Pro 14 Run in, who finishes where

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Post by Brendan on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:42 am

First topic message reminder :

Current Standings (Position overall log)

Conference A
2 Glasgow 71(2) Leinster (a), Edinburgh (h) T3=1 M=1 B3=0
3 Munster 68 (3) Benetton (a), Connacht (h) T3=0 M=2 B3=0
5 Connacht 56 (4) Blues (h), Munster (a) T3=1 M=1 B3=0
6 Blues 52 (6) Connacht (a), Ospreys (h) T3=0 M=2 B3=0
10 Ospreys 49 (9) Kings (a), Blues (a) T3=0 M=1 B3=1
11 Cheetahs 36 (11) Dragons (h), Kings (h) T3=0 M=0 B3=2
14 Zebre 19 (14) Scarlets (a), Benetton (h) T3=0 M=2 B3=0

Conference B
1 Leinster 74 (1) Glasgow (h), Ulster (a) T3=1 M=1 B3=0
4 Ulster 54 (5) Edinburgh (a), Leinster (h) T3=1 M=1 B3=0
7 Benetton 52 (7) Munster (h), Zebre (a) T3=1 M=0 B3=1
8 Edinburgh 51 (8) Ulster (h), Glasgow (a) T3=1 M=1 B3=0
9 Scarlets 45 (10) Zebre (h), Dragons (a) T3=0 M=0 B3=2
12 Kings 22 (12) Ospreys (h), Cheetahs (a) T3=0 M=2 B3=0
13 Dragons 21 (13) Cheetahs (a), Scarlets (h) T3=0 M=2 B3=0

In the Conference System
First - Home Semi, Glasgow (+3), Leinster (confirmed)
Second - Home Quarter, Munster (+12), Ulster (+2)
Third - Quarterfinal, Connacht (+4), Benetton (+1)

Champs Cup playoff
Home (Highest fourth) Blues (+3)
Away Edinburgh (+6)

Wooden Spoon
Zebre (-2)

Home Semi is confirmed as Leinster with Glasgow or Munster taking the other spot.
Home Quarter seems to be the loser of Munster/Glasgow and any of Bennetton, Ulster or Edinburgh
The last spot in the quarters look a shootout between Connacht and Blues.

If you add in Ospreys with an outside chance of Champs Cup there are 7 teams fighting for the remaining 4 places.  If any of the Pro14 teams win either Euro then the highest placed fourth gets the spot and 5th in the Conference goes into the playoff (unless that team winning don't make the playoffs i.e. Edinburgh)

The wooden spoon will be an interesting fight with 3 teams only divided by 2 points.  The Kings seem to have the up hand due to their ability to get Bps.

This has backed up last year of the middle teams really after upping their game and making every game from now till the end a game of meaning for both team (such as Connacht v Bennetton this week is bad for the losing team, for the winner they might still be on a knife edge)

What are people predictions for the final standings.

The Fixtures show Edinburgh with the hardest run in playing two of the top 3 teams and none of the bottom three.  Scarlets on the other hand have none of the top 3 but 2 of the bottom 3 as do Cheetahs. Ospreys play 3 of the bottom 4 plus the Blues so could close the gap on the Blues. They are on a 6 game losing streak in all competitions so might not be any help.


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Post by The Oracle on Wed 15 May 2019, 4:13 pm

Maybe they just can’t be ar$ed.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 15 May 2019, 9:12 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
What has to be questioned is why this year none of the teams were at the races

Very poor this year from the Welsh teams.

Ospreys - still suffering from Steve Tandy's legacy but look to have clicked recently.
Scarlets - Coaches have checked out and it's filtered down to players
Cardiff Blues - A few results cost them.

Next season:
Cardiff Blues: Will really struggle given their budget has decreased to just under £6m
Ospreys: Not sure. They could challenge if they keep up their form.
Scarlets: With their new coaching staff and budget of £7m, I expect to get near the top 2 or 3 in conference.


