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Euro Rugby 2020-2021 from the gloom of Covid to a brave new world

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 10 Dec 2020, 6:23 pm

I have nothing bright or insightful with which to start the thread.  Outside of Exeter's continued excellence and Leinster's annoying way of simply beating everyone, not sure how this will go.  

My point for starting this is simply:  Why do Saints have to play on Friday and therefore ruin my weekend?  

Good luck to all.........

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 10 Dec 2020, 11:47 pm

I kind of hope that Dragons will do slightly similar to how they did against Bristol for both our games coming up. Bloody their noses a bit, but class and power will ultimately tell. I want them to do better than the scoreline finished, but I don’t mind when we inevitably get overpowered. That’s how our players will learn. Dragons should be in a better place now, as they’re more settled than they were against Bristol (experimenting in the derbies beforehand etc) and have our better players with more rugby under their belts (Roberts and especially Griffiths to name two). Hope they do okay.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 11 Dec 2020, 7:46 am

Have to say I'm very confused by the new format. Do the teir one teams have to get a scotch egg if they go out drinking before the game or not?


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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Dec 2020, 8:24 am

Gooseberry wrote:Have to say I'm very confused by the new format. Do the teir one teams have to get a scotch egg if they go out drinking before the game or not?


I've definitely seen simpler formats! Personally given the circumstances I would prefer a starigh knock out comp but understand the need to fulfil tv commitments and the opportunity to get some fans through the turnstiles.

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Post by Brendan Fri 11 Dec 2020, 11:16 am

I think the tournament is complicated but week 4 will be really exciting as TBPs and tries that each team needs.

Hopefully it isn't like this next year but will be fun for a year.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 11 Dec 2020, 2:57 pm

From the EPC Rugby web site. Covid has clearly infected the minds in ways we could not predict......

2. NEW TOURNAMENT FORMAT
POOL STAGE
2.1 For the pool stage, the clubs are divided into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B. Clubs from the same league cannot play against one another and clubs will only play against other clubs in the same pool. Each club will play four matches during the pool stage, two at home and two away.

2.2 Four points for a win, two points for a draw. A bonus point will be awarded to a club scoring four or more tries and to a club losing by seven points or fewer.

2.3 The four highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the quarter-finals and will be decided as follows:
(a) If two or more clubs in the same pool are equal on match points at the end of the pool stage, their ranking will be determined as follows:
(i) the club with the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage
(ii) if equal, the club with the most tries scored during the pool stage
(iii) if equal, the club with the fewest number of players suspended under Disciplinary Rules in the pool stage; or
(iv) if unresolved, by drawing lots.

KNOCKOUT STAGE
Quarter-finals
2.4 The four highest-ranked clubs in Pool A and the four highest-ranked clubs in Pool B will qualify for the quarter-final matches which will be played over two legs on a home and away basis as follows:

QF1: Number 1-ranked club in Pool A v Number 4-ranked club in Pool B
QF2: Number 2-ranked club in Pool B v Number 3-ranked club in Pool A
QF3: Number 2-ranked club in Pool A v Number 3-ranked club in Pool B
QF4: Number 1-ranked club in Pool B v Number 4-ranked club in Pool A
NB The clubs ranked numbers 1 and 2 from Pool A and Pool B will play the second leg of their quarter-finals at home.

2.5 The clubs ranked 5 to 8 in Pool A and 5 to 8 in Pool B will qualify for the Round of 16 of the Challenge Cup.

Semi-finals
2.6 Semi-finals, played over one match, will be staged at venues designated by EPCR and the highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have home country advantage.

Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Final
2.7 The 2021 final will be played in Marseille.

NB In the event of drawn matches or equal aggregate scores at the end of normal time during the knockout stage, extra-time will be played with the exception of the first legs of the quarter-final matches. If the scores remain tied at the end of extra time, the winner will be determined as follows:
(a) the club that has scored the most tries in the match or matches (including extra time) or
(b) if equal, by a place kick competition.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 11 Dec 2020, 3:02 pm

We know teams and their unions are anxious to put Rugby on the pitch and cover at least some of their financial losses. But in Covid-world, perhaps it would have been better to not play this tournament this year. Our players are all going to take a beating this season. I will watch of course.....

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Post by Brendan Fri 11 Dec 2020, 9:02 pm

Big win for Benetton away to Stade. I wonder if the Challange Cup will be littered with these kinds of results.

Saints continue their losing run. You have to wonder when the run will end.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 12:49 pm

How are Saints losing this much? Good team and good coach... Something not quite right there.

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Post by tigertattie Sat 12 Dec 2020, 1:30 pm

Clermont are a bit rampant eh
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Post by tigertattie Sat 12 Dec 2020, 1:41 pm

See that’s why many people get confused about the rules of rugby.

