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Brian Moore asking question whether Pro14 expanded too quickly...

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 10:23 pm

"The semi-final line-ups mean there could be an all English or all French final but, whatever happens, it will mean that if you exclude Leinster’s four finals, in the last decade only one of the remaining 16 finalists have come from the Pro 14.

What does that say about the standards of the Pro 14 tournament and how it does or does not equip its teams to manage the higher standards of European rugby? You cannot be didactic but, at some point, those involved in the Pro 14 must ask themselves the difficult questions and consider whether their policy of expansion has been correct. As posited above, players need the right environment to transition to higher levels of rugby; few are naturally able to do this. The present evidence suggests that Pro 14’s expansion has merely changed the tournament’s complexion. It has not expanded its quality. "

from Torygraph article

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Post by Blueschief on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 10:37 pm

Blimey, has Brian Moore been asleep since lockdown? Both Dragons and Scarlets went into their respective challenge cup quarter finals having only played 2 games since lockdown ended. The Pro14 teams were hugely undercooked compared to the premiership and the Top14 teams who have played around 7 or 8 games since.

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Post by Guest on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 11:07 pm

I think it shows that Leinster have the Pro14 stitched up like a kipper in order to focus on Europe. By and large the Pro14 countries are somewhat to very much weaker than the English and French clubs. There's no major surprise that there are so few Celtic/Italian finalists. They haven't been traditional European heavyweights. Even those that have, Munster, maybe Scarlets, but certainly Wasps and Leicester and Toulouse, have struggled.

I wouldn't worry too much about the leagues in question but ask 'why are the finals dominated by a select few clubs', and when you compare resources, it's no surprise.

Saracens cheated the salary cap for years. Leinster have done the same but it's state sanctioned and agreed upon by the Pro14. That's the difference. What can the other Pro14 teams do? Not a lot, is the answer.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:11 am

It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.  They had the most players from their league at the WC.

He mentions how if you exclude Leinster the Pro14 is rubbish yet ignores that excluding Sarries the Prem has been worse and if it wasn't for Sarries wage bill it could have been worse.  Munster didn't get to the knock outs this year but have had something like 6 semis since last winning. It's their first time in 4 years they haven't made the semis.  The two teams from their group are both semi finalists. On the other hand Exeter only become the second team to make a semi final since 15/16

Apart from Sarries and Racing what English team or French team have made the quarters with any regularity.  League performance is more about who makes the last 8

19/20 Pro14 2, Prem 3 T14 3
18/19 Pro14 5, Prem 1 T14 2
17/18 Pro 14 3, Prem 1 T14 4 (Pro14 had 3 semi finalists also)
16/17 Pro 14 3, Prem 2, T14 3
15/16 Pro 14 0, Prem 5, T14 3 (WC year what a suprise)

I know Brian Moore thinks the Premership is the best in the world and that it is relegation that makes it great but when the teams do poor in Europe it's because the Premership is so hard.

Simple thing is the Pro14 does great for what it is and the teams excluding WC years do as well or better than the Premership.

Since the last WC year 15/16 Leinster4, Munster3, Ulster2, Glasgow2, Edinburgh1, and Scarlets1 have made the quarters.  Leinster3, Munster3 and Scarlets1 have made the semis.

Imagine if the Pro14 was any good and actually prepared them to be good enough to be compeditive in the Champions Cup.

Since the Premership got 3 teams to the semis in the 15/16 season Exeter finally became the second English team to make the Semis (And 4th English team to make the quarters).  Wasps and saints each having 1 quarter final appearance each.  That's the standards the pro14 will be able to manage when they fix their system.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:26 am

Of the 12 teams that can enter the Champions Cup all but Dragons and Zebre have been in over the last 4 years on merit so plenty of competition within the league.

