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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 The Great Aukster Sat 20 Jun 2015, 8:46 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:Since when?

Since the previous post where you asked for the clarification to be dumbed down.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:06 am

Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

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Post by nathan Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:20 am

HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

I think that's the same definition as everyone else

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Post by The Great Aukster Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:30 am

HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:00 am

Who s qualifying from each group then?

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Post by George Carlin Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:06 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Who s qualifying from each group then?
Tough one. In terms of who will win each group, I would say:

Pool 1: Ulster Rugby
Pool 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne
Pool 3: Northampton Saints
Pool 4: Stade Français
Pool 5: RC Toulon

Pools where I think it will be very close are:

1 - Ulster will edge out Sarries if they play to form.
3 - Saints pack will batter down Glasgow and Racing, but only if they play well.
4 - this is very difficult to call as a number of famous clubs are in transition. Stade has a huge pack.
5 - Bath may still win this, but they need a fit and firing first team to do it.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:26 am

Id have Saracens and Glasgow qualifying myself possibly Bath but it ll be a huge ask. Im going to have to dig my maths books out for all this talk but fewer teams dont mean its more predictable unless the odds of the teams are equal. I dont think ill be puttingt he mortgage on calling it anyway!

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:15 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

You've defined more predictability as fewer outcomes, so obviously under your definition if their are fewer outcomes then it's more predictable (under your pointless definition). Your's would be valid in this case if there was a flat probably distribution (all outcomes equally likely). That's obviously not the case in any sporting event. Nothing to do with me creating my own version. Just not applying a ridiculously simplified model to it.

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:52 am

George Carlin wrote:
1 - Ulster will edge out Sarries if they play to form.
What form would that be? Haven't Sarries knocked them out of the tournament the last couple of times they played? By the way, you have to ban yourself for a week if you mention Payne as a mitigating factor Wink

If we're going on current form, Saracens are Aviva champions and Ulster got knocked out of the play-offs by Munster (who Sarries comfortably beat in the last RCC game they played).

Do you mean if they both play to potential then Ulster would win? In which case I disagree again.

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 11:56 am

Just for the fun of it:

Pool 1:

Saracens

Toulouse/Ulster (Toulouse or Ulster to qualify in second)

Oyonnax


Pool 2

ASM Clermont Auvergne

Ospreys/Exeter (Ospreys or Exeter to qualify in second)

Bordeaux-Begles


Pool 3

Northampton Saints

Glasgow Warriors

Racing 92/Scarlets


Pool 4:

Stade Francais Paris

Leicester Tigers/Munster (Leicester or Munster to qualify in second)

Benetton Treviso


Pool 5:

RC Toulon

Leinster/Bath

Wasps

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:01 pm

Cyril wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
1 - Ulster will edge out Sarries if they play to form.
What form would that be? Haven't Sarries knocked them out of the tournament the last couple of times they played? By the way, you have to ban yourself for a week if you mention Payne as a mitigating factor Wink

If we're going on current form, Saracens are Aviva champions and Ulster got knocked out of the play-offs by Munster (who Sarries comfortably beat in the last RCC game they played).

Do you mean if they both play to potential then Ulster would win? In which case I disagree again.

Sarries won't beat us at home if our home game is after the first two games. Ulster would have beaten Sarries in the quater final but for Payne's red card. I do think Sarries will top the pool though, but I also think 2nd place will qualify from that group.

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:08 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
1 - Ulster will edge out Sarries if they play to form.
What form would that be? Haven't Sarries knocked them out of the tournament the last couple of times they played? By the way, you have to ban yourself for a week if you mention Payne as a mitigating factor Wink

If we're going on current form, Saracens are Aviva champions and Ulster got knocked out of the play-offs by Munster (who Sarries comfortably beat in the last RCC game they played).

Do you mean if they both play to potential then Ulster would win? In which case I disagree again.

Sarries won't beat us at home if our home game is after the first two games. Ulster would have beaten Sarries in the quater final but for Payne's red card. I do think Sarries will top the pool though, but I also think 2nd place will qualify from that group.
In your opinion Smile

I actually think the red helped Ulster more as it seemed to energise them and make Sarries a bit complacent. It knocked Sarries out of their stride a bit whereas Ulster had nothing to lose. Luckily Ashton was in cracking try-scoring form on the day.

Agree that Sarries will top the pool and probably agree with most of your placings above. However, as we know, it's an unpredictable tournament so who knows...

