How much it matters

Scarlets vs Glasgow Warriors, defending champions against title favourites. It really doesn’t get much bigger than this. The Warriors can confirm a home Semi Final with a win and how nice would it be to have a couple of games to experiment with the squad before the playoffs begin. The Welsh side, however, knows that this is a must-win game as they currently lie in 2nd place in a conference which 5 points split the top 3 teams.

A win on Saturday for the Scarlets could really boost their chances of topping the table. The Scots would love to get a big away win because they have struggled a bit on the road recently. Failing to win against Munster, Leinster, The Dragons and who could forget their loss to 14 men Edinburgh back in December. A win for either side would mean so much as these 2 teams have a great rivalry.

History

These 2 sides have faced each other 28 times and amazingly they have both won 14 of them. How often do you see that? A 50% win-loss record between 2 professional clubs. In the last 5 games, the Scarlets have won 3 to the Warriors 2. However, Glasgow did dismantle the Scarlets by 46 points to 10 back in 2016. So it has been pretty difficult to predict the result of this fixture in the last couple of years.

Form

Both sides have struggled a bit recently over the international period. Both teams have lost or drawn a few times in the last couple of months. You could argue that the Scarlets had harder opposition as they played European Champions Cup Semi-Finalists Munster and Leinster (twice). Still, from 2 high flying sides who started off so well, you would expect better things from them. Glasgow drawing 15 all with the Dragons would have disappointed them considering the big gap between these 2 teams. So looking at form you would say that the Welsh could be having a party at the weekend.

Key clash

Ali Price vs Gareth Davies

Two international scrum-halves who played against each other back in Cardiff during the Wales vs Scotland game in this year’s 6 Nations Championship. Gareth intercepted one of Price’s passes to score barely 5 minutes into the match. That lowered Ali’s self-belief for the rest of the game and eventually he was subbed. It turned in to a bit of a nightmare for him after that pass. Ali Price, just like many of his teammates, wished they were somewhere else, not losing badly to a very good Welsh team. He will not make the same mistake again and will have a chance to set the record straight when they face off this Saturday.

What to expect

These 2 teams essentially have two full international backlines. So expect plenty of tries and free-flowing rugby. There will be plenty of exciting matchups in the backs to look forward to. Steff Evans against the brilliant Niko Matuwalu and many, many more. I expect it will be a high scoring game of rugby. The closest you can get to Super Rugby without it being Super Rugby. It should be close right up to the last minute and I can see a dramatic winning try to end it all. This is why we watch rugby. It is very unlikely that we will see a one-sided match at the Parc y Scarlets. My expectation is that we could see one of the greatest rugby matches in the competition’s history. Enjoy!

Author: Archie Craigie Halkett

Hi, my name is Archie Craigie Halkett. I am a massive Scottish rugby fan. I’m involved with the game quite a lot. I play rugby for my school and my local rugby club. I am a level one qualified rugby referee and a regular contributor to off-line and on-line rugby magazines/publications.

8 COMMENTS

  1. What makes Glasgow Warriors favourites for the pro14. Suddenly Leinster don’t exist? Check the odds, Leinster are 5/6 and Warriors are 7/2 . Either way, the game of the season promises to be the final in Dublin with hopefully one or two home teams.
    Good stuff though and the game should be good. Key Battle: How Halfpenny’s positional defence negates the chips and runs of Hogg. I rank Hogg as the best attacking fullback and Halfpenny as the best defensive. Classic fire versus ice stuff here.
    I back Scarlets to take the game as they can cancel out the Warrior’s chaos with their structured defence, personified by Tadhg Beirne, and break them down with their own ferociously delicate attack, embodied by Tadhg Beirne again. Needless to say, Tadhg Beirne MOTM.

    • Daniel, Glasgow have taken 82.35% of the points available to them compared to Leinster’s 71.11%, which is why the bookmakers have given the odds you quote. Scarlett’s have taken 67.78% of their points so I think Archie (and the bookmakers) are right to put Glasgow as the favourites. Although there is a saying that you are only as good as your current form, in which case; Cheetahs and Edinburgh are both on better form than the teams above them…
      Should be a great run in to the finals 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Andrew Murphy. This was an error on my behalf. I missed this fact in the article and take full responsibility for it. It would appear that Davies is not fit. I will update this accordingly. Cheers, Steven

  2. Great stuff Archie, a very welcome addition to the 1014. So hard to judge form with the internationals away. I’d love Rennie to win a trophy in his first year like he did with us at the Chiefs.

  3. Hi Archie, another good article. Here is a stat to calm your nerves before the game: no Welsh team have beaten Glasgow in the Pro14 this season!

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