Pro 14 kicks off

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Pro 14 kicks off

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

First topic message reminder :

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 LordDowlais on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:11 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...

OMG.

Perhaps you should take a look at the classless team that is Leinster.

I expect to see the whole branch walking up the red carpet during the next Oscars. Half the team should get nominations with Sexton getting best actor and Nacewa getting best supporting actor. By God these boys like to roll around, play up and whine to the ref. picard

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:13 pm

Beirne is in the Top 3 of the IQ Team's list.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:14 pm

LordDowlais 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...

OMG.

Perhaps you should take a look at the classless team that is Leinster.

I expect to see the whole branch walking up the red carpet during the next Oscars. Half the team should get nominations with Sexton getting best actor and Nacewa getting best supporting actor. By God these boys like to roll around, play up and whine to the ref. picard

You'll be ahead of them with Whinger of the Season award.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:15 pm

The Great Aukster wrote: Maybe he'll stay in Wales and get the red shirt?

We hope so.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:16 pm

Pot Hale wrote:You'll be ahead of them with Whinger of the Season award.

Yep.

I'll take that. Yahoo

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:19 pm

Griff wrote:
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.  

Yes they do, but that was an anomaly of a match where the similar playing styles cancelled each other out. Connacht are about 3 or 4 international quality players away from being a top side when they can play like that.

You’re absolutely right about playing style and how Wales should adopt it. I remember Ospreys playing that way last season too, up until the Stade game. Big mistake not getting adequate coaches when Gibbes left.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:27 pm

Nigel was right - a captain shouldn't shout "advantage over" to con the oposition. Neither should the flyhalf try to take a quick conversion to exploit a loophole and stop the officials calling the TMO. Stopping a quick throw is often punishable with a penalty so Pivac has to take a lot of credit for coaching his players so well in getting away with it.
The All Blacks have been getting away with such cynical play for years, but is that really the aspiration for all other teams? Forget the ethos of the game, win at all costs?
The Scarlets were good enough to win without the cynical play - all they did was devalue their own victory.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:31 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
The Scarlets were good enough to win without the cynical play - all they did was devalue their own vuctory.

Chanelling your inner-Kiwi, GA?
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:36 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Nigel was right - a captain shouldn't shout "advantage over" to con the oposition. Neither should the flyhalf try to take a quick conversion to exploit a loophole and stop the officials calling the TMO. Stopping a quick throw is often punishable with a penalty so Pivac has to take a lot of credit for coaching his players so well in getting away with it.
The All Blacks have been getting away with such cynical play for years, but is that really the aspiration for all other teams? Forget the ethos of the game, win at all costs?
The Scarlets were good enough to win without the cynical play - all they did was devalue their own victory.

Laugh

It's a good thing Bundee Aki did not try this in the same game.... oh hang on.

The ironing is delicsous....

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by profitius on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:55 pm

Predictable results today but some close encounters. I watched the Leinster Edinburgh match but would have preferred the Scarlets Connacht match. Sounds like a cracker.

About Beirne, he was very good for the Ireland U20s a few years back. I think he was playing more at 6 then. Mike Ruddock was the u20 coach then and it was he who recommended Beirne to the Scarlets. Beirne was plagued by injuries when in Leinster so never got a chance to play.

He would be in the Ireland squad now no doubt if there was a different selection policy.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 10:59 pm

profitius wrote:He would be in the Ireland squad now no doubt if there was a different selection policy

Ireland are really shooting themselves in the foot by not picking him. Him and Steff Evans are probably the two most inform players in Wales at the moment, what's the difference now to when Bowe was at Ospreys ?

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:29 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Nigel was right.....
The Scarlets were good enough to win without the cynical play - all they did was devalue their own victory.

Laugh

It's a good thing Bundee Aki did not try this in the same game.... oh hang on.

The ironing is delicsous....

Indeed. Do you keep burning your ear every time you answer the phone?
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 7:59 am

LordDowlais wrote:
profitius wrote:He would be in the Ireland squad now no doubt if there was a different selection policy

Ireland are really shooting themselves in the foot by not picking him. Him and Steff Evans are probably the two most inform players in Wales at the moment, what's the difference now to when Bowe was at Ospreys ?

