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European Knockout stages - who's going through?

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Post by Pot Hale Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

After five rounds, the qualifiers for knockout stages have three teams nominated - Leicester, Saracens and Racing 92.

Currently, as it stands, the order of teams involved in qualification is:

1. Saracens 24
2. Leicester 23
3. Racing    22
4. Ospreys 16 +12
5. Toulon 16 +0
6.  Wasps 15 +73
7. Clermont 14 +30
8. Stade Français 14 +53
9. Saints 14 -11
10. Ulster 13 +7
11. Exeter 11 -19
12. Bordeaux Begles 11 -23

Ulster play Oyonnax first and need a TBP plus as many points as possible to build their low PD.
Toulouse play Saracens. Nothing in it for Toulouse. Saracens will want the TBP ideally to secure top spot and a potential home semi.
Bath then host Toulon, whilst Wasps host Leinster. Toulon need a TBP and a good improvement in their points difference to set a target for Ospreys in their match the following day against Exeter to get the final home quarter.
Leinster could do Ulster a favour if they can continue their winning form and beat Wasps in Coventry - not likely though.
Racing don't have much in the game against Glasgow in Rugby Park as they can't drop lower than 3rd spot.
Saints need to get the full five points against Scarlets and hope other results go their way.
Leicester will know the results of the Racing and Saracens games before they take the pitch. They could drop a place to third but would still have home advantage. State Francais need the win to ensure they get a best runner-up spot.
Exeter host Ospreys with the Welsh club looking to top their group and win a potential home semi-final.
Clermont, at the same time, will hope Exeter do them a favour and they can win at home against UBB.
Lots to play for still.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:17 am

Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league. If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:17 am

The Great Aukster wrote:The gulf will keep increasing until the ERC Cup is won by a French team every year. From a Pro12 perspective the future is bleak unless the top teams can convince the top French and English clubs to sign up to a European Super League, while their credibility and history still has some market appeal.

So you are agreeing with chunkynowrich then ? That' a massive turnaround after the bashing he has been getting off the Irish on here.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:18 am

Good one bandwagon!

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:19 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

clap
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Post by marty2086 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:22 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:27 am

marty2086 wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

Marty, didn't we go around in circles on this one before (about Carter's wages), where there is a difference between what a club pays a player directly, and what they can earn via other means (even if the club has arranged it for them to entice them to sign).
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:29 am

Yeah, cheating through a loophole so that you can't get done for it and have the sanctions you signed up to applied in your case. Alledgedly.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:32 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah, cheating through a loophole so that you can't get done for it and have the sanctions you signed up to applied in your case. Alledgedly.

Or utilising a loophole so your not actually cheating. angel
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:35 am

Gaining an unfair advantage by deliberately not playing to the spirit of the rules. Like all the multi nationals paying the correct amount of tax! Cheating.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:40 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Gaining an unfair advantage by deliberately not playing to the spirit of the rules. Like all the multi nationals paying the correct amount of tax! Cheating.

It is the same as a player taking their time to place the ball when they are tackled, to allow their team mates to get to them. It is technically not illegal, if an opposing side are doing it, you get really wound up and vocal about it, however when your side do it you think 'that is not right, but hey nobody has picked us up on it'.
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Post by marty2086 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:42 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

Marty, didn't we go around in circles on this one before (about Carter's wages), where there is a difference between what a club pays a player directly, and what they can earn via other means (even if the club has arranged it for them to entice them to sign).

Maybe you can tell me does he play for Toulon or Saracens? Also was the question directed at you?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:42 am

I tend not to agree with that type of comparison. It's a bit like saying stealing a tube of smarties and hacking up your girlfriend with an axe are both against the law.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:44 am

marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

Marty, didn't we go around in circles on this one before (about Carter's wages), where there is a difference between what a club pays a player directly, and what they can earn via other means (even if the club has arranged it for them to entice them to sign).

Maybe you can tell me does he play for Toulon or Saracens? Also was the question directed at you?

Oh, I sincerely apologise sir.  I was under the impression we were on a public forum where people exchanged opinions, as opposed to in a private conversation.  Please accept my deepest apologies for the error of my ways.


