Match Preview – Leinster
A trip to face the defending champions in their own back yard awaits Glasgow Warriors this weekend, with Dave Rennie’s side heading to the RDS to take on Leinster on Friday night.
head to the Irish capital in good stead, following back-to-back bonus-point
victories at Scotstoun.
A brace from
Grant Stewart spearheaded a 34-19 victory over the Dragons last time out, as
the Warriors ran in five tries to overwhelm their visitors from South Wales.
be no underestimating of their hosts on Friday night, though, with Leinster having
shown their prowess as a European powerhouse over the 2019/20 season.
the two sides are shaping up ahead of the match:
men are currently sitting pretty atop Guinness PRO14 Conference A, having
recorded 12 wins from 12 outings in the competition thus far in 2019/20.
Kearney hat-trick saw the Leinstermen edge past Benetton 32-27 in their opening
match of the season, before comprehensive wins over the Ospreys and Edinburgh
preceded a round four 3-0 slugfest in Parma.
half-century in victory over the Dragons in round five put the men in blue back
on track, with wins away to Connacht and the Warriors sending them into the
festive derbies in rude health.
Twice more Cullen’s
men breached the 50-point barrier in home victories over Ulster and Connacht,
before successive victories over the Cheetahs and the Ospreys kept them flying
high in Conference A.
victory at Celtic Park was the final act in a Leinster shirt for two of the
club’s established Ireland internationals, with both Sean O’Brien and Jack McGrath
saying their farewells to the RDS.
McGrath made the journey north to join up with former Glasgow assistant Dan McFarland
at Ulster, whilst back-row stalwart O’Brien crossed the Irish Sea to join up
with his new team-mates at London Irish.
Noel Reid also made the switch to the English Premiership in agreeing a deal
with Leicester Tigers, with second-row duo Ian Nagle and Mick Kearney each
agreeing to join Guinness PRO14 rivals Zebre.
company preferred to recruit from within over the off-season, with no fewer
than seven players promoted from the renowned Leinster academy.
Kelleher has caught the eye most frequently in 2019/20, sitting joint-second in
the try-scoring charts halfway through the season.
Ciaran Frawley and back-rower Scott Penny have also been key players in
Leinster’s unbeaten run, as the province’s strength in depth has proven to be a
crucial asset on both domestic and European fronts.
With a host
of experienced internationals involved with Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations
squad, Scott Fardy provides valuable leadership in the heart of Leinster’s
pack. The Australian international is equally capable of proving to be a menace
from the second or back-row, whilst also providing a link in Leinster’s attack.
scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park has proven to be a shrewd acquisition since
arriving in 2016, his speed around the base of the ruck constantly keeping
defenders on their toes. A former Maori All Black, the 27-year-old also has Super
Rugby experience from his time with the Blues and Hurricanes.
by Ireland for their Guinness Six Nations campaign, Leinster fans will be
relishing the experience provided by Rob Kearney at full-back. Capped 95 times
by Ireland and a two-time British and Irish Lion, his big-game nous and
tactical kicking are key weapons in Leinster’s arsenal.
Leinster that struck the first blow this season when the two sides met at
Scotstoun at the end of November, Cullen’s men emerging 23-10 victors in Glasgow’s
early brace from Ruaridh Jackson, two tries from Cian Kelleher and the boot of
Ross Byrne was enough for the men in blue to travel home with the win.
It was a
different story on Glasgow’s last visit to Dublin, however; a combination of
clinical attack and concrete defence handed Rennie’s side a 39-24 win, in a
result still fondly remembered by the Warrior Nation.
world-record 43 tackles from Jonny Gray led the defensive effort in
headline-making fashion, with Sam Johnson’s try in that match going on to be
voted as the club’s Try of the Season.
is the man in the middle for Friday night’s all-Conference A clash, with the
Welshman taking charge of his 183rd match in the Guinness PRO14.
and Wayne Davies will be on the touchlines as his assistants, alongside Ian
Davies in the broadcast trucks as the TMO.
The match is
live on Premier Sports 2 this Friday, with kick-off scheduled for 7.35pm.
Warriors supporters can follow the match from the club’s Official Fan Zone, The
Old Schoolhouse on Woodlands Road, as well as follow all the action in our Live
Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.