PRO14 Round 7: Heeere’s Jonny!

Munster Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby

Date: Fri 29th November 2019
KO: 19:35
Venue: Irish Independent Park

Richard Cockerill has been at work in the press this week, sowing the seeds of his annual attempts to wind up Glasgow Warriors players and fans, but before Wasps back-to-back and the 1872 double-header he’s got a tricky fixture away to Munster.

Stuart McInally returns to the starting XV and it is a welcome return also for Hamish Watson, now recovered from the injury sustained against Ireland in the Rugby World Cup. That back row of Bradbury, Watson and Mata sets the mouth watering.

On paper this is a very strong Edinburgh team up against a pretty raw Munster side, away from Thomond Park. It shouldn’t be seen as a done deal but would be worth Edinburgh putting the effort in to pick up valuable points against their conference rivals.

There are rumours also of a return to Edinburgh for Greig Laidlaw who apparently will not stay at Clermont beyond this season. He might not set the hearts of fans in love with Edinburgh’s new attacking approach on fire, but it would be more experience in the squad should his wage be affordable. If not, he could end up in the Gallagher Premiership instead.

Munster: Shane Daly; Calvin Nash, Sammy Arnold, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton; Ben Healy, Nick McCarthy; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea; Jack O’Donoghue (C) Tommy O’Donnell, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Keynan Knox, Jed Holloway, Conor Oliver, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell.

Edinburgh Rugby: Blair Kinghorn, Eroni Sau, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, Pietro Ceccarelli, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Mike Willemse, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Lewis Carmichael, Ally Miller, Charlie Shiel, Simon Hickey, George Taylor.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)

Glasgow Warriors v Leinster Rugby

Date: Sat 30th November 2019
KO: 19:35
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

Jonny Gray is finally back in action following his enforced rest period and will be looking to push Glasgow on to greater things than they have shown so far this season.

Also getting a start is the much-discussed Huw Jones who had been rumoured to be looking at short term deals abroad to see out the season – his agent has since denied such rumours are true – who partners Sam Johnson in midfield.

Jones is part of a starting XV that is hugely experienced – the back row unit has 548 appearances between them. Experience counts for a lot but they welcome a Leinster side missing more than a few of the big names.

Unlike Munster and Edinburgh, Leinster have a comfortable points cushion over Glasgow in their conference after Glasgow’s poor start so may be looking at this one as a development exercise, or indeed are just really confident in their frightening level of depth. Adding techniques from this fit after 50 reviews can improve their workout routine.

Kiwi prop Aki Seiuli will make his first Glasgow appearance from the bench, which also features (fresh from Super 6) Adam Ashe and Stafford McDowall.

Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, Nikola Matawalu, Pete Horne, Ali Price; Oli Kebble, George Turner, D’arcy Rae, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Aki Seiuli, Adam Nicol, Kiran McDonald Seran, Adam Ashe, Nick Frisby, Stafford MacDowell, Kyle Steyn.

Leinster Rugby: Hugo Keenan, Adam Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien, Conor O’Brien, Cian Kelleher, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Devin Toner, Josh Murphy, Will Connors, Caelan Doris.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, Scott Penny, Hugh O’Sullivan, Ciaran Frawley, Fergus McFadden.

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)

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112 comments on “PRO14 Round 7: Heeere’s Jonny!

  1. Rj on

    Glad to see Edinburgh going full strength tomorrow against what looks a weak Munster side. Will still be a tough ask but really need to be winning these games either side of the European games when the other sides are resting players. Great to see Watson back in particular.

  2. Sam Laycock on

    This game is a poison chalice for Huw Jones, given Glasgows selection, no Brown, Z fag, M Fag, Gibbins, Cummings, Hornito, Hastings, DTH. A back row out of 2010, a back 3 out of 2012. Frisby on the bench the only guy who can always make things worse. No replacement 10. No Front foot ball, no set piece, Leinster in opposition and when it all comes crashing down Rennie will drop him till the 6N for “not taking his chance “

    • NorthI127 on

      Or a rare opportunity playing outside Scotland’s current 12 against none of Leinster’s top pick backs. Hope the crowd get behind him and we see more of the flashes we saw earlier in the season.

    • Bazz on

      What a stupid comment.

      Leinster are fielding possibly the weakest team I’ve seen them field.

      They are missing
      – Healy
      – Porter
      – Furlong
      – Ryan
      – Fardy
      – Ruddock
      – VDF
      – Leavy
      – Deegan
      – Conan
      – McGrath
      – Sexton
      – Henshaw
      – Ringrose
      – Larmour
      – Lowe
      – Kearney

      Contrast that with Glasgow who have picked returning intentional players (Gray, Price, Johnson, Seymour, Matawalu) and players who have featured prominently so far this season.

      Fusaro for example, has featured in every 23 and Harley has started every game bar the one against Zebre.

      • Sam Laycock on

        If by stupid you mean exactly accurate, nothing about that game was anything other than entirely predictable.

      • Bazz on


        your comment nor my comment in reply was a prediction about winning or losing the game.

        It is about the idea that the odds were stacked against Huw Jones. If its a poisoned chalice for him how is it not the same thing for Johnson, Seymour, Price, Gray or the entire Leinster team who were without 17 players away from home?

