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RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Munster

RaboDirect PRO12 Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Munster

Munster will set a new RaboDirect PRO12 record for successive wins if they get the better of Glasgow Warriors at Firhill Stadium tonight. Their 12th league victory on the trot would surpass the previous mark set by their arch rivals Leinster.

RABODIRECT PRO12: Friday, September 9

GLASGOW WARRIORS (9th) v MUNSTER (5th), Firhill Stadium, 7.30pm

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Team News: Munster head coach Tony McGahan has made four changes in personnel to the team for Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Glasgow Warriors.

The sole change in the back-line sees Simon Zebo slot in on the left wing at the expense of Denis Hurley, who picked up a slight hamstring injury in last Saturday’s win over the Newport Gwent Dragons.

In the front row, McGahan has, by and large, just reversed the order from last weekend, with Wian du Preez, Damien Varley and John Hayes starting on this occasions ahead of Marcus Horan and Stephen Archer.

Hooker Mike Sherry, whom Varley is replacing, misses out due to the shoulder knock he sustained against the Dragons.

McGahan expressed his satisfaction with his side’s first half performance in their league opener, but knows they have to improve their discipline as Varley, stand-in captain Peter O’Mahony and Lifeimi Mafi were all sin-binned in the second period.

“We had three (yellow cards) against London Irish the week before and we had three against the Dragons. It’s clearly not good enough,” he said.

“We need to cop on to that regardless of the referee’s interpretation. There will be some 50-50 calls. It’s the same for both sides.

“But we saw retaliation, repeated penalties, high tackles. That’s not what we’re about. We need to address that.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen has made four changes to his starting line-up for the round 2 match.

Loosehead prop Jon Welsh picked up an ankle injury in the Ulster game and Ryan Grant, who was part of the wider Scotland squad for the Rugby World Cup, comes into the front row as a result.

In the second row Tom Ryder will pack down beside Nick Campbell, the Scottish Rugby Elite Development lock who will be making his first start for the club.

Captain Rob Harley switches to blindside flanker, with James Eddie moving to the bench.

The backline from last week’s trip to Ravenhill is retained en-masse, save for a personnel change at scrum half where Colin Gregor makes way for Henry Pyrgos.

There is an injury-enforced switch on the right wing with Federico Aramburu replacing Tommy Seymour, who has a back complaint.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Stuart Hogg; Federico Aramburu, Rob Dewey, Troy Nathan, Colin Shaw; Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos; Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur, Mike Cusack, Tom Ryder, Nick Campbell, Rob Harley (capt), Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson.

Replacements: Finlay Gillies, Ed Kalman, Gordon Reid, James Eddie, Rory Pitman, Colin Gregor, Scott Wight, Peter Horne.

MUNSTER: Johne Murphy; Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Peter Stringer; Wian du Preez, Damien Varley, John Hayes, Billy Holland, Mick O’Driscoll, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Niall Ronan, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Duncan Williams, Scott Deasy, Tom Gleeson.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Neil Paterson, Bob Nevins (both Scotland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Glasgow Warriors to win: 6/4; Draw: 20/1; Munster to win: 1/2

Pre-Match Quotes: Johne Murphy (Munster) – “First half was good against the Dragons. Second half we struggled as the tempo of the game got us. The three yellow cards didn’t help us much.

But we were really good in that first quarter, so we just have to take the positives and iron out any problems for the Glasgow match.

“We just wanted to keep playing the way we were playing but unfortunately we didn’t keep the tempo of the game up.

“There were a couple of opportunities that we left out there but it was our first competitive game and tough opposition, so we were happy with the four points.

“I was happy with the way I started last season. Then had a bit of a lull around Christmas time. Got back to some form then had another bit of a lull towards the end of the season.

“So it was a bit of an up and down one for me. I just want to find that consistency. I’m after losing a few kilos, got down a bit lighter so I feel good.

“Hopefully this is just the start. There’s a few things for me to work on but I’m just looking for that consistency throughout the whole season.”

Sean Lineen (Glasgow Warriors) – “We were disappointed not to win at Ravenhill last week, because certain aspects of our performance were definitely at the sort of level you need to get a positive result in a place like that.

“Where we let ourselves down was in gifting them preventable scores, and we know we can’t allow Munster anything like the same leeway on Friday.

“If we tighten up on the individual errors and show the same application and invention that were there against Ulster, we’ll put ourselves in with a serious chance of sending the fans home happy.

“Our recent early season record at home is something we can take heart from, and I sense a real hunger there among the guys to produce a performance and result that sets the tone for the rest of this campaign.”

Top Scorers – 2011/12 RaboDirect PRO12: Glasgow Warriors – Points: Duncan Weir 9; Tries: Troy Nathan 1; Munster – Points: Ian Keatley 10; Tries: Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi 1 each


Saturday, October 4, 2008 – Munster 25 Glasgow Warriors 17, Thomond Park
Friday, March 27, 2009 – Glasgow Warriors 13 Munster 26, Firhill Stadium
Friday, September 4, 2009 – Munster 22 Glasgow Warriors 9, Firhill Stadium
Friday, March 26, 2010 – Munster 27 Glasgow Warriors 19, Thomond Park
Friday, September 24, 2010 – Glasgow Warriors 29 Munster 43, Firhill Stadium
Saturday. January 8, 2011 – Munster 22 Glasgow Warriors 20, Musgrave Park


– Glasgow’s only victory in their last six encounters with Munster was a 22-9 triumph at Firhill in September 2009

– Glasgow Warriors suffered a fourth straight tournament defeat in their RaboDirect PRO12 opener at Ulster last Friday, but have not lost their opening two encounters since the 2007/08 season

– The Warriors’ only victory in their last five games at Firhill was 25-17 over Benetton Treviso on March 18

– Another Munster win will see them set a new tournament record with a 12th successive victory, surpassing Leinster’s previous mark set in 2001-2002

– The Munstermen have won their last six games against Scottish opponents