The Shocking standard of the Pro14

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The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by profitius on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 6:03 pm

Having been watching it since it was the original Celtic league and looking at comments about it online in all those years it's fair to say it's the most controversial competition in world rugby. There are always problems popping up that it could do without. No exaggeration to say it has a way to go yet.


What I've noticed in the last few years is the standard of play. It has dramatically improved!!!


Starting off with Glasgow's rise to win the competition. Then we had Connacht coming from nowhere to win it. Then the Scarlets won it in style. Those teams won by playing attractive running rugby.


Then last year Leinster won again after they've become one of the best non international teams in the world. Also last year we had Benetton and Zebre getting their act together and become hard teams to beat, especially Benetton. Edinburgh have become a tough team to beat too, much improved from previous years.


The South Africans are weak but they've added something exotic to the league. Cheetahs do look weaker than last season (too early to judge) but Kings look improved so far. After 2 poor seasons the buzz is back in Connacht and Cardiff are showing good signs.


So all in all the standard has improved greatly. That's putting the pressure on other traditionally strong sides like Munster, Ospreys and Ulster, which is no harm.


The league isn't without problems which are constantly highlighted so I though I'd take a look at the big picture for a change. thumbsup
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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 6:17 pm

It is good to see that teams are building teams in a more attack focused way. Italian rugby has improved because of their pack play not their forward play.

I am intrigued for the first to rounds of euro as that is a better gauge of where teams are v where they seem to be in the Pro14. Benneton should be looking to make the quarters if they want to be taken seriously as should Glasgow.

I was wrong when the debate raged over Euro spots and all that but it has improved the league a lot and teams have got stronger because squads have improved. Biggest plus from all that was the Pro14 unions went and improved the academies because they couldn't import players so well done on the league becoming more competitive.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 6:21 pm

You're equating standard with running rugby.

That's like saying the 7 goals to 5 game that Forest Green Rovers won lat week was brilliant attacking football. goals everywhere. so must be considered a high standard of football.

You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by profitius on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 8:44 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:You're equating standard with running rugby.

That's like saying the 7 goals to 5 game that Forest Green Rovers won lat week was brilliant attacking football. goals everywhere. so must be considered a high standard of football.

You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard


Not necessarily because the bottom teams in the league can greatly improve but still not be euro contenders. Zebre being an example. They've stopped shipping 50 and 60 point defeats but are still a bit off Heineken cup semi finals.


The criticism of the league was always about the weak bottom sides.
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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 8:49 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:You're equating standard with running rugby.

That's like saying the 7 goals to 5 game that Forest Green Rovers won lat week was brilliant attacking football. goals everywhere. so must be considered a high standard of football.

You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

I think you will find I did. How many years did we use to say that SH teams don't defend to discover they could defend and we couldn't. All I am saying is the Italians aren't improving on a 10man game plan but can actually counter. The Pro14 is starting be a league were quick counter is seen as the way forward having been built on quick trucks and smart turnovers. But to repeat we don't know where the leagues are until the Euro matches.

You might not like the Benneton wings but I wish Munster had some of their flare

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by VinceWLB on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 9:20 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:You're equating standard with running rugby.

That's like saying the 7 goals to 5 game that Forest Green Rovers won lat week was brilliant attacking football. goals everywhere. so must be considered a high standard of football.

You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

More expensive rugby = higher standard of rugby as this is simply the hardest to pull off

Any amateur team can set up a rolling maul.

And now tell me what type of Rugby, the best team ever (NZ) is playing?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by TJ on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 9:38 pm

You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

On that standard surely the pro 14 is doing well. did they not have more tyeams in the knockout stage than either England or France last year?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 26 Sep 2018, 10:29 pm

No. France had more.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 9:07 am

TJ wrote:You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

On that standard surely the pro 14 is doing well.  did they not have more tyeams in the knockout stage than either England or France last year?

But it's the same teams making the semi finals and finals all the time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you look at the last 10 years of European Champions Cup rugby, I'm pretty sure you'll find a greater spread of teams in the English and French leagues making the semis and finals than from the pro14.