The difference is that first of all Bowe was already an established player despite the reticence to select him even though he was the on form Irish winger before going to the O's. Secondly you don't just walk onto a Joe Schmidt side because you have to spend time in the Irish camp learning systems and perfecting them. Last of all you only get selected if your playing in Ireland bar an injury crisis. There are already established players that have Joe's systems off by heart. It'll take some time before he'd get near the green shirt. If he doesn"t get home soon to prove himself that boat will sail, I very much hope we snap him up pronto.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 9:00 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
The difference is that first of all Bowe was already an established player despite the reticence to select him even though he was the on form Irish winger before going to the O's. Secondly you don't just walk onto a Joe Schmidt side because you have to spend time in the Irish camp learning systems and perfecting them. Last of all you only get selected if your playing in Ireland bar an injury crisis. There are already established players that have Joe's systems off by heart. It'll take some time before he'd get near the green shirt. If he doesn"t get home soon to prove himself that boat will sail, I very much hope we snap him up pronto.

That is not entirely true, Sexton was continually picked at 10 whilst playing in France. If this was the case then Jackson would have probably more starting test caps.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 9:59 am

Bowe went to the O's because despite being the League's leading try scorer Eddie O'Sullivan scapegoated him for the France loss in 2007 and vindictively still had him behind Brian (Rookie) Carney and Gavin (Ordinary) Duffy when posting his RWC squad. When it all went pear shaped for EOS (and the unfortunate broken arm of D'Arcy), Bowe got back into the fold for the 2008 6N, and Kidney kept him for the AIs even though he had then moved to Wales.
Sexton was also the incumbent at 10 for Ireland before his move to France, and there was a distinct lack of competition with ROG's retirement. The last thing the IRFU want is to send the message that uncapped players still have a chance of getting capped playing outside of Ireland. That could precipitate a talent drain and guys like Robin Copeland and Chris Farrell would never return. In Copeland's case he immediately came into squad reckoning when it was announced by Munster that he was signed, and he got his first cap the following AIs.

The message is clear, Beirne has to move back if he wants to play for Ireland.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:03 am

Beirne is tough and pretty mobile like POC. The game is moving away from monster locks and back towards more mobile guys who are good at the breakdown. If Ireland ever do pick Beirne keep him at lock.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:08 am

Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember Jackson playing some very good rugby whilst Sexton was in France. I was even screaming for him to get a start ahead of Sexton as I thought he was playing the better at that time. After ROG retired there was a lack of options at 10 but that disappeared very quickly when Jackson stepped up to the mark. The fact that he was simply not rated (trusted?) by Schmidt should not be seen as a selection policy that players playing outside Ireland will only be selected if there is an injury crisis. Some players could play anywhere in the world and still be selected for Ireland if they are of the right stature in the game.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:13 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Beirne is tough and pretty mobile like POC. The game is moving away from monster locks and back towards more mobile guys who are good at the breakdown. If Ireland ever do pick Beirne keep him at lock.

The thing with Beirne is he must be at least 114-115 kg so does not weaken the scrum or general play in the tight. He is the perfect modern rugby 2nd row.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:18 am

LordDowlais 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...

OMG.

Perhaps you should take a look at the classless team that is Leinster.

I expect to see the whole branch walking up the red carpet during the next Oscars. Half the team should get nominations with Sexton getting best actor and Nacewa getting best supporting actor. By God these boys like to roll around, play up and whine to the ref. picard

Didn't watch the game but I do believe that Nacewa and Sexton have become very poor in their attempts to con ref's and have opposition players carded. Biggar is another player that does this, it drives me crazy and I truly hope that one day retrospective bans are put in place to discourage this behaviour.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:41 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
The difference is that first of all Bowe was already an established player despite the reticence to select him even though he was the on form Irish winger before going to the O's. Secondly you don't just walk onto a Joe Schmidt side because you have to spend time in the Irish camp learning systems and perfecting them. Last of all you only get selected if your playing in Ireland bar an injury crisis. There are already established players that have Joe's systems off by heart. It'll take some time before he'd get near the green shirt. If he doesn"t get home soon to prove himself that boat will sail, I very much hope we snap him up pronto.

That is not entirely true, Sexton was continually picked at 10 whilst playing in France. If this was the case then Jackson would have probably more starting test caps.

