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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 12:04 pm

First topic message reminder :

Pool 1
Northampton & Leinster
Lyon & Benetton

Pool 2
Exeter & Sale
Glasgow & La Rochelle

Pool 3
Ulster & Quins
Clermont & Bath

Pool 4
Racing & Ospreys
Munster & Saracens

Pool 5
Toulouse & Montpelier
Connacht & Gloucester

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Post by BigGee on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:32 pm

BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!


They’re just running scared of the Dragons, playing in that there ‘Champions Cup’.
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Post by SecretFly on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:42 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

Complain about Jamie and then shamelessly use his best line, Mikey Wink Run

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:43 pm

BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

Between Leinster, Sarries and Racing for the silverware this year it seems. Reckon Ulster might get as far as a semi final but probably a repeat of last year's final on the cards.

Leinster were brutally clinical in attack but conceded some soft tries.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:54 pm

SecretFly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

Complain about Jamie and then shamelessly use his best line, Mikey Wink Run

We, Joe Public, are allowed to say it. Just not former players! Very Happy
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Post by SecretFly on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:56 pm

Yep.  It was a good performance from Leinster but it lacked a lot too.

Perhaps that was smart tactical stuff that was informed by how they expected Northampton to respond to the game last week.  It wasn't as smooth as it could be but the jaggedness probably stopped Northampton finding a rhythm too.

Strange mood though... even with the tries.  Players on both sides seemed to be feeling a bit tired at the end but the intensity wasn't there for me from Leinster; or perhaps I should say more accurately that fluidity wasn't there

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 8:27 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

Between Leinster, Sarries and Racing for the silverware this year it seems. Reckon Ulster might get as far as a semi final but probably a repeat of last year's final on the cards.

Leinster were brutally clinical in attack but conceded some soft tries.

Sarries? Thought they were bottling it. They’re still good enough to win their home games but will lose too much away. Clermont and Toulouse might do better.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 8:28 pm

Given their difficult position in the league Saracens should try and get the Munster doctor for every game to give them a gee up. It is amazing what a little bit of Irish bigotry can do.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 8:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

Between Leinster, Sarries and Racing for the silverware this year it seems. Reckon Ulster might get as far as a semi final but probably a repeat of last year's final on the cards.

Leinster were brutally clinical in attack but conceded some soft tries.

Sarries? Thought they were bottling it. They’re still good enough to win their home games but will lose too much away. Clermont and Toulouse might do better.

They've played weakened teams away from home so far. Saving their English players for the league. I assume they've decided winning all three home games plus the final away game and getting what they can from the other away games (1LBP) will be enough. If they're struggling in the league they might abandon their last two games but I don't think they'll be in that position.

Clermont look very hit and miss, they'll either smash you and score 30-40 points or struggle to get more than 12.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 11:02 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

Between Leinster, Sarries and Racing for the silverware this year it seems. Reckon Ulster might get as far as a semi final but probably a repeat of last year's final on the cards.

Leinster were brutally clinical in attack but conceded some soft tries.

Sarries? Thought they were bottling it. They’re still good enough to win their home games but will lose too much away. Clermont and Toulouse might do better.

They've played weakened teams away from home so far. Saving their English players for the league. I assume they've decided winning all three home games plus the final away game and getting what they can from the other away games (1LBP) will be enough. If they're struggling in the league they might abandon their last two games but I don't think they'll be in that position.

Clermont look very hit and miss, they'll either smash you and score 30-40 points or struggle to get more than 12.
Sarries will I suspect get through group. I also expect by the final stages of the Euro comp they will be fairly safe in league. If so at that stage they can play their first team and if they do there is no team in Europe that can touch them as their results over the last few seasons shows.

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Post by Brendan on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 11:27 pm

The only problem Sarries have is they can only get 20 pts and are unlikely to finish first in the group Racing to beat Munster puts them on 21).
Ulster are currently on 17 and should get 4 pts against Bath leaving them on 21.

This means Sarries will play either Leinster or Toulouse away in the quarters.  But you could also see them away to Exeter which would be a real grudge match.  I am sure that would be the one match that Sarries would put out a full strenght team for and would really want to win.  It would be their Premership final.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 2:26 am

Any thoughts on that Leinster first try? I'm all in favour of referees calling "advantage over" much earlier, especially for knock-on offences. Can't recall seeing one that fast, though. The referee called it as the ball left the kicker's foot, so awarded the try after it was charged down by Ringrose.