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:18 pm

Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
1 - Ulster will edge out Sarries if they play to form.
What form would that be? Haven't Sarries knocked them out of the tournament the last couple of times they played? By the way, you have to ban yourself for a week if you mention Payne as a mitigating factor Wink

If we're going on current form, Saracens are Aviva champions and Ulster got knocked out of the play-offs by Munster (who Sarries comfortably beat in the last RCC game they played).

Do you mean if they both play to potential then Ulster would win? In which case I disagree again.

Sarries won't beat us at home if our home game is after the first two games. Ulster would have beaten Sarries in the quater final but for Payne's red card. I do think Sarries will top the pool though, but I also think 2nd place will qualify from that group.
In your opinion Smile

I actually think the red helped Ulster more as it seemed to energise them and make Sarries a bit complacent. It knocked Sarries out of their stride a bit whereas Ulster had nothing to lose. Luckily Ashton was in cracking try-scoring form on the day.

Agree that Sarries will top the pool and probably agree with most of your placings above. However, as we know, it's an unpredictable tournament so who knows...

Yes it's my opinion. Just as your claim is your opinion that Ulster being down to 14 men in a knock-out quarter final for 75 minutes actually helped Ulster. How many teams would you back to win in a quarter final when down to 14 for 75 minutes?

Ulster played the better rugby for most of the game and could have won it. Just imagine what we could have done with 15 men....

It isn't unpredictable. I predict:

- A French team will win it.

- None of Begles, Treviso, Oyonnax, Wasps, Scarlets or Racing will make it out of the pools.

- 2nd place teams in pools 3 and 5 won't qualify.

In my opinion Very Happy

-

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Post by George Carlin Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:57 pm

Do I think Ulster would have beaten Sarries but for the Famous Card? Actually, I do.

Will Ulster be a lot better next season than this one? Yes, they will.

But as I said, it will be tighter than the proverbial butterfly's foo-foo.
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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:07 pm

We definitely have the beating of Saracens at Ravenhill. Will we start at favourites? Yes. Can I imagine an upset? Yes. Will it be a tight game? Almost certainly. And then the reverse for the away leg. Saracens haven't been that great in their group phases, even whilst qualifying. Funnily Toulouse and Saracens sort of have that in common. They don't really impress in the group stages but they usually do enough to get through.

I'm not really too bothered about the Champions Cup though. Now you want to win your league to set yourself up for an assault on Europe the following season as first seeds. Ulster have to win the Pro12 this year. We've lost a Final and two semis in the last three years, and each of those semis have been against the eventual winners and in each of them we controlled large portions of the game only to be pipped by a late score. All three games we've come off thinking that the game was ours for the taking and we didn't reach out and take it. We know we're good enough to win the Pro12 so getting over the line there is priority number one.

If I had to choose between narrowly failing on two fronts and finally getting over the line on one, its obvious. So long as we win all our home games in Europe I'm happy enough. The Pro12 is the holy grail. Win that and we're first seeds and contenders.
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Post by beshocked Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:30 pm

George Carlin you sound very confident indeed. We will see. I agree with Cyril though.

Pool 1 is going to be tough. Toulouse will be the most unpredictable with a new coach. Ulster will be out for revenge, Oyonnax will also add another unknown factor.

Can't say with any confidence how it will pan out just yet.

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Post by George Carlin Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:12 pm

beshocked wrote:George Carlin you sound very confident indeed. We will see. I agree with Cyril though.

Pool 1 is going to be tough. Toulouse will be the most unpredictable with a new coach. Ulster will be out for revenge, Oyonnax will also add another unknown factor.

Can't say with any confidence how it will pan out just yet.

Beshocked - I'm not sure that many people would infer confidence from "it will be tighter than the proverbial butterfly's foo-foo".

Not confident at all. But Ulster were the team I feared most last season and they will not make the same mistakes next season, I am sure.  

In terms of where my team will end up, it's anyone's guess. Glasgow have tanked in Europe for the past 2 seasons.

Last season was particularly irritating as we could have beaten our French opponents both home and away but still conspired to find a way to lose.

No idea how out new Glasgow squad will pan out - either domestically or in Europe. Despite the imminent arrival of Big Tacky to squish George North into a red stain with some teeth sticking out, we are a bit lacking in dependable international quality firepower with Maitland, DTH and Niko all fecking off to pastures new.
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Post by Pete330v2 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 5:30 pm

That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Nice one Cyril
Nice one son
Nice one Cyril
Lets have another one.......

