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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Toyota Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors

Charlie Bennett 5 Oct 2017

Glasgow Warriors jet off to South Africa for the first time this season knowing they face a tall task against one of the Guinness PRO14’s most in-form teams.

It may have taken the Toyota Cheetahs a couple of weeks to adjust to the competition but they are up to speed now and have a three-game winning run to protect.

But the Warriors arrive with a 100 per cent winning record, having won all five of their games so far, making this arguably the standout tie of the weekend.

What’s at stake?

Glasgow Warriors already seem to have a strong grip on Conference A and are the only unbeaten Guinness PRO14 side left.

This is their first meeting with the Cheetahs and the South Africans have quickly got to grips with the competition.

Three wins on the bounce is an impressive return after a slow start and they now sit inside the top three.

Scores are almost guaranteed, with the Cheetahs prolific in front of their own supporters, having amassed 106 points in three victories so far.

A win could move them to second in Conference A above a Munster side who beat them convincingly earlier this season.

Team news (Toyota Cheetahs):

In an illustration of their red-hot form, the Cheetahs have made just one change to their team, with Rosko Specman starting in place Raymond Rhule on the wing.

The Toyota Cheetahs are set to wave goodbye to full-back Sergeal Petersen, who is joining the Stormers next month.

“Sergeal has been a great servant of Free State Rugby and added a lot of value to team,” said coach Rory Duncan.

“Playing in his last game for the Toyota Cheetahs will be a bit of motivation for the rest of the team.”

Team news (Glasgow Warriors):

The headline news out of South Africa is that lock Jonny Gray is set for his first appearance of the season for Glasgow.

The Warriors star has recovered from wrist surgery and lines up alongside fellow Scotland international Tim Swinson.

“It’s great having Jonny back,” said head coach Dave Rennie.

“He’s been working hard for a lot of weeks, jumping out of his skin, so we’re excited to have him in there.

“With Jonny and Fraser back, it gives us more experience on the field and they both bring a lot of physicality, which is going to be important.

“The Cheetahs can play a couple of different games. They have a big pack who can maul well and they have some real gas out wide, so they’re prepared to play.

“We’ll have to be accurate and really disciplined, but we want to play and hopefully the conditions will allow us to do that.”

Hooker Fraser Brown also starts for the first time this season, while Adam Ashe and Callum Gibbins are recalled to the back row.

Talking points:

Glasgow Warriors are the only side left in this season’s Guinness PRO14 with a 100 per cent winning record.

They have dropped only two points this campaign, missing out on a try bonus in Connacht in Round 1 and at Cardiff in Round 3.

But they face an almighty challenge to overcome a Cheetahs side brimming with confidence following three wins on the spin.

It is often said that defences win championships though and Glasgow have conceded a measly six tries so far this season in comparison to Cheetahs’ 25.

That will be tested against a Cheetahs side full of offensive weapons, such as hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld and winger Makazole Mapimpi.

Key Battle: Makazole Mapimpi v Tommy Seymour

It’s an intriguing fight between two of the Guinness PRO14’s best wingers as Makazole Mapimpi and Tommy Seymour go head-to-head.

Mapimpi has scored five tries in five games this season, including two in home wins against Zebre and Ospreys, and the speedy South African has shown he is capable of creating chances out of nothing in open play.

Mapimpi was equally dangerous in Super Rugby, scoring ten tries last season, and has carried his form over this season.

In contrast, Seymour is still getting up to speed following The British & Irish Lions’ Tour to New Zealand.

The Scottish speedster has only played twice this season and will add power and finishing prowess to the Warriors.

The 29-year-old showed off his ability with a well-taken try last weekend against Benetton Rugby and is getting better with every match.

Key Stat:

The South Africans have not won four matches in a row since they did so in Super Rugby in 2013.

Cheetahs: Sergeal Petersen, Rosco Specman, Francois Venter (C), William Small-Smith, Makazole Mapimpi, Ernst Stapelberg, Tian Meyer, Charles Marais, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tom Botha, Justin Basson, Reniel Hugo, Paul Schoeman, Henco Venter, Oupa Mohoje.

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche, Johan Coetzee, Rynier Bernardo, Junior Pokomela, Shaun Venter, Nico Lee, Luther Obi.

Glasgow: Ruaridh Jackson, Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, Leonardo Sarto, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray, Ryan Wilson (C), Callum Gibbins, Adam Ashe.

Replacements: George Turner, Alex Allan, D’Arcy Rae, Brian Alainu’uese, Rob Harley, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Niko Matawalu.

Match officials:

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 92nd competition game)

Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Ben Crouse (SARU)

Citing Commissioner: Marius van Rensberg (SARU)

TMO: Shaun Veldsman

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Glasgow make it six from six in South African thriller

Ross Lawson 6 Oct 2017

Rob Harley’s wonderful late try ensured Glasgow Warriors’ winning start to the Guinness PRO14 campaign continued with a thrilling victory over Toyota Cheetahs.

Harley crashed over from Finn Russell’s expert kick, the last act in a game that continued to to-and-fro from almost first minute to last, featuring two teams on top form.

Callum Gibbins scored his first two tries for the Warriors, while Henry Pyrgos also got his name on the scoreboard in a bonus-point win.

But it wasn’t to all go the Scottish side’s way as Sergeal Petersen and Rosko Speckman as well as an impeccable kicking effort from Ernst Stapelberg kept the hosts fighting for the entire contest.

Glasgow wasted little time getting themselves on the board, winning a penalty with barely a minute on the clock from which Russell expertly put his side three points ahead.

But the Cheetahs came back with a bite, pinging the ball out to the touchline from a quick penalty where full-back Petersen was on hand to run in the first try of the evening.

And it was the hosts, defending a three-match winning run, who next troubled the scoreboard with a penalty, but an intense spell of Warriors pressure had them back to parity as flanker Gibbins charged over for his side’s first score at 10-10.

It looked like that would be the half-time score, only for a superb length-of-the-field score leading to Speckman crashing over and putting the Cheetahs seven points ahead come the interval.

But the second half saw Gibbins become the man to once again do the damage – but he had plenty to thank Ruaridh Jackson for.

The full-back intercepted on his own try line to sprint away down-field, finding Gibbins in exactly the right place at the right time for the pass and score to make the game level once more.

That was how it stayed until the 57th minute mark but the Cheetahs poked their noses in front again, Stapelberg twice kicking penalties.

But, with just ten minutes to go, Glasgow showed exactly why they have been impeccable this season with some lovely play through the hands, the ball eventually finding Pyrgos to dot down and put his side ahead coming towards the denouement.

But the hosts were prepared for yet another twist in the tale, with Stapelberg getting his fourth penalty to tip the scales for the last time – or so we thought.

With just two minutes to go, up stepped Russell with a beautiful chip to the corner to allow Harley to crash over for the bonus-point score and yet another victory on the road for the Scots.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138