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Pro 12 plus maybe Friends 20/21

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geoff999rugby
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Post by Brendan 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 LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:19 am

Your such a hoot on here mikey. Rolling Eyes

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:33 am

1. It's "you're".
2. As soon as I suggest you don't start back up with the Baker-obsession you get really defensive, what does that tell everyone?

Good luck to Dan anyway, hopefully he re-ignites his career. As I said, I would only be content with keeping him on if we lost another back-row - which makes sense from a financial point of view. I would probably lose Moriarty; some might vouch to lose Griffiths but I couldn't part with him personally... yet still, I don't go on about him all the time.

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Post by Brendan Sat 13 Mar 2021, 11:33 pm

So as we head to the final round plus a few extra games there has been a bit of a charge from the Scots.

With their win over Ospreys and their game in hand Glasgow are suddenly eyeing that 3rd spot which is hard to believe considering how bad a start they had this season.  They need Leinster to beat the Ospreys in their last game which is probably what will happen.

Edinburgh need results to go their way but could still get 3rd with a big win at Connacht today.  They need to beat the Blues in their final game and hope for Connacht to beat the Scarlets.  With games in hand at home to Benetton and away to Dragon they could be 10pts higher putting them on the same number of points as Scarlets going into the last round.

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Post by y ddraig goch Tue 16 Mar 2021, 7:25 pm

Bad results over the weekend for the Scarlets. Now there's a tough final game v Connacht and the Blues play Edinburgh for a shot at the top tier of Europe next season.

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Post by Brendan Thu 18 Mar 2021, 4:02 pm

This season we have had a large middle pack of teams.

Leinster, Munster and Ulster clearly top three. Had some lucky/small wins. Benetton, Zebre and Dragons clearly the weaker teams. Benetton really unlucky not to have won including v Munster. The other two have got some nice wins and been compeditive in others.

If the two Scottish teams win their games in hand which they should heading into the last round we will have

Connacht 8W 7L
Scarlets, Blues, Ospreys, Edinbrugh 7W 8L
Glasgow 6W 9L

When the 4 SA teams join I expect Bulls and Sharks to go into the top group and the Stromers and Lions to go into the middle group.

With the league being all teams and not Conferences I think that 6th-13th will see lots of movement and teams moving up and down the league regularly.

I know old man likes to underplay their chances but we know in Europe that any team that has 23 average SA players will be very tactical, strong and no pushover. Teams like Sale and Montpellier were transformed with average SA players. All those CJ Standers who are ok but not international level back home.

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Post by Brendan Fri 19 Mar 2021, 11:59 pm

Well done Ospreys on winning. They have now secured top 3rd.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 20 Mar 2021, 2:48 pm

Thank the lord someone was able to halt Leinster. Congratulations Ospreys and their fans!

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 20 Mar 2021, 2:50 pm

It did make me laugh that apparently the commentator said that the Leinster yellow wouldn’t alter the result. Brilliant win.

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Post by Brendan Sat 20 Mar 2021, 5:28 pm

RiscaGame wrote:It did make me laugh that apparently the commentator said that the Leinster yellow wouldn’t alter the result. Brilliant win.

It was much more Ospreys of old digging out the result

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Sun 21 Mar 2021, 6:17 pm

Fair dues to Ospreys for a good performance and great result. A few players in blue need to put in the hard graft and not become show ponies.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:41 am

Couple crazy games last night, lots of tries scored. So which Welsh have qualified for Europe's top tier, Scarlets and Ospreys right? Is it out of sight for Dragons now?

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:45 am

It is now believed (although not confirmed, I think) that top four of each conference make the Champions Cup. So Cardiff, Ospreys and Scarlets should all be in.

Dragons need to do better against Edinburgh, than Glasgow do at home to Benetton. So in reality it is out of sight, as obviously Benetton haven't won a game.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:58 am

A good result for them, considering it's been a bad season for the Welsh (and Scottish) teams in this seasons' comp.

Well we did Glasgow twice, so maybe Edinburgh are next... It's at the Millennium Stadium right? I can't see it working out for us though. Benetton are probably a bit better than being win-less.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:05 pm

Yeah it is. It's just a bit of a big difference to overcome. The good thing is, that we play after Glasgow v Benetton so we will know exactly what we need to do.

