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Pro 16 needs to pull the plug on Premier Sports

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Post by bsando Thu 11 Mar 2021, 6:20 pm

First topic message reminder :

Pro 16 needs to pull the plug on Premier Sports - Page 7 Error_10

If the Pro 16 wants to compete with the likes of the other top leagues in Europe and further abroad, they need to part ways with Premier Sports. The current Premier Sports contract with the Pro 14 finishes at the end of this season it still remains to be seen if this will be renewed or another broadcaster will takeover the rights.

Many fans have voiced their dislike of the online platform which after several seasons appears to be stable via Sky or Virgin sports packages but less so as an outright online viewing package. Coupled with annoying multiple login requirements to swap from devices and random lost connection error codes before, during and even when trying to watch on demand matches, it would be a real shame to see the new Pro 16 format begin in this manner.

Do you feel the upcoming Pro 16 competition would be a good addition to BT Sports or Sky Sports or even one of the streaming platforms like Amazon Prime?

Would it be better for a return to the domestic networks in a similar format as before?

Could CVC play a part in this decision with their recent investment in the Pro 14 league and 6N?

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Post by Brendan Mon 19 Apr 2021, 1:55 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Please read what I actually said.
The Pro14 show 4 times as many free games as the premiership (21v5), which is assuming S4C only show the same games as Freesport. I don't know if people in the UK can watch TG4 for more games.

I am pointing out that if we want to grow the brand is it better to have free games on BBC Wales that doesn't seem to have much else non internationals or Freesport that has a load of other rugby that people are watching.

You imply that unless it is on BBC Wales then Welsh people won't know about it.  People can check your comments to see if what I am saying is wrong.

If I am wrong please state why it is so important that BBC Wales get the rights to the league rather then the current setup.

oh for Gods sakes. I know where you are trying to take this.

But anyway. When the Pro14 was on BBC Wales, you had access to it, and they would advertise it. So if you were watching.....I don't know, the One Show, or Eastenders, or the news, then more often or not, you would see Friday nights game advertised and you would be aware of it.

There are a lot of people in Wales who do not even know about Freesports. We all know about BBC Wales.

We have a core of rugby supporters in Wales, that support the regions, they pay for PS, and they most likely watch FreeSports. But it is not enough.

If we want to emulate the Leinsters of this world, we need to break the market of the casual fan, we need these people, who are already watching the channel to get their heads turned, and think, oh I will watch that Friday night, then that casual fan might then become an actual fan.

If it is on an obscure channel, that not many people know about, then we are losing access to a lot of people. Also do not underestimate the people in bars and clubs who would watch it, I know my club refuses to pay the subscription fee for PS as it's too expensive.

So if Freesport is not well known why is T14, Currie Cup, Mitre 10 and Women's Premership 15s all on there. I would hazard a guess and say that Freesport shows the most professional rugby of any channel in the UK.

How does the BBC promote their highlight package that they have their rights to.
Do the media like WOL not do live updates where they tell everyone where and when the games are on.

Does the European Rugby cups also have a problem in Wales as only on S4C and PPV.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Apr 2021, 2:22 pm

Brendan wrote:So if Freesport is not well known why is T14, Currie Cup, Mitre 10 and Women's Premership 15s all on there. I would hazard a guess and say that Freesport shows the most professional rugby of any channel in the UK.

Seriously. I mean come on. I am not even debating this.

Brendan wrote:Do the media like WOL not do live updates where they tell everyone where and when the games are on.

No. Do you know what, I am not doing this with you.

I cannot tell if your are on the wind up or not. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by LordDowlais on Mon 19 Apr 2021, 2:23 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : I do not want to get into trouble.)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 3:25 pm

Just depends what you prioritise from the league, and whether you're happy comes from what the people in charge of the league think and agree. The original point of all that, that the Welsh should bemoan not going with the English, well hindsight is 20:20 but for all anyone knows the welsh teams could well have been sat in the Championship for years had it gone ahead. Grass is always greener and all that.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:03 pm

Who has said anything about joining the English and what has it go to do with pulling the plug on PS ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Apr 2021, 4:14 pm

Was referring to the post by y ddraig goch regarding 20 years ago.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 19 Apr 2021, 5:45 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:You need to revise some of your post to indicate that you mean 'some Welsh fans'.  Unless you actually think ALL Welsh fans think that the Irish run the league, which would be a bit silly.  Just as a very small sample on these boards I would say that only a handful of the Welsh posters here think that. If you did a poll of Welsh 606 posters I doubt the majority would agree that the league is run by the Irish or for the Irish.

Yes, you might be correct regarding this forum. But I also think you honestly do know how it is viewed away from this place, I know PotHale does, as I have seen his username on other forums debating this very same topic with other Welsh rugby supporters.

I have spoken to Scottish fans who think this, and I know PotHale has spoken on other platforms about this as well. He is also an avid contributor to the WOL blogs as well.

So I am sure he is speaking with more experience than just being on V2. OK

LD, numerous times now you have said that you think I ‘honestly do know’. That implies that you think I’m lying which I take offence at. I can honestly say that away from here, with my group of rugby supporting friends who go to Newport RFC and the Dragons together as season ticket holders (not so much Newport RFC any more), who go to international games together, who go abroad to watch rugby together on occasion....... not ONCE have we ever had a conversation about the Irish running the league, or the league favouring the Irish, or the league set up for the Irish. And that’s hand on heart honesty. Now, we’ve moaned about regional rugby a bit and the farce of the set up of it. We’ve moaned about Dragons owners and lack of investment (while acknowledging that over stretching would make us go bust too). We’ve discussed and moaned about the WRU and their many c*ck ups and silly decision making over the years. We’ve moaned a bit about how good the Irish are and how we struggle to compete. But never that the league is set up for the Irish, or by them, or in favour of them. So NO, I do not ‘honestly’ know what you are talking about. My experience has clearly been different to yours. You may be sat in your club moaning about the Irish but that is not the experience I have had down at the Dragons and elsewhere. I’m also involved in mini rugby with my son at a local club close to Newport and we sometimes chat about rugby. Again, I’ve heard nothing about the Irish. Not mentioned once.

So guess what....... people have different experiences. Just because you say you’ve heard it doesn’t mean the whole of Wales is talking about it or thinking the same way. A huge proportion of rugby fans are not into the politics of it. They’re not ‘diehard’. They might be season tickets holders but they’re happy to watch the games, have a beer or two with friends, moan a bit about the performance or revel in the win, but leave it at that. The number of people with strong enough opinions to post on here or on similar boards is probably only in the hundreds. If that. Don’t take that to represent the whole of the rugby supporting population in Wales because it does not.

