Pro 14 kicks off

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Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Kingshu on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 9:53 am

I have to admit that I am really excite about the new Pro 14 season, there have been changes new teams, and I think there is a genuine overall positivity about the Pro 14 and its future from all the countries involved.

Lets go over the changes to the league and why this is generating positively.

Two new teams, ok there has been some disparaging that they are the ones rejected from the super 18, but this season they finished 11th and 13th with above Blue bulls so not the worst SA teams, and certainly not the worst Super rugby teams. Cheetahs have been able to keep most of their squad whereas Southern Kings have a big rebuilding job, most people are excited to see these teams esp Cheetahs.
Greg Garner has been appointed Elite Referee Manager "Garner will also oversee a structured and objective performance review process while liaising with all Unions across the PRO14 to identify and promote future match official talent." also aims to " to appoint neutral match officials to all games," people have been asking for this for a while and it appears the Pro 12 is delivering, hopefully there is more work with all the Unions to get referee of the required standard and the feedback process is more linear.
Conferences means that 6 teams rather than 4 will make the playoffs, meaning that making the playoffs is easier and a more realistic target for teams, generating positively that there is something to aim at.

I also think nearly every team is in a better place than last year and the fans are more positive about them a very brief outline why;
Munster - much improved last season and will look to build on it, ok will be losing Erasmus but still positive
Leinster - will always be there or thereabouts- positive
Scarlets - reinging champions - positive
Ospreys - playoffs last year, will aim so will be in with a chance - positive
Ulster - Gibbs in, back row stronger, 10 issues but overall positive
Glasgow Warriors - Rennie in, some strong signings, last year wasn't great but its first time they haven't been involved in playoffs since 2010/11 will be positive about getting back there
Cardiff Blues - not far off the pace, finances are tight though - maybe neutral?
Connacht - new head coach, some good signing, were previous Champions, positive
Edinburgh - Cockerill appears to be the perfect man for the job, sounds realistic that wants to start slow and win ugly, no longer in Murayfield, Edinburgh fans must be positive about the future.
Benetton Treviso - have actually recited well, and appear to be stronger than last year, hopefully will surprise a few people - positive
Dragons - WRU takeover, Jackman in, overall much more positive about the future
Zebre - FIR takeover, Bradley in future does look better but still a long way to go - neutral

So I make it 10 of last years teams should be more positive about this year, meaning there is a lot of positivity.
I can't remember the last time I looked forward to seeing the Celtic/Magners etc League kick off, there is so much to look forward to. Also interested to see what the South Africans take on the league is, and how this pans out with them, will they enjoy it more than super rugby?

Are you as excited, do you think the league itself has built itself up more? Is there finally a feel good factor about being in the Pro 14?



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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Biltong on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 10:07 am

I for one am interested to see how it goes, I would take care if I was Pro 14 not to expand too much though.

I think the Kings might struggle in their first season more so than the Cheetahs purely because they have lost their stars from the Super Rugby.

I hope both teams at least end mid table in their respective conferences in their first season. So 4th place per conference is what I think they should target as minimum achievement.

Cheetahs could possibly just qualify for play offs, but it is really hard to know how the "lower" SA teams will compare to stronger European teams that has bought a number of the better SH players.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 9:30 pm

Congrats to Treviso on their away win tonight.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:14 pm

Big game today between Ospreys and Munster. Be a good gauge to see where Munster (from a Munster POV not against the O's) are at early in the season. Away to the Ospreys is a very difficult game.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:22 pm

Munsters goal kicking is proving a very real issue for them.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:28 pm

Hook Shocked
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 4:07 pm

The Kings v Leinster game making history in more ways than one today with what was surely the smallest attendance to any Celtic/Pro12/Pro14 game. I counted about 23 Wink

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 4:31 pm

The Osprey's are finishing the better here today. Munster have left far too many points behind.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 4:57 pm

Hard lines Ospreys, thought they deserved the win in the end as they were showing more control. Not complaining though as Munster are still undefeated.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm

Chris Farrell is looking in very sharp for you boys eirebilly. A couple of times he just burst through tackles with ease, he's a man monster.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:22 pm

He is Dodger but he is also looking poor in defence. He needs more time to fit in properly but I have high hopes.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:30 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Chris Farrell is looking in very sharp for you boys eirebilly.  A couple of times he just burst through tackles with ease, he's a man monster.

He was immense with Grenoble whenever i watched them and couldn't believe he wasn't playing for one of the province.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:36 pm

Farrell has brawn but it's brains that will determine just how good a rugby player he will be.