Being on level points right now with Glasgow and with them having better points difference (23 points), probably means we will need a big bonus point win. I can't see Glasgow not getting 5 v Benetton (and I am not sure we will get a BP win either), but you never know ha.

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Post by Brendan Tue 23 Mar 2021, 3:00 pm

The Scots ended with a whimper.

Good to see the Welsh finishing strong and think Ospreys and Scarlets should be compeditive in the Rainbow Cup.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 6:30 pm

Are Edinburgh and Glasgow without their internationals this weekend?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 6:33 pm

Brendan wrote:The Scots ended with a whimper.

Good to see the Welsh finishing strong and think Ospreys and Scarlets should be compeditive in the Rainbow Cup.

You’ll have to remind me how that cup works Smile.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:48 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Brendan wrote:The Scots ended with a whimper.

Good to see the Welsh finishing strong and think Ospreys and Scarlets should be compeditive in the Rainbow Cup.

You’ll have to remind me how that cup works Smile.

The Rainbow Cup will consist of a pool stage with two pools of eight teams each, followed by a final between the pool winners, and will run from 17 April to 19 June 2021.

No info yet on who is in each pool.
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Post by Old Man Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:35 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Brendan wrote:The Scots ended with a whimper.

Good to see the Welsh finishing strong and think Ospreys and Scarlets should be compeditive in the Rainbow Cup.

You’ll have to remind me how that cup works Smile.

The Rainbow Cup will consist of a pool stage with two pools of eight teams each, followed by a final between the pool winners, and will run from 17 April to 19 June 2021.

No info yet on who is in each pool.  

Has it been confirmed that it would go ahead?

If so, where will the SA teams be situated?

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Post by y ddraig goch Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:26 pm

Fantastic win for the Scarlets last night best game we've played all season. That's the Pro14 at its best.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:55 pm

y ddraig goch wrote:Fantastic win for the Scarlets last night best game we've played all season. That's the Pro14 at its best.

Who were they playing?
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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:59 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:Fantastic win for the Scarlets last night best game we've played all season. That's the Pro14 at its best.

Who were they playing?

Connacht. boxing

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Post by Kingshu Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:11 pm

If you get Leinster in your pool you can forget about making the final. I hope they use the Pro 14 table and use the A B, B A, A B etc would mean 1 and 4 in one pool and 2 and 3 in the other, that would be Leinster and Connacht, and Ulster Munster in the other.

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Post by Brendan Thu 25 Mar 2021, 3:14 pm

There will be two each from the big 3 unions and one each from the smaller Unions.

Ireland - Fair split Leinster & Connacht, Munster and Ulster.  It's not a great choice.  Connacht lost 8 games but 3 were to Irish teams and 2 to Scarlets.  Leinster want Europe so can be beaten.  Munster & Ulster are to strong to want in your pool as both will be pushing for top spot.
I'd take Leinster and Connacht because if you are looking to finish top you only have to finish ahead of Leinster

Wales - Fair split Scarlets & Dragons, Ospreys & Blues.  Dragons and Blues aren't finishing in the top few spots so it comes down to Scarlets v Ospreys.  It's hard to say if Ospreys are back as they haven't beaten a fully loaded top team, though beating Leinster seconds is still good.
I'd take Ospreys and Blues as both will give a good game but aren't going to run rings around you like a full Scarlets.

Scotland & Italy - Fair split Glasgow & Benetton, Edinburgh & Zebre.  Even though Benetton won nothing they put it up to big teams more.  I'm not sure if any of these teams will have a material impact on the top spot but if anyone will it is Edinburgh who will be a physical side.
I'd take Glasgow and Zebre

South Africa - Fair split Bulls & Lions, Sharks and Stromers.  SR/Currie Bulls 39, Stromers 37, Sharks 35, Lions 34 Cheetahs 31.  So going off this it sits them around Scarlets to Glasgow (going off where cheetahs were)
I'd take Sharks and Stromers as the Bulls are the one SA team that will push the whole way.

Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  If they win the Final then they might go on a run.