So my opinion - the league is not biased towards the Irish. The refs are not biased towards the Irish. The league is not set up for them. It is not run by them. However, the league does work well for them (as in, another way to say ‘suits them’). They have seen enormous growth since joining the Celtic league back in the early days. Gates have increased hugely. And with it revenues. The same cannot be said for Wales so the key is to try to work out how to improve performances, maximise revenues, etc. in Wales. Unfortunately, our Irish friends, that means looking at all revenue streams and possibilities. It means sometimes taking about ‘what if’ in terms of joining the English, even if it is pie in the sky. We need to find what works for us. It would be great (for me) if we can find that thing and still stay in the Pro16. It might come from rebranding the regions, or maybe another complete overhaul, etc. It might not be pretty. But ask yourselves, Irish friends - if the Irish provinces were struggling would you not look to your Union for a shake up? Would you not be discussing possibilities? Or would you expect to just wallow at the bottom of the leagues year on year? A lot of what we’re doing here is just throwing out ideas, but discussion seems to cause real anger amongst the Irish posters like you’re being betrayed or something. Let us discuss how to improve the Welsh regions. Surely you’d want that, right? Or perhaps not......
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 19 Apr 2021, 9:00 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LD, numerous times now you have said that you think I ‘honestly do know’.  That implies that you think I’m lying which I take offence at.  I can honestly say that away from here, with my group of rugby supporting friends who go to Newport RFC and the Dragons together as season ticket holders (not so much Newport RFC any more), who go to international games together, who go abroad to watch rugby together on occasion....... not ONCE have we ever had a conversation about the Irish running the league, or the league favouring the Irish, or the league set up for the Irish.  And that’s hand on heart honesty.  Now, we’ve moaned about regional rugby a bit and the farce of the set up of it.  We’ve moaned about Dragons owners and lack of investment (while acknowledging that over stretching would make us go bust too).  We’ve discussed and moaned about the WRU and their many c*ck ups and silly decision making over the years.  We’ve moaned a bit about how good the Irish are and how we struggle to compete.  But never that the league is set up for the Irish, or by them, or in favour of them.  So NO, I do not ‘honestly’ know what you are talking about. My experience has clearly been different to yours. You may be sat in your club moaning about the Irish but that is not the experience I have had down at the Dragons and elsewhere.  I’m also involved in mini rugby with my son at a local club close to Newport and we sometimes chat about rugby.  Again, I’ve heard nothing about the Irish.  Not mentioned once.  

So guess what....... people have different experiences.  Just because you say you’ve heard it doesn’t mean the whole of Wales is talking about it or thinking the same way.  A huge proportion of rugby fans are not into the politics of it.  They’re not ‘diehard’.  They might be season tickets holders but they’re happy to watch the games, have a beer or two with friends, moan a bit about the performance or revel in the win, but leave it at that.  The number of people with strong enough opinions to post on here or on similar boards is probably only in the hundreds. If that.  Don’t take that to represent the whole of the rugby supporting population in Wales because it does not.

So my opinion - the league is not biased towards the Irish.  The refs are not biased towards the Irish. The league is not set up for them. It is not run by them.  However, the league does work well for them (as in, another way to say ‘suits them’).  They have seen enormous growth since joining the Celtic league back in the early days.  Gates have increased hugely.  And with it revenues.  The same cannot be said for Wales so the key is to try to work out how to improve performances, maximise revenues, etc. in Wales.  Unfortunately, our Irish friends, that means looking at all revenue streams and possibilities.  It means sometimes taking about ‘what if’ in terms of joining the English, even if it is pie in the sky.  We need to find what works for us.  It would be great (for me) if we can find that thing and still stay in the Pro16.  It might come from rebranding the regions, or maybe another complete overhaul, etc.  It might not be pretty.  But ask yourselves, Irish friends - if the Irish provinces were struggling would you not look to your Union for a shake up?  Would you not be discussing possibilities?  Or would you expect to just wallow at the bottom of the leagues year on year?  A lot of what we’re doing here is just throwing out ideas, but discussion seems to cause real anger amongst the Irish posters like you’re being betrayed or something.  Let us discuss how to improve the Welsh regions.  Surely you’d want that, right? Or perhaps not......

All good points.  And you're quite right that not all Welsh fans think that way about the Irish and PRO14 - I only reflect what I see written online and I know that is not necessarily representative of all Welsh fans or even a majority of them.

As for how the Welsh regions - or pro teams as they're now referred to - can improve that is a difficult one to answer.   There is a current debate going on following the comments from CEO Holland of Cardiff about the lack of support from the WRU in sticking to letter of the PRB agreement in only paying the regions £3m this season instead of £26m as that's all they had after paying the ring fenced money to the community game.  In addition, the news that CVC are due to pay over £40m to the WRU (albeit in stages over a few years) and plans to spend it on large-scale capital projects such as hotels, etc has added to the chorus of complaints of the WRU ignoring the teams that create and supply most of their test players.  the only remedial step that was taken was the arrangement of a loan - guaranteed by the WRU - for the regions this season.   It is hope that will be reset for payment over 15-20 years rather than the current 3 years terms.  

Holland makes the argument that for the pro teams to make money, they need to be successful and to get success requires investment in the pro teams to improve their squad depth, their academy pathways, their coaching staff, etc.   Leinster is used as a positive example on how this could work, but what club owners and management seem to ignore is that there are 3 other teams in Ireland who have spent large amounts of money with just a single trophy between them for the last decade.   In short, money does not necessarily buy success.

Any solution brought has to be one for the long-term. The WRU cannot afford to suddenly double its investment in the pro teams and continue ad infinitum. What the 4 Irish provinces must do is work within playing budgets determined by a fixed contribution amount from the IRFU and what they can generate from their gates/business supports and sponsorships. Because they are owned by the IRFU, they are more likely to stand as a last resort measure but the IRFU has got tough financially with the provinces in forcing them to live more within their means - fairly or unfairly as some Irish fans might see it.
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Post by Kingshu Mon 19 Apr 2021, 9:18 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:You need to revise some of your post to indicate that you mean 'some Welsh fans'.  Unless you actually think ALL Welsh fans think that the Irish run the league, which would be a bit silly.  Just as a very small sample on these boards I would say that only a handful of the Welsh posters here think that. If you did a poll of Welsh 606 posters I doubt the majority would agree that the league is run by the Irish or for the Irish.

Yes, you might be correct regarding this forum. But I also think you honestly do know how it is viewed away from this place, I know PotHale does, as I have seen his username on other forums debating this very same topic with other Welsh rugby supporters.

I have spoken to Scottish fans who think this, and I know PotHale has spoken on other platforms about this as well. He is also an avid contributor to the WOL blogs as well.

So I am sure he is speaking with more experience than just being on V2. OK

LD, numerous times now you have said that you think I ‘honestly do know’.  That implies that you think I’m lying which I take offence at.  I can honestly say that away from here, with my group of rugby supporting friends who go to Newport RFC and the Dragons together as season ticket holders (not so much Newport RFC any more), who go to international games together, who go abroad to watch rugby together on occasion....... not ONCE have we ever had a conversation about the Irish running the league, or the league favouring the Irish, or the league set up for the Irish.  And that’s hand on heart honesty.  Now, we’ve moaned about regional rugby a bit and the farce of the set up of it.  We’ve moaned about Dragons owners and lack of investment (while acknowledging that over stretching would make us go bust too).  We’ve discussed and moaned about the WRU and their many c*ck ups and silly decision making over the years.  We’ve moaned a bit about how good the Irish are and how we struggle to compete.  But never that the league is set up for the Irish, or by them, or in favour of them.  So NO, I do not ‘honestly’ know what you are talking about. My experience has clearly been different to yours. You may be sat in your club moaning about the Irish but that is not the experience I have had down at the Dragons and elsewhere.  I’m also involved in mini rugby with my son at a local club close to Newport and we sometimes chat about rugby.  Again, I’ve heard nothing about the Irish.  Not mentioned once.  