Sexton was another exception to the rule. The IRFU could have gone with Jackson but that would have cut off their nose to spite their face Billy. There really was nobody close to Sexton so they had to bend the rules. You need to be a golden one or the next in line during an injury crisis. Beirne has never worn an Irish shirt so isn't a golden one yet and there are a number of players who hold their places in the current pack that'll take some shifting.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:49 pm

I simply do not like 'exceptions to the rule' Pete. If an organisation is going to put a rule in place then they should stick to it. People say that the rule encourages players to return, this is true but the rule should also encourage players not to leave (if that is the reason behind the rule). Having exceptions to the rule gives certain players power over the union and that is wrong in my mind.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 1:10 pm

eirebilly wrote:I simply do not like 'exceptions to the rule' Pete. If an organisation is going to put a rule in place then they should stick to it. People say that the rule encourages players to return, this is true but the rule should also encourage players not to leave (if that is the reason behind the rule). Having exceptions to the rule gives certain players power over the union and that is wrong in my mind.

It's wrong, there's no doubting that but when there's a huge gulf in class between a pivotal player and the next best I think needs must. I am with you though, either stay in Ireland and keep your Irish shirt or play elsewhere and forget international caps. Seemples!!

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:19 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Nigel was right.....
The Scarlets were good enough to win without the cynical play - all they did was devalue their own victory.

Laugh

It's a good thing Bundee Aki did not try this in the same game.... oh hang on.

The ironing is delicsous....

Indeed. Do you keep burning your ear every time you answer the phone?  

Can we add trapping the opposition players at the breakdown when they’re attempting to role away and then appealing to the ref for a penalty to the cynical play list? Munster are taking advantage of another weak ref ( surprise surprise).

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:24 pm

My god mikey, you really have an unnatural hatred of the Irish Shocked
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:37 pm

eirebilly wrote:My god mikey, you really have an unnatural hatred of the Irish  Shocked

How on earth do you surmise that from what I just said? That’s got to be idiocy at its best.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:41 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
eirebilly wrote:My god mikey, you really have an unnatural hatred of the Irish  Shocked

How on earth do you surmise that from what I just said? That’s got to be idiocy at its best.


Oh dear god you are special aren't you. Have you read your posts? You could be the least balanced poster on this site and that takes something.

Idiocy... Yep, I agree you resemble that thumbsup
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:47 pm

eirebilly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
eirebilly wrote:My god mikey, you really have an unnatural hatred of the Irish  Shocked

How on earth do you surmise that from what I just said? That’s got to be idiocy at its best.


Oh dear god you are special aren't you. Have you read your posts? You could be the least balanced poster on this site and that takes something.

Idiocy... Yep, I agree you resemble that thumbsup

Yeah so an Irish poster points out what he sees as cyncial play by a Welsh team you don’t bat an eyelid. I point out what I think is cyclical play by Munster and you go crying and accusing me of hating the Irish - that’s ridiculously stupid. This ref seems to have decided which team is going to win and it’s ruining a competitive game; a sad and frequent trait in the Pro 14.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:50 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
eirebilly wrote:My god mikey, you really have an unnatural hatred of the Irish  Shocked

How on earth do you surmise that from what I just said? That’s got to be idiocy at its best.


Oh dear god you are special aren't you. Have you read your posts? You could be the least balanced poster on this site and that takes something.

Idiocy... Yep, I agree you resemble that thumbsup

Yeah so an Irish poster points out what he sees as cyncial play by a Welsh team you don’t bat an eyelid. I point out what I think is cyclical play by Munster and you go crying and accusing me of hating the Irish - that’s ridiculously stupid. This ref seems to have decided which team is going to win and it’s ruining a competitive game; a sad and frequent trait in the Pro 14.

If you have of mentioned the forward pass for the Blues try or the fact that the ref gave the Blues a final warning before penalising them twice more then yes I would have given you the benefit of the doubt of being a balanced poster.

Your history of hatred towards the Irish is not just shown on this thread but many. I am really just not interested in conversing with such a hateful being, enjoy thumbsup
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:05 pm

It looked flat from one angle, I couldn’t tell if it was forward as from every other angle was fine. One scrum penalty was legit and the other two a lottery but given in Munsters favour despite them standing up right under his nose. I’ve mentioned the breakdown, strane interpretation. I did chuckle to myself when the commentator asked Keith about the breakdown as if it was affecting Munster laughing.

