European rugby, the interest just isn't there

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European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LordDowlais on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 1:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

I know I will get a bashing off some quarters on here, but sorry it has to be said, looking at the crowds for the two semi-finals on the weekend, it would seem the interest is not there. The aggregate figure for the two games was a paltry 38,968 people, there was more people than that for the Cardiff Blues V Leicester semi final a few years ago 44,212 turned up that day.

This proves that the greedy club owners have ruined a once prestigious competition, admired by thousands and getting better year on year. Where are all these new massive sponsorship deals ? Where is all this money we are supposed to be swimming in ? 

All I saw on the weekend was empty seats, the future of the European club competition for me looks bleak, dwindling crowds, the same teams ALL the time in the knockout stages, lack of interest, the French already consider their own league a priority, for me something drastic needs to be done as it would seem the writing is on the wall for one of our favourite club competitions, it's sad, as it's been well and truly ruined by the greedy club owners.

Take a read of some of these, you might find them interesting:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/04/25/empty-seats-as-saracens-and-racing-92-won-through-must-be-a-wake/
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/much-better-europe-champions-cup-11238143

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:15 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:Not really sure why you're lumping English teams and French teams together as though they play each other all the time.

Every year six of each turn up to play someone.... Like I often allude to...look at the history of Europe - English/French auto numbers steadily went up...the rest steadily went down. It's easy for me to lump the two together - the stats show how power and influence keeps giving those two more and more opportunities to play each other in a final by loading the dice in their favour.

But we shouldn't complain...it's meritocracy at work - Las Vegas style Wink.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:15 pm

Cyril wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Two teams playing each other for third time and even as an Ulster fan I was able to enjoy and appreciate Leinster performance Rolling Eyes
I'm glad you were able to enjoy it. It wasn't a competitive final though, which is what neutrals would prefer.

Well you can't get everything you want in life even though the match was competitive for the first 60 mins

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:16 pm

Sin é wrote:On the date of the final - the French wanted it plenty of time before their Top 14 playoffs, finals. Mourad Boudjellal has said in March that the tournament should be scrapped in favour of a league. I wonder is that why they look disinterested this year.


Maybe Mourad not wanting to pay the bonuses played a part in that

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Munchkin on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:19 pm

Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Game was sold out.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by lostinwales on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:21 pm

Fanster wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Fanster wrote:I have a better idea, give me 3 restructure plans that would in any way benefit an Italian team?


Restructure in what way? and that is about making propositions. You made a statement which you are not (yet?) backing up

I made a statement of this competition directed to English and French domination, see this years quarter finals as evidence of outcome.

If you think this is a coincidence, then please tell me how during the reform and with the claims that the reform would help everyone, how exactly Zebre and Treviso have benefited?

Oh. dear. Nothing to do with transition/general poor form/ good form of AP teams then? The best of the Pro12 teams qualified as usual. This was a bad year for the Pro12. Based on what you said then 2012 was a bad year for AP teams and yet...

Last year was also a bad year for Pro12 teams. And that was because of what exactly? I guess it must have been in anticipation of this year and nothing at all to do with the natural cycles these teams seem to go through.

no. Quarter finalists
Pro12 France England
2016 0 3 5
2015 1 3 4
2014 3 2 2
2013 2 3 3
2012 5 2 1
2011 2 4 2

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:24 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Game was sold out.

Probably could have filled the stadium twice with the demand for that game

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:26 pm

french clubs havent been disinterested. they just havent been much good.

were the provinces disinterested?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:35 pm

quinsforever wrote:french clubs havent been disinterested. they just havent been much good.

were the provinces disinterested?

They didn't have the numbers Quins. Three played - that are going through slumps in form. One didn't get to qualify. And yes, the other two simply refused to turn up under protest. Wink

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Sin é on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:36 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Fanster wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Fanster wrote:I have a better idea, give me 3 restructure plans that would in any way benefit an Italian team?


Restructure in what way? and that is about making propositions. You made a statement which you are not (yet?) backing up

I made a statement of this competition directed to English and French domination, see this years quarter finals as evidence of outcome.

If you think this is a coincidence, then please tell me how during the reform and with the claims that the reform would help everyone, how exactly Zebre and Treviso have benefited?

Oh. dear. Nothing to do with transition/general poor form/ good form of AP teams then? The best of the Pro12 teams qualified as usual. This was a bad year for the Pro12. Based on what you said then 2012 was a bad year for AP teams and yet...