Leinster have won it
Munster and Scarlets have made semis
Edinburgh have topped their group along with the previous 3.
Ulster and Glasgow have also made the semis

Best place finish in the group for the remaining teams are
Connacht 3rd 18pts (finish on same points as a best runner up)
Ospreys 3rd 15pts
Blues 3rd 10pts
Benetton 4th 6pts

Would love to see a breakdown of the French and English

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 8:25 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:I wouldn't worry too much about the leagues in question but ask 'why are the finals dominated by a select few clubs', and when you compare resources, it's no surprise.

Saracens cheated the salary cap for years. Leinster have done the same but it's state sanctioned and agreed upon by the Pro14. That's the difference. What can the other Pro14 teams do? Not a lot, is the answer.

When you say Leinster have done the same as Sarries in cheating the cap but it's state sanctioned what do you mean.

Due to the convey belt of talent coming through the academy there are a large chunk of players only on their first or second professional contract.  You'd be surprised how many of the Leinster squad are under 25.  Sure old man Ringrose is only 25 and made his Leinster debut only 5 years ago. Jordan Larmour 23 debut 2.5 years ago.

While Porter is an international standard player he is paid a backup fee for a tighthead.  He has only been a professional for 4 years. James Ryan is simillar where he isn't on itoje fees nor AWJ fees. Calen Doris was promoted to the senior team in 2018/19 season. The list goes on and on.

Now I know Leinster have the largest wage bill in the Pro14 but I doubt it's massive.  I would guess their squad is the same or less then the Premership's middle spending teams.  And they don't need to hide payments from any wage cap board as other English teams have.

I wouldn't be surprised if Exeter and Bristol are a bit above Leinster's wage bill.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the English squads once the cap drops.  The Marquee players are probably 1.2m+ alone between them.  That would cover nearly half the Leinster squad who are academy players or on their first contracts.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 8:55 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:I think it shows that Leinster have the Pro14 stitched up like a kipper in order to focus on Europe. By and large the Pro14 countries are somewhat to very much weaker than the English and French clubs.

Unlike the Premership where Sarries have won 4 of the last 5 and would have this year were it not for the penalties.  The Premership is so strong that Sarries starting 35 points behind everyone else, losing players and not trying in games because their was no point would be in 11th and only 3 pts off 9th if the clubs hadn't changed the rules.

With Sarries gone Exeter will now dominate the league for two years until Sarries come back.
Take Leinster out of the pro14 and who knows who would win.

I would agree that Sarries, Leinster, and maybe Racing are in a league of their own
Sarries have only been knocked out by Leinster and Leinster by Sarries since 17/18. It's why those two teams don't care about Munster and Exeter but see each other as the rival.

The mighty Exeter get to their first semi and suddenly they are amazing yet Munster making 3 in a row didn't matter. Let's see how they do against Toulouse in the weaker of the two semis.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 8:59 am

Exeter are a very good team. As above they would probably have a few more titles were it not for Saracens cheating.

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Post by MichaelT on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 9:04 am

Brendan wrote:It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.

Heard this before but it didnt apply in 2008 when Wales won a Six Nations and Munster won the Heineken Cup. Or in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations again, and Leinster and Ulster were the final of the HC with Leinster winning. Both of those after a world cup.


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Post by MichaelT on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 9:19 am

Brendan wrote: I would guess their squad is the same or less then the Premership's middle spending teams.  And they don't need to hide payments from any wage cap board as other English teams have.

I wouldn't be surprised if Exeter and Bristol are a bit above Leinster's wage bill.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the English squads once the cap drops.  The Marquee players are probably 1.2m+ alone between them.  That would cover nearly half the Leinster squad who are academy players or on their first contracts.

Can't be true. Sexton, Kearney, Healy, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose, Cronin and Toner must have a combined salary of around €3m - only 400k each on average. Thats fair enough as some of those would be on more, and its only 8 players out of 50 odd. So the other 40 players are only earning what - 50k each per year? Fardy, D Kearney, VDF, James Ryan, Lowe, JGP and Leavy included?

Even on an average of 300k for those 15, the other 35 players are only on 50k each? Doubt it.





