Pro 12 so far

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Pro 12 so far

Post by Kingshu on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 6:19 pm

Connacht
The surprise package, 2nd favs to win it now, top try and point scorers, exciting to watch, best away record in the League with 27 points
Are going great at the moment, playing quality rugby, nearly everything is positive, only question mark is defence, they have conceded just two points less than the Dragons, will this become an issue if they make the play offs and knock out rugby?

Leinster
Doing what Leinster do, unbeaten at home, 2nd best away record, have lost the fewest games, favs to win it.
Haven't ever looked their best, but have only lost 3 games. Game plan seams to be built on defence as have conceded fewest tries and fewest points in the League by a good margin. Maybe they haven't looked their best as the Leinster of old who scored for fun are now a Leinster who don't concede points (not like it was ever easy to score against them).

Scarlets
Similar to Connacht in a lot of ways, have scored lots of points and conceded lots of points, only lost once at home means exciting times at PYS. Playing a style of rugby Scarlets a famed for. Have been at the top end of the table most of the season and it appears the future is bright. Only downside is away form won 4 and lost 4 but thats still 4th best in the league. Odd thing is with all the tries they score they only have 1 TBP, (Similar teams have about 4) 51% of points are from tries, which would suggest Scarlets are a kicking team. Whatever it is they have the ability to turn games round in there favour in the last 15 minutes, and I'm sure fans are hoping to finish this season strong and are looking forward to next season.

Ulster
Good and bad, 2nd top try scorers, and 2nd best defence should make them a team in the top 2, but away form of won 3 and lost 5 isn't good enough. 62% of points scored come from tries compared to Leinster 55% or Connacht (top try scorers 58%), means that Ulster are to reliant on tries rather than kicking points (this may come from having to play I Humph). Still in a decent place though, but away form is a weakness that needs addressed.

Munster
In European place at present but home form isn't good enough, won 5 lost 3 is same as their away form. Home form 7th best in league away form is 3rd. Overall points diff is +4 and about mid table in terms of attack and defence. Seam to be just grinding away and getting enough, but more is expected from them.

Edinburgh
Making push for Europe, good home record and 4th best points total at home (196), not a good away record as they just don't seam to score points away (105), only Zebre have scored less away points. Not scoring to many tries not conceding to many either. Overall a solid showing, laying the groundwork from which teams build from, good at home and difficult to beat, is a solid base to build on for next season.

Glasgow
Expected more but lost a lot of players to world cup, home and away record both mid table, steady solid showing, but do have 2 games in had, winning these would push them up from solid to having a decent season, but not what was expected of the defending Champions.

Ospreys

Same as Glasgow with form during World cup leaving the rest of the season an uphill struggle. Lost 5 of first 7 games only beating the Italians, but since then have only lost 3. Home form really poor (only Italians and Dragons being worse) away form making up for it 5th best. after the first 7 games have looked like a team that should be in the playoffs, but poor start left to much ground to catch up on.

Cardiff Blues
Hasn't been the season they hoped for, have a decent squad but not living up to potential. Away record is poor as well with only 1 win in 9. Its not all doom and gloom though, as they show potential, despite their lowly place in the league they are 3rd top try scorers and 3rd best point scorers overall. So like Connacht and Scarlets they score lots and concede loads, but the balance isn't quite in their favour. 7 LBP out of 10 games tends to support this, Connacht and Scarlets are winning these close games whereas Cardiff Blues are not.
Main difference for me is where Scarlets seam to have either better fitness or never say die attitude to turn close games into wins in last 10 minutes, Cardiff Blues don't. If they turn the this around, by tightening up defence or growing in confidence to finish out as winners when 5 points behind entering last 15 minutes, they could be playoff contenders next season.

Dragons
Have said for years what Dragons fans want is a good solid home record to build on,  4 wins and 4 loses at home isn't to bad to build on, and shows they are competitive at home. The away record is the worst in the league (even worse than the Italians)
home record
points for 145 points against 115
away record
points for 123 points against 226
Think what Dragons fans want is something like win about 60-70% of home games and build from that, therefore season isn't going quite as well as hoped, but there are signs that it could be done next season.

Zebre

Italian teams are expected to be at the bottom of the table, not finishing in the bottom 2 would be considered a decent season for them, Zebre are closest of the two to managing that, 5 points adrift but with a game in hand, 4 wins (3 at home and 1 away) doesn't look to bad, but when they only have 1 LBP from 12 losses, and have conceded the most points by a good margin and have only scored 61 points away from home (most teams around them have scored around twice this).
it makes them a difficult team to say much about.
It appears when on song they are competitive, but when they aren't they are the worst team in the League, so far they are on song to little, they need to be playing at their best far more often.