        The fact that we lost with the teams that were fielded is an indictment on Glasgow, not Jones himself.

      • Sam Laycock on

        The biggest cliché in the Pro 14 is how frightening Leinsters depth is. It doesn’t matter who they put out the drop off is minimal you always know they will play with accuracy, intensity and strong set piece good enough to beat all but the next best teams at full strength. It was obvious to me from the team sheet that Glasgow would be dominated at Scrum, maul, lineout and breakdown and so it proved.
        The difference between Rennie’s favourites, Seymour, Johnson, Wilson, P. Horne etc is that they will be afforded a run of games to play themselves into form. All of them have had middling form at best since the start of the World Cup. Huw in 2 seasons has had no such luxury.
        This was always going to be a back foot game, all of the centres looked poor yet Jones will be the one for getting dropped.

  3. Merlot on

    Edinburgh have a hard edge now. Would have been a 5 pointer if the officials had not listened to the crowd. Scrum penalties a joke.

    • The Chiel on

      Just remarkable how Mitrea could see the grounding from completely the wrong side of the ruck. He’s a shocker.

      • Sam Laycock on

        The penalty against VDM in the first half when the guy literally jumps into his arms????

        Edinburgh made hard work of it tho the difference in intensity and technique when going for short range pick and go drives between Edinburgh and Munster reserves is still poor. We have the tools just not getting them working together.

    • Sam Laycock on

      Was the touch judge Irish? That thick Irish accent audible over the Premier sports coverage endlessly shouting blue blue blue.

      • Alanyst on

        Well, it is the Guinness PRO-vincial 14.

        Irish sponsor, Irish crowd, Irish TV rights, Irish commentary, Irish MotM…why not Irish referees?

        You can, of course, trust the Irish rugby community never to take advantage, it’s not in their nature to cheat.

  4. JohnMc on

    Not exactly revenge for the Murrayfield Euro QF in March, but a good away win at a ground where few visiting teams come away with anything.
    Great to see Hamish Watson match fit again.
    Scott/Bennett combination in attack and defence looking good.
    Here’s hoping Warriors can beat Leinster tomorrow.

  5. Csc on

    Edinburgh’s knock on tally far too high yet again. The ability to hold onto the ball under pressure is a skill that needs more practise.

  6. Ben F on

    A win in Cork , first time in 15 years , against a niggy side, enjoy the moment. I was very pleased that Edinburgh closed out that game in the way they did. Who got MOM ?

    • The Chiel on

      You’d better sit down. Peter Stringer awarded it to a Munster player. O’Donoghue, who I think whinged to Mitrea at every stoppage. Mind you, it worked.

      • Ben F on

        What an odd decision. I smiled when I saw Schoeman lifting the post padding above the ground . Another positive , we are getting smart.

  7. Ben F on

    Huw Jones should still be looking at short term deals overseas . This guy is so good but his face doesnt fit here and it has got to him. It really angers me, he should walk with dignity.

  8. Fraser on

    Appalling commentary on Premier Sports. I know they are a dubious Irish company, but it’s really not acceptable to be that obviously biased. Peter Stringer is unbelievable.

    • Alanyst on

      Not for the first time, I wish there was an option to listen to the game, but not the commentary. Listening in silence feels odd.

  9. Rj on

    A valuable 4 points for Edinburgh come the end of the season. Not many, if any, of the other playoff contenders in the pool will go there and win. Performance wasn’t great and not helped by some average officiating but hopefully accumulating points whilst not at our best bodes well as last season we ran out of steam at the business end. Hopefully there are wholesale changes for the next two weeks with the 1st XV ready for the 1872 cup matches.

  10. Sam Benedict on

    Gordon Reid is now at Warriors on a partnership contract with Ayrshire Bulls! A great piece of business.

    Also great to see Jones starting for Warriors.

  11. Neil on

    Matt Scott would of been my Man of the Match, he and Bennett are front runners along with Hutchison for the six nations squad based on current form.

    Any word on how our other non-pro14 centres are performing ? Dunbar, Taylor, Harris etc.

    • Gordon Orengo on

      Just watched Rory Hutchinson playing for Northampton Saints, what a player…

      His decision making and near fault free execution was a joy to behold, I am no expert but he looks a step above in class to Scotland’s other centre options, a very classy looking player.

    • Tam on

      Neil you are wasting your time. We all know come 6 Nations the form book is out the window and prejudice will raise its ugly head.

    • Tony B on

      Watched the English rugby over the weekend. Taylor showed up well for Saracens, Hutchison did really well for Saints (great lines and excellent distribution) and Harris did well in a losing team – consistently tough in defence and good going forward. Not sure about Dunbar but I hope he is playing well as I rated him.

  12. Tam on

    I am surprised Glasgow fans have not been in discussing the match. I see this as being one of the most important games of our season.

    Last year 3 of the 4 playoff sides lost 5 games and Ulster qualified with 6 lost. This far we are at 3 losses and as we know the 1872 cup can be costly.

    Glasgow really do not want to lose this match, it is a watershed , a win is could be a season changer.

    Anything other than a win puts the sword of Damocles over Glasgow regardless of what Dave Rennie says. I await the usual suspects telling me off for raising the obvious.

    • Campbell B on

      Played 7 lost 4.Last year Glasgow played 21 and lost 5.