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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:40 am

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote: I would guess their squad is the same or less then the Premership's middle spending teams.  And they don't need to hide payments from any wage cap board as other English teams have.

I wouldn't be surprised if Exeter and Bristol are a bit above Leinster's wage bill.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the English squads once the cap drops.  The Marquee players are probably 1.2m+ alone between them.  That would cover nearly half the Leinster squad who are academy players or on their first contracts.

Can't be true. Sexton, Kearney, Healy, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose, Cronin and Toner must have a combined salary of around €3m - only 400k each on average. Thats fair enough as some of those would be on more, and its only 8 players out of 50 odd. So the other 40 players are only earning what - 50k each per year? Fardy, D Kearney, VDF, James Ryan, Lowe, JGP and Leavy included?

Even on an average of 300k for those 15, the other 35 players are only on 50k each? Doubt it.





And what about academy credits etc.
For Exeter you have plenty of internationals there how are they able to afford them then. How can Hogg, Slade, Gray etc for internationals be at Exeter or same for Wasps, Tigers (with all the internationals they had) or any if the other team in the Premership.

It was implied Leinster are cheating the system like Sarries

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:53 am

Leinster don't have a salary cap to cheat do they? it's more sour grapes from that perspective.

Re the English salary I think there's still 2 players who are considered outside the cap as marquee.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:54 am

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.

Heard this before but it didnt apply in 2008 when Wales won a Six Nations and Munster won the Heineken Cup. Or in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations again, and Leinster and Ulster were the final of the HC with Leinster winning. Both of those after a world cup.


2007 WC where Ireland went home early and 2008 Wales team who did terrible in Europe.
In the last two WC cycles the number of WC players has been increasing from the Pro14. Add in the number of non EQ and FQ players have also been increasing.

Pro14 have one bad year and suddenly the Pro14 is rubbish and he basis it all on one team getting to a semi for the first time.

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Post by MichaelT on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:57 am

I would say Exeter are definitely at the top of the salary cap in England. No question. Also Bristol. Bath cant be too far off. Sale too now. Whats the total cap - 8m pound?

Your line of saying Leinster are only at the middle or less than the middle of English teams, so I would say that must be around 5 to 5.5 million then, which is about 6m euro, cannot be true. Leinster must have a playing budget matching the top paying English teams.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Leinster don't have a salary cap to cheat do they? it's more sour grapes from that perspective.

Re the English salary I think there's still 2 players who are considered outside the cap as marquee.

That is my point. If it was about player wages then it would be an all French Semi every year. Leinster have no non irish superstar in their team and have one not from the Provience. Everyone in the Pro14 is jealous of them and as a Munster fan it is hard to take that Relistically Leinster Don't see us as a rival.

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Post by MichaelT on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:04 am

Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.

Heard this before but it didnt apply in 2008 when Wales won a Six Nations and Munster won the Heineken Cup. Or in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations again, and Leinster and Ulster were the final of the HC with Leinster winning. Both of those after a world cup.


2007 WC where Ireland went home early and 2008 Wales team who did terrible in Europe.  
In the last two WC cycles the number of WC players has been increasing from the Pro14.  Add in the number of non EQ and FQ players have also been increasing.

Pro14 have one bad year and suddenly the Pro14 is rubbish and he basis it all on one team getting to a semi for the first time.

The last two cycles have included the Italian teams haven't they because I cant imagine that Ireland, Wales and Scotland have more players in the league now at a world cup than they did in 2007 or 2011. Thats not really relevant then for Europe if Italians being considered as a leagues overall performance.



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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:19 am

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.

Heard this before but it didnt apply in 2008 when Wales won a Six Nations and Munster won the Heineken Cup. Or in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations again, and Leinster and Ulster were the final of the HC with Leinster winning. Both of those after a world cup.


