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Is the ERC a farce?

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geoff999rugby
neilthom7
doctor_grey
TJ
Brendan
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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 06 Dec 2021, 12:58 pm

Going into the opening rounds of the weekend I can't help but feel ERC's new format is a farce. My issue with it is that given the concession they have had to make to include more sides from France and England, I am perplexed at why they have setup a system where any side that does not do well in the opening rounds of the Champions Cup, still have a chance to win the challenge cup.

Historically there have been sides that simply have no ambition to do well in Europe and their sole goal has been to qualify for the Champions Cup only to essentially start fielding second string sides the minute their chance of knockout stages has been extinguished. But under this season regulation any side who does this will automatically qualify for the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup. So essentially we are rewarding those teams with that goal more gate money and home revenue.

In all honesty why should a side who qualify through the Challenge Cup have to play a side who basically was dire in the main event in knockout rugby. I really hope this is a one off system because this is a clear money grab by clubs in such a manner that rewards those that shouldn't be rewarded.

Can any Bath fan really argue that losing 4 Champions Cup rounds should qualify you for Challenge Cup knockout stages. The worst part of this is that any challenge cup side (other than Saracens), probably shouldn't even bother trying to their best teams. They may as well start sending our 3rd string sides in the opening rounds as most of them will more than likely get knocked out by the parachuted teams.

Whats your thoughts on this years European Rugby system?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:02 pm

The format this year is awful but I expect nothing more from the people that now run this competition. The glory days of the old HC are long, long gone.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:07 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Whats your thoughts on this years European Rugby system?

From my perspective, European rugby was ruined when the money men muscled in. We were promised dreams of sponsors clamouring over each other to throw money at it, we were sold dreams of the second tier being taken more seriously by the French, we were told there would be this shangri-la of rugby utopia, and there would be money coming from everywhere.

Well guess what ? None of that has happened. The competitions have lost their magic, they are soulless games without any real passion anymore. Nobody cares about European rugby competitions.

Also, where is the third tier competition we were promised ? We have been totally sold down the river by the greedy people who wanted change.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:13 pm

Copying the format of the Champions League in football.

The rest is just extended moaning.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:14 pm

Just to add, we are now getting sponsored less by Heineken than we were before the idiots took over. steam

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:19 pm

I just hope from a Dragons perspective that Ryan picks a second or third string side and basically uses the challenge cup as a development tool. He may as well focus our limited playing pool on trying to make the knockout stages of the URC instead.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 06 Dec 2021, 1:56 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:I just hope from a Dragons perspective that Ryan picks a second or third string side and basically uses the challenge cup as a development tool.  He may as well focus our limited playing pool on trying to make the knockout stages of the URC instead.

He has no choice really. We have a lot of academy players that aren’t getting the game time they need. Players line Will Reed and those are absolutely shining for Newport and Ebbw, but then step up against Bristol A on the weekend and get whacked. A few of our players should be rested and conditioned ready for the derbies. I don’t really care what happens against Perp and Lyon. They’re both likely to rest players too (especially in the away games).

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Post by Brendan Mon 06 Dec 2021, 2:14 pm

I don't like the format for a few reasons.

1. The top teams are going to get poor enough sides in their first 4 games thus not really preparing them.  We have Toulose who came in as a bottom seed last year but that was Covid.
2. Who gets through to the last 16.  You have 8 teams who in theory are only playing the one of finalists from the other two leagues.  Means the T4 teams are mainly going to be bottom.
3. Teams are going to quailify who fail to win a game.  How does that look to sponsers and fans.
4. You have no control over your destiny.  You can win all your games yet still finish in the bottom section of the last 16.  If they did 4 groups of 6 and you only played the teams not from your league once you would at least have some control over how you do.

On the sponsership you only go to that model if you have people actually bidding against each other. I have seen nothing to say other sponsers were looking to get the sponsership from Heineken so there was no market and their lack of adding sponsers since just backs it up.  Not sure TV has been the mega bucks it was meant to be either

Like 12s etc built on potential that had no link to the facts on the ground.  Hopefully they will go back to groups and make the challange 24 teams aswell to include the top 4 Super Cup teams to support it being the 4th professional league system in Europe that can sustain itself and build up the rugby reach in Europe.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 07 Dec 2021, 10:58 am

The other thing I don't like is that essentially where you finish in the table past next round knockouts matters little. That's because the next knockout stage will be played over 2 legs. Any sensible coach will see how the opening 2 pool rounds look and potentially start resting player by game 3/4 depending on if they basically have qualified already. There is no reward system for teams finishing places between 1-8th in each pool.

The 2 leg system is clearly a another money grab by clubs that know they probably shouldn't have been rewarded with a home leg to begin with.