Last 5 seasons of knockouts:

Pro14:
Leinster, Munster, Scarlets, Glasgow

Top 14:
Racing, La Rochelle, Toulon, Clermont, Toulouse, Stade Francais, Montpellier

Gallagher Prem:
Saracens, Wasps, Exeter, Leicester, Northampton, Bath

Just my opinion but it shows a more varied, stronger league in France and England.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 9:38 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
TJ wrote:You'd be better off comparing how many of the Pro 14 teams regularly make the knockout stages of Europe's premier competition. That's a better marker of standard

On that standard surely the pro 14 is doing well.  did they not have more tyeams in the knockout stage than either England or France last year?

But it's the same teams making the semi finals and finals all the time.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you look at the last 10 years of European Champions Cup rugby, I'm pretty sure you'll find a greater spread of teams in the English and French leagues making the semis and finals than from the pro14.

Last 5 seasons of knockouts:

Pro14:
Leinster, Munster, Scarlets, Glasgow

Top 14:
Racing, La Rochelle, Toulon, Clermont, Toulouse, Stade Francais, Montpellier

Gallagher Prem:
Saracens, Wasps, Exeter, Leicester, Northampton, Bath

Just my opinion but it shows a more varied, stronger league in France and England.

It shows more buying, selling, losing and gaining of high end International players that can be afforded.  That's what it seems to show to me.  A high class cattle mart where purebreds are brought in, used for a few season, then either migrate to another side in the same league or leave for places like Japan, or back home to the SH.  
That kinda system is always going to be more fluid.  But a better system?  Again, it's preference and choice in what you want from your team and rugby.

Given my understanding of how the Top14 and to an extent how Gallagher Premiership works, I'd see the Pro14 as been more stable, less freeform movement of highest class world players (due to less money to buy them or coax them) better development of players from academy to International level.

So all you're doing is highlighting once again that Yes, the three Leagues are different entities because they have distinctly different structures and distinctly different funding abilities.  The richest League has most variety at the top, the next richest League has next highest rate, and the 'poorest' Championship (not League as Pot keeps telling me) has least variety.

But which Competition had the most potent brand of rugby last season?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 9:47 am

SecretFly wrote:
It shows more buying, selling, losing and gaining of high end International players that can be afforded.  That's what it seems to show to me.  

Which of the 26 English and French teams can't afford to pay their players?


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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by BamBam on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:00 am

In all honesty, if at the beginning of any European season in the last 3/4 years I was asked to pick the 4 most likely English clubs to make the knockouts of the elite competition, I would have said Saracens, Wasps, Exeter and either Leicester / Bath

I don't think that's massively dissimilar to picking Leinster, Munster, Glasgow and either Scarlets / Ulster if the same exercise was used for the Pro14

Both the AP / Pro 14 have their dominant sides, I agree that the French league is more unpredictable, but even then its the Clermont / Toulon / Racing / Montpellier quartet that seem to be the most effective in Europe

What will be more of a gauge this season is how the next level of clubs do in the Challenge Cup - Blues obviously had a great season last year, but generally this has been where the next tier of English clubs have always done well. Think this will be a better barometer of whether the standard of the league has gone up

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by VinceWLB on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:26 am

BamBam wrote:
What will be more of a gauge this season is how the next level of clubs do in the Challenge Cup - Blues obviously had a great season last year, but generally this has been where the next tier of English clubs have always done well. Think this will be a better barometer of whether the standard of the league has gone up

In theory, i would agree but sadly not every team (few actually do) take the Challenge Cup seriously. I would like to see Benetton reach the QF but that's far from a done job as Zebre clearly prioritized the league last season, although with a thin squad.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:31 am

BamBam wrote:In all honesty, if at the beginning of any European season in the last 3/4 years I was asked to pick the 4 most likely English clubs to make the knockouts of the elite competition, I would have said Saracens, Wasps, Exeter and either Leicester / Bath

I don't think that's massively dissimilar to picking Leinster, Munster, Glasgow and either Scarlets / Ulster if the same exercise was used for the Pro14

Both the AP / Pro 14 have their dominant sides, I agree that the French league is more unpredictable, but even then its the Clermont / Toulon / Racing / Montpellier quartet that seem to be the most effective in Europe

What will be more of a gauge this season is how the next level of clubs do in the Challenge Cup - Blues obviously had a great season last year, but generally this has been where the next tier of English clubs have always done well. Think this will be a better barometer of whether the standard of the league has gone up

Have to agree that the Challage cup is where you judge the strenght of the lower leagues.