2007 WC where Ireland went home early and 2008 Wales team who did terrible in Europe.  
In the last two WC cycles the number of WC players has been increasing from the Pro14.  Add in the number of non EQ and FQ players have also been increasing.

Pro14 have one bad year and suddenly the Pro14 is rubbish and he basis it all on one team getting to a semi for the first time.

The last two cycles have included the Italian teams haven't they because I cant imagine that Ireland, Wales and Scotland have more players in the league now at a world cup than they did in 2007 or 2011. Thats not really relevant then for Europe if Italians being considered as a leagues overall performance.

Didn't both go home from the world cup early though? That would have helped. When both teams have been in the KO stages, they've gone on to struggle with burnout and injuries.

England and their clubs did well after their early exit in 2015. The Premiership clubs have been particularly strong since then, but they do have more money which is helpful. I don't see a weak squad in the current premiership, so for me it's overtaken the Pro14 - that won't last forever though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:20 am

Brendan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Leinster don't have a salary cap to cheat do they? it's more sour grapes from that perspective.

Re the English salary I think there's still 2 players who are considered outside the cap as marquee.

That is my point.  If it was about player wages then it would be an all French Semi every year.  Leinster have no non irish superstar in their team and have one not from the Provience.  Everyone in the Pro14 is jealous of them and as a Munster fan it is hard to take that Relistically Leinster Don't see us as a rival.

Harsh on Lowe! Agree overall though. Crazy how much the wind played a factor too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:22 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:It's was a WC year when Pro14 teams usually don't do aswell.

Heard this before but it didnt apply in 2008 when Wales won a Six Nations and Munster won the Heineken Cup. Or in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations again, and Leinster and Ulster were the final of the HC with Leinster winning. Both of those after a world cup.


2007 WC where Ireland went home early and 2008 Wales team who did terrible in Europe.  
In the last two WC cycles the number of WC players has been increasing from the Pro14.  Add in the number of non EQ and FQ players have also been increasing.

Pro14 have one bad year and suddenly the Pro14 is rubbish and he basis it all on one team getting to a semi for the first time.

The last two cycles have included the Italian teams haven't they because I cant imagine that Ireland, Wales and Scotland have more players in the league now at a world cup than they did in 2007 or 2011. Thats not really relevant then for Europe if Italians being considered as a leagues overall performance.

Didn't both go home from the world cup early though? That would have helped. When both teams have been in the KO stages, they've gone on to struggle with burnout and injuries.

England and their clubs did well after their early exit in 2015. The Premiership clubs have been particularly strong since then, but they do have more money which is helpful. I don't see a weak squad in the current premiership, so for me it's overtaken the Pro14 - that won't last forever though.

Big improvement from some English teams over the past couple of years. Clearly there are some strong youngsters coming through which I think has helped a lot of teams depth but I think some of the newer coaches have had a really positive effect.

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Post by MichaelT on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:38 am

Both Ireland and Wales going home early might have helped in 2008, but that doesnt explain 2012. Wales got to a semi-final in 2011 and still won a grand slam in 2012, with the all-Irish HC final the same season. England got to the final of the world cup last year and make up 2 out of 4 HC semi-finalists this year too, and

I think 7.5 has hit the nail on the head with the coaching and England now have better, younger players. Theres a lot of 30 odd year olds who have been main stays of Ireland over the last 10 years who are just not at the level anymore. Combine that with the loss of Schmidt and they're at a cross roads.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:47 am

MichaelT wrote:Both Ireland and Wales going home early might have helped in 2008, but that doesnt explain 2012. Wales got to a semi-final in 2011 and still won a grand slam in 2012, with the all-Irish HC final the same season. England got to the final of the world cup last year and make up 2 out of 4 HC semi-finalists this year too, and

I think 7.5 has hit the nail on the head with the coaching and England now have better, younger players. Theres a lot of 30 odd year olds who have been main stays of Ireland over the last 10 years who are just not at the level anymore. Combine that with the loss of Schmidt and they're at a cross roads.

