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Rugby Champions Cup 2015-16 - Tiers

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Post by brennomac Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Early days I know to be thinking about the RCC for 2015-16 with the Top 14 still not passed through the semi final stage, but as things stand this seems how the four tiers will work out:

Tier 1 – Glasgow, Saracens, Winner Top14 final, one of Munster/Bath/Loser Top 14 final, one of Munster/Bath/Loser Top 14 final

Tier 2 – one of Munster/Bath/Loser Top 14 final, Ospreys, Northampton, better Top 14 losing SF, one of Ulster/Leicester/worse Top 14 losing SF

Tier 3 - one of Ulster/Leicester/worse Top 14 losing SF, one of Ulster/Leicester/worse Top 14 losing SF, Leinster, Exeter, Racing Metro

Tier 4 – Scarlets, Wasps, Oyonnax, Treviso, Bordeaux

For Tiers 1 and 2, anybody know how the two from Munster, Bath and the losing Top 14 finalist who will go into Tier 1 and the one from that group who will go into Tier 2 will be picked - do they pick them out of a hat or what?.  Likewise for Tier 2 and 3, do they pick one from Ulster, Leicester and the worse Top 14 semi-finalist  to go into Tier 2 and the two others go into Tier 3.

From a Leinster point of view we're paying for our sh1te season and could potentially face the Top 14 winner - presume it'll be Toulon of Clermont, Bath and Scarlets - not a nice prospect.  Alternatively we could face Saracens, Northampton and Treviso - not easy but certainly more palatable. Quite happy to be in same tier as Exeter - wouldn't fancy playing them.  

Lots of permutations for all you fans of the other 19 teams to contemplate

****

Edit: Draw has now been made for both competitions and the pools look like this:

2015/16 Champions Cup pools

Pool 1: Saracens, Ulster Rugby, Toulouse, Oyonnax
Pool 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Exeter Chiefs, Bordeaux-Bègles
Pool 3: Glasgow Warriors, Northampton Saints, Racing 92, Scarlets
Pool 4: Stade Français Rugby, Munster Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Benetton Treviso
Pool 5: Bath Rugby, RC Toulon, Leinster Rugby, Wasps

2015/16 Challenge Cup pools

Pool 1: Connacht Rugby, Brive, Newcastle Falcons, Eniset-STM
Pool 2: Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons, Castres Olympique, Pau
Pool 3: Montpellier, Harlequins, Cardiff Blues, Cammi Rugby Calvisano
Pool 4: La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby, Zebre Rugby, Worcester Warriors
Pool 5: Edinburgh Rugby, London Irish, Grenoble, Agen

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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Wed 17 Jun 2015, 6:43 pm

Is pool 5 the only pool in history to be composed entirely of champions?

OK. So there have been 20 European Cups. 9 of them won by teams in pool 5. Shocked

"Group of Death" is overused but...


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Post by Sin é Wed 17 Jun 2015, 7:59 pm

Jeni, I think if you were ever going to get Toulon in your pool, this is the year to do it. Toulon are going to be very disrupted by the World Cup with a lot of new players coming into the team. If you can get them away early, you might do it. You gave them a good run for your money last year in the semi.

I think Wasps are over rated at this stage of their development.

Bath - they shouldn't frighten Leinster with all their first choice players and Sexton back.

Pleased with Munster's group - at least we have a change. One reason why I don't want a B&I League - it gets boring after a while playing the same teams.
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Post by Sin é Wed 17 Jun 2015, 8:03 pm

Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:For the good of rugby (and humanity in general) we need Munster to get an easier pool this time round.

The business end of the tournament without 'the best fans in the world' doesn't bear thinking about.

Hopefully World Rugby will step in if necessary.

I agree, Munster fans would be up there with the best in world in terms of away support and helping create a great atmosphere. Well said.

Looks like it's happened. Those 'marvellous, passionate, no-one-can-quite-get-rugby-like-them' fans have a chance of knock-out rugby again Smile

On a slightly more serious note, there are some very interesting fixtures in the offing.

Cyril, most teams welcome the Munster support and are a pleasure to visit. Wink
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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:01 pm

Looks like another Toulon v Clermont final, unless they get drawn against each other of course.