Treviso
Bottom team, similar to Zebre in a lot of ways, worst home record, poor away, but potential does look better. In the 15 loses they have 8 LBP so they are not shipping the heavy defeats as often as Zebre do and if they had won the 2 Christmas games against Zebre they would be pushing to be out of the bottom 2.
In 12/13 season finished 7th but have regressed every season since. Can only hope the rot has stopped but there really isn't a lot of positives at present.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by Kingshu on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 4:33 pm

Got it finished, works quiet lol

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 4:37 pm

Nice post Kingshu, very well thought out and balanced, but for me, the Pro12 so far ? Well, so far it's been rubbish. 

Why ? A very, very poor standard of officiating that is turning people/fans away from the league.

Although, on the plus side, your analysis of the teams is pretty much spot on.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by profitius on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 4:58 pm

Strange thing about Connacht and Scarlets is Connacht have 7 try bonus points while Scarlets have only 1, despite scoring plenty of points this season.

Zebre have 1 lbp from 12 losses while Dragons have 8 lbp from 13 losses.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 5:15 pm

Pretty reasonable analysis. The rise of Connacht has been a pleasant surprise. Hope they get a home semi-final and some investment for next season. They have earned it.

I need to look up the average number of players Glasgow have been down this season. Think 18 or so to the World Cup and another 10-12 who are injured at any one time. It has been brutal. They will rise up the table thanks to the 2 games in hand and 3 of their last 7 are against Zebre and Treviso (Scarlets have none for example, Connacht and Leinster have 1 but the other games are rough sledding). Anything less than 4th is a disappointment especially with a Murrayfield final this year.

Edinburgh have a devastating tight 5 and really need a kicker/improvement in the backs. Next year with Weir and more SHC they should be better at taking points especially away from home. Lost to Zebre at the start of the season and that has come back to haunt them. Losing to Cardiff in an awful game and a tight one to Scarlets has probably cost them top 6 this season.

Watched Joubert in the Super Rugby the other day. Was very poor. Officiating this season has been below standard in all tournaments, not just Pro 12.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by Kingshu on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 5:22 pm

profitius wrote:Strange thing about Connacht and Scarlets is Connacht have 7 try bonus points while Scarlets have only 1, despite scoring plenty of points this season.

Zebre have 1 lbp from 12 losses while Dragons have 8 lbp from 13 losses.


Connacht have a huge number of try bonus points but have scored by far the most tries 49 to Scarlets 38, but the other team challenging for the play of places have around 4 TBP to Scarlets 1, these 3 points could have a difference in places at end of season.

Both Dragons and Treviso have 8 LBP if Zebre had managed to keep as many games as close as these two they wouldn't be in the bottom 2. Its why I believe that when they are not on song they are the worst team in the League.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by VinceWLB on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 5:58 pm

Zebre have been losing more players to Italy than Treviso which may explain why they picked up so few lbp. Treviso have been working with their new coach Crowley and the results are there to see already with 2 wins and 2 narrow losses against Scarlets and Munster.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 6:11 pm

I'd be very worried about the future of Italian rugby. There doesn't seem to be much coming through the ranks there. I just seen there that Rovigo (first in Eccelenza) were hammered by the Romanian champions in the third tier of European rugby, so they are basically struggling everywhere at the moment. If they weren't getting such big crowds for the 6 nations they would be under serious pressure for their guaranteed place at the top table of European rugby.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by VinceWLB on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 6:20 pm

Yeah Romania and Georgia can feel hard done by. Italy have been in the 6N for almost 2 decades and have barely improved, gone backwards the last couple of seasons. Italian teams have been making up the numbers in the pro 12 apart from Treviso in 2012/2013 which was down to great coaching imo. I have some hope Treviso will make some strides with Crowley but they have too many players not at the required level, particularly their backs.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by True Raven on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 9:31 pm

It pains me to say it but scarlets deserve a play off place and James Davies must be one of the leading contenders for player of the year, he's been superb in attack and defence. Just read he's joint third top try scorer and he's a forward and he's been out for 12 weeks. Pretty impressive

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by True Raven on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 9:34 pm

VinceWLB wrote:Yeah Romania and Georgia can feel hard done by. Italy have been in the 6N for almost 2 decades and have barely improved, gone backwards the last couple of seasons. Italian teams have been making up the numbers in the pro 12 apart from Treviso in 2012/2013 which was down to great coaching imo. I have some hope Treviso will make some strides with Crowley but they have too many players not at the required level, particularly their backs.

Don't see why they cant do what Argentina have done and said if you want to play for Italy you need to be playing in Italy.


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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:10 pm

True Raven wrote:It pains me to say it but scarlets deserve a play off place and James Davies must be one of the leading contenders for player of the year, he's been superb in attack and defence.  Just read he's joint third top try scorer and he's a forward and he's been out for 12 weeks. Pretty impressive

If the Scarlets don't make the playoffs they only really have their dire disciplinary record to blame. If they could have kept all their men on the pitch, or maybe just limit it to one player off the pitch at any given time, they could have pushed for try bonus points.

