How competitive is the Pro14

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How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 3:10 pm

I always thought of the Pro 12 being a case of mini tables of the Top 6 teams and the Bottom 6.  Last year seemed to be tightening up a bit but was that down to the addition of the South African teams and also the set up of the conferences.

So here is the stats for the last 7 years (and average) plus were we are this year.  The Super Rugby was used for the South African teams.  Zebre and Arrioni were counted as one team.

A game is considered compeditive if a team won, drew or picked up a losing bonus point

Team 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18 18/19 Average
Leinster 95% 82% 100% 82% 86% 86% 81% 100% 88%
Glasgow 91% 86% 95% 77% 95% 73% 86% 83% 86%
Munster 86% 73% 86% 91% 82% 91% 90% 50% 86%
Ulster 68% 95% 86% 86% 86% 86% 76% 83% 84%
Scarlets 86% 82% 82% 77% 86% 77% 86% 83% 82%

Ospreys 91% 82% 91% 86% 68% 77% 57% 83% 79%

Blues 68% 59% 68% 45% 82% 73% 76% 100% 67%
Edinburgh 50% 64% 68% 64% 86% 55% 76% 83% 66%
Connacht 68% 55% 59% 73% 91% 55% 62% 83% 66%
Cheetahs 67% 78% 50% 44% 53% 53% 81% 33% 61%

Dragons 59% 41% 59% 64% 64% 45% 38% 50% 53%
Benetton 55% 64% 59% 32% 50% 32% 76% 67% 52%

Zebre 41% 41% 55% 27% 27% 41% 52% 33% 41%
Kings 0% 22% 0% 0% 13% 60% 19% 33% 29%

91-100% 3 1 3 1 2 1 1 2 1.7
81-90% 2 4 3 3 6 2 4 6 3.4
71-80% 0 2 0 3 0 4 4 0 1.9
61-70% 4 2 2 2 2 0 1 1 1.9
51-60% 1 2 4 0 1 4 2 0 2.0
50% or Less 2 3 1 4 3 3 2 5 2.6
Total 12 14 13 13 14 14 14 14
75% + 5 6 6 6 8 5 9 8 6
LBP(Pro12)51(4.25) 45(3.75) 64(5.33) 42(3.5) 66(5.5) 41(3.42) 50(3.56) (Pro14)
BP(Pro12) 36(3) 44(3.66) 42(3.5) 56(4.66) 54(4.5) 67(5.58) 99(7.07) (Pro14)

From what I can see next year should be more competitive as it will be a world Cup year.
As much as it annoys me to admit it, since 2014 when the new Euro tournaments came in it has made a difference to the league as it has been getting better.  The Italian teams lost momentum and really from 2014/15-2016/17 were just working on getting back to were they were in 2013/14.  The 2014/15 season was a bad season for the league and I will put it down to people adjusting.  Only Leinster made the top two in of the CC groups.  But since then the team has been going from strength to strength in the league and Europe.

Currently we have 5 teams whose average over the last 7 years has been 80% or higher.
Ospreys just missed out on the 80% but have slipped a little over the last three years.
Edinburgh, Benetton, Zebre and the Blues all seem to be improving,

Connacht seem to be about the same

Dragons and Cheetahs seem to be going down.

The Kings its hard to say but I feel they have improved this year.

Losing bonus Points have been about 3.5 more often than not.  On the other hand try bonus points have been going up backing up the idea that we are becoming a more attacking league (33% of games on average per team).  A lot of this is to do with the lower teams picking up more.  We now see lower teams getting TBPs against the big 6 while denying them LBPs.  We are also starting to see more teams pick up TBPs when they lose.


Last edited by Brendan on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 1:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 3:15 pm

if anyone can fix the table it would be great.

Just couldn't work it out and gave up

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 5:55 pm

Brendan wrote:if anyone can fix the table it would be great.

Just couldn't work it out and gave up

Did you create the table and if so, in what format - Word, Excel?
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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by asoreleftshoulder on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 8:09 pm

Sorry but I don't understand the table, what are the percentages representing?

