Guinness Pro14 Game Of The Weekend: Glasgow V Leinster

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Glasgow Warriors v Leinster - European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 Round 2
Glasgow , United Kingdom - 21 October 2017; Devin Toner of Leinster in action against Jonny Gray of Glasgow Warriors during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 Round 2 match between Glasgow Warriors and Leinster at Scotstoun in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The most crucial game of the Guinness Pro14 round eight comes at the Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. With Glasgow unbeaten and leading Conference A and Leinster second in conference B respectively, they both will be searching for another victory to keep their good form going.

Glasgow v Leinster on Friday night, will be Last Word On Rugby’s one to watch.

Guinness Pro14 Game of the Weekend

Glasgow will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten Guinness Pro14 record at home to Leinster. Head coach, Dave Rennie, will believe his side can continue their fine form and make it eight wins from eight matches.

Glasgow managed to defeat the Southern Kings 43-13 last time out at the Scotstoun Stadium. They currently sit ‘top of the pile’ in Conference A, a massive 12 points clear of second placed Munster.

The Warriors have the best defence in the Guinness Pro14–only conceding nine tries this season. They also have the joint second best offence this season, with 27 tries. Only trailing Conference B leaders the Scarlets, in that department.

Opposing them, Leinster are currently second in Conference B of the Pro14 and after seven rounds of the competition, have only one loss. Their loss came as a surprise to many, going down 38-19 to the Cheetahs in South Africa in round four.
Leinster gladly managed to recover from this hiccup to defeat Edinburgh at the RDS, in a tough, close encounter that was followed up with another win over Munster. So traveling well and wanting to reinforce that on the road tonight.

The Dubliners had a very successful start to their European campaign, taking a maximum 10 points from their opening two matches. They were impressive in defeating Montpellier and followed that up with victory over this weeks opponents in fact, Glasgow Warriors. They then managed to overtake rivals Ulster in conference B, after defeating them away from home last weekend.

Head coach Leo Cullen will be hoping his side continue their impressive form. Knowing they can win in both competitions is crucial. Now, they face the only unbeaten team in the Pro14–a team they have beaten, and Cullen will feel very comfortable with that notch on his teams belt.

Crucial Match-up in the Guinness Pro14

It will be a crucial match for the Pro14 overall: both sides will be searching for the victory, with Glasgow hoping to maintain their superiority. While Leinster, will be hoping to make a statement, and keep pace with the Scarlets in conference B.

Looking at the strengths; both teams have scored 25 or more tries this season, which shows the attacking threat each side poses. Victory could be decided by whichever sides defence can shut down the opposition more often. A big ask but it raises the question ‘who will come out on top?’

Very evenly matched, look for some fireworks in Glasgow this weekend!

Glasgow V Leinster: Players to Watch

There will be plenty of talent on show at the Scotstoun Stadium on Friday night, including a lot of international players. Here are Last Word on Rugby’s players to watch.

Home Team

Glasgow fly half Peter Horne: the Scot could be a huge factor on Saturday night and has the quality in his game to cause Leinster problems. His running angles and the ability to unlock defences is difficult to defend. Horne, has been in fine form for Glasgow this season and will look to control and run the game from ten.

With his attacking threat, utilising all the attacking weapons within his game, is something Leinster will need to watch closely for on. Peter Horne will be the LWOR’s key player to look out for as he is involved in pretty much everything.

Forward Callum Gibbons will be another key player on Friday. Glasgow will expect a big game from their openside flanker and captain. They will need plenty of hard hitting carries, plus his regulation fierce tackling.

Gibbons will also need some strong leadership, especially in the set piece, line out and breakdown. All those will be a highly contested areas tonight. Altogether in what is expected to be a very a tight match, Gibbons influence as captain could be important to the result.

The Visitors – Leinster

Starting with Leinster wing, Adam Byrne. He has been in fine form on the outside for Leinster this season. The Irishman has the most clean breaks and defenders beaten within the whole squad, so he is in a purple patch. The 23 year-old hasn’t exactly been rewarded with the tries he’s deserved so far this season, and he will be hoping that changes tonight.

The uncapped Irishman will be fresh and ready on Saturday night, hoping to continue his fine form up against the experienced Nikola Matawalu.

The final LWOR ‘Player to Watch’ on Fridday night is Scott Fardy. The Aussie has been impressive so far this season at his new home in Ireland. The big Australian has had a massive impact with his dynamic ball carrying and work rate in defence.

Rested for the two away trips in South Africa, Leinster missed his presence in the pack, especially against the Cheetahs. Fardy, returned to the line up for the victory over Edinburgh–a key man for their performance. Rested for last weeks victory over Ulster, he should be fit and ready to go on Saturday.

The 39 times capped international could be a huge factor and has the game to cause the Munster men problems. His dynamic ball carrying and solid defence is huge plus for Leinster.

Glasgow V Leinster Match Outlook

The game is expected to be a tough and gruelling fixture, with both teams needing the victory to stay at the top. Expect a tight but exciting match, with both teams using their physical packs before allowing the flair in the backs to create tries.

With both teams ‘scoring tries for fun’ so far this season, fans should expect to see plenty on Friday evening. Who will come out on top? The result could be very important for the final standings of both conferences of the 2017/18 Guinness Pro14 –  but undeniably, bragging rights are still on the line!

The Last Word On Rugby’s Guinness Pro14 ‘game of the weekend’ could go either way. Glasgow attacking threat can cause Leinster many problems. Rennie and his men will look to use their home advantage.

However, popular sentiment say’s Leinster will be the favourites heading into the game on tonight, despite being away from home and Glasgow being unbeaten.

 

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