So guess what....... people have different experiences.  Just because you say you’ve heard it doesn’t mean the whole of Wales is talking about it or thinking the same way.  A huge proportion of rugby fans are not into the politics of it.  They’re not ‘diehard’.  They might be season tickets holders but they’re happy to watch the games, have a beer or two with friends, moan a bit about the performance or revel in the win, but leave it at that.  The number of people with strong enough opinions to post on here or on similar boards is probably only in the hundreds. If that.  Don’t take that to represent the whole of the rugby supporting population in Wales because it does not.

So my opinion - the league is not biased towards the Irish.  The refs are not biased towards the Irish. The league is not set up for them. It is not run by them.  However, the league does work well for them (as in, another way to say ‘suits them’).  They have seen enormous growth since joining the Celtic league back in the early days.  Gates have increased hugely.  And with it revenues.  The same cannot be said for Wales so the key is to try to work out how to improve performances, maximise revenues, etc. in Wales.  Unfortunately, our Irish friends, that means looking at all revenue streams and possibilities.  It means sometimes taking about ‘what if’ in terms of joining the English, even if it is pie in the sky.  We need to find what works for us.  It would be great (for me) if we can find that thing and still stay in the Pro16.  It might come from rebranding the regions, or maybe another complete overhaul, etc.  It might not be pretty.  But ask yourselves, Irish friends - if the Irish provinces were struggling would you not look to your Union for a shake up?  Would you not be discussing possibilities?  Or would you expect to just wallow at the bottom of the leagues year on year?  A lot of what we’re doing here is just throwing out ideas, but discussion seems to cause real anger amongst the Irish posters like you’re being betrayed or something.  Let us discuss how to improve the Welsh regions.  Surely you’d want that, right? Or perhaps not......

At last back to rugby discussions, and not the same old going round in circles.

The WRU haven't been very supportive of the regions, or the Welsh assembly, if I remember right the grant wasn't in the same league as given by the English government to the RFU or Scottish association the SRU. Which is a shame. The WRU also shafted the regions. It means that when this is all over the regions are going to come out with loans, whereas the other teams in the league will not. Meaning it will be even harder for them to catch up finicially over the next number of years.

Will come back to this when I have more time.

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Post by Brendan Mon 19 Apr 2021, 10:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:So if Freesport is not well known why is T14, Currie Cup, Mitre 10 and Women's Premership 15s all on there. I would hazard a guess and say that Freesport shows the most professional rugby of any channel in the UK.

Seriously. I mean come on. I am not even debating this.

Brendan wrote:Do the media like WOL not do live updates where they tell everyone where and when the games are on.

No. Do you know what, I am not doing this with you.

I cannot tell if your are on the wind up or not. Rolling Eyes

Great debating with you.

Seriously though, were my points that good you couldn't counter anything.

Was is not smart to get on the same channel as all the other rugby that I previous mentioned.

Why is BBC Wales so critical. The young people mainly only watch channels like BBC or RTE for sport and other live events and not much else. It's not like 20 years ago when BBC was actually important.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 10:24 am

Brendan wrote:Seriously though, were my points that good you couldn't counter anything.

No.

Brendan wrote:Was is not smart to get on the same channel as all the other rugby that I previous mentioned.

No.

Brendan wrote:Why is BBC Wales so critical. The young people mainly only watch channels like BBC or RTE for sport and other live events and not much else. It's not like 20 years ago when BBC was actually important.

Dont know what this means. Sorry.

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Post by Brendan Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Seriously though, were my points that good you couldn't counter anything.

No.

Brendan wrote:Was is not smart to get on the same channel as all the other rugby that I previous mentioned.

No.

Brendan wrote:Why is BBC Wales so critical. The young people mainly only watch channels like BBC or RTE for sport and other live events and not much else. It's not like 20 years ago when BBC was actually important.

Dont know what this means. Sorry.

Ask the kids in the soccer jerseys to explain the last point.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 28 Apr 2021, 12:45 pm

As this seems to be the newest Pro14 thread I thought I would put it on here. Now I know some of the Welsh members on here hat WOL amongst a lot of other things, but WOL have done a survey, and there are a lot of people in Wales who do read WOL as it is our national news outlet, and there were some interesting questions, and outcomes. Some of the questions were less prevalent but there are some good points in there, in particular I found this one interesting:-

Which is the better competition?

Gallagher Premiership - 81%

PRO14 - 19%

Now this struck me by surprise, not that more people thought the Gallagher Prem is better, but how wide the gap is between the two. 81% is a massive percentage.

Anyway feel free to look for yourself:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-fans-want-british-20481564

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 28 Apr 2021, 2:23 pm

The prem teams all have good teams coached by good coaches, it’s no surprise. I think that’s where some of the Welsh teams are lacking, in their personnel. I’ve noticed in the Prem that the focus is speed of ruck and getting the ball wide, it’s good to watch. That’s how Dragons played on Sunday, in what was a great spectacle.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 28 Apr 2021, 2:57 pm

I wouldn't call it that much of a surprise. They could've expanded on that a bit and asked whether the survey respondents were fans of the Pro Teams or not, as that may have been more of a stat.

I would expect it to be high, as those who choose not to follow the Welsh pro teams will clearly prefer the GP and there are frequent noises by supporters of Pro teams that they don't like the Pro 14(16) either. I think they could've done more with that survey and asked why it is preferred or whatever.

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Post by profitius Wed 28 Apr 2021, 3:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:As this seems to be the newest Pro14 thread I thought I would put it on here. Now I know some of the Welsh members on here hat WOL amongst a lot of other things, but WOL have done a survey, and there are a lot of people in Wales who do read WOL as it is our national news outlet, and there were some interesting questions, and outcomes. Some of the questions were less prevalent but there are some good points in there, in particular I found this one interesting:-

Which is the better competition?

Gallagher Premiership - 81%

PRO14 - 19%

Now this struck me by surprise, not that more people thought the Gallagher Prem is better, but how wide the gap is between the two. 81% is a massive percentage.

Anyway feel free to look for yourself:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-fans-want-british-20481564

I'm surprised it wasn't higher than 81%. This season the premiership has been clearly better. Due to covid it's been the worst season of celtic league to pro14 rugby I've seen. Can't fault anyone just circumstances.


