Milestone man MacArthur on guard against Treviso

Pat MacArthur is wary of the dangers posed by Treviso. Picture:SNS
Pat MacArthur is wary of the dangers posed by Treviso. Picture:SNS
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PAT MacARTHUR has vowed that Glasgow will not become a victim of complacency when they run out at the Stadio Monigo against Treviso tomorrow afternoon.

The Warriors hooker will be making his 100th appearance for the Scotstoun side in a seven-year residency that began at Firhill against Connacht in 2007.

Now the proud centurion has underlined his determination to preserve the impressive early season momentum with which Glasgow have won each of their opening four excursions to sit alongside Ospreys on the summit of the Guinness Pro12 table.

Yet while Umberto Casellato’s side have failed to taste victory, Ulster’s shock defeat at the hands of the other Pro12 Italian side, Zebre, last weekend, has served as a timely warning to Gregor Townsend’s men that they can take nothing for granted against opposition they have not lost to since 23 September, 2011, in a 15-13 defeat at Firhill.

“Complacency is something that we will not be falling a victim to. Personally I’ve won and lost against them and had so many hard games against Treviso, especially on Italian soil. They are a very proud and physical side who are in your faces from the opening whistle,” said MacArthur.

“We are well aware of what happened to Ulster against Zebre last week and it just underlines what the Italian sides are capable of in their own backyard.

“Treviso have always been very strong in the set-piece, both in the scrum and lineout, so the level of physicality that will be required to win this game will be immense. But we have built a great momentum over the opening four games and with Europe just around the corner it is vital we keep that going.

“Momentum is something that is so hard to build and so easy to lose and it is vital we maintain our standards against Treviso.

“It may be three years since they last beat us but if anything that will only make them more determined to repeat that success. We are well warned.”

The 27 year old is one of only five centurions in the current Glasgow squad and MacArthur admitted tomorrow’s match would be a special moment for him. “I remember coming to Hughenden to watch Glasgow as a kid and then when I started in the side, back in 2007 against Connacht, it seems like just yesterday. So to be making my 100th appearance is quite a milestone for me in my career,” he said.

“I like to think I have contributed along that journey and with four international hookers at the club there is no time to ease off. So I am determined to make sure tomorrow is a day to remember and not one to forget.”

Head coach Townsend has made ten positional and personnel changes from the side that ran in five tries and claimed a bonus point against Connacht eight days back.

Most noticeably Niko Matawalu replaces the previously outstanding Henry Pyrgos at nine while there is a new centre pairing with Sean Lamont and Peter Horne in tandem and Tommy Seymour once more back on the wing.

Up front, MacArthur retains his front-row place at hooker and is flanked by Alex Allan and Rossouw de Klerk with the latter replacing Euan Murray.

Tom Ryder replaces Tim Swinson in the second row to partner skipper Al Kellock, while an all new back-row James Eddie, the back-from-suspension Tyrone Holmes and Josh Strauss are favoured.

Among the replacements there are places for Academy players Zander Fagerson and Ali Price and Townsend admitted he is ready for a gruelling encounter at the Stadio Monigo.

“We’re expecting a big challenge from Treviso and our defence will have to be at its best and that is an area of our game we have put a lot of work into this week in preparation,” 
admitted the Warriors head coach.

“I was not happy with the way we defended against Connacht and the key tomorrow is going to be about ensuring that everything we produce is done accurately.

“We have set ourselves standards over the opening four games and if we fail to maintain them then we will make ourselves vulnerable and that is something the players are very well aware of.”

Meanwhile, Canadian international Conor Braid has been loaned out to London Scottish in a short-term arrangement to cover an injury crisis at centre.

SQUADS

Treviso

15 J Hayward

14 A Esposito

13 M Campagnaro

12 L Morisi

11 L Nitoglia

10 J Carlisle

9 E Gori

1 M Muccignat

2 D Giazzon

3 R Harden

4 A Pavanello (c)

5 M Fuser

6 S Favaro

7 M Lazzaroni

8 M Luamanu

Subs

16 G Maistri

17 M Zanusso

18 R Acosta

19 F Minto

20 L Auva’a

21 M Barbini

22 S Christie

23 A Lucchese

Glasgow

15 S Hogg

14 T Seymour

13 S Lamont

12 P Horne

11 DTH van der Merwe

10 D Weir

9 N Matawalu

1 A Allan

2 P MacArthur

3 R de Klerk

4 T Ryder

5 A Kellock (c)

6 J Eddie

7 T Holmes

8 J Strauss

Subs

16 F Brown

17 J Yanuyanutawa

18 Z Fagerson

19 L Nakarawa

20 C Fusaro

21 A Price

22 F Russell

23 J Downey