It's hard to get excited about a tournament where only half the games will be on my TV.

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Post by Fanster Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:13 pm

I'm the same Aukster, I refuse to subscribe to 2 pay per view chanells, so will only get half the games, then only half the games interest me due to either too big a difference in quality or all French/English affairs.

I'm willing to bet we can all call the 'whipping boys' in each group, and qualification is only really acheivable by 1/2 teams per group.

Group 4 is the only interesting group in my opinion.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 18 Jun 2015, 6:56 am

Three great away trips for Wasps & we will have to hit the ground running to get out of the group.
Toulon firm favorites but as usual win your home games & nick something away from home.

Leinster may be vulnerable with a new coach & disruption from WC at beginning of their season.
I think there will be 3 big casualties from this group with all the games probably worthy as quarterfinals.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:19 am

Fanster wrote:I'm the same Aukster, I refuse to subscribe to 2 pay per view chanells, so will only get half the games, then only half the games interest me due to either too big a difference in quality or all French/English affairs.

I'm willing to bet we can all call the 'whipping boys' in each group, and qualification is only really acheivable by 1/2 teams per group.

Group 4 is the only interesting group in my opinion.

Just out of interest, I've seen a few quote they lose interest with all English or all french games but never quote all Pro 12. What's the difference, especially for someone who is most swayed to an English team?

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:30 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just out of interest, I've seen a few quote they lose interest with all English or all french games but never quote all Pro 12. What's the difference, especially for someone who is most swayed to an English team?

The difference is, we are not seeing loads of Pro12 sides playing each other, every group has an English team AND a French team, the competition is more like an Anglo/French cup with a few others to mix it up, three of the groups even have two French sides, and one group has two English sides, for some that is boring.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:42 am

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Just out of interest, I've seen a few quote they lose interest with all English or all french games but never quote all Pro 12. What's the difference, especially for someone who is most swayed to an English team?

The difference is, we are not seeing loads of Pro12 sides playing each other, every group has an English team AND a French team, the competition is more like an Anglo/French cup with a few others to mix it up, three of the groups even have two French sides, and one group has two English sides, for some that is boring.

There's only 2 with 2 French sides, 2 with 2 Pro 12 and 1 with 2 English by my quick scan. Every group has a pro 12 team. My original question was based on why when all 3 leagues are basically getting treated the same with this is the all French or all English the issue.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:50 am

Sorry you are right no need for a quick scan, I have it here:-

POOL ONE: Saracens, Ulster, Toulouse, Oyonnax
POOL TWO: Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Exeter, Bordeaux
POOL THREE: Glasgow, Northampton, Racing 92, Scarlets
POOL FOUR: Stade Francais, Munster, Leicester, Treviso
POOL FIVE: Bath, Toulon, Leinster, Wasps

Pool one has two French
Pool two has two French
Pool five has two English

For some that is too boring, at least the Pro12 sides are from different countries, and it adds a little bit of diversity to the competition, for most, and me included it just feels like and Anglo/French cup to me, with a few others thrown in to mix it up a bit.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:54 am

So it's boring for people who want to see more Pro 12 teams pretty much. There's no more diversity from Glasgow and Scarlets than Bath Wasps, you get to see it in the league. It's not an Anglo French Cup it's a cup made of 3 leagues.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:So it's boring for people who want to see more Pro 12 teams pretty much. There's no more diversity from Glasgow and Scarlets than Bath Wasps, you get to see it in the league. It's not an Anglo French Cup it's a cup made of 3 leagues.

And that is the problem, it should not be a cup of three leagues in my opinion, it should be a cup of 6 nations. But each to their own I suppose, you like it as it is, I do not. It's a free world after all. OK

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:08 am

Fair enough, but obviously that would mean a lot more money being pumped into 1 league leaving the other 2 down as only 1 league has more than 1 nation involved and would leave a lot more all Pro 12 games which some would consider boring. I understand your point of view being very Pro 12 biased and wanting the best for those teams I was just intersted why we don't really see this from fans from other leagues barring fanster who leans towards London Welsh I believe.

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Post by Chunky Norwich Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:29 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
It's hard to get excited about a tournament where only half the games will be on my TV.

