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Pro 12 plus maybe Friends 20/21

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Post by Brendan on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 1:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

As one season finishes it seems the new one seems to start sooner each year.  Here is the breakdown of teams over the last three years. Places (based on league points) and points are order 19/20, 18/19, 17/18

Leinster (Champions and clearly the team to beat)
Place 1, 3, 2, Average 2
Points 69, 76, 70 total 215
Always have finished top of their conference and winners for the last three years
Goal - Win, anything else is failure

Munster
Place 3, 2, 4 Average 3
Points 51, 77, 69 Total 197
Yet another table where Munster fall short yet again.  Each of the last three years have been knocked out by Leinster
Goal - Top Conference (2nd in league) to finally avoid Leinster in the playoffs to make the final

Glasgow
Place 7, 1, 1 Average 3
Points 38, 81, 76 Total 195
Was this year a WC hangover or is it the start of the slide back to the chasing pack.  Losing key players is taking it's toll. No longer the best team in Scotland.
Goal - Win back dominance in Scotland

Ulster
Place 4, 4, 6 Average 4.33
Points 44, 63, 62 Total 169
Improving each year and seem like one of the teams to challange Leinster.
Goal - Get back to the final

Scarlets
Place 4, 9, 3 Average 5.33
Points 47, 52, 70 Total 169
Last year killed them but on their day a match of anyone. Best team usually in Wales.
Goal - make the final

Edinburgh
Place 2, 10, 5 Average 5.66
Total 51, 51, 68 Total 170
Like Scarlets last year killed them.  Have conquered Scotland and have one of the best coaches in the league.  Possibly the 2nd best team for next season if Cockers has cracked rotation.
Goal - make the final

Connacht
Place 6, 5, 10 Average 7
Points 40, 61, 39 Total 140
Excluding the first year under Keane have been playoff contenders each year.  But they need to push on and not just be happy fighting for a playoff sport.
Have to push for Top 4

Benetton
Place 8, 7, 7 Average 7.33
Points 36, 57, 55 Total 148
Consistency has got them middle of the table which is a good place to build from rather than just the place to stay.
Goal - time to push for Top 6

Blues
Place 9, 8, 8 Average  8.33
Points 33, 54, 54 Total 141
Again consistent in their place but have fallen down and past by their peers.  Have to be looking over their shoulders at Dragons and Zebre.
Goal - time to get above 8th.

Ospreys
Place 12, 6, 9 Average 9
Points 17, 58, 54 Total 119
Which year was the anomaly, when they finished 6th or 12th.  An old team who live on past glories. Last year 6th may have been down to the drop in form of Scarlets and Edinburgh.
Goal - stop the rot

Dragons
Place 10, 11, 12 Average 11
Points 24, 26, 20 Total 70
Slowly improving.  No longer unable to win away from home and building nicely.
Goal - has to be 9th

Zebre
Place 11, 12, 11 Average 11.33
Points 21, 19, 36 Total 76
Have alot of young players coming through.  Last year wasn't great but the other two were improvements on previous years.
Goal - Finished 10th and pick up some big wins.


Last edited by Brendan on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by PhilBB on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 4:07 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote:

You think the league is set up to benefit the Irish over the Welsh.  If true that would be racist.

What the actual feckity feck? Laugh

The internet is many years old but that is one of the weirdest takes I've ever seen on a rugby message board - and I've read many.
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Post by Brendan on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 4:51 pm

PhilBB wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote:

You think the league is set up to benefit the Irish over the Welsh.  If true that would be racist.

What the actual feckity feck? Laugh

The internet is many years old but that is one of the weirdest takes I've ever seen on a rugby message board - and I've read many.

Tell us all clearly why you call it the PrO14

Do you feel that the league is set up to benefit the Irish at the expense of other nations and that they get special treatment. Shall we call it Irish privilege.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 5:09 pm

Look Phill we will leave it be as you don't want to develop your statements or suggest improvements to the league.

Lets get back to 20/21 season which we now know (subject to covid rules) we will have at least 2 SA teams. Be that Cheetahs and Griquas or Pumas or another.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 5:14 pm

Old Man if Griquas or Pumas were added which would be your preferred one. Griquas seem to have been better than the Kings and as good as the Cheetahs in Currie Cup but not sure what players they get from SR squads. Close to Bloomfontein (172km) so would be much better for travelling teams.

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Post by Old Man on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 5:48 pm

Personally I would prefer Pumas, from a long term perspective financially it would make more sense, they have a great coach and play exciting rugby.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 8:45 pm

Old Man wrote:Personally I would prefer Pumas, from a long term perspective financially it would make more sense, they have a great coach and play exciting rugby.

Been to Nelspruit/Mbombela a couple of times when going to Kurger with my wife's family that are in SA.

Is rugby self sufficient there for player numbers like Cheetahs or are they importing from other Regions like the Kings.

Do they have many players tied to the SR teams.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 1:16 am

Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:Personally I would prefer Pumas, from a long term perspective financially it would make more sense, they have a great coach and play exciting rugby.