As with the last few seasons whoever finishes ahead of Leinster and Munster in each Conference will win the Conference.  Bets would be on Ulster, Bulls, Sharks, Scarlets and maybe Ospreys/Edinburgh to be that team in that order.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Mar 2021, 3:28 pm

Brendan wrote:
Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  

I disagree with this on the basis that Leinster are better than Ulster but Ulster are the equal of Munster
Munster have only won 2 of the last 7 fixtures between the sides

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Post by Brendan Thu 25 Mar 2021, 4:23 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  

I disagree with this on the basis that Leinster are better than Ulster but Ulster are the equal of Munster
Munster have only won 2 of the last 7 fixtures between the sides

I was going to put down that Ulster were as good as the two of them but feel some things are holding them back. There isn't much between the three teams but Ulster still have things to work on.

Ulster have had good results v Munster but they aren't always key games and in a knockout game I feel Munster would win but I think it is down to experince.

I think Ulster also have a mental issue playing Leinster and are still a few games away before they actually beat them and Munster are just further down the road.

Ulster need to still make it to a European semi and also top their group but reaching a Pro14 final last year was a major step forward. I feel they still get bullied by the bigger teams and are a little inconsistent such as unlucky not to beat Toulouse then lose to Glaws. I hope that Ulster and Munster are in the same conference because it is an intriguing battle and the gap is very small.

Next year with the one game in the league and it will matter it is a big one for both teams and could determine who finishes second.

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Post by Brendan Thu 25 Mar 2021, 4:26 pm

Also I think that most teams are worried when they play Ulster and would have them in the top 8-10 teams in Europe.

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Post by Old Man Thu 25 Mar 2021, 6:04 pm

Brendan wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  

I disagree with this on the basis that Leinster are better than Ulster but Ulster are the equal of Munster
Munster have only won 2 of the last 7 fixtures between the sides

I was going to put down that Ulster were as good as the two of them but feel some things are holding them back.  There isn't much between the three teams but Ulster still have things to work on.

Ulster have had good results v Munster but they aren't always key games and in a knockout game I feel Munster would win but I think it is down to experince.

I think Ulster also have a mental issue playing Leinster and are still a few games away before they actually beat them and Munster are just further down the road.

Ulster need to still make it to a European semi and also top their group but reaching a Pro14 final last year was a major step forward.  I feel they still get bullied by the bigger teams and are a little inconsistent such as unlucky not to beat Toulouse then lose to Glaws. I hope that Ulster and Munster are in the same conference because it is an intriguing battle and the gap is very small.

Next year with the one game in the league and it will matter it is a big one for both teams and could determine who finishes second.
I sincerely hope they stick to the single round robin, no fairer way to qualify for a final.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 29 Mar 2021, 11:09 am

This rainbow cup looks like a bit of a shambles;

https://www.the42.ie/rainbow-cup-pro14-fixtures-5392513-Mar2021/

First 3 rounds of fixtures out, great.......

Rainbow Cup fixtures
Round 1 – Weekend of 24 April

Ulster v Connacht
Leinster v Munster
Benetton v Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh v Zebre Rugby Club
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
Dragons v Scarlets
Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions
DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks
Round 2 – Weekend of 1 May

DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls
Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions
Round 2 – Weekend of 8 May

Connacht v Leinster
Munster v Ulster
Zebre v Benetton
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues v Dragons
Scarlets v Ospreys
Round 3 – Weekend of 8 May

Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers
Round 3 – Weekend of 15 May

Munster v Connacht
Leinster v Ulster
Benetton v Zebre
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues
Dragons v Ospreys

But what Pool has which team?

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Post by Old Man Mon 29 Mar 2021, 11:16 am

Also, it is apparently only going to be six rounds. Which doesn’t make sense.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 29 Mar 2021, 2:54 pm

Old Man wrote:Also, it is apparently only going to be six rounds. Which doesn’t make sense.

The original plan was to have the European teams travel to play one match in SA but with current restrictions that looks unlikely.

So at the moment, all they can plan for is the currently released schedule.

It's better than no Cup at all.
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Post by Oakdene Mon 29 Mar 2021, 3:22 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:

But what Pool has which team?

I don't think there are pools. It's one division of 16 teams, 6 rounds of matches, top 2 in the final.

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Post by BigGee Mon 29 Mar 2021, 3:23 pm

Its some rugby to watch on the telly, that's about all we can hope for at the moment.

