Match Preview | Benetton
Glasgow Warriors will look to continue their strong run of form in the United Rugby Championship this weekend, as Danny Wilson’s squad aim for a fifth successive victory in the competition when Benetton visit Scotstoun on Saturday night.
Having shown their defensive resolve to earn a 13-11 win over Munster last time out and propel themselves up to joint-second in the table, the Warriors will be keen to back up the result in a potentially pivotal clash with their Scottish-Italian Shield rivals.
A first-place finish in the Shield ensures automatic qualification for the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup, whilst victory on Saturday night would also further Glasgow’s play-off aspirations in the overall standings.
However, having been denied victory at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo by Leonardo Marin’s last-gasp penalty earlier this season, there will be no chance of the Warriors taking their opponents lightly this weekend.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this weekend’s clash:
We’re back at Scotstoun next Saturday night ? Benetton
The Warrior Nation will not want to dwell too long on the memories of their most recent encounter with Benetton, having slipped to a 19-18 defeat in Treviso back in November.
First-half tries from Jack Dempsey and Rory Darge had given the Warriors a 15-13 lead at the break, Rhyno Smith and Giovanni Pettinelli replying for the home side.
A scrappy match descended into a dogfight in the second stanza, with Marin’s aforementioned intervention ultimately proving decisive with the clock in the red.
Ones to watch
Still just 22, Argentinian prop Thomas Gallo is gaining a reputation as one of the most dynamic ball-carriers in the Benetton arsenal. Two tries on his international debut against Australia showcased his abilities to the wider rugby public, whilst his set-piece work has also ensured a solid platform for his side.
Comfortable on the blindside or at number eight, the powerful carrying of Pettinelli from the back-row has seen him become a key member of the Benetton pack. His form in the 2021/22 season to date has also seen him break into the senior Italian setup, earning an international debut for the Azzurri in November and featuring in both Guinness Six Nations matches to date.
Scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage is often the man to make Marco Bortolami’s men tick, bringing a wealth of top-flight experience to proceedings for the Italian outfit. A canny tactical kicking game, allied with an eye for a gap around the breakdown, makes the 31-year-old a key component in the Benetton lineup.
Clashes between Benetton and Glasgow Warriors have tended to be high-scoring affairs in recent seasons, with Glasgow’s trip to Treviso in January 2020 proving no exception.
A lightning-fast start saw Sam Johnson cross with just two and a half minutes on the clock, Pete and George Horne following him over the whitewash for a 19-5 half-time lead.
Braam Steyn and Antonio Rizzi dragged the home side back into contention, only for Horne junior, Andrew Davidson and Niko Matawalu to secure the bonus-point win for the Warriors.
Frank Murphy will be the man in the middle for Saturday night’s encounter, as the Irish referee takes charge of his 56th match in the competition.
Keith Allen and Dunx McClement will be on the sidelines as his assistants, with Ben Blain on hand as and when required as the Television Match Official.
You can still secure your seat for this pivotal URC clash right up until kick-off, with your support set to make all the difference.
Make sure to be in the stands at Scotstoun to roar on your Warriors!