So you can make the case for both then I guess. I know after the recent world cup we were struggling with burnout and injuries, yet right now we seem a bit under-prepared and off the pace.

Yeah that as well. England clubs have their house in order, except for Sarries who are re-building their house! The squads have a lot of good English players and the odd superstar from overseas, and most if not all have a good coaching set-up. England may have less resources than France but it seems like they manage it better. I think Wales are trying to move towards that by attempting to get all the best Welsh players to a Region.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:51 am

Some of you might be interested in watching this video where Schalk Brits was chatting to Jean de Villiers, he provides some info on why Saracens was a great Club to play for.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:50 pm

Not sure if England have better youngsters coming through compared to others.  Their u20s has been top two in the world for a long time.

I don't agree that Premership squads are better but maybe first team.  Problem is the season requires a squad.  Apart from Sarries and Exeter this year what other English team has had a good team in the Champions Cup.  Exeter almost piped Munster one year but lost to 14 men at Castre. Lost to Glaws at home the same year I think.  They also did poorly v Munster in terms of winning games.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 3:54 pm

Leinster are not suited for the PRO14 anymore. And neither are Munster or Ulster probably.

The IRFU should look to move them into a different comp perhaps with the SA teams. They need that kind of quality opposition to compete against English and French teams.
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Post by profitius on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 4:31 pm

I read that Exeter have played 8 champions cup games against Pro14 sides and won 1. Interesting stat.


I think the pro14 basing is completely rubbish. It is what it is and that is more of a squad based competition that the other 2 leagues. That means pro14 teams have to rotate more due to international players but its not black and white. The English and French clubs rotate too so its just a matter of degrees.


People day its been weak because Leinster are dominating but Saracens have dominated England and Europe in recent years yet there's no talk of weakness. And of the match itself, there was a score in it with 2 minutes to go despite leinster conceding 7 scrum penalties. So its not like they're gone to Poopie all of a sudden.
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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 5:08 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote: I would guess their squad is the same or less then the Premership's middle spending teams.  And they don't need to hide payments from any wage cap board as other English teams have.

I wouldn't be surprised if Exeter and Bristol are a bit above Leinster's wage bill.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the English squads once the cap drops.  The Marquee players are probably 1.2m+ alone between them.  That would cover nearly half the Leinster squad who are academy players or on their first contracts.

Can't be true. Sexton, Kearney, Healy, Furlong, Henshaw, Ringrose, Cronin and Toner must have a combined salary of around €3m - only 400k each on average. Thats fair enough as some of those would be on more, and its only 8 players out of 50 odd. So the other 40 players are only earning what - 50k each per year? Fardy, D Kearney, VDF, James Ryan, Lowe, JGP and Leavy included?

Even on an average of 300k for those 15, the other 35 players are only on 50k each? Doubt it.

Leinster have 46 players in senior squad on 3 types of IRFU Contract - Development, Senior, Central. Foreign players have a different type contract with club.
Sexton, Furlong, Healy, Ryan, Henshaw and Ringrose are on central contracts (IRFU pays 100%) so they are not included in Leinster's playing budget, unless player negotiates a separate top-up from club/commercial partner which is allowed. The remaining 8-9 central contracts are spread across the other provinces.

Rob Kearney and Devin Toner's central contracts finished in June. Toner is staying on and is now on Leinster's budget. No decision from Kearney announced yet. The central contracts are around 350-400k. Sexton is the exception but has a top-up from commercial sources outside of budget.
Senior contracts fall into two types - regular season, low-end players such as Dooley, Deegan, Molony, Tracy, C Kelleher, A Byrne, etc - 125-175K. Approx 16 of these - 2.4m
High-end, long serving players such as Toner, Cronin, Porter, Ruddock, Leavy, vdF, etc - 200-250k. - say 8 of these. 1.8m
Development Contracts for players recently promoted - Baird, Connors, Penny, Kelleher, O'Briens x 3, Doris, H Byrne, Sheehan, etc - 50-80k. 12-14 of these - 900k
Total excl Lowe and Fardy as marquee players is approx €5.1m. Plus say 2.5m value for the central players. Total €7.6m - £7m sterling.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 5:13 pm

Old Man wrote:Some of you might be interested in watching this video where Schalk Brits was chatting to Jean de Villiers, he provides some info on why Saracens was a great Club to play for.