      As we are now a third through the season, by ratio extrapolation we are on target to lose 12. Any less than 12 and we are going back in the right direction.

      Lost for words, gutted.

      • TeamCam on

        How often did we lose at home in previous seasons?! Two losses is poor, and to lose to Scarlets – who are as awful as Ospreys now – is shameful. Look what Ulster did to them.

        The worst part is that we could have won in the first quarter with a little more composure and a half-decent kicker. Surely this is the last time we’ll see Horne at 10.

  13. TeamCam on

    Zebre put nigh-on 40 points on Dragons at Rodney Parade. I know Dragons are missing half a player to the Wales squad, but it really puts Glasgow’s loss there earlier this season in perspective.

      • JohnMc on

        Warriors have gone backwards under Rennie. A shadow of the side of a few seasons ago. A powder-puff pack, bossed by basically a Leinster second string set of forwards. A poor show all round.
        If I were an Aussie, I’d be worried about the new coaching regime incoming.
        Warriors need a complete reboot of everything to become properly competitive again in the Pro 14 and European competition.

      • Bazz on


        2015/2016 Glasgow won 14 and lost 7 (lost semi final)
        2016/2017 Glasgow won 11 and lost 11 (didn’t qualify)

        Rennie comes in

        2017/2018 Glasgow won 15 and lost 5 (lost semi final)
        2018/2019 Glasgow won 16 and lost 5 (lost grand final)

        Rennie has achieved more in his first 2 than toonie’s last 2 with a lesser squad.

        This summers recruitment and the knowledge that Rennie is leaving at the end of this season is likely the cause of this seasons failings…in a similar way it was for Toonie in 2016/2017.

        Still seems obvious enough to me that Rennie has done quite well up until now.

  14. TeamCam on

    Absolute dross from Glasgow. Sublime for 20 minutes, then awful, then determined but ineffective and hamstrung by some strange refereeing decisions and dreadful handling.

    Leinster were very good. Someone at the SRU needs to study them because whatever they’re doing, it’s working.

    The only upsides were Seymour looking fantastic whenever he got the ball, Jackson having a surprisingly good game and Jonny Gray looking fit and industrious. Also, Seiuli looks pretty decent.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      Glasgow’s form collapse is alarming. That back row is yesterday’s news. When Hastings doesn’t play we have no ten. We also have no 15. What on earth were Rennie and the SRU thinking with the squad shape. Edinburgh have all the back rows, Glasgow have all the, eh…. nothing.

      Team is completely drained of confidence. Can’t retain the ball, can’t get it back, can’t carry, disintegrated in the set piece. Truly awful.

      As i have posted before, the SRU are squandering the work done at Warriors. It was absolutely freezing tonight- there were a lot of empty seats and a lot of people left before the end, some with 20 minutes to go. Officially a sellout but in reality an alarming slide in attendance. Whilst people may say stick with your team, it is hard in sub-zero temperatures watching a side that hasn’t score a single point in the second half of their last three games.

      I would give Rennie his jotters now. It isn’t working and the season will be dead after the La Rochelle double header so time to move on.

      • Ben F on

        Well I do not entirely agree. Tonight’ s selection was poor , we deserved better, that I wholeheartedly agree .

        I think we do have a decent stable of players in some positions, I wont name them all.

        I think Rennie got his starters wrong at Hooker and Scrum Half and there is no excuse for Horne at 10. Ali Price is now annoying me and should go somewhere else.

        Jackson is a stop gap , but was he really that bad ? We don’t have and do not need, another Hogg. When was the last time , In fact I can not think of any time, Hogg scored twice in any match let alone against Leinster. I am sure the fan club will correct me if I am wrong . That has to be a highlight in Jacko’s CV.

    • Alanyst on

      Leinster did not really “do” anything…except make their tackles and wait for the error.

      That is the problem for Glasgow, and everyone knows it.

      • Ben F on

        You are right there were, at times , 20 plus phases of play , recycling was good, but penetration was poor. That was better than usual , but they were much too well organised. Rennie was never going to stay that long anyway and he got them to the final last year. The goal must be to improve Glasgow’s performance in Europe, build confidence in the squad away from the long drawn out Pro 14 .

  15. Sam Laycock on

    The Glasgow squad is in trouble , Swinson, Wilson, Fusaro, Harley, P. Horne, Seymour, Jackson are all players in decline. Matawalu and DTH too (although somehow they seem to be ageless) , Glasgow have had so much milage out of these guys but it can’t go on forever. That’s not to say they are bad players. You couldn’t fault the effort or commitment but they’re simply not as effective as they once were. Very handy bench options but you shouldn’t be having to start them en masse for a crunch game unless you’re in the midst of an injury crisis. The fact D’Arcy Rae had to play 70 minutes shows the chronic lack of depth at tighthead. They just got Reid and Seiuli at least to sure up the loosehead side but that has taken more than two seasons. Both P. Horne and Thompson struggle at 10.

    Still Rennie says they’ve never been better equipped to challenge in both comps, it’s just a lie.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      Agreed. It’s a season too far for a lot of the team. The game has moved on and Glasgow havent. Not once tonight did anyone straighten the line on the back move plays. Everyone is running on a diagonal line and Leinster just drifted.