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 5:34 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Playing the entire game with 14 men is such a successful and advantageous strategy that all the best teams have since adopted it. It's a real concern for the purists, as the only counter to a team with 14 men is a team with 13 men and so on until eventually at some point in the future it will become common for top teams to select no players whatsoever. At this point, everyone will have to go and find something else to do.
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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:12 pm

It obviously didn't help, but did it put a rocket up Ulster and make Saracens think they had it in the bag? Probably. We can't know how either team would have played if it hadn't happened. Perhaps Saracens would have played with a rocket up their backside after having one of their key players stretchered off with a possible neck injury.
The red meant they 'couldn't' win (obviously they could have but very difficult), it doesn't tell you anything about what would have happened if it was just a penalty, or fair play. Same with allowed/disallowed tries, etc. Teams red carded either completely collapse or front up in a massive way

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:21 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:It obviously didn't help, but did it put a rocket up Ulster and make Saracens think they had it in the bag? Probably. We can't know how either team would have played if it hadn't happened. Perhaps Saracens would have played with a rocket up their backside after having one of their key players stretchered off with a possible neck injury.
The red meant they 'couldn't' win (obviously they could have but very difficult), it doesn't tell you anything about what would have happened if it was just a penalty, or fair play. Same with allowed/disallowed tries, etc. Teams red carded either completely collapse or front up in a massive way

You don't know that it 'put a rocket up Ulster'. The red card was in the 4th or 5th minute. You couldn't possibly know. Ulster most probably wanted to start all guns blazing. Maybe that in part explains Payne's rash challenge.
Anyway, it's one thing to expect an incident like the red card fire a team up, but to expect a team to play to that level over 75 minutes would be an unrealistic expectation. I have no doubt Ulster would have won the game if it wasn't for the red card.

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:21 pm

Notch wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Playing the entire game with 14 men is such a successful and advantageous strategy that all the best teams have since adopted it. It's a real concern for the purists, as the only counter to a team with 14 men is a team with 13 men and so on until eventually at some point in the future it will become common for top teams to select no players whatsoever. At this point, everyone will have to go and find something else to do.
Chaps Smile

My comment was largely an antidote to the assumption that Ulster would have won the game had card not been issued (and on the theme that Ulster should have won most of the games that they lost if only the other team didn't get it in the way). It was partly meant in jest, but there is some truth in cards galvanising a side and making them play beyond normal levels.

Re. playing games (or part of games) with less than 15 players, wasn't this Ulster's gameplan for most of last season?

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:24 pm

Munchkin wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:It obviously didn't help, but did it put a rocket up Ulster and make Saracens think they had it in the bag? Probably. We can't know how either team would have played if it hadn't happened. Perhaps Saracens would have played with a rocket up their backside after having one of their key players stretchered off with a possible neck injury.
The red meant they 'couldn't' win (obviously they could have but very difficult), it doesn't tell you anything about what would have happened if it was just a penalty, or fair play. Same with allowed/disallowed tries, etc. Teams red carded either completely collapse or front up in a massive way

You don't know that it 'put a rocket up Ulster'. The red card was in the 4th or 5th minute. You couldn't possibly know. Ulster most probably wanted to start all guns blazing. Maybe that in part explains Payne's rash challenge.
Anyway, it's one thing to expect an incident like the red card fire a team up, but to expect a team to play to that level over 75 minutes would be an unrealistic expectation. I have no doubt Ulster would have won the game if it wasn't for the red card.
Yet you assume that Ulster would have won if the card had not been issued? 'You couldn't possibly know' as there are too many factors involved.

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:35 pm

Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:It obviously didn't help, but did it put a rocket up Ulster and make Saracens think they had it in the bag? Probably. We can't know how either team would have played if it hadn't happened. Perhaps Saracens would have played with a rocket up their backside after having one of their key players stretchered off with a possible neck injury.
The red meant they 'couldn't' win (obviously they could have but very difficult), it doesn't tell you anything about what would have happened if it was just a penalty, or fair play. Same with allowed/disallowed tries, etc. Teams red carded either completely collapse or front up in a massive way

You don't know that it 'put a rocket up Ulster'. The red card was in the 4th or 5th minute. You couldn't possibly know. Ulster most probably wanted to start all guns blazing. Maybe that in part explains Payne's rash challenge.
Anyway, it's one thing to expect an incident like the red card fire a team up, but to expect a team to play to that level over 75 minutes would be an unrealistic expectation. I have no doubt Ulster would have won the game if it wasn't for the red card.
Yet you assume that Ulster would have won if the card had not been issued? 'You couldn't possibly know' as there are too many factors involved.

