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Rainbow Cup laws

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No 7&1/2
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 1:33 pm

Apologies if this is posted elsewhere but I can't see anything. Just got this from pro 14s twitter on some law changes that are being trialled in the Rainbow Cup.

'Law Variation Trials Explained
Replacement for Red Card player after 20 minutes

For red cards the offending player will be removed from the field for 20 minutes. After this time the team can replace this player with one of their nominated substitutes. The player who is given the red card will not be able to return to the pitch.

Just like the awarding of a yellow card, the 20 minutes will be measured in ‘game time’ meaning that the clock will not run during stoppages in play. The Red Card Replacement law will also apply to players who receive two yellow cards (which results in an automatic red).

Players who have been substituted for tactical reasons may be used to replace a player who has received a red card. The usual replacement laws continue to apply in that a replaced player may return for an injured front rower, injury due to foul play, HIA or blood.

Captain’s Challenge

The Captain’s Challenge is aimed at enhancing the accuracy of decisions already under the remit of the match officials. Each team is allowed one captain’s challenge in the match. These can be used for try-scoring and foul play incidents, or to challenge any refereeing decision in the last five minutes of a match.

The challenge will be referred to the TMO who will review the footage with the match referee making the final decision. If a challenge is successful, then the team keeps their challenge but if it is unsuccessful then the team loses the challenge. Challenges can only be made up to 20 seconds after the referee has blown his whistle for a stoppage in play and only incidents from the last passage of play can be challenged.

Prior to the 75-minute mark, the Captain’s Challenge can only be used to check for an infringement in the lead up to a try or to review foul play. The Captain’s Challenge will be applied more broadly from the 75-minute mark in any match at which point the captain, provided they have not already lost their Challenge, can use it to check any whistled decision regardless of whether a try has been scored. Injury time is included in the post 75-minute period.

TMOs will be able to go back to the last stoppage in play, regardless of how many phases have been played
Foul play challenges can be made after any stoppage in play if the captain believes foul play has been missed by the match officials
Captains must reference ‘specific’ incidents or infringements
Footage must be ‘clear and obvious’ for a challenge to be upheld
Captains cannot refer a scrum or lineout penalty, where the referee’s decision will be final
For the avoidance of doubt, there is no extra challenge available after 75 minutes. Teams receive one challenge per match and will only retain it if they are successful in a previous challenge.

What cannot be challenged

A restart in play has happened including a quick tap or quick throw in has been taken, so the team has chosen to play quickly
Non-decisions - where a referee does not blow their whistle for a decision and play continues (unless there is foul play)
Set-piece decisions cannot be challenged because they are technical decisions that could provide multiple outcomes based on the interpretations of players and referees
Goal-line drop-out

For held-up over the line, knock-ons that occur in goal or when the ball is grounded by a defending player in the in-goal area after a kick through, the defending team will take a drop-out from anywhere on the goal line.

The drop-out must be taken on or behind the defending team’s goal line and it must occur without delay. The ball must cut across the goal line and travel 5 metres. If this does not occur a sanction will apply and the non-kicking team may request the kick to be retaken or receive a 5m scrum in line with where the kick was taken.

For the avoidance of doubt, a missed penalty kick at goal or a missed drop-goal attempt will still result in a 22m drop-out for the defending team.'

Not a fan of reducing the impact of a red card overall and that captains challenge seems to have an awful lot of caveats. These trials always seem to be judged a success so I'm guessing we may be seeing more comps do a similar thing.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 15 Apr 2021, 1:41 pm

Hadn't read the caveats to the challenge, so will read them now.

I don't like the red card trial and a goal line drop out seems a bit rugby league to me. I get there are things we can take from RL (for instance I like the idea of us doing similar to the 40/20 kick), but I don't like this idea really.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 15 Apr 2021, 2:02 pm

Although (I suppose), having seen people highlight how a goal line drop out is a better reward for a team holding an attacker up over the line, I can see that aspect a little.

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 2:51 pm

That red card rule is fundamentally an awful idea, I am completely against it.

