Connacht v Glasgow: Kick-off time, where to watch, key clash

Each home side emerged victorious in the two contests between the teams this season. Picture: SNS

Each home side emerged victorious in the two contests between the teams this season. Picture: SNS

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Glasgow Warriors travel to Galway looking to continue their defence of the Pro12 crown and make it back to the Grand Final.

To do so they’ll have to get past a Connacht side that defeated less than a fortnight ago. Here’s everything you need to know about the match...

Kick off time: 6.30pm

Venue: Sportsground, Galway

Where to watch: Live on Sky Sports 1 and BBC 2 Scotland

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

Previous meetings this season: Glasgow 33 Connacht 32 (11 Sep 2015); Connacht 14 Glasgow 7 (7 May 2016)

Play-off record: Connacht are in their first ever semi-final, while reigning champions Glasgow are at this stage for a fifth consecutive season and looking to make the final for a third time.

Form guide: Glasgow’s sparkling nine-game winning run was brought to a halt by Connacht two weeks ago. The Irish province have only lost one Pro12 game at home this season.

Key clash: Bundee Aki v Peter Horne

New Zealander Aki has been a sensation this season and won Player of the Season at the recent Guinness Pro12 awards ceremony in Dublin. Ably assisted by Ireland international Robbie Henshaw in the midfield, Aki is known for his explosive carries but he is also a clever and skilful player whose infectious enthusiasm and bustling energy galvanises the team and lifts the home crowd.

Horne is an intelligent player and tenacious defender and is clearly relishing another showdown with the league’s star man in what should be a fascinating duel.

The coaches

Pat Lam (Connacht): Back row forward won 34 caps for Samoa between 1991 and 1999 (his last Test was against Scotland at Murrayfield in the 1999 World Cup). His club career saw him feature for Newcastle and Northampton, along with spells at Auckland, North Harbour and the Crusaders in New Zealand. His coaching career started with the Scotland national team when he was hired as contact coach for the 2003 World Cup. He went on to coach Auckland in the NPC between 2004 and 2008, the Blues in Super Rugby from 2009-12 and had spells working with both the Pacific Islanders and Samoa before taking the Connacht job in 2013.

Gregor Townsend (Glasgow): A product of Gala RFC, the richly talented stand-off enjoyed a brilliant playing career with Scotland, the Lions, Northampton, Brive, Castres, Montpellier, Border Reivers and Natal Sharks. After a spell as player-coach with the Borders he was Scotland backs coach between 2009 and 2012 before being appointed Glasgow Warriors coach in 2012. Townsend led Glasgow to semi-finals in his first two seasons, then a first ever final, which they lost to Leinster in Dublin, before leading them to a historic first title for a Scottish club when they beat Munster in Belfast last May.

Odds (William Hill): Connacht 11-10, Glasgow 4-5, Draw 16-1

Outright Grand Final winner: Leinster 6-4, Glasgow 2-1, Ulster 7-2. Connacht 9-2

Glasgow’s previous semi-finals

2010: Ospreys 20 Glasgow 5

2012: Leinster 19 Glasgow 15

2013: Leinster 17 Glasgow 15

2014: Glasgow 16 Munster 15

2015: Glasgow 16 Ulster 14

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