I was using a bit of hyperbole. True that I don't know, but I do feel very sure we would have won it. I felt confident we would have won it before the game started, and by the end I felt the red card was the only difference between us losing it and us winning it.

Sarries are a very good team. I wouldn't have been confident beating them had it have been an away game, but at home we are a very difficult side to beat, and on that evening we were firing on all cylinders, bar the red card. I truly believe we would have won.


Last edited by Munchkin on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:38 pm

Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Playing the entire game with 14 men is such a successful and advantageous strategy that all the best teams have since adopted it. It's a real concern for the purists, as the only counter to a team with 14 men is a team with 13 men and so on until eventually at some point in the future it will become common for top teams to select no players whatsoever. At this point, everyone will have to go and find something else to do.
Chaps Smile

My comment was largely an antidote to the assumption that Ulster would have won the game had card not been issued (and on the theme that Ulster should have won most of the games that they lost if only the other team didn't get it in the way). It was partly meant in jest, but there is some truth in cards galvanising a side and making them play beyond normal levels.

Re. playing games (or part of games) with less than 15 players, wasn't this Ulster's gameplan for most of last season?


And according to your logic we should have won the league and the championship Very Happy

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:42 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Playing the entire game with 14 men is such a successful and advantageous strategy that all the best teams have since adopted it. It's a real concern for the purists, as the only counter to a team with 14 men is a team with 13 men and so on until eventually at some point in the future it will become common for top teams to select no players whatsoever. At this point, everyone will have to go and find something else to do.
Chaps Smile

My comment was largely an antidote to the assumption that Ulster would have won the game had card not been issued (and on the theme that Ulster should have won most of the games that they lost if only the other team didn't get it in the way). It was partly meant in jest, but there is some truth in cards galvanising a side and making them play beyond normal levels.

Re. playing games (or part of games) with less than 15 players, wasn't this Ulster's gameplan for most of last season?

And according to your logic we should have won the league and the championship Very Happy
Nah, the "galvanizing factor" isn't sustainable. It might work (or nearly work) for one-off games though Wink

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:47 pm

Cyril wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:That's one of the single daftest things I've read on here ever Cyril. Ulster were helped in a European quarter final by being down a man for more or less the entire game? Not just any man but one of our gamebreakers at the time in Jared Payne.

Playing the entire game with 14 men is such a successful and advantageous strategy that all the best teams have since adopted it. It's a real concern for the purists, as the only counter to a team with 14 men is a team with 13 men and so on until eventually at some point in the future it will become common for top teams to select no players whatsoever. At this point, everyone will have to go and find something else to do.
Chaps Smile

My comment was largely an antidote to the assumption that Ulster would have won the game had card not been issued (and on the theme that Ulster should have won most of the games that they lost if only the other team didn't get it in the way). It was partly meant in jest, but there is some truth in cards galvanising a side and making them play beyond normal levels.

Re. playing games (or part of games) with less than 15 players, wasn't this Ulster's gameplan for most of last season?

And according to your logic we should have won the league and the championship Very Happy
Nah, the "galvanizing factor" isn't sustainable. It might work (or nearly work) for one-off games though Wink

I think it can work in tight games, but only in firing a team up for the final 10/15 minutes. Not for 75. One-off or not Very Happy

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 7:56 pm

It's silly because Saracens won the match by virtue of set moves attacking us out wide were we were a man down. The red card was a major factor in the majority of their points. Saracens were very smart in exploiting their extra numbers in attack. We didn't defend well besides the lack of numbers and maybe those tries would have been scored anyway- can't know. But you have to be reaching pretty far to see some sort of advantage for the team with one less man for the whole game.
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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:02 pm

Notch wrote:It's silly because Saracens won the match by virtue of set moves attacking us out wide were we were a man down. The red card was a major factor in the majority of their points.
Perhaps, but had Payne not been carded then they may have tried different tactics. These tactics may have worked better. Sides adapt to what's in front of them.

It's like saying a player missing a penalty after 50 minutes is what lost a side a game by two points when there were plenty of other opportunities or decisions that happened afterwards.

I'm not sure why you can't see that many factors are at play.

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:09 pm

Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:It's silly because Saracens won the match by virtue of set moves attacking us out wide were we were a man down. The red card was a major factor in the majority of their points.

Perhaps, but had Payne not been carded then they may have tried different tactics. These tactics may have worked better. Sides adapt to what's in front of them.

It's like saying a player missing a penalty after 50 minutes is what lost a side a game by two points when there were plenty of other opportunities or decisions that happened afterwards.

I'm not sure why you can't see that many factors are at play.

