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Former Cheetahs star: PRO14 is a B-rate competition

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Former Cheetahs star: PRO14 is a B-rate competition Empty Former Cheetahs star: PRO14 is a B-rate competition

Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 1:47 pm

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/PRO14/former-cheetahs-star-pro14-is-a-b-rated-competition-20190412

Former Cheetahs flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba is not happy to see his former team participate in the PRO14.

In an exclusive interview with Sport24, Tsimba said the PRO14 cannot be held in the same regard as Super Rugby.

The Cheetahs and Southern Kings joined the European competition in 2017 when they lost their Super Rugby status.

“I haven’t really bought into the idea of the Cheetahs moving to that competition. I think the PRO14 is a B-rate competition because you don’t see the top players from the likes of Munster and Leinster released to play in that league. Only when they play in the European Cup, do you see all their top players. It makes a statement in terms of how they see the PRO14,” Tsimba said.

The 44-year-old Tsimba, who played for the Cheetahs between 2000 and 2005, also has his reservations on whether the PRO14 benefits South African rugby.

“Whether it’s bringing financial benefit, the Cheetahs will know in the long run, but the crowd attendances haven’t been impressive. Is the PRO14 benefiting South African rugby or is it costing us more money? And how many players are we developing?

“The Cheetahs always used to develop players some of whom went on to star for the Springboks. However, if I look at the current team it looks like they are trying to get numbers to survive in a competition that doesn’t really enhance South African rugby from my point of view."

Tsimba, who is currently the coach and director of rugby at St Alban’s College in Pretoria, added: “For me, the PRO14 is a competition that is neither here nor there. Super Rugby far exceeds the standard of the PRO14. You have got stars that European clubs are offering big contracts to, which is an indication that Super Rugby possesses the world’s best players.”

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Post by Eejit on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 1:50 pm

B*llocks.

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Post by Redman on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:00 pm

Presumably the implication is he'd rather have seen the Cheetahs and Kings be disbanded or significantly downsized rather than play in the Pro14. You can't have your cake and eat it pal.

And the idea that Munster and Leinster don't play their internationals in the league is demonstrably false.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:28 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/PRO14/former-cheetahs-star-pro14-is-a-b-rated-competition-20190412

Former Cheetahs flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba is not happy to see his former team participate in the PRO14.

In an exclusive interview with Sport24, Tsimba said the PRO14 cannot be held in the same regard as Super Rugby.

The Cheetahs and Southern Kings joined the European competition in 2017 when they lost their Super Rugby status.

“I haven’t really bought into the idea of the Cheetahs moving to that competition. I think the PRO14 is a B-rate competition because you don’t see the top players from the likes of Munster and Leinster released to play in that league. Only when they play in the European Cup, do you see all their top players. It makes a statement in terms of how they see the PRO14,” Tsimba said.

The 44-year-old Tsimba, who played for the Cheetahs between 2000 and 2005, also has his reservations on whether the PRO14 benefits South African rugby.

“Whether it’s bringing financial benefit, the Cheetahs will know in the long run, but the crowd attendances haven’t been impressive. Is the PRO14 benefiting South African rugby or is it costing us more money? And how many players are we developing?

“The Cheetahs always used to develop players some of whom went on to star for the Springboks. However, if I look at the current team it looks like they are trying to get numbers to survive in a competition that doesn’t really enhance South African rugby from my point of view."

Tsimba, who is currently the coach and director of rugby at St Alban’s College in Pretoria, added: “For me, the PRO14 is a competition that is neither here nor there. Super Rugby far exceeds the standard of the PRO14. You have got stars that European clubs are offering big contracts to, which is an indication that Super Rugby possesses the world’s best players.”