Also we are saying over the last three years the Pro14 has become more competitive not the last 5. But even the last five years, bottom dwellers Connacht and Edinburgh have improved. Treviso have improved over the last two years. Zebre are now hard to beat at home.

Last Season everyone except Dragons and Kings were competitive in over half their games

Team Games W D LBPS Total %
Munster 21 13 1 5 19 90.48%
Glasgow 21 15 1 2 18 85.71%
Scarlets 21 14 1 3 18 85.71%
Leinster 21 14 1 2 17 80.95%
Cheetahs 21 12 0 5 17 80.95%
Ulster 21 12 2 2 16 76.19%
Benneton 21 11 0 5 16 76.19%
Edinburgh 21 15 0 1 16 76.19%
Blues 21 11 0 5 16 76.19%
Connacht 21 7 0 6 13 61.90%
Ospreys 21 9 0 3 12 57.14%
Zebre 21 7 0 4 11 52.38%
Dragons 21 2 2 4 8 38.10%
Kings 21 1 0 3 4 19.05%



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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:32 am

The only concern is we might be heading more to home team wins this year so closer league but not games

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:35 am

Brendan wrote:The only concern is we might be heading more to home team wins this year so closer league but not games

There was a discussion about this on the Ulster Rugby Round Up podcast this week, they said it may be a little skewed by some of the matchups we've had this season so far as the SA sides were away earlier on etc

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:54 am

We need the teams in the Pro14 to treat the league as their bread and butter. They are all guilty of always having their eyes on other competitions, but the Pro14 needs to be showcased, everyone needs to buy into it.

Unfortunately, in Wales, outside of the Pro14 hotbeds, Newport, Llanelli, and the smaller parts of Cardiff and Swansea, the Pro14 is not very popular, in fact, I am hearing less and less chat about it, now more so than ever.

No doubt I will have one of the Welsh die hard fans on here to put me in my place, but I can only comment on what I am witnessing.

On Friday night, RGC are playing Merthyr, it is also on the BBC, I bet more people in Wales will be watching that game, than Zebre V Ospreys, or Glasgow V Dragons.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:57 am

LordDowlais wrote: I am hearing less and less chat about it, now more so than ever.

No doubt I will have one of the Welsh die hard fans on here to put me in my place, but I can only comment on what I am witnessing.

On Friday night, RGC are playing Merthyr, it is also on the BBC, I bet more people in Wales will be watching that game, than Zebre V Ospreys, or Glasgow V Dragons.

I thought you had been away travelling? Surely that would account for you hearing less?

Ones on free to air tv, one isn't. It's not exactly a correlation between popularity maybe more accessibility

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:04 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
It shows more buying, selling, losing and gaining of high end International players that can be afforded.  That's what it seems to show to me.  

Which of the 26 English and French teams can't afford to pay their players?


I'm saying they Can afford to pay their players.  

I'm saying that because they (the top sides anyway) can afford the best players that the world can produce. They aren't so motivated to home grow from academy up, but instead buy in.  

And when that climate is going strong then the players that have the quality to be bought in know their quality and move around a bit more, certainly more than Irish Provincial players anyway.  So a team like Leinster can have more continuity in the style of rugby they are developing through the years as their own academy guys streamline into 1st team and have already the experience of playing and training with the older more experienced mainstay players.

By your list, we see that Top14 is more up and down and sideways as teams buy their talent and lose their talent in a quicker more fluid process - quality goes up and down with less continuity.  Pro14 might be less dynamic but it's more stable in the player squad lists.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:06 am

marty2086 wrote:Ones on free to air tv, one isn't. It's not exactly a correlation between popularity maybe more accessibility

I agree. You are correct, it's all about accessibility. Everyone in Wales has access to the BBC, not everybody has access to Free sports or Premier Sport. That's why I would wager that the game on BBC will have more people watching it.

