European Cup Semi Finals - Easter Weekend

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Post by BigGee on Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:07 am

First topic message reminder :

Saracens v Munster
Leinster v Toulouse
Clermont v La Rochelle Harlequins
La Rochelle v Sale

4 decent games coming up this weekend.

My predictions for the finals

Saracens v Toulouse

Clermont v La Rochelle


Last edited by LondonTiger on Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Teasing)

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:13 am

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Why?

because its loutish behavour.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:50 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Anyone know why the crowd was small for Saracens v Munster? I suppose I thought there's be more local rugby fans turning up. Were the tickets just priced too high for neutrals?
3 weeks to sell tickets, Easter Weekend, Sarries one of the smaller fan bases, tickets not coming with massive be discounts, played in n Coventry. With the statutory M1 roadworks and Bank Holiday train service suspensions it was a crappy journey from North London.
Saracens are known to have a small fan base, so that's no surprise. What you say does help explain why neutral fans from further south would have skipped the fixture. I suppose I imagined there might be more interest from local neutrals. If I lived somewhere with a reasonable journey to that stadium, then I think I would have gone along. A key match between two good teams I planned to watch anyway, and a chance to experience travelling Munster fans, would have been attractive. The only thing which would have put me off is if ticket prices seemed toppy.

Perhaps I had unreasonable expectations of  how many local neutrals a match like that could draw under any circumstances.

Local neutrals already turn up for Wasps matches Run

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Post by BigGee on Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:01 am

A final maybe, but I am not sure neutrals would have been that interested in a semi. I certainly would not have been.

They would probably have done better playing it in London from both Sarries and Munster fans perspectives

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:18 am

BigGee wrote:A final maybe, but I am not sure neutrals would have been that interested in a semi. I certainly would not have been.

They would probably have done better playing it in London from both Sarries and Munster fans perspectives

Finding a ground that was available would have been tricky.

Finals do tend to have a lot of neutral fans. For about a dozen years, until parental duties took control, we had a group that would go to the Premiership Final and HC/CC Final. Tickets were bought in advance, accomodation booked early if needed and a good time had by all. Of course back then (2013 was the last trip) there was always a good chance of seeing Tigers in at least one of the Finals but never a guarantee at the time tickets were bought. One of the fun parts was ticking off the jerseys - one year we got 11/12 premiership sides (no Sale) and 18/20 HC sides (missing one Welsh team who were in the competition that year and the Italian team in that year). Closest we ever game to the full Slam.

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Post by eirebilly on Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:23 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Why?

because its loutish behavour.

He got a proper hounding from most of us at the game. I think he thought he would get a lot of support but was left feeling very alone.

Austin Healy tried winding up some Munster fans after the game and was shouted down by the left over Sarries fans. Was not a great match or a big crowd but the atmosphere after the game was excellent.
Gutted Munster lost but just not good enough right now and I still feel that they are a couple of years away yet.

Well done to Leinster, Sarries will take some beating but I think Leinster will do it.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:11 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
BigGee wrote:A final maybe, but I am not sure neutrals would have been that interested in a semi. I certainly would not have been.

They would probably have done better playing it in London from both Sarries and Munster fans perspectives

Finding a ground that was available would have been tricky.

Finals do tend to have a lot of neutral fans. For about a dozen years, until parental duties took control, we had a group that would go to the Premiership Final and HC/CC Final. Tickets were bought in advance, accomodation booked early if needed and a good time had by all. Of course back then (2013 was the last trip) there was always a good chance of seeing Tigers in at least one of the Finals but never a guarantee at the time tickets were bought. One of the fun parts was ticking off the jerseys - one year we got 11/12 premiership sides (no Sale) and 18/20 HC sides (missing one Welsh team who were in the competition that year and the Italian team in that year). Closest we ever game to the full Slam.

I remember the 2008 playoff match in the Ricoh Arena, that stadium was fairly full, around 30,000 people or so. I could only get tickets 4 rows from the top, in a corner. Roll on a decade and the same two teams in the same venue was c.16-18,000. I think the seat colour being classic Coventry blue (open to correction) made the spaces stand out more. I was always curious on Thomond Park, were the smattering of black and yellow seats in the stand done to break up any blocks of empty seats (I'm not being cynical about Munster here, I'm genuinely curious if there is a proper psychological method in the madness or do they just not think it through).

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Post by eirebilly on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:26 pm

I have not yet been able to watch the Sarries - Munster game back so could anyone please explain to me how the Sarries player (Koch?) was sin binned ahead of Itoje? From where I was sitting it looked like Itoje instigated and completed the tip. We were all kind of shocked to see the other fella go off, did he do something more serious earlier to get the Yellow Card ahead of Itoje because it looked a dead cert YC for him?
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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:53 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Why?

because its loutish behavour.