Been to Nelspruit/Mbombela a couple of times when going to Kurger with my wife's family that are in SA.

Is rugby self sufficient there for player numbers like Cheetahs or are they importing from other Regions like the Kings.

Do they have many players tied to the SR teams.

They are a feeder province , not as prolific as the Cheetahs, but still.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 10:37 am

Brendan wrote:
Do you feel that the league is set up to benefit the Irish at the expense of other nations and that they get special treatment.  Shall we call it Irish privilege.

Yes.
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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 10:40 am

Brendan wrote:Look Phill we will leave it be as you don't want to develop your statements or suggest improvements to the league.

Lets get back to 20/21 season which we now know (subject to covid rules) we will have at least 2 SA teams.  Be that Cheetahs and Griquas or Pumas or another.

If you want the league to improve then the entire set up of Scottish and Irish rugby will have to change.

The Irish won't change until finances finally force them to do so. Any change won't then involve the PrO league, so your question is pointless.

If you want to an easy fix: only Union owned teams should play in the PrO.

If you want a fantasy fix: the IRFU should follow the lead of the SRU by putting franchises up for sale, in order to allow private ownership. This way you don't get the owner gerrymandering its teams whilst simultaneously employing the referees for their games. An injection of private ownership will lead to the end of the international game stifling the growth of the domestic game by permanently overshadowing it.

That is the way to grow the game.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:14 am

...end international matches. That's your answer? Seriously?

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:27 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:...end international matches. That's your answer? Seriously?

I'm beginning to think that your act isn't being deliberately contrary, it's just not being able to comprehend basic English:

"to the end of the international game stifling the growth of the domestic game" is what was written. It's perfectly easy to understand. An 8 year old could understand it.

Why can't you?
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:29 am

Because you write gobbledy gook? I mean you think Banahan is better than Rees-Zammit!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:31 am

And granted i did slightly misread! Private ownership has seen Saracens pull in huge crowds and emerge from englands shadow so I think you're right.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:33 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Because you write gobbledy gook? I mean you think Banahan is better than Rees-Zammit!

If you think me pointing out that Gloucester selected Banahan over LRZ, for their first team derby game, is a personal comment on the talents of the two players then, yes, you have the reading comprehension age of a child.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:36 am

Excellent stuff. Your point in that doesnt stand on the other thread then.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:40 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Excellent stuff. Your point in that doesnt stand on the other thread then.

What point? What post number? Copy the post in its entirety.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:44 am

Have done. It's the other thread. This is the one where unions are evil.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:44 am

This Message was deleted


Last edited by LondonTiger on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Personal Insult Removed)
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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:58 am

Anyone who wishes to keep posting privileges needs to cut out the personal insults

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 12:09 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Anyone who wishes to keep posting privileges needs to cut out the personal insults

Can we cut out the deliberate misinterpretations and accusations too, please?
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Post by Guest on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 1:00 pm

Oh dear.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 1:22 pm

Fun to come onto this site, free of responsibility, just a fly on the wall.

Commiserations to the admin and moderators.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 7:38 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:Look Phill we will leave it be as you don't want to develop your statements or suggest improvements to the league.

Lets get back to 20/21 season which we now know (subject to covid rules) we will have at least 2 SA teams.  Be that Cheetahs and Griquas or Pumas or another.

If you want the league to improve then the entire set up of Scottish and Irish rugby will have to change.

The Irish won't change until finances finally force them to do so. Any change won't then involve the PrO league, so your question is pointless.

If you want to an easy fix: only Union owned teams should play in the PrO.

If you want a fantasy fix: the IRFU should follow the lead of the SRU by putting franchises up for sale, in order to allow private ownership. This way you don't get the owner gerrymandering its teams whilst simultaneously employing the referees for their games. An injection of private ownership will lead to the end of the international game stifling the growth of the domestic game by permanently overshadowing it.

That is the way to grow the game.

So the issue is the setup of the IRFU and SRU but the Pro14 should only be for Union run teams. Of the teams that have adapted best to the changes to qualification to the Champions Cup has been the 6 teams associated those Unions. Any correlation.

If one Irish team was winning because of results against the other Irish teams that would be fine. But I would say that every Irish team has a better result against non Irish teams than Irish teams.

If the 3 most consistent team with the largest attendances are being run poorly by the IRFU I would love to know how you feel them going into private ownership would improve the league and not turn it in La Liga (Spain) in Soccer with them so far ahead of everyone else (because obviously they'd be even better).

Biggest improved over the last 10 years has been Connacht. How would a private investor has been able to bring them up without the connections the IRFU have. Same for coaches coming to the teams. Don't think Cockers would be at Edinburgh if they weren't connected to the SRU, same with Rennie. The private teams not so much.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 7:50 pm

Old Man wrote:Fun to come onto this site, free of responsibility, just a fly on the wall.

Commiserations to the admin and moderators.