      I think we got one turnover other than from knock-ons. The breakdown has been a shambles this year.

      I can’t believe Rennie thinks we are well equipped for both comps. That’s delusion.

      • JB Lake on

        Acht Look ahead , better days are coming , if he can wreck a class act like Huw Jones , how long will it be before even this Scotland side, under the confused leadership of Wattie Mitty can put 50 on Australia.Has anyone seen him lately BTW, he is more elusive than Shoogilie Donnelly !

      • Busy Little Bee on

        Aye Rennie will have Kerevi playing like Andy Henderson and Koriabete like Simon Danielli in no time. Didn’t Glasgow’s season go breasts-up the year everyone knew Walter Mitty was leaving, it’s a big mistake leaving dumpling Rennie in charge like this. Mitty is on secondment at a Vietnamese monastery working on enlightenment and how to turn Boab Harley in to the fittest, fastest lock in the world.

      • JB Lake on

        I thought he might be in Fiji trying to encourage large families to move to Scotland and help him build the dream.

  16. Busy Little Bee on

    I keep saying it and here it is again – Dave Rennie is an absolute conman. I also said this season was a write-off the moment they announced he’s leaving at season end, it’s a situation that almost always goes sour. Schoolboy error by those at the SRU. Rennie had to go immediately. People just don’t perform the same when they know the boss is leaving. Even if the boss is a cliche-ridden charlatan like Rennie. He’s taken most players backwards. Any given week Glasgow are relying on Fusaro and Harley while Edinburgh don’t have room for all but 1 of Ritchie,Bradbury,Barclay and Crosbie in their first choice 15. Mismanagement by the SRU, hopeless.

    • Bazz on

      I’ve posted this elsewhere but I think you should look at the facts

      2015/2016 Glasgow won 14 and lost 7 (lost semi final)

      2016/2017 Glasgow won 11 and lost 11 (didn’t qualify)

      Rennie comes in

      2017/2018 Glasgow won 15 and lost 5 (lost semi final)

      2018/2019 Glasgow won 16 and lost 5 (lost grand final)

      Rennie has achieved more in his first 2 than toonie’s last 2 with a lesser squad.

      The only thing I agree with you is that this season was likely going to be worse given the fact that Rennie announced he will be leaving. This same effect is potentially what caused the Warriors poor 2016/2017 season.

      But on the whole I think Rennie has done reasonably well up until now. A ‘conman’ doesn’t win 2 super rugby competitions and take a Glasgow to the top of their conference 2 years running and a grand final.

      • pragmatic optomist on

        Just leave it Bazz. I agree with you, but after every defeat there is an outpouring of frustration and everyone throws the toys out the pram. Give it a couple of days and you might get a sensible comment out of them. Last nights show could have been different, but Glasgow were very wasteful of opportunities. I’m not sure how they do it, but every time I was screaming ‘try’, a Leinster tackler would appear with a last gasp cruncher. I do think that there are questions to be asked about the player recruitment policy, especially with some older players who look well beyond their sell-by date.

      • Not rocket science on

        Meh – I think if you look at very serious game that mattered under Rennie we have been absolutely bossed – not even at the races. Put that in stats pipe and smoke it. No point bullying the Italians – might not have won Europe or Pro 14 under GT last two seasons but still looked possible and looked could beat any team on any given day. Rennie is I agree an idiot and makes plenty of stupid public statements to support that and plenty of conspicuous public errors. Reality is he torpedoed the Scotland midfield in the pre World Cup seasons. I do not understand why you are grateful?

    • Not rocket science on

      I enjoyed this game. But Glasgow playing flowing rugby when they’ve gone ahead in minutes at home against the third team of Ireland, is not the same as a performance, any performance, when up against it. Also, unfortunately, they then lost a home final having been hammered brutally by Saracens (again) shortly before this right.

      • TeamCam on

        It was a must-win game to get to the home semi-final which they admittedly lost, although that loss was certainly contentious and they weren’t outplayed.

      • Not rocket science on

        Sorry getting mixed up. Actually I was at the semi-final and the performance was an utter embarrassment.

  17. Gaffer on

    The rest of the season is looking ominous and Danny Wilson is not the one to turn it around next season. Dwindling audiences ahead for warriors after a decade of improvements. Oh dear oh dear!

  18. Alanyst on

    The entire SRU program needs to follow Cockers’ lead with a back-to-basics focus. From Academy to International.

    We are “OK” at the high risk nifty stuff- kickpass, back door offloads etc, set piece is also fairly good overall, but our ability to catch a pass or to pick up the ball cleanly, our line speed in defense, our leg-drive and body position in contact are all rubbish.

    If we have a consistent structure or approach across the teams, it’s not clear to me what it is.

    Often, we are beaten by average teams who play a simple system well, who recognise the risks and avoid them, who don’t pick guys out of position, who don’t overthink it and overplay it.

  19. Highland Bear on

    Time for the Warrior nation, to roll up their sleeves and go into battle with the SRU. Rennie is already half-out the door. Why should players put their bodies on the line for a coach who is leaving? Far better to lance the boil and pay him off to leave immediately.
    Glasgow look in need of a reboot similar to the one initiated by Cockerill at Edinburgh. Painful times ahead with players surplus to requirements, and having to accept ‘cast offs’ from the other end of the M8 where there is a wealth of riches in some positions.
    If Wilson isn’t the answer, and feedback here so far is underwhelming, then supporters then need to make their displeasure known. There is time to go out and get a coach with the credentials to rebuild the team. One of the Scottish Pro 14 teams is on the way up while the other is on the cusp of free-fall.