The game on Free sports might get extra viewers, but that is relying on people in Wales actually knowing it is on, and having access to it. Thus I am hearing less chatter about the Pro14 than I normally would.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:18 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Ones on free to air tv, one isn't. It's not exactly a correlation between popularity maybe more accessibility

I agree. You are correct, it's all about accessibility. Everyone in Wales has access to the BBC, not everybody has access to Free sports or Premier Sport. That's why I would wager that the game on BBC will have more people watching it.

The game on Free sports might get extra viewers, but that is relying on people in Wales actually knowing it is on, and having access to it. Thus I am hearing less chatter about the Pro14 than I normally would.

You are correct. Terrestrial tv sports bulletins don't even cover the pro14 anymore. BBC news have stopped giving viewers the results or any footage. So exposure is definitely down.

However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:20 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:24 am

SecretFly wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
It shows more buying, selling, losing and gaining of high end International players that can be afforded.  That's what it seems to show to me.  

Which of the 26 English and French teams can't afford to pay their players?


I'm saying they Can afford to pay their players.  

I'm saying that because they (the top sides anyway) can afford the best players that the world can produce.  They aren't so motivated to home grow from academy up, but instead buy in.  

And when that climate is going strong then the players that have the quality to be bought in know their quality and move around a bit more, certainly more than Irish Provincial players anyway.  So a team like Leinster can have more continuity in the style of rugby they are developing through the years as their own academy guys streamline into 1st team and have already the experience of playing and training with the older more experienced mainstay players.

By your list, we see that Top14 is more up and down and sideways as teams buy their talent and lose their talent in a quicker more fluid process - quality goes up and down with less continuity.  Pro14 might be less dynamic but it's more stable in the player squad lists.

I'm not sure how any of this makes the pro14 a better league across all teams.

I look at all pro leagues in Europe, and look at say, the lower half teams in those leagues - I'd much rather watch a game between :

Montpellier / Toulon / Bordeaux

or Leicester / Northampton / Quins

than Cheetahs, Zebre, Dragons, Kings, Benetton

Regardless of the quality of Benetton's wings.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:25 am

LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


There was no choice. More money is rarely turned down LD.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:29 am

LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


If it was treading water then FTA was of no benefit in Wales for the league so pay tv will have minimal impact

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:31 am

LordDowlais wrote:We need the teams in the Pro14 to treat the league as their bread and butter. They are all guilty of always having their eyes on other competitions, but the Pro14 needs to be showcased, everyone needs to buy into it.

It's a bit like saying medical students always have their eye on perhaps being specialists or a pioneering surgeons.  Or that a bedroom online singer has an eye on maybe making it big and becoming the next Ed Sheeran (God Help Us All!)

You can't make the Pro14 what it isn't.  If some players' ambitions only spread to Pro14 then good luck to them with their limited view of their own ambitions and career earning potential.  
But I think you'll admit that there are not many players in any of the competing Nations who have this limited and limiting view.  Sexton isn't getting his Pro14 money for his Pro14 exploits.  He's getting it for his exploits in Europe and at International.  Welsh bigger earners are getting their wages for similar reasons.  So too all the others.  

The Pro14 is the beginning of a Professional career.  For some it will be their only career - so be it, a team can only hold 23 players on game day and so not every player will progress to European competition or International.  But that's the carrot for most players... that's where they will get most plaudits and that's where they can force their monetary worth up and up.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:33 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


There was no choice. More money is rarely turned down LD.

Yes, I agree. The flutter of ££££'s in front of your eyes is hard to ignore. If Premier Sports do this again when the next contract is up for grabs, then fine. But as far as exposure goes, the Pro14 will be on it's knees in Wales by then. Not enough people are giving two hoots about it in this country as it is, god only knows how it will be in a few years time.

It's potentially a disaster waiting to happen for welsh rugby if you ask me.


