Saracens v Glasgow Warriors Euro Champions Cup Satuday 19th January 2019

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Post by BigGee on Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:03 pm

Saracens v Glasgow Warriors
European Champions Cup 6th Round
Allianz Park
North London

KO at 13.00
Live on BT sport

Well Glasgow come back down to Allianz Park for the final round of the group, not as happy hunting ground for them, as they lost there in the quarter finals 2 seasons ago, without really doing themselves justice in the game.

This time we know that Sarries have qualified already and Glasgow may or may not be through, depending on other results, starting with the Edinburgh v Montpellier game on Friday night. If our big brothers down the M8 win, then we will know we are through before we kick off. Otherwise it might be squeaky bum time awiting the result at Welford Rd.

Are Sarries likely to take it easy and rest a few knowing that they are already through? Not a chance, they will want to win the group and get top seeding for the knock outs. This is likely to be the toughest game of the season so far for the Warriors.

Having said that, we played well against them in the 1st round, taking some physical toll on them and showing that on its day, our pack is not as powder puff as it is sometimes reckoned to be. In truth we had our chances in the game and should have taken some points from it and if we had, maybe would not be worrying about qualification now. In the game, we won a decent amount of ball, but struggled with the very hard pressing Sarries defence and could never really get our backs away to do what they do best. It remains to be seen if we have learnt anything from the experience and if we can adapt tacvtically. I don't think it is going to be any great mystery in the way Sarries are going to try and play us, it just remains to be seen if we can do anything about it.

Either way, expect a good game and lots of Glasgow fans to make the trip down, or even up, for those like me who already live in London! It will be a bit colder than last time, but a good day out none the less.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:36 pm

BigGee wrote: our pack is not as powder puff as it is sometimes reckoned to be.

Yes it is boxing

I'll get my coat Tumbleweed

But in all seriousness, good luck to ya. You'll find that every other prem club is also supporting you I'd think (cept anyone with a shout of qualifying if you don't)
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Post by BigGee on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:02 pm

Edinburgh team may well pick itself, but Glasgow's won't. I fully expect some changes:

1. Keeble - hopefully he was not hurt or concussed in the action of scoring that try
2. Stewart - played well last weekend MoM
3. Rae - will switch with Nuke at 50 mins, but a 50/50 call anyway
4. Gray J - hopefully rested and ready to go
5. Cummings - I though he had a decent game last weekend as well
6. Harley - I think we will need some bulk and physicality in the back row for this one
7. Fusaro - also had a good game last weekend and we know Gibbins is out
8. Wilson - Will captain the side in the absence of Gibbins
9. Horne G - again looks faster and more decesive than Price
10. Hastings - Had his week off to reflect and now needs to produce
11. Seymour - A very good game last weekend
12. Johnson - Coming into form and making a big play for Scotland shirt
13. Jones H - Surely he has to play in a game as big as this, or why did we re-sign him?
14. DTH - Under a bit of pressure from Jones/Niko I would say
15. Hoggy

Subs

Allen
Byrce
Nuke
Swinson
Smith M
Price
Thompson - we need someone to cover FH in absence of Horne P
Niko - just shades it for me over Jones L and Grigg

This selection assumes that all the injured from last week are back and that Matt Fagerson is still injured (he was not dropped from the squad, so maybe/maybe not)

There is also an argument for playing Ashe on the BS, maybe interchanging with Wilson at No.8 as well, in which case I imagine Harley would get picked in the row, probably over Cummings, who may drop out completely as Swinson offers the greater experience.

I guess we will find out on Friday.

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Post by Cyril on Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:00 pm

Can’t see beyond a 5-0 points win for Sarries. Glasgow will probably still qualify though. Could then see the same result in the quarters though, if we get them as 1 vs 8?

Sarries and Leinster look a cut above the rest.

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Post by Brendan on Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:30 pm

While Glasgow have improved they don't seem to have the cutting edge to get them across the line. I think if Glasgow need a result they probably won't get one from this game. Sarries can take it easy knowing they can see a tight game out comfortably.