Last year was also a bad year for Pro12 teams. And that was because of what exactly? I guess it must have been in anticipation of this year and nothing at all to do with the natural cycles these teams seem to go through.

no. Quarter finalists
           Pro12 France England
2016         0        3         5
2015         1        3         4
2014   3  2     2
2013 2        3     3
2012        5  2         1
2011        2  4     2

I suspect the PRO12 teams will be more competitive next season. This season, with the world cup, and the PRO12 teams having a high proprortion of International players who mostly made it to the QFs of the World Cup. This meant, that the English & Italians players were back with their clubs sooner than the Scots, Irish, Welsh & French. As far as I can recall, the first game of the Champs Cup was just 2 weeks later when many of the players really had little or no gametime with their clubs (and no preseason either with them).

Munster won a HCup in 2008 after most of their players enjoyed a dismal world cup in France and didn't make the knock-outs and so were back early with even more time than now to integrate with their clubs.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:37 pm

LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Sin é on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:41 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby doe not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it did for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fan ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

3 (if not 4 hopefully as a Munster fan) Irish clubs will qualify for the Champs Cup this season.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:42 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled. I never stated the European Competition should be fixed. All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots. I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Exiledinborders on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:53 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled.  I never stated the European Competition should be fixed.  All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots.  I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................
To be honest I had not read your post.

As for your idea; it is a rotten one. If all four Irish teams qualify automatically then they can go back to the old system of resting playing until the European games thereby giving them an unfair advantage.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:56 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So it comes back to underachieving Pro 12 teams. That was going to happen without structure changes though.

Whether that would have happened without the structure changes is moot.

The PRL complained about the PRO12 having an unfair advantage with "automatic qualification". If there was any substance to that complaint the new competition has removed that advantage - thereby damaging PRO12 teams. Alternatively the PRL were lying about there being any advantage in the first place and mis-represented their situation in the media.

Presumably those who think that the new structure hasn't harmed the PRO12 teams, now acknowledge the PRL lied?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by munkian on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:58 pm

Ah, the old Pro 12 was the only league to 'rest' players bollox - not seen that one in a while Rolling Eyes

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:07 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled.  I never stated the European Competition should be fixed.  All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots.  I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................
To be honest I had not read your post.

As for your idea; it is a rotten one. If all four Irish teams qualify automatically then they can go back to the old system of resting playing until the European games thereby giving them an unfair advantage.

It's the only way to bring back fairness.  Four semi-final slots as a minimum - it'll probably be our demand when this present European contract comes up for re-negotiation.  You have to bargain hard with these Private boys.....


Last edited by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Cyril on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:18 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Game was sold out.
You can't account for taste Smile

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Munchkin on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:25 pm

Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Game was sold out.
You can't account for taste Smile

A packed out stadium says otherwise Cool

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by asoreleftshoulder on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:38 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled.  I never stated the European Competition should be fixed.  All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots.  I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................
To be honest I had not read your post.

As for your idea; it is a rotten one. If all four Irish teams qualify automatically then they can go back to the old system of resting playing until the European games thereby giving them an unfair advantage.

This didn't happen,we rest our players the exact same amount now as we did back then.Look up the team sheets of the matches in the 2 weeks before a European weekend and you will see the Irish sides always put out our best teams.We even had inter provincial matches scheduled in the weeks before the European games so we could be sure of having tough games.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:43 pm

Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry was answering LD. I don't think a Euro comp should be paying for individual clubs to improve.

Oh my bad lol

The point is that a euro comp shouldn't be paying to help teams improve (despite that being part of the eargument for reform), but it shouldn't directly anhialate a nations teams without accepting responsibility.

Has anyone looked at the crisis in Italy right now and put their hands up? PRL, LNR, and RRW should all do that, instead the media jackals circle them and discuss kicking them out without cause!!!

Italy are lucky to have a team in the comp; they shouldn't on ability. Pro 12s lack of support to Italian clubs is a separate issue.

Lucky to be included in a european comp? This is why noone likes it, statements like this are awfull!! Especially as their ability is a direct result of the PRL power grab.

They ain't good enough. this is the premier comp, having them given charity places isn't what its about.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:44 pm

Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fanster you said the comp promotes certain teams, how?