I'd imagine there were several thousands of reasons every week. Plus what he was getting paid officially... Very Happy

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 6:04 pm

I think if 3 of the Welsh teams got better then the Pro14 would have improved, but they haven’t yet so for me it sits behind the premiership and clearly the Top 14 if you watched Racing, Clermont, Toulouse, Bordeaux on the weekend. Leinster are still up there with the best and shall remain there despite the weekends result. I don’t actually know of their budget but always assumed it was around the same as a top English team. Might it be larger now, as Leinster seem to have a bigger squad?

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 6:28 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I think if 3 of the Welsh teams got better then the Pro14 would have improved, but they haven’t yet so for me it sits behind the premiership and clearly the Top 14 if you watched Racing, Clermont, Toulouse, Bordeaux on the weekend. Leinster are still up there with the best and shall remain there despite the weekends result. I don’t actually know of their budget but always assumed it was around the same as a top English team. Might it be larger now, as Leinster seem to have a bigger squad?

See above, Mikey.

https://www.606v2.com/t69758-brian-moore-asking-question-whether-pro14-expanded-too-quickly#3925760
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 6:43 pm

I assumed it was something like 60. It’s just 46 then?

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 8:22 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I assumed it was something like 60. It’s just 46 then?

In senior squad yes. Each province also has an academy with 16-18 players in each on a 3-4 year programme with rolling one year stints. They receive about 7,500 annually plus match fees for any games played.
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Post by quinsforever on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:39 pm

was bored. did the analysis. SF and F places by country last 10 years Chumps cup and Heiny separated (5 years of each):

Chumps cup SF places:
Eng 6
Fra 6
Pro 8
Chumps cup F places:
Eng 3
Fra 5
Pro 2

Heiny SF places:
Eng 3
Fra 9
Pro 8
Heiny F places:
Eng 2
Fra 5
Pro 3

conclusion from numbers - only big mover is Eng doubling its SF berths in the Chumps cup format at the expense of France. rest is not so much changed.

think old Brian Moore went for the wum statistic re Pro only having 2 finalists (Leinster/Ulster)in last 10 years but thats actually quite deceptive in view of Pro doing well in terms of SFs and winners (3 for each league in last 9 years).

although clearly the Pro14 had a super easy ride in its league vs Top14 and Premiership, so Pro14 (and Pro12 etc) were able to massively focus on Europe, but there is no way to capture that in any statistics.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:02 pm

Not sure how the Pro14 is an easier ride.  Edinburgh took their eye off the league and finished 5th in their Conference (10th over all Of pro12 teams).  Ospreys had one poor year and finished last.

Not sure how the pro14 expansion has anything to do with standards. As Zebre are stronger than Dragon and Connacht use to be 10 years ago.  In the last 10 years we have seen the improvement in European performances. Before it was built on Munster and Leinster and an odd Welsh team.  Now there are at least 6 teams that can get to the quarters and top groups.  If anything moving to the Pro14 and having two conferences has increased the standard and competition in the league.  Now going on a European run means sacrificing the Champions Cup next year for some teams.  Playing your second string team will result in a hiding even going to weaker teams. Since champions cup places were based on league we have seen all but Zebre and Dragons finish in the top half of the league. Before that never happened and the T4 were fairly stable year to year.