Yeah, it's not though is it. You miss a penalty, you try and get back and do the thing that got you in that position- which was obviously working. You either kick on from that or you don't. You lose a man after three minutes your entire game plan is out the window, you're defending with one man less for the rest of the game, all of your players have to adapt quickly to an entirely unexpected scenario in attack and defence. You need to adopt tactics you never use to win. It's a disadvantage in almost every area and it lasts for the rest of the game. It's not a 10-minute period you try and manage. Its the entire game. Now, you might win in spite of it or you might lose or you might have lost anyway- but what its not is any kind of advantage whatsoever. If you think it's an advantage, write to the head coach of the club you support and ask him to remove a random back without replacing him a few minutes into a massive game. Tell him it will 'galvanise' the lads. And post up his response please Smile

I can see that there are many factors in any game, but I'm not sure why you can't admit that losing a man for the entire game might not actually be an advantage? I think Ulster would have won. If you disagree, thats okay and it's reasonable. Whats not reasonable is suggesting we actually benefited from it. That is very, very silly. Deliberately obtuse some would say.


Last edited by Notch on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:11 pm

Notch, I said above that the comment about it being an 'advantage' was largely in jest OK

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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:13 pm

Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:It's silly because Saracens won the match by virtue of set moves attacking us out wide were we were a man down. The red card was a major factor in the majority of their points.
Perhaps, but had Payne not been carded then they may have tried different tactics. These tactics may have worked better. Sides adapt to what's in front of them.

It's like saying a player missing a penalty after 50 minutes is what lost a side a game by two points when there were plenty of other opportunities or decisions that happened afterwards.

I'm not sure why you can't see that many factors are at play.

I don't agree. I don't think it comes close to losing a player for 75 minutes. How many extra chances would we have had to score with an extra player, and one of the calibre of Jared Payne? How much extra energy was required in attack and defence for the 75 minutes we were a man down?

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:16 pm

I don't think we're going to agree on this one Smile

Sets it up nicely for the pool games though, eh?

'Can Sarries win vs 15 men?'
'Can Ulster win with 15 men?'

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:24 pm

Tbh, I'm incredibly disappointed we're playing them again.

a) They brought far less traveling fans to that quarter-final than even minor French sides have brought for pool games.
b) They are a side that is pragmatic and willing to do what they can to stop the opposition playing. Not a criticism, they're unity as a team and their discipline is admirable.
c) We're going to get no end of this shoite on forums etc. as ruminating over the past dredges up bad blood on both sides.

So, I'm going to go to the game which would be considered and it will be nearly 100% Ulster fans, so no chance of banter at the ground like we've experienced in the past with great fans from Clermont, Stade, Leicester, Saints etc.- that makes an occasion extra special win or lose. At the ground I'll watch a game where the opponents set out to turn it into what we shall politely call 'one for the purists' and which probably features more niggle than running rugby. And then I'll return home and read page after page of this shoite whether we win or lose.

I'm dreading the Saracens games, I really am. I got a season ticket because I enjoy going to see live rugby, but nothing about this is going to be enjoyable. We could have had Bath, Stade, Clermont... it pains me to think about missing out on watching those sides at Ravenhill for this! Sets it up nicely? It's a feckin' disaster as far as I'm concerned whether we win both games, one or neither. Even if we took 10 points from the two games we'd still be missing out on the craic.


Last edited by Notch on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:27 pm

Cyril wrote:I don't think we're going to agree on this one Smile

Sets it up nicely for the pool games though, eh?

'Can Sarries win vs 15 men?'
'Can Ulster win with 15 men?'

I predict the atmosphere at Ravenhill will be a bit special against Sarries

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:28 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Cyril wrote:I don't think we're going to agree on this one Smile

Sets it up nicely for the pool games though, eh?

'Can Sarries win vs 15 men?'
'Can Ulster win with 15 men?'

I predict the atmosphere at Ravenhill will be a bit special against Sarries

Try telling that to Notch. Miserable beggar.

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:30 pm

The atmosphere is going to be special, but it's going to be too hostile. Negative emotions are draining. Playing a team where there is mutual respect between players and fan base is preferable. Then you can have a bit of craic for the 80 minutes and genuinely commiserate with/congratulate your opponents.
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Post by The Great Aukster Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:31 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

You've defined more predictability as fewer outcomes, so obviously under your definition if their are fewer outcomes then it's more predictable (under your pointless definition). Your's would be valid in this case if there was a flat probably distribution (all outcomes equally likely). That's obviously not the case in any sporting event. Nothing to do with me creating my own version. Just not applying a ridiculously simplified model to it.