Not certain teams, English and French clubs. Stop trying to move the goalposts and answer some of the question surrounding...

So how does it?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:48 pm

A good many teams get 'charity' places at World Cups though.... so that the organisers can legitimately call those things 'World Cups'.

You have to try as best you can to honour the title by which you market yourself - or lose the title.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by lostinwales on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fanster you said the comp promotes certain teams, how?

Not certain teams, English and French clubs. Stop trying to move the goalposts and answer some of the question surrounding...

So how does it?

So let me guess more general attacks and still no substance in Fanster's comments?

For what its worth one thing I don't like in the current scheme is the best runners up qualification. Because the Italian teams have been so weak groups with one will always get a runners up slot, when very strong groups where there is a more equal share of points will not. So the presence of Italian teams will tend to produce more unpredictable (but arguably less deserving) qualifiers for the quarter finals.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:56 pm

Really? Thought there was qualifying and places given based on ranking?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:57 pm

He's still avoiding it at present lost.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 4:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? Thought there was qualifying and places given based on ranking?

Many of them are whipping boys and not up to it - you know it, I know it, they know it.. the organisers know it. Same difference. By the rules of the European Cup competition, an Italian side qualifies.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 4:21 pm

lostinwales wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fanster you said the comp promotes certain teams, how?

Not certain teams, English and French clubs. Stop trying to move the goalposts and answer some of the question surrounding...

So how does it?

So let me guess more general attacks and still no substance in Fanster's comments?

For what its worth one thing I don't like in the current scheme is the best runners up qualification. Because the Italian teams have been so weak groups with one will always get a runners up slot, when very strong groups where there is a more equal share of points will not. So the presence of Italian teams will tend to produce more unpredictable (but arguably less deserving) qualifiers for the quarter finals.

For me the play off for the 20th spot is an unnecessary addition to the competition, the spot should go to the Challenge Cup winners

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 4:25 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled.  I never stated the European Competition should be fixed.  All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots.  I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................
To be honest I had not read your post.

As for your idea; it is a rotten one. If all four Irish teams qualify automatically then they can go back to the old system of resting playing until the European games thereby giving them an unfair advantage.

This didn't happen,we rest our players the exact same amount now as we did back then.Look up the team sheets of the matches in the 2 weeks before a European weekend and you will see the Irish sides always put out our best teams.We even had inter provincial matches scheduled in the weeks before the European games so we could be sure of having tough games.
The Irish must play their best players week in week out. Everybody else can and does rest players but if we do it we are getting an unfair advantage Rolling Eyes

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Notch on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 4:53 pm

quinsforever wrote:i for one am hugely excited about seeing a first english winner of both euro comps for many years.

sarries have dominated domestic and european rugby this season and thoroughly deserve to be in the final.
mouthwatering.

Well thats kind of the point isn't it. I totally agree that they have been the best team thus far in Europe but I still couldn't care less, and it seems like you couldn't care less when it was Leinster even though they were clearly the best team in their era.

Nothing wrong with that- to each their own. All the bitching and moaning that takes place on all sides when one nation is going through a period of dominance it's is really just nationalistic d!ck waving for the sake of d!ck waving as far as I'm concerned and thats not something I'm interested in engaging in.

But whats becoming obvious is that none of us are actually truly interested in the tournament for the sake of what it represents in itself. The English are interested in seeing English success, the Irish are interested in seeing Irish success, its probably still a footnote for the French fans whose clubs aren't there and secondary to the brennus. But that means that in a lot of years a lot of the potential audience won't care about whats happening. It's not an event like the Olympics 100m final or the football World Cup or even the Six Nations where fans of the sport will tune in regardless of whether or not they have someone to cheer for, which is undoubtedly the level the EPCR aspires to get it too. It's not a big event in the rugby calendar. And it's interesting because in reading this debate, which has been fairly pointless, it's started to become clear that actually this tournament is facing a potential plateau and I'm not sure how it gets over that.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:05 pm

Notch wrote:But that means that in a lot of years a lot of the potential audience won't care about whats happening. It's not an event like the Olympics 100m final or the football World Cup or even the Six Nations where fans of the sport will tune in regardless of whether or not they have someone to cheer for, which is undoubtedly the level the EPCR aspires to get it too. It's not a big event in the rugby calendar. And it's interesting because in reading this debate, which has been fairly pointless, it's started to become clear that actually this tournament is facing a potential plateau and I'm not sure how it gets over that.