So pay for the other half then. Not the competition's fault that you feel entitled to see all the games fropm your sofa.

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Post by RDW Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:30 am

Well I don't have Sky or BT Sport and am able to watch all the games! Very Happy

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Post by Chunky Norwich Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:32 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Well I don't have Sky or BT Sport and am able to watch all the games! Very Happy

Me too! In lovely HD.

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Post by TightHEAD Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:37 am

Cracking Pools, can't wait and much better than the old format.
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Post by Welly Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:40 am

I'm just glad I managed to get 60% off my sky bill.

£38 a month for Movies, Sports, Family, Entertainment, HD and Multiroom.

Bargain IMO and £100 credit.

The powers of cancelling and joining again. Wouldn't have been able to afford it at the money it was on.

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Post by RDW Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:42 am

Welly wrote: I'm just glad I managed to get 60% off my sky bill.

£38 a month for Movies, Sports, Family, Entertainment, HD and Multiroom.

Bargain IMO and £100 credit.

The powers of cancelling and joining again. Wouldn't have been able to afford it at the money it was on.

I'm not sure if you have heard of Top Cashback, but if you re-singed up through them then you'd get around £180 cashback too!

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Fair enough, but obviously that would mean a lot more money being pumped into 1 league leaving the other 2 down as only 1 league has more than 1 nation involved and would leave a lot more all Pro 12 games which some would consider boring. I understand your point of view being very Pro 12 biased and wanting the best for those teams I was just intersted why we don't really see this from fans from other leagues barring fanster who leans towards London Welsh I believe.

I'm not dead against English v English ties, or French v French, but would I watch them in the group stages, no chance.

Take the French v French games, both teams priorities their league, and if they both don't 1 definitely does, meaning at least 1 of the head to heads are pointless. The fact that there are more teams from France than there are from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland combined means the tournament is of a French bias, with a celtic invitational feel. Does this really represent where rugby is in Europe? Or does it represent where club rugby has forced it's hand in europe?

From what I gather the Pro 12 was constructed from a need to be more succesfull in europe, and a way of consolidating assets to best produce club and national performances, which is has done to a degree because Ireland and Wales are the dominant forces in the 6N since, but now the league constructed has proved difficult for the clubs, as the diversity and inclusion it's brought has been used against it to strangle competition.

There are 2 trains of thought, fans of the 4 nations within the league see it as a league representing 4 nations, and each nations want their teams to compete in europe while not caring about the other teams within their league. The other train of thought is that the league should be treated s 1 unit, generally to avoid the league being the dominant one in europe due to the Irish provinces success over recent years, divide and conquer was a very usefull strategy used.

Not sure why your so focused on me being a London Welsh fan, I don't really have a club, but they would be the closest I have to one, however I feel I view trends in rugby as a bit of an outsider, I don't belong in Welsh camp despite being Welsh, I don't belong in the English camp despite being brought up here, so I try to bring myself down on rugby's side, and whats best for the game as a whole.

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:06 am

Oh btw, it's not just the All French or English games I am not interested in, thats just part of the larger reason this new tournament has been tainted for me, the fact I don't have a club in there has annoyed me for a while.

There are also the huge differences between quality, the gulf between the haves and have nots is getting stupid, at least when the gulfs were big and people whinged it was for rugby reasons, right now is he who spends most...

Treviso don't deserve to be in european competition if we're being honest, theyre tearing themselves apart at the seams.

If we are going to have an elite competition why all the bullcrap when negotiating and say the top 2 teams from each nations play a round robin, best 6 play a champions series.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:07 am

Fanster wrote:Take the French v French games, both teams priorities their league, and if they both don't 1 definitely does, meaning at least 1 of the head to heads are pointless.

Not necessarily true though is it? After all it was a fighting display from Montpelier that knocked Toulouse out of the Champions Cup last season. A result that lead to the predictable semi finals. Had Montpelier rolled over we would have seen Toulouse get a home 1/4 final, Leinster be on the road and Saracens knocked out.

I thought the pool stages last season were better because there were less crappy sides. Five pools is a crap idea though, while being no worse than six pools. Four pools of four sides would be much better.

