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Rainbow Cup and the mini round-robins

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Who do you want in the final

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Post by Brendan Fri May 28, 2021 9:03 am

First topic message reminder :

The remaining 3 rounds are broken up into mini leagues.which means there is a bit of interest within them.  Below are the three mini leagues and in () what I think they will finish on

Round-robin A
Benetton 14 (18)
Ospreys 10 (16)
Connacht 9 (14)
In years past an easy set of games for Ospreys but teams are much more even.  If any team wins their two games its a good result.  Could be a home win for each team. In tight contests

Round-robin B
Munster 10 (20)
Cardiff 9 (13)
Zebre 3 (3)
Munster look to top this with the more difficult game at home. They know 10pts could be enough. Blues will be looking to catch Munster unaware and pick up a big win. Finishing in the top half is also important

Round Robin C
Glasgow 10 (18)
Leinster 9 (15)
Dragons 7 (9)
The Problem for the top two teams is they must play each other.  They both probably need 10pts but might only get 9pts. Glasgow have the home game. Dragons will look to run so big open games with them.

Round Robin D
Scarlets 9 (13)
Edinburgh 5 (7)
Ulster 3 (7)
Ulster had to forfeit the game v Scarlets due to Covid.  I expect them to put in a big game v Edinburgh to finish strong.  Edinburgh could easily win both games or lose both games.  Feel with the Covid win Scarlets will now top it

South Africa is to close to call.  The Stromers were unlucky in their first two games so could beat the Bulls in the next round.  If the Stromers and Sharks win then it becomes a 3 horse race.  If the Bulls win for me they are to far ahead as the Sharkes would need a big win v the Bulls in the final game and not sure it would happen.

I would love to see Benetton get to the final. If not them would love Connacht or Blues to make it. (Though unlikely) just because it shakes up the league.

If you want an exciting final Connacht v Stromers would be it for me

Brendan

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Post by RiscaGame Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:27 am

laughing

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Post by Brendan Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:51 am

As like the last few seasons the middle of the pack is quite tight with it being close games and teams close together.

Have to feel the league is alot tighter in the middle than it was before the Pro14 Split.

This season Connacht, Scarlets, Ospreys and Blues all ended on 8/8 W/L ratio.  Edinburgh Dragons and Edinburgh (for all intents) were 6/10
Similar number of teams last season.

Over the Pro12 period we had the top 6 teams and the bottom six teams  (with the odd exception).  Heading into the new season I think alot of teams will be disappointed if they don't make the Top 8 places and the fight for them will be really good.

Looking forward to the final and next year

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:02 pm

Here is the Bulls team for the final. It should be noted that the Bulls are also playing Currie Cup game aswell as losing a host of players to SA and SAu20 squads. The Rainbow Cup team is the strongest they can field.
15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 7 Ruan Nortje, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Jan Uys, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Muller Uys, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Gio Aplon


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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:08 pm

Benetton Rugby: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (captain), 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Thomas Gallo. Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Filippo Alongi, 19 Irné Herbst, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Marco Barbini, 22 Callum Braley, 23 Ratuva Tavuyara

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:10 pm

Most SA sites seem to be saying 10+ win for the Bulls. Paddy Power is +4 for the Bulls.

It will be very humid so let's see how it goes.

Benetton leading by 5 at half time and lose by 5 is my guess 37-32 to the Bulls.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:21 pm

I seen a lot of South Africans predicting Bulls will walk this. I think they could be in for a surprise.

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Post by Old Man Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:49 pm

There are a lot of Bulls supporters smoking their sox

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:59 pm

Old Man wrote:There are a lot of Bulls supporters smoking their sox
Bad visual. We will see in a few hours...

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:41 pm

Old Man wrote:There are a lot of Bulls supporters smoking their sox

I think that is most fans.

We really won't know until the game starts. Benetton physically battered Connacht who had come for a fight and destroyed them in the scrum so Benetton will not be out muscled at the start.

Just hope it's an enjoyable game

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:28 pm

I know this equally applies to the Premiership, but all the conversation right now is (appropriately so) about that amazing Bristol-Quins match.

How come the times of the matches between the leagues cannot be coordinated so matches don't overlap. Mindless, if you ask me, and I presume both sides are equally at fault. Overlapping times does nothing to help our leagues or Rugby grow. Even if by one or two people. Another reason why the whole governance process covering everyone needs an overhaul.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Jun 19, 2021 5:05 pm

In fairness there is a great deal that goes into the kick off times of games, some can be controlled by leagues, others can't.

Not clashing with other leagues big matches I'm sure is on the list somewhere but I'd imagine pretty low down.  More likely that the time that is likely to get the most supporters in stadium, that fits what the tv channels want, others games in their own league, rest days, getting stadium crews, policing, likely weather conditions (extreme heat/cold) etc all comes first.

Then there would be how do you decide who doesn't get the time that they want and therefore suffers for it etc

Anything like that would have to come from the leagues themselves and that is very unlikely

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:20 pm

Benetton doing ok at the moment. I think it might cause some SA fans to rethink the strenght of the league.

Hope Benetton can win, how great would that be for them and Italian rugby

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:45 pm

I think what this is showing is that even for a very good team throwing out the reserves will not be a good option next year.