Next season if all goes well it should be a massive improvement. Less games but more quality games and the internationals should be available for more matches. The SA sides will add a lot to the playing standards at least.
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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 28 Apr 2021, 3:53 pm

profitius wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:As this seems to be the newest Pro14 thread I thought I would put it on here. Now I know some of the Welsh members on here hat WOL amongst a lot of other things, but WOL have done a survey, and there are a lot of people in Wales who do read WOL as it is our national news outlet, and there were some interesting questions, and outcomes. Some of the questions were less prevalent but there are some good points in there, in particular I found this one interesting:-
Which is the better competition?
Gallagher Premiership - 81%
PRO14 - 19%
Now this struck me by surprise, not that more people thought the Gallagher Prem is better, but how wide the gap is between the two. 81% is a massive percentage.
Anyway feel free to look for yourself:-
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-fans-want-british-20481564
I'm surprised it wasn't higher than 81%. This season the premiership has been clearly better. Due to covid it's been the worst season of celtic league to pro14 rugby I've seen. Can't fault anyone just circumstances.
Next season if all goes well it should be a massive improvement. Less games but more quality games and the internationals should be available for more matches. The SA sides will add a lot to the playing standards at least.

What is interesting about that stat, is that the Gallagher Premiership is (apart from a few games on C5) behind a paywall just like the PRO14 so where are Welsh fans watching it? Or on the highlights show?

Given that there's usually at least one game involving Welsh teams on "free to air" on S4C every week, the issue can't be access/cost as these are free games, or is the perception that there are more competitive games in the Gallagher because of the "big name" English teams being involved.
Or is just that the PRO14 isn't appealing because by and large the Regions don't do very well?
I'd like to see a similar comparison made for the European Cup games - do Welsh fans enjoy watching European Champions Cup games?

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 28 Apr 2021, 4:02 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
profitius wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:As this seems to be the newest Pro14 thread I thought I would put it on here. Now I know some of the Welsh members on here hat WOL amongst a lot of other things, but WOL have done a survey, and there are a lot of people in Wales who do read WOL as it is our national news outlet, and there were some interesting questions, and outcomes. Some of the questions were less prevalent but there are some good points in there, in particular I found this one interesting:-
Which is the better competition?
Gallagher Premiership - 81%
PRO14 - 19%
Now this struck me by surprise, not that more people thought the Gallagher Prem is better, but how wide the gap is between the two. 81% is a massive percentage.
Anyway feel free to look for yourself:-
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-fans-want-british-20481564
I'm surprised it wasn't higher than 81%. This season the premiership has been clearly better. Due to covid it's been the worst season of celtic league to pro14 rugby I've seen. Can't fault anyone just circumstances.
Next season if all goes well it should be a massive improvement. Less games but more quality games and the internationals should be available for more matches. The SA sides will add a lot to the playing standards at least.

What is interesting about that stat, is that the Gallagher Premiership is (apart from a few games on C5) behind a paywall just like the PRO14 so where are Welsh fans watching it? Or on the highlights show?

Given that there's usually at least one game involving Welsh teams on "free to air" on S4C every week, the issue can't be access/cost as these are free games, or is the perception that there are more competitive games in the Gallagher because of the "big name" English teams being involved.
Or is just that the PRO14 isn't appealing because by and large the Regions don't do very well?
I'd like to see a similar comparison made for the European Cup games - do Welsh fans enjoy watching European Champions Cup games?

It's probably because more people have BT sports already. You get it free if you have their internet or have a phone contract with them. Also a lot of people would have it because of the football is on there.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 28 Apr 2021, 4:11 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
profitius wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:As this seems to be the newest Pro14 thread I thought I would put it on here. Now I know some of the Welsh members on here hat WOL amongst a lot of other things, but WOL have done a survey, and there are a lot of people in Wales who do read WOL as it is our national news outlet, and there were some interesting questions, and outcomes. Some of the questions were less prevalent but there are some good points in there, in particular I found this one interesting:-
Which is the better competition?
Gallagher Premiership - 81%
PRO14 - 19%
Now this struck me by surprise, not that more people thought the Gallagher Prem is better, but how wide the gap is between the two. 81% is a massive percentage.
Anyway feel free to look for yourself:-
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-fans-want-british-20481564
I'm surprised it wasn't higher than 81%. This season the premiership has been clearly better. Due to covid it's been the worst season of celtic league to pro14 rugby I've seen. Can't fault anyone just circumstances.
Next season if all goes well it should be a massive improvement. Less games but more quality games and the internationals should be available for more matches. The SA sides will add a lot to the playing standards at least.

What is interesting about that stat, is that the Gallagher Premiership is (apart from a few games on C5) behind a paywall just like the PRO14 so where are Welsh fans watching it? Or on the highlights show?

Given that there's usually at least one game involving Welsh teams on "free to air" on S4C every week, the issue can't be access/cost as these are free games, or is the perception that there are more competitive games in the Gallagher because of the "big name" English teams being involved.
Or is just that the PRO14 isn't appealing because by and large the Regions don't do very well?
I'd like to see a similar comparison made for the European Cup games - do Welsh fans enjoy watching European Champions Cup games?


Me: yes.
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Post by Brendan Wed 28 Apr 2021, 4:17 pm

Stats are great as they always give you what you want.

I don't agree that the level of teams are better in the Premership.

Bath and Monpellier didn't thrash the two weakest teams in the league in Europe and the Welsh apart from Scarlets did well but just didn't see out the game.  In fact the issue was they were so much stronger they should have won.

Both leagues have three teams (including Sarries in the Prem) who are clearly better then everyone else same as the Pro14.  Difference is squad strenght which the Premership currently is better in but the cap will change that.

While we hear the Premership is more compeditive how many teams have been relegated that weren't Worcester (Zebre) Irish (Dragons) or Newcastle (Benetton) over the last 10 years.  How many teams have made the playoffs or finals of the Premiership. For the last 5 years it seems to be Sarries or Exeter unless one team avoids them.  Pro14 has had much more variety (as they have at champions cups quarters too)

The Pro14 clearly has the best team currently and a cap abiding Sarries is unlikely to be as good.  English teams are compeditive among themselves but over the last 10 years very few have been at it in Europe except for a cap breaking Sarries and an Exeter who must be right on the cap.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 28 Apr 2021, 4:23 pm

Also, S4C do not show one live game per week.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 28 Apr 2021, 4:26 pm

Brendan wrote:The Pro14 clearly has the best team currently and a cap abiding Sarries is unlikely to be as good. English teams are compeditive among themselves but over the last 10 years very few have been at it in Europe except for a cap breaking Sarries and an Exeter who must be right on the cap.

But there in lies the reason why you make this point moot.

If Sarries were allowed to spend what Leinster can, then they would be just as good or better. Perhaps this is where the Pro14 is going wrong, perhaps it needs a salary cap ?

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Post by Brendan Wed 28 Apr 2021, 7:05 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:The Pro14 clearly has the best team currently and a cap abiding Sarries is unlikely to be as good.  English teams are compeditive among themselves but over the last 10 years very few have been at it in Europe except for a cap breaking Sarries and an Exeter who must be right on the cap.

But there in lies the reason why you make this point moot.

If Sarries were allowed to spend what Leinster can, then they would be just as good or better. Perhaps this is where the Pro14 is going wrong, perhaps it needs a salary cap ?