Not my definition - it's mathematics. Fair enough some people consider mathematics to be pointless - I don't.

Thanks for acknowledging that fewer outcomes increases predictability though - as that is an objective fact. The likelihood of any individual outcome happening is on the other hand subjective and dependent on a wide variety of factors and that is up to each individual to determine their own probabilities (your version). Subjectivity has no right or wrong answers. Objectivity has an absolute answer i.e. fewer outcomes increase predictability ergo the competition is more predictable.

It is nonsense saying that there has to be a flat probability distribution for the fact that fewer outcomes make more predictability. Do you seriously think that a two-horse race is no easier to predict than a race with 30 in it - they don't all have an equal chance but the former is statistically easier to predict than the latter.

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:34 pm

Notch wrote:Tbh, I'm incredibly disappointed we're playing them again.

a) They brought far less traveling fans to that quarter-final than even minor French sides have brought for pool games.
b) They are a side that is pragmatic and willing to do what they can to stop the opposition playing. Not a criticism, they're unity as a team and their discipline is admirable.
c) We're going to get no end of this shoite on forums etc. as ruminating over the past dredges up bad blood on both sides.

So, I'm going to go to the game which would be considered and it will be nearly 100% Ulster fans, so no chance of banter at the ground like we've experienced in the past with great fans from Clermont, Stade, Leicester, Saints etc.- that makes an occasion extra special win or lose. At the ground I'll watch a game where the opponents set out to turn it into what we shall politely call 'one for the purists' and which probably features more niggle than running rugby. And then I'll return home and read page after page of this shoite whether we win or lose.

I'm dreading the Saracens games, I really am. I got a season ticket because I enjoy going to see live rugby, but nothing about this is going to be enjoyable. We could have had Bath, Stade, Clermont... it pains me to think about missing out on watching those sides at Ravenhill for this! Sets it up nicely? It's a feckin' disaster as far as I'm concerned whether we win both games, one or neither. Even if we took 10 points from the two games we'd still be missing out on the craic.
I'm not sure if you meant it this way but all that comes across very sanctimonious and bitter. The 'shoite' as you call it was almost solely from Ulster fans complaining about the Payne decision (I think there's only one Saracens fan on here?). Perhaps you should look at your own before complaining about Saracens play and support. After the last couple of seasons Ulster now have a reputation as a niggly and underhand side and the fans as a bit whingy.

I'm looking forward to the games though and I hope you've come around to the idea before the games start Smile

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:37 pm

Look, I just want to enjoy the experience of watching games, especially big European games. It's disappointing for me that we got the worst draw from Tier 1 especially with such great attacking sides like Clermont and Bath in the pot for that one.

The complaining and negativity from Ulster fans both online and in the ground is a big part of the reason it promises to be an underwhelming experience. There are other parts of course, but I would rather not have any of it by avoiding them entirely.

At the end of the day it's just a game. We follow our teams to have fun, to enjoy ourselves.
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Post by Guest Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:39 pm

Notch wrote:The atmosphere is going to be special, but it's going to be too hostile. Negative emotions are draining. Playing a team where there is mutual respect between players and fan base is preferable. Then you can have a bit of craic for the 80 minutes and genuinely commiserate with/congratulate your opponents.

I'm not sure it will be hostile, Notch. On the evening Payne was carded the atmosphere was electric, but even then I wouldn't have said it was particularly hostile. It had it's moments, like when the card was produced, but then you expect that. The Sarries fans that were there loved the atmosphere and enjoyed the craic with Ulster fans afterwards. I think it will be very loud, and with a large dose of pantomime thrown in for good measure.

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Post by Cyril Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:48 pm

Yeah, I'm not sure it will be that hostile at all.

The forum world is a lot different to the real world (luckily) and it wasn't like it was Sarries' fault that Payne got carded. I'm sure the players feel a rivalry (and Ulster will possibly have a bit of a sense of injustice) but no more than that.

Might be worth staying off the forums after the games though, just in case Smile

Notch, why do you say that these is not mutual respect between the Ulster/Sarries fans and players? It's the players bit I would be especially interested in. Why would you not respect Sarries fans, other than the fact that they perhaps don't number as many as some sides currently (especially in away games)?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:01 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

You've defined more predictability as fewer outcomes, so obviously under your definition if their are fewer outcomes then it's more predictable (under your pointless definition). Your's would be valid in this case if there was a flat probably distribution (all outcomes equally likely). That's obviously not the case in any sporting event. Nothing to do with me creating my own version. Just not applying a ridiculously simplified model to it.