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Post by TJ Tue 07 Dec 2021, 1:05 pm

It was obvious this was going to happen when the PRL flexed their muscles a few years back . Everyone on here said it was going to be great but it was obvious they were throwing the baby out with the bathwater

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 07 Dec 2021, 1:37 pm

You guys really don't like being treated as a league do you? Maybe you should all strike out individually.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 07 Dec 2021, 1:53 pm

Euro Rugby is not a farce, though the format this year could use some work. Regardless of the format, the best European club sides will be in the knockout rounds. And there will be a worthy European champion.

I say that, but unusually for me, I am not really looking forward to the European Rugby this year. The premiership season has started great and I’m really enjoying it.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 07 Dec 2021, 3:23 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Euro Rugby is not a farce,

I would agree to disagree.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/all/domestic-club-rugby-union/challenge-cup/345559/scarlets-concede-champions-cup-opener-with-bristol/

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 07 Dec 2021, 3:34 pm

Isn't that more to with something else? What is it? Oh yes the pandemic.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 07 Dec 2021, 3:49 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Euro Rugby is not a farce,

I would agree to disagree.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/all/domestic-club-rugby-union/challenge-cup/345559/scarlets-concede-champions-cup-opener-with-bristol/
But, don’t you think that would apply regardless of the format?

We are still fighting Covid, and likely will be for years to come. Any Rugby is good Rugby. At least for me, and at this point in time.

Some games may have to be canceled. But I don’t think it means anything is a farce. It’s just us getting by.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 07 Dec 2021, 5:37 pm

Not a massive fan of this format, I don't really see what was wrong with the old group stage of 4 teams. I have to admit I am not overly enthused with Europe this year, feels like it has lost some of the soul or specialness it used to have but that could just be me and could be to do with covid etc too.

The cancelled games are what they are, Covid is here and so will affect some games, that's nothing to do with the format.


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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 6:44 pm

I agree that it’s not the fault of ERC and the European Cup that covid is around and will affect things. Ironically it’s more to do with the league (URC) and the need to fly to SA that has caused this situation with the Scarlets. However I wonder why, when everyone understands the need for flexibility and being sympathetic with things concerning covid, the ERC is so inflexible with the fixtures if and when there is an issue (like with the Scarlets and Bristol)? Covid has necessitated flexibilities and allowances in all sorts of things. Why not in allowing Scarlets to play Bristol during the week in a couple of weeks time? I know the answer will probably be ‘rules are rules’ but……c’mon!

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Post by Brendan Tue 07 Dec 2021, 6:50 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Euro Rugby is not a farce,

I would agree to disagree.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/all/domestic-club-rugby-union/challenge-cup/345559/scarlets-concede-champions-cup-opener-with-bristol/

Can't blame Europe for Scarlets problems.  The 4 teams/URC asked for relaxation of the player registration rules which Euro Rugby agreed to.

Bristol lose out on a big home game and lose all the revenue etc 

I can't understand why Scarlets couldn't hit up the other teams for medical jokers etc..  A few SH players must still be around that would have played a game and wouldn't have to worry about being cup tied.  BaaBaa game was two weeks ago some should be clear to play after Covid.

As much as this point is a joke Leinster Academy surely has players good enough to provider players good enough.

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Post by Brendan Tue 07 Dec 2021, 7:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:I agree that it’s not the fault of ERC and the European Cup that covid is around and will affect things. Ironically it’s more to do with the league (URC) and the need to fly to SA that has caused this situation with the Scarlets. However I wonder why, when everyone understands the need for flexibility and being sympathetic with things concerning covid, the ERC is so inflexible with the fixtures if and when there is an issue (like with the Scarlets and Bristol)? Covid has necessitated flexibilities and allowances in all sorts of things. Why not in allowing Scarlets to play Bristol during the week in a couple of weeks time? I know the answer will probably be ‘rules are rules’ but……c’mon!
 When though. When is Bristol's off week. The thing is why should Bristol be punished for something they weren't involved in.  Can't play midweek or both face the same issue next week of all their players to tired. Both would then take a beating with weakened teams

After last year maybe this is just balancing the covid justice scale.  Last year their covid issues caused two teams to lose European games so only fair they lose one

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 7:24 pm

You make good points. But you’ve also said that Bristol miss out on a big home game and ‘lose all the revenue’. There is now no fixture at all so at least moving it would allow some revenue.