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Post by Sin é Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:20 am

Fanster wrote:Oh btw, it's not just the All French or English games I am not interested in, thats just part of the larger reason this new tournament has been tainted for me, the fact I don't have a club in there has annoyed me for a while.

There are also the huge differences between quality, the gulf between the haves and have nots is getting stupid, at least when the gulfs were big and people whinged it was for rugby reasons, right now is he who spends most...

Treviso don't deserve to be in european competition if we're being honest, theyre tearing themselves apart at the seams.

If we are going to have an elite competition why all the bullcrap when negotiating and say the top 2 teams from each nations play a round robin, best 6 play a champions series.

Treviso was torn apart by preying French and English clubs. It will take them two years or so to get over the PRL ripping European rugby apart.
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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:30 am

I see what you mean but is is quite typical of French rugby that away games are generally lost, Montpellier beat Toulon, then lost to their RCC place rivals meaning White was desperate for a victory in any form, plus Toulouse had a huge away game to Castres a few days later that was a must win for a top 4 finish, due to 4/5 away games on the bounce. Maybe they did prioritise the league a bit knowing further fixtures would very much hamper a top 4 finish?

1 performance doesn't really make a tournament interesting however, especially an all French game where away wins are rare in europe. I was told French away wins were 6 out of a possible 23 away trips in europe last season (not sure how accurate that is). That would be less than 30% win record on the road, i'd suggest that would be similar for their league too.

Which brings me to the point that games are extremely predictable these days, travelling to France is too much for most teams, and travelling out of France seems too much for French teams.

PS I'm not slating the new competition, the old was far from perfect, I'm just saying that the new competition brings to the fore a number of isssues to a larger extent, and for a lot of people has made the competition a bit stale.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:31 am

I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:31 am

Sin é wrote:
Fanster wrote:Oh btw, it's not just the All French or English games I am not interested in, thats just part of the larger reason this new tournament has been tainted for me, the fact I don't have a club in there has annoyed me for a while.

There are also the huge differences between quality, the gulf between the haves and have nots is getting stupid, at least when the gulfs were big and people whinged it was for rugby reasons, right now is he who spends most...

Treviso don't deserve to be in european competition if we're being honest, theyre tearing themselves apart at the seams.

If we are going to have an elite competition why all the bullcrap when negotiating and say the top 2 teams from each nations play a round robin, best 6 play a champions series.

Treviso was torn apart by preying French and English clubs. It will take them two years or so to get over the PRL ripping European rugby apart.

Didn't they lose like 20 first team players recently, not sure you could blame the English and French directly, but the lack of money in Italian rugby is compounded by the silly money in France.

I feel for Treviso, I really do, they have become a bit like the Fijians of the european market.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:41 am

Pete330v2 wrote:I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

I suspect we have very different views on what constitutes a level playing field. I will not claim the current system is fair, but the old one was about as far away from a level playing field as Base Camp is from the peak of Everest.

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:43 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

I suspect we have very different views on what constitutes a level playing field. I will not claim the current system is fair, but the old one was about as far away from a level playing field as Base Camp is from the peak of Everest.

How so?

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Post by Sin é Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:45 am

Fanster wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Fanster wrote:Oh btw, it's not just the All French or English games I am not interested in, thats just part of the larger reason this new tournament has been tainted for me, the fact I don't have a club in there has annoyed me for a while.

There are also the huge differences between quality, the gulf between the haves and have nots is getting stupid, at least when the gulfs were big and people whinged it was for rugby reasons, right now is he who spends most...

Treviso don't deserve to be in european competition if we're being honest, theyre tearing themselves apart at the seams.

If we are going to have an elite competition why all the bullcrap when negotiating and say the top 2 teams from each nations play a round robin, best 6 play a champions series.

Treviso was torn apart by preying French and English clubs. It will take them two years or so to get over the PRL ripping European rugby apart.

Didn't they lose like 20 first team players recently, not sure you could blame the English and French directly, but the lack of money in Italian rugby is compounded by the silly money in France.

I feel for Treviso, I really do, they have become a bit like the Fijians of the european market.