That wasn't the case in it's hay day though was it ? I remember a packed out MS for a few European cup finals that myself and other Welsh people attended and there was not a Welsh team in sight. 

Since 2002, with the "hand of back" final, all the finals were a sell out, the HC matches used to be like mini internationals and everybody would go and watch them. The atmosphere at games used to be electric. Now the games are flat, no build ups to the European weekends, no seeing rugby advertised in the beer isle in the supermarkets, NOTHING.

It was a time when the HC was the fixture on the calendar  you would look for at the start of the season, you would spend the day in the club watching numerous games, a day out was to be add going to watch them, you would prioritise these fixtures, it was building up to be quite the event. 

Look at it now, I will be very surprised to see the final sell out a 70,000+ seater stadium again. Crying or Very sad

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:09 pm

Notch wrote:
quinsforever wrote:i for one am hugely excited about seeing a first english winner of both euro comps for many years.

sarries have dominated domestic and european rugby this season and thoroughly deserve to be in the final.
mouthwatering.

Well thats kind of the point isn't it. I totally agree that they have been the best team thus far in Europe but I still couldn't care less, and it seems like you couldn't care less when it was Leinster even though they were clearly the best team in their era.

Nothing wrong with that- to each their own. All the bitching and moaning that takes place on all sides when one nation is going through a period of dominance it's is really just nationalistic d!ck waving for the sake of d!ck waving as far as I'm concerned and thats not something I'm interested in engaging in.

But whats becoming obvious is that none of us are actually truly interested in the tournament for the sake of what it represents in itself. The English are interested in seeing English success, the Irish are interested in seeing Irish success, its probably still a footnote for the French fans whose clubs aren't there and secondary to the brennus. But that means that in a lot of years a lot of the potential audience won't care about whats happening. It's not an event like the Olympics 100m final or the football World Cup or even the Six Nations where fans of the sport will tune in regardless of whether or not they have someone to cheer for, which is undoubtedly the level the EPCR aspires to get it too. It's not a big event in the rugby calendar. And it's interesting because in reading this debate, which has been fairly pointless, it's started to become clear that actually this tournament is facing a potential plateau and I'm not sure how it gets over that.
Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:16 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

In every final up to the change, when it was held at the Millenium Stadium it was a sell out, there would be loads of Welsh fans there, soaking up the atmosphere and appreciating European rugby, such was the pull of the event. That was up until last year when things changed and it was held at the MS and it was not a sell out, and looking at this years semi finals, I would doubt the even less capacity of the Lyon stadium will be a sell out.

The days of using 70,000+ seater stadiums for Europeans club showpiece final is gone now, unless something drastic happens.

We need the magic back.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:18 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

In every final up to the change, when it was held at the Millenium Stadium it was a sell out, there would be loads of Welsh fans there, soaking up the atmosphere and appreciating European rugby, such was the pull of the event. That was up until last year when things changed and it was held at the MS and it was not a sell out, and looking at this years semi finals, I would doubt the even less capacity of the Lyon stadium will be a sell out.

The days of using 70,000+ seater stadiums for Europeans club showpiece final is gone now, unless something drastic happens.

We need the magic back.
Seeing old HC matches really depresses me. I even miss the old ERC scoreboard in the top left of the screen Sad

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:29 pm

hey ive been to the last three finals. i'm perfectly happy to watch two french teams tear lumps out of each other. great spectacle. the teams are so multinational anyway that i disagree its all nationalistic d1ck waving Notch.

i loved jonny wilkinson leading toulon to victory. his career was saved by leaving english club rugby. i was thrilled when they stuffed saracens.

true rugby fans love the game. irrespective of who is playing. i guarantee the lyon match will be a sellout. not too many sarries fans probably. but loads of french ones.


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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:31 pm

and lets be honest, part of the reason games aren't promoted as aggressively on TV is because of the shared coverage. it makes a horlix of marketing the product.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:45 pm

SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? Thought there was qualifying and places given based on ranking?

Many of them are whipping boys and not up to it - you know it, I know it, they know it.. the organisers know it.  Same difference.  By the rules of the European Cup competition, an Italian side qualifies.  