Unless Glasgow can rack up more than a 14pt lead at half time I can't see them doing anything. I fear they will be out for revenge for last game which will play into Sarries hands

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Post by BigGee on Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:39 pm

Best case scenario for Glasgow is to know we have qualified before ko, then we can just relax and play our own game without the pressure of trying to force it

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Post by IanBru on Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:28 am

BigGee wrote:Best case scenario for Glasgow is to know we have qualified before ko, then we can just relax and play our own game without the pressure of trying to force it
You're right. I hope someone points out that if Montpellier do beat the MFLs, a win will be enough to get Edinburgh through, and everything else is window dressing. Kick the goals from Sarries' indiscipline (which has been awful of late) and play the percentages in open play.
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Post by jimbopip on Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:51 am

So Gibbins has been de-registered from the Euro squad and Matt Smith replaces him.
Furra Linee and Matt Fagerson will both miss Saturday's game.

So a back row of ; Batman-Ashe-Smith ? Plenty of pace and well suited to the attacking gameplan.
Or BBB-Ashe-Fozzie? More bulk in BBB but less in Fozzie, although probably more jackaling and nuisance at the breakdown. But less ball carrying threat.
I think Batman will play as he seems to hate the Sarries players and will certainly meet them aff the bus.
No Furra means that SJ almost certainly starts at 12. The question mark is over 13; is Jones fit? Is Dunbar fit? Is Griggs defence good enough for this one? Is it too soon for McDowall?

Personally,

6. Ashe
7. Smith
8. Batman

12. Johnson
13. Jones

The rest are more straightforward.

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Post by BigGee on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:00 pm

A few points from Jason O'Halloran

Gibbins probably out for 6-8 weeks. Matt Fagerson hopefully not to bad and back soon. Johny Gray not definite for Saturday, but hopeful.

Sounds like Matt Smith may well play some part in the proceedings, JOH wss definitely talking him up.


CALLUM GIBBINS, Matt Fagerson and Pete Horne are all going to be missing from the Glasgow Warriors team which will take on Saracens in Saturday afternoon’s European Champions Cup clash at Allianz Park; but Jonny Gray is “hopeful” of returning to the engine-room against one of European rugby’s genuine superpowers.

“We’re consulting specialists at the moment,” said assistant coach Jason O’Halloran, when asked about the ankle injury suffered by Gibbins in the opening minutes of Sunday’s victory over Cardiff Blues. “He’s definitely out this week and, looking at similar injuries, a worst-case scenario could by six to eight weeks. We’re just waiting to hear officially on that.”

Fagerson also picked up an injury (to his shoulder) early in the Blues match, but his outlook seems to be more encouraging. “He’s under review,” explained O’Halloran. “He is definitely not playing this week, but we’re hopeful he’ll be back soon”.


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Horne is still recovering from the knee injury which kept him out of the Blues game and O’Halloran stated that he is “hopefully not too far away”. Asked about Gray’s chances of a comeback this week after missing that same match with a shoulder injury, O’Halloran replied: “We’re hopeful Jonny will be available for selection”.

All to play for

Warriors do not necessarily need to win this game to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup for only the second time in the club’s history. In fact, arch rivals Edinburgh could do them a huge favour on Friday night by beating Montpellier, which would mean the men from the west will already be through to the last eight before kicking-off their match. However, if Montpellier win that match then Warriors will need to pick up at least a couple of bonus points against Saracens. And if Warriors are to get a home quarter-final then they must secure a convincing win (regardless of what happens at Murrayfield), either with a bonus-point or by 19 clear match-points whilst preventing Saracens from picking up any sort of bonus-point of their own.

Given just how much of Saracens’ formidable game-plan is built around their ferocity at the breakdown and generally confrontational style, the loss of two key back-row players in Gibbins (the club’s co-captain) and Fagerson is undoubtedly a blow – but O’Halloran insisted that Warriors still have plenty of options in this area, including Matt Smith, who was registered to the European squad in place of Gibbins yesterday [Tuesday] morning.