Of course you can (blame the PRL). They created the uncertainty of the future of Italian rugby by continually slagging them off for not being worthy to play in the Top Tier of European Rugby so all their best players moved mainly to English clubs.
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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:48 am

Maybe holding the Final in 15, 16, or even 17 would've helped too?

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:05 am

Fanster wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

I suspect we have very different views on what constitutes a level playing field. I will not claim the current system is fair, but the old one was about as far away from a level playing field as Base Camp is from the peak of Everest.

How so?

Indeed, how so?
Comparatively speaking the current level playing field looks more like a pyramid scheme than a competition.
I would bet good money that the current system will result in many sides simply losing interest with their focus being somewhat closer to home. There may have been complaints that the Italian sides didn't deserve their place in the competition but wait until many clubs start fielding academy squads, keeping their senior squad for something they have a chance of winning.

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:07 am

Thats a good point Pete, If i'm the Wasps coach I look at those 3 away games and think to myelf why bother sending a squad out there to do anything but get experience!

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Post by Sin é Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:09 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

I suspect we have very different views on what constitutes a level playing field. I will not claim the current system is fair, but the old one was about as far away from a level playing field as Base Camp is from the peak of Everest.

How so?

Indeed, how so?
Comparatively speaking the current level playing field looks more like a pyramid scheme than a competition.
I would bet good money that the current system will result in many sides simply losing interest with their focus being somewhat closer to home. There may have been complaints that the Italian sides didn't deserve their place in the competition but wait until many clubs start fielding academy squads, keeping their senior squad for something they have a chance of winning.

Indeed. It soon won't be financially viable to bother playing in the competition. The money is split evenly (no matter how bad you are) and the merit payments, prize money has decreased.

Leinster got 150K less for reaching a semi final than Munster the previous season.

Meritocracy would suggest that it should be financially worthwhile competing.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:28 am

Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fair enough, but obviously that would mean a lot more money being pumped into 1 league leaving the other 2 down as only 1 league has more than 1 nation involved and would leave a lot more all Pro 12 games which some would consider boring. I understand your point of view being very Pro 12 biased and wanting the best for those teams I was just intersted why we don't really see this from fans from other leagues barring fanster who leans towards London Welsh I believe.

I'm not dead against English v English ties, or French v French, but would I watch them in the group stages, no chance.

Take the French v French games, both teams priorities their league, and if they both don't 1 definitely does, meaning at least 1 of the head to heads are pointless. The fact that there are more teams from France than there are from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland combined means the tournament is of a French bias, with a celtic invitational feel. Does this really represent where rugby is in Europe? Or does it represent where club rugby has forced it's hand in europe?

From what I gather the Pro 12 was constructed from a need to be more succesfull in europe, and a way of consolidating assets to best produce club and national performances, which is has done to a degree because Ireland and Wales are the dominant forces in the 6N since, but now the league constructed has proved difficult for the clubs, as the diversity and inclusion it's brought has been used against it to strangle competition.

There are 2 trains of thought, fans of the 4 nations within the league see it as a league representing 4 nations, and each nations want their teams to compete in europe while not caring about the other teams within their league. The other train of thought is that the league should be treated s 1 unit, generally to avoid the league being the dominant one in europe due to the Irish provinces success over recent years, divide and conquer was a very usefull strategy used.

Not sure why your so focused on me being a London Welsh fan, I don't really have a club, but they would be the closest I have to one, however I feel I view trends in rugby as a bit of an outsider, I don't belong in Welsh camp despite being Welsh, I don't belong in the English camp despite being brought up here, so I try to bring myself down on rugby's side, and whats best for the game as a whole.

I brought up London Welsh as you were the only person I've seen with this view who was supporting a team other than from Pro 12, but that's not true so hey ho. In regards to your issue with the Comp why would you watch a Pro 12 vs Pro 12 but not a all English.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:33 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:why would you watch a Pro 12 vs Pro 12 but not a all English

Perhaps because Pro12 v Pro12 does not mean all from the same country.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:35 am

That's why you would and wouldn't LD just wondered what fanster thinks. I don't think the fact that 1 club is from Ireland and 1 from Scotland and both play in the same league makes much of a difference to 1 team from Coventry playing a team from Bath and they both play in the same league. We're talking about tv viewing here as well so it doesn't even matter that you get a nice trip out somewhere sunny.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:40 am

Just thinking about two players that will collide on the wing next season:

11 George North (6'4", 17 stones 2lb) v 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (6' 5", 18 stones 12lb)

Not often you'll see George looking on the small side.
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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:45 am

George Carlin wrote:Just thinking about two players that will collide on the wing next season:

11 George North (6'4", 17 stones 2lb) v 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (6' 5", 18 stones 12lb)

Not often you'll see George looking on the small side.