Not my definition - it's mathematics. Fair enough some people consider mathematics to be pointless - I don't.

Thanks for acknowledging that fewer outcomes increases predictability though - as that is an objective fact. The likelihood of any individual outcome happening is on the other hand subjective and dependent on a wide variety of factors and that is up to each individual to determine their own probabilities (your version). Subjectivity has no right or wrong answers. Objectivity has an absolute answer i.e. fewer outcomes increase predictability ergo the competition is more predictable.

It is nonsense saying that there has to be a flat probability distribution for the fact that fewer outcomes make more predictability. Do you seriously think that a two-horse race is no easier to predict than a race with 30 in it - they don't all have an equal chance but the former is statistically easier to predict than the latter.

By that it would mean that Saracens vs Saints at Twickers is easier to call than who would finish top of a mini league involving Saracens Doncaster Rotherham and Leeds.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:16 pm

Notch wrote:
b) They are a side that is pragmatic and willing to do what they can to stop the opposition playing. Not a criticism, they're unity as a team and their discipline is admirable.

Interestingly it was my Junior Clubs annual dinner the other week, and talk got round to European Competition. The opinion of the people there was that Ulster are Ireland's equivalent of Saracens.

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Post by Notch Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:27 pm

Cyril wrote:Notch, why do you say that these is not mutual respect between the Ulster/Sarries fans and players? It's the players bit I would be especially interested in. Why would you not respect Sarries fans, other than the fact that they perhaps don't number as many as some sides currently (especially in away games)?

I don't think I said that. What I said is they rarely travel in significant numbers so you don't get that experience of mixing with the opposition fans. Clermont brought over their full allocation (probably more) when we last played them and were very noisy- there was great craic in the stands, based on mutual respect, and a good, clean, competitive game on the pitch. But you can't have that banter if there aren't any traveling fans. It's not that there isn't respect, it's that there isn't as much mixing. For me, the experience of being in the ground with a sizeable number of opposition fans is as much a part of the big occasions as the game itself.
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Post by Cyril Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:46 pm

Notch wrote:
Cyril wrote:Notch, why do you say that these is not mutual respect between the Ulster/Sarries fans and players? It's the players bit I would be especially interested in. Why would you not respect Sarries fans, other than the fact that they perhaps don't number as many as some sides currently (especially in away games)?

I don't think I said that. What I said is they rarely travel in significant numbers so you don't get that experience of mixing with the opposition fans. Clermont brought over their full allocation (probably more) when we last played them and were very noisy- there was great craic in the stands, based on mutual respect, and a good, clean, competitive game on the pitch. But you can't have that banter if there aren't any traveling fans. It's not that there isn't respect, it's that there isn't as much mixing. For me, the experience of being in the ground with a sizeable number of opposition fans is as much a part of the big occasions as the game itself.

It was this comment: "Playing a team where there is mutual respect between players and fan base is preferable."

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Post by Notch Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:58 pm

Cyril wrote:
Notch wrote:
Cyril wrote:Notch, why do you say that these is not mutual respect between the Ulster/Sarries fans and players? It's the players bit I would be especially interested in. Why would you not respect Sarries fans, other than the fact that they perhaps don't number as many as some sides currently (especially in away games)?

I don't think I said that. What I said is they rarely travel in significant numbers so you don't get that experience of mixing with the opposition fans. Clermont brought over their full allocation (probably more) when we last played them and were very noisy- there was great craic in the stands, based on mutual respect, and a good, clean, competitive game on the pitch. But you can't have that banter if there aren't any traveling fans. It's not that there isn't respect, it's that there isn't as much mixing. For me, the experience of being in the ground with a sizeable number of opposition fans is as much a part of the big occasions as the game itself.

It was this comment: "Playing a team where there is mutual respect between players and fan base is preferable."

Ah, I can see how you misunderstand what I meant. I'm sorry I thought you were referring to a different post. At the quarter-final the atmosphere generated by our home support was very vociferous, pumped up by the red card no doubt, and it had an unusually hostile edge. Some say pantomime and there was undoubtedly and element of that, but there was more negativity in the support than usual for me which I didn't like. At the end of the game a minority of the Saracens players responded to that by doing the whole taunting gestures thing to the crowd, especially Billy Vunipola. Obviously Chris Ashton was also involved with his usual swan dive taunting in the act of scoring and that also had the effect of really riling the crowd up too. I didn't think the Ulster fans gave as much respect to Saracens as other English teams and I thought a very small number of their players responded in kind to the crowd. There was a mix of good and bad reports by traveling fans about the Ulster support. The bad stuff is not what I want to see at our ground be it from our fans, players, visiting fans, players- anyone really.