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 1:02 am

They are the number of games won, drawn or picked up a losing bonus point (compeditive)

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by asoreleftshoulder on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 8:39 am

Ah okay thanks, makes sense now, did you edit to put that last line in or did I just skip past it?
Looks like the league is getting there,the Kings will drag it down for a while but if they can improve like the Italians seem to be then it'll be worth it, even if it takes 5-10 years.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 9:32 am

I admire the work gone into this.

But what I would say is that competitiveness doesn't equal high standards. Just because Dragons picked up a losing bonus point in a 0-3 defeat away to Kings doesn't mean the pro14 is better than the English Prem, where Bristol lose 10 -21 to Harlequins for instance.


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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 9:44 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:I admire the work gone into this.

But what I would say is that competitiveness doesn't equal high standards. Just because Dragons picked up a losing bonus point in a 0-3 defeat away to Kings doesn't mean the pro14 is better than the English Prem, where Bristol lose 10 -21 to Harlequins for instance.


Competitiveness does not automatically equal high standards - correct.

Competitiveness Can equal high standards.

High Standards are assessed best when two variables meet (ie Premiership sides v Pro14 sides)  Comparing them in isolation of each other is not an accurate determination.  33-42 is not necessarily a high standard game as shoddy defending from both sides can create a cricket score game (example being the medcap England v France game of some years ago in the 6N).

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by The Oracle on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 11:46 am

SecretFly wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:I admire the work gone into this.

But what I would say is that competitiveness doesn't equal high standards. Just because Dragons picked up a losing bonus point in a 0-3 defeat away to Kings doesn't mean the pro14 is better than the English Prem, where Bristol lose 10 -21 to Harlequins for instance.


Competitiveness does not automatically equal high standards - correct.

Competitiveness Can equal high standards.

High Standards are assessed best when two variables meet (ie Premiership sides v Pro14 sides)  Comparing them in isolation of each other is not an accurate determination.  33-42 is not necessarily a high standard game as shoddy defending from both sides can create a cricket score game (example being the medcap England v France game of some years ago in the 6N).

But what a game! I cared not about the standard at the time. I was entertained out of my skin!
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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 12:59 pm

Of course. It was a mad mad game where defences just didn't even try to form.... but we is talking about High Standards, so I gotta be scientyfffik.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 10:38 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:Ah okay thanks, makes sense now, did you edit to put that last line in or did I just skip past it?
Looks like the league is getting there,the Kings will drag it down for a while but if they can improve like the Italians seem to be then it'll be worth it, even if it takes 5-10 years.

I had forgot it the first time. Kings will improve as their academy starts producing.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 10:54 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:I admire the work gone into this.

But what I would say is that competitiveness doesn't equal high standards. Just because Dragons picked up a losing bonus point in a 0-3 defeat away to Kings doesn't mean the pro14 is better than the English Prem, where Bristol lose 10 -21 to Harlequins for instance.


It isn't a dig at any other league. As I said we often think of the top teams being far better than everyone else. When everyone is compeditive in 75% or more of their matches the league will be great which is what the league should be striving for. Increase in BPs I see as more teams being able to score. Once you can score you are more likely to win games.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by The Oracle on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 11:20 pm

Genuine question though - how can the league itself strive for more competitiveness amongst the clubs? Isn’t that basically striving for more of a level playing field where we shrink the gap between everyone? Most posters on here are against a salary cap (me included) so I’m not sure what the league can do, save for giving the lower income/budget teams a leg up of funding so they can compete on budget. Or a draft system so the good players are spread around. Neither are ever going to happen though! So I think the clubs themselves will always strive to be competitive but I don’t think the league can do much about it really.
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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by SecretFly on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 12:14 am

I think the unfortunate thing about any League.... (Pot goes mad when we say 'League' as it isn't one anymore, technically speaking)
.....anyway, the unfortunate thing is that about 45% of teams in any league/conference championship is always quite a way off the level of the top section.  