It will be interesting to see who has the greater career, with Arnold competing for the same position.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Kingshu on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:52 pm

Zebre at 16-1 and Terviso at 11 yesterday seem like far to big odds. Of course treviso is hindsight, but I did say that they have recuited well and could surprise a few people.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:53 pm

Zebra have started really well, but that Cheetahs try showed how dangerous a team they are. Its live on the Pro14 facebook page by the way.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 6:58 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Zebra have started really well, but that Cheetahs try showed how dangerous a team they are.  Its live on the Pro14 facebook page by the way.

Video has totally disappeared for me, so this was just a tease!

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 7:17 pm

Kingshu wrote:Zebre at 16-1 and Terviso at 11 yesterday seem like far to big odds. Of course treviso is hindsight, but I did say that they have recuited well and could surprise a few people.


Edinburgh could be layed at 1.04 on betfair yesterday. thumbsup They were the same price at half time! Erm
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:06 pm

Cheetahs get off the mark. 54 - 39 win vs Zebre. It was close at half time.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pot Hale on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 12:02 pm

Cheetahs v Zebre game was very good to watch. I found highlights here - https://www.reddit.com/r/rugbyunion/comments/70lnry/cheetahs_v_zebre_highlights_pro14_rd3_5m00s/

Reports say 20,000 at the match. Some of the pics support that, others don't.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Biltong on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 12:47 pm

The main stnd was quite full, tickets were free to promote pro 14
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 8:18 pm

Some interesting matches tonight!
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 8:49 pm

Great stuff from Cheetahs!

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 9:25 pm

Leinster have a lot of players to come back including all their Lions, but it is great for the league that the Cheetahs have taken a big scalp.

Really pleased for the Cheetahs.

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Post by Biltong on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 9:34 pm

Cheetahs still struggle to put a focused 80 minute game together.

Between the 50th to 80th minute they lost organisation in defence, discipline and focus. The intercept try at the end belies how close the match actually was, at 31-19 Leinster had control of territory and posession and the Cheetahs started to panic.

Fortunately they pulled through
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 9:37 pm

Biltong wrote:Cheetahs still struggle to put a focused 80 minute game together.

Between the 50th to 80th minute they lost organisation in defence, discipline and focus. The intercept try at the end belies how close the match actually was, at 31-19 Leinster had control of territory and posession and the Cheetahs started to panic.

Fortunately they pulled through
I wouldnt worry too much as that happens a lot when teams build a big lead. They never looked like losing the game and could afford to take a slight breather. I think this will be a very difficult place to go this season,.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 9:42 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster have a lot of players to come back including all their Lions, but it is great for the league that the Cheetahs have taken a big scalp.

Really pleased for the Cheetahs.

I think any team bringing a weakened side to Bloemfontein will come to regret that decision. Leinster have the best strength in depth in the league.

What a difference having an actual flyhalf, centres who can tackle and Mohoje back made for the Cheetahs.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Guest on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 10:45 pm

I'm a big Leinster fan, but well done Cheetahs! I already knew they were a threat, after watching my team (Ulster) against them. They will grow, and will be a major threat.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 10:56 pm

Treviso make it two wins in a row. This is promising because they have a lot of talent in that squad and many are out injured at the minute.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by RossAnderson on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 10:59 pm

Cheetahs result is brilliant for the league, not sure what the crowd was like tonight but sure this will stir some added interest over in sa.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by RossAnderson on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 11:03 pm

Munchkin wrote:"I'm a big Leinster fan" "watching my team (Ulster) against them.".
Eh?

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Guest on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 11:11 pm

Sounds odd. But I want real challenge in PRO14. I came out early as a Cheetahs fan, I'm sticking with that support. Problem?

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by RossAnderson on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 11:22 pm

Munchkin wrote:Sounds odd. But I want real challenge in PRO14. I came out early as a Cheetahs fan, I'm sticking with that support. Problem?
The odd part was how you started the comment stating how big a Leinster fan you are then referred to Ulster as your team in the very next sentence. But according to this reply you're now a cheetahs fan too. kiss


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 23 Sep 2017, 9:51 am

RossAnderson wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Sounds odd. But I want real challenge in PRO14. I came out early as a Cheetahs fan, I'm sticking with that support. Problem?
The odd part was how you started the comment stating how big a Leinster you are then referred to Ulster as your team in the very next sentence. But according to this reply you're now a cheetahs fan too. kiss

Kind of struggling to understand that passage myself...

Anyways, what a win for the Cheetahs. Hopefully that will garner some more interest in the Pro-14 in SA. They are mad rugby fans there so it will only be good for the comp that they get going. Not going to be easy for any team to head to Bloemfontein and get a win. They have some serious pace on the counter attack as well so teams will be very careful of kicking to them.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Sat 23 Sep 2017, 7:24 pm

Kings 3-22 Zebre at half time.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 23 Sep 2017, 8:39 pm

As i expected, Zebre wins but didn't expect such an emphatic win..

