Two home games for Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby this weekend as Zebre Rugby and Toyota Cheetahs respectively visit Scotland. Hawkeye Sidekick previews this action.
Can Edinburgh Rugby put Cheetahs to the sword?
It has being an interesting couple of weeks for Edinburgh Rugby. The home form has continued to hold up as the side have struggled on the road. Last weekend was a major scare to the home record as Benetton Rugby provided more evidence (if required) of their progressive improvement with a thundering display which had Richard Cockerill’s side defending for their lives in the last quarter.
Toyota Cheetahs will take some comfort in the manner in which Benetton Rugby were able to create gain line breaks and get back into the contest. Edinburgh have being unable to put teams fully away in the second half and this continued last weekend. They need to be more clinical in the opponent twenty-two when chances are presented this week as European Cup action could be a massive reality check.
Edinburgh team news sees several player rotated into the side. The back line sees Johnstone, Pablo Socino named in midfield while Darcy Graham gets valuable game time on the wing. Rory Sutherland gets his debut nod at prop.
Toyota Cheetahs have seen encouraging signs in the last two league games. The 39-39 draw against Ulster Rugby was then followed up by a solid road trip performance against Cardiff Blues despite heading in a loss.
Team news sees Du Toit slots into the hooker position while Basson comes into the second row. Jordaan switches to flanker as Stephen Malan is selected at eight.
Verdict: Edinburgh Rugby
This is a pivotal fixture for Edinburgh Rugby. Toyota Cheetahs will test Edinburgh Rugby defensively with their free flowing offloading style but the hosts pack looks strong and would expect to score a couple of tries from the set piece. An entertaining game beckons but Edinburgh Rugby should secure the win (whether the full performance is seen is another story) in a four point win. No bonus point try win.
Glasgow Warriors aiming for bonus point win
Glasgow Warriors come into this contest on the back of a 29-13 win over Dragons, a good performance after a shock road trip loss to Isuzu Southern Kings in round four.
The team news looks strong; continuity and aiming to build momentum ahead of European action where Glasgow Warriors need to stand up and deliver. The Guinness Pro 14 promise descended into disappointment last season so points to prove in this competition.
Zebre Rugby enter Scotstoun with a daunting task ahead of them. They need to pick their game plan and their pack needs to secure a platform early.
Eight changes for this fixture with Balekana making his debut. Ah-Nau and Bello also make their debut in the prop positions. Violi and Brummer at the half-backs with Bisegni coming into the three quarters.
Verdict: Glasgow Warriors (BP Win)
A run of two consecutive losses and with this team selection and the growing injury crisis, hopes are low for the Italians to seriously upset Glasgow Warriors who will look to secure an early bonus point try win and clear the bench to give the squad useful game minutes. A cohesive expansive performance is expected from Dave Rennie’s charges.