Last edited by ScarletSpiderman on Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:47 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I tend not to agree with that type of comparison. It's a bit like saying stealing a tube of smarties and hacking up your girlfriend with an axe are both against the law.

True. Although you can claim that her stealing your pack of smarties is a mitigating factor. Whistle

It is all one of those minefields where there are technicalities, and loopholes etc. We all like to claim to have an understanding of them, but unless we have access to the rules and regs, and also to the accounts of the teams and individuals, that are being discussed, we can only really make assumptions.
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Post by marty2086 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:52 am

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

Marty, didn't we go around in circles on this one before (about Carter's wages), where there is a difference between what a club pays a player directly, and what they can earn via other means (even if the club has arranged it for them to entice them to sign).

Maybe you can tell me does he play for Toulon or Saracens? Also was the question directed at you?

Oh, I sincerely apologise sir.  I was under the impression we were on a public forum where people exchanged opinions, as opposed to in a private conversation.  Please accept my deepest apologies for the error of my ways.

I asked if he was being sarcastic and you brought up Dan Carter, considering he plays for neither team hes irrelevant. Also considering PRL have publically stated teams were not fully compliant with the salary cap, Saracens widely reported to be one of them, then asking if he is being sarcastic when he says they are in full compliance is a good idea to understand whether hes making a serious post.

Its also important to ask in the context of this

Mourad Boudjellal wrote:I can’t take the risk of seeing RCT qualifying for a final. This means that if the regulation is in place, RCT cannot play in semi finals this season.

If RCT qualifies for finals, what am I to do?’, fines of up to ten times the salary cap over-run can be issued by the LNR

So either Toulon are going to reach finals and have to decide to pay bonuses or not. If they do they break their salary cap, if they don't they break their contracts with the players or another possibility is they play weakened teams or refuse to play. None of which equal fully compliant.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:54 am

marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Why are people mentioning the likes of Toulon and Saracens with regards salary levels? Both are in full compliance with the rules set by each respective league.  If they weren't they would be punished in some fashion for breaking the rules.

That's sarcasm right?

Marty, didn't we go around in circles on this one before (about Carter's wages), where there is a difference between what a club pays a player directly, and what they can earn via other means (even if the club has arranged it for them to entice them to sign).

Maybe you can tell me does he play for Toulon or Saracens? Also was the question directed at you?

Oh, I sincerely apologise sir.  I was under the impression we were on a public forum where people exchanged opinions, as opposed to in a private conversation.  Please accept my deepest apologies for the error of my ways.

I asked if he was being sarcastic and you brought up Dan Carter, considering he plays for neither team hes irrelevant. Also considering PRL have publically stated teams were not fully compliant with the salary cap, Saracens widely reported to be one of them, then asking if he is being sarcastic when he says they are in full compliance is a good idea to understand whether hes making a serious post.

Its also important to ask in the context of this

Mourad Boudjellal wrote:I can’t take the risk of seeing RCT qualifying for a final. This means that if the regulation is in place, RCT cannot play in semi finals this season.

If RCT qualifies for finals, what am I to do?’, fines of up to ten times the salary cap over-run can be issued by the LNR

So either Toulon are going to reach finals and have to decide to pay bonuses or not. If they do they break their salary cap, if they don't they break their contracts with the players or another possibility is they play weakened teams or refuse to play. None of which equal fully compliant.

What does that have to do with my apology? Do you accept my apology for daring to comment on something that was out of my position to talk about?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:55 am

True. I think in general we can accept the examples of those clubs though.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:58 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:True. I think in general we can accept the examples of those clubs though.

Those two are generally accepted as clubs that have gone right up tot he wire with the rules (and widely accepted as teams that have gone beyond that).

However, being generally seen as something and proven as something, are two different things.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:43 am

Seeing as we're not in court I think we can all accept that too.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:47 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Seeing as we're not in court I think we can all accept that too.