If Benetton could spend all their profits a year on their rugby team they would be stronger then them all.  A cap is a rubbish idea because it holds teams back not drive them forward. Perhaps we should have a team weight cap to stop the SA teams being monsters so that our teams don't need to adapt and move forward.

But we all live in the real world. The Premership have reduced their cap so every top Premership team will be weaker until they raise it back up.  Players like Mercer are going to France because of the low wages on offer compared to France.  It would be expected that SH imports would chose to go to France (like half of Sale and LI)

Why would players like Biggar stay in England for less money when he could come home to Wales for the same wage or go to France for more.

I don't know how Exeter expect to keep all their current players going forward under the new cap which means they too will need to cut wages as will Bristol.

The Premership and cap go hand in hand. If they didn't have it it would be more lopsided then the Pro14

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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 8:47 pm

Kingshu wrote:Don't know how you can saw typical retort, as I normally avoid these Welsh V Irish posts, I think only some bitter Welsh fans feel they have been the junior partners, everyone else can see how the boars is made up, and no union dominates it, Scottish fans never make that accusation, as such, it does make it amusing.

It wasn't Welsh v Irish you decided to take a whole post and focus on the final line to make it about Ireland.

It's about pursuing your own self interest. You won't hear Scottish fans complaining because Celtic Rugby hasn't been as damaging to their club game. You'd expect the level of complaint to match the level of damage. Obviously the Irish will complain the least and the Welsh the most. That doesn't mean that the Irish perspective is the right one and the Welsh one is 'funny'. I still don't know what you think is amusing about it? You haven't explained why it's funny.

Also why would bitterness be a problem? Being bitter doesn't mean you're wrong.


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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 9:06 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:Just posting the raw cost of subscription packages between Premier and Sky or BT misses the point. The other two offer vastly superior services.

The elephant in the room is the quality of coverage and value for money. Look what BT Sport did for Premiership Rugby when they took over from Sky. They created Rugby Tonight to put rugby front and centre of their coverage. Highlights from RT went on youtube and expanded the Premiership to a new audience in a modern format. The same applies to their match highlights which are also available on terrestrial television in midweek.

If you compare BT's coverage to what Premier Sports offer then it's not even a fair contest. The social media Pro14 highlights are edited by people who don't understand rugby. They're almost impossible to watch. The round up programmes are inferior to what was offered on terrestrial TV in Wales with Scrum V which is exactly the opposite of what should happen by going to a private broadcaster. And there is no obvious incentive to change this because the Pro14 doesn't command enough bargaining power for attracting telecommunications customers. Eir Sport and the Pro14 are happy with a situation where the Irish are catered to as the prime audience and the status quo remains.

From a Welsh perspective we backed the wrong horse 20 years ago and should have done everything to join up with England instead.

I'd say the English are probably thinking they dodged a huge bullet there tbh. They don't have to listen to welsh fans and journalists complain about the most minute things, instead of simply getting out their and supporting their teams. Some of the arguments thrown around are absolutely hilarious.

Maybe. There's no reason for the English to feel bad about Wales that's for sure. English rugby still faces a major logistical headache with the Championship and ringfencing that would make bringing Welsh regions in to their league look like small fry. The point isn't about England though it is about self interest. Everyone has the right to pursue their own self interest. At the point the regions were introduced the Welsh could have offered five new teams to the RFU and Premiership full of Welsh internationals, large crowds, and cross-border rivalries. Instead, the WRU made the decision to join the Celtic Rugby project that in hindsight has proven to be costly to Welsh rugby and becomes more costly year on year. This is exemplified by the broadcasting deal which is primarily made for the benefit of the major partner of the Pro14/16: the Irish.

I don't blame the Irish for pursuing their self interest either. The fact that the Irish dominate the competition on and off the field in all manner of ways is a matter for them. The problem is the other parties that enable them as the Irish would not be able to sustain themselves like the French or English leagues. The WRU has gained the least from the arrangement out of the four unions/countries (Prior to South Africa joining. We have to wait and see how that goes) but expecting the situation to change, or for broadcast deals and coverage to become more pro-Welsh or less pro-Irish in 2021 is delusional. Welsh rugby doesn't have the bargaining power. The WRU made its bed and now Welsh rugby lies in it, including media coverage of regional rugby that would be substandard coming from university students.

In hindsight it was a poor decision by the WRU and there is no failsafe to fall back to like the Welsh Premiership, or the club game, or entering the English league system, because the regional project was designed to uproot the traditional rugby structures for the sake of a brand new modern professional competition. It was like a case study in Blairite modernisation that produced results in the short term (Grand Slam 2005) but over time the damage of uprooting traditional structures is felt over and over again. Becoming junior partners to the Irish was a terrible decision when we are right on the doorstep of the English Premiership, which has the potential to be the biggest domestic competition in world rugby. Wales has the right to pursue its self interest and not feel any sort of loyalty to the Irish and Pro rugby.

What arguments do you find hilarious?

First of all before the Eir and premier deal welsh fans and journalists were complaining that the tv deal was too low. The league goes out and doubles the tv deal to 30 million a year and then complain that it's not on FTA tv. Imagine complaining about everything in the league, not supporting the regions and then having the gaul to demand higher tv deals. It's an absolute miracle that Martin Anyai was able to find a company willing to pay that much for tv coverage in a league with only 3 well supported teams (Leinster, Munster and Ulster).
Now we constantly hear how the provinces have 2 to 3 times the budget of the regions. Well of course they do, like do yous honestly expect Leinster to have the same budget as the Dragons, seriously?

That's not an argument. That's a conflation of probably 100 different angry comments from Wales Online to create a big, fictional Welsh Straw Boyo. If that's what you're finding hilarious then that's a bit odd.

The whole purpose of selling broadcasting rights is to sell to the best offer. Money from Premier Sports is one thing but at what cost? Every commercial move the Pro14 has made in the last 5 years has been trying to squeeze money out of it until the pips squeak. The result of that is a league competition that no one cares about. You can't get a clearer demonstration of how poorly the Pro14 is managed, and how money obsessed they have become, than the Rainbow Cup fiasco.

This discussion is about the broadcaster. Premier Sports is not Sky or BT. By selling the rights to a fringe and Irish-owned subscription television company, what has the offer really brought?

It hasn't improved the audience because it has a tiny audience and failed to bring in new customers.
It hasn't expanded the audience through online engagement in the way BT and Sky do when they have right to a competition.
The highlights on youtube are amateur.
The highlight shows are inferior to the BBC's when they had the rights to the Pro14.

So what improved? Apparently the money, that's what the deal was all about. But then you have to ask why did an Irish media company pay more than any other broadcasting company including the big boys of Sky and BT? Why did a competition with 3.5 Irish teams and 6.5 UK teams (plus 2 Italians) ignore the UK broadcasting companies in favour of an Irish one? Apparently the answer was money and nothing else matters. I'm not sure why you're both finding funny about this?