But what teams better than the whipping boys are left out?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:45 pm

quinsforever wrote:hey ive been to the last three finals. i'm perfectly happy to watch two french teams tear lumps out of each other. great spectacle. the teams are so multinational anyway that i disagree its all nationalistic d1ck waving Notch.

i loved jonny wilkinson leading toulon to victory. his career was saved by leaving english club rugby. i was thrilled when they stuffed saracens.

true rugby fans love the game. irrespective of who is playing. i guarantee the lyon match will be a sellout. not too many sarries fans probably. but loads of french ones.


Not an opinion shared by the owners of the major clubs in England and France - as communicated many times in intervews.  
They like looking in the mirror.  The HEC was too diverse. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?"  

So they called in a few media favours, linked up with a few media buddies, put their plans and hands in the pockets deeper than the rules provided for - and bought themselves a Private Competition to show off their Private clubs with.  Come on - it's all Professionalism.  It's what Professionalism does - buys things - over a counter or under one.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:57 pm

rubbish fly.

the pools have been far far more competitive and the matches far higher quality than when there were 11 pro12 teams in the competition and only 2 runners up spots for the QF stages.

just look at pool 2...a finale like that to the pool stages never happened before. and most of that is to do with the changes in the structure.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:58 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? Thought there was qualifying and places given based on ranking?

Many of them are whipping boys and not up to it - you know it, I know it, they know it.. the organisers know it.  Same difference.  By the rules of the European Cup competition, an Italian side qualifies.  

But what teams better than the whipping boys are left out?

It's a European Contest, 7&1/2.  It's a European Contest.  If you want to say all sides in it should be the very best of the best then I'm sure certain people here might argue that no Pro12 side should get through at all, and that the English and French could handle the 'quality' requirements all on their own.

Maybe that's what it finally should have been, a Anglo/French League.  Only a short while ago - only four or five years ago, many were wondering about the quality of the lesser English sides that turned up.  Did anyone suggest they should be dropped?  Nope - not until the PRL decided that they wanted the power to drop others out of the Quality Street Elite.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:01 pm

quinsforever wrote:rubbish fly.

the pools have been far far more competitive and the matches far higher quality than when there were 11 pro12 teams in the competition and only 2 runners up spots for the QF stages.

just look at pool 2...a finale like that to the pool stages never happened before. and most of that is to do with the changes in the structure.

I repeat - NOT an opinion shared by the bosses of your AP clubs.  They want to look at themselves.  And they're happy doing so.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by PenfroPete on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:07 pm

Here's the one's i've been to

2005–06 Munster v Biarritz, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2007–08 Munster v Toulouse, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2008–09 Leinster v Leicester Tigers, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2009–10 Toulouse v Biarritz, Stade de France, Saint-Denis
2010–11 Leinster v Northampton Saints, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2011–12 Leinster v Ulster, Twickenham, London
2012–13 Toulon v Clermont, Aviva Stadium, Dublin
2013-14 Toulon V Saracens, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Apart from 2006, I bought our tickets as soon as they became available, even though I knew there was little or no chance of a Welsh region getting there. The old 606 crew (Gloucester, Sale, Bath, London Irish, Wasps, Leinster, Exeter, Ulster, Munster, Glasgow, Ospreys, Scarlets, Dragons, Blues and Clermont) used to message each other organising the meet ups for 2011, 12, 13 and 14 with 30 or 40 odd of us meeting in a private room or bar with buffets sorted for pre-match, tables booked post match. I'm sure none of us went to the 2015 final or are going to this one.  Crying or Very sad

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by quinsforever on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:13 pm

Lyon is a bit harder to get to for us than MS, Twickers, Edinburgh, Dublin or Paris.

and there will be less brits and irish already there anyway.

so yes this final will probably have less fans from outside france than any previous final.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:27 pm

SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Really? Thought there was qualifying and places given based on ranking?

Many of them are whipping boys and not up to it - you know it, I know it, they know it.. the organisers know it.  Same difference.  By the rules of the European Cup competition, an Italian side qualifies.  

But what teams better than the whipping boys are left out?

It's a European Contest, 7&1/2.  It's a European Contest.  If you want to say all sides in it should be the very best of the best then I'm sure certain people here might argue that no Pro12 side should get through at all, and that the English and French could handle the 'quality' requirements all on their own.