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 7:30 pm

Brendan wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I agree that it’s not the fault of ERC and the European Cup that covid is around and will affect things. Ironically it’s more to do with the league (URC) and the need to fly to SA that has caused this situation with the Scarlets. However I wonder why, when everyone understands the need for flexibility and being sympathetic with things concerning covid, the ERC is so inflexible with the fixtures if and when there is an issue (like with the Scarlets and Bristol)? Covid has necessitated flexibilities and allowances in all sorts of things. Why not in allowing Scarlets to play Bristol during the week in a couple of weeks time? I know the answer will probably be ‘rules are rules’ but……c’mon!
 When though. When is Bristol's off week. The thing is why should Bristol be punished for something they weren't involved in.  Can't play midweek or both face the same issue next week of all their players to tired. Both would then take a beating with weakened teams

After last year maybe this is just balancing the covid justice scale.  Last year their covid issues caused two teams to lose European games so only fair they lose one

I honestly have no preference towards Scarlets. Yes they’re Welsh, but so is Shirley Bassey and she’s a kn*b. My point would equally relate to any team trying to fulfil league fixtures in order to make their domestic league work but then getting penalised through no fault of their own. As I said before, they’d probably lose by 4 tries anyway such is their form so the outcome is the same. Just calls into question the cup a bit when there are ways around it (rescheduling fixtures). Anyhoo, not to worry.

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 7:33 pm

It does throw up an interesting side debate though. Scarlets chairman said that they sent a full squad to SA for their league fixtures because they felt it was the right thing to do to send the strongest squad possible in order to maintain the integrity of the league and the highest standards. I can see teams just sending weak squads now in case this happens again. Perhaps an unintended consequence for the URC.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 07 Dec 2021, 8:19 pm

I suppose the question here is when would the tie be played if not this weekend, I'm assuming neither team has any weeks off between now and 6 nations so it would have to be delayed to then or played in a midweek.

A midweek game would be a non starter really since professional rugby really isn't something you can be playing again only a few days after playing another game.

So it's unfortunate for Scarlets and for Bristol bot getting the match receipts etc but it probs was the only real decision that could be made.

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Post by TJ Tue 07 Dec 2021, 9:56 pm

To me the answer is that they knew it would be covid affected this year as it was last - rather than home and away games they should have had single fixtures and left room for delayed matches.

Its just poor planning and distorts the competition.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 07 Dec 2021, 10:38 pm

Can someone explain to me why Muster and Cardiff are fulfilling their fixtures but Scarlets aren't?

Regarding the format of the Champions cup people have short memories
Under the old format the majority of Round 5 & 6 matches, and sometimes Round 4 matches were
boring and uncompetitive.
This was for the simple reason if you lost 3 games who knew you couldn't qualify - I think it only happened once (Exeter?).
In that one respect the new format is better as teams can still be in with a chance in Round 4

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 10:48 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Can someone explain to me why Muster and Cardiff are fulfilling their fixtures but Scarlets aren't?

Regarding the format of the Champions cup people have short memories
Under the old format the majority of Round 5 & 6 matches, and sometimes Round 4 matches were
boring and uncompetitive.
This was for the simple reason if you lost 3 games who knew you couldn't qualify - I think it only happened once (Exeter?).
In that one respect the new format is better as teams can still be in with a chance in Round 4

Can only speak for what I’ve heard from Cardiff: they had 6 or 7 Wales internationals not travel to SA as they’d played in the Autumn Series, so they’re available. A few more pros at Cardiff are back from injury and suspension, so available too. And then they had academy players break through into the squad recently who didn’t travel, and they’re happy to play them. So overall they can scrape a squad together. Scarlets did not feel that with the players available it would be safe to fulfil the fixture, particularly in the front row and front row substitutions. I personally applaud their honesty. Throwing a load of college kids in just to fulfil a fixture is not going to help anyone and will just risk injury. I think Cardiff were just in better shape than Scarlets to put out a semi-competent squad. Not sure if that was the same with Munster too.

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Post by Guest Tue 07 Dec 2021, 10:54 pm

Just to add: I read that Ospreys and Dragons offered to loan some players to Scarlets but of course those sides have their own fixtures too and any players would apparently be cup tied, so not much available to loan really apart from really young and inexperienced players who Ospreys and Dragons would not be considering using themselves going forward.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 08 Dec 2021, 9:57 am

doctor_grey wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Euro Rugby is not a farce,

I would agree to disagree.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/all/domestic-club-rugby-union/challenge-cup/345559/scarlets-concede-champions-cup-opener-with-bristol/
But, don’t you think that would apply regardless of the format?

We are still fighting Covid, and likely will be for years to come. Any Rugby is good Rugby. At least for me, and at this point in time.  

Some games may have to be canceled. But I don’t think it means anything is a farce. It’s just us getting by.

Well seing as we are in this pandemic, surely there should be more understanding. Either schedule it for a later date, or just call it a draw.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 08 Dec 2021, 10:00 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Can someone explain to me why Muster and Cardiff are fulfilling their fixtures but Scarlets aren't?