The chargedown happened so fast, the referee must have been preparing to call advantage over as the player shaped to kick. That means he regarded the decision to kick as the use of the advantage, regardless of whether it was an effective kick. I suppose I don't mind that but I'd be a bit miffed if I totally miscued it, or did an air miss, and that was deemed advatntage over. In this case, it was just a poor kick, too low to clear Ringrose.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 2:29 am



On looking back, I can now see that the referee called advantage over when he deemed the Saints runner crossed the gainline, rather than when he shaped to kick.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 12:04 pm

Irish lost to Toulon eh, the French must be one of the form teams in the comp along with Bristol.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 2:34 pm

Exeter vs Sale players are off for a hailstorm

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 3:42 pm

Looks like Bath could get blown away too...

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 6:34 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Looks like Bath could get blown away too...

Oh here we go again!

Threats, public statements, reprimands, fines, gyme inna disrepute and all that jazz. Club always tries to out do International!

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 10:04 am

Okay.  Someone help me out here (,cause I'm too lazy to do the necessary research to work it out)... judging by commentary pieces I've been reading, it seems that Leinster are already through with two games left to play.  But Exeter, it seems....., still isn't in that position yet?

I look at the tables and I can't work out why that is. At a quick glance, their respective pools look very similar. Please.... someone explain the simples Wink

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 10:07 am

SecretFly wrote:Okay.  Someone help me out here (,cause I'm too lazy to do the necessary research to work it out)... judging by commentary pieces I've been reading, it seems that Leinster are already through with two games left to play.  But Exeter, it seems....., still isn't in that position yet?

I look at the tables and I can't work out why that is.  At a quick glance, their respective pools look very similar.  Please.... someone explain the simples Wink

Leinster can, theoretically, be caught by Saints - but they have played all their games and the first decider is the head to head.

Exeter can, theoretically, be caughts by Glasgow - but they still have a game to play so Glasgow could still, theoretically, win the head to head.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 10:23 am

OK Thanks Tiger. I guessed it was along those lines but I'm too tired to think straight.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 10:27 am

SecretFly wrote:OK Thanks Tiger.  I guessed it was along those lines but I'm too tired to think straight.

No problems, was trying to explain it to my father yesterday so it was still vaguely in the forefront of my mind.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 11:49 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigGee wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster are pretty awesome.

They seem to be at another level to the rest!

Between Leinster, Sarries and Racing for the silverware this year it seems. Reckon Ulster might get as far as a semi final but probably a repeat of last year's final on the cards.

Leinster were brutally clinical in attack but conceded some soft tries.

You don't think Chiefs are in with a shout then?

They're going about their business efficiently and it seems for some people, under the radar. Although what you said does bring up the old moan that annually, the only clubs that appear to be capable of winning are English clubs breaching the salary cap, French sides for whom money is no object and Irish sidea that for whom not only is money no object, their mickey mouse Pro14 league is designed entirely to give them the best opportunity of winning year on year.

Its biased and rubbish, and it devalues the competition.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 11:53 am

Don't watch it then.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 12:03 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Don't watch it then.

picard

I didn't say it wasn't worth watching, I said the bias towards the Irish and French sides devalues 'true' competition. Its no accident that the only English club able to get anywhere near the title in recent years were Saracens, who were, for want of a better word, 'cheating'.

There can be little incentive for a good proportion of the teams qualifying for it (and until recently, that was automatic for the Pro14) to take it seriously - and it shows. Again, devalued.

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Post by carpet baboon on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:08 pm

How is the pro14 setup for the Irish to win Europe?
As it's set up the same way for the Welsh Scots Italians and Saffers.

Also may be worth pointing out that the top two spots in each pro14 conference are all Irish showing clearly how we priorities the Eurocup each year.


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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:11 pm

carpet baboon wrote:How is the pro14 setup for the Irish to win Europe?
As it's set up the same way for the Welsh Scots Italians and Saffers.

Also may be worth pointing out that the top two spots in each pro14 conference are all Irish showing clearly how we priorities the Eurocup each year.


That's the point though - the Pro14 is set up entirely so that the teams within it can prioritise European Cup rugby - because the league is a joke.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:12 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How is the pro14 setup for the Irish to win Europe?
As it's set up the same way for the Welsh Scots Italians and Saffers.

Also may be worth pointing out that the top two spots in each pro14 conference are all Irish showing clearly how we priorities the Eurocup each year.


That's the point though - the Pro14 is set up entirely so that the teams within it can prioritise European Cup rugby - because the league is a joke.