But I agree Cubby has been the star player in the pro12 this season, he was leading the turnovers won, tackles and line breaks stats prior to his injury (I believe), and has seemed to hit the ground running upon his return.

I think it will be Leinster, Connacht, Glasgow and either the Scarlets or Munster in the playoffs. With the Ospreys just scrapping the last euro-spot (even though I constantly mock Os supporting friends saying they have no chance).

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by True Raven on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:21 pm

SS even more impressive is that in my opinion wales best centre and full back have hardly played (hasn't Liam played only one game). With those two in the back line, those bonus points would have been secured.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:34 pm

Raven, possibly. Possibly if we had two fit wingers available more often. But really every team gets injuries, and call ups. It's the numerous yellows that's cost us.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 9:05 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:I'd be very worried about the future of Italian rugby. There doesn't seem to be much coming through the ranks there. I just seen there that Rovigo (first in Eccelenza) were hammered by the Romanian champions in the third tier of European rugby, so they are basically struggling everywhere at the moment. If they weren't getting such big crowds for the 6 nations they would be under serious pressure for their guaranteed place at the top table of European rugby.

This situation won't be helped by Glasgow signing Leonardo Sarto from Zebra as rumoured.  Good for Glasgow and Sarto.  Bad for Italian rugby.   It was ever thus !

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by wayne on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:02 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
True Raven wrote:It pains me to say it but scarlets deserve a play off place and James Davies must be one of the leading contenders for player of the year, he's been superb in attack and defence.  Just read he's joint third top try scorer and he's a forward and he's been out for 12 weeks. Pretty impressive

If the Scarlets don't make the playoffs they only really have their dire disciplinary record to blame.  If they could have kept all their men on the pitch, or maybe just limit it to one player off the pitch at any given time, they could have pushed for try bonus points.

But I agree Cubby has been the star player in the pro12 this season, he was leading the turnovers won, tackles and line breaks stats prior to his injury (I believe), and has seemed to hit the ground running upon his return.

I think it will be Leinster, Connacht, Glasgow and either the Scarlets or Munster in the playoffs.  With the Ospreys just scrapping the last euro-spot (even though I constantly mock Os supporting friends saying they have no chance).
SS, I don't think we have a chance of qualifying, Ulster are 12 points ahead of us and only 5 games to go, we would need 5 BP wins and hope they lose at least 3 games, not going to happen.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:35 am

Wayne, I see your point, I was looking at it as you are only a few points behind Edinburgh in 6th, but hadn't factored in Glasgow moving up as well. In that case, I agree it looks likely it will be the current top 4, Munster and Glasgow in the RCC1 next season.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by wayne on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:50 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Wayne, I see your point, I was looking at it as you are only a few points behind Edinburgh in 6th, but hadn't factored in Glasgow moving up as well.  In that case, I agree it looks likely it will be the current top 4, Munster and Glasgow in the RCC1 next season.
Yeh SS, we have to finish above one Scottish AND Irish team to qualify AND hope the Blues don't pass us, although with us playing them in a home match (Millenium) Very Happy . We'll finish above them no problem Very Happy .

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by Munchkin on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:29 am

wayne wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
True Raven wrote:It pains me to say it but scarlets deserve a play off place and James Davies must be one of the leading contenders for player of the year, he's been superb in attack and defence.  Just read he's joint third top try scorer and he's a forward and he's been out for 12 weeks. Pretty impressive

If the Scarlets don't make the playoffs they only really have their dire disciplinary record to blame.  If they could have kept all their men on the pitch, or maybe just limit it to one player off the pitch at any given time, they could have pushed for try bonus points.

But I agree Cubby has been the star player in the pro12 this season, he was leading the turnovers won, tackles and line breaks stats prior to his injury (I believe), and has seemed to hit the ground running upon his return.

I think it will be Leinster, Connacht, Glasgow and either the Scarlets or Munster in the playoffs.  With the Ospreys just scrapping the last euro-spot (even though I constantly mock Os supporting friends saying they have no chance).
SS, I don't think we have a chance of qualifying, Ulster are 12 points ahead of us and only 5 games to go, we would need 5 BP wins and hope they lose at least 3 games, not going to happen.

