Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets: head to head

Andy Baber
17 May 2018

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Glasgow Warriors and Scarlets are within touching distance of the Guinness PRO14 final – and the two sides meet in the first of two Guinness PRO14 Final Series semi-finals on Friday night.

Rhys Patchell scores a try against Glasgow Warriors

Scotstoun Stadium will play host to the battle between the best of Scotland and Wales, respectively, with either Leinster or Munster awaiting the winner at the Aviva Stadium.

Dave Rennie’s side have had plenty of time to prepare for the showdown in Glasgow, having topped Conference A with 15 wins from 21 games during the regular season.

Scarlets, on the other hand, have not had the luxury of a three-week break after finishing runners-up behind Leinster in Conference B despite finishing equal on points.

Instead, Wayne Pivac’s team faced a semi-final qualifier against Toyota Cheetahs, which the defending champions breezed through with a 43-8 victory in Llanelli.

Ahead of the clash between Glasgow and Scarlets, we’ve taken a look at a key battle in the forwards and backs that could decide who reaches the final in Dublin.

Jonny Gray v Tadhg Beirne

The return of Scotland international Jonny Gray from a shoulder injury, which has kept him out for a month, could not come at a better time for Warriors.

His time on the sidelines has allowed him to come into the semi-final completely fresh and he could provide the perfect antidote to combat Beirne in the engine room.

Despite only being 24, he is a rock for both his international and club side and don’t be surprised if his big-game experience and high tackle count proves decisive.

Yet in the red of Scarlets, Beirne will be looking to go out on a high before his move to Munster at the end of the season by delivering another titanic performance.

The 26-year-old starts in the second row, following a run at blindside as Aaron Shingler returns at six, and will be key if the visitors are to end Warriors’ unbeaten home record.

He is the turnover king in the Guinness PRO14 – with a mammoth 37 this season, miles ahead of his closest rival – and also provides a constant attacking threat.

Finn Russell v Rhys Patchell

Fly-half Finn Russell will play his final match at Scotstoun before his move to Racing 92 in the summer as he prepares to bid farewell to Glasgow after six years.

The 25-year-old’s game management and ability to produce a moment of magic from nowhere is not in question.

The fact that he has been chosen as the man to fill the boots of All Black legend Dan Carter says a lot about his standing in the game and he will be desperate to unlock Scarlets.

His opposite number is one of just several obstacles standing in his way, though, with Patchell part of a Scarlets backline that is able to score from anywhere, at any time.

This was demonstrated by his performance the last time the two sides came face to face, running in two tries at Parc y Scarlets in a 26-8 victory back in April.

He orchestrated the game from ten and with Gareth Davies alongside him in the half-backs on Friday, he will once again look the upset the tempo of Warriors.

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