Smith has played most of his rugby this season for Glasgow Hawks starting seven games in the Tennent’s Premiership, whilst managing only five appearance so far off the bench for Warriors, but O’Halloran says the coaching team has every confidence in the 22-year-old’s ability to provide the sort of abrasive edge required if the team are to achieve a shock win on Saturday.

“He’s a good defender, he comes hard and he loves the physical element of the game,” said the New Zealander. “He’s quick and he’s brave so we’ve got every belief Matt will play well if given the opportunity.


“We see him as a seven [openside flanker] with the ability to play six [blindside]. He has the ability to smack people backwards but is good over the ball as well, so he brings some tools if we want a two-flier type of mentality, which may be an option against Saracens in the latter part of the game.”

“Chris Fusaro has also been excellent through the last two seasons, and we’ve got some versatility with guys like Rob Harley to give us a number of options in how we balance our pack,” O’Halloran added. “Obviously, the physical part of the game is the key criteria around our selection so that’ll become clearer in the next 48 hours.”

Visiting the lion’s den

Warriors were hammered 38-13 – and were lucky not to lose by more – the last time they visited Allianz Park at the quarter-final stage of the 2016-17 Champions Cup, so they are acutely aware of just how big a challenge they face. But they will also draw confidence from the way they fronted-up against the two-time European Champions at Scotstoun earlier this season, matching their opponents physically, but paying a heavy price for a lack of accuracy in the red-zone during a 3-13 loss.


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“There were definitely lessons [we can take] out of that game, number one being that you have to be really physical, and I think we did a good job of that,” said O’Halloran. “Despite what people were saying prior to the game, our set-piece held up really well, the scrum was good, and we did enough around maul to keep numbers in.

“The key thing about that game was the six line-breaks we had we didn’t convert into tries. That’s the major thing: people understanding what’s in front of them, what that means in terms of our decision-making, and executing accurately from there.


“Our conversion rate has to be really high in terms of line-breaks – if we make six then we probably need to convert three – because we don’t have the luxury of knowing that we’re going to make 15 against these guys.

“They are outstanding defensively with that ‘wolfpack’ mentality. They bring a massive amount of line-speed and intensity around the tackle area, so you’ve got to be smart in the way you box with them,” he added. “We’ve definitely got to challenge them physically, there’s no getting away from that. A balance in our game and having some smart kicking options is going to be crucial.

“The threat of what Saracens could do if we don’t get it right should have us at our best physically.”

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Post by George Carlin on Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:44 pm

Gibbons being out is a massive blow and I am not enthused particularly by any of the 4-8 combos which are mooted above.

Sadly, I think that Team Robogym will squish our pack and this is a particular concern if Jonny Gray also joins the casualties list. No Gibbons or Fagerson mean that we'll risk meeting our old friend Roger Ring at the breakdown.

Conversely, if we can produce a backline such as 9. Billy Whizz 10. Hastings 11. DTH 12. Johnson 13. Jones 14. Seymour and 15. Hogg, then I don't think any NH club side could do better in terms of quality. Any ball will mean tries and the usual high risk circus act. Shouldn't be enough to win, but will certainly be entertaining.
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Post by yappysnap on Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:29 pm

Sarries have been pretty beatable recently. Just need to get into them and rattle them, theyll soon concede pens and give yoi chances

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Post by 123456789. on Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:34 pm

More than anything else (not quite come to think of it but still) this is an enormous game for Hastings. If he can go toe to toe with Farrell then he’s a threat to Russell come 6 Nations time. This could be the making of him.

I do have a feeling that Glasgow are gonna give them a right pumping

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:07 pm

I think after the first game the bad blood is there. Sarries will be up for this and are favourites. I want to see what happens after hearing George was looking forward to the previous game to go up against Wilson...who then broke George's nose.

I am tempted to have a Cummings, Gray, Harley, Wilson and Ashe back 5 to give us plenty of power. The ref may not give us much against the Galacticos and if they are blowing us off the ball, we might as well do the same back. We will likely miss Kebble for this one if last week is any indication and our second/third choice front row is going to be under immense pressure.