It could be argued that this big jump in Premership quarter finalists this year was down to no relegation. As the two previous years only Sarries got to the quarters because even if they put out a B team they were unlikely to lose in the league.  So I look forward to the article about relegation holding back English teams.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:06 pm

quinsforever wrote:was bored. did the analysis. SF  and F places by country last 10 years Chumps cup and Heiny separated (5 years of each):

Chumps cup SF places:
Eng 6
Fra 6
Pro 8
Chumps cup F places:
Eng 3
Fra 5
Pro 2

Heiny SF places:
Eng 3
Fra 9
Pro 8
Heiny F places:
Eng 2
Fra 5
Pro 3

conclusion from numbers - only big mover is Eng doubling its SF berths in the Chumps cup format at the expense of France. rest is not so much changed.

think old Brian Moore went for the wum statistic re Pro only having 2 finalists (Leinster/Ulster)in last 10 years but thats actually quite deceptive in view of Pro doing well in terms of SFs and winners (3 for each league in last 9 years).

although clearly the Pro14 had a super easy ride in its league vs Top14 and Premiership, so Pro14 (and Pro12 etc) were able to massively focus on Europe, but there is no way to capture that in any statistics.

Only problem with that analysis is that it's not by country - which I thought in part is what Moore was getting at. And his lazy assertion that somehow expansion has complicated things in more teams being successful is not really proven.
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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:07 pm

It will be interesting to see how the Pro14 teams do once the English cap reduces as it will mean not alot of talent drain that has hit Wales teams the most. With lesser players filling the English squads and all teams keeping to the wage rules how will they compete as realistically Exeter is the only one as Sarries will be gone next year.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:26 pm

In case any of us have forgotten the last team to win the Champions Cup that wasn't Sarries, Leinster or Toulon was Toulouse in 09/10.  If you add in Toulouse Munster and the great Wasps and Tigers teams it's Saints in 99/00.

first 5 years there were 5 winners (96-00)
Next 19 there have been 7 (01-19)

France Toulouse 4 Toulon 3 Brive 1
England Sarries 3 Tigers 2 Wasps 2 Bath 1 Saints 1
Ireland Leinster 4 Munster 2 Ulster 1

Toulouse and Leinster are the only teams to have wins with different teams.  Wasps are the third longest between wins which was two wins in 4 years.

So it says that the Champions Cup is all about the team rather than the league and most teams can only build one team once and hope to get as many wins as they can in that small 3-5 year window.

Teams Like Clermont and Biarritz couldn't even get one in their little window and who is to say Exeter or Racing will either.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:38 pm

Also the joke of the start of the topic is Ulster were the last Pro12 team to make the final that wasn't Leinster.  The last Premership team to make the final that wasn't Sarries was Saints which was the year before Ulster's final.
Since Ulster in 2012 the T14 has had a massive three finalist, Toulon, Clermont and Racing. Wow the mind boggles.

So if Moore's point is the Pro14 since taking in the Italians and South Africans has got weaker what is his excuse for the Premership who have been marginally worse.  If his point is Exeter will Definately make the final maybe he should talk to Munster and other teams including Toulouse last year who know that getting to a semi is alot different to getting to a final.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 11:52 pm

Ulster’s win surely has a huge asterisk against due to the sides not competing. It’s really only Leinster and Munster from Ireland.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 12:23 am

Cyril wrote:Ulster’s win surely has a huge asterisk against due to the sides not competing. It’s really only Leinster and Munster from Ireland.

That was a good Ulster side and they could only beat what was in front of them. They played Toulouse three times (beat team in Europe) who the year before had been knocked out in the Semi to Brive on tries scored in the match who lost to Bath by a point. The year after that same Toulouse team made it to the semis being knocked out by Munster. Three of the four semi finalist from 99/00 had been in year before and 2 of the 4 from 97/98 were in it. It is debatable if having the English in would have resulted in an English win. The year they came back they got two into the quarters.

The Champions Cup next year would probably need a bigger Astrix as would the Premership for this and next season with Sarries removed from the competition who are more dominant in Europe than anything the English had in the 90s.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 1:20 am

I don’t think we will see much rugby played for another season or two so probably a big asterisk for a while.

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