Mentioned budget 2 times but not the quality of players/internationals on display at three of those teams? There's no excuse for teams like Ospreys and Blues to perform as badly as they have done this season given the team they were able to field. It was their coaches being out of their depth, and the constant chopping and changing which cost them. The regions were allowed to hire their own coaches and this what they ended up with. I doubt the WRU would have permitted Ospreys or Blues to sign up coaches that bad. Aside from Wilson the Blues have done it every year. Scarlets had too many back 5 injuries to get any sort of consistency earlier in the season, I would expect them to improve with everyone returning. The coach should be able to hit the ground running but if he doesn't then it just raises more questions.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 10:56 am

mikey_dragon wrote:


Mentioned budget 2 times but not the quality of players/internationals on display at three of those teams? There's no excuse for teams like Ospreys and Blues to perform as badly as they have done this season given the team they were able to field. It was their coaches being out of their depth, and the constant chopping and changing which cost them. The regions were allowed to hire their own coaches and this what they ended up with. I doubt the WRU would have permitted Ospreys or Blues to sign up coaches that bad. Aside from Wilson the Blues have done it every year. Scarlets had too many back 5 injuries to get any sort of consistency earlier in the season, I would expect them to improve with everyone returning. The coach should be able to hit the ground running but if he doesn't then it just raises more questions.

Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.

I take your point on coaching, although the current Cardiff coach seems a good coach and is popular with players. The jury is out on Allen Clarke. I'd love to hear who people think the regions should employ as coaches. That is - realistic choices.

Some people seem to think that there is money / sway enough for top coaches like Rennie and Schmidt to coach in Wales. There isn't. Just like James Lowe and Scott Fardy would be unlikely to play in Wales. There's a reason for that.

The regions can't entice the top players and coaches to Wales. That's why they rely on 'punts'. Pivac was a punt. Jake Ball was a punt. Tadgh Beirne was a punt.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:27 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.


What are the budgets for the three senior Welsh teams ?
Not convinced the above is accurate

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:33 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:  
Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.


What are the budgets for the three senior Welsh teams ?
Not convinced the above is accurate

Isn't the same true in most leagues/sports. Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea in football, Saracens, in England, Celtic and Rangers in Scotland.


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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:44 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:  
Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.


What are the budgets for the three senior Welsh teams ?
Not convinced the above is accurate

For next season, approx:

Dragons £4m,
Cardiff £5.8m,
Ospreys £6m,
Scarlets £6.3m


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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:46 am

Anyway the Irish average a salary bill of £7m a team - same level as the official English salary cap but because of the English + 2 marquee players, in practise definitely lower. Leinster and Munster are slightly above, Connacht are a fair way below and Ulster a bit (fits with what I have been told that Ulster are in the lower £6 million.
With Central Contracts I suspect Leinster are nearer £8million (Ulster have only 1 CC for next year)
The Scottish teams are around £5milion with Glasgow slightly above and Edinburgh slightly below.
According to one link I have found the Welsh are around the same as the Scots - if so why are Glasgow doing so much better
The money in France is crazy - Agen with the lowest budget spend more than anyone else in the World, outside France, with the possible exception of Saracens


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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:48 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:  
Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.


What are the budgets for the three senior Welsh teams ?
Not convinced the above is accurate

For next season, approx:

Dragons £4m,
Cardiff £5.8m,
Ospreys £6m,
Scarlets £6.3m


So the three senior Welsh teams have bigger budgets than the Scots and Scarlets are similar to Ulster and, I suspect, like Ospreys above Connacht.
Given the respect budgets that seems like a poor return by comparison with the Irish and Scots

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:53 am

geoff999rugby wrote:I think you quoted the wrong post I was asking a question ?

Anyway the Irish average a salary bill of £7m a team - same level as the official English salary cap but because of the English + 2 marquee players, in practise definitely lower. Leinster and Munster are slightly above, Connacht are a fair way below and Ulster a bit (fits with what I have been told that Ulster are in the lower £6 million.

Well if you're doing averages (goodness knows why) then the average Welsh wage bill is around £5.5m. So Welsh teams have around 20% less financial resources than the Irish teams to build their squads. And we have to acknowledge at this point - that that is not the Irish fault - good luck to them.