How though?

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:23 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How is the pro14 setup for the Irish to win Europe?
As it's set up the same way for the Welsh Scots Italians and Saffers.

Also may be worth pointing out that the top two spots in each pro14 conference are all Irish showing clearly how we priorities the Eurocup each year.


That's the point though - the Pro14 is set up entirely so that the teams within it can prioritise European Cup rugby - because the league is a joke.

How though?

Lets just take a look at the Irish teams - forget the rest, they're pretty average. There is a clear disparity in how Pro14 players are used in domestic games against their appearances in European games. For some key players, its as little as 50% appearances in the domestic leagues versus 6 out of 8 European appearances. Since top players are centrally contracted to the IRFU, players are used more sparingly. There is very little at stake in the ‘domestic’ competition of the Pro14 since until recently, qualification for Europe was automatic in the following season’s Heineken Cup and now, with their resources, little has changed.

The lack of real pressure and the implicit financial subsidy involved in the central contracting of Irish players are distortions in the “level playing field” in European rugby in Irish clubs’ favour.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:31 pm

Ha ha. If you take away your obvious hatred of Ireland and the Pro 14, you'll note that in the last 7 years, all winners of the CC have been French or English.

Apart from one year.

Once.

But you're right.....it's not fair.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:43 pm

I get the sense that Khouli Khan may well be a supporter of Corbyn's Labour.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:58 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Ha ha. If you take away your obvious hatred of Ireland and the Pro 14, you'll note that in the last 7 years, all winners of the CC have been French or English.

Apart from one year.

Once.

But you're right.....it's not fair.

Well, they certainly weren't Scottish or Welsh were they.

I don't hate Irish sides - I don't rate the Pro14 necessarily but that aside, I dislike what I (and many others perceive to be) an unlevel playing field. I think i've already said that the Irish and the French have a big financial advantage and that the only English side to win recently were cheating in order to keep up. The Pro 14 does allow Irish teams to rotate their squads at the expense of the league, money is of no real object and players are centrally contracted. Its biased in favour of those clubs - I do not believe it should be that difficult to understand - in fact, I heard some of the pundits during the recent weeks mentioning it explicitly.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 2:58 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I get the sense that Khouli Khan may well be a supporter of Corbyn's Labour.

Then you fairly obviously have no sense.....

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:09 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Ha ha. If you take away your obvious hatred of Ireland and the Pro 14, you'll note that in the last 7 years, all winners of the CC have been French or English.

Apart from one year.

Once.

But you're right.....it's not fair.

Well, they certainly weren't Scottish or Welsh were they.

I don't hate Irish sides - I don't rate the Pro14 necessarily but that aside, I dislike what I (and many others perceive to be) an unlevel playing field. I think i've already said that the Irish and the French have a big financial advantage and that the only English side to win recently were cheating in order to keep up. The Pro 14 does allow Irish teams to rotate their squads at the expense of the league, money is of no real object and players are centrally contracted. Its biased in favour of those clubs - I do not believe it should be that difficult to understand - in fact, I heard some of the pundits during the recent weeks mentioning it explicitly.

If an Irish team had won the last 10 CC's you'd have a point.

But they haven't.

So you haven't.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:19 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:How is the pro14 setup for the Irish to win Europe?
As it's set up the same way for the Welsh Scots Italians and Saffers.

Also may be worth pointing out that the top two spots in each pro14 conference are all Irish showing clearly how we priorities the Eurocup each year.


That's the point though - the Pro14 is set up entirely so that the teams within it can prioritise European Cup rugby - because the league is a joke.

How though?

Lets just take a look at the Irish teams - forget the rest, they're pretty average. There is a clear disparity in how Pro14 players are used in domestic games against their appearances in European games. For some key players, its as little as 50% appearances in the domestic leagues versus 6 out of 8 European appearances. Since top players are centrally contracted to the IRFU, players are used more sparingly. There is very little at stake in the ‘domestic’ competition of the Pro14 since until recently, qualification for Europe was automatic in the following season’s Heineken Cup and now, with their resources, little has changed.

The lack of real pressure and the implicit financial subsidy involved in the central contracting of Irish players are distortions in the “level playing field” in European rugby in Irish clubs’ favour.