Couple of points:
Kennedy Tsimba has not played in the pro 14 so isn't really a reliable authority on it.
Secondly, super rugby sides don't always play all their top players either especially the international ones when the games are played away.
With rotation Leinster are still beating the Cheetahs so his points are fairly moot.
Finally, I have been to a super rugby game now and while I enjoyed it a lot I don't think the rugby was much better than the pro 14 at all.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:43 pm

So an ex player who has never played in the competition, spouts easily disprovable guff and rugbyfan100 gets all excited that it's more proof that the league his team plays in is rubbish.

It must be hard work being this angry and constantly looking for someone to blame for your team being gash. But fair play to the lad he works hard at it.
I'm sure Phill is proud of him

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:46 pm

carpet baboon wrote: and rugbyfan100 gets all excited that it's more proof that the league his team plays in is rubbish.


I'm merely posting an article about what ex players thinks about the league. I haven't commented on it whatsoever.

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Post by carpet baboon on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:49 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
carpet baboon wrote: and rugbyfan100 gets all excited that it's more proof that the league his team plays in is rubbish.


I'm merely posting an article about what ex players thinks about the league. I haven't commented on it whatsoever.

You have posted enough for us to know what your opinion is thanks fan.

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Post by Eejit on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 2:59 pm

Last seasons Super Touch quarter finalists were Crusaders, Lions, Hurricanes, Waratahs. Ours was Leinster, Scarlets, Glasgow and Munster.

With the exception of Scarlets who have sort of gone off the deep end this season with Pivac leaving, but they were playing bloody good stuff last year. I really don't think there is an awful lot between those sets of teams.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 3:01 pm

Neither do I. You could make an argument for the Crusaders being on another level but you could probably say the same for Leinster.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 3:02 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
carpet baboon wrote: and rugbyfan100 gets all excited that it's more proof that the league his team plays in is rubbish.


I'm merely posting an article about what ex players thinks about the league. I haven't commented on it whatsoever.

You have posted enough for us to know what your opinion is thanks fan.

Cue the usual accusation of people not listening to the complaints about the league from those who ignore the fact that rotation is a part of modern rugby

More regularly now, you see teams in the Prem make wholesale changes for a league game against teams higher up such as Saracens and basically write the game off and focus on a bigger game the following week against a team they are competing against directly

It's no coincidence that the teams who are most guilty of resting key players at times are the top teams, maybe there's a correlation there

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 3:27 pm

The one thing I will say though is that the SA teams should get qualification to the champions cup if they win the pro 14. After all the champions cup is the Euro equivalent to super rugby. I think they have done their time now.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 3:47 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:The one thing I will say though is that the SA teams should get qualification to the champions cup if they win the pro 14. After all the champions cup is the Euro equivalent to super rugby. I think they have done their time now.

No, the Pro 14 is the equivalent to Super Rugby.

The SH has not Euro cup equivalent!

It would never happen as players are too tired as it is, but I'd love to see world club cup - just a little one, where these clubs play each other. Then we'd see which competition was the best. Perhaps have it once every two years when there is no World cup or Lions tour?

Lets just say we have

Leinster
Exeter
Racing
Cursaders

Leinster play Exeter
Racing play Crusaders

Winners of the above play each other in a grand final. Take it in turns to play it in the city (or union HQ) of the winning champ from each league
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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 4:02 pm

How is super rugby not the SH equivalent of the Champions cup? Both cups combine all the top teams of the SH and NH respectively. Format and qualification might be different but the key point is that they are the only top level cross league tournaments in each hemisphere.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 4:04 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:How is super rugby not the SH equivalent of the Champions cup? Both cups combine all the top teams of the SH and NH respectively. Format and qualification might be different but the key point is that they are the only top level cross league tournaments in each hemisphere.

How do teams qualify to play in Super Rugby to show they are the best in the SH?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 4:07 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:How is super rugby not the SH equivalent of the Champions cup? Both cups combine all the top teams of the SH and NH respectively. Format and qualification might be different but the key point is that they are the only top level cross league tournaments in each hemisphere.