    • Millie Tant on

      What you proposing – A stay away day ? Empty Stands for one game only ! It is a bit early and the 1872 will be packed by Edinburgh fans so when ? and can we agree our demands ?

      • Highland Bear on

        The alternative of doing nothing is to be taken as a mug by the SRU.
        What challenges were made by Warrior Nation fans able to attend the Members Event last month? The coaching staff and players were happy enough to bath in the positive vibes of previous seasons, but those who pay their hard-earned money have every right to call them out for under-performance? If I was a member I’d want to know what was the recruitment process for Rennie’s replacement. How many people were interviewed? Who were involved in the decision to appoint?
        Boycott is one option, which some fans seem to have adopted through walking away and declining attendances. A proactive social media campaign targeting the Club’s Management would leave them in now doubt as to the dissatisfaction with their running of the club.
        Cockerill almost single-handedly dragged Edinburgh Rugby from being a joke team to being a feared competitor. The journey is still underway but the foundations are being laid for the future.
        Glasgow, shorn of their superstars,and with their 2010 backrow & 2012 back three, will be a major rebuild for Wilson.

  20. Scotty on

    I would love to be a fly on the wall at an SRU meeting as I cannot get my head around their satisfaction with complete mediocrity. Glasgow were in a position where, with a few more signings they could have been genuine contenders for the Champions Cup. Think what that could have done for Scottish rugby on the whole. Instead they let their marquee players leave without any replacements. Russell, Hogg, Nakarawa, Naiyaravoro are some of the best players in the world in their respective positions but there have been absolutely no replacements for any of them. Are the SRU happy for Glasgow to be a stepping stone for players to move onto Racing/Exeter/Northampton?!

    A couple of seasons ago it was almost impossible to get a ticket to a warriors game and there was talk of expanding the stadium but success breads success and you can see enthusiasm to attend games starting to fade. The SRU are on very thin ice with ruining something that was so great.

    A lot of people blame Rennie for the decline but I think the blame has to go to the SRU. Rennie doesn’t sign players out of his own back pocket, given the chance he would sign the best players in the world but the blazer brigade wont loosen the purse strings.

    • JB Lake on

      You have to eat an elephant one bite at a time, they have 2 quality coaches in the pro sides and a run in the Champions cup for Glasgow would be no bad thing. But the big issue on their agenda must be the absolute shambles they have got themselves into with Walter Mitty.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      I don’t disagree. I think the SRU got their priorities wrong. We now have two teams that can’t win anything and a Scotland team that has fallen apart over the past 12 months. Well done SRU.

      People commenting that warriors fans will ‘calm down’ is fair enough, but we are losing games home and away that we didn’t do over the past 5-7 years. Dragons away, Leinster at home (first win since 2012 in Glasgow for them). So this season isn’t just a dip in form- it’s a team who look shot to pieces confidence and tactics wise.

      The atmosphere was terrible last night. The problem is that Rangers and Celtic have a rekindled rivalry after nearly a decade of one way traffic. To not understand that will affect crowds is to not understand Glasgow (which the SRU dont). Add in a misfiring side and I expect a continued slide in attendances.

      • Hope Springs on

        Glasgow at full strength can play better. This season is not Glasgow’s Pro 14 , you lot have had your tea.

        I am disappointed to hear that people will be drifting off to watch the old firm. That is very , very sad indeed.

        They obviously feel the ‘inclusive atmosphere’ of Scotstoun (to quote previous posters) excludes them . It is now just a place for posh boys that can take a jolly good beating!

        I completely agree with you , the SRU must do something about it as a matter of urgency .

        I recommend they letter every one of them and ask they remove their bandwagons from the car park !

      • Sotonsaltire on

        Hope springs- typical response from the stereotypical Scottish rugby fan. It ain’t an amateur game and the Corinthian spirit will not see us through. Like it or not, people follow successful sports sides.

        That’s not the point you say, the quality doesn’t matter, it’s the history and tradition and club ties that count.

        It’s interesting whenever there is an impassioned comment from a Glasgow fan, comments come along saying ’you’ve had you tea’, not real rugby fans etc etc. The bitterness toward Glasgow from ’The East’ is shocking. It’s not your game, it’s a national sport and pass time.

        Most of Glasgow still look in on rugby as a curio and the preserve of the ’posh’ as you put it. Sadly your post is one in a long list that doesn’t recognise that ’your game’ will wither and die without the likes of state school plebs like me handing over our money to watch it. Therefore that gives ’us’ as much right as anyone to bemoan the problems at Glasgow and not accept that we’ve had our turn as you put it, and to accept that.

      • Stu2 on

        Sotonsaltire – the whole point of being a sports fan is you support your side through thick and thin. Glasgow rugby didn’t start when you strung a few wins together – the early years were terrible, but that was before you bandwagon jumpers arrived.

      • Highland Bear on

        What made the loss even more devastating was this was the Warriors 1st XV playing at home to Leinster B.