He got a proper hounding from most of us at the game. I think he thought he would get a lot of support but was left feeling very alone.

Austin Healy tried winding up some Munster fans after the game and was shouted down by the left over Sarries fans. Was not a great match or a big crowd but the atmosphere after the game was excellent.
Gutted Munster lost but just not good enough right now and I still feel that they are a couple of years away yet.

Well done to Leinster, Sarries will take some beating but I think Leinster will do it.

Who did? Vunapola or the pitch invader?

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Post by eirebilly on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:58 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Why?

because its loutish behavour.

He got a proper hounding from most of us at the game. I think he thought he would get a lot of support but was left feeling very alone.

Austin Healy tried winding up some Munster fans after the game and was shouted down by the left over Sarries fans. Was not a great match or a big crowd but the atmosphere after the game was excellent.
Gutted Munster lost but just not good enough right now and I still feel that they are a couple of years away yet.

Well done to Leinster, Sarries will take some beating but I think Leinster will do it.

Who did? Vunapola or the pitch invader?

The pitch invader and he will receive a ban from Munster.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:13 pm

Fair play. Do you think he was drunk or something?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:01 pm

eirebilly wrote:I have not yet been able to watch the Sarries - Munster game back so could anyone please explain to me how the Sarries player (Koch?) was sin binned ahead of Itoje? From where I was sitting it looked like Itoje instigated and completed the tip.
Itoje started lifting the player but Koch had the other leg, and seemed to be the one who took him over the horizontal.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:03 pm

eirebilly wrote:I have not yet been able to watch the Sarries - Munster game back so could anyone please explain to me how the Sarries player (Koch?) was sin binned ahead of Itoje? From where I was sitting it looked like Itoje instigated and completed the tip. We were all kind of shocked to see the other fella go off, did he do something more serious earlier to get the Yellow Card ahead of Itoje because it looked a dead cert YC for him?

Were you in the busier stand (watching Munster play left to right in the second half?)

If so you will have seen Itoje grab the right leg, but missed Koch grabbing the left at the same time. Itoje lets go pretty much as soon as the feet even start to leave the ground, but Koch continues to lift and flip. Garces was going to penalise Itoje, TMO said Dix-Huit - they looked again and both agreed that Koch was at fault, and saved from a red by the contact being shoulder to ground.

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Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:38 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Why?

because its loutish behavour.

He got a proper hounding from most of us at the game. I think he thought he would get a lot of support but was left feeling very alone.

Austin Healy tried winding up some Munster fans after the game and was shouted down by the left over Sarries fans. Was not a great match or a big crowd but the atmosphere after the game was excellent.
Gutted Munster lost but just not good enough right now and I still feel that they are a couple of years away yet.

Well done to Leinster, Sarries will take some beating but I think Leinster will do it.

Who did? Vunapola or the pitch invader?

The pitch invader and he will receive a ban from Munster.

Well Guns what did you think of Vunipola and his interview after the game?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:35 am

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Well Guns what did you think of Vunipola and his interview after the game?
It's a fair topic but the mods said on the Folau thread they want a break from monitoring posts touching on this issue, so I suggest we wait for them to re-open that thread when Folau's hearing starts. Vunipola and Folau aren't in exactly the same boat but there's enough overlap to keep discussion in one place.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:51 am

I agree and I don't really care what he said. Its like flogging a dead horse, we all know he has odd views so why do presenters keep trying to poke them from him. Its a rugby match not a religion class.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:43 pm

Some less than complementary reports re Munster fans. I would take what Jones writes with a pinch of salt all the same.

http://www.balls.ie/rugby/stephen-jones-munster-fans-409583

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Post by eirebilly on Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:02 am

I was at the game and yes there were certain sections of fans that booed BV but they were not all Munster fans. Some Sarries fans were booing him as well as unidentified fans (possibly people who went to the game specifically to boo him).

The Munster fans booed the fool in loafers who confronted BV as well. He has subsequently been banned from future matches.

Austin Healy was one of the biggest fools on that day as he tried to wind up the Munster fans after the game but he was shouted down by the Sarries fans more than the Munster fans.

At the game the atmosphere was not the best but I think a hell of a lot more is being made out of it than it actually was.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:43 am

Fair enough

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Post by TJ on Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:22 am

Having been at the Edinburgh Munster 1/4 the munster fans there were exemplary in their behaviour

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Post by Engine#4 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:45 am

Pure deflection from Jones. You'll get the odd drunken fan misbehaving at any big sporting event. BV is as entitled to his religious beliefs as Munster fans are entitled to let him know that they disagree with his unrepentant homophobia.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:56 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Some less than complementary reports re Munster fans. I would take what Jones writes with a pinch of salt all the same.

http://www.balls.ie/rugby/stephen-jones-munster-fans-409583

Having attended a few Leicester/Munster games (home and away) and seen Munster in two HC finals - I was quite surprised to hear booing during Farrell's kicks at goal. TV does tend to magnify this kind of sound, but it was clearly there.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:04 am

Engine#4 wrote:Pure deflection from Jones. You'll get the odd drunken fan misbehaving at any big sporting event. BV is as entitled to his religious beliefs as Munster fans are entitled to let him know that they disagree with his unrepentant homophobia.

