Planet Rugby

Preview: Glasgow v Cardiff Blues

22nd November 2007 09:33

Share:

Dai Young of Cardiff Blues with a coffee

Dai Young: Expecting a tough battle in Scotland

Cardiff Blues return to Magners League action on Friday when they head to Scotland to take on Glasgow at Firhill.

The Blues are enjoying a rich vein of form at present, top of the Magners League and top of their Heineken Cup pool.

But, with Wales taking on South Africa on Saturday, they will be missing several player.

"Obviously we are all pleased to be top of our group in the Heineken Cup but our focus this week will be totally on Glasgow and the Magners League," said Blues boss Dai Young.

"I've been pleased with our away form this season. We've recorded good wins against Munster and the Dragons on the road and will be aiming to keep up that kind of performance this Friday."

Dai Flanagan continues at fly-half in the absence of Nicky Robinson and Nick McLoed, both who are still injured, and will be joined at half-back by Jason Spice. With Tom Shanklin away on international duty Dafydd Hewitt returns at inside centre.

Mark Lewis and Scott Morgan come into the back row at number eight and six respectively, whilst Martyn Williams continues at open-side, with Robin Sowden-Taylor on Welsh duty.

"We know it won't be easy. Glasgow are a very strong side with a good home record, and we lost up there when we played them last season," added Young.

"They're a well coached outfit and a difficult team to break down. As I said before we played them at home in September, I thought they were one of the best teams in the Magners League last year and had a big bearing on where the trophy ended up.

"Having said that we recorded a good win over them earlier in the season, but know we must improve on our performance against Harlequins if we are to get anything out of the game.

"We've had to make a lot of changes this week due to six players being in the Wales squad. We've also have four very physical matches against English teams and some of our players are carrying bumps and bruises."

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors wing Hefin O'Hare has been given another opportunity to impress this weekend as he is once again selected in the starting XV.

With electrifying performances off the bench and a try-scoring outing last Friday in the Heineken Cup against Viadana, O'Hare is given the nod ahead of new Samoan winger Lome Fa'atau who drops out of the 22 altogether.

Elsewhere in the back-line, Andrew Henderson and Daryl Gibson return in the centres whilst Thom Evans is re-instated on the left wing having recovered from injury.

The only change in the forwards sees the only member of the Warriors' squad to have lifted both the Celtic League (now Magners League) trophy and the Heineken Cup, Andy Newman, back into the fray.

Form: Glasgow Warriors are undefeated at home since their return to Firhill in the summer, they have in fact not lost at home since an 8-19 reversal to Ulster at Hughenden on 6 January. Cardiff Blues, who are flying high at the top of the Magners League and their European Cup pool, have lost just once in their last six matches in all competitions. The Blues' only defeat to a Scottish side in their last dozen such encounters was 3-22 in this equivalent fixture in January. Glasgow have won just one of their last five matches against Cardiff Blues.

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Hefin O'Hare, 13 Andrew Henderson, 12 Daryl Gibson, 11 Thom Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris O'Young, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock (c), 4 Andy Newman, 3 Moray Low, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Justin Va'a.

Replacements: 16 Eric Milligan, 17 Ed Kalman, 18 Opeta Palepoi, 19 James Eddie, 20 Sam Pinder, 21 Scott Barrow, 22 Graeme Morrison.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Rhys Williams, 13 Tal Selley, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Gareth Thomas, 10 Dai Flanagan, 9 Jason Spice, 8 Mark Lewis, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Scott Morgan, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Gary Powell, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 John Yapp.

Replacements: 16 Taufa'ao Filise, 17 Ross Johnson, 18 Deiniol Jones, 19 Mama Molitika, 20 Darren Allinson, 21 Ryan Howells, 22 Ben White.

Date: Friday, 23 November

Kick-off: 19:30 GMT

Venue: Firhill

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

Touch judges: Peter Allan (Scotland), Graeme Marshall (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820