to the wire on who comes second.

    The Pro 14 is certainly becoming a super competitive league what with Ospreys, Edinburgh’s and Ulster’s improvements this year.

    1. The Leinster/Scarlets/Ulster/Edinburgh conference is just brutal. Even Benetton have some top 4 potential….Pro14 should have swapped Scarlets for Ospreys in my view.

  10. Neils Official Player Ratings – Glasgow

    1. Kebble – 8
    2. Brown – 9
    3. Fagerson – 8
    4. Gray – 8
    5. Harley – 7
    6. Wilson – 7
    7. Gibbins – 7.5
    8. Ashe – 7
    9. Horne -7
    10. Hastings – 9
    11. DTH VDM – 7
    12. Horne – 7
    13. Grigg – 6.5
    14. Seymour – 6.5
    15. Hogg – 8

    Brown and Hastings were outstanding for the time they were on.

    May seem quite high scores all around despite an average 2nd half but you have to consider the opposition and their calibre.

    We out munstered munster.

    Munster will be a far more scary opposition once they have Carberry and Beirne starting + there 3 lions in O,mahony , Stander and Murray.

    Our forwards look like they are good enough to compete with the best this season but the real challenge will be when they meet Leinster, Edinburgh or a big French/English pack this season.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion