Match Preview | Emirates Lions [A]

Match Preview | Emirates Lions [A]

The penultimate round of the United Rugby Championship before the knock-out stages is here. Glasgow Warriors take on Emirates Lions in a game that will determine the top four league standings.

Only one point stands between first and second place in the URC table. Franco Smith’s men will be gunning for a bonus-point win against the South African side this weekend to cement their position as league leaders.

The clash against the Emirates Lions is the third time the Warriors will encounter them. With one win apiece, it’ll be finite margins that will decide who is victorious in Round 17.

The two sides have met just twice before in the United Rugby Championship with Glasgow winning 13-9 at Scotstoun in October 2021 and the Lions 35-24 in Johannesburg in February 2023. The two also met last season in the quarter final of the EPCR Challenge Cup where Glasgow gained a 31-21 home win.

Despite Glasgow’s six-match winning streak being ended against the Vodacom Bulls in Round 16, they bagged two losing bonus-points that secured their number one spot for another week. The resilience and strength the Warriors showed against the Bulls will ensure momentum remains high.


The Emirates Lions currently sit 10th in league table. Positioned just underneath Connacht who will also be vying for a top eight spot, the Lions need a win against Glasgow if they’re to qualify for the knock-out stages.

The hosts will be relying on their forwards’ dominance and fans to carry them through 80 minutes. The South African side is littered with talent. Including Francke Horn who has scored seven tries in the competition this season, and Sanele Nohamba who is in the top ten URC point scorers, the Lions will prove to be a tough opposition to snatch a bonus-point win against.

Emirates Lions have won four of their last six Vodacom United Rugby Championship matches whilst their only defeat at Emirates Airlines Park since February was 13-33 to Munster in Round 15. Furthermore, the last time they lost to Scottish opponents was earlier this season in Round 2 where they were narrowly defeated by Edinburgh at Hive Stadium.

The Lions do have the home advantage, however. Yet, Glasgow will be looking to disrupt that and grab a win to end their South African tour.

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