Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

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Match Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets

Rich Dore 17 May 2018

After a ground-breaking season so far the Guinness PRO14 semi-finals are almost upon us and there are just four teams still standing in the race to make the showpiece Final.

The Friday night lights bring with them a mouth-watering treat in the first semi-final of the weekend as high-scoring Glasgow Warriors welcome the swashbuckling Scarlets to Scotstoun.

A superb game of rugby awaits – here is our preview of this crucial final-four clash.

What’s at stake? The prize for winning Friday’s match could hardly be bigger, with Scarlets having the opportunity to make it successive Guinness PRO14 Finals and also successive titles. The Warriors are aiming to reach a first Final since 2015, when they lifted the trophy, and head into the match having won all ten of their home Guinness PRO14 games this season, only missing out on one bonus point. The Welsh province did win the last encounter between these two enterprising sides though, a 26-8 victory in April, whilst they also took a 26-14 win on their last visit to Scotstoun in February 2017.

Team news (Glasgow Warriors): Racing 92-bound Finn Russell will start his last match for the Warriors at Scotstoun and will aim to make it the perfect goodbye alongside George Horne in the half-backs. Inside centre Sam Johnson missed Glasgow’s last match against Edinburgh but returns for this one next to Nick Grigg in midfield, with Tommy Seymour also returning to the wing. Jonny Gray and Tim Swinson are in the engine room whilst Ryan Wilson captains the side from No.8.

Team news (Scarlets): Scarlets supporters will be delighted to see the return of one of their key playmakers as Johnny McNicholl comes back from a shoulder injury and straight into a huge match. The Kiwi replaces the injured Leigh Halfpenny at full-back, whilst in the pack Aaron Shingler comes in at blindside flanker, Tadhg Beirne returns to lock to partner Steve Cummins and Lewis Rawlins moves to the bench.

Talking points

Looking ahead to the game, Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said: “They’ve got a very good record at home. They play on a different surface, which they’re used to, so they have a bit of an advantage there, but it’s 80 minutes of knockout rugby. We think we’re in a reasonably good position in terms of our form going in to it.

“We’re really looking forward to it. We have a lot of respect for Glasgow, they have a good coaching group, some great players and they’ve got a very strong home record. It makes for a good match-up. Both teams like to play, use the width of the field, and with that type of play it could be a great game.

“Boys enjoy knockout rugby and they enjoy being in these situations. We’re going in there with the mindset that we need to secure a top performance to be able to get on the right side of the ledger.”

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said: “At the start of the season our goal was to be playing finals footy at home in front of our family and friends and we’re excited to be running out in front of a 10,000-strong Scotstoun tomorrow night.

“We’ve prepared well and it’s great to be able to bring back Jonny (Gray), Sam (Johnson) Pete (Horne)and Tommy (Seymour) who were late withdrawals ahead of our last game.

“Scarlets are a quality side, they’re reigning champions for a reason and we’re looking forward to the challenge on what is will be a special night for our players and supporters.”

Key battle – Jonny Gray v Tadhg Beirne

Gray suffered a shoulder injury a month ago but comes into the Warriors squad fresh and ready for the steep challenge that Scarlets present. Gray seems to be a central figure whether he represents Scotland or Glasgow, captaining his club side on many occasions despite being just 24, and is usually seen in the higher echelons of the tackle count in any game. Many of Scarlets’ tries this campaign have resulted from turnovers and there is no-one better at delivering them than Tadhg Beirne. The versatile forward has claimed 37 turnovers this season and Gray will have to be at his best to disrupt Beirne’s huge influence.

Key fact: Defending champions Scarlets have appeared in two previous Guinness PRO14 semi-finals, both away from home, losing to Ulster in 2013 and beating Leinster last season on their way to the title.

Did you know? Glasgow Warriors appear in their seventh semi-final since they were reintroduced in 2009.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; Finn Russell, George Horne; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray; Matt Fagerson, Callum Gibbins, Ryan Wilson (capt)

Replacements: George Turner, Alex Allan, Siua Halanukonuka, Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson

Scarlets: Johnny McNicholl, Tom Prydie, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Steffan Evans; Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Ken Owens (capt), Samson Lee; Tadhg Beirne, Steven Cummins; Aaron Shingler, James Davies, John Barclay

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, Lewis Rawlins, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Daniel Jones, Steffan Hughes

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 70th competition game)
AR1: Andrew Brace (IRFU). AR2: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)
Sky Sports Action:
BBC ALBA: 19:35
BBC Wales: 19:30

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €50 at with tickets available to suit every experience.
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Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Scarlets turn on style to secure final berth at Glasgow Warriors’ expense

Charlie Talbot-Smith 18 May 2018

Defending champions Scarlets secured another date with destiny in Dublin after a stunning first-half salvo helped them down Glasgow Warriors in the first Guinness PRO14 semi-final.

Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies and Rob Evans all went over in a quite magical first half for Wayne Pivac’s men who caught fire in the sunshine at Scotstoun.

Dave Rennie and the Warriors – the pacesetters all year long in the regular season – were largely powerless to prevent the Welsh region’s all-court game as they picked the worst time to slip to their first home defeat of the campaign.

Ken Owens also went over at the back of a rolling maul at the start of the second half as Scarlets demonstrated their grunt up front to go with their silky smooth offloading.

Jonny Gray pulled one back for the Warriors after the hour mark and Nick Grigg also went over to hint at a comeback but the Scarlets were not to be denied.

They will now await the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final between Leinster and Munster as they look to make it back-to-back crowns at the Aviva Stadium next weekend.

The Warriors’ hopes were hit by Stuart Hogg pulling out through illness in the warm-up and it was the Scarlets who started fastest.

The attacking rugby that carried all before them last season was to the fore and first to go over was Patchell.

The visitors turned down a kickable penalty to go to the corner and although the Warriors repelled the maul, when the ball came left Patchell had too much pace and got outside Grigg for the score.

John Barclay limped off inside the first ten minutes for Pivac’s men but they didn’t miss a beat, although Finn Russell – in his final game for the Warriors – did pull a penalty back for the hosts.

But that was as good as it got in the first half for a Warriors side that limped into the semi-finals with only one win in their last four.

The Scarlets, meanwhile, were rampant and scrum-half Davies claimed the second try of the night, running a fantastic support line to go under the posts after Scott Williams’ initial break.

Patchell added the extras and the Welsh region continued to purr as Johnny McNicholl, back in for the injured Leigh Halfpenny, made a break and combined with Steff Evans to release his namesake Rob to coast over.

The Scarlets’ win over Leinster in last year’s semi-final was the only time in Guinness PRO14 history that the away side had claimed victory in the final four.

But they ensured that lightning struck twice soon after the break when skipper Owens turned down another kickable penalty and then emerged as the try scorer at the back of a rolling maul.

Grigg also saw yellow for the home side who at least salvaged some pride in the final quarter when Gray barged his way over.

The TMO then denied Gray a second time after some quick thinking as the Warriors left it a little too late to finally get rolling.

Grigg did grab another late on but Peter Horne’s conversion came back off the posts and with a 15-point deficit, the game was up for the hosts.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €50 at with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality visit:
For Travel packages visit:
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s visit

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