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Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues | Guinness Pro14 | Saturday 12th October 2019

Form

Glasgow Warriors: LL

Cardiff Blues: WL

Glasgow have had a tough start to the 2019/20 season, losing heavily against Cheetahs in South Africa to get the campaign underway, before a 21-25 scoreline saw them just miss out at home to Scarlets last weekend.

Cardiff Blues fared better in South Africa in round one, beating Southern Kings, but failed to back that up last weekend as a disappointing performance saw John Mulvihill’s men fall at home to Edinburgh.

Head-to-head

Cardiff Blues 34-38 Glasgow Warriors - 16/02/2019

Glasgow Warriors 33-24 Cardiff Blues - 13/01/2019

Glasgow Warriors 40-15 Cardiff Blues - 23/11/2018

Cardiff Blues 12-29 Glasgow Warriors - 21/10/2018

Glasgow Warriors 40-16 Cardiff Blues - 01/12/2017

Recent history does not bode well for Cardiff Blues this weekend, as we have lost the last seven straight games against Glasgow Warriors, including four games across the Pro14 and Heineken Cup just last season.

For the last win you have to go back to September 2016 for a 23-19 victory at home, then it’s December 2013 for a 7-9 victory at Scotstoun in the Heineken Cup, before going all the way back to February 2011 for the last win up there in the league.

On that occasion a try from Tom James and the boot of Ceri Sweeney secured a 15-26 triumph.

Team news

Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie has made four changes to the team that lost to Scarlets last week, two of which come in the front row as Alex Allan and Adam Nicol come in at prop, young flanker Bruce Flockhart makes his first start on the blindside and Nick Grigg starts at centre.

Cardiff Blues show just two changes, with John Mulvihill switching Kris Dacey and Liam Belcher at hooker, and Will Boyde and Nick Williams at number eight, with Lloyd Williams captaining the team from scrum-half.

Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Kyle Steyn, Nick Grigg, Stafford McDowall, Rory Hughes, Brandon Thomson, Nick Frisby; Alex Allan, Grant Stewart, Adam Nicol, Rob Harley, Kiran McDonald, Bruce Flockhart, Callum Gibbins (c), Matt Fagerson

Replacements: Johnny Matthews, George Thornton, D'arcy Rae, Tim Swinson, Chris Fusaro, Jamie Dobie, Huw Jones, Glenn Bryce

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan, Owen Lane, Garyn Smith, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill, Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams (c); Brad Thyer, Kris Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson, Will Boyde

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Nick Williams, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Harri Millard

Player to watch

21-year-old Glasgow number eight Matt Fagerson signed a new contract at Scotstoun this week and will be looking to repay the faith of his club with a big performance on Saturday night.

A big call carrier and commanding presence at the back of the scrum, Fagerson will be up for going head-to-head with the experience of Nick Williams opposite him.

What the coaches said

“We’re pretty blessed with our depth in midfield. Even with a few guys away at the Rugby World Cup, we’ve still got Huw Jones, Stafford McDowall, Nick Grigg and Kyle Steyn, who’s starting on the wing.

“Our intention was to start Bruce Flockhart last weekend, but he didn’t quite make it. He’s a powerful man, very dominant defensively and a guy who carries well. He spent a lot of last season injured, but we think he’s got massive potential and hope he shows that tomorrow.

“We were keen to get George [Thornton] back to Scotland, so we’re excited to give him his opportunity tomorrow. His line-out lifting is excellent and he’s made good shifts around his scrummaging. We’re looking forward to seeing how he goes.”

Dave Rennie, Glasgow Warriors Head Coach

“We let ourselves down last weekend, but we have put that to bed and had a really good week preparing for what will be a formidable test up in Glasgow.

“They have struggled a little bit in the opening weeks of the season, with all the players they are missing, but they boast a huge amount of strength in depth and will be determined to take a step in the right direction on their home patch.

“We are certainly under no illusions of the quality they possess.We just have to make sure we are accurate in everything we do and look to be a bit more clinical in attack. This opening period of the season is really important, and you don’t want to be playing catch up.

“Hopefully we will see a much-improved performance this weekend and in turn that will put us in the position to win the game if we take our chances.”

John Mulvihill, Cardiff Blues Head Coach

The referee

Irishman Sean Gallagher is one of the youngest referees in the league at 29, and will officiate only his 16th Guinness Pro14 game on Saturday.

He has been in charge for three Cardiff Blues games previously, including a home win over Zebre and away win over Southern Kings, but is perhaps best known for failing to send off Robert Barbieri for a forearm to the throat of Lloyd Williams when we played Benetton away last season.

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