Flippin Nora that's a lot of beef on a collision course, imagine either of them running at you full tilt. I'd be all for the Ian Humphreys gentelmanly aproach and offer them an unhindered way past Smile

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Post by Dubbelyew L Overate Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:46 am

Sin é wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
Fanster wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I'm afraid European rugby has become very like the Formula 1 with the gulf between the haves and have nots being wide enough as it is and unfortunately it'll only get bigger. I can see a stage where we 'have nots' will no longer take the competition seriously and focus more on our bread and butter league. To enter into a competition already with a hefty handicap is ridiculous but if we have a level playing field certain nations will simply spit the dummy and refuse to take part.

I suspect we have very different views on what constitutes a level playing field. I will not claim the current system is fair, but the old one was about as far away from a level playing field as Base Camp is from the peak of Everest.

How so?

Indeed, how so?
Comparatively speaking the current level playing field looks more like a pyramid scheme than a competition.
I would bet good money that the current system will result in many sides simply losing interest with their focus being somewhat closer to home. There may have been complaints that the Italian sides didn't deserve their place in the competition but wait until many clubs start fielding academy squads, keeping their senior squad for something they have a chance of winning.

Indeed. It soon won't be financially viable to bother playing in the competition. The money is split evenly (no matter how bad you are) and the merit payments, prize money has decreased.

Leinster got 150K less for reaching a semi final than Munster the previous season.

Meritocracy would suggest that it should be financially worthwhile competing.

If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?

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Post by Sin é Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:52 am

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?

Well if that is the case, its not merit driven (since everyone gets the same and Toulon are going to win anyway). It discourages teams from competing (i.e., take the money and run).

Saracens are running at a huge deficit even though they are meant to be one of the have-alls.
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Post by Guest Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:55 am

Paul O'Connell on turning his back on Munster, and committing himself 110% to the French cause. For those interested in knowing more about why a move to the big money French clubs is so appealing, even to an Ireland and Munster giant like O'Connell.

It's only a couple of minutes long and well worth a listen:

Munster is dead to me...

The last 30 sec's is most revealing...

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:57 am

I have tried telling my Irish friends on here for a long time, lets stick two fingers up at the CC, lets use it as a development tool for our players, we should put all our efforts into making the Pro12 a better product, lets play all our best players in our league, entice the fans in, and demand better tv deals to go with the top players we are putting on show, but for some reason some of us still roll out the red carpet for the scraps off the table thrown to us by the English and the French.

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:That's why you would and wouldn't LD just wondered what fanster thinks. I don't think the fact that 1 club is from Ireland and 1 from Scotland and both play in the same league makes much of a difference to 1 team from Coventry playing a team from Bath and they both play in the same league. We're talking about tv viewing here as well so it doesn't even matter that you get a nice trip out somewhere sunny.

Not watching a huge amount of Pro 12 rugby there is definitely more variety in a team from Scotland, with their own union, own pathway system and own culture playing a team from Wales with their own unions, pathways and cultutre, as opposed to a team from Bath playing a team from Exeter, a mere 1 hour and 30 drive awy, or say a team from Bath against a team form Gloucester a mere hour drive away.

Until recently Celtic and Italian teams were of interest to anyone who liked 6N rugby also, due to the shear number of internationals on show, in combinations, whereas English and French clubs now seem to be mashed full of international players from all over the globe as individuals, and its difficult to care about Hibbards performance say at Gloucester because the props either side of him aren't good, and the rest of the pack isn't great.

I find match ups between players funny because of that reason too.