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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:35 am

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


If it was treading water then FTA was of no benefit in Wales for the league so pay tv will have minimal impact

It was treading water whilst on the BBC with all the exposure it was getting, and if I am being honest, it was gaining a little momentum as well. Pay tv will take the wind out of the sails now.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:36 am

SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:We need the teams in the Pro14 to treat the league as their bread and butter. They are all guilty of always having their eyes on other competitions, but the Pro14 needs to be showcased, everyone needs to buy into it.

It's a bit like saying medical students always have their eye on perhaps being specialists or a pioneering surgeons.  Or that a bedroom online singer has an eye on maybe making it big and becoming the next Ed Sheeran (God Help Us All!)

You can't make the Pro14 what it isn't.  If some players' ambitions only spread to Pro14 then good luck to them with their limited view of their own ambitions and career earning potential.  
But I think you'll admit that there are not many players in any of the competing Nations who have this limited and limiting view.  Sexton isn't getting his Pro14 money for his Pro14 exploits.  He's getting it for his exploits in Europe and at International.  Welsh bigger earners are getting their wages for similar reasons.  So too all the others.  

The Pro14 is the beginning of a Professional career.  For some it will be their only career - so be it, a team can only hold 23 players on game day and so not every player will progress to European competition or International.  But that's the carrot for most players... that's where they will get most plaudits and that's where they can force their monetary worth up and up.

The English and the French see their leagues as their bread and butter, especially the French.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:However, the decision to go pay per view was still the right one. It has to be.

For the hear and now.

In my opinion, for a league that was already treading water in our country, taking it out of the public eye will be a disaster in the longer term.


If it was treading water then FTA was of no benefit in Wales for the league so pay tv will have minimal impact

It was treading water whilst on the BBC with all the exposure it was getting, and if I am being honest, it was gaining a little momentum as well. Pay tv will take the wind out of the sails now.

Except now it's generating more revenue for the league, you say it was gaining momentum, how was it gaining momentum?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:We need the teams in the Pro14 to treat the league as their bread and butter. They are all guilty of always having their eyes on other competitions, but the Pro14 needs to be showcased, everyone needs to buy into it.

It's a bit like saying medical students always have their eye on perhaps being specialists or a pioneering surgeons.  Or that a bedroom online singer has an eye on maybe making it big and becoming the next Ed Sheeran (God Help Us All!)

You can't make the Pro14 what it isn't.  If some players' ambitions only spread to Pro14 then good luck to them with their limited view of their own ambitions and career earning potential.  
But I think you'll admit that there are not many players in any of the competing Nations who have this limited and limiting view.  Sexton isn't getting his Pro14 money for his Pro14 exploits.  He's getting it for his exploits in Europe and at International.  Welsh bigger earners are getting their wages for similar reasons.  So too all the others.  

The Pro14 is the beginning of a Professional career.  For some it will be their only career - so be it, a team can only hold 23 players on game day and so not every player will progress to European competition or International.  But that's the carrot for most players... that's where they will get most plaudits and that's where they can force their monetary worth up and up.

The English and the French see their leagues as their bread and butter, especially the French.

Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by Kingshu on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:37 am

See channel 4 advertising the h-cup, a raising tide lifts all boats.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:39 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:

I'm not sure how any of this makes the pro14 a better league across all teams.

I look at all pro leagues in Europe, and look at say, the lower half teams in those leagues - I'd much rather watch a game between :

Montpellier / Toulon / Bordeaux

or Leicester / Northampton / Quins

than Cheetahs, Zebre, Dragons, Kings, Benetton

Regardless of the quality of Benetton's wings.

And you have that choice to watch the other Leagues.  

What I'll say is this then.  A few years ago, not so long ago at all, the then Pro12 was being laughed at as a joke League.  I don't think any outside observer (English or French) could laugh now  - but if they still felt compelled, then the laugh would very much be on them.

So choices.  If you want some rock hard close games of physicality and running - then yes, choose teams that are more evenly matched for the spectacle.  You get the same excitement in an evenly matched child's game.  
Evenly matched clashes get the blood flowing - but it doesn't then imply that you are seeing the best rugby.  