Maybe, its a bit pathetic to boo a player at a rugby match simply because of their views even if they are equally pathetic. The whole saga is endemic of a growing need for people to invent new ways to get their weekly fix of victimhood.

I just think rugby is rugby, go to watch the game to watch the game rather than make socio-political statements. I can handle the booing but invading the pitch to intimidate someone you disagree with is unacceptable.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:09 am

3 Leinster (Cronin, Furlong & Ringrose) and two Sarries (Goode, Mako) nominated for EPCR European Player of the Year

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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:24 am

LondonTiger wrote:3 Leinster (Cronin, Furlong & Ringrose) and two Sarries (Goode, Mako) nominated for EPCR European Player of the Year

Never liked Goode but he has improved a fair bit. Mako looks good too. 2018 was Furlongs year not this year. Ringrose could win. Cronins try scoring has been great but will probably miss the final so may miss out.

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Post by rodders on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:33 am

Not the most exciting Semi Finals for the neutral but by far the 2 best sides are in the final... there has been a big gap this year between Sarries, Leinster and the rest.

It's hard to pick a winner, I'd say Sarries are slight favorites given they are unbeaten but Leinster showed they still have the extra gears they need in the big games, even if the haven't quite looked as good as last season.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:51 am

Sarries have probably be slightly stronger but then again Leinster have never lost a champions cup final and have a very good record v Sarries. 3 wins in 3 games. That's just a stat though and probably wont mean a jot in the final. History probably points to Leinster but form to Sarries.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:47 am

LondonTiger wrote:3 Leinster (Cronin, Furlong & Ringrose) and two Sarries (Goode, Mako) nominated for EPCR European Player of the Year
Armitage, Wilkinson and Abendanon all were nominated (and won) the award when not playing for England. Wilko had retired, while the other two were excluded, as they were playing abroad. I wonder if Goode is one of the first nominees to be qualified for his national team but still not selected.


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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:53 am

Wasn't Zebo on the long list for this year?

Miles Benjamin was also shortlisted in the past.

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Post by eirebilly on Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:00 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Some less than complementary reports re Munster fans. I would take what Jones writes with a pinch of salt all the same.

http://www.balls.ie/rugby/stephen-jones-munster-fans-409583

Having attended a few Leicester/Munster games (home and away) and seen Munster in two HC finals - I was quite surprised to hear booing during Farrell's kicks at goal. TV does tend to magnify this kind of sound, but it was clearly there.

Was it at the same sound level when Sarries fans were booing JJ whilst attempting his conversion?

There were some poor fans from both sides to be fair.
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Post by LondonTiger on Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:11 pm

eirebilly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Some less than complementary reports re Munster fans. I would take what Jones writes with a pinch of salt all the same.

http://www.balls.ie/rugby/stephen-jones-munster-fans-409583

Having attended a few Leicester/Munster games (home and away) and seen Munster in two HC finals - I was quite surprised to hear booing during Farrell's kicks at goal. TV does tend to magnify this kind of sound, but it was clearly there.

Was it at the same sound level when Sarries fans were booing JJ whilst attempting his conversion?

There were some poor fans from both sides to be fair.


I had stopped watching fully by then, sorry. I could not hear noise for Bleyendaal or Murray in the first half. TBH I never feel that noise bothers kickers unless it is quiet and suddenly there is a noise just as the kicking leg swings. Certainly any kicker affected by general noise is likely to suffer even more with the deathly silence you get at some grounds.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:05 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Sarries have probably be slightly stronger but then again Leinster have never lost a champions cup final and have a very good record v Sarries. 3 wins in 3 games. That's just a stat though and probably wont mean a jot in the final. History probably points to Leinster but form to Sarries.

I'm not sure about Sarries this season. They've looked beatable. The inability to recruit a good openside has hurt them. Clark looks average or is injured and Burger past his best. Jackson Wray has done a sterling job covering but it's a big ask for him to go toe to toe with the Leinster backrow. The return of Rhodes is a big boost at 6 but they are definitely not as breakdown savvy as they once were.

I don't think they'll be able to bully Leinster up front and Farrell's form this season has been mediocre, he has missed games as well so may be carrying a niggle. All points to a Leinster victory for me.

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Post by sensisball on Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:23 am

Also don't think Billy is back to his best yet. He isn't carrying as forcefully or as often as pre his injuries.

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