There are plenty of reasons why Rugby fans hold themselves in such high regard, especially over football fans, however in recent years I don't think thats true anymore, with the way fans just accept actions of those in power and sacrifice all their beleifs for the almighty dollar.

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Post by Dubbelyew L Overate Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:16 pm

Sin é wrote:
Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?

Well if that is the case, its not merit driven (since everyone gets the same and Toulon are going to win anyway). It discourages teams from competing (i.e., take the money and run).

Saracens are running at a huge deficit even though they are meant to be one of the have-alls.

Do you think that's why the English and French clubs were largely unsuccessful in the HC when they were receiving so much less money than the other teams?

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Post by Fanster Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:20 pm

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?

Well if that is the case, its not merit driven (since everyone gets the same and Toulon are going to win anyway). It discourages teams from competing (i.e., take the money and run).

Saracens are running at a huge deficit even though they are meant to be one of the have-alls.

Do you think that's why the English and French clubs were largely unsuccessful in the HC when they were receiving so much less money than the other teams?

You mean when they chose to have more teams and split the larger slice of the pie thinly?

Lets not everyone distort facts.

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Post by offload Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:36 pm

I think I'm becoming a convert to this new format. I was critical of the changes as I supported the broader national coverage. As someone has pointed out we have 13 of the 20 teams from France and England, but I do think the quality is improving. Frankly, Edinburgh, Blues, Dragons, Connacht etc didn't perform well enough to be in the competition. Dealing with one league that is multi-national is always going to present a challenge in format. Looking forward to next season and some of the head to heads.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:48 pm

Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:That's why you would and wouldn't LD just wondered what fanster thinks. I don't think the fact that 1 club is from Ireland and 1 from Scotland and both play in the same league makes much of a difference to 1 team from Coventry playing a team from Bath and they both play in the same league. We're talking about tv viewing here as well so it doesn't even matter that you get a nice trip out somewhere sunny.

Not watching a huge amount of Pro 12 rugby there is definitely more variety in a team from Scotland, with their own union, own pathway system and own culture playing a team from Wales with their own unions, pathways and cultutre, as opposed to a team from Bath playing a team from Exeter, a mere 1 hour and 30 drive awy, or say a team from Bath against a team form Gloucester a mere hour drive away.

Until recently Celtic and Italian teams were of interest to anyone who liked 6N rugby also, due to the shear number of internationals on show, in combinations, whereas English and French clubs now seem to be mashed full of international players from all over the globe as individuals, and its difficult to care about Hibbards performance say at Gloucester because the props either side of him aren't good, and the rest of the pack isn't great.

I find match ups between players funny because of that reason too.

There are plenty of reasons why Rugby fans hold themselves in such high regard, especially over football fans, however in recent years I don't think thats true anymore, with the way fans just accept actions of those in power and sacrifice all their beleifs for the almighty dollar.

You have plenty of internationals everywhere now. In a viewing capacity though your first point doesn't hold weight does it?

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:55 pm

"If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?."

It's not just about the money although that's obviously a huge factor.
From an Irish point of view our clubs could be rolling in cash but wouldn't be able to spend it due to the limits on non-Irish qualified players, limits that will be stricter next season. Ulster for example are in rude financial health but can't use that financial clout in the player market as we've filled our alloted non-Irish places.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:57 pm

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:If there are concerns about a gulf between the haves and the have-nots, wouldn't a reduction in prize money redress the amount of having that the haves have, and the amount of not having that the have-nots have?

Well if that is the case, its not merit driven (since everyone gets the same and Toulon are going to win anyway). It discourages teams from competing (i.e., take the money and run).

Saracens are running at a huge deficit even though they are meant to be one of the have-alls.

Do you think that's why the English and French clubs were largely unsuccessful in the HC when they were receiving so much less money than the other teams?

How does winning the trophy 13 out of 19 times between English and French teams equate as "largely unsuccessful"?

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Post by Cyril Thu 18 Jun 2015, 1:00 pm

If it's all evil and pointless to you now:

1. write to your provinces demanding they withdraw from the RCC (or employ better negotiators)
2. boycott the RCC games (and only attend Pro12 games - or boycott totally if you really want your province to get the message)
3. stop paying any broadcaster subscriptions


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