Dust off those boots and reattach your blue badge then Wink.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 7:53 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:Fun to come onto this site, free of responsibility, just a fly on the wall.

Commiserations to the admin and moderators.

Dust off those boots and reattach your blue badge then Wink.

Sold it on ebay Smile

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Post by Guest on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:33 pm

One of the major issues with the Pro14 has been the fact that Ireland is a tax haven and the competition between the UK and Ireland is therefore effectively 'unfair' to begin with. Ulster are the odd ones caught between the two but ultimately benefit from a very strong fanbase and club and of course the money from the IRFU, so they almost get the worst and best of both worlds. However back to the Republic and you add in Leinster's ties to private schools which aren't funded by the club or the IRFU like an academy but are handsomely funded through other means and supply a majority of Ireland's players (to the 4 provinces now not just Leinster) and the issue of money becomes a messy one when you start thinking about the financial sector, soft power, and Ireland's lax attitude to corporate taxation. This goes back before 2008 as well when the Welsh clubs were clearly superior to the Irish but threw in their lot with regionalism and a Celtic league that simply wasn't as attractive as the English Premiership.

Effectively, a lot of the Welsh complaining is simply because Ireland are now 'better' than Wales at club level when, at the outset of the Celtic League, they clearly were not. Some of that is sour grapes, some of it is more than fair given the unequal method of operation that occurs between the 4 regions/provinces and the manner in which they are owned and funded.

There are also very fair complaints about the Irish bias within the competition, from broadcasting rights favouring the Irish as the 'senior' partner and audience within the now Pro14, to very pro-Irish refereeing. The iRB/WR is of course based in Dublin. Again, some of this is sensible: if the Irish are the wealthiest nation with the biggest audience then why wouldn't you sell to these broadcasters.

However, it all comes back to that initial investment. I think people like Phil are in an alternate reality on this point where back in 2003 the regions joined the English league system, or maybe the Welsh clubs did, I'm not quite sure what his particular ideal scenario would have been. But it is very true that the Welsh clubs effectively invested the gains of amateurism in to a competition which very quickly wore them down and saw those gains become a cycle of decline: the Ospreys used to get 15,000+ for some games. They'd fill the Liberty Stadium for a European game. Now they can barely get 7,000 for even a big game. The atmosphere has died, the region has collapsed. They went from being on par with Munster and better than Leinster in the mid 2000s to now in 2020 being one of the worst in the league.

It's a self fulfilling cycle: if you're in a competition where you're outspent then you start losing games. If you start losing then fans don't want to attend. If fans don't want to attend you lose money.

Again, some of this is sour grapes, but some of it is very fair. The Celtic League/Pro14 is now effectively ran by the Irish and the desire to bring in new teams is purely mroe revenue for what has become the status quo. Yes, the other teams won't turn it down because it's technically 'more' money, but it doesn't mean the winners (Leinster) will change.

When you look at the alternative, that the Welsh could have joined up with the English in the early 2000s or could have maintained some kind of Welsh-only competition that made sure that A Welsh team was winning whatever competition they were in until something 'better' organised than the Celtic League was proposed in order to avoid this kind of cross-border financial disparity, then it makes for a painful comparison to being effectively the junior partner to the Irish who have used the revenue initially gained from playing in a competition with Wales and Scotland to get a commercial foothold from where they leveraged that position in to one of profit and now domination. It's no surprise that the Irish success really took off after 2008 when the effects of the recession really took hold and the realities of private ownership meant the regions were running on borrowed time. Yes, of course Ireland suffered massively as well, but the financial realities are that Leinster in particular have the league wrapped around their little finger because of union ownership and the way in which the union can and does run itself in order to make their pro clubs a success. The fact is that that fact has dawned on the WRU as well and Wales have had to have a half in, half out approach in order to just keep the regions afloat and Welsh players playing in Wales (as well as taking over the Dragons). If you don't think they're doing a Saracens when it comes to extra 'incentives', from post-career contacts to business and property, then I don't know what to say.

As it stands in 2020 I don't see what the Welsh regions have to offer to England if there isn't a pan British/Irish league, where Wales will have to live on their own two feet where, probably, only the Scarlets would be in the top division as the other regions are in dire straits financially and internally and have been for some time.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:56 pm

While you raise some good points I think you mean Leinster rather than Irish teams.

UK people pay one of the lowest personal tax rates in Europe.  Ireland has low Corporation tax not employee which is what the players are on
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/money/2017/may/27/tax-britons-pay-europe-australia-us
A comparison of personal tax rates across Europe, Australia and the US by Guardian Money reveals how average earners in Britain on salaries of £25,000, or “middle-class” individuals on £40,000, enjoy among the lowest personal tax rates of the advanced countries, while high earners on £100,000 see less of their income taken in tax than almost anywhere else in Europe.
UK 34% Ire 41%
So the tax rebate on helps the players for their pension. But while playing they get more money taken out of their wage then the UK.

