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Play audio Glasgow Warriors v Leinster – Pro14 Final from BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
- Final at Celtic Park
- Leinster defending champions
- Glasgow’s last trophy was 2015 Pro12 win
Former Scotland Sevens captain on BBC Radio ScotlandQuote Message: Glasgow’s physicality has improved the last couple of weeks, but Leinster still have the edge on that, and when the ball is a bit greasy in the rain, it takes longer to catch, to get the ball through the hands, your sidesteps are not as crisp, then physicality becomes more of a factor in the wet weather
Glasgow’s physicality has improved the last couple of weeks, but Leinster still have the edge on that, and when the ball is a bit greasy in the rain, it takes longer to catch, to get the ball through the hands, your sidesteps are not as crisp, then physicality becomes more of a factor in the wet weather
There could be a few tears shed after this game, which will be Stuart Hogg’s last in a Glasgow shirt after a nine-year spell with the club.
He’s gone from exciting prospect to one of Scottish Rugby’s greatest ever players during his time at the club, and he’ll move on to Exeter Chiefs next season.
Dave Rennie says they’ve had to calm him down in training this week as he ‘went berserk’, such is his determination to go out on a high. We’ll soon see if it’s tears of despair or joy for the Scotland full-back at full-time.
Leinster are rightly considered favourites for this match, but Glasgow do have the template to beat the defending champions after their 39-24 triumph in Dublin last month.
All eight of the Warriors pack that day (barring Chris Fusaro, who was injured very early on and replaced by Adam Ashe, who made 33 tackles) made over 20 tackles, with Jonny Gray posting an astonishing tournament-best of 43, missing none.
Despite all those hits, Leinster still scored four tries. You’d suspect it’s going to take another monstrous defensive performance for Glasgow to win here tonight.
Saracens had Leinster’s number in this year’s Champions Cup final a fortnight ago. It was a brutally attritional game, and was swiftly followed by their Pro14 semi-final win over Munster, another bruiser of a contest.
Naturally, matches of such magnitude take an immense toll on minds as well as bodies. Can they rally again to clinch another Pro14 title?
Pounding from Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final aside, Glasgow have been in irresistible form since the end of January. A win today would make it 10 Pro14 wins on the spin.
Dave Rennie spoke of the squad’s ’embarrassment’ after the Saracens defeat and they’ve responded pretty well since, winning their next four games scoring a total of 153 points in the process. Can they continue in the same vein?
I’m pretty sure Leinster’s squad do their gym work by just lifting trophies. In the last six years, they have won three European trophies and three league titles. Last season, they did the double, claiming the Champions Cup and Pro14 crowns.
They’ve already missed out on the Champions Cup this year after losing to Saracens in the final this month. It would be inconceivable for them to finish this season without silverware.
There was a bit of a ‘was he? wasn’t he?’ stooshie about whether Johnny Sexton had been dropped for Leinster’s semi-final last week, as he started on the bench with Ross Byrne at fly-half.
Head coach Leo Cullen categorically said the British and Irish Lions 10 wasn’t dropped, but Sexton certainly didn’t enjoy his rest and appeared extremely fired up when he came on in the second half.
Anyway, he’s back today and you suspect he’ll have a big hand in any Leinster success this evening.
A reminder at the top of this page you can listen to live commentary of this match on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW. It’s on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra too, but you’ll hear the same voices! Kick-off is 6.30.
Former Scotland prop on BBC Radio ScotlandQuote Message: You want to get your nose in front against Leinster, you don’t want to be chasing the game, even with the strong bench, and you need to get the crowd in the game – if Glasgow play like they can they will bring the crowd into the game
You want to get your nose in front against Leinster, you don’t want to be chasing the game, even with the strong bench, and you need to get the crowd in the game – if Glasgow play like they can they will bring the crowd into the game
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seems to be Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie’s philosophy in picking his team as he selects the same XV that smashed Ulster last week.
The only change is on the bench were prop Siua Halanukonuka replaces D’Arcy Rae.
As for Leinster, Ireland duo Rob Kearney and Jonny Sexton and former Australia lock Scott Fardy come into the team. They’re missing injured Ireland pair Sean O’Brien and Devin Toner from their pack.
Glasgow Warriors:S Hogg, T Seymour, K Steyn, S Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, A Price; J Bhatti, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray, R Harley, C Gibbins (capt), M Fagerson.
Replacements: G Stewart, O Kebble, S Halanukonuka, R Wilson, T Gordon, G Horne, P Horne, H Jones.
Leinster:R Kearney, J Larmour, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong, S Fardy, J Ryan, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.
Replacements: B Byrne, E Byrne, A Porter, R Molony, M Deegan, N McCarthy, R Byrne, R O’Loughlin.
It was pretty routine for both sides in their semi-final matches. Glasgow demolished Ulster 50-20 at Scotstoun, scoring seven tries in the process.
Leinster might not have racked up a half-century in beating rivals Munster, but there was something chilling about the ease at which they dismissed them 24-9 at the RDS. It sets us up for a fascinating contest this evening.
It’s no shock these two sides are the last ones standing in this season’s competition. As well as topping their respective conferences, they top the numbers across the board.
Leinster scored the most points and tries and have the best defence, while Glasgow recorded the most wins, and most bonus point wins. Both also breezed through their respective semi-finals. Dominant.
Copyright: BBC Sport
Copyright: BBC Sport
It’s the second big cup final of the day in Glasgow, on what would locally be described as a ‘dreich’ evening in Scotland’s biggest city.
Let’s hope the prospect of Glasgow Warriors v Leinster lights things up. It should be a cracking contest between the competitions two best teams. 46,000 will fill be watching in Celtic Park, and we’ll keep across all the action for you. Don’t go anywhere!