It's just how things work out naturally in such an economic environment.  I've always said that the natural issue with these leagues is that once you get to the top, it becomes kinda self sustaining in that players want to play for sides at the top, sponsors want their names associated with them, more money comes in from bigger crowds and better players and coaches  - and even more resources are then affordable....

And what sides at the top or their fan bases genuinely want to go back down the ladder again? The bonus in our Pro14 competition is that there is no relegation.  So the path up is more achievable in theory - long term planning can be done to try to get to the top without having to worry about the trap door at the bottom.  So Pro14 is I feel the best competition of the three major European competitions in allowing sides to genuinely have both eyes in one direction.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 11:36 am

The Oracle wrote:Genuine question though - how can the league itself strive for more competitiveness amongst the clubs? Isn’t that basically striving for more of a level playing field where we shrink the gap between everyone? Most posters on here are against a salary cap (me included) so I’m not sure what the league can do, save for giving the lower income/budget teams a leg up of funding so they can compete on budget. Or a draft system so the good players are spread around. Neither are ever going to happen though! So I think the clubs themselves will always strive to be competitive but I don’t think the league can do much about it really.

There will always be ups and downs. Even New Zealand with their strenght have the Blues who lost to the Sunwolves and really are poor. Being compeditive could still mean losing every game by less then 7pts. Connacht and Edinburgh have both shown if you are picking up LBPs regularly you only need a bit of luck to jump up the league.

Here are what I see as ways to improve
1. Functioning Academies - Italy and King are sorting theirs so should help them.
2. Smart Rotation - We saw Bath's rotation v Sarries. That was the Pro10 back in the day. Now teams are better at rotating a few tactically each game so improving squads. There is still work to be done but most teams are better than even 5 years ago.
3. Good Management - seems to be improving but work to be done
4. Smart use of Resources - This will have to be done by each union

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Heaf on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 3:35 pm

I'd agree with Fly - but maybe that's because I support London Irish Smile

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by The Oracle on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 4:34 pm

Brendan wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Genuine question though - how can the league itself strive for more competitiveness amongst the clubs? Isn’t that basically striving for more of a level playing field where we shrink the gap between everyone? Most posters on here are against a salary cap (me included) so I’m not sure what the league can do, save for giving the lower income/budget teams a leg up of funding so they can compete on budget. Or a draft system so the good players are spread around. Neither are ever going to happen though! So I think the clubs themselves will always strive to be competitive but I don’t think the league can do much about it really.

There will always be ups and downs.  Even New Zealand with their strenght have the Blues who lost to the Sunwolves and really are poor.  Being compeditive could still mean losing every game by less then 7pts.  Connacht and Edinburgh have both shown if you are picking up LBPs regularly you only need a bit of luck to jump up the league.

Here are what I see as ways to improve
1. Functioning Academies - Italy and King are sorting theirs so should help them.
2. Smart Rotation - We saw Bath's rotation v Sarries. That was the Pro10 back in the day.  Now teams are better at rotating a few tactically each game so improving squads. There is still work to be done but most teams are better than even 5 years ago.
3. Good Management - seems to be improving but work to be done
4. Smart use of Resources - This will have to be done by each union


Yes, I agree with all of that. But that’s the clubs doing all that, not the league. I was responding to the point that ‘the league’ should strive for more competitiveness. I don’t think the league itself can influence competitiveness. Certainly not in a way that would be acceptable to other clubs in the league.
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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 4:58 pm

The Italians and you would assume South Africa have been asked to give funding assurances so assume that should help.

Of the current league partners only Dragons seem to be struggling year on year

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 5:31 pm

Convincing win for Treviso today against Grenoble. There is a real chance they could get out of that group which would be huge for Italian rugby.

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Re: How competitive is the Pro14

Post by Brendan on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 5:42 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Convincing win for Treviso today against Grenoble. There is a real chance they could get out of that group which would be huge for Italian rugby.

How they go against Quinn's will determine if they make it. Good win and good to show in Europe the form they have had.

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