How do teams qualify to play in Super Rugby to show they are the best in the SH?

They have to win their national conference to get to the knock stages. In NH teams win their league to get to the cup. That that dissimilar but like I said qualification and format aren't the same.

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Post by rodders on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 4:09 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:The one thing I will say though is that the SA teams should get qualification to the champions cup if they win the pro 14. After all the champions cup is the Euro equivalent to super rugby. I think they have done their time now.

I agree.
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Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 4:17 pm

Super Rugby is the equivalent of the Champions Cup just not the same teams each year.

This year the Champions Cup was I think
6 French
7 English
3 Irish
2 Scots
2 Welsh.

Apart from Clermont few would argue they didn't include the top 15 NH teams this year. If Cheetahs played in any of the group's as a 3rd or 4th seed would they have won two games.

If he is giving out that Cheetahs finished 3rd in Conference A while only beating Zebre away from home shows how rubbish the league is he has no idea.  This year teams have worked out the long trip so Cheetahs are doing worse (about the same as Super Rugby).  If the top teams then put out their top team against the Cheetaths they would lose to the top teams by 50points.  If you aren't good enough for the B team worry about that because the A team would embrace you.

Anyone who follows SR knows that thd Unions more so NZ & Oz make certain players have rest periods.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 5:05 pm

Brendan wrote:Super Rugby is the equivalent of the Champions Cup just not the same teams each year.

No and perhaps.

No because the SR teams do not play in another competition. If the Mitre Cup, Currie Cup teams qualified for SR then it would be equivalent.

Perhaps because both are the elite non-international  competition for their hemisphere. However while Champions Cup has the best NH teams, not all the best players feature each season. AWJ won 6Ns player of the year but is in lower tier in Europe this season.

One thing against Cheetahs being allowed to qualify for Europe is that any players shining in Pro14 will be moved to a SR franchise.

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Post by profitius on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 5:37 pm

I don't get what point he's making. It's not good enough for the cheetahs or kings? Those strugglers?


As for rotation, every league does it. NZ rest all their star players especially in seasons leading up to the world cup.
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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 5:45 pm

So a player who has never played in a competition passes comment.
He then mentions players not playing for teams that are still too good for his team
Nothing to see here....

Super Rugby is not like European Cup for the simple reason you do not have qualify to play in it.
Super Rugby is a multi-national league competition covering 4 countries, bit like the Pro14 infact, which cover 5 countries

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Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 5:57 pm

Having the Champions Cup I think is better than the SR format. Just like the SR conferences groups can seem unfair but I love the fact you get different teams you don't play that much. It's almost a disappointment when you get the same team as last year.

I think if you did the top 15 teams in Europe v the SR teams the NH would match up well. I think the argument that the top teams in the NH have SH players is offset by as Tiger points out plenty of good NH players are in the challange cup.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 6:00 pm

Us Europeans love our many cups for one team rather than the SH model of different teams play in different cups

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Post by Brendan on Fri 12 Apr 2019, 6:25 pm

When is the next participation agreement for the European cups.

I wouldnt mind going back to 24 in the top tier especially if two of the SA SR teams come North as is discussed. 7 from the T14 and Prem (+1 each) and 9 from the Pro16 (+2) with the winner of the Challenge Cup getting the spot (or their league)

I think it's inevitable that the Premiership will be ring fenced and as a carrot a non PRL team will be included for 3-5 years, bringing them up to 14 teams (as I can't see them having 13 teams or excluding one).  If they ringfence the salary cap will go as there is no need to worry about relegation.

Glaws the extra team this year from the  Challange place and Ulster the 7th Pro14 team. Neither made the groups they were in weaker.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 14 Apr 2019, 12:12 pm

Why would Tsimba berate the PRO14 by calling it "B-rate"?

SARU are investing in the PRO14 to the detriment of Super Rugby, as they see it as a better fit both financially and rugbywise. Tsimba's choice to speak out against the PRO14 implies that he is worried it is a threat rather than a poor version of Super Rugby.