Enough Leinster schools have full time rugby programs but Ulster, Munster and Connacht don't.  I am sure that plenty of countries have great rugby schools such as Greys in SA which is considered the best in the world.  Dublin is unique in that there are so many but not sure they are that better and are small enough, the standard is high (kildare schools now becoming top teams too).  Glaws seem to do just fine with hartpury.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.rugbyonslaught.com/best-rugby-school-in-south-africa-obliterate-best-rugby-college-in-england-in-merciless-performance/

The Welsh teams seem to sum up what happens when business get fed up of losing money on a plaything and do nothing more than keep it alive.

I would love to see examples of Irish bias in the league as it has been shown previously that Irish teams win more games without Irish refs. They don't get better schedules and are forced to have to play each other for their extra games. Maybe only Scotland's extra games are harder.

What has EIR offering the most money for the rebuplic show Irish Bias.  If Sky had bid more they would have got it.  If it's about premier Sports again who bid more and didn't get it.  Amozon just got rights off the WRU because they bid most why didn't they just give the rights to BBC Wales.  I wasn't aware any TV company has said they were unfairly treated by the Pro14.

I agree that the issues in Wales are down to performance.  As they are funded by the Union and private investors they should be doing much better. They started off well ahead of everone else in terms of resources and finance but have been past by the 4 Irish, 2 Scottish and probably Benetton. They have stood still while others have taken action.

Connacht have put alot into grassroots and schools rugby. They have gone from 2 to 6 teams. As the IRFU continue to invest that number will grow more. Welsh u20s seem to be on par with irish u20s so not sure why their schools shouldn't be aswell.

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Post by profitius on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 10:54 am

The SARU are deciding tomorrow what clubs they are going to send to the pro14(16). Cheetahs have their legal team in standby.
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Post by Brendan on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 11:04 am

profitius wrote:The SARU are deciding tomorrow what clubs they are going to send to the pro14(16). Cheetahs have their legal team in standby.

I wouldn't mind 6 teams. Griqas and Pumas have been Currie Cup teams for years. Kings were promoted to SR for non rugby reasons so either would be better and more stable than the Kings.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 11:48 am

With doubts over the Championship and Legal issues with Cheetahs would it be worth send a deeper out to the RFU/Sarries about a year. Seems like Sarries would jump at the chance to play SA teams given the Lions. 3 Conferences where you play every team in your conference twice and rest of the teams once would mean 22 games. Or a straight 17 game one game between teams.

It will be interesting to see if the 4 big SA teams are added will that improve the chances of Pro14 players going on tour or will it harm them.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 11:56 am

I hate this idea of playing your own conference teams twice and then one match against the other. It makes fora too long season and the qualification is just a mess.

Either play only your conference twice and qualify from there, or play everyone once.

If the Welsh , Irish etc want more derby matches they can do it ontop of the pro whatever.

Would prefer though that we don’t go to pro whatever, the European season is too long and am not a fan of how it is structured.

One week you play pro14, next weekend European Champions Cup and then test rugby.

Why cant one tournament finish, then Champions Cup and then test rugby?

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 28 Sep 2020, 5:31 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:One of the major issues with the Pro14 has been the fact that Ireland is a tax haven and the competition between the UK and Ireland is therefore effectively 'unfair' to begin with. Ulster are the odd ones caught between the two but ultimately benefit from a very strong fanbase and club and of course the money from the IRFU, so they almost get the worst and best of both worlds. However back to the Republic and you add in Leinster's ties to private schools which aren't funded by the club or the IRFU like an academy but are handsomely funded through other means and supply a majority of Ireland's players (to the 4 provinces now not just Leinster) and the issue of money becomes a messy one when you start thinking about the financial sector, soft power, and Ireland's lax attitude to corporate taxation. This goes back before 2008 as well when the Welsh clubs were clearly superior to the Irish but threw in their lot with regionalism and a Celtic league that simply wasn't as attractive as the English Premiership.

Effectively, a lot of the Welsh complaining is simply because Ireland are now 'better' than Wales at club level when, at the outset of the Celtic League, they clearly were not. Some of that is sour grapes, some of it is more than fair given the unequal method of operation that occurs between the 4 regions/provinces and the manner in which they are owned and funded.

There are also very fair complaints about the Irish bias within the competition, from broadcasting rights favouring the Irish as the 'senior' partner and audience within the now Pro14, to very pro-Irish refereeing. The iRB/WR is of course based in Dublin. Again, some of this is sensible: if the Irish are the wealthiest nation with the biggest audience then why wouldn't you sell to these broadcasters.

However, it all comes back to that initial investment. I think people like Phil are in an alternate reality on this point where back in 2003 the regions joined the English league system, or maybe the Welsh clubs did, I'm not quite sure what his particular ideal scenario would have been. But it is very true that the Welsh clubs effectively invested the gains of amateurism in to a competition which very quickly wore them down and saw those gains become a cycle of decline: the Ospreys used to get 15,000+ for some games. They'd fill the Liberty Stadium for a European game. Now they can barely get 7,000 for even a big game. The atmosphere has died, the region has collapsed. They went from being on par with Munster and better than Leinster in the mid 2000s to now in 2020 being one of the worst in the league.