With Central Contracts I suspect Leinster are nearer £8million (Ulster have only 1 CC for next year)
The Scottish teams are around £5milion with Glasgow slightly above and Edinburgh slightly below.
According to one link I have found the Welsh are around the same as the Scots - if so why are Glasgow doing so much better
The money in France is crazy - Agen with the lowest budget spend more than anyone else in the World - with the possible exception of Saracens


Laugh Laugh Laugh

Geoff, The CEO of Scottish rugby claimed they were spending that much at an end of season dinner in 2015. the Scottish rugby Union spends £29m a year on pro rugby (check the annual report). So if you think that they are spending £10m a year on Edinburgh & Glasgow, and £19m on sevens and womens teams - then I invite you to be my personal accountant.


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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 11:54 am

geoff999rugby wrote:

So the three senior Welsh teams have bigger budgets than the Scots

Laugh

No.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 16 May 2019, 12:06 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.


I think we can all accept that it is nigh on impossible to compare the budgets between the sides as each country uses a different mechanism and none of the numbers are transparent. Which countries include International salaries in the club budget?

However I do not feel budget has as big a part to play as you do. After all it is not as if people are either splashing mahoosive amounts of cash nor are they bringing in expensive outsiders. The Welsh regions are awash with International players (Looking at the Ospreys senior squad looks like over 20 in the 45 man squad http://www.ospreysrugby.com/Teams/Squad/Ospreys ), and should be more competitive than they have been recently. Throwing extra money at playing resources is unlikely to help much and has often been a waste (£500k for Moriarty?). Has spending big money to bring George North back to Wales helped the Ospreys or has it just helped Wales?

The main difference to me as an outsider is:

IRFU put the international side first, but try to achieve this through creating stronger provinces.
WRU put the international game (and profits from it) first and view the regions as an inconvenience. Without fixing the fundamental issues any extra budget is irrelevant.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 12:20 pm

LondonTiger wrote:

However I do not feel budget has as big a part to play as you do.

I've no idea how you can come to that conclusion given who wins the majority of trophies and league placings


After all it is not as if people are either splashing mahoosive amounts of cash nor are they bringing in expensive outsiders.

??? That is exactly what they are dong!!! Do you think Sexton, Fardy, Lowe, Murray etc are playing for free Guinness vouchers?

The Welsh regions are awash with International players (Looking at the Ospreys senior squad looks like over 20 in the 45 man squad http://www.ospreysrugby.com/Teams/Squad/Ospreys ), and should be more competitive than they have been recently. Throwing extra money at playing resources is unlikely to help much and has often been a waste (£500k for Moriarty?). Has spending big money to bring George North back to Wales helped the Ospreys or has it just helped Wales?

Moriarty was a complete waste of money. An absurd signing. But you're placing too much emphasis on "international players". Uzair Cassiem is a springbok. Doesn't mean he's anywhere near being the best n0. 8 in the league though.

The main difference to me as an outsider is:

IRFU put the international side first, but try to achieve this through creating stronger provinces.
WRU put the international game (and profits from it) first and view the regions as an inconvenience. Without fixing the fundamental issues any extra budget is irrelevant.

Agree with that. But the budget point is wrong. Budget is everything. Or the Southern Kings and Newcastle would be winning the league every season.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 12:59 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:I think you quoted the wrong post I was asking a question ?

Anyway the Irish average a salary bill of £7m a team - same level as the official English salary cap but because of the English + 2 marquee players, in practise definitely lower. Leinster and Munster are slightly above, Connacht are a fair way below and Ulster a bit (fits with what I have been told that Ulster are in the lower £6 million.

Well if you're doing averages (goodness knows why) then the average Welsh wage bill is around £5.5m. So Welsh teams have around 20% less financial resources than the Irish teams to build their squads. And we have to acknowledge at this point - that that is not the Irish fault - good luck to them.