The best rugby comes then in Europe when the 'Quality' of the exciting-to-watch French and English sides are tested.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:39 am

There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast. Rugby in general including updates on 7s and the women's game seem.to be getting more attention.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:48 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast.

That's strange - They did absolutely no coverage on BBC Breakfast on the weekend of 9 sept. That's what prompted me to make the comment. They had the footage from the english prem on BT Sports - but did not announce a single pro14 score from the weekend. I think this would have been sunday sept 9th I've barely watched it since. so maybe they've improved since then.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:49 am

marty2086 wrote:how was it gaining momentum?

More people were watching it, kids were seeing it. This is not happening now. The next generation were not considering all the old rivalries, they were seeing the regions. This could all be lost now, sadly.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:51 am

marty2086 wrote:Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

I have noticed this in Europe, especially with the French, but not domestically.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:54 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast.

That's strange - They did absolutely no coverage on BBC Breakfast on the weekend of 9 sept. That's what prompted me to make the comment. They had the footage from the english prem on BT Sports - but did not announce a single pro14 score from the weekend. I think this would have been sunday sept 9th I've barely watched it since. so maybe they've improved since then.

I'm a big enough critic of the BBC in other avenues (politics) but I have to back them up here. I think they usually do a honourable does of Pro14 news in their rugby segments. Some weeks might be less coverage but in general, news coverage at least seems to be on parity with English premiership.


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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:55 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast.

That's strange - They did absolutely no coverage on BBC Breakfast on the weekend of 9 sept. That's what prompted me to make the comment. They had the footage from the english prem on BT Sports - but did not announce a single pro14 score from the weekend. I think this would have been sunday sept 9th I've barely watched it since. so maybe they've improved since then.

BBC Wales would advertise the games as well, so if you were watching the news, or Eastenders, or what ever, you would more than likely get exposure to the Pro14 in Wales.

That's all gone now, so unless you are watching Premier Sport, or you are looking for it, you would not know what game is on and when.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 11:58 am

SecretFly wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast.

That's strange - They did absolutely no coverage on BBC Breakfast on the weekend of 9 sept. That's what prompted me to make the comment. They had the footage from the english prem on BT Sports - but did not announce a single pro14 score from the weekend. I think this would have been sunday sept 9th I've barely watched it since. so maybe they've improved since then.

I'm a big enough critic of the BBC in other avenues (politics) but I have to back them up here.  I think they usually do a honourable does of Pro14 news in their rugby segments.  Some weeks might be less coverage but in general, news coverage at least seems to be on parity with English premiership.


I have never seen anything on the BBC about the Pro14 since it has gone to Premier Sports. I am not saying they are not doing it, but I watch TV in the morning before I go to work, and the Pro14 is not on there, football, cricket, but not Pro14. Neither do they talk about it on the news in the evening anymore.

I must be missing it.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:00 pm

You are. They do report on it. As fly says it will ebb and wane as all.sports reporting does. They do cover it though.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

I have noticed this in Europe, especially with the French, but not domestically.

Erm Are you serious? You missed Toulouse at Montpellier at the weekend then? Toulon did the same a few weeks ago too

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:04 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

I have noticed this in Europe, especially with the French, but not domestically.

Erm Are you serious? You missed Toulouse at Montpellier at the weekend then? Toulon did the same a few weeks ago too

Toulon do not really have a second string though do they ?

And yes I missed Toulouse and Montpellier, so I cannot comment on that.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

I have noticed this in Europe, especially with the French, but not domestically.

Well, the French are the French and the English are the English. I'm Irish and you are Welsh. That's the first thing. We don't all have to be joined at the hip in our thought processes regarding rugby.

Second point might be that percentage dynamic that keeps telling us that our Pro14 is substantially a different animal to either the French or English League. Wales has only four teams, Ireland has only four teams. In percentage terms, the likelihood that Irish based and Welsh based players will play in Europe and indeed go on to International is higher than in England or France. So there is an inevitability that more of their player will feel that both Europe and International is likely to pass them by and so engage fully in the only competition they'll most likely ever have a stake in as Professional players.