This is a real test of whether the forwards have turned a corner from last season after the Edinburgh put down.

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Post by jimbopip on Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:38 pm

You know there are a lot of ways in which this is not a good game for Glasgow; not least in the fact that we can get 0 points and crash out of the tournament.

However, on the positive side: we aren't expected to win and the accepted way to beat Sarries is get stuck in and knock them out of their stride early on. If Batman can get the troops into a "forget the result let's just smash this Wolfpack all over the paddock" mentality then we might actually get enough ball to allow the backs to score a few tries.

That's it. That's my in-depth tactical analysis. picard

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Post by BigGee on Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:42 pm

That is probably not a bad plan Jim

Are you going?

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Post by jimbopip on Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:56 pm

Evening Gee. princess daughter's due date is 19th of January. Doh

I feel that it may be considered bad form if I'm off enjoying myself when himself appears.Crying or Very sad

So....if anyone has a spare ticket let me know. Very Happy

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Post by BigGee on Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:24 pm

First babies are usually late though!

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Post by RDW on Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:47 pm

It's not your baby!

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Post by jimbopip on Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:05 pm

Correct, even though we live in Essex it is not my baby.

However, since they moved in with us (short term, really short, just to mid-January, actually June) MrsPip has gone megamotherhen.


I dare not be out of the house in case I'm needed for ripping sheets and boiling water.

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Post by BigGee on Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:18 pm

I delivered one, caught might be a more appropriate term, in a car outside the hospital on a night shift a few years back.

I certainly would not have wanted to be the one to be cleaning up the car afterwards. I think I would just have sold or scrapped it!

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Post by tigertattie on Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:31 am

jimbopip wrote:Correct, even though we live in Essex it is not my baby.

However, since they moved in with us (short term, really short, just to mid-January, actually June) MrsPip has gone megamotherhen.


I dare not be out of the house in case I'm needed for ripping sheets and boiling water.

Jim, pre-rip the sheets and get the hive app where you can turn the kettle on with your phone.

Job done.
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Post by BigGee on Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:45 am

Jim struggles with the quote function!

The Hive app may be beyond him

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:12 pm

SARACENS

  • 15. Alex Goode, 
  • 14. Liam Williams, 
  • 13. Nick Tompkins, 
  • 12. Brad Barritt (c), 
  • 11. Alex Lewington, 
  • 10. Owen Farrell, 
  • 9. Ben Spencer, 
  • 1. Mako Vunipola, 
  • 2. Jamie George, 
  • 3. Vincent Koch, 
  • 4. Maro Itoje, 
  • 5. George Kruis, 
  • 6. Jackson Wray, 
  • 7. Schalk Burger, 
  • 8. Billy Vunipola.


Replacements:

  • 16. Christopher Tolofua, 
  • 17. Richard Barrington, 
  • 18. Christian Judge, 
  • 19. Will Skelton, 
  • 20. Calum Clark, 
  • 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 
  • 22. Alex Lozowski, 
  • 23. David Strettle,

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:12 pm

GLASGOW WARRIORS

  • 15. Stuart Hogg, 
  • 14. Tommy Seymour, 
  • 13. Nick Grigg, 
  • 12. Samuel Johnson, 
  • 11. DTH van der Merwe, 
  • 10. Adam Hastings, 
  • 9. Ali Price, 
  • 1. Oli Kebble, 
  • 2. Grant Stewart, 
  • 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka, 
  • 4. Tim Swinson, 
  • 5. Jonny Gray, 
  • 6. Robert Harley, 
  • 7. Chris Fusaro, 
  • 8. Ryan Wilson (c).


Replacements:

  • 16. Kevin Bryce, 
  • 17. Alex Allan, 
  • 18. D'Arcy Rae, 
  • 19. Adam Ashe, 
  • 20. Matt Smith, 
  • 21. George Horne, 
  • 22. Huw Jones, 
  • 23. Niko Matawalu

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:14 pm

Pretty huge for Sarries to have Barritt back, he is teh glue that holds them together.