I'm not entirely sure where you're getting your information from, but seems a little outdated. The Irish teams certainly aren't average, they're few in number and can turn over most in England and France (to a lesser extent Connacht) - only the top 3 or 4 would match them. Let's look at Leinster, forget the rest - because it seems it is them you're referring to. They've been dominating the league with what is largely a 2nd team, this includes beating strong teams away from home like Glasgow. It is mostly a native Irish squad with mostly Irish coaches. Surely it's up to the rest to catch up with the training and retention, rather than bitch and cry that it's unfair? I think the Irish salary cap is less than GP teams and they don't have marquee signings either, but I could be wrong on that one.

To my knowledge, the only other team who can potentially beat everyone else with a largely 2nd team is Saracens. Over the cap yeah but by just the price of one marquee player. Teams that can afford to rest and rotate to this extent is rare so I don't really see what the problem is.

Leinster top the league because they're good. The Irish central contract works for the Provinces and National team, do what works for you. The others need to improve to catch them up. There is pressure, the league is competitive because teams can fight for an automatic home play-off, and then the rest fight for left over play-off spots. Teams also have to fight to be higher up the table so they can qualify for the RCC, so again your view seems a little outdated.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:21 pm

mikey, I think he is saying the non-irish teams are average.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:21 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Ha ha. If you take away your obvious hatred of Ireland and the Pro 14, you'll note that in the last 7 years, all winners of the CC have been French or English.

Apart from one year.

Once.

But you're right.....it's not fair.

Well, they certainly weren't Scottish or Welsh were they.

I don't hate Irish sides - I don't rate the Pro14 necessarily but that aside, I dislike what I (and many others perceive to be) an unlevel playing field. I think i've already said that the Irish and the French have a big financial advantage and that the only English side to win recently were cheating in order to keep up. The Pro 14 does allow Irish teams to rotate their squads at the expense of the league, money is of no real object and players are centrally contracted. Its biased in favour of those clubs - I do not believe it should be that difficult to understand - in fact, I heard some of the pundits during the recent weeks mentioning it explicitly.

If an Irish team had won the last 10 CC's you'd have a point.

But they haven't.

So you haven't.

.

I said the Pro 14 was biased towards allowing its teams to focus on European competition.

It is. In fact, its undeniable.

The Irish teams happen to be the best teams in Europe from that league for mainly financial reasons, but also because they can use their players sparingly when compared to the Gallagher Premiership. The playing field isn't level. The fact that Irish teams are underachieving in Europe given the means at their disposal should be more embarrassing than anything. Okay, Saracens cheated - so that wasn't fair on anybody - if it wasn't for Saracens though, I suspect the likes of Leinster would have done much better.



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Post by Khouli Khan on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:22 pm

LondonTiger wrote:mikey, I think he is saying the non-irish teams are average.

Demonstrably.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:26 pm

Oh yeah, most of the rest are pretty average. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scarlets, Benetton, Connacht and Cardiff are good in cycles - but it's the same for most teams in England and France. Looking at Ospreys, I can't say their current predicament is the fault of the Irish and keep a straight face.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 3:29 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:I said the Pro 14 was biased towards allowing its teams to focus on European competition.

It is. In fact, its undeniable.

The Irish teams happen to be the best teams in Europe from that league for mainly financial reasons, but also because they can use their players sparingly when compared to the Gallagher Premiership. The playing field isn't level. The fact that Irish teams are underachieving in Europe given the means at their disposal should be more embarrassing than anything. Okay, Saracens cheated - so that wasn't fair on anybody - if it wasn't for Saracens though, I suspect the likes of Leinster would have done much better.

But who in the Pro14 and how? I'm not seeing it. We already altered the structure to please you because back then, admittedly, it was an uneven playing field.

Where are you getting this all from? Are you sure you aren't confusing the Irish teams with French and English ones - the big spenders? Buying everything didn't work for Wasps or Montpellier, so if it is embarrassing for anyone it's them for starters.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 4:08 pm

Khouli Khan wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I get the sense that Khouli Khan may well be a supporter of Corbyn's Labour.

Then you fairly obviously have no sense.....

You're as deluded and factually inaccurate as one, hence my sensing a Walter Mitty in our midst.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 6:30 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I get the sense that Khouli Khan may well be a supporter of Corbyn's Labour.

Then you fairly obviously have no sense.....

You're as deluded and factually inaccurate as one, hence my sensing a Walter Mitty in our midst.

You call me deluded and factually inaccurate, then draw an analogy with Walter Mitty. Priceless.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 6:32 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Oh yeah, most of the rest are pretty average. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scarlets, Benetton, Connacht and Cardiff are good in cycles - but it's the same for most teams in England and France. Looking at Ospreys, I can't say their current predicament is the fault of the Irish and keep a straight face.