Ulster really could lose three of our five games. Our form hasn't been great, recently, but I'm hoping things will change with a few players returning from the Ireland camp, and injury. We have three away games, and although we should beat Zebre, away, Glasgow and Ospreys could beat us. Then we have Leinster and Connacht at home. Both very tough opposition. I think we will get a win against one of those, but not super confident we can take both. Two wins from the five should be enough to get us into top 6, and to make top 4 we really have to beat Glasgow in our next game, and hope other results go our way.
Ospreys Could win all five of their games, but might fall to one of Scarlets, Cardiff or Ulster.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 1:18 pm

Connacht, Leinster, Glasgow and Munster for the play offs
Scarlets and Ulster for the Champions Cup
Edinburgh and Ospreys to miss out

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 2:48 pm

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:I'd be very worried about the future of Italian rugby. There doesn't seem to be much coming through the ranks there. I just seen there that Rovigo (first in Eccelenza) were hammered by the Romanian champions in the third tier of European rugby, so they are basically struggling everywhere at the moment. If they weren't getting such big crowds for the 6 nations they would be under serious pressure for their guaranteed place at the top table of European rugby.

This situation won't be helped by Glasgow signing Leonardo Sarto from Zebra as rumoured.  Good for Glasgow and Sarto.  Bad for Italian rugby.   It was ever thus !
Almost impossible for the Italian teams to hang onto quality players if they have any sort of ambition. I've also seen Italian articles that Zebre are in deep financial trouble, they could end up like Aironi.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 3:58 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:I'd be very worried about the future of Italian rugby. There doesn't seem to be much coming through the ranks there. I just seen there that Rovigo (first in Eccelenza) were hammered by the Romanian champions in the third tier of European rugby, so they are basically struggling everywhere at the moment. If they weren't getting such big crowds for the 6 nations they would be under serious pressure for their guaranteed place at the top table of European rugby.

This situation won't be helped by Glasgow signing Leonardo Sarto from Zebra as rumoured.  Good for Glasgow and Sarto.  Bad for Italian rugby.   It was ever thus !
Almost impossible for the Italian teams to hang onto quality players if they have any sort of ambition. I've also seen Italian articles that Zebre are in deep financial trouble, they could end up like Aironi.

Practically an Italian team should be in Rome and this payment (600k a year is it?) the FIR make to the other unions ended. Maybe if the Welsh want down a region (Pro 10), the Scots want up a region or another union can afford a team, the Italians go down to 1 team based in Rome or Treviso. Harsh on Treviso if Rome is chosen, but right now Italian rugby needs to get their local clubs in order.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 5:34 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:I'd be very worried about the future of Italian rugby. There doesn't seem to be much coming through the ranks there. I just seen there that Rovigo (first in Eccelenza) were hammered by the Romanian champions in the third tier of European rugby, so they are basically struggling everywhere at the moment. If they weren't getting such big crowds for the 6 nations they would be under serious pressure for their guaranteed place at the top table of European rugby.

This situation won't be helped by Glasgow signing Leonardo Sarto from Zebra as rumoured.  Good for Glasgow and Sarto.  Bad for Italian rugby.   It was ever thus !
Almost impossible for the Italian teams to hang onto quality players if they have any sort of ambition. I've also seen Italian articles that Zebre are in deep financial trouble, they could end up like Aironi.

Practically an Italian team should be in Rome and this payment (600k a year is it?) the FIR make to the other unions ended. Maybe if the Welsh want down a region (Pro 10), the Scots want up a region or another union can afford a team, the Italians go down to 1 team based in Rome or Treviso. Harsh on Treviso if Rome is chosen, but right now Italian rugby needs to get their local clubs in order.
Their national academy is based in Parma and the FIR have invested heavily in the region with the new stadium; so they will want to keep a team there. Treviso is rugby mad and when Treviso were a formidable team to play at home they were regularly attracting crowds of 5k. It would be a huge risk taking a team outside of these areas and put one in a non traditional rugby area. I really don't know what the solution is.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 8:48 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Their national academy is based in Parma and the FIR have invested heavily in the region with the new stadium; so they will want to keep a team there. Treviso is rugby mad and when Treviso were a formidable team to play at home they were regularly attracting crowds of 5k. It would be a huge risk taking a team outside of these areas and put one in a non traditional rugby area. I really don't know what the solution is.

Treviso only got 1k against Munster a couple of weeks ago which was disappointing to see in many ways. They were on a 2 games winning streak and there was no 6N going on that day.

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Re: Pro 12 so far

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 8:56 pm

VinceWLB wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Their national academy is based in Parma and the FIR have invested heavily in the region with the new stadium; so they will want to keep a team there. Treviso is rugby mad and when Treviso were a formidable team to play at home they were regularly attracting crowds of 5k. It would be a huge risk taking a team outside of these areas and put one in a non traditional rugby area. I really don't know what the solution is.

Treviso only got 1k against Munster a couple of weeks ago which was disappointing to see in many ways. They were on a 2 games winning streak and there was no 6N going on that day.
The weather was very bad for that game but the downturn in performances over the past 3 seasons has obviously had a huge impact of crowd numbers over there. Not to mention the amount of players they lost a couple of seasons ago.

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