Ulster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors: head to head

Will Thompson
20 April 2018

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Glasgow travel to Belfast on Saturday having secured a home semi-final spot in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series after beating Connacht 35-22 last time out.

Charles Piutau, Ulster

Ulster cannot qualify but still have an opportunity for a European Champions Cup play-off spot as they currently lie in fourth in Conference B.

Therefore, the Irish province need all the points possible to end the season on a high, with only one more round to come after this weekend.

Glasgow head coach Dave Rennies has made six changes to the starting XV as Six Nations star Huw Jones comes in, while the player of the tournament Jacob Stockdale will feature for Ulster.

Here are some more intriguing match-ups that could influence the game on the weekend.

John Cooney v Ali Price

Ulster’s scrum-half is having an incredible season under Jono Gibbes, controlling games and leading the line in attack with speed and precision.

The 27-year-old is currently leading the statistics in a handful of categories, including the highest number of points so far with 144, most try assists with 10 and most penalties scored with 27.

The No.9 demonstrated his versatility as he moved into the fly-half position in Ulster’s victory over Ospreys last time out, proving a threat by pulling the strings efficiently in Belfast.

Ali Price did not feature in the Warriors’ defeat of Connacht in the previous round, and has only played 60 minutes from the previous five matches before that, so will be eager to display his talent against Ulster.

The 24-year-old featured in all five of Scotland’s Six Nations matches in the 2018 campaign and has a wealth of experience that he’ll need in order to match Cooney on Saturday.

The battle of nines may prove the difference at the Kingspan Stadium and both will be hoping to control the pace of play and territory with their kicking and decision-making.

Charles Piutau v Stuart Hogg

New Zealander Charles Piutau is another of those among the top of the stats tables and has consistently performed this season.

Not only has the full-back collectively beaten the most defenders in the Guinness PRO14 this season having slipped past 60 tackles, he has also made the second-highest amount of offloads with 29, illustrating the attacking threat he possesses.

Furthermore, Piutau features in the top three for metres made with 1067, and top two for carries with 210 proving how significant he has been with ball in hand.

His Scottish counterpart on Saturday is none other than Stuart Hogg, a potent attacking force himself with 175 points for Glasgow over a seven-year career at Scotstoun.

Hogg opened the scoring for the Warriors against Connacht with his second try of the season, crossing the whitewash almost immediately after the Irish scored to set the tone for the rest of the match.

The 25-year-old full-back started all five of Scotland’s Six Nations matches and dotted down in the final game against Italy and has bags of experience to dip into when the pressure is on, which it certainly will be at the Kingspan this weekend.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

 

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