It's a self fulfilling cycle: if you're in a competition where you're outspent then you start losing games. If you start losing then fans don't want to attend. If fans don't want to attend you lose money.

Again, some of this is sour grapes, but some of it is very fair. The Celtic League/Pro14 is now effectively ran by the Irish and the desire to bring in new teams is purely mroe revenue for what has become the status quo. Yes, the other teams won't turn it down because it's technically 'more' money, but it doesn't mean the winners (Leinster) will change.

When you look at the alternative, that the Welsh could have joined up with the English in the early 2000s or could have maintained some kind of Welsh-only competition that made sure that A Welsh team was winning whatever competition they were in until something 'better' organised than the Celtic League was proposed in order to avoid this kind of cross-border financial disparity, then it makes for a painful comparison to being effectively the junior partner to the Irish who have used the revenue initially gained from playing in a competition with Wales and Scotland to get a commercial foothold from where they leveraged that position in to one of profit and now domination. It's no surprise that the Irish success really took off after 2008 when the effects of the recession really took hold and the realities of private ownership meant the regions were running on borrowed time. Yes, of course Ireland suffered massively as well, but the financial realities are that Leinster in particular have the league wrapped around their little finger because of union ownership and the way in which the union can and does run itself in order to make their pro clubs a success. The fact is that that fact has dawned on the WRU as well and Wales have had to have a half in, half out approach in order to just keep the regions afloat and Welsh players playing in Wales (as well as taking over the Dragons). If you don't think they're doing a Saracens when it comes to extra 'incentives', from post-career contacts to business and property, then I don't know what to say.

As it stands in 2020 I don't see what the Welsh regions have to offer to England if there isn't a pan British/Irish league, where Wales will have to live on their own two feet where, probably, only the Scarlets would be in the top division as the other regions are in dire straits financially and internally and have been for some time.

Difficult to know where to start with engaging with this wandering diatribe.  Tax haven, soft power, funded through other means,  etc - almost reads like a Mario Puzo novel.

The Welsh clubs were superior to the Irish before 2008? Given the Celtic League was won by Leinster, Munster, Scarlets, Ospreys, Ulster, Ospreys, Leinster, Munster between 2001/02-2008/9 - I don't see how the clubs were superior and given Munster and Ulster had both won the Heineken Cup before 2008.

Broadcasting rights favouring the Irish?    The Competition Income from last seasons PRO14 and EPCR competitions which includes the TV broadcast monies and competition participation monies was pretty much the same (€13.04m vs €13.3m) for both Welsh and Irish unions despite the demonstrably better performance of the Irish teams in both comps.  

The PRO14 is "now effectively ran (sic) by the Irish" somehow with a Welsh chairman, English/Welsh Chief Executive, a Scottish Tournament Director and an English Elite Referee Manager all in the mix.  It was Martin Anayi, based in London, the CEO of PRO Rugby Championship DAC, with strong Welsh rugby links, who brought in the idea of league expansion, and getting the SARU deal over the line.   

The likely addition of 4 new SA teams to the comp with additional TV revenues, will, no doubt, be seen as the PRO16 being run by the Irish too...
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Post by PhilBB on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 4:29 pm

Brendan wrote:

So the issue is the setup of the IRFU and SRU but the Pro14 should only be for Union run teams.  Of the teams that have adapted best to the changes to qualification to the Champions Cup has been the 6 teams associated those Unions.  Any correlation.

If one Irish team was winning because of results against the other Irish teams that would be fine.  But I  would say that every Irish team has a better result against non Irish teams than Irish teams.

If the 3 most consistent team with the largest attendances are being run poorly by the IRFU I would love to know how you feel them going into private ownership would improve the league and not turn it in La Liga (Spain) in Soccer with them so far ahead of everyone else (because obviously they'd be even better).

Biggest improved over the last 10 years has been Connacht.  How would a private investor has been able to bring them up without the connections the IRFU have.  Same for coaches coming to the teams.  Don't think Cockers would be at Edinburgh if they weren't connected to the SRU, same with Rennie.  The private teams not so much.

The Champions Cup last four had no Union owned teams. Any correlation?

Who mentioned "being run poorly"?

Remember, Cockerill is at Edinburgh because he failed with a privately owned team. You're right about Rennie, of course, as that was cash that brought him there. The Unions have a lot of cash so, rightly, spend it on their pro teams.

And the result of that spent? Gethin Jenkins has as many Grand Slams as the IRFU has in its entire history.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 4:40 pm

Cockerill didn't fail at Leicester for me. There's a fair few of their fans on here but look at what he got from that team compared to now.

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Post by PhilBB on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 4:43 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cockerill didn't fail at Leicester for me. There's a fair few of their fans on here but look at what he got from that team compared to now.

Well, of course he didn't fail FOR YOU.

You can't be contrary if you agree with anything.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 4:49 pm

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Cockerill didn't fail at Leicester for me. There's a fair few of their fans on here but look at what he got from that team compared to now.