It won't give the SA sides much of a flavour of how things will be in the wind and the rain next winter either!

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Post by Brendan Mon 29 Mar 2021, 7:54 pm

BigGee wrote:Its some rugby to watch on the telly, that's about all we can hope for at the moment.

It won't give the SA sides much of a flavour of how things will be in the wind and the rain next winter either!

Can't give away to much.

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Post by Brendan Mon 29 Mar 2021, 8:09 pm

As was said on another site this is an "anti-IRISH" competition (joking)

Leinster must play half the teams that beat the while Connacht must also face teams that they lost half their games to. Munster and Ulster have it worse as they play the only teams to beat them during the season.

At the end of 3 rounds you would expect Leinster to be on 2/3 wins and around 11-13 points. Munster and Ulster will do well to be on 2/3 and 10pts. Poor Connacht will have 3pts if they are lucky.

Scarlets should get 3 wins with the two bigger teams at home while Ospreys will be hoping for 11pts if the close v Scarlets.

As we don't know where Glasgow are really Edinburgh could also be on a nice number of points.

If the three remaining games is one team from each of the remaining blocks (SA, IRE, WAL SC/IT) then there would only be one Irish team unless they win all their remaining rounds.

Connacht could finish bottom three here unless they get easier teams.

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Post by Brendan Mon 29 Mar 2021, 8:25 pm

These are the top 6 and the finalist will come from these
1. Leinster
2. Bulls
3. Ulster (just for the fans who gave me grief)
4. Sharks
5. Munster
6. Scarlets
Good try, get some wins but not much between the sides.  Team could finish 7th or 13th
7. Stromers
8. Ospreys
9. Edinburgh
10. Lions
11. Connacht (a bit low but can't have them to high)
12. Glasgow
13. Blues

Bottom 3, will try but not much success.
14. Dragons
15. Benetton
16. Zebre

LOW THE BETTER
IRFU 1+3+5+11=20 average 5
SARU 2+4+7+10=23 average 6
WRU 6+8+13+14=41 average 10
SRU/FIR 9+12+15+16=52 average 13

Or by Top(1) Middle(3) or Bottom(5)
IRFU 1+1+1+3=6 average 1.5
SARU 1+1+3+3=8 average 2
WRU 1+3+3+5=12 average 3
SRU/FIR 3+3+5+5=16 average 4

Edinburgh and Glasgow could find last year's form but not likely.

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Post by Brendan Mon 29 Mar 2021, 8:33 pm

I do think that Munster and Ulster can win their 3 other games but I think it will come down to a team will need 5 wins. If Munster and Ulster get this then Leinster will also be on 5 wins.

It then comes down to TBPs.  Not going to be alot in the inter pros while Scarlets could collect 3 in their derbies.  I think a team will need 5 Bps along with their 5 wins. Can't see Munster doing it, and I think they will beat Ulster at home.

My money is on Scarlets to avoid Bulls and Leinster.

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Post by Brendan Mon 29 Mar 2021, 8:42 pm

Not sure if anyone saw it but Pro16 has asked WR if it can trial the 20min red card during the rainbow cup.  So player sent off can't come back on but another play can after 20mins.

Captain's Challange is also requested where captain can ask for a review which the ref must look at

And finally the goal-line dropouts for ball held up. Knock-ons in the goal area or grounded by defence following kick through.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 30 Mar 2021, 9:37 am

Rainbow Cup is a bit of a joke to be honest.

Use it to trial kids is my view.
You only get 6 games - Ulster have to play away to Munster and Leinster.
Will any other team have a harder set of fixtures?
I cant take it seriously.

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Post by Old Man Tue 30 Mar 2021, 9:39 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Rainbow Cup is a bit of a joke to be honest.

Use it to trial kids is my view.
You only get 6 games - Ulster have to play away to Munster and Leinster.
Will any other team have a harder set of fixtures?
I cant take it seriously.

Yep, this looks more like a filler or tester for next season, if there is going to be a season with everything still going on

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Post by Brendan Tue 30 Mar 2021, 9:55 am

Old Man wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Rainbow Cup is a bit of a joke to be honest.