How can one week where an opponent who instinctively tries to catch the ball but knocks it’s up and then on gets a yellow card but then this week an opponent who deliberately bats a ball down into the ground just gets a penalty????
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 12 Dec 2020, 1:41 pm

Very hard to figure out what is going on at Saints. I agree the players are good enough and have been around enough to know what to do and how to close out games. Not saying they should play at an Exeter level, but better than this. Good solid players in most positions and a couple of world class players (Biggar and Lawes, maybe Ludlam on the cusp). Only thing they can do, and in my opinion should do, is get rid of the coach. Saints have played the exact same way since December.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 1:57 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Very hard to figure out what is going on at Saints.  I agree the players are good enough and have been around enough to know what to do and how to close out games.  Not saying they should play at an Exeter level, but better than this.  Good solid players in most positions and a couple of world class players (Biggar and Lawes, maybe Ludlam on the cusp).  Only thing they can do, and in my opinion should do, is get rid of the coach.  Saints have played the exact same way since December.      

He was a good coach back in NZ so it’s hard to figure out. I guess it starts and ends with him though. Some other premiership teams have benefited from a new coach (Bath).

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 12 Dec 2020, 2:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Very hard to figure out what is going on at Saints.  I agree the players are good enough and have been around enough to know what to do and how to close out games.  Not saying they should play at an Exeter level, but better than this.  Good solid players in most positions and a couple of world class players (Biggar and Lawes, maybe Ludlam on the cusp).  Only thing they can do, and in my opinion should do, is get rid of the coach.  Saints have played the exact same way since December.      

He was a good coach back in NZ so it’s hard to figure out. I guess it starts and ends with him though. Some other premiership teams have benefited from a new coach (Bath).
Agree, Chris Boyd has a great c.v. and a number of former players who really liked him. I think sometimes a coach and a club may not gel right. In those cases, it is better to cut the cord earlier rather than later. Right now the team is going backwards and finding ways to lose.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:05 pm

Wow. It's hard to recognise Toulon. So many Frenchmen.....

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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:29 pm

No arms tackle from Gareth Davis, touch judge too busy trying to keep up with play to notice.

Where was the TMO????

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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:43 pm

Touch judge is blind too, Scarlets playing running back in to join bath maul from behind, then she adds 10m to a kick that hit a camera person on its way out.
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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:50 pm

New European rugby rule, Welsh teams can knock on. Absolute joke officiating.

Forward passes and seatbelt tackles allowed too.


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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 4:53 pm

Oh the TMO is alive!
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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:10 pm

Shocking call, momentum took him over.

European rugby is Poopie mostly down to the quality of the refs. It's a shocking standard.
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:11 pm

A lot of stupid over-celebrating from Bath, over-celebrating simple things like turnovers and a basic tackle. There was only one team celebrating at the final whistle and it wasn’t Bath funnily enough, and it seems like Dallaglio might cry - I guess that’s him commenting above me Rolling Eyes

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Post by The Oracle Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:12 pm

Ref whingeing? Who’d have thought?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:13 pm

Mistake from the ref and tmo at the end but amusing to see th back whingeing!

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:14 pm

Dragons have two covid cases so have made 4 changes to the team, the most vital in the back-row and replacements. I think that’s an advantage to Wasps.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:15 pm

Surely it was always advantage to Wasps?! This just puts them at Advantage ++ Very Happy
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:16 pm

Everything else aside, Bath were totally clueless on Scarlet's line at the end.  Slow brainless shove followed bv slow brainless shove.  Scarlets defense was absolutely terrific, but Bath had no idea  (remind you of any team wearing a Red Rose?).  Ben Spencer's brain fart should disqualify him from playing for England, at least for this year.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:17 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Everything else aside, Bath were totally clueless on Scarlet's line at the end.  Slow brainless shove followed bv slow brainless shove.  Scarlets defense was absolutely terrific, but Bath had no idea  (remind you of any team wearing a Red Rose?).  Ben Spencer's brain fart should disqualify him from playing for England, at least for this year.

People look and exeter and say it's slow and boring and lacks ambition. Also takes a lot of skill it turns out.

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Post by TightHEAD Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:23 pm

The Refereeing has been awful today.

Welcome back European rugby! Rolling Eyes
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Post by doctor_grey Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:39 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Everything else aside, Bath were totally clueless on Scarlet's line at the end.  Slow brainless shove followed bv slow brainless shove.  Scarlets defense was absolutely terrific, but Bath had no idea  (remind you of any team wearing a Red Rose?).  Ben Spencer's brain fart should disqualify him from playing for England, at least for this year.