Again not sure how you’ve surmised that, but this isn’t the first time you’ve acted a desperate fool when someone points out the truth. Not sure why some Irish on here think they’re always exempt from criticism when they give it out the most. Jokers.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:10 pm

This year is certainly throwing up some interesting results. Doesn't look like there will be many easy games this season. Exciting season ahead.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by BigGee on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:17 pm

Yes, talk of the demise of the Pro 14 was much exaggerated. Sides are going to think very carefully about the sides they take out to SA and Italy from here on in or else they could be leaving some points behind.

It is amazing what a few wins does for a side, Cheetahs, Benetton and Zebre all looking very confident all of a sudden.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 6:55 pm

Glasgow being the only as yet unbeaten side. This Pro-14 is shaping up very nicely indeed. The SA sides have also added that extra bit of interest. Bodes well for the season ahead.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 7:30 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:This year is certainly throwing up some interesting results. Doesn't look like there will be many easy games this season. Exciting season ahead.

It's looking great indeed, with both Italian teams getting their acts together.

Now, only need Kings to improve.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 8:08 pm

Not sure just how long the Italians will be competitive throughout the competition but it is certainly good to see them making a go of it so far.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 8:16 pm

This evening is my first good look at the Southern Kings and based on the first half they’re much worse than the Italians.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 9:41 am

Currently Zebre in a European qualification spot.

Wont it be ironic if an Italian team qualified just as they are not guaranteed a place.
Also they are now already guaranteed as many wins in a season, assume no derby draws, as they have achieved in any of the last 3 years.

I reckon they will get north of 12 wins in a season - possibly around 15/16

Great to see them competitive


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by marty2086 on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 9:49 am

Treviso are already over half of last seasons points total less than a third of the way through the season

The two of them are more competitive over 80 mins, Conor O'Shea deserves a bit pat on the back as he's a catalyst for some of the improvements we have seen along with Crowley and Bradley

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 9:53 am

mikey_dragon wrote:This evening is my first good look at the Southern Kings and based on the first half they’re much worse than the Italians.

They were given a rugby lesson by both Italian sides.. A lesson in running, offloading rugby by Zebre and a lesson in physical, more clinical rugby by Benetton a couple of weeks later. It is in some way unlucky for the Kings that both Italians teams have improved so drastically, it's actually hard to see where their 1st win will come from, if ever. Though i am pretty sure they will get Cronje back in February.

Zebre, in particular, have been a revelation, playing a brand or rugby i could never have imagined an Italian outfit being able to do so.

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by marty2086 on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 10:09 am

mikey_dragon wrote:This evening is my first good look at the Southern Kings and based on the first half they’re much worse than the Italians.

Going by Wikipedia, 34 of the Kings squad left after Super Rugby and 29 players came in. It can't be easy putting together a competitive team like that


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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by Guest on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 11:30 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Currently Zebre in a European qualification spot.

Wont it be ironic if an Italian team qualified just as they are not guaranteed a place.
Also they are now already guaranteed as many wins in a season, assume no derby draws, as they have achieved in any of the last 3 years.

I reckon they will get north of 12 wins in a season - possibly around 15/16

Great to see them competitive


Could this be why they've suddenly improved?! Not guaranteed a place so have to fight for one instead. Probably not, but got me thinking!

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 12:04 pm

I suspect Conor Shea is the catalyst here.

Bit more professionalism at the top plus a commitment to play a certain way

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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Tue 10 Oct 2017, 1:56 pm

So if the table were to finish as it is now.  The teams that automatically qualify are Glasgow, Munster and Zebre from Conference A, and then from Conference B it will be Scarlets, Ulster, and Leinster.

Then the playoff for europe will be Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh, even though The Blues are in fifth and Edinburgh in fourth?  I can see both sides to the arguement, but it seems a bit wrong that Edinburgh should have to go to a play-off game when they have finished higher in their conference than the Blues.

Edit: Where as if the two tables were just combined and points we the decider it would be Glasgow, Scarlets, Ulster, Leinster, Munster, Edinburgh, Treviso. Have a feeling come the end of the season there will be grumbling and whinging about the system.
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Re: Pro 14 kicks off

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