All this stuff about they are trying to help make the game safer with the way high tackles are ruled and now this is completely going the opposite.

You could have a situation where one team singles out another teams main player and puts in a truly horrific incident (tackle, maybe even just a kick to their head when on the ground) early on and essentially they get 20 mins down to 14 and then a later ban for the player.

I'm sure the team that just lost their best player and the player with serious injuries will be glad to know that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:08 pm

Yeah the red card 20 mins just seems the push back for so many reds at rucks and high tackles - just adapt your tackling and make sure you're competing at rucks safely!

Guess the goal line drop may see a touch more kicking in and around the 5m line, leads my thinking to rugby league last tackles around that area. Plenty of people want to see less pick and goes which is may balance out?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:27 pm

Awful idea on the red cards...no thanks.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 3:44 pm

I can see what the idea is with the red card and there's a bit of me that likes it. Matches can be ruined by a mistimed or unintentional clumsy tackle from an otherwise squeaky clean player (I do not mean POM) and the team as a whole suffers for one person's mistake but there would be far too much of a temptation to take one for the team. I do think the red card laws need to be tweaked a little but that one's a tweak too far.
The goal line drop goal is a great idea, a decent reward for last ditch defence etc. How much of a delay is without delay though? Do attacking players have to retreat a certain distance first?
The Captain's challenge is a variation I've wanted to see for some time. Iain Hendersons try/non try in the 6 nations being a prime example of an occasion where that particular joker could be used and not be wasted. Great idea and it helps the officials as well.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 15 Apr 2021, 5:08 pm

I like the red card idea, though I'd probably keep it down to ten minutes until a substitution can be made. At the moment, like in most sports, red cards are an unequal punishment depending on when a player gets sent off.

Captain's challenge? Good idea. Already used, successfully I feel, in RL's NRL. Not sure why there's this nonsense around 75 minutes though.

Dislike the drop-out rule which makes it just like rugby league. No need for it in union. Won't it just lead to defending teams executing choke tackles, carrying the attacker over the line with 3/4 defenders, then bringing the whole thing down in a heap?

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 15 Apr 2021, 8:00 pm

I wonder whether the red card idea might produce unexpected consequences. A red card has a gravity to it, refs don't issue them lightly. I wonder with the 20 minute thing you might see teams down a lot of players for large sections of the match, where everything that is borderline might see the harshest penalty (so that the game looks tough on safety).
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Post by Kingshu Thu 15 Apr 2021, 8:38 pm

In regards to the red card, it sounds to me like they have replaced the red card with an orange/black card. What they should have done in introduced the Orange/black card  and still kept the red card for serious foul play (somethings always deserve someone to be sent off and the whole team suffer by being a man down).

For clarification, I think a black Card means player has to be substituted, if no subs left tough. Orange card means 20 mins in sin bin.

Low end pens black card
Low middle range pens yellow
High middle pen orange or Orange/black card
Dangerous foul play red

2nd yellow or orange card equals a red card.

My preference for simplicity would be to just introduce a black card

Low end pens black card
Middle range pens yellow
High middle pen issue a yellow and a black card (10 mins in bin, at end player cannot return but a sub can)
Dangerous foul play red card

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Post by Brendan Thu 15 Apr 2021, 11:12 pm

The player being held up over the line has two parts to it.
1. It rewards the defending team but still has them under pressure.  A 22 normally goes to about half way, if the attacking team get the ball around the 22 they can run back at the defending team with a more open field.  Any good coach should be able to put a few moves together.
2. Forces teams to open their eyes and not spend 20 phases just trying to drop over the line.  Sometimes an attacking teams gets to much tunnel vision and it might actually help the attacking team (Unless you play like Exeter)

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Post by Brendan Thu 15 Apr 2021, 11:22 pm

Regard Red Cards not to pushed.