People look and exeter and say it's slow and boring and lacks ambition. Also takes a lot of skill it turns out.
OK Agree. Skill and brains.

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Post by Gooseberry Sat 12 Dec 2020, 5:58 pm

Bath are cold shower this year. Looking at the players they have really should be doing better, especially against an injury ravaged scarlets.


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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 6:16 pm

Dragons halfbacks are having a bit of a shocker. They keep kicking it and it’s not very good kicking. They’ll never get back in the Wales squad sadly.

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Post by BigGee Sat 12 Dec 2020, 6:48 pm

Great try from the Drags

Roberts rolls back the years!

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Post by BigGee Sat 12 Dec 2020, 7:12 pm

Dragons have put up some fight in this game, all things considered, but that might be the end for them.

Can Wasps get the BP?

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Post by BigGee Sat 12 Dec 2020, 7:14 pm

And there it is.

Thomas Young goes through the line and scores.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 7:21 pm

Dragons weren’t going to win with Poite helping Wasps, not that they needed his help but I think he’s just another shocking French ref.

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Post by Pot Hale Sat 12 Dec 2020, 7:56 pm

Good match between Leinster B and Montpelier. 5 tries to 2 in the end but good to see Jimmy O’Brien coming through his European debut from the academy.

When they get Furlong, Connors, Conan, Deegan, Sexton, Ringrose, Lowe and Larmour back, hopefully they can step up a little this season. Ruddock deservedly man of the match - again. And Dave Kearney keeps on scoring.

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Post by Brendan Sat 12 Dec 2020, 8:00 pm

Glad to see their B team looks just as good against other leagues teams.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 9:50 pm

Hardly a Leinster B team, but a very good win. Montpellier have played Leinster a few times in more recent years and haven't come close. This might also help dispel the rumour that Leinster playing these guys is "not a good look for the league".

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 12 Dec 2020, 9:52 pm

Young, Willis, Barbeary and Robson were very good for Wasps, but their standout player was Rowlands - best lock in England right now Wink.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 12 Dec 2020, 10:26 pm

Brendan wrote:Glad to see their B team looks just as good against other leagues teams.
Where was the outrage with Leinster "resting" players for this game, haven't they disrespected the comp? On a serious note that first half of rugby was just about as good an away performance as you can get. Extremely impressive stuff from an inexperienced team.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 12 Dec 2020, 10:32 pm

Couldn’t watch Dragons, but this is the kind of score I expected, before our difficulties and withdrawals. If Davies was kicking his goals, then it could be a different game too. I know JG missed some, but our need for accuracy was always going to be greater.

Great win Scarlets. Good to see.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 13 Dec 2020, 12:11 am

By the way, not sure if anyone saw Clermont demolish Bristol, but it was a thorough pounding. Really over at halftime. Credit to Bristol, they kept fighting to get back in it. But every time, it just seemed it roused Clermont to score. Clermont looked very good.

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Post by sensisball Sun 13 Dec 2020, 11:44 am

Clermont have benefitted by not losing any of their forwards to the French team. This has  allowed them to settle into the T14 and get their mojo back. With Yato back in the team next week it will be a tough assignment for Munster. Penaud and Raka are just back from injury and suspension respectively so I expect them to get even sharper as the competition unfolds. Matsushima looks like he has settled in well, although post match he suggested he still had some work to do to get better!

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 13 Dec 2020, 1:28 pm

The consistency in the team has got to help!

Just put on Lyon-Gloucester and saw Basteraud is playing Number 8. He just scored which is amazing - he looks big enough to cover 6, 7, and 8. At the same time.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 13 Dec 2020, 1:54 pm

The last time I watched Clermont before yesterday’s demolition was against Racing in the QF, the intensity in the game was another level.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 13 Dec 2020, 2:26 pm

Isnt it amazing how often the french sides front row replacements pick up injuries and those have rolling subs.

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Post by BigGee Sun 13 Dec 2020, 5:05 pm

Well we won't be the first or last to get smashed by Exeter at Sandy Park

That is not much consolation though

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 13 Dec 2020, 6:45 pm

Not sure how that’s a penalty try to Munster tbh.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 13 Dec 2020, 7:03 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Not sure how that’s a penalty try to Munster tbh.
 
Ref felt the rolling maul was going over without Evans losing his bind and slipping underneath to bring it down.

Fairly moronic yellow card from Dombrandt. Wanting to put a big hit on the opposition's young 10 off the bench is fine but you know it'll be reviewed so tucking one arm under is asking for a 10 minute sit down.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 13 Dec 2020, 7:18 pm

Fair, I guess he was better placed to judge it than I.

Definitely a thankless yellow from Dombrandt. Coombes is going to be class for Munster and Ireland.

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