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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 9:14 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:Also am I right in thinking that RTE and TG4 are Irish state broadcasters? Someone mentioned earlier that they have bid for the rights to the competition. Is this correct? Irish state broadcasting has basically outbid the British state broadcaster through the backdoor (i.e. via Eir Sports and Premier Sports, reducing viewership in the UK to discincentivise the BBC or a UK-based private broadcaster like Sky competing with them) despite the fact that the BBC represents 6.5 teams in the competition and the ROI represents 3.5 teams?

TG4 have broadcast Rugby Beo almost since the start of the Celtic League.   They stayed with it when RTE stepped out of bidding for PRO12 some years ago (2010-2014)  - they didn't have the funding at that point.   TG4 is a niche broadcaster with a fraction of the budget that SC4, let alone, BBC would have.   They have bid for the Irish rights for the competition - that is their broadcasting territory - in Ireland only, not Northern Ireland.   RTE is also stepping in to bid for the Irish rights because Eir Sport have announced that they are not going to be bidding for sports rights for the foreseeable future.   That's Ireland.

Premier Sports operates in the UK only - that is its licencsed territory and would compete against Sky/BT/BBC/ITV, etc for sports rights - its territory covers all of UK or its constituent regional markets.  

The BBC are bidding for some of the sports rights for the UK - specifically in Wales, Scotland and NI for some of the FTA matches.   Potentially, PS could bid for the primary rights and use the BBC as a production partner, or else use another company such as Sunset + Vine.   It could also come to an arrangement with RTE who would produce the games in Ireland and send feed to Premier for UK audience.  (In turn, RTE would use outside broadcasting companies such as OBServe to actually cover the games technically.).  

The decisions by PRO14 for broadcasting deals are made by a team within the executive comprising people from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and Italy.    In reality, the populations and ultimately, price/value of rights are greater in Sco/Wal/NI than they are in Ireland - always have been.

For the record the make-up of PRO14 Rugby company reads something like this in terms of senior executive people:

Chair - Dominic McKay - who took over from Welsh chair, and is now heading to Celtic IIRC - Scotland
CEO - Martin Anayi - born in UK, and grew up/played in Wales IIRC - England
Tournament Director - David Jordan - Scotland
Commercial Director - Vacant
Finance Executive - Alba Sarrias - Italy
Press Sec, Italy - Federica GAGGIATO - Italy
High Performance Manager - Greg Garner - England
Head of Operations - Charl Crous - South Africa
Marketing Director - Tom Lister - England
Head of Marketing - Marc Fernadez - England
Head of Broadcast & Communications/PR - Adam Redmond - Ireland
Head of Insight - Rob Balmer - England
Events & Commercial Operations Manager - Laura Ruhan - England
Digital Channels Manager - Mathew Thoma - England

The Board of PRO14 Rugby has equal representation from all stakeholders involved - WRU/ProRugby Wales, SRU, IRFU, FIR, SARU with SRU currently in the chair.

That's interesting about TG4. So a fringe broadcasting company has managed to gain the rights to broadcasting in the ROI. Does this mean Eir Sports and Premier Sports overpaid?

Again, I'd have to ask 'why'? Was it an ambitious attempt to make a name in the UK like Setanta Sports that backfired because the Pro14 isn't as popular in GB as it is in Ireland? They must have known what they were bidding for? Which again begs the question: how did this happen? How have the broadcasting rights transferred from British state television to Irish state television, with Eir and Premier Sports being the fall guy?

" In reality, the populations and ultimately, price/value of rights are greater in Sco/Wal/NI than they are in Ireland - always have been."

It would be interesting to see the financial reality of this. You'd assume it would be bigger in the UK than ROI but just taking a look at the views on the Pro14's YouTube highlights and it's clear that the Irish consistently receive more hits than any other country.


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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 9:19 pm

Brendan wrote:When it was on all the FTA in the UK, could people in England fine it easily enough or did they have to look for it.

Premier Sport is the one channel for the whole of the UK and for fans it is a one stop shop for all the UK teams.

We often overlook England for the league but there are probably many expats from Scotland, Wales and Ireland there who would watch the league but found it had to get the correct BBC.

Numbers of People in England (figures from the net)
Scotland 709k
Wales 600k
NI 295k
Ireland 380k
Italy 600k
SA 186k
Total 2.77m

The above figures only count those born in one of the Pro14 countries not people like K Marmion or H Watson who were born in England but very much feel apart of their heritage country who would happily watch Pro14 if shown on their Local BBC as oppose to finding BBC Wales (don't know how hard it is)

I think most Celtic and Italian ex-pats in England would be watching Irish teams even for the games the BBC broadcast based on demographics of migrants to England and how likely they are to watch rugby. You could watch the BBC games but only online if you changed your region to Scotland, NI, or Wales. The games weren't shown on English terrestrial television for obvious reasons.

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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 9:26 pm

Brendan wrote:Also it is interesting that RTE and Premier are getting together not rival bids of RTE and BBC v Virgin the Premier.  Says to me that BBC don't want the league as an important part of the schedule but rather filler to cover local content requirements in Wales.  It seems like the BBC are just trying to let everyone know they tried without actually putting in a bid that met the tender requirements.

Rugby hasn't been this popular in Scotland in years yet no mention of them doing a bid there.

The BBC's charter means they are pouring money in to women's sport. The visibility given to the women's Six Nations is unconnected to the current interest in the game but they know people will watch because rugby is so popular and it will grow as fathers use it as a way to bond with their daughters and such. They don't have to do much more than put the sport on TV and make it visible on the website and the growth over the next 10-20 years will make everyone involved in management appear to have contributed to a huge success.

The Pro14's financial demands (which comes from the unions and paying players huge wages) mean it offers far less value. Once Premier Sports took it away there's no real way back for free to air. The solution has to be to find a much better satellite and subscription broadcaster that takes the Pro14 seriously.

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Post by y ddraig goch Wed 28 Apr 2021, 9:47 pm

This is the banner currently being used by Premier Sports to advertise its Pro14 coverage.

Pro 16 needs to pull the plug on Premier Sports - Page 7 PRO14-HEADER-WEBSITE-1200

https://www.premiersports.com/sports/pro14

It is using a picture from the 2018-19 season. It's nearly 3 years since that picture was taken. Cory Hill is now with a different club and two of the teams are no longer in the competition. This is the sort of thing that sums up the problem of selling the broadcasting rights to a fringe company instead of taking slightly less money from a superior broadcaster.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 28 Apr 2021, 10:23 pm

To be fair, that Bank of Ireland ad that comes up every break, in recent Dragons games, does my wick in.

I wouldn’t miss that at all. What happened to the good old days of Eddie Butler narrating the bring your fire video Crying or Very sad

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 28 Apr 2021, 10:40 pm

If a new broadcaster is willing to get shot of Eddie butler, they can have my money. I’m fed up him getting names and people wrong, absolute amateur. They can take Sean “I love Dan Evans” Holley too.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:50 pm

y ddraig goch wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:Also am I right in thinking that RTE and TG4 are Irish state broadcasters? Someone mentioned earlier that they have bid for the rights to the competition. Is this correct? Irish state broadcasting has basically outbid the British state broadcaster through the backdoor (i.e. via Eir Sports and Premier Sports, reducing viewership in the UK to discincentivise the BBC or a UK-based private broadcaster like Sky competing with them) despite the fact that the BBC represents 6.5 teams in the competition and the ROI represents 3.5 teams?