Generally the difference between a yellow and red aren't to much.  And as others have said might result in more red.
A red at 60+ minutes in a game isn't really going to make a difference. Unless the clock goes well into the red. In my opinion no player should be allowed onto the field once the clock goes red (such as the France v Wales 100min match)
If a yellow is worth 7pts to the other team then a red should be worth 14-20pts.  If you can't make the time count you need to look at yourself.  I understand why teams with one man less try slow the game down but surely playing advantage and then coming back for a penalty that eats up minute, would the team a man up not be better to not play advantage unless there is a great chance on.

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Post by RDW Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:09 am

Super Rugby AU has had these new laws and it hasn't made a huge difference to the feel of the game.

The biggest change is the goalline dropouts, which I quite like and it does add some excitement. You're basically kicking the ball to the opposition who will be gathering it in your half, and then it's a race off the line to try and make the contact point as far out as possible. It does keep the defence under pressure. I guess the purpose is to avoid lots of scrums on the line when a player is held up. Although sometimes adds a lot of drama in itself.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 8:25 am

BBC: 'World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin said: "We applaud Pro14 Rugby and the respective clubs for their enthusiasm to trial a number of law variations in the Rainbow Cup.

"The addition of another top competition to the World Rugby law trials programme will provide invaluable data and feedback to determine future advances to game spectacle and player welfare."

Pro14 tournament director David Jordan said in the statement announcing the trial laws: "We know these laws also have their origins from the player welfare symposiums and our belief is that we will see a positive impact on the game overall."'

Yeah it's definitely getting rolled out come hell or high water in my eyes. Not sure how the red card reduced punishment is aiding player welfare though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 16 Apr 2021, 9:20 am

Why is there a drive / need to constantly change the rules!

I do think its funny that Union is heading so much like League...in 20 /30 years it'll be the same game.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 16 Apr 2021, 9:28 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not sure how the red card reduced punishment is aiding player welfare though.

That's exactly what I thought. It's a pretty laughable attempt to justify the red card part of the trial.

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Post by BigGee Fri 16 Apr 2021, 9:33 am

I am not a massive fan of constant scrums and pick and goes close to the line, which eats up a fair proportion of a game these days.

If a ball gets turned over at a maul if it can't come out, then I don't see why something similar should not happen if it is held up over the line. It might actually encourage sides to spread it wide a bit earlier rather than constantly keeping it with the pack. Pick and go is generally very low risk as the worst thing that can happen is you get the ball back to put into your scrum. So i am quite happy to give that one a go.

The other two changes, I am less sold on, though it is often true to say that an early red card can ruin a game as a spectacle and we have to be mindful of our audiences.

Getting sent off will still be a significant disadvantage to a side for 20 mins and the player will still get a ban, so it does not make it an attractive proposition.

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Post by LordDowlais Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:09 am

What happens if you get two red cards in one game ?

Do you just sit 40mins out ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:11 am

Can't remember who said it, possibly Monye but I'd prefer that choke tackle was got rid of if we're actually talking about rewarding attacking teams and player safety. You often see players held up by necks and its rarely punished as its that grey area between tackle and maul. Reward the team going forward at least. But also as Geordie says stop tweaking in general!

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Post by MichaelT Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:16 am

LordDowlais wrote:What happens if you get two red cards in one game ?

Do you just sit 40mins out ?

I thought it meant the player couldn't come back on once red carded but a sub can bring the team back up to 15 players.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:25 am

LordDowlais wrote:What happens if you get two red cards in one game ?

Do you just sit 40mins out ?

'For red cards the offending player will be removed from the field for 20 minutes. After this time the team can replace this player with one of their nominated substitutes. The player who is given the red card will not be able to return to the pitch.'


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Post by Old Man Fri 16 Apr 2021, 10:37 am

I don’t have a problem with the red card experiment, I think it is fair in the sense that the contest be as fair as possible, the red carded player can’t return and he is the one that transgressed, for the team to pay the price is harsh.

Also consider some red cards are issued in the first quarter of the match and other in the last quarter of a match which in itself is not consistent.

One team could be punished for 60 minutes vs another for perhaps 15 minutes. By having a twenty minute penalty is more equitable.