With Central Contracts I suspect Leinster are nearer £8million (Ulster have only 1 CC for next year)
The Scottish teams are around £5milion with Glasgow slightly above and Edinburgh slightly below.
According to one link I have found the Welsh are around the same as the Scots - if so why are Glasgow doing so much better
The money in France is crazy - Agen with the lowest budget spend more than anyone else in the World - with the possible exception of Saracens


Laugh Laugh Laugh

Geoff, The CEO of Scottish rugby claimed they were spending that much at an end of season dinner in 2015. the Scottish rugby Union spends £29m a year on pro rugby (check the annual report). So if you think that they are spending £10m a year on Edinburgh & Glasgow, and £19m on sevens and womens teams - then I invite you to be my personal accountant.


How do explain the following
'The SRU have been quoted as stating that Edinburgh Rugby has a player budget of £4.8m, while Glasgow Warriors operates on approximately £5.1 million.'

That is from the start of this season
£10 is just for players alone - there still many other costs with considerable calls upon the SRU budget

So actually YES

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 1:08 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:

How do explain the following
'The SRU have been quoted as stating that Edinburgh Rugby has a player budget of £4.8m, while Glasgow Warriors operates on approximately £5.1 million.'

That is from the start of this season
£10 is just for players alone - there still many other costs with considerable calls upon the SRU budget

So actually YES

Sigh

As I've already said - those figures are from 2015.

https://twitter.com/simonrug/status/1123220800880959488

And I still think that's a low estimate that possibly might not include SRU test appearance payments


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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 1:44 pm

Sorry but Sexton and Muarry are not more expensive than North, Moriarty, Anscombe's new deal, AW jones.

I'm not sure there is to much of a difference player for player between Ospreys and Blues compared to Munster's team.  If you are claiming that Connacht should be finishing above all the Welsh teams on the basis of their squad you must not know to much about their squad.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:00 pm

Brendan wrote:Sorry but Sexton and Muarry are not more expensive than North, Moriarty, Anscombe's new deal, AW jones.


Jonny Sexton is paid a reported £586k (basic)
Connor Murray on a bit less

Moriarty is paid a reported 400k a year.

You are completely misinformed.

https://www.balls.ie/rugby/jonny-sexton-to-earn-around-e800k-on-return-to-ireland-139421

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:03 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:

How do explain the following
'The SRU have been quoted as stating that Edinburgh Rugby has a player budget of £4.8m, while Glasgow Warriors operates on approximately £5.1 million.'

That is from the start of this season
£10 is just for players alone - there still many other costs with considerable calls upon the SRU budget

So actually YES

Sigh

As I've already said - those figures are from 2015.

https://twitter.com/simonrug/status/1123220800880959488

And I still think that's a low estimate that possibly might not include SRU test appearance payments


Double sigh

As I said that is a quote from this current season not 2015
Just read the Ulster annual report and it states that salaries only make up half the costs
So it reasonable to assume the SRU spend £20million on the two regions
This is worth reading -   https://www.rugbypass.com/news/top14s-massive-salary-cap-now-dwarfs-that-of-the-premiership-confirmed/

As a point of information there is no player at Ulster who is on a salary as high as Moriarty

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:11 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:

As I said that is a quote from this current season not 2015


Then you will be able to provide the quote with a date -  from this season. I'll wait.


Just read the Ulster annual report and it states that salaries only make up half the costs
So it reasonable to assume the SRU spend £20million on the two regions
This is worth reading -   https://www.rugbypass.com/news/top14s-massive-salary-cap-now-dwarfs-that-of-the-premiership-confirmed/

As a point of information there is no player at Ulster who is on a salary as high as Moriarty

The scary thing is, you actually believe what you are typing is true, and no amount of information put before you will change your view.

The article you linked to lifts the numbers from the simon thomas article from wales online

simon thomas' figures are for 2015.

simon thomas' most recent figures are posted above by me. Yet for some reason you only want to use the 2015 figures.

Your choice to type whatever you want I guess.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:29 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
So it reasonable to assume the SRU spend £20million on the two regions

Which is what the WRU spends on 4 pro teams. (not 2)

So the Scottish teams are funded to twice the amount than the Welsh teams.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:33 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote:Sorry but Sexton and Muarry are not more expensive than North, Moriarty, Anscombe's new deal, AW jones.