Thankfully we aren't in court, reading posts on here over the years there would be so many of us being done for libel or defamation of character. Whistle
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Post by whocares Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:23 am

Ospreys chances slightly improved after the UBB-Exeter teams got announced :
- UBB playing their best available backline (on paper) with Buttin ; Talebula, AAC, Rey, Connor ; Bernard and Lesgourgues ...not bad for a team who given up Wink
- Exeter sending what looks like an experimental starting XV (guess they also have a few injuries with slade, parling , nowel etc) :McGuigan ; Woodburn, Campagnaro, Bodilly, Jess ; Hooley, Lewis ; Hortsmann, White, Johnson ; J.Hill, Atkins ; Brown, Taione, Low

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:37 am

One off whocares. Everyone knows that the French give up in Europe. Just as they know the French are able to simultaneously flog their players whilst only playing 2nd teams away from home.

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Post by Pot Hale Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:02 pm

whocares wrote:Ospreys chances slightly improved after the UBB-Exeter teams got announced :
- UBB playing  their best available backline (on paper) with  Buttin ; Talebula, AAC, Rey, Connor ;  Bernard and Lesgourgues ...not bad for a team who given up  Wink
- Exeter sending what looks like an experimental starting XV (guess they also have a few injuries with slade, parling , nowel etc) :McGuigan ; Woodburn, Campagnaro, Bodilly, Jess ;  Hooley, Lewis ; Hortsmann, White, Johnson ; J.Hill, Atkins ; Brown, Taione, Low

That should be an interesting match as a result of those line-ups.

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Post by Dubbelyew L Overate Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:58 pm

whocares wrote:Ospreys chances slightly improved after the UBB-Exeter teams got announced :
- UBB playing  their best available backline (on paper) with  Buttin ; Talebula, AAC, Rey, Connor ;  Bernard and Lesgourgues ...not bad for a team who given up  Wink
- Exeter sending what looks like an experimental starting XV (guess they also have a few injuries with slade, parling , nowel etc) :McGuigan ; Woodburn, Campagnaro, Bodilly, Jess ;  Hooley, Lewis ; Hortsmann, White, Johnson ; J.Hill, Atkins ; Brown, Taione, Low

Doesn't really help Ospreys - they still need 2 wins or LBP+BP win.

Baxter has form for rotating in one game of Round 5 or 6 but has named a stronger team for the other fixture.
Exe have 8 starters out injured, so 5 of that XV are currently first choice and 6 more would be bench players. Other first-teamers have played a lot of minutes in the last few weeks, so this is a combination of resting them, and getting gametime into other squad players.

Not ideal, but it is what it is.

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Post by whocares Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:34 pm

Yes nothing you can do against injuries. Am sure Exeter will be competitive and those players will play with hunger. Also congrats to those supporters who made the trip cycling ! :
http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2016-01-15/chiefs-supporters-cycle-from-devon-to-bordeaux-especially-for-game/

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Post by Pot Hale Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:00 pm

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:
whocares wrote:Ospreys chances slightly improved after the UBB-Exeter teams got announced :
- UBB playing  their best available backline (on paper) with  Buttin ; Talebula, AAC, Rey, Connor ;  Bernard and Lesgourgues ...not bad for a team who given up  Wink
- Exeter sending what looks like an experimental starting XV (guess they also have a few injuries with slade, parling , nowel etc) :McGuigan ; Woodburn, Campagnaro, Bodilly, Jess ;  Hooley, Lewis ; Hortsmann, White, Johnson ; J.Hill, Atkins ; Brown, Taione, Low

Doesn't really help Ospreys - they still need 2 wins or LBP+BP win.

Baxter has form for rotating in one game of Round 5 or 6 but has named a stronger team for the other fixture.
Exe have 8 starters out injured, so 5 of that XV are currently first choice and 6 more would be bench players. Other first-teamers have played a lot of minutes in the last few weeks, so this is a combination of resting them, and getting gametime into other squad players.

Not ideal, but it is what it is.

Well Ospreys got 4 points and kept Clermont pointless
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Post by whocares Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:08 pm

well if Exeter wins tomorrow the last round will get quite interesting now!

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Post by Pot Hale Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:09 pm

As they say on Sky, here's the qualifiers, as it stands.

1. Saracens 19
2. Leicester 18
3. Racing 17
4. Ospreys 16
5. Wasps 14
6. Clermont 14
7. Stade Français 14
8. Ulster 13

Ospreys with a home quarter-final in their sights.
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Post by Dubbelyew L Overate Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:37 pm

whocares wrote:well if Exeter wins tomorrow the last round will get quite interesting now!