What I really wish World Rugby would change is the law around mauls, in my view mauls are obstructive play no matter how you look at it, hence changing the law that mauls can be lulled down would change the game forever, teams would have no choice but to become more creative in the hunt for scoring tries.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:55 pm

Old Man wrote:I don’t have a problem with the red card experiment, I think it is fair in the sense that the contest be as fair as possible, the red carded player can’t return and he is the one that transgressed, for the team to pay the price is harsh.

Also consider some red cards are issued in the first quarter of the match and other in the last quarter of a match which in itself is not consistent.

One team could be punished for 60 minutes vs another for perhaps 15 minutes. By having a twenty minute penalty is more equitable.

What I really wish World Rugby would change is the law around mauls, in my view mauls are obstructive play no matter how you look at it, hence changing the law that mauls can be lulled down would change the game forever, teams would have no choice but to become more creative in the hunt for scoring tries.

You have to be very careful, as far too often 'more creative' translates to kicking more.

Mauls are an important aspect of the game and can allow the attacking team to work using power and organisation or to exploit the space created by tying in defenders. There might be better ways of tweaking how they are used.

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Post by Old Man Fri 16 Apr 2021, 1:59 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Old Man wrote:I don’t have a problem with the red card experiment, I think it is fair in the sense that the contest be as fair as possible, the red carded player can’t return and he is the one that transgressed, for the team to pay the price is harsh.

Also consider some red cards are issued in the first quarter of the match and other in the last quarter of a match which in itself is not consistent.

One team could be punished for 60 minutes vs another for perhaps 15 minutes. By having a twenty minute penalty is more equitable.

What I really wish World Rugby would change is the law around mauls, in my view mauls are obstructive play no matter how you look at it, hence changing the law that mauls can be lulled down would change the game forever, teams would have no choice but to become more creative in the hunt for scoring tries.

You have to be very careful, as far too often 'more creative' translates to kicking more.

Mauls are an important aspect of the game and can allow the attacking team to work using power and organisation or to exploit the space created by tying in defenders. There might be better ways of tweaking how they are used.

True, but you are not outlawing the maul, just making it a more fair contest.

I have seen numerous interpretations of referees seeing a maul that splinters in side splinter, middle splinter or whatever not adjudicating it the same, sometimes they will say it is the same maul, other times they will interpet it as an illegal splinters.

Then the side swimming is sometimes allowed and other times not allowed, the interpretation from coming through the middle is a toss up.

Its a mess.

Simply allow the maul to be pulled down and all those controversies disappear.

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Post by Brendan Fri 16 Apr 2021, 11:47 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:What happens if you get two red cards in one game ?

Do you just sit 40mins out ?

'For red cards the offending player will be removed from the field for 20 minutes. After this time the team can replace this player with one of their nominated substitutes. The player who is given the red card will not be able to return to the pitch.'


I assume that implies that if you have no subs left you can't bring any player on.

It's unlikely to matter as if a player were red carded at 50 minutes the team will just hold the last sub back until 70mins.

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Post by Brendan Fri 16 Apr 2021, 11:51 pm

Old Man wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Old Man wrote:I don’t have a problem with the red card experiment, I think it is fair in the sense that the contest be as fair as possible, the red carded player can’t return and he is the one that transgressed, for the team to pay the price is harsh.

Also consider some red cards are issued in the first quarter of the match and other in the last quarter of a match which in itself is not consistent.

One team could be punished for 60 minutes vs another for perhaps 15 minutes. By having a twenty minute penalty is more equitable.

What I really wish World Rugby would change is the law around mauls, in my view mauls are obstructive play no matter how you look at it, hence changing the law that mauls can be lulled down would change the game forever, teams would have no choice but to become more creative in the hunt for scoring tries.

You have to be very careful, as far too often 'more creative' translates to kicking more.

Mauls are an important aspect of the game and can allow the attacking team to work using power and organisation or to exploit the space created by tying in defenders. There might be better ways of tweaking how they are used.

True, but you are not outlawing the maul, just making it a more fair contest.