Jonny Sexton is paid a reported £586k (basic)
Connor Murray on a bit less

Moriarty is paid a reported 400k a year.

You are completely misinformed.

https://www.balls.ie/rugby/jonny-sexton-to-earn-around-e800k-on-return-to-ireland-139421

Is that what the Region is paying to Moriarty or is that the amount he is actually receiving.

According to Wales on-line he is on £450k while Sexton is only on £536k.  Not sure where your basic comes from unless you mean Irish players get paid more if they are winning and getting more the further they get in competitions.  If that is true it seems to be working as the players are hungry to win. Maybe the Regions could do Simillar (though I am sure they are you just choose to ignore it)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/best-paid-rugby-players-world-15052191.amp

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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:39 pm

I see you used a thing from 2014 not 2018.

Though you gave out to someone else for using old stats

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:56 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
So it reasonable to assume the SRU spend £20million on the two regions

Which is what the WRU spends on 4 pro teams. (not 2)

So the Scottish teams are funded to twice the amount than the Welsh teams.

No - £20m is what SRU spend on 2 Regions including all costs
Wales spends £20m on 4 regions for salaries only
Taking the Ulster financial report you can double that to cover all cost
QED - the SRU and Wales spend the same amount per team

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 16 May 2019, 4:55 pm

Just to wade in - for perspective - Moriarty I believe is the highest paid (or was, maybe someone has overtaken him in the new contracts).... but he was the highest paid player in Wales when he signed for the Dragons on £450k. So North, AWJ, etc. will all be on less than him. It’s why players leave for England and France at the drop of a hat. They can earn double (as Dan Biggar is now doing on a reported £600k contract at Northampton) quite easily.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 16 May 2019, 5:01 pm

Seems odd that the highest paid Welsh player is at the Dragons. Doesn't sound like the best use of resources. Then again Wales' best player doesn't even play in Wales so not that surprising really.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 6:39 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Seems odd that the highest paid Welsh player is at the Dragons. Doesn't sound like the best use of resources. Then again Wales' best player doesn't even play in Wales so not that surprising really.

If Rugby Fans stats are right then Moriarty is taking up over 10% of the wage budget. That wouldn't be a good use at all. You would imagine the other big signing probably weren't on the smallest of contracts either

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 16 May 2019, 6:55 pm

Brendan wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Seems odd that the highest paid Welsh player is at the Dragons. Doesn't sound like the best use of resources. Then again Wales' best player doesn't even play in Wales so not that surprising really.

If Rugby Fans stats are right then Moriarty is taking up over 10% of the wage budget.  That wouldn't be a good use at all.  You would imagine the other big signing probably weren't on the smallest of contracts either


It is true, according to our chairman who has gone on record a number of times to state that our playing budget at the Dragons was around £3.5m but had increased in recent years to around £4.5m. Yes, Moriarty is 10% of that. And that is far too high as a percentage of squad budget. But it’s catch 22 - we’ve been accused of having no ambition; been told that if we don’t sign some marquee players then we’ll never improve; that players won’t come here as others are leaving so we have to convince them to stay, etc. So I think Moriarty was meant to be a catalyst - I.e. we’ve got a star player who is prepared to come here and stay so hopefully that will convince others to stay or join. We had to start somewhere. Or just carry on as we were by signing 3 very average players for the same money and be no different to other years/squads.

For me personally I think it was a lot to spend but mostly because of the position he plays. We were already well stocked in the back row so £450k on him was a bit unnecessary. Now, £450k on a star prop or lock or 10 and I’d think it was money well spent as that’s exactly what we need. As it is, we struggle to give decent game time to the back rows and risk losing some now.
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Post by The Oracle on Thu 16 May 2019, 6:58 pm

Here’s a good interview with chairman Buttress. A bit old now but open and honest (as far as I know). Apologies for the use of WOL:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/truth-dragons-wru-ross-moriarty-13965729.amp
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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:11 pm