Zebre will come back home from the SA tour better off than Leinster (both in aggregate and league points), who would have thought?


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Biltong on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 6:51 am

Kings squad hve been decimated at end of Super Rugby season, clearly they don't have the player stock.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 1:27 pm

Biltong wrote:Kings squad hve been decimated at end of Super Rugby season, clearly they don't have the player stock.

First couple of games were actually promising and improvement between game 1 and 2 interesting. That was absolutely rubbish from them at home and a step backward though, some players simply don't cut it at this level. Time they use other members of the squad as i'm sure some of them are better. 3,4,6,7,12,14,15 positions needs change.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 6:38 pm

Cheetahs, on the other hand are terrific.

Does anyone still think they aren't a great addition to the league?


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 8:31 pm

Pro14 round up; Scarlets can’t stop scoring tries. Wales team needs at least 10 Scarlets players in the starting team.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Biltong on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 8:32 pm

Cheetahs have Glasgow Warriors next weekend, will be telling as to their chances this season to make play offs
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 8:42 pm

Biltong wrote:Cheetahs have Glasgow Warriors next weekend, will be telling as to their chances this season to make play offs

Should be a good few tries in that one too.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 9:14 pm

Scarlets are undoubtedly on fire. It's a pity they have to resort to so much ungentlemanly conduct as they would be good enough without it. Owens (Ken) calling "advantage over", Patchell taking the quick conversion (and missing), McNicholl putting the ball over the hoarding...

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 9:24 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Scarlets are undoubtedly on fire. It's a pity they have to resort to so much ungentlemanly conduct as they would be good enough without it. Owens (Ken) calling "advantage over", Patchell taking the quick conversion (and missing), McNicholl putting the ball over the hoarding...

Is that it laughing

Connacht probably deserved a draw from that, they certainly did their homework. Beirne comes onto the field and the ball turns to gold whenever he gets his hands on it. Any Irish reckon he’s getting called up for Ireland duty in November?

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 9:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote: Any Irish reckon he’s getting called up for Ireland duty in November?

No because he's not in Ireland and never been in camp

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 9:30 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Scarlets are undoubtedly on fire. It's a pity they have to resort to so much ungentlemanly conduct as they would be good enough without it. Owens (Ken) calling "advantage over", Patchell taking the quick conversion (and missing), McNicholl putting the ball over the hoarding...

Is that it laughing

Connacht probably deserved a draw from that, they certainly did their homework. Beirne comes onto the field and the ball turns to gold whenever he gets his hands on it. Any Irish reckon he’s getting called up for Ireland duty in November?

Nope, not while he's playing in Wales. He flippin well should though but he will when he's dragged back home.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Griff on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:03 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Scarlets are undoubtedly on fire. It's a pity they have to resort to so much ungentlemanly conduct as they would be good enough without it. Owens (Ken) calling "advantage over", Patchell taking the quick conversion (and missing), McNicholl putting the ball over the hoarding...

Is that it laughing

Connacht probably deserved a draw from that, they certainly did their homework. Beirne comes onto the field and the ball turns to gold whenever he gets his hands on it. Any Irish reckon he’s getting called up for Ireland duty in November?

Nope, not while he's playing in Wales. He flippin well should though but he will when he's dragged back home.

£20 says he does a Robin Copeland!

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:04 pm

I wasn’t sure if Ireland had such rules in place. That is known as Schmidt’s Law, I take it Whistle. If he remains with Scarlets during the international window then that’s their gain. Beirne must have always had great potential so it’s hard to believe he was overlooked. His style of play reminds me of POC.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I wasn’t sure if Ireland had such rules in place. That is known as Schmidt’s Law, I take it Whistle. If he remains with Scarlets during the international window then that’s their gain. Beirne must have always had great potential so it’s hard to believe he was overlooked. His style of play reminds me of POC.
He was always tipped for great things at Leinster whilst in the academy but injuries ruined his time here. Fair play to the Scarlets for taking a punt on him, they really do make very intelligent signings. I'd love to see them make a European QF


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:07 pm

Wasn't Beirne a stand in player who couldn't t get a look in for Leinster? He has no chance of getting into Ireland reckoning unless he is based in Ireland. He can probably maximise his earnings by moving to France or England, so can't see him in green anytime soon. Maybe he'll stay in Wales and get the red shirt?

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Griff on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:10 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Pro14 round up; Scarlets can’t stop scoring tries. Wales team needs at least 10 Scarlets players in the starting team.

They need to sharpen up on defence though. Lovely to watch, and the Connacht game was great for a neutral (although I was routing for Scarlets), but defence was woeful at times. Scarlets made a lot of mistakes. But attacking play was sublime. Loving the support lines they run. Wales/Howley could learn literally a million things from watching the Scarlets play, with forwards and backs all buying into the philosophy.

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