Yes, quite a few of the GP teams are pretty average too - but then, I never said they weren't. They are however in a rather more cut-throat league than the Pro14.

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Post by carpet baboon on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:49 am

I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:59 am

carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.

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Post by profitius on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 8:43 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.
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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 8:55 am

profitius wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.

I think you're actually reinforce my point.

To achieve success in both league and cup, it is necessary to have a large and competent squad.

Money equals large squads, equals more top class players, equals success. Saracens cheated. The point was made that an Irish Province hasn't won the European Cup for a while - okay - lets take the last ten years. How many DIFFERENT Clubs won the cup?

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:10 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
profitius wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.

I think you're actually reinforce my point.

To achieve success in both league and cup, it is necessary to have a large and competent squad.

Money equals large squads, equals more top class players, equals success. Saracens cheated. The point was made that an Irish Province hasn't won the European Cup for a while - okay - lets take the last ten years. How many DIFFERENT Clubs won the cup?


[th]2017–18[/th]
Champions Cup - Double Headers - Page 3 23px-IRFU_flag.svg IrelandLeinster15–12Racing 92
 they also made the final last year. Its 4 different teams that have won it, and another 6 that have made the final. So a fair spread. 
But yes the general point still remains that Saracens only managed to compete on two fronts by spending over the cap and you need a big squad to compete.
Its worth noting that the Euro games dont clash with the international windows, unlike the league games. The Provinces tend to do pretty well in europe, but do sometimes get shortchanged in the Pro14 especially as the IRFU manages the international players workloads even more than the EPS does. I get the general impression that the provinces tend to be more geared up toward Europe than the Pro14 these days, and the fans generally more interested in that. 
The french still manage a lot of success in Europe despite playing more games than anyone of course. But they also have the most money and biggest squads.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:18 am

Gooseberry wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
profitius wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.

I think you're actually reinforce my point.

To achieve success in both league and cup, it is necessary to have a large and competent squad.

Money equals large squads, equals more top class players, equals success. Saracens cheated. The point was made that an Irish Province hasn't won the European Cup for a while - okay - lets take the last ten years. How many DIFFERENT Clubs won the cup?


[th]2017–18[/th]
Champions Cup - Double Headers - Page 3 23px-IRFU_flag.svg IrelandLeinster15–12Racing 92
 they also made the final last year. Its 4 different teams that have won it, and another 6 that have made the final. So a fair spread. 
But yes the general point still remains that Saracens only managed to compete on two fronts by spending over the cap and you need a big squad to compete.
Its worth noting that the Euro games dont clash with the international windows, unlike the league games. The Provinces tend to do pretty well in europe, but do sometimes get shortchanged in the Pro14 especially as the IRFU manages the international players workloads even more than the EPS does. I get the general impression that the provinces tend to be more geared up toward Europe than the Pro14 these days, and the fans generally more interested in that. 
The french still manage a lot of success in Europe despite playing more games than anyone of course. But they also have the most money and biggest squads.

The other elephant in the room is that the Pro14 exists (and is structured) for two principle reasons - to gain European and International rugby success. This is often done at the expense of their supporters who pretty regularly have to watch league games fielded by second string teams. Leinster and Munster aside, this must be pretty boring.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:21 am

Khouli Khan wrote:
profitius wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.

I think you're actually reinforce my point.

To achieve success in both league and cup, it is necessary to have a large and competent squad.

Money equals large squads, equals more top class players, equals success. Saracens cheated. The point was made that an Irish Province hasn't won the European Cup for a while - okay - lets take the last ten years. How many DIFFERENT Clubs won the cup?

Sport has never been a level playing field - Saracens (even without cheating) spent up to the cap, as do Bath, Wasps and possibly Chiefs, Quins and Tigers. The other clubs can't afford to/don't want to so that's an advantage before you start.

You're confusing Irish success with English weakness - it's not the PRO14's problem that Bath and Quins are proving spectacularly useless this season (in league and Europe) despite all the money.

Ireland has found a structure that works for Irish rugby, they are able to rotate players between the league, HEC and internationals and maintain a high standard in all three, it's a system that works for them, and is similar to the system New Zealand use, and that which Scotland are moving towards, it's not a model that works in England or in France, and the poor Welsh are stuck in a "worst of both worlds" situation where there isn't enough private money to run the regions like English/French teams and not enough WRU influence to run them like Ireland and Scotland.