Well, of course he didn't fail FOR YOU.

You can't be contrary if you agree with anything.

Like I said will be interesting to see the Tigers fans answer that point. I think they may be critical on player recruitment but not sure that harms Cockerill but a reflection of Leicester having to cut their cloth. Where do you feel he failed?

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:33 pm

To say Cockreill failed at Tigers is to ignore what Tigers have done since he left. Year he left they finished 5th.

3 Prem titles
2 losing finalists
Loads of top 4s

Champions Cup finalist
Semi finalist
Loads of quarters

I'd love to know your definition of a coach not failing

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:42 pm

I am sure Cockers would of had the players at Tigers last year finish alot higher than 11th last year.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:46 pm

Not sure if people have seen but Rob Kearney doing a year with Western Force.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:54 pm

4 big SA teams are coming.

“Our members are excited about the prospect of closer alignment with Pro Rugby Championship and seeking a Northern Hemisphere future, but we would not have been taking this decision but for actions elsewhere,” said Roux. 

SA Rugby did add that it would continue speaking to SANZAAR – Super Rugby’s collective organising body – about entering a South African team into a modified “Super Series” format.

Playoff spots just got alot more interesting especially for Conference B

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:57 pm

SARU very much putting the blame very much on the NZRU

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Post by Guest on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 7:57 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:One of the major issues with the Pro14 has been the fact that Ireland is a tax haven and the competition between the UK and Ireland is therefore effectively 'unfair' to begin with. Ulster are the odd ones caught between the two but ultimately benefit from a very strong fanbase and club and of course the money from the IRFU, so they almost get the worst and best of both worlds. However back to the Republic and you add in Leinster's ties to private schools which aren't funded by the club or the IRFU like an academy but are handsomely funded through other means and supply a majority of Ireland's players (to the 4 provinces now not just Leinster) and the issue of money becomes a messy one when you start thinking about the financial sector, soft power, and Ireland's lax attitude to corporate taxation. This goes back before 2008 as well when the Welsh clubs were clearly superior to the Irish but threw in their lot with regionalism and a Celtic league that simply wasn't as attractive as the English Premiership.

Effectively, a lot of the Welsh complaining is simply because Ireland are now 'better' than Wales at club level when, at the outset of the Celtic League, they clearly were not. Some of that is sour grapes, some of it is more than fair given the unequal method of operation that occurs between the 4 regions/provinces and the manner in which they are owned and funded.

There are also very fair complaints about the Irish bias within the competition, from broadcasting rights favouring the Irish as the 'senior' partner and audience within the now Pro14, to very pro-Irish refereeing. The iRB/WR is of course based in Dublin. Again, some of this is sensible: if the Irish are the wealthiest nation with the biggest audience then why wouldn't you sell to these broadcasters.

However, it all comes back to that initial investment. I think people like Phil are in an alternate reality on this point where back in 2003 the regions joined the English league system, or maybe the Welsh clubs did, I'm not quite sure what his particular ideal scenario would have been. But it is very true that the Welsh clubs effectively invested the gains of amateurism in to a competition which very quickly wore them down and saw those gains become a cycle of decline: the Ospreys used to get 15,000+ for some games. They'd fill the Liberty Stadium for a European game. Now they can barely get 7,000 for even a big game. The atmosphere has died, the region has collapsed. They went from being on par with Munster and better than Leinster in the mid 2000s to now in 2020 being one of the worst in the league.

It's a self fulfilling cycle: if you're in a competition where you're outspent then you start losing games. If you start losing then fans don't want to attend. If fans don't want to attend you lose money.

Again, some of this is sour grapes, but some of it is very fair. The Celtic League/Pro14 is now effectively ran by the Irish and the desire to bring in new teams is purely mroe revenue for what has become the status quo. Yes, the other teams won't turn it down because it's technically 'more' money, but it doesn't mean the winners (Leinster) will change.

When you look at the alternative, that the Welsh could have joined up with the English in the early 2000s or could have maintained some kind of Welsh-only competition that made sure that A Welsh team was winning whatever competition they were in until something 'better' organised than the Celtic League was proposed in order to avoid this kind of cross-border financial disparity, then it makes for a painful comparison to being effectively the junior partner to the Irish who have used the revenue initially gained from playing in a competition with Wales and Scotland to get a commercial foothold from where they leveraged that position in to one of profit and now domination. It's no surprise that the Irish success really took off after 2008 when the effects of the recession really took hold and the realities of private ownership meant the regions were running on borrowed time. Yes, of course Ireland suffered massively as well, but the financial realities are that Leinster in particular have the league wrapped around their little finger because of union ownership and the way in which the union can and does run itself in order to make their pro clubs a success. The fact is that that fact has dawned on the WRU as well and Wales have had to have a half in, half out approach in order to just keep the regions afloat and Welsh players playing in Wales (as well as taking over the Dragons). If you don't think they're doing a Saracens when it comes to extra 'incentives', from post-career contacts to business and property, then I don't know what to say.