Win or lose (most likely lose) it's going to be fecking monumental next week.

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Post by whocares Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:04 am

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:
whocares wrote:well if Exeter wins tomorrow the last round will get quite interesting now!

Win or lose (most likely lose) it's going to be fecking monumental next week.

Great game so far. 20-20 agt HT 5 tries , plenty of running ball in hand , total rugby. Not bad for a dead rubber Smile

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Post by whocares Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:13 am

Hardluck Chiefs. Very close in the end. 34-27 FT 8 tries and champagne rugby. Overall happy with UBB first appearance in the big stage. Lots of learning here.

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Post by VinceWLB Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:30 pm

Well done UBB whocares, i have to eat my words about you fielding a weak team against Exeter, at the end of the day Ibanez loves this tournament and we can sense it in his words.

All the best for the rest of your Top 14 campaign thumbsup

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Post by Dubbelyew L Overate Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:39 pm

Pool 2 is interesting now. From being an apparent dead rubber, the UBB-Exe result means all 4 teams could win the pool.

There's the possibility of 3 teams on 16 points, with Clermont languishing in last place on 14 - BP wins for UBB away at Clermont and Exe at home over Ospreys, with no LBP's (not the most likely of many permutations). Those 16 points probably wouldn't be enough for a 2nd place qualification, though.

If they are level, then UBB are ahead of Ospreys on head-to-head points difference and Exe would be ahead of both UBB and Ospreys on head-to-head match points.

Ospreys' fate is entirely in their own hands - all they have to do is win at Sandy Park to win the pool, BP or no. All the other results have several permutations.

I wonder how much rotation there'll be next week?

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Post by whocares Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:40 pm

Cheers Vince thumbsup

next weekend will be interesting but can't see anything but a convincing win by ASM unfortunately.

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Post by wayne Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:17 pm

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:

I wonder how much rotation there'll be next week?
DLO, I don't think we'll rotate much Arhip will probably be back to help improve the scrum, if Biggar and Baldwin make good recoveries they will stay, Tandy in his Press Conference said Lydiate will probably not make it, but the way Underhill played he wouldn't be missed much, I can't see any other changes unless he drops Walker, if Hassler was available he'd walk straight back in.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:01 pm

Really hope that Ospreys win and top their pool - if they do it would certainly be a good foundation for the next few seasons. Also it seems BB are quite a formidable team, they certainly know their way to try line at their home ground, and they'll probably be scoring more next season with Madigan among their ranks.

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Post by Pot Hale Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:02 pm

Dubbelyew L Overate wrote:Pool 2 is interesting now. From being an apparent dead rubber, the UBB-Exe result means all 4 teams could win the pool.

There's the possibility of 3 teams on 16 points, with Clermont languishing in last place on 14 - BP wins for UBB away at Clermont and Exe at home over Ospreys, with no LBP's (not the most likely of many permutations). Those 16 points probably wouldn't be enough for a 2nd place qualification, though.

If they are level, then UBB are ahead of Ospreys on head-to-head points difference and Exe would be ahead of both UBB and Ospreys on head-to-head match points.

Ospreys' fate is entirely in their own hands - all they have to do is win at Sandy Park to win the pool, BP or no. All the other results have several permutations.

I wonder how much rotation there'll be next week?

Agreed makes final weekend for this pool very interesting.

The Exeter v UBB wasn't a dead rubber though. Exeter had a lot to play for.
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:18 pm

As for the challenge cup... Dragons currently top their pool and looks like we need an away win to Sale next week to stay top of the group, a win would also get us a home quarter. Sale will probably throw the kitchen sink at us because they're looking to win the pool themselves, but a home quarter could be out of reach if other teams rack up the points. In the latter stages of the competition I'd be weary of facing Quins and Glaws, both teams are looking good this year, in particular Quins.

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Post by Guest Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:53 pm

Pot Hale wrote:As they say on Sky, here's the qualifiers, as it stands.

1. Saracens 19
2. Leicester 18
3. Racing 17
4. Ospreys 16
5. Wasps 14
6. Clermont 14
7. Stade Français 14
8. Ulster 13

Ospreys with a home quarter-final in their sights.

Imagine they'd beaten Clermont away as they should've done. They'd be second (if not first).