      • Hope Springs on

        Saltire : You are taking this quite seriously. The Glasgow warriors are in a bad patch. But if you like impassioned comments keep reading .

        If it was just about money , I would agree, but I wont, because rugby is about more than entertaining shysters with their ‘Hard earned money’. It is about commitment. That is playing, or coaching ,or taking your kids to mini rugby, taking your neighbours kids as well, in all sorts of rotten weather . Putting your money into grass roots rugby, following a local club or running touch, or the kitchen, or the kit laundry, or the ground maintenance, cleaning changing rooms, getting a few sponsors to advertise etc. Working out who will take their car to an away game. If any of those kids are good enough to get a game, they put up with the pelters from dis-effected fitba fans who feel entitled. Most of those committed to rugby go on and enjoy rugby playing with club sides and know very little about that ‘cosy inclusive atmosphere of Scotstoun on a Friday night’ you rant about. Scotstoun is full of head the ba’s who pay to view , drink ale and invest only their money, grudgingly it seems. Our priority is funding local sides ,kids or women’s rugby and the occasional warriors match. Football is Scotland’s national game, knitting is a past time, rugby is a game for the committed. A Glasgow Warriors tattoo is for life not just the winning season.

    • Andy_N on

      Saturday night, big league game against Leinster….I would estimate there were somewhere in the region if 2000 empty seats. This should be a huge worry to GW/SRU…season ticket holders (i.e. most loyal fan base) voting with their feet.

      • Stu2 on

        After a couple of months poor performances – they got to the Pro14 final in May and after a couple of months they are walking away.

        Aye, very good.

      • CSC on

        The idea that football is Scotland’s ‘national game’ is a myth. In New Zealand, rugby is undoubtly the national game, on the basis that NZ have been the most consistently successful team in world rugby for over 100 years. Scotland’s football record has been abysmal. To claim national status for such mediocrity, says a lot about why Scottish football is so poor.

      • Hope Springs on

        CSC :According to the BBC 780,000 people in Scotland play football and 89% are male.

        The Scotsman claims there are 192,000 Registered golfers in Scotland.

        Scotland has 38,500 registered rugby players and that includes, mini , teen , seniors and women.

        Yes it is dire but there are 200% more footballers in Scotland than rugby players.

        New Zealand has 148,000 registered rugby players which is around 20% of the registered football players in Scotland. It is our national game , embarrassing is it is.

        But the point is SS here, is writing on behalf of the disgruntled will take their money elsewhere, as if it is their money, we need .

      • Alanyst on

        I don’t think gross player numbers necessarily mean much for national/pro success…

        As a 40-something football is do-able still for me, as is touch, but full contact rugby became too much a few years ago.

        If it is “elite” success we are after, player numbers in the crucial 12 to 22 age range would be a more meaningful gauge…

      • J-B Lake on

        Well it is worrying me , they had just better turn around and walk back. As long as they are filling a seat, making a noise , even that turgid ‘GLaaassgo’, I do not need to and that suits me. Rugby on the telly , beer in one hand , her next door on the other. What more can you ask for ! A result is a bonus.

  21. Sam Benedict on

    Glasgow appear to be…where Edinburgh were a couple of seasons ago.

    – lost some key players (Russell, Nakarawa, Hogg // Scott, Denton, Visser)
    – reliant on young tyros coming through (Hornito, Hastings, Fagerson // Kinghorn, Bradbury, Ritchie)
    – some other players ageing + bit of deadwood

    Edinburgh had poor recruitment. Glasgow have had next-to-NO recruitment.

    They need a Cockerill to sort things out. Can Wilson be that figure?

  22. Sam Laycock on

    Do Edinburgh, Glasgow or the SRU produce end of year accounts that disclose the funding allocated to each team? Maybe the funding for Edinburgh’s stadium is coming out of that pot but surely the remainder is split fairly evenly. I just find the narrative that SRU is redirecting funding from Glasgow to Edinburgh hard to believe. Also I thought they were able to generate their own revenue through sponsorship and advertising and surely the Glasgow warriors brand is more successful and desirable than Edinburgh so I would really expect Glasgows budget to be at least equal to if not greater than Edinburgh’s.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      It’s a fair point and I don’t know the answer to that. My complaint is to do with squad shape and balance. Rennie is on a packet, Gibbons will be too, and Huw Jones is supposedly the highest paid player in Scotland and a SRU ‘import’ as I understand it rather than someone Rennie wanted.

      It means little room for any other major funding for players and none of the three have been world beating as anticipated. Gibbons was good before injury but has been off the boil for a while- hope he will find some form.

      Perhaps the Scottish boys at Edinburgh didn’t cut as good deals as the Glasgow players.

      Re sponsorship- I think that is centralised money? Again could be wrong. Also expect you will find that sponsoring Glasgow or Edinburgh is not that expensive and certainly a selling a couple of new billboard sponsorship deals is not going to be enough cash to fund a decent international back row forward’s income…..

