Glasgow Warriors v Connacht match preview
The Warriors make the return to the Scotstoun Stadium off the back of an impressive away win against defending champions the Ospreys. A heartening display, especially defensively, should give them a good chance of securing their first home win in their new ground.
Connacht approach this match after a second half mauling from the Scarlets, although they can be heartened by their first half’s defensive display. They make six changes for this game, and have a real concern at scrum half, with Frank Murphy adding to their long term injury list and will now have to rely heavily on 20 year old Kieran Marmion.
They aren’t alone with their scrum half woes with Glasgow’s Cusiter having suffered a shoulder injury in his last appearance and is likely to be out until at least December. It’s a harsh blow for the player who was looking favourite to start in the Autumn Internationals for Scotland.
The home side have opted to stick with the reliable Duncan Weir at fly half, a decision that should help the inexperienced Pyrgos in his stint in the number 9 jersey. There is no room for stand out player Fusaro in the backrow, but the unit of Eddie, Barclay and Wilson should still be one to cause the visitors a lot of problems.
In the backs they will be hoping to bring the effective and in form DTH van der Merwe into the game, although Connacht cannot afford to focus too much on him with the dependable Lamont starting on the other flank.
The visitors approach this game with their typical wily forwards pack in what could well become a stodgy affair as both sides look to slow the ball down to suit their own needs. Players like Duffy and Loxton will be keen to get their hands on the ball, but if Glasgow defend as they did last week, they will find it difficult to break though.
Both teams will be hungry for the win, but the need to consolidate an away win and to secure a first home victory of the season should edge things Glasgow’s way. With a more dynamic pack and with an improved defensive unit in the backs should see them pulling clear in the last quarter, despite another determined and committed Connacht display.
Even with Glasgow going into this match as favourites, they will have to be sure to keep their concentration and their composure for the duration, as if there’s one team in this league that is always capable of an upset, it’s Connacht.
Glasgow Warriors : Peter Murchie, Sean Lamont, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, DTH van der Merwe, Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, Al Kellock (Captain), James Eddie, John Barclay, Ryan Wilson.
Replacements : Finlay Gillies, Mike Cusack, Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson, Angus Macdonald, Sean Kennedy, Scott Wight, Troy Nathan.
Connacht : Gavin Duffy, James Loxton, Robbie Henshaw, Dave McSharry, Mark McCrea, Matthew Jarvis, Kieran Marmion, Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Nathan White, George Naoupu, Dave Gannon, Johnny O’Connor, Willie Faloon Eoin McKeon.
Replacements : Kevin O’Byrne, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swify, Mick Kearney, Dave Moore, Jack Carty, Mata Fifita.