Use it to trial kids is my view.
You only get 6 games - Ulster have to play away to Munster and Leinster.
Will any other team have a harder set of fixtures?
I cant take it seriously.

Yep, this looks more like a filler or tester for next season, if there is going to be a season with everything still going on

Plenty people looking to get Lions spots too for all but the Italians.

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue 30 Mar 2021, 5:31 pm

Brendan wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  

I disagree with this on the basis that Leinster are better than Ulster but Ulster are the equal of Munster
Munster have only won 2 of the last 7 fixtures between the sides

I was going to put down that Ulster were as good as the two of them but feel some things are holding them back.  There isn't much between the three teams but Ulster still have things to work on.

Ulster have had good results v Munster but they aren't always key games and in a knockout game I feel Munster would win but I think it is down to experince.

I think Ulster also have a mental issue playing Leinster and are still a few games away before they actually beat them and Munster are just further down the road.

Ulster need to still make it to a European semi and also top their group but reaching a Pro14 final last year was a major step forward.  I feel they still get bullied by the bigger teams and are a little inconsistent such as unlucky not to beat Toulouse then lose to Glaws. I hope that Ulster and Munster are in the same conference because it is an intriguing battle and the gap is very small.

Next year with the one game in the league and it will matter it is a big one for both teams and could determine who finishes second.

Still think it's Ulster who have the mental issue with Leinster?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 30 Mar 2021, 8:11 pm

Last I looked there will be 6 inter provincial games for each team.

My understanding of next year is 1 League where you play all teams once except those in your own country who you play
twice - making 18 games in total.
Scotland and Italy will be grouped together for the purpose of getting three extra games.

Also don't disregard Bulls or Sharks they will most definitely be in the mix - this will not be an Irish cake walk.
The competition will be better for that.

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Post by Kingshu Tue 30 Mar 2021, 10:51 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Last I looked there will be 6 inter provincial games for each team.

My understanding of next year is 1 League where you play all teams once except those in your own country who you play
twice - making 18 games in total.
Scotland and Italy will be grouped together for the purpose of getting three extra games.

Also don't disregard Bulls or Sharks they will most definitely be in the mix - this will not be an Irish cake walk.
The competition will be better for that.

Formats like that just push fans away.

It is so unbalanced that it will drive fans away the same way super rugby did, when but had unbalanced conferences.

How is it fair that Connacht will play 3 extra games against Leinster, Munster and Ulster, while their direct rivals Edinburgh play Zebre, Benetton and Glasgow instead, it almost like Connacht start the league minus 10 points, due to unfair fixtures.

That sort of thing turns fans off, just wait untill Glasgow pip Ospreys to the final HCup spot and you will soon hear about how poor the Pro 14 is, giving Glasgow easier fixtures.

If the last season had played out it looked like Cheetahs would pip Glasgow for a playoff spot, Glasgow fans and management would righly have been pissed off, as they would have lost out by a point to a team that played Southern Kings twice (worst team in the league) while they played Edinburgh (top team in Conf B) twice instead.

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Post by Brendan Tue 30 Mar 2021, 11:13 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:
Brendan wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Saying that I think Munster are as good as Leinster (first 15) but have a mental block which is why they keep losing close games that they lead.  

I disagree with this on the basis that Leinster are better than Ulster but Ulster are the equal of Munster
Munster have only won 2 of the last 7 fixtures between the sides

I was going to put down that Ulster were as good as the two of them but feel some things are holding them back.  There isn't much between the three teams but Ulster still have things to work on.

Ulster have had good results v Munster but they aren't always key games and in a knockout game I feel Munster would win but I think it is down to experince.

I think Ulster also have a mental issue playing Leinster and are still a few games away before they actually beat them and Munster are just further down the road.

Ulster need to still make it to a European semi and also top their group but reaching a Pro14 final last year was a major step forward.  I feel they still get bullied by the bigger teams and are a little inconsistent such as unlucky not to beat Toulouse then lose to Glaws. I hope that Ulster and Munster are in the same conference because it is an intriguing battle and the gap is very small.

Next year with the one game in the league and it will matter it is a big one for both teams and could determine who finishes second.