As it stands in 2020 I don't see what the Welsh regions have to offer to England if there isn't a pan British/Irish league, where Wales will have to live on their own two feet where, probably, only the Scarlets would be in the top division as the other regions are in dire straits financially and internally and have been for some time.

Difficult to know where to start with engaging with this wandering diatribe.  Tax haven, soft power, funded through other means,  etc - almost reads like a Mario Puzo novel.

The Welsh clubs were superior to the Irish before 2008? Given the Celtic League was won by Leinster, Munster, Scarlets, Ospreys, Ulster, Ospreys, Leinster, Munster between 2001/02-2008/9 - I don't see how the clubs were superior and given Munster and Ulster had both won the Heineken Cup before 2008.

Broadcasting rights favouring the Irish?    The Competition Income from last seasons PRO14 and EPCR competitions which includes the TV broadcast monies and competition participation monies was pretty much the same (€13.04m vs €13.3m) for both Welsh and Irish unions despite the demonstrably better performance of the Irish teams in both comps.  

The PRO14 is "now effectively ran (sic) by the Irish" somehow with a Welsh chairman, English/Welsh Chief Executive, a Scottish Tournament Director and an English Elite Referee Manager all in the mix.  It was Martin Anayi, based in London, the CEO of PRO Rugby Championship DAC, with strong Welsh rugby links, who brought in the idea of league expansion, and getting the SARU deal over the line.   

The likely addition of 4 new SA teams to the comp with additional TV revenues, will, no doubt, be seen as the PRO16 being run by the Irish too...

Everything in the first paragraph is absolutely true. You can't just throw your hands up and huff and puff and pretend that's a rebuttal. Come on, Pot!

You didn't actually read, did you. I mentioned the superiority prior to the formation of the Celtic league i.e. when the Welsh-Scottish league was in existence in the 90s and 00s. At the point where the Welsh clubs became Welsh regions in 2003, they were superior to both the Irish and the Scottish and that proved in the first year. They were probably on par around 2008. Munster were European titans and Leinster were just starting to profit from their corrupt financial foundations, but the Scarlets had done well in Europe, the Blues would go close around that time and the Ospreys were one of the top sides in Europe who should have had a Heineken or two. Wales also won their 2nd Grand Slam in 3 years in 2008. That all came crashing down in the years after 2008 when the financial squeeze the Irish had on the league really took hold but, again, I was talking about the late 90s and early 2000s when I mentioned the clear superiority of the Welsh. Put your specs on, Pot!

Yes, they massively favour the Irish. It's a product of the fact that the Welsh interest (and money) has disappeared in relative terms due to the Irish stitching the league up that instead of Sky Sports, a subscription many but not all British people have for other sports, the subscription rights have gone to a no-name broadcaster in the UK. Unsurprisingly, no one bought subscriptions just for a competition that gets worse each year. So it went from free to air, to a subscription service all pubs and some households have, to a service that some pubs had and almost no households have. That's a clear decline and a favouring of Eir Sports above all else. When it comes to the actual broadcasting as well i.e. journalism, presenting etc. then, again, it is pro-Irish. What has happened the Welsh end? The product has literally become worse in the last decade. Live games aren't on show. The highlights packages are atrocious - the social media that the Pro14 put out (that the Celtic League countries are, effectively, paying for) is nothing short of shambolic. So, not only is the product atrocious, and a step down on what existed 10 years ago, but it's Irish-centic. Wake up, Pot!

Welsh rugby almost certainly would be in healthier standing had it joined a league system with England instead. The very fact that Welsh regions should 'celebrate' the fact they receive the same competition money in a competition that effectively guarantees their failure due to the aforementioned financial cheating by Leinster and the IRFU is testament to what is, basically, a scandal for the Welsh and something the WRU should probably try to act on. There is obvious interest in an Anglo Welsh league but it's not going to happen now even if noises are made whenever restructuring talk occurs.

Yes, it has been ran and will continue to be run for the benefit of the Irish. Instead of allowing the competition to die - because it has failed, like Super Rugby, we are merey prolonging the inveitable - the country/province that profits due to stitching up the competition while everyone else suffers keeps it alive by putting plasters over an amputation.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:18 pm

As previously shown players pay 34% in the UK v 41% in the Republic. So yes you are wrong on tax haven for players.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:26 pm

Your whole complaining about the Irish stitch up sound alot like when the Final was open to a set venue chosen at the start of the season. The Welsh were never picked and then turned out they never put in bids. Then they do and they get it.

I guess Covid is just another Irish stitch up to stop the Welsh hosting a final.

Regards sponsers, tv companies etc, maybe all these Welsh companies losing out should take the Pro14 to court for not being a charity.

This coming season there will be plenty of SA coverage because they will be performing on the field.

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Post by Kingshu on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:34 pm

I'm not sure if you are being serious about the Welsh teams being superior when you say "I was talking about the late 90s and early 2000s when I mentioned the clear superiority of the Welsh. Put your specs on, Pot!"

