Glasgow Warriors head to Thomond Park later knowing victory will earn them a spot in the United Rugby Championship Grand Final next weekend. 

Ahead of the match, we take a look through some of the key stats behind one of the league's most competitive fixtures. 

  • In the past 10 years, Glasgow have only won seven of the 33 away fixtures they have played against the Irish provinces, with five of those victories coming versus Connacht (one v Leinster, one v Munster).
  • This is the first time in their last 119 games that the Warriors have named the same starting XV in consecutive fixtures. The previous time this happened was across the PRO14 Semi-final and Final in 2019.
  • The Warriors have scored 14 tries on their last three trips to Munster, as many five-pointers as they managed in ten visits prior to this run.
  • Since November 2019, Munster have only lost once to a non-Irish team at home in the URC - Glasgow's 26-38 triumph at Thomond Park last season.

The teams

The teams for the URC semi-finalThe teams for the URC semi-final (Image: Kevin Millar)

(players in CAPITALS are full capped internationals, numbers in brackets are previous appearances this season in the URC for Munster / Glasgow)


Munster vs Glasgow head-to-headsMunster vs Glasgow head-to-heads (Image: Kevin Millar)

Glasgow greetings

A total of 11 of the players selected in the Warriors’ matchday 23 have never been involved in a fixture at Thomond Park before (five backs, one forward and five of the replacements).

George Turner hasn’t played a game anywhere against Munster since September 2018, while Murphy Walker, Euan Ferrie and Ross Thompson will all feature against the Irish province for the first time in their careers.

Eight of the side have experienced a victory at this venue having played in the win last season – Tom Jordan, George Horne, Johnny Matthews, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge and Jamie Dobie.

Matchday milestones

Tom Jordan will make his 20th appearance of the campaign (so far…) in the URC.

He is the first Warrior to play 20 times in a season in the competition since Rob Harley featured in 21 out of 23 games in 2018/19.

Including the Champions Cup, this will be Jordan’s 25th match of the season.

The last time a Warriors’ back made at least 25 appearances in a single campaign was nine years ago in 2014/15, when this was achieved by both Peter Horne (27) and Niko Matawalu (28).

Stats head-to-head

Attack: Defenders beaten & clean breaks per game: Glasgow 35-23 Munster

The Warriors have the number one ranked attack in the URC, with a combination of the volume of work they get through with ball in hand and the potency of their backline threats making them very difficult to contain.

Their hosts will, rightly, point to the fact that their offensive numbers might be a little lower but they have been very efficient in their work. The stylistic change from the classic Munster grunt of old has seen them score some superb tries on their way to the title last season and top of the league in the current campaign.

Defence: Tackle completion: Glasgow 91.3%-88.7% Munster

One area where Franco Smith’s side have been very strong over the last couple of years is their tackle completion. For the second season running they are the only team in the league to return a success rate in excess of 90%.

All the tackle success in the world is no good if it doesn’t stop the opposition scoring. These clubs rank first and second for tries conceded in the URC – Glasgow 35 and Munster 38.

Both will still be expecting to take another step up in the intensity of their defensive work and any scores in the semi-final are likely to be extremely hard-won.

Kicking: Kick metres per game: Glasgow 564m-615m Munster

One of the fundamental points of difference in the Warriors’ gameplan is how little they kick relative to other teams, with less distance on average as well, leading to them being ranked 16th and last in the league for kick metres per game.

Munster themselves have tended not to rely heavily on kicks for distance, slotting in at 15th place in the URC for this stat. It will be interesting to see if the home side change up their tactics to try and take advantage of Glasgow’s preference for keeping ball in hand and the lack of a real big boot among the visitors’ kicking options.

Set-piece: Lineout success: Glasgow 86% – 85% Munster

Neither of these sides have had the strongest lineouts during the year. The Warriors’ preference for going to the corner and eschewing penalty kicks at goal means they have thrown in more than anyone else. Their completion rate is distinctly middle of the pack though, leading to the most lost throws in the URC.

Munster have had their own issues in this facet of the game, with their loss to Connacht in Round 9 (their most recent defeat in the league) being heavily impacted by a misfiring lineout.

URC form

Munster vs Glasgow - the form guideMunster vs Glasgow - the form guide (Image: Kevin Millar)

Track record

…away to Munster in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • Two wins
  • Eight losses
  • Three Try BPs
  • Four Losing BPs
  • 15 points out of a possible 50 (30%)
  • Glasgow also lost a Champions Cup pool fixture away to Munster during this period.

Previous match-up v Munster in Ireland 


Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 44th league game); Assistants: Gianluca Gnecchi  and Federico Vedovelli (both FIR); TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)

Andrea Piardi’s regular season record for 2023/24:

  • Matches – 13
  • Average penalty count – 18.3 per game
  • Home side penalties conceded percentage – 48.7%
  • Average card count – 1.5 per game
  • Penalties per card – 11.9

Piardi has taken charge of three of the Warriors’ last four knockout matches in the URC with the win over the Stormers seven days ago the only game missing from his CV.

The quarter-final away to Leinster in 2021/22 featured two yellow cards for the Warriors, a penalty count that ran 11-8 against, and an absolute shellacking on the scoreboard.

Last season’s home quarter-final versus Munster had a penalty count that was 8-12 in the Warriors’ favour but an early red for Tom Jordan, as well as a late yellow for Sione Tuipulotu, proved crucial.

Glasgow’s stats with Piardi in charge

  • Five matches played: W3 L2
  • Average penalty count: Glasgow 10.2-9.2 Opponents
  • Total cards: Glasgow 7-3 Opponents

Munster’s stats with Piardi in charge:

  • Eight matches played: W7 L1
  • Average penalty count: Munster 8.1-10.4 Opponents
  • Total cards: Munster 3-9 Opponents

The Italian ref was also the man in the middle for the Warriors’ win at Thomond Park a little over a year ago. That is the only one of his games where Glasgow have managed to avoid a card.

If there is one key focal point around discipline this week it should be ensuring there are 15 players on the pitch at all times.