Still think it's Ulster who have the mental issue with Leinster?
As you will see from previous posts I have said Munster has issues. But Ulster have done just as bad. The two of them are to afraid of losing. I know it's not nice to hear and I do think that the weekend was a step back for Munster. Ulster did beat Leinster in 2019 by 1pt at home against a weak enough Leinster team, saying that Ulster had out a second string too.

It is my opinion that Munster are further down the road but I wouldn't say that Ulster have shown anything to say when it matters that they can do it either and crumble just as much. Leinster put out better teams (though not their best team) v Munster which says Leinster need to work harder to beat them. Leinster see neither as challengers so what does it matter, we only care because we want to be second best.

Again not sure why it's such a big issue it's like the two ugly sisters fighting over who the Prince would pick if there was no Cinderella.

Connacht are not afraid to lose to Leinster which is why they have got some nice wins over the years. They don't go into their shell the same way Ulster and Munster do. They play their game and hope for the best. Connacht do though have a mental issue v Munster and Leinster probably do v Sarries away from Dublin so ever team has one.

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Post by Brendan Wed 31 Mar 2021, 11:10 am

Kingshu wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Last I looked there will be 6 inter provincial games for each team.

My understanding of next year is 1 League where you play all teams once except those in your own country who you play
twice - making 18 games in total.
Scotland and Italy will be grouped together for the purpose of getting three extra games.

Also don't disregard Bulls or Sharks they will most definitely be in the mix - this will not be an Irish cake walk.
The competition will be better for that.

Formats like that just push fans away.

It is so unbalanced that it will drive fans away the same way super rugby did, when but had unbalanced conferences.

How is it fair that Connacht will play 3 extra games against Leinster, Munster and Ulster, while their direct rivals Edinburgh play Zebre, Benetton and Glasgow instead,  it almost like Connacht start the league minus 10 points, due to unfair fixtures.

That sort of thing turns fans off, just wait untill Glasgow pip Ospreys to the final HCup spot and you will soon hear about how poor the Pro 14 is, giving Glasgow easier fixtures.

If the last season had played out it looked like Cheetahs would pip Glasgow for a playoff spot, Glasgow fans and management would righly have been pissed off, as they would have lost out by a point to a team that played Southern Kings twice (worst team in the league) while they played Edinburgh (top team in Conf B) twice instead.

I don't agree that its the format that turns fans away but rather issues were with how SR did it.

NFL has it where you play your conference teams twice and then play other conferences but not all the conferences.  It's easy to follow because fans only need to look at their Conference table to see if they are top.
WC and Euro Cup in Soccer did/do 6 groups and then top two plus 4 best runners up.  Anyone can work out who is going to quailify.

The Problem SR had which turned off fans was they tried to run a conference and a league.  They then did the idiotic thing of putting the 3 conference leads as the first three teams on the league table and it made no sense to people when the forth team has more points then second or third.  If they had stuck with 3 conferences where the top 2 from each Conference plus the two best runners up had got to the quarters there would have been no issues.  With the Pro14 there was no issues as to what 1st, 2nd and 3rd got in the playoffs.

While Connacht may seem hard done by they would take that with 3 home games that could get 10+k each (once the stadium is finished) then get 5k for Zebre, Benetton and Dragons.  They would figure that it is better for them and no away quarter then only 1/2 big home games and an away quarter final.  It is also interesting that of the 4 years of Pro14 they have finished 2nd once, 3rd twice even though they have the hardest run of games because of who they play (Glasgow & Edinburgh also had it though yet did better too). Only in the first year did they finish poorly.  That says to me that Connacht have improved in part because the IRFU see that they are now as good as the best teams in the league outside of the Big 3.

For years they were a development side but now are viewed as a top 6/7 side which makes them champions cup.  That happens because the IRFU know Connacht will be rewarded for their efforts where as before they couldn't get 4 teams into the champs cup without winning one of the Euro Cups. Scotland have also done better then would have been expect. Wales on the other hand who had the easier derbies did worse over the same period.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 07 May 2021, 10:43 pm

Benetton got another win tonight. They’re losing a lock forward to Tigers but seem to be bringing in a better one from SA. They also signed a Puma’s LH. Their youngsters looked good against Glasgow. Could they get into the play-offs again next season?

I think Monty Ioane is moving back to Aus. A shame as he’s been massive for them.

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