Actually I don't like any of that. I don't want to see a 'grudge match', or 'revenge', or 'bad blood'. I just want to have the craic. I don't want to end up getting sucked into that mindset myself, which is so easy to do. I'd rather have drawn another team who we've historically had good-natured games with at Ravenhill.
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Post by Cyril Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:34 pm

Fair enough, Notch. Thanks for the clarification. I see your point and understand where you're coming from now Smile

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Post by Fanster Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:18 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

You've defined more predictability as fewer outcomes, so obviously under your definition if their are fewer outcomes then it's more predictable (under your pointless definition). Your's would be valid in this case if there was a flat probably distribution (all outcomes equally likely). That's obviously not the case in any sporting event. Nothing to do with me creating my own version. Just not applying a ridiculously simplified model to it.

Not my definition - it's mathematics. Fair enough some people consider mathematics to be pointless - I don't.

Thanks for acknowledging that fewer outcomes increases predictability though - as that is an objective fact. The likelihood of any individual outcome happening is on the other hand subjective and dependent on a wide variety of factors and that is up to each individual to determine their own probabilities (your version). Subjectivity has no right or wrong answers. Objectivity has an absolute answer i.e. fewer outcomes increase predictability ergo the competition is more predictable.

It is nonsense saying that there has to be a flat probability distribution for the fact that fewer outcomes make more predictability. Do you seriously think that a two-horse race is no easier to predict than a race with 30 in it - they don't all have an equal chance but the former is statistically easier to predict than the latter.

By that it would mean that Saracens vs Saints at Twickers is easier to call than who would finish top of a mini league involving Saracens Doncaster Rotherham and Leeds.

Who would be funding the mini league? who would be airing it on TV, if there was a BT sport Canal combo then Rotherham, Doncaster and Leeds would go and sign players for it would they not?

Or are you talking a pre season mini league? In which Sarries would use it to play squad players etc...

Either way yes, I would put my money on Sarries v Northampton over a Sarries and co mini league! Why? I know the 1 games motivation, both want to win flat out, so at worst it's a 50/50, with your mini league who knows what Saracens would do!!!

But I see your point, it just doesn't translate to the heineken cup now though does it, because of the 'fairness' introduced?

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 22 Jun 2015, 5:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Ah, ok. So you're using your own definitions? That's why it seemed like you were talking cowpat. At least that makes sense now. You see, with my definition the new competition is LESS predictable. But this is simply because my definition of predictability is the capability to reliable identify the outcome of an event before the event occurs.

Statistical theory is well proven - fewer outcomes means more predictability.

Feel free to create your own version if that is too hard to understand.

You've defined more predictability as fewer outcomes, so obviously under your definition if their are fewer outcomes then it's more predictable (under your pointless definition). Your's would be valid in this case if there was a flat probably distribution (all outcomes equally likely). That's obviously not the case in any sporting event. Nothing to do with me creating my own version. Just not applying a ridiculously simplified model to it.

Not my definition - it's mathematics. Fair enough some people consider mathematics to be pointless - I don't.

Thanks for acknowledging that fewer outcomes increases predictability though - as that is an objective fact. The likelihood of any individual outcome happening is on the other hand subjective and dependent on a wide variety of factors and that is up to each individual to determine their own probabilities (your version). Subjectivity has no right or wrong answers. Objectivity has an absolute answer i.e. fewer outcomes increase predictability ergo the competition is more predictable.

It is nonsense saying that there has to be a flat probability distribution for the fact that fewer outcomes make more predictability. Do you seriously think that a two-horse race is no easier to predict than a race with 30 in it - they don't all have an equal chance but the former is statistically easier to predict than the latter.

By that it would mean that Saracens vs Saints at Twickers is easier to call than who would finish top of a mini league involving Saracens Doncaster Rotherham and Leeds.

The point is about reducing outcomes making more predictability. In your example you would have to include Saints in the mini league to have any statistical validity, and even then the outcome of a league game has different motivations to a knockout game e.g. bonus points, tries, points difference etc. so you are obviously not comparing like with like.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether it is easier to predict the outcome of a Saracens v Saints ERC Cup final or whether it is easier to predict the winner of this year's 20 team tournament? Statistically the fewer outcomes make it more predictable, so there is a much better chance of predicting the winner of a single two-team final than a 20 team tournament.

The Great Aukster

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