TG4 have broadcast Rugby Beo almost since the start of the Celtic League.   They stayed with it when RTE stepped out of bidding for PRO12 some years ago (2010-2014)  - they didn't have the funding at that point.   TG4 is a niche broadcaster with a fraction of the budget that SC4, let alone, BBC would have.   They have bid for the Irish rights for the competition - that is their broadcasting territory - in Ireland only, not Northern Ireland.   RTE is also stepping in to bid for the Irish rights because Eir Sport have announced that they are not going to be bidding for sports rights for the foreseeable future.   That's Ireland.

Premier Sports operates in the UK only - that is its licencsed territory and would compete against Sky/BT/BBC/ITV, etc for sports rights - its territory covers all of UK or its constituent regional markets.  

The BBC are bidding for some of the sports rights for the UK - specifically in Wales, Scotland and NI for some of the FTA matches.   Potentially, PS could bid for the primary rights and use the BBC as a production partner, or else use another company such as Sunset + Vine.   It could also come to an arrangement with RTE who would produce the games in Ireland and send feed to Premier for UK audience.  (In turn, RTE would use outside broadcasting companies such as OBServe to actually cover the games technically.).  

The decisions by PRO14 for broadcasting deals are made by a team within the executive comprising people from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and Italy.    In reality, the populations and ultimately, price/value of rights are greater in Sco/Wal/NI than they are in Ireland - always have been.

For the record the make-up of PRO14 Rugby company reads something like this in terms of senior executive people:

Chair - Dominic McKay - who took over from Welsh chair, and is now heading to Celtic IIRC - Scotland
CEO - Martin Anayi - born in UK, and grew up/played in Wales IIRC - England
Tournament Director - David Jordan - Scotland
Commercial Director - Vacant
Finance Executive - Alba Sarrias - Italy
Press Sec, Italy - Federica GAGGIATO - Italy
High Performance Manager - Greg Garner - England
Head of Operations - Charl Crous - South Africa
Marketing Director - Tom Lister - England
Head of Marketing - Marc Fernadez - England
Head of Broadcast & Communications/PR - Adam Redmond - Ireland
Head of Insight - Rob Balmer - England
Events & Commercial Operations Manager - Laura Ruhan - England
Digital Channels Manager - Mathew Thoma - England

The Board of PRO14 Rugby has equal representation from all stakeholders involved - WRU/ProRugby Wales, SRU, IRFU, FIR, SARU with SRU currently in the chair.

That's interesting about TG4. So a fringe broadcasting company has managed to gain the rights to broadcasting in the ROI. Does this mean Eir Sports and Premier Sports overpaid?

Again, I'd have to ask 'why'? Was it an ambitious attempt to make a name in the UK like Setanta Sports that backfired because the Pro14 isn't as popular in GB as it is in Ireland? They must have known what they were bidding for? Which again begs the question: how did this happen? How have the broadcasting rights transferred from British state television to Irish state television, with Eir and Premier Sports being the fall guy?

" In reality, the populations and ultimately, price/value of rights are greater in Sco/Wal/NI than they are in Ireland - always have been."

It would be interesting to see the financial reality of this. You'd assume it would be bigger in the UK than ROI but just taking a look at the views on the Pro14's YouTube highlights and it's clear that the Irish consistently receive more hits than any other country.


TG4 is an Irish-language television station. It has been involved in Celtic/PRO Rugby almost from the beginning and shared some matches with RTE as the primary broadcaster in Ireland. When RTE stepped out because Sky were bidding for a multi-territory deal, TG4 put in a bid to show some matches on FTA same as S4C did. When Eir Sport bid for the Irish rights instead of Sky, TG4 negotiated a live rights package for some of the Irish home games and delayed TX on others.

Your second para doesn't make sense to me. The markets/broadcasting territories are different between UK and Ireland. The broadcasting rights for the UK territory have not transferred from BBC to RTE. Don't know what the "fall guy" reference is for. Premier Sports put in all-UK bid and offered a greater web platform presence than the BBC did with its bid only for Wal/Sco/NI. RTE will possibly bid for the primary rights for Ireland only - not Wal/Sco/NI.

The potential TV viewing/net platform populations in Wales+Scotland+Northern Ireland+England for expats would be greater than the potential viewing pop in Ireland. Advertisers would pay more. Multinational sponsors with big brand names such as Guinness, Specsavers, etc just see it as one market opportunity.

All the unions and region club owners welcomed the increased TV deal because it increased their income/playing budgets.

Sky, if they wanted to, could put in a multi-territory bid because they have licenses in all UK & Ireland territories. But, it would appear they are not, or are not willing to bid as high as other alternatives.
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Post by Pot Hale Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:55 pm

RiscaGame wrote:To be fair, that Bank of Ireland ad that comes up every break, in recent Dragons games, does my wick in.

I wouldn’t miss that at all. What happened to the good old days of Eddie Butler narrating the bring your fire video Crying or Very sad

I'm curious - are those home Dragons' games? And are there any Welsh ads in those breaks? Normally what happens is the ad break slots are sold domestically in each territory - Sky does this for example. However, sometimes they don't sell all the slots, happens in Sky too here, and the primary home ad runs instead.
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Post by RiscaGame Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:58 pm

Yeah, they all have been. I don't really notice the rest of the ads, tbh. It's just that one that obviously sticks out.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 29 Apr 2021, 1:34 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Yeah, they all have been. I don't really notice the rest of the ads, tbh. It's just that one that obviously sticks out.

Well it might be a Bank of Ireland ad for NI customers as there are no longer branches in GB. Who knows?
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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 29 Apr 2021, 3:46 pm

BT Sport is up for sale apparently. I wonder who will buy it? Would SKY be able to and eliminate the competition?

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 04 May 2021, 10:28 am

It would be unlikely that a deal with Sky would go through, unless they threw a carrot to the masses by gifting a handful of games to the BBC. Otherwise it's likely to be Amazon or a streaming agency trying to take on amazon.
BT must be confident that bundles make no difference to retaining their broadband market share.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 05 May 2021, 8:03 am

Brian O'Driscoll is being his normal un-classy self, sticking the boot into the Pro14 and blaming all the other teams, and not the Irish provinces for Leinster's failure this year in Europe.

What a ....

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/rugby-morning-headlines-brian-odriscoll-20525945

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 May 2021, 8:42 am

Doesn't really make sense since they went past Exeter soundly enough. I know they haven't had a fantastic year and there is to some extent a changing of the guard at the moment in the English game but the games I've seen in Europe have on the whole been competitive.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 05 May 2021, 9:13 am

Not to mention Ospreys beat them at their place recently. Rolling Eyes

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 05 May 2021, 9:59 am

BOD - Great player and I only ever liked what he did on the pitch, apart from that he's a bit of a .... alright.