The Scottish teams seem to do well enough with PI players who if coming here from the PIs are cheap. I don't think Dragons would go to far wrong with a couple of them. One of the main driving forces behind Benetton has been their two wingers. Wingers that can score from nothing is always nice to have. As kings showed BPs add up.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:35 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:


Mentioned budget 2 times but not the quality of players/internationals on display at three of those teams? There's no excuse for teams like Ospreys and Blues to perform as badly as they have done this season given the team they were able to field. It was their coaches being out of their depth, and the constant chopping and changing which cost them. The regions were allowed to hire their own coaches and this what they ended up with. I doubt the WRU would have permitted Ospreys or Blues to sign up coaches that bad. Aside from Wilson the Blues have done it every year. Scarlets had too many back 5 injuries to get any sort of consistency earlier in the season, I would expect them to improve with everyone returning. The coach should be able to hit the ground running but if he doesn't then it just raises more questions.

Budget is key though isn't it. The conferences as they sit, are roughly exactly where you'd place the teams in order of player budgets (save for maybe Benetton). What a coincidence.

I take your point on coaching, although the current Cardiff coach seems a good coach and is popular with players. The jury is out on Allen Clarke. I'd love to hear who people think the regions should employ as coaches. That is - realistic choices.

Some people seem to think that there is money / sway enough for top coaches like Rennie and Schmidt to coach in Wales. There isn't. Just like James Lowe and Scott Fardy would be unlikely to play in Wales. There's a reason for that.

The regions can't entice the top players and coaches to Wales. That's why they rely on 'punts'. Pivac was a punt. Jake Ball was a punt. Tadgh Beirne was a punt.

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans. Fact is they hired poor halfbacks and a poor coach right off the back of another poor coach. The budget argument doesn't really stand up when this team is underperforming and losing to the Irish and Glasgow. That was my point.

How about Cardiff's team? They look pretty good too, should they be where they are? No, but they are because they made some more bad choices with coaches.

It's not really anyone's job here to select coaches, but the Ospreys conduct a 'world class search' for their coach and end up with Allen Clarke then questions should rightfully be asked. In the mean time Edinburgh bring in Cockerill and start beating some of the better French teams in Europe. A top coach wouldn't want to work with that Ospreys team? Nah I don't buy that, but we know the Ospreys have been poorly run since day 1.


Last edited by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:35 pm

Brendan wrote:The Scottish teams seem to do well enough with PI players who if coming here from the PIs are cheap. I don't think Dragons would go to far wrong with a couple of them.  One of the main driving forces behind Benetton has been their two wingers.  Wingers that can score from nothing is always nice to have.  As kings showed BPs add up.


I agree, but has that been to Scotland’s detriment at international level? Certainly it’s helped Edinburgh and Glasgow be relatively successful. But with only 2 teams has that ‘blocked’ Scottish players from game time? If I remember rightly the WRU has moved to block some regional signings in the past if they were deemed not to be right for from a Wales point of view (I.e. potential to block the development of Wales test players, etc). So I’m not sure it would be as easy as Dragons just deciding to start signing PI players. Plus budget - the good PI players obviously cost a lot! They won’t come to the Dragons on the cheap, and the good ones in Scotland are, I assume, on decent money. We’ve had PI players at the Dragons of course, but with a smaller budget they’ve tended to be of poorer quality (obviously) so haven’t exactly set the world on fire. We’ve got a Samoan international lock now but you wouldn’t know it! Not really pulling up trees, as they say. But then he came to the Dragons so he must have been desperate for a contract!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:42 pm

I think the point is that these PI players, and any other players for that matter, along with good coaches are out there. It's just we don't seem interested on pursuing them whereas others do and it turns out to be beneficial to them.

A budget isn't everything, just ask Dai Young Wink.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 May 2019, 8:11 pm

Further to what I've just commented:

"Some people seem to think that there is money / sway enough for top coaches like Rennie and Schmidt to coach in Wales. There isn't. Just like James Lowe and Scott Fardy would be unlikely to play in Wales. There's a reason for that.

The regions can't entice the top players and coaches to Wales. That's why they rely on 'punts'. Pivac was a punt. Jake Ball was a punt. Tadgh Beirne was a punt."