St Alban's College and Tsimba have close connections to the Blue Bulls. Could Kennedy be worried that the PRO14 is showcasing South African talent in the northern hemisphere marketplace and maybe the Bulls are concerned that promising school players choose the PRO14 route to a professional career rather than through them?

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Post by Brendan on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 4:49 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Why would Tsimba berate the PRO14 by calling it "B-rate"?

SARU are investing in the PRO14 to the detriment of Super Rugby, as they see it as a better fit both financially and rugbywise. Tsimba's choice to speak out against the PRO14 implies that he is worried it is a threat rather than a poor version of Super Rugby.

St Alban's College and Tsimba have close connections to the Blue Bulls. Could Kennedy be worried that the PRO14 is showcasing South African talent in the northern hemisphere marketplace and maybe the Bulls are concerned that promising school players choose the PRO14 route to a professional career rather than through them?

I think he feels that the Cheetahs are not the team they were when he was playing.  The cheetahs don't have any internationals not because they are in the Pro14 but because they have no money.  His uneducated opinions of NH rugby are also stuck in a time when the Cheetahs were better.

Everyone in the upper levels of Rugby Management know that they need to head North they just aren't there yet mentally to make the jump as they know it will result in Super Rugby being a 2nd tier competition much like South America has in Football.  With the Nations league the last hope of SH finances I am not sure how much longer they can keep their players at home on SANZAAR money that is falling more behind every 6N country.

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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 5:35 pm

In terms of standars, I've say the Currie Cup/domestic level SANZAR competitions are on par with a middling Pro14/Premiership game. That's also reflected in the players who've done well there - Hadleigh Parkes, Johnny McNicholl - doing well in the Pro14. But at Super Rugby, even if there's rotation for away games etc., bit's like the very, very best Pro14 games: think knockout time, and more likely finals themselves. The closer comparison, and fairer comparison, would be a good Champions Cup game, from the group stages up to the final. The key marker that separates the Pro14 and Champions Cup/Super Rugby is physicality and intensity. Players at the domesitc levels 'look' like most Pro14 players: well built, all around 6ftish, decent strength etc. Ultimately, they looked like rugby players looked 15 years ago. But for Super Rugby/ECC, the players are the size of test players: you have to have super strength, be extra quick etc. to survive, individually and collectively. It's why th French teams usually did so well in it, but now they're imploding/forgetting the skills part, so Toulouse are flourishing again. But that's the big difference - physicality. 6ft6+ locks are standard/expected, big bruising players who can play at pace a necessity.

The key difference between NH and SH is attitude to the game. The defences aren't as good in Super Rugby, that's just a reality. But the attack is generally a lot better. The basic skills are better. Watching Jaguares again this season and you understand why they're able to do what they did against Ireland in 2015 - it helps to have that 'muscle memory' of knowing how to spread the ball. Jaguares just scored 50+ points in SA, which isn't bad going. I watch Leinster and I think 'well coached system'. I watch Super Rugby and I think 'good basic skills'.

He's not wrong in his assessment that the Pro14 is a weak league. At its worst - Scarlets v Zebre at the weekend was a dreadful standard, but consider Dragons, Zebre, Kings every week - it's much, much worse than the worst performance Super Rugby sees. It's worse than anything in the English Premiership. It's also worse than Mitre 10/Currie Cup. But at its best it sits somewhere between those comps and Super Rugby.

What Tsimba is doing is thinking about the glory days of the Super 12, when it surpassed anything in the Northern Hemisphere, up until a few years ago (2012/13ish) when NH clubs started improving across the board, particularly in England with the increased attitude to running/attacking rugby.

Super Rugby doesn't have as big a gap as it did to the North when he was playing. It's also highly variable, it has its own issues with the conference system and resting players. And no doubt Taylor will be happy: it's suffered/the North has gained through player and coaching migration, for sure.