HOWEVER!!!!
He's not completely wrong, the only thing that was missed on that piece was a mention of the other Irish sides as well and it was WOL that failed to mention the Irish sides, not BOD. He blames the entire competition which obviously includes their provincial rivals.
Leinster regularly put out less than full strength sides and still, for the most part, win convincingly. The introduction of the Saffers, if it ever happens, will bring much needed physicality and force all current Pro14/12 sides to look at alternative game plans.
YES!! Even Leinster.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 05 May 2021, 10:05 am

Pete330v2 wrote:BOD - Great player and I only ever liked what he did on the pitch, apart from that he's a bit of a .... alright.

HOWEVER!!!!
He's not completely wrong, the only thing that was missed on that piece was a mention of the other Irish sides as well and it was WOL that failed to mention the Irish sides, not BOD. He blames the entire competition which obviously includes their provincial rivals.
Leinster regularly put out less than full strength sides and still, for the most part, win convincingly. The introduction of the Saffers, if it ever happens, will bring much needed physicality and force all current Pro14/12 sides to look at alternative game plans.
YES!! Even Leinster.


Did BOD mention the Irish provinces ? If he did they are not reported, it's sounds as though he is blaming everybody else rather than including the Irish teams for Leinster being beat by La Rochelle.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 05 May 2021, 10:06 am

Don't the SA teams operate on lesser budgets too? Can't see what they will do to the league tbh. It still comes down to the haves and the have nots.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 May 2021, 10:10 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:BOD - Great player and I only ever liked what he did on the pitch, apart from that he's a bit of a .... alright.

HOWEVER!!!!
He's not completely wrong, the only thing that was missed on that piece was a mention of the other Irish sides as well and it was WOL that failed to mention the Irish sides, not BOD. He blames the entire competition which obviously includes their provincial rivals.
Leinster regularly put out less than full strength sides and still, for the most part, win convincingly. The introduction of the Saffers, if it ever happens, will bring much needed physicality and force all current Pro14/12 sides to look at alternative game plans.
YES!! Even Leinster.


Did BOD mention the Irish provinces ? If he did they are not reported, it's sounds as though he is blaming everybody else rather than including the Irish teams for Leinster being beat by La Rochelle.

"Unless you find yourself in those circumstances a couple of times a year, it is very hard to prep yourself for it when the chips are down. You have got people a little bit of their game, so there are multiple factors at work there.

"There is an issue with the Pro 14, we have said it for a while. We've been trying to promote it as not so bad, but it's a poor, poor tournament. The quality is very poor. You look at what the English and French teams are having to deliver week on week, even though the Premiership has been very good, it is a dogfight.

"Leinster have won the Pro 14 the last few years at a canter, using 59 players. That just shouldn't happen when you're able to delve that deep into your academy and sub-academy and produce try bonuses almost every game. What are you learning from that?

"You only learn from better teams; at the moment, other teams are learning from them and getting better as a result. I don't think Leinster are learning a huge amount because of the opposition they are coming up against week-in, week-out.

"Until they get the Stormers, the Sharks, and the other South African teams [...] I think they will get to a plateau level of still feeling that shock when they see the Skeltons, the Itojes or the Vunipolas coming at them."


I mean he is talking about all the other teams other than Leinster. He mentions no team or country specifically, merely the league.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 05 May 2021, 10:21 am

Does everyone on here who always defend the league think it's OK what he is saying ?

If myself, or any other Welsh supporters said anything like this we would all be tarred and feathered on here.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 May 2021, 10:24 am

He's wrong. What's really happening is that there is a stand out team, a few years ago you'd say the same about Saracens.

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 05 May 2021, 11:13 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:BOD - Great player and I only ever liked what he did on the pitch, apart from that he's a bit of a .... alright.

HOWEVER!!!!
He's not completely wrong, the only thing that was missed on that piece was a mention of the other Irish sides as well and it was WOL that failed to mention the Irish sides, not BOD. He blames the entire competition which obviously includes their provincial rivals.
Leinster regularly put out less than full strength sides and still, for the most part, win convincingly. The introduction of the Saffers, if it ever happens, will bring much needed physicality and force all current Pro14/12 sides to look at alternative game plans.
YES!! Even Leinster.


Did BOD mention the Irish provinces ? If he did they are not reported, it's sounds as though he is blaming everybody else rather than including the Irish teams for Leinster being beat by La Rochelle.

He didn't mention any nation, he simply said that the Pro14 isn't a good enough tournament to prepare teams for the big French and English sides. You're the one that brought nationality into the conversation regarding him not blaming the Irish sides when he does.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 05 May 2021, 11:18 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:BOD - Great player and I only ever liked what he did on the pitch, apart from that he's a bit of a .... alright.

HOWEVER!!!!
He's not completely wrong, the only thing that was missed on that piece was a mention of the other Irish sides as well and it was WOL that failed to mention the Irish sides, not BOD. He blames the entire competition which obviously includes their provincial rivals.
Leinster regularly put out less than full strength sides and still, for the most part, win convincingly. The introduction of the Saffers, if it ever happens, will bring much needed physicality and force all current Pro14/12 sides to look at alternative game plans.
YES!! Even Leinster.


Did BOD mention the Irish provinces ? If he did they are not reported, it's sounds as though he is blaming everybody else rather than including the Irish teams for Leinster being beat by La Rochelle.

He didn't mention any nation, he simply said that the Pro14 isn't a good enough tournament to prepare teams for the big French and English sides. You're the one that brought nationality into the conversation regarding him not blaming the Irish sides when he does.

Nope, I was referring to this part of the article:-

The Ireland and Lions great feels the lack of credible week in, week out competition against Welsh, Scottish and Italian sides has been a key factor in Leinster failing to reach the European Champions Cup final this year. wrote:

This is what I read, so I questioned it on here to create some debate.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Wed 05 May 2021, 11:22 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Doesn't really make sense since they went past Exeter soundly enough..

Exeter operate on approximately half the annual playing budget that Leinster do.

La Rochelle spend more. Hey presto, Leinster firsts get beaten.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 May 2021, 11:24 am

That's a line written by Paul Abbandonato though LD. Walesonline have lifted BOD's quotes and added some flavour to stoke some fans antipathy.

Not sure that this is the original but was posted before WOL and gives no mention to Welsh, Scottish and Italian sides https://www.otbsports.com/rugby/brian-odriscoll-pro-14-leinster-1189585
You have an issue with the writer and not BOD.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 05 May 2021, 11:36 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:That's a line written by Paul Abbandonato though LD. Walesonline have lifted BOD's quotes and added some flavour to stoke some fans antipathy.

Not sure that this is the original but was posted before WOL and gives no mention to Welsh, Scottish and Italian sides https://www.otbsports.com/rugby/brian-odriscoll-pro-14-leinster-1189585
You have an issue with the writer and not BOD.


Yep, this is what WOL do.  And then people lap it up as gospel.  I'm surprised they haven't had more lawsuits over the years for copyright infringement and lack of acknowledgement given to the sources they copy and paste!
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