Well taking your Lowe example, he's a super rugby and Maori all black. Scarlets have just signed one in Lousi. So these players are just as likely to play in Wales I guess. There's also Michael Collins, Parkes, Lee-Lo, Halaholo, and some South Africans here and there. SR players are usually good enough to make a big impact, and injuries permitting are available all year.

It's also quite a stretch to say that Pivac was a punt given his success and experience in coaching.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 16 May 2019, 10:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Further to what I've just commented:

"Some people seem to think that there is money / sway enough for top coaches like Rennie and Schmidt to coach in Wales. There isn't. Just like James Lowe and Scott Fardy would be unlikely to play in Wales. There's a reason for that.

The regions can't entice the top players and coaches to Wales. That's why they rely on 'punts'. Pivac was a punt. Jake Ball was a punt. Tadgh Beirne was a punt."

Well taking your Lowe example, he's a super rugby and Maori all black. Scarlets have just signed one in Lousi. So these players are just as likely to play in Wales I guess. There's also Michael Collins, Parkes, Lee-Lo, Halaholo, and some South Africans here and there. SR players are usually good enough to make a big impact, and injuries permitting are available all year.

It's also quite a stretch to say that Pivac was a punt given his success and experience in coaching.

I think even the poor NH teams can pick up SH players relatively cheap when compared with NH players.  As you say it's all about taking a punt on the right people in the right places.  Billy Mata was a Fiji 7s player before coming to Scotland as far as I can tell so he was a punt. There is very few NH teams now who wouldn't take/want him. In Soccer the teams that can compete financially build their model on developing local talents and add in the less know players from around the world who would cost less.

I think the mistakes the French and to a lesser extent England make is signing up internationals who are getting old expecting them to be superstars.  The players who are in their early 20s are the ones you want who have a point to prove.  The PIs are often good because they know their village and family are relying on them to help financially.  As a result they want to succeed more and work for it.

But you need a good coaching team to spot these players. If your current coaching team doesn't give your current hidden gems chances they aren't going to do it for a punt. I think it was Ospreys fans who complained how their coach would rather play players it of position then give the squad play a chance.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 16 May 2019, 10:36 pm

Coaching is where it starts, and it is where the welsh teams should concentrate a 10% of their salary cap. Pivac brought in Michael Collins, Parkes, Barclay, Beirne, Kruger, McNicholl; Danny Wilson brought in Nick Williams, Lee-Lo, Halaholo, Robinson. In Scotland Cockerill has brought in Mata, Schoeman, VDM, VDW. Good coaches having an eye for good, affordable players - who would've thought it....


I can't remember exactly, but it might have been Pivac who also brought in David Bulbring, a consistent and long-serving performer by them. I'm struggling to see why he hasn't been offered a contract elsewhere yet, especially as everyone in Wales needs locks (bar Scarlets I guess).

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 17 May 2019, 9:45 am

mikey_dragon wrote:

It's also quite a stretch to say that Pivac was a punt given his success and experience in coaching.

What success? Fiji?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 17 May 2019, 9:46 am

mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 17 May 2019, 12:20 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5. Connacht and Benetton are on smaller playing budgets, have smaller crowds, and their overall squads don't have as much quality. For this season, I'd probably include Ulster in that category as well.
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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 17 May 2019, 12:22 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th aren't they?

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Post by Brendan on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:03 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th aren't they?

Ospreys should have been top 3rd in their Conference at the lowest.  Their squad is the equal of Glasgow and Munster.  As Wayne pointed out to me their drop off happened when their star players were injured. Once they came back they racked up the wins and are now again the best team in Wales and with Anscombe coming next season should be exciting to watch.

Will be aiming for top two next season

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:05 pm

Brendan wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th aren't they?

Ospreys should have been top 3rd in their Conference at the lowest.  Their squad is the equal of Glasgow and Munster.  As Wayne pointed out to me their drop off happened when their star players were injured. Once they came back they racked up the wins and are now again the best team in Wales and with Anscombe coming next season should be exciting to watch.