This sounds like an emotive and slightly embittered interview/statement, and one that's easy to sympathise with. SA rugby shouldn't have to play second fiddle to the NH - it's also questionable about getting too highly attached to European money for various reasons as well. It's hard to see any team/thing you've succeed with and strived within either fail or decline. That's surely where it's coming from. Pumping the Dragons aside, the Cheetahs are a powderpuff team who are probably Currie Cup standard themselves. In 2-3 seasons, however, you'd expect them to be a lot better. But they're also on a hiding to nothing - their better players (Cassiem, Bloementjies, Maxwane) were siphoned off to Super Rugby or NH clubs, with mixed success for the latter. They did what they had to do to survive but to reach a point of 'thriving' seems almost impossible.

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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 5:45 pm

Mapimpi, not Maxwane...

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:01 pm

Always good to have balance:

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/pro-14-tougher-than-super-rugby

Cheetahs CEO: ‘Struggling Cheetahs claim the Pro14 is tougher than Super Rugby.

“Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster has added more fuel to the North v South debate after making the claim that the Pro14 is, in many ways, a tougher competition than what the Cheetahs were faced with in Super Rugby.

When Super Rugby revamped their structure at the end of 2017, the Cheetahs, Kings and Australia’s Western Force were dropped from the competition.


While the Western Force have found new life in Perth philanthropist Andrew Forrest’s Global Rapid Rugby competition, the Cheetahs and the Kings shifted their attention to the European market and are now competing with the top Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Italian teams in the Pro14 competition.

The two South African teams have had a torrid time so far in the competition: the Cheetahs managed a to make the quarterfinals last season but have found points much harder to come by in 2019, while the Kings have managed just three wins in the last two seasons.

Verster, who spoke to SuperSport in South Africa, may have shed some light on why the change to the Pro14 has been so challenging so far.

“We expected it to be a soft competition, not a tough one. But it is tougher than Super Rugby in some instances,” Verster said.

“If you play Leinster in Dublin, it is too tough to handle. Most of those players played for Ireland, and beat the All Blacks last year. Wales – all of those players play PRO14 and they won the Six Nations. Scotland almost hammered England and all those players played PRO14.”

While the cold, wet and sometimes snowy winter matches have been exceptionally challenging for the Cheetahs, Verster believes that the northern teams face just as difficult a time when they travel to South Africa: “They have to play here when it is hot and it is tough for them.”


Adjusting to the Pro14 competition has proved a difficult hurdle for the Cheetahs and the Kings, but a big factor in their failure to perform would also have to be that after the Super Rugby cull, many players have relocated to other teams in Europe and Japan. Both squads have also lost some of their top players to the other South African teams still competing in Super Rugby.

Given South Africa’s vested interest in Super Rugby and the wider population’s perception that the South Africa Rugby Union belief is that the southern hemisphere competition is still the best available to the South Africans, it’s not a huge surprise that Cheetahs and Kings players may feel they have less of a chance of being promoted into the international squad than their compatriots still playing in Super Rugby.

Whether the Pro14 is actually a more difficult competition than Super Rugby will debated for years to come, but the only two teams to have featured in both competitions have certainly had a difficult time transitioning from Southern Hemisphere rugby to Northern Hemisphere rugby.

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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:06 pm

"Scotland almost hammered England" Shocked

No doubt it's more directly physical/structured than they're used to, and they're struggling with that, but this feels like marketing speech as much as anything. Or, a slightly positive spin on things, anyway...

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Post by Brendan on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:17 pm

Maitre 10 and Currie Cup are both lower than Pro14.

I don't think the difference between the none NZ Super Rugby teams are much different from the 3 NH leagues. When people talk about Super Rugby they usually mean Crusaders, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Highlanders and Lions.  It's not like the Kings struggled their last season in SR.