Who plays FH if Hastings gets injured?

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Post by RDW on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:15 pm

First choice Sarries team. Going to be a tough afternoon!

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Post by IanBru on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:21 pm

BigGee wrote:Jim struggles with the quote function!

The Hive app may be beyond him
I bloody love the Hive app. If they'd only invent a Hive-activated boot that would crack the shins of any political canvassers that grace my doorstep...

Incidentally, I was the first-aider at my last work, where two female colleagues had babies due on the 21st and 22nd of December. I, being the responsible gentleman/legend that you all admire, had a post-it stuck in my first aid book to mark the page for 'EMERGENCY CHILDBIRTH'. When the Christmas holidays arrived without any births, I was headed out the door and casually remarked that I was glad they hadn't had to rely on me to deliver. Both ladies looked a bit embarrassed before saying "Yeah, we're pretty happy too, Ian."
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Post by IanBru on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:22 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Pretty huge for Sarries to have Barritt back, he is teh glue that holds them together.

Who plays FH if Hastings gets injured?
Good lord, there's a thought. Hogg or George Horne, I suppose?
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Post by RDW on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:23 pm

Hogg would step up surely

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:33 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Hogg would step up surely

Yeah I had not considered that, but as he played there for the Lions once it would make sense.

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Post by RDW on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:38 pm

He's often first receiver for Glasgow too

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:42 pm

What is his form like atm. Thought I heard whispers that he was not firing this season yet.

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Post by RDW on Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:45 pm

He's struggled with injuries and hasn't been able to pull together a good run of games this season. I thought he had a quiet AI series and has been quiet for Glasgow of late. Saying that he had a good game against the Blues last week and should be up to full fitness now. It doesn't help that Glasgow often use him as first receiver so he has less time in the wide channels to cause carnage.

Being honest we've not seen his 2016 & 2017 6N and 2017 AI form much since those tournaments, but we have such high standards of him now we're maybe being harsh!

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Post by BigGee on Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:20 pm

Pretty pleased with that Glasgow team. With our current injuries, probably about as good as we can get out.

Maybe would hsve changed Jones and Grigg around but no real quibbles and surely both will get a good run.

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:45 pm

Owen Farrell out iniured.

Before anyone asks, not a shoulder injury!

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Post by 123456789. on Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:48 pm

Farrell is out for Sarries which changes the whole game. Goode is a classy, quality player and for the life of me I don't see how he doesn't get in the England team but I doubt he has the same controlling influence as Farrell. It might mean Saracens have to play a style of play that's a lot closer to Glasgow and that could play into our hands.

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:11 pm

Not a great start Glasgow...

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:13 pm

That's better!

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:16 pm

Price has started well - nice try

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Post by 123456789. on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:17 pm

That's even better, I have to say I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I see Liam Williams looking disappointed...

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:25 pm

Madness!

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Post by IanBru on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:29 pm

Crikey, these pills are strong.

I assume in reality the game’s a bit boring, right?
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Post by 123456789. on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:38 pm

I think if Sarries get one more try this game's a dead rubber, unless Glasgow go on overdrive and build a 19 point lead

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:39 pm

Glasgow are going to get a BP at least that's for sure! This could be 50-40!

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:44 pm

All the Scotland players playing well - geeat to see.

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Post by jimbopip on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:46 pm

I had my money, metaphorically not literally- Bru will tell you every pound is a prisoner with me, on Glasgow throwing this game and lulling sarries into a false sense of security then gubbing them in the quarter final.

Wrong again. Doh

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Post by 123456789. on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:47 pm

I'd switch Fusaro and Harley at scrum time, or may be get Wilson to scrummage at flanker. Fusaro is too slow to get off the scrum and is underpowered in the tackle.

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Post by 123456789. on Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:48 pm

Huw Jones will come on at 50 minutes and get two tries.

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:10 pm

Glasgow lineout falling apart

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Post by RDW on Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:22 pm

Glasgow struggling to really get back into the game but are only 5 points behind. All it takes is one chance!

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