Will be aiming for top two next season

Ospreys squad is equal to Glasgow and Munster?

You're on a different planet.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:13 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th

In the top 4/5 of the 14 teams that play in the PRO14 Championship, they're 6th, and they failed to make the finals stages. They should be in those at a minimum.

Glasgow 81
Munster 77
Leinster 76
Ulster 63
Connacht 61
Ospreys 58
Benetton 57


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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:21 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th

In the top 4/5 of the 14 teams that play in the PRO14 Championship, they're 6th, and they failed to make the finals stages.    They should be in those at a minimum.

Glasgow 81
Munster 77
Leinster 76
Ulster 63
Connacht 61
Ospreys 58
Benetton 57



Connacht / Bennetton - maybe. The others - no chance.

Easy way to look at it - would any fans of Munster, Glasgow, Leinster, Ulster etc - prefer to have the entire Ospreys playing staff instead of their own?


Didn't think so.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:33 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

Budget is important yes. But you're telling me that this team should be where they are this season?
Smith, Baldwin/Otten, Botha/Fia, AWJ/Davies, Beard, Lydiate/Cracknell, Tipuric, King - Davies, Davies, North, Watkin, Allen, Dirksen, Evans.

Where SHOULD they be?

In the top 4/5.  

They're 4th

In the top 4/5 of the 14 teams that play in the PRO14 Championship, they're 6th, and they failed to make the finals stages.    They should be in those at a minimum.

Glasgow 81
Munster 77
Leinster 76
Ulster 63
Connacht 61
Ospreys 58
Benetton 57



Connacht / Bennetton - maybe. The others - no chance.

Easy way to look at it - would any fans of Munster, Glasgow, Leinster, Ulster etc - prefer to have the entire Ospreys playing staff instead of their own?

I already said that this season they should be ahead of Connacht, Benetton and Ulster. It's the players that count and that fans focus on.

Let's see how next season goes.
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Post by Brendan on Fri 17 May 2019, 2:47 pm

Is the Ospreys 23 worse than Munster or Glasgow. Their coaching team are a fair bit worse.

It is better than Connacht and Benetton probably Ulster.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 17 May 2019, 6:43 pm

I'll go further than Osprey 23 is as good as Munster, Glasgow or Ulster and significantly better than Treviso and Connacht

Why the difference ? - Rennie, McFarland, Friend, Crowley and van Graan are all good, or better, coaches

Clarke by contrast is a waste of space

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 17 May 2019, 7:21 pm

Yeah all of what I would say has been covered. RugbyFan not sure why you're selectively quoting, how about answering all the points I raised or just admit that you're wrong?

For the record I think Ospreys should certainly be higher than Treviso and Connacht, in fact I think they should be in the top spot. They aren't because they continue to recruit bad coaches and halfbacks. Ospreys even lost to Worcester twice! All they did was kick the ball this year. Clarke, like Mulvihill, has this thing where he doesn't want to play his best players, or takes them off when they're playing very well.
Munster vs Cardiff is an obvious example. JM hooks his three best players and they fall apart, while defence has been non-existent all year.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 17 May 2019, 7:23 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

It's also quite a stretch to say that Pivac was a punt given his success and experience in coaching.

What success? Fiji?

Nothing says success like winning silverware. I also alluded to his experience which he has a lot of. A slight risk for me as I don't think anyone should be recruiting below super rugby level if looking overseas. Pivac definitely wasn't a punt when all those things are considered.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:13 am

I am interest to see how Dean Ryan goes at the Dragons. He has the experience but wouldn't say it was amazing, Glaws did good but some feel they underachived in the big games (though getting to the big games is more work)

With his experience with younger players it might help Dragons but better appointment on the face of it than Mulvhill or Clarke.

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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 18 May 2019, 12:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote: how about answering all the points I raised or just admit that you're wrong?



This will be the epitaph on the tombstone of 606v2.
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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 24 May 2019, 9:27 am

The current Super Rugby game between the Chiefs and Reds have Australian Angus Gardner as referee - does that make them a joke league?

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