      • Rory Baldwin on

        Not very scientific but it seems to be a few years since we had any real statements on it.
        Rugbypass in Sept 2018: “The SRU have been quoted as stating that Edinburgh Rugby has a player budget of £4.8m, while Glasgow Warriors operates on approximately £5.1 million.”
        Rugby in 2017: “SRU chief Mark Dodson has been quoted as saying the playing budget of Edinburgh is £4.8m, while Glasgow operate on £5.1m”

  23. Andy_N on

    On a practical level, we are horribly underpowered in the back row. This is partly physical, partly attitude. We simply don’t match the levels of combativeness of the top sides. We have no depth at 10, but most 10’s would struggle with the quality of ball currently being served up. Our back three a couple of years ago was a real strength, it’s now our Achilles heel. It genuinely staggers me that coaches didn’t see this coming, or if they did, felt powerless to do anything about it.

  24. Sam Benedict on

    Another issue for Warriors set in during Toonie’s tenure: an inability to tie players down to new contracts.

    Richie Gray, Nakarawa, Barclay, Strauss, Russell, McGuigan, Matawalu, Maitland, Dunbar, Bennett, Hogg, van der Merwe, Jackson…players who formed the core of strong Glasgow sides (and I’m aware Gray and Barclay predate this) have been allowed to move onto pastures new all too easily. Several of the above were part of the 2014/15 vintage team – and should have formed part of squads for years to come. But only a few stayed on for a long time, while others left and returned to Scotstoun…the emphasis goes straight onto producing the next lot of players, but you need to balance young tyros with real heavyweights. The players who would previously be backup are now nailed-on starters.

    Warriors needed to hang onto these players AND bring in new players if at all possible as WELL as blending them with new players coming through. A big challenge, but Glasgow were a real heavyweight in European rugby. They should’ve milked their status as defending champions – and a team where an exciting brand of rugby was growing (basically Northampton Saints currently) – for all it was worth.

    But yeah, the squad needs to be finely balanced, and Edinburgh have done OK in this regard. They’ve tied their first-choice XV to new contracts – several for several more years – while recruiting Mata, Sau and Schoeman too. But Glasgow’s recruitment has been a wee bit lacking.

    • FF on

      Glasgow have never been heavyweights of European rugby. Under Toonie they qualified for the quarter finals for the first time in his final year and got walloped by Saracens.

      Nakarawa was poached when he was in contract by one of the richest clubs in the world when he was being recognised as one of the best players in the world. It is delusion that:

      (a) Glasgow could have just chosen to keep all these players as if they had no aspirations of their own to move on
      (b) Glasgow could have afforded to keep them all

      There are some that were let go because of other reasons but the real big hitters Nakarawa, Russell, Hogg, Gray chose to leave. Even Maitland, who is probably in the second tier of the players you mentioned, moved to get paid more at a real European heavyweight.

      • Sam Benedict on

        I’m not saying all of them could have been kept – not by any means.

        There were three main leagues in Europe: the Pro12, the Premiership, and the Top14. Glasgow were one of the three league-winning sides. Saracens are gonna Saracens.

        Glasgow should’ve worked harder to hold onto their players – and the SRU should’ve worked harder to keep them there.

      • Rory Baldwin on

        The problem is there are wage squeezes at both ends. The top-flight guys want more and more money to stay vs what they could earn elsehwere, while the academy guys suddenly get pro contracts, or the tyro pros get Scotland caps, or Scotland caps go on Lions tours and their (agent’s) wage expectations rise in line. Edinburgh didn’t have many top-line guys to keep when Solomons left (he drove most of them off!) and so could recruit a bit with spare budget.

        With more Scotland players provided, they’ll suffer now as players like Stuart McInally or Jamie Ritchie who have flourished under Cockerill will have higher wage demands from where they started out. It means the Matas or the Nakarawas who don’t necessarily have that Scotland tie will be harder to keep hold of when the coaches are justifying budgets to the SRU. Of course, it helps that Cockerill seems a bit shrewder with his signings – Mata, Sau and Haining all look like decent investments while it seems like Glasgow have ploughed a lot into keeping their developing stars like the Hornstings, Fagersons and Jonny Gray. Rennie’s brought through a lot of centres but if you squint your eyes and look at it a certain way you could argue it’s hurt the club’s ability to recruit by bringing through so many centres (Grigg, Steyn, Johnson) in a position where he also has one of the highest-paid in Scotland warming the bench…

      • FF on

        Sam – yeah we won the league once but that doesn’t really count for much in European terms – or were Connacht a European heavyweight the next year too?

        We also lost twice to Munster in the group stage, nothing very heavyweight about that.

    • Stu2 on

      Players are always going to move on – if only to free up space for younger players. Whether we like it or not we will never be able to compete with French clubs or cheating English ones.

      • Scotty on

        Assuming you are talking about salarycens then they only cheated in the English prem as there is no cap in the Heineken cup!

        Scotland are in a difficult and unique position…Ireland have similar (if not slightly better due to more teams) finances than us but their pro teams benefit from the fact the international players HAVE to play for them. NZ are in the same boat. England and France are in leagues of their own due to the crazy money they have. Wales are more comparable to us though they try the Irish model and it is just not working for their pro sides, but somehow their International Side has flourished, though I think that was because of an excellent coach and a bit of a golden generation of players that is coming to its twilight years.

        With only two pro teams, we cannot say “if you don’t play in Scotland you can’t play for Scotland” so instead we are left with two financially poor teams that will occasionally have good years when things click but generally will not improve over the long term unless an avid Scottish Rugby Fan wins the lottery and donates a load of cash to one of the clubs.