Bull's missing some of their best and Treviso taking advantage

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:47 pm

Bulls with their Boks will be a better team but great to see Benetton do so well.

There was talk about Treviso was picked as no one expected them to make it (think it was a Bulls press conference) but the crowd is great

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Post by Old Man Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:52 pm

This must be seriously embarrassing for bulls supporters. They simply did not rock up for the match.

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:04 pm

Old Man wrote:This must be seriously embarrassing for bulls supporters. They simply did not rock up for the match.

I think the Bulls supported believed their team would just be too strong physically and that like Italy they would just fall away.

Benetton are doing themselves proud. As said shows like Ospreys last year you have an off year and you are in trouble. Good wake up for some SA fans who thought they would just walk it.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:26 pm

Well played Benetton, a nice way to finish off the season for Italian rugby, hopefully they carry that momentum forward into the URC

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:34 pm

Well done Benetton. They played every game at home but still had to beat each team they played.

In the run got a first win in 7 v Connacht (who had beaten Munster and Ulster) and beats full Glasgow (who beat Leinster)

I enjoyed that the Bulls kept going and at full strenght will be a match for anyone.

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Post by BigGee Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:10 pm

Well just got around to watching this, a great result for Benetton and some reality check for the Bulls and SA Rugby.

Lots of factors at play here.

1. Benetton super motivated for this game, especially with home advantage

2 Bulls perhaps a bit complacent, also a few short of their best team

3 SA teams in general under cooked due to not playing so much this year

4 Bulls maybe underestimating the effects of the travel

5 Benetton, with all their best players, perhaps a better team than they are given credit for!


On that performance though, you do worry about how the SA franchises will fare against the Lions this summer!

It may take them a little while to get competitive in the north as well!

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Post by Brendan Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:30 pm

I think what we saw here was one team who was ready for the final, well drilled and both phyisical and could open up.  The other team didn't seem to realize how hard it would be and really had nothing but kick and phyisicallity.  When neither worked they looked a bit lost.

Going by comments on SA groups they were really surprised how in-effective the Bulls where going forward and at set pieces and I think this will really help sell the URC there.  They maybe thought that it wasn't going to be as good as Super Rugby and the Champions Cup was where it was at.  This now shows them an average team will beat you badly if you aren't going full speed. Not sure the top SA team looked so average phyiscally v an Oz or NZ mid table side.

Like with England with soccer when they were banded from European club competitions for 5 years, came back way behind everyone else. The two years out for SA will cause them to be a little slower. (I think the Boks will be ok because of the European based players pushing the standards in camp). A European base SA team is still very scary and would push the Lions.

It also raises a question of where are Oz and NZ.  They too have been in a big bumble for two years away from everyone (We saw what Argentina did).  Without the internationals of NH v SH and no SA phyisicallity to harden them are they more behind than we think (again Argentina beat them up after no games).

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Post by Old Man Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:40 am

This match is another example for me that Jake White is not a great coach, I mentioned this before, he is a recruiter, but not someone who can evolve a game plan or motivate his team.

The Bulls were lethargic, lacked intensity, their execution was very poor and ther breakdown work pathetic.

They looked like they were unprepared and had no plan. Jake White can only perform when he has his top players playing, without them is not very good at all.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:24 pm

Brendan wrote:I think what we saw here was one team who was ready for the final, well drilled and both phyisical and could open up.  The other team didn't seem to realize how hard it would be and really had nothing but kick and phyisicallity.  When neither worked they looked a bit lost.

Going by comments on SA groups they were really surprised how in-effective the Bulls where going forward and at set pieces and I think this will really help sell the URC there.  They maybe thought that it wasn't going to be as good as Super Rugby and the Champions Cup was where it was at.  This now shows them an average team will beat you badly if you aren't going full speed.  Not sure the top SA team looked so average phyiscally v an Oz or NZ mid table side.

Like with England with soccer when they were banded from European club competitions for 5 years, came back way behind everyone else.  The two years out for SA will cause them to be a little slower. (I think the Boks will be ok because of the European based players pushing the standards in camp).  A European base SA team is still very scary and would push the Lions.

It also raises a question of where are Oz and NZ.  They too have been in a big bumble for two years away from everyone (We saw what Argentina did).  Without the internationals of NH v SH and no SA phyisicallity to harden them are they more behind than we think (again Argentina beat them up after no games).
This to me shows once again that there is plenty of quality in the Pro14, the problem has always been the amount of games that has to be played without the internationals. Hopefully this new schedule addresses that.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:34 pm

Playing without their top internationals hasn’t been an issue for Leinster or Munster. That’s where the rest are lacking. I wonder if both will need to trim their squads if the URC salary cap is introduced. Munster just let go of some good players, but brought in Jenkins (I don’t imagine he was expensive but his stock will certainly continue to rise).

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Post by Brendan Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:53 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Playing without their top internationals hasn’t been an issue for Leinster or Munster. That’s where the rest are lacking. I wonder if both will need to trim their squads if the URC salary cap is introduced. Munster just let go of some good players, but brought in Jenkins (I don’t imagine he was expensive but his stock will certainly continue to rise).

All depends about the second level they are working on.

Regarding the wage cap it seems ti be all about revenue so not sure how it would work. Is money from the mother Union considered revenue. If so the Irish are fine.

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