Zebre and Dargons do fine in Europe and are usually compeditive.
Cheetahs only did well last year because the trip to SA was unusual so lots of problems.  This year the teams know what it involves and Cheetahs have a much less impressive record this year.

Cheetahs coach also talked about how much more physically demanding it is and how much more technical all aspects of the game is in the NH and you get punished alot more for errors.  How many of the non NZ teams would be bullied off the park and ground into the dirt like the Cheetahs were their first season.  We all know a big pack is all you need for the two SA teams to win. Again look what the Ospreys did to the Cheetahs recently.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:19 pm

miaow wrote:"Scotland almost hammered England" Shocked

No doubt it's more directly physical/structured than they're used to, and they're struggling with that, but this feels like marketing speech as much as anything. Or, a slightly positive spin on things, anyway...

The fact none of the Australian teams couldn't beat a NZ team home or away for over a season tells you the strenght of the NON NZ teams


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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:26 pm



Looks similar standard to Pro14 for me. Less structured, less defensive, for sure. But still, similar standard: better attack, worse defence.







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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:27 pm

Also, Kings and Cheetahs got decimated when they moved up North. Most of their squads disbanded I think.

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Post by Guest on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 6:30 pm

Brendan wrote:
miaow wrote:"Scotland almost hammered England" Shocked

No doubt it's more directly physical/structured than they're used to, and they're struggling with that, but this feels like marketing speech as much as anything. Or, a slightly positive spin on things, anyway...

The fact none of the Australian teams could beat a NZ team home or away for over a season tells you the strenght of the NON NZ teams

Still, I watch some of the rugby the Rebels this season and the Reds have put in - and even the Waratahs, winning againt the Crusaders - and Brumbies as well, and though the COMPLETE game isn't better than the Pro14 in every aspect, there are some elements that are significantly better than we typically see. Quade Cooper is the epitome of that: sometimes brilliant, but played a part in conceding 2/3 tries last week.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:11 pm

Pro 14 will probably be the strongest tournament in Europe fairly soon if it isn't already. Its strength amongst others is that it isn't restricted to one country and therefore the possibilities for expansion are fairly exciting.

Plenty of talk of the Bulls, Stormers and Sharks looking to join the pro 14. My preference would be for the Stormers to join as they are from Cape Town as this is probably a bit more accessible than Pretoria or Durban.

Exciting times.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:18 pm

Cape Town would be great and would be a trip that would definitely appeal to me.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:19 pm

It would be amazing for the Pro14 if any of the Bulls / Stormers / Sharks / Lions were willing and allowed to join

The first three are so prestigious in terms of club rugby, while the Lions have been the best of the lot recently. Would be a real statement of intent by the SARU if they were willing to allow any of them to join

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Post by Brendan on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:47 pm

BamBam wrote:It would be amazing for the Pro14 if any of the Bulls / Stormers / Sharks / Lions were willing and allowed to join

The first three are so prestigious in terms of club rugby, while the Lions have been the best of the lot recently. Would be a real statement of intent by the SARU if they were willing to allow any of them to join

It all comes down to European places. The 4 teams are businesses and some will demand entrance for European comp money. Lions CEO said it would be hard to say no to.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:55 pm

Yeah well they should be given Euro cup access but Id imagine the greedy PRL and the French league would probably make it tough for them.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:50 pm

Surely you'd just stick to the top 7 teams qualifying from whatever the Pro14 calls itself, the English and French boogeymen wouldn't have any say in that

If it required a full scale re org of the whole competition, well I for one would rather kiss LordDowlais than go through that again

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Post by Brendan on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 6:03 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Yeah well they should be given Euro cup access but Id imagine the greedy PRL and the French league would probably make it tough for them.

I am fairly sure they would be happy to have them in as they bring more money for everyone. More money is fine. As much as we hated the Champions Cup changes the league has got stronger. I see Europe going back up to 24 teams in the next agreement.

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