I have seen numerous interpretations of referees seeing a maul that splinters in side splinter, middle splinter or whatever not adjudicating it the same, sometimes they will say it is the same maul, other times they will interpet it as an illegal splinters.

Then the side swimming is sometimes allowed and other times not allowed, the interpretation from coming through the middle is a toss up.

Its a mess.

Simply allow the maul to be pulled down and all those controversies disappear.

I think your point is more about interpretations rather then rules. One of the things that is frustrating is the constant changing of interpretation. It is when what a law means changes it causes problems.

In regards to a maul the laws should be clear and to the point, the problem is different refs understand the interpretation differently.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Apr 2021, 6:59 am

I think it is unsafe to collapse mauls. Same argument when when the ELVs were trialed.

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Post by Old Man Sat 17 Apr 2021, 8:05 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think it is unsafe to collapse mauls.  Same argument when when the ELVs were trialed.    

I actually disagree with that thought process doc.

Been watching mauls collapse for yonks and honestly cannot think of one instance where a player got dangerously injured.

My issue with mauls isthat no matter how you look at it, it is controversial in many aspects, first and foremost it is obstruction.

There is almost no way to get to the ball carrier, then the technical aspects of how referees interpret the defending teams “legal ptions” of stopping the maul istoo open and varied.

The tactics used by the attacking team on how and when they splinter off the maul is again open to interpretation.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Apr 2021, 2:29 pm

I agree completely about the splintering.  No doubts the laws need work there.  very messy and each ref seems to have his or her own ideas what to do about it.  

But a maul is the only legal opportunity for body on body (obstruction, if you will)  and defending teams need to be able to get in there and stop it.  Another contest unique to Rugby strength and body position v. strength and body position.  Tearing it down will take another part of the game away.  I really enjoy watching a rolling maul go for 10-20 yards before an attack breaks off. Except when I am on the receiving end....

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Post by Cyril Sat 17 Apr 2021, 7:29 pm

It won’t be long until we have 4 quarters, tactical time-outs and adverts on the big screen while they interview the wingers on the touchlines during a scrum.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Apr 2021, 8:22 pm

I personally don't care about 4 quarters.  It is almost that way now when the waterboys/coaches come on the pitch for a minute or two.  Might as well make some money from adverts than watching people standing around.  

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 20 Apr 2021, 1:55 pm

Looks as though this competition is going to be called off.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 20 Apr 2021, 2:09 pm

That article has a bit of a misleading headline.

I fully expect Dragons to play their derby games, tbh. Seeing as they've been training for them, it would be quite a waste now.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 20 Apr 2021, 5:53 pm

Is it going ahead? Seems full steam ahead but nothing formal in the news. At least from what I have seen.

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Post by BigGee Tue 20 Apr 2021, 8:04 pm

All the news today suggesting the SA teams won't now take part.

Looks like it will end up just a Pro14 affair now

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Post by jimbopip Tue 20 Apr 2021, 8:37 pm

Get a fiver each way on Benetton then.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:26 am

Dual competitions. Bit of a shambles.

Just when I thought it couldn't become more pointless from a Dragons POV, I have just seen Chris Kirwan of the South Wales Argus has written that Dragons are playing Leinster and Glasgow again, during rounds 4-6. So for 5 of the 6 fixtures, we play three derbies at awful times and then two teams we have already played twice this season.

Blinking heck.

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Post by RDW Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:30 am

Yeah it's very much become pointless now, but games are still needed!

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Post by The Oracle Wed 21 Apr 2021, 10:57 am

They should put all of the available players' names in a hat, perhaps by position, and then the coaches draw names out and build a squad 'by chance' that they have to coach and compete in whatever is remaining of this tournament. That would mix things up a bit and add some interest! The coaches could really earn their money then! Might be nice to see some of the top players running our for the Dragons too Smile
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Post by RiscaGame Wed 21 Apr 2021, 11:01 am

I would be onboard with that Very Happy

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 11:29 am

Geoffrey, Bungle, Zippy and George could have organised a tournament better. The word FlusterTruck comes to mind, I don't know why or even what it means.
I thought this was a terrible idea from the outset, to curtail the Pro14 season in order to have a meaningless tournament in the middle of a very unpredictable pandemic was never going to be a work of genius.