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Post by George Carlin Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:39 am

The Challenge Cup is going to throw up some good quarter final matches at this rate.

I expect Connacht, Dragons, Quins, Gloucester, Edinburgh, Sale, Grenoble and Montpellier. That's good quality competition.
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Post by nathan Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:06 am

Risca Rev wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:As they say on Sky, here's the qualifiers, as it stands.

1. Saracens 19
2. Leicester 18
3. Racing 17
4. Ospreys 16
5. Wasps 14
6. Clermont 14
7. Stade Français 14
8. Ulster 13

Ospreys with a home quarter-final in their sights.

Imagine they'd beaten Clermont away as they should've done. They'd be second (if not first).

Isn't that table showing ospreys poinst including from the game this week?

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Post by LondonTiger Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:50 am

As it currently stands:

1) Saracens 24 (Q)
2) Leicester 23 (Q)
3) Racing 92 17*
4) Ospreys 16
5) Wasps 14*
6) Stade 14
7) Clermont 14
8) Ulster 13

9) Toulon 12*
10) Northampton 10*


* Playing Round 5 today.

Probable that after todays matches we will see:

1) Saracens
2) Leicester
3) Racing
4) Ospreys
5) Toulon
6) Wasps
7) Stade
8) Clermont

Should Racing beat Scarlets, and Toulon beat Wasps. Of course a TBP for Saints would see Clermont drop out of the top 8




any errors in my maths and rankings are the fault of my own stupidity.

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Post by eirebilly Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:28 am

Am really hoping that Ulster can pull off a TBP win, that's the only way I can see them getting to the 1/4 finals. Would have been easier had they got a LBP against Sarries but they just could not live with them in the 2nd half.

I know I should expect the Tigers to be there or there abouts but for me, they have really been the quiet side this year (not much made of them in the media compared to other sides) but they have been very very good. No team will want to go to WR for a 1/4 final.
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Post by eirebilly Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:30 am

Also, massive credit to the Osprey's who have performed brilliantly, excellent win on Friday night and I do hope they get a home 1/4 final.
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Post by LondonTiger Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:42 am

eirebilly wrote:I know I should expect the Tigers to be there or there abouts but for me, they have really been the quiet side this year (not much made of them in the media compared to other sides) but they have been very very good. No team will want to go to WR for a 1/4 final.

We have had the easiest group though.

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Post by eirebilly Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:49 am

LondonTiger wrote:
eirebilly wrote:I know I should expect the Tigers to be there or there abouts but for me, they have really been the quiet side this year (not much made of them in the media compared to other sides) but they have been very very good. No team will want to go to WR for a 1/4 final.

We have had the easiest group though.

In retrospect you have but on paper a group containing Leicester, Munster and Stade does not look easy or is this a subtle urine take that I have missed Wink
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Post by mikey_dragon Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:01 am

eirebilly wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
eirebilly wrote:I know I should expect the Tigers to be there or there abouts but for me, they have really been the quiet side this year (not much made of them in the media compared to other sides) but they have been very very good. No team will want to go to WR for a 1/4 final.

We have had the easiest group though.

In retrospect you have but on paper a group containing Leicester, Munster and Stade does not look easy or is this a subtle urine take that I have missed Wink

I said the same about Tigers pretty much, and the fact that they were in a tough group makes it seem a whole lot better. I don't see how anyone thinks that's an easy group despite Munster and Stade going backwards this season.

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Post by eirebilly Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:07 am

I agree Mikey, I think LT was having a subtle urine take thumbsup
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Post by LondonTiger Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:23 am

Treviso are a guaranteed 10 points, so already that makes it an easier group than some.

True I expected more from Munster, but really my gut feel is that while we may well make the semi-final with a hom 1/4, we are really some way below the standard you would expect from a "Top 4" euro side.

Reckon we would have struggled if in Exeter, Bath/Wasps, saints groups - and would not have won in belfast as we did at Thomond.

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Post by yappysnap Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:34 am

LT is a natural pessimist as well. Tigers are playing very well, they're not the complete package yet but have the mindset for big games and the pack to pressure most oppositions.

I was really hoping this season would see Toulon miss out, it'll be a real shame if they manage to sneak in now because of the other sides in their pool dropping off the pace.

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