Lets look at it
2003 Celtic league, Munster won, no Welsh superiority then
2002 celtic League Leinster win, no Welsh superiority then
2001, its an Welsh Scottish so to compare head to head need to use heinkien cup.
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 01-02 Munster final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 00-01 Munster Semi Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 99-00 Munster Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 98-99 Ulster winners
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 97-98 Cardiff quarterfinal
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 96-97 Cardiff Semi final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 95-96 Cardiff Final
Before that there was no Heineken Cup.

So when you say when Welsh teams were superior to Irish teams you mean from 1995-98 as after 98 Irish teams have clearly been superior.


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Post by Guest on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:35 pm

Brendan wrote:As previously shown players pay 34% in the UK v 41% in the Republic.  So yes you are wrong on tax haven for players.

Of course. I'm not talking about the players. Obviously I'm talking about businesses and who is funding Leinster in particular but also private organisations such as the IRFU and fee paying schools that produce professional rugby players, for example.

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Post by Guest on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:36 pm

Kingshu wrote:I'm not sure if you are being serious about the Welsh teams being superior when you say "I was talking about the late 90s and early 2000s when I mentioned the clear superiority of the Welsh. Put your specs on, Pot!"

Lets look at it
2003 Celtic league, Munster won, no Welsh superiority then
2002 celtic League Leinster win, no Welsh superiority then
2001, its an Welsh Scottish  so to compare head to head need to use heinkien cup.
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 01-02 Munster final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 00-01 Munster Semi Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 99-00 Munster Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 98-99 Ulster winners
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 97-98 Cardiff quarterfinal
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 96-97 Cardiff Semi final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 95-96 Cardiff Final
Before that there was no Heineken Cup.

So when you say when Welsh teams were superior to Irish teams you mean from 1995-98 as after 98 Irish teams have clearly been superior.


No, Munster were basically an anomaly in Ireland up until the late 2000s. When you take the whole picture, the Welsh were monumentally stronger in 2003. It would be like trying to claim that, I don't know, Connacht were as good as the Ospreys because they've won the same number of European Cups.

The issue was that too much talent was distributed too thinly in the Welsh clubs, hence creating the regions in 2003, where a Welsh team won the competition and the other regions were pretty good as well.

This is the league table in 2003/04. It's a pretty clear hierarchy.

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Why not just try to discuss the topic instead of denying reality?

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Post by Guest on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:42 pm

Brendan wrote:Your whole complaining about the Irish stitch up sound alot like when the Final was open to a set venue chosen at the start of the season.  The Welsh were never picked and then turned out they never put in bids.  Then they do and they get it.

I guess Covid is just another Irish stitch up to stop the Welsh hosting a final.

Regards sponsers, tv companies etc, maybe all these Welsh companies losing out should take the Pro14 to court for not being a charity.

This coming season there will be plenty of SA coverage because they will be performing on the field.

Or maybe they should divest in a competition where the different financial rules regulating each participating nation means the Irish Saracens are cheating them out of anything close to a fair shot at not just success, but stability and survival.


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Post by profitius on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 8:51 pm

All I hear from certain Welsh quarters is always complaining but I never see any solutions being offered apart from the dream of suckling the English tit. Its just not going to happen so why keep banging that drum?
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Post by Guest on Tue 29 Sep 2020, 9:10 pm

I don't think I am. Merely trying to put things in perspective. As we're facing a period of massive restructuring in the game - from global season, to completely new international competitions, to league structures themselves - then it seems reasonable to put the last 20 years of Celtic rugby in perspective and see where the grievances for the Welsh (some reasonable, some sour grapes as I said) lie and why they exist. It also helps explain some people who still believe an Anglo Welsh league is a possibility because, in 2003, it would have made a lot of sense and been profitable for both parties. I'm not one of those people.

At the very least it explains why Wales is hostile to the Pro14 competition and desperately keeping it alive on the teet of South African seems a desperate and likely short term fix to the issue of a competition in rapid decline (to me, it seems like we're a few years away from imitating Super Rugby almost in its entirety, including the eventual demise and cessation). The Pro14/Magerns/Celtic League has basically drained away the profit and potential from Welsh rugby, destroyed the significant head start they have over their Celtic neighbours, and left them to rot in a competition that is structured to benefit primarily the Irish and primarily Leinster.

Sometimes it's useful to remind ourselves of the real grievances for the stitch up, not just have some pie in the sky dreams about an Anglo Welsh league, or complaining about the 'leaves' like shocking refereeing or yet another commercial decision that kills interest in Wales for the sake of bolstering the Irish interest, when the real rot is in the very roots of the structure itself. You can't compete in a competition that is so imbalanced and operating in different financial realities where the Irish financial sector is disproportionately interested in rugby in a country that is, quite literally, a tax haven.

I haven't even mentioned how Italy got absolutely screwed in 2013, either. It's not as if it's just Wales who suffer from the poorly thought out structuring of European rugby.

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