How many different teams have won the soccer European Cup which has a far larger pool of top class money no object teams to work with - some of the richest clubs in soccer, Man City, PSG, haven't even made the final and two Spanish clubs have won 7 of the last 10 between them, despite English clubs being among the richest in Europe.

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Post by Khouli Khan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:28 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
profitius wrote:
Khouli Khan wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:I think we may have found our new Nigel Acolyte.
"Our league is harder, let us spend whatever we want, it's not fair"

I didn't say that, so don't twist my words to suit your own agenda, whatever that might be.

I said it wasn't a level playing field - and it isn't.

I also said that Saracens had only achieved their success by cheating - but were rightly punished. Although I did not state it, I wholeheartedly agree with their punishment - and I would expect any other team in the GP to be similarly dealt with if it was proved they had cheated too. However, the fact that they were only successful in Europe because they had to emulate the spending models of the Irish and French is beyond dispute (and if we're talking about home grown talent as per Leinster, Saracens have nothing to be ashamed of). The other fact is that the GP is a more demanding league in terms of player engagement than the Pro14 - it is, it cannot be denied. I'm not sure what the actual figures are, but i'm willing to bet that your average GP player plays at least a third more competitive matches per season in the league than his Pro14 counterpart.

How this disparity can be addressed, i'm not sure it can be.


You seem to forget one thing. The pro14 have a lot more internationals. More internationals than super rugby I believe. So naturally players will have to play less, just like Saracens rest many of their players and still cruise to the top of the premiership.

I think you're actually reinforce my point.

To achieve success in both league and cup, it is necessary to have a large and competent squad.

Money equals large squads, equals more top class players, equals success. Saracens cheated. The point was made that an Irish Province hasn't won the European Cup for a while - okay - lets take the last ten years. How many DIFFERENT Clubs won the cup?

Sport has never been a level playing field - Saracens (even without cheating) spent up to the cap, as do Bath, Wasps and possibly Chiefs, Quins and Tigers. The other clubs can't afford to/don't want to so that's an advantage before you start.

You're confusing Irish success with English weakness - it's not the PRO14's problem that Bath and Quins are proving spectacularly useless this season (in league and  Europe) despite all the money.

Ireland has found a structure that works for Irish rugby, they are able to rotate players between the league, HEC and internationals and maintain a high standard in all three, it's a system that works for them, and is similar to the system New Zealand use, and that which Scotland are moving towards, it's not a model that works in England or in France, and the poor Welsh are stuck in a "worst of both worlds" situation where there isn't enough private money to run the regions like English/French teams and not enough WRU influence to run them like Ireland and Scotland.

How many different teams have won the soccer European Cup which has a far larger pool of top class money no object teams to work with - some of the richest clubs in soccer, Man City, PSG, haven't even made the final and two Spanish clubs have won 7 of the last 10 between them, despite English clubs being among the richest in Europe.

Its a fair argument you make, and I won't argue against it - except to say that form is cyclic..... and that the playing field could be more.... level...

What annoys Premiership and and probably Top 14 clubs is that their Celtic rivals are again at a stage where they don’t have to go all out to win league games as exhaustingly happens weekly in England and France where relegation exists.

The introduction of two South African clubs saw led the Pro 14 into a conference-style system, two divisions of seven where the top three clubs in each automatically qualify for Europe. It’s a distorted method. Lets look at a single example.

Cardiff secured Champions Cup qualification for this season despite finishing fourth in Conference A, third place South African side Cheetahs ineligible to qualify for Europe. Was it fair that Cardiff went through automatically when their 54 points tally was eclipsed by Ulster on 62 points and Treviso on 55 in the fourth and fifth Conference B places?

Clubs are evidently putting more emphasis on games against teams in their own conference, a targeting of fixtures epitomised by recent Edinburgh rotation. They saved their best for the back-to-back December European clashes with Newcastle, they sent an unrecognisable XV to Cork the previous week and were shredded by six first-half tries from Munster, a team in the other conference whose fortunes don’t really matter to the Scots.

Not a good look for the league but a worthwhile bigger picture sacrifice as Edinburgh defeated Newcastle twice and now lead their European pool heading into Saturday’s Murrayfield finale against Montpellier.

I’m telling you now, if it carries on like this, it will prompt another divisive Anglo-French reaction. The last time there was a Celtic Five contingent reaching the last eight the toys – and everything else – came out of the pram.

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