Maybe that's what it finally should have been, a Anglo/French League.  Only a short while ago - only four or five years ago, many were wondering about the quality of the lesser English sides that turned up.  Did anyone suggest they should be dropped?  Nope - not until the PRL decided that they wanted the power to drop others out of the Quality Street Elite.

Its the elite cup comp between 3 leagues. Italians deserve to be there as much as Newcastle Falcons.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:42 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:LordDowlais might be right about relative lack of interest. That is due to lack of Irish teams. I think European rugby does not hold the same interest for fans of English and French team as it does for Irish fans.  

Why? I am tempted to say because that was the only time Irish fans ever saw the Irish internationals playing for their province? censored

Seriously I do not know why but I do not think the tournament should be fixed so that Irish teams qualify. They just need to get better.

You are being disingenuous now, Exiled.  I never stated the European Competition should be fixed.  All I'm saying is that for the good of the contest, four Irish sides should be guaranteed semi-final spots.  I'm not suggesting an Irish side has to reach a final......................
To be honest I had not read your post.

As for your idea; it is a rotten one. If all four Irish teams qualify automatically then they can go back to the old system of resting playing until the European games thereby giving them an unfair advantage.

If the old system gave PRO12 teams an 'advantage', that has now been removed. Therefore the PRO12 teams are now at a disadvantage relative to where they used to be.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Notch on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:21 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

I used to feel like that but it's changed as the teams have become more multinational, but no not really. Had the Irish sides not been successful I doubt there would be much interest over here.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:41 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:Considering there's no interest, there seems to be a lot of interest.

No doubt those claiming to be shopping at IKEA with the wife will probably end up watching it. Then feel a little dirty.

Hopefully it'll be better than that Leinster v Ulster final. A horribly one-sided game between two sides playing each other for the ninth time that season.

Game was sold out.
You can't account for taste Smile

A packed out stadium says otherwise Cool

Heineken sponsored the competition and the stadium ran out of beer before half time. It was a classic.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:51 pm

Notch wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

I used to feel like that but it's changed as the teams have become more multinational, but no not really. Had the Irish sides not been successful I doubt there would be much interest over here.

I think the advertising of the games has gone backwards.
BT only advertise the games they are showing during their broadcasts. Sky do the same. You'd never know there is a game kicking off on the other channel immediately after the broadcast the way they would go about their shows.
In the US, when a competition is spread over multi channels, the in broadcast announcement of upcoming games includes references to games on all platforms. They are broadcasting the sport remember. So a fox showing of NFL will include a reference to the game on CBS later on as well as the next NFL match on Fox. Obviously the commentators big up their own games (is par for the course) but they set out the schedule for NFL because that is what it is.

This should be happening for ChampCup. The organisers should be making sure that at the start and end of every broadcast, the broadcaster sets out the full schedule of games for the comp including the little graphic of who will be showing the game.

This season you'd swear there on a weekend that the comp only had pools 1, 4 and 5. They wouldn't even mention the others as the games were on the other side. Then the following week they wouldn't mention pools 1 & 4 at all and would just talk about the other pools. Both broadcasters made themselves look like blithering idiots.

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by Fanster on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:55 pm

Notch wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Did you feel as though the old HC had that? Just speaking for myself I used to watch every HC game I could regardless of who was playing and thought of the European weekends as the highlight of the rugby calendar; whereas this year I've actually missed Leinster and Munster matches as I really wasn't bothered. There was no hype for the European weekends on here or on SKY/BT. Also HC finals used to attract any amount of neutrals, I'm not sure if it's like that now especially given the struggle to sell tikets to the last couple of finals.

I used to feel like that but it's changed as the teams have become more multinational, but no not really. Had the Irish sides not been successful I doubt there would be much interest over here.

Leinster, I used to be exactly the same, my missus used t hate HC weekends as it rendered me useless, and I would watch what was the culture of Euro rugby, however this season and last have been poor quality!

I was asked by a foreign student who only took up rugby a few years ago if the HC was a one off, as he saw it when he first got to the UK but hasn't seen it since, not that much of a shock, considering I couldn't tell him who won it last year.


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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:28 pm

Harsh on Toulon. You figured out how English and French teams are promoted?

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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

Post by SecretFly on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:49 pm

It's obviously a topic with no middle ground. I guess most of us feel we're talking to a brick wall when trying to argue our points.

European Rugby - KitKat. It's a biscuit - it's a bar.


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Re: European rugby, the interest just isn't there

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