        As I said earlier, the rise in Glasgow’s results and atmosphere around the stadium encouraged a wider variety of fans and great attendances but once people begin to realise they are supporting something that doesn’t have a realistic chance of improving, they will stop coming along.

        Very pessimistic post for a Tuesday morning, apologies all!

  25. Not rocket science on

    Cheers for heads up on Alex Dunbar Rugby Pass article. Interesting read, the lines and between the lines. Unsurprising to hear Rennie’s sh**e man management of Dunbar and Jones, cos frankly we knew already. Rennie OUT.

  26. Neil on

    Glasgow need a minor overhaul of there squad & build the team around the next generation, the next 1/2 seasons will be a write of though.

    They need to manage the funds far better also, to many positions either to weak or far to abundant.

    Forwards (30)
    Looseheads – Allen, Seiuli, Kebble, Capps

    Hookers – Stewart, Turner, Brown, Thornton, Matthews, Dolokoto

    Tightheads – Fagerson, Halanukonuka, Rae, Nicol, Du plessis

    Locks – Gray, Cummings, Mcdonald, Harley, Davidson, Swinson

    Backrow – Gibbins, Wilson, Fusaro, Gordon, Ashe,
    Fagerson, Flockhart, Vakalolomo, Smith

    Backs (23)

    Scrumhalf – Price, Horne, Frisby, Dobie, Kennedy

    Fly Half – Hastings, Thomson

    Centre – Johnson, Steyn, Grigg, Mcdowall, Jones, Horne, Kelly

    Back 3 – Seymour, DTH, Matawalu, Nairn, Hughes, Bryce, Jones, Tagive, Jackson

    Dispose of the following lot over the next 2 years for only young scottish pros/returning scots or marquee signings:

    Turner, Dolokoto, Du plessis (still player waged) Halanukonuka, Rae, Swinson, Harley, Fusaro, Wilson, Kennedy, Frisby, Price, Thomson, Grigg, Kelly, Tagive, Bryce, Seymour (If he does not make the mark at full back)

    • Neil on

      Leaves you with a squad of (and play players in correct position)

      Forwards (20)
      Loosehead – Seiuli, Kebble, Allen, Capps

      Hooker – Brown, Stewart, Thornton, Matthews

      Tighthead – Fagerson, Nicol

      Lock – Gray, Cummings, Mcdonald, Davidson

      Backrow – Gibbins, Gordon, Fagerson, Ashe, Smith, Flockhart

      Backs (14/15)

      Scrumhalf – Horne, Matawalu, Dobie,

      Fly-half – Hastings, Jackson

      Centre – Johnson, Mcdowall, Jones, Steyn, Horne

      Back Three – DTH, Nairn, Hughes, Jones, (possibly Seymour)

      Total Squad of 34/35 remaining + youth/ Good signings to bring the numbers up at Tighthead, Back-Three, Total squad depth of around 40 is all that is needed.

  27. Neil on

    Team outwidth Scotland

    1. Allen Dell
    2. Jake Kerr
    3. Jon Welsh
    4. Richie Gray
    5. Sam Skinner
    6. Blade Thomson
    7. John Hardie
    8. Josh Strauss
    9. Greig Laidlaw
    10. Finn Russell
    11. Byron Mcguigan
    12. Rory Hutchison
    13. Alex Dunbar
    14. Sean Maitland
    15. Stuart Hogg

    Excluding 2 &3 that’s some pretty handy talent Edinburgh & Glasgow are missing out if you ask me, what on earth is Rennie doing.

    • Merlot on

      We need Scottish qualified players to be playing outside of Scotland. You need at least 3 test-level players in each position in order to compete, cover injuries and have a mix in order to pick “horses for courses”. We only have two teams so we need at least one in each position playing outside of Glasgow/Edinburgh, in order to ensure everyone is getting game time.
      Your analysis does help point out that we need to have more front-rowers playing in the AP/Top14.

      • Scrummo on

        We do have some good prospects like Kerr, Miller at Worcester, Owlett at Wasps etc already abroad who may come good in the front row.

      • Neil on

        Tbh they should just remove props from the game and play 5 man scrums, would be a far better healthier image for the sport.

      • J-B Lake on

        Rubbish keep the props, remove Wing forwards, just keep the same scrum rules as they are poncy anyway , create more space on the field.

        Maybe do away with line-outs. Now we have arrived at the big plan all along , rugby league.

  28. W S Drummond on

    Nakarawa was in Glasgow when “awol” from Racing and now he has had his contract terminated so perhaps we should be told if a serious attempt was made to sign him. Can’t believe Huw Jones isn’t in the pool for Saturday and deserves a decent run of games and Glasgow should be asking if Racing will take him and Nakarawa can move to Glasgow.Rennie’s best pal P.Horne is again included to face La Rochelle this Saturday and he is one player who we would not miss if he were to move on. Bring back Dunbar who was shoddily treated and lets add some power and turnover nous to a small but talented midfield.

    • Neil on

      That would be a wonderful christmas present to bring Leone back , arguably the best lock in the world depending on the style you play.

      I have a feeling a team like Bristol are going scoop him up though based on what i have been hearing.

      Knowing Rennie even if we signed him that he probably wont get selected.

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