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Post by RDW Wed 21 Apr 2021, 12:11 pm

https://twitter.com/MarkPalmerST/status/1384815571540365314?s=19

Interesting detail here

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 21 Apr 2021, 12:36 pm

RDW wrote:https://twitter.com/MarkPalmerST/status/1384815571540365314?s=19

Interesting detail here

Ouch that's got to hurt.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 21 Apr 2021, 2:23 pm

RDW wrote:https://twitter.com/MarkPalmerST/status/1384815571540365314?s=19

Interesting detail here

Very commendable of them to pay the money. Wonder what will happen with it now.

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Post by Kingshu Wed 21 Apr 2021, 5:48 pm

I would be happy just to turn it into a double round Robin interprovincial series.

The Welsh can do the same with a Principality series.
It would mean more to me having a best team in Ireland and crowned as such, and I guess the same for Welsh teams, than some unbalanced Celtic Cup.

Scottish teams could play best of 6 1872 Cup games, or double round Robin with the Italians for scottish/Italian series.

I think fans would be happier with 3 domestic comps and bragging rights for each (especially since all derbies were not played in league) than whatever this imbalanced Cup is morphing into.

Even it there was an proper Celtic Cup.
Top 4 from league bye to quarter finals
Next 8 play to join them 5th place in league at home etc.
Qf and SF are home and away.
That's 6 rounds same as the Rainbow cup was or domestic series.

I think fans of every Pro 12 team would be happy to ditch the Rainbow cup in favor of one of the two options I have given and either of them would be decent competition's the fans would buy into, unlike 🌈cup

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 21 Apr 2021, 7:46 pm

After seeing that Dragons will get players like Adam Warren back and seeing Anscombe running, this kind of competition is now perfect for getting people playing again. So I’ll be positive about it. Plus like I said, seeing as some of our fringe players are getting a chance, I like it Wink

It would be great if Anscombe could feature for Ospreys at some point. Not sure how close he is.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Wed 21 Apr 2021, 9:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BigGee Wed 21 Apr 2021, 8:27 pm

In my opinion, this season was trashed from the off with the finish of the previous season and then the international commitments superimposed over it.

From my team, Glasgow's point of view, I am glad to have our full squad back together at long last and hope to see them showing some signs for next season. A chance to bring on some kids and to blend some new combinations.

We will get some rugby to watch on TV and should be pleased enough about that.

The SA competition was serious and developed in good faith. I don’t honestly think anyone knew last autumn how things would transpire this spring.

Longer term, having the SA teams on board will only strengthen the league.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 22 Apr 2021, 12:05 am

I think having the SA teams involved is a brilliant stroke.  They will have some revenue is Pound Sterling and Euro which will help their bottom line and better viewing times for their teams.  Plus will help the overall viewership of the league globally.  

Will the SA teams now qualify for the Heineken Cup (or whatever the silly name for it is now)?  I certainly hope so.  That will further drive interest to sky high levels.  And that is great for Rugby.  

Far too visionary for the Premiership who are focusing on Ealing, ffs, instead of the Bulls, Sharks, Lions, and Western Province.   Blydi hell, this will be great fun.

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Post by RDW Thu 22 Apr 2021, 1:18 am

One step at a time Doc - super rugby is a prime example of how things can go wrong when you expand too fast too far.

Australia and NZ rugby have stumbled on a format that really works - local competition followed by cross border. It's great they're bringing two Pacific island teams into the mix too.

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Post by Irish Londoner Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:49 am

The red card thing is a stupid idea, I can see unscrupulous coaches starting with a "disposable" squad player, with instructions to take out by any means an opposition player and don't worry about the card, we're expecting you to get one. After he gets sent off you then bring on the player who would be your normal starter to replace him, while the opposition have lost a key player.
I can imagine the mayhem outside of the elite level if this is introduced, "take out their fullback he's the only decent player they've got..."

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