I still say though, go around to each and every team in each of those Leagues and ask their younger players what ambitions they might have as players. I fully believe Europe and International would be on the tongues of many. Their performances in their leagues are informed by personal ambitions to climb above each.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:05 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's acruelly a pretty good round up of the prem and pro 12 on bbc breakfast.

That's strange - They did absolutely no coverage on BBC Breakfast on the weekend of 9 sept. That's what prompted me to make the comment. They had the footage from the english prem on BT Sports - but did not announce a single pro14 score from the weekend. I think this would have been sunday sept 9th I've barely watched it since. so maybe they've improved since then.

I'm a big enough critic of the BBC in other avenues (politics) but I have to back them up here.  I think they usually do a honourable does of Pro14 news in their rugby segments.  Some weeks might be less coverage but in general, news coverage at least seems to be on parity with English premiership.


I have never seen anything on the BBC about the Pro14 since it has gone to Premier Sports. I am not saying they are not doing it, but I watch TV in the morning before I go to work, and the Pro14 is not on there, football, cricket, but not Pro14. Neither do they talk about it on the news in the evening anymore.

I must be missing it.

Well you were travelling, so doesn't that reduce your opportunity to see it. Not to mention you are watching bulletins whereas the evening news would be longer and take in the weekly press conferences etc that the morning news would rarely cover

Then again maybe BBC Wales are a little butthurt over it all even though part of their budget still goes towards the league

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Is that why they send out the second string consistently in away games?

I have noticed this in Europe, especially with the French, but not domestically.

Erm Are you serious? You missed Toulouse at Montpellier at the weekend then? Toulon did the same a few weeks ago too

Toulon do not really have a second string though do they ?

And yes I missed Toulouse and Montpellier, so I cannot comment on that.

They have their first choice team and those that aren't first choice, the same ones who went to Pau and lost

The Top 14 is renowned for this, yet you aren't aware of it?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by BamBam on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:09 pm

The Welsh regions should spend some of their budget on aggressively marketing to this very desirable market who offer no prospect of additional revenue, just in case one of them pops out the next Sam Warburton

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:27 pm

Where does this logic that a child is going to say his parent(s) “I want to watch Kyle Evans tonight” come from? They’re always going to still be aware of George North etc.

The pro teams must’ve stopped community engagements and guard of honours. Kids are never going to know they exist now.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by marty2086 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:36 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Where does this logic that a child is going to say his parent(s) “I want to watch Kyle Evans” tonight come from? They’re always going to still be aware of George North etc.

The pro teams must’ve stopped community engagements and guard of honours. Kids are never going to know they exist now.

That's the BBC propaganda machine for you, without it no one knows nahim!

Whatever the clubs are doing currently in the community and local media, you can usually bet they can always do more.

Here in Ulster there is an official radio partner, this season it's Cool FM the biggest commercial radio station in the province. So you get players on being interviewed on the breakfast show as the kids are on their way to school. There are a number of podcasts about too, I mentioned Ulster Rugby Roundup that is run by the Belfast Telegraph. It can be a decent listen and it covers the women, underage and club game too

Do you get anything like that for the regions? If not is there a gap in the market for some members of 606 to exploit?

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 27 Sep 2018, 12:38 pm

marty2086 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Where does this logic that a child is going to say his parent(s) “I want to watch Kyle Evans” tonight come from? They’re always going to still be aware of George North etc.

The pro teams must’ve stopped community engagements and guard of honours. Kids are never going to know they exist now.

That's the BBC propaganda machine for you, without it no one knows nahim!

Whatever the clubs are doing currently in the community and local media, you can usually bet they can always do more.

Here in Ulster there is an official radio partner, this season it's Cool FM the biggest commercial radio station in the province. So you get players on being interviewed on the breakfast show as the kids are on their way to school. There are a number of podcasts about too, I mentioned Ulster Rugby Roundup that is run by the Belfast Telegraph. It can be a decent listen and it covers the women, underage and club game too

Do you get anything like that for the regions? If not is there a gap in the market for some members of 606 to exploit?

It's alot easier when you only have 1 pro team to market - in your country of nearly 2 million people.

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Re: The Shocking standard of the Pro14

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