Regarding the format of the Champions cup people have short memories
Under the old format the majority of Round 5 & 6 matches, and sometimes Round 4 matches were
boring and uncompetitive.
This was for the simple reason if you lost 3 games who knew you couldn't qualify - I think it only happened once (Exeter?).
In that one respect the new format is better as teams can still be in with a chance in Round 4

I read somewhere that Cardiff were going to use their U20's to fulfil this fixture, I'll try and find the link and post it.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 08 Dec 2021, 10:01 am

Ah hear it is:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/unlikely-cardiff-team-kids-semi-22389854

I know it's WOL and nobody likes it, but it's there for you all to read.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 08 Dec 2021, 10:34 am

The Oracle wrote:It does throw up an interesting side debate though. Scarlets chairman said that they sent a full squad to SA for their league fixtures because they felt it was the right thing to do to send the strongest squad possible in order to maintain the integrity of the league and the highest standards. I can see teams just sending weak squads now in case this happens again. Perhaps an unintended consequence for the URC.

The fact the Scarlets badly need league wins probably was a bigger factor. Another 2-3 losses in the league and its curtains for the Scarlets URC Season.

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Post by Guest Wed 08 Dec 2021, 10:59 am

LordDowlais wrote:Ah hear it is:-

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/unlikely-cardiff-team-kids-semi-22389854

I know it's WOL and nobody likes it, but it's there for you all to read.


Yes, I read that Cardiff can put out a squad made up of 32 current senior squad, academy and semi-pro players. Scarlets were only able to muster 14. Hence the different approach to playing/not playing I guess.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 08 Dec 2021, 11:59 am

Can't call it a draw when Bristol are ready to fulil the fixture.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:03 pm

Munster had a bunch of internationals who didn't travel to South Africa, I think maybe 7 or 8, plus had a couple of guys coming back from injury too. The rest are players from their academy, they have felt confident enough to throw them in there, it should be a relatively decent Munster first 15, it will be on the bench where things get inexperienced for them

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 08 Dec 2021, 1:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Can't call it a draw when Bristol are ready to fulil the fixture.

Exactly completely unfair on Bristol

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 08 Dec 2021, 2:46 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Can't call it a draw when Bristol are ready to fulil the fixture.

Exactly completely unfair on Bristol

It's also unfair on Scarlets as well. I cannot believe people on here think the this is the best situation. For either team.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 08 Dec 2021, 2:58 pm

I think it is unfair only if someone on the defaulting side is culpable of some Covid exposure malfeasance. If everyone on all sides has taken all proper precautions, then I don’t see why we should penalize the defaulting team because the disease is making the decisions.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 08 Dec 2021, 4:22 pm

doctor_grey wrote:I think it is unfair only if someone on the defaulting side is culpable of some Covid exposure malfeasance.  If everyone on all sides has taken all proper precautions, then I don’t see why we should penalize the defaulting team because the disease is making the decisions.  

I dont think you can blame Scarlets though, they had to go to a country that has not really dealt with the pandemic very well, and as a result have now caught the virus or now need to isolate because of it.

It' not as though Scarlets decided they would go to SA, they had to, now they are being punished. I really think exceptions could have been made and this game could have taken place at another date.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:17 pm

I agree with you Scarlets should not be punished - assuming everyone in their organisation followed protocols and took the necessary precautions.

The thing that surprises me is given we know we are still staring into the teeth of Covid-19, why there was no wiggle room built into the schedules for Euro as well as league Rugby. Seems either incredibly naive or overly hopeful.

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Post by Guest Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:24 pm

In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever. I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet. It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:26 pm

There are no free weekends before the last 16 round where both Scarlets and Bristol are free.

I don’t see how wiggle room was possible which set up gives up games :
League
European Cup
Internationals

If the first two how do you complete the competition?


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Post by neilthom7 Wed 08 Dec 2021, 5:56 pm

The Oracle wrote:In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever.  I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet.  It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

I don't think there was much other timing they could do really, South African teams hadn't played in signifcant time and so needed to go somewhere to play and for the URC the revamp on the league and adding them was required.

Obviously all things being equal we would rather Covid wasn't an issue but it is unfortunately and it's going to throw up these curveballs.

Also this decision to include South Africa was made many months ago long before Omicron and when the world was starting to open back up a bit to predict that this situation would occur would have been impossible.

If anything the timing of the first round of Games in the URC to be played in South Africa was incredibly unlucky, 1 round later or had the restrictions been known about or gone into effect a few days earlier and these teams would not have had this issue.

Covid is going to throw up these issues from time to time and it's unfortunate but we just have to get on with it, Covid may never go away.

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Is the ERC a farce? Empty Re: Is the ERC a farce?

Post by Guest Wed 08 Dec 2021, 6:24 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever.  I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet.  It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

I don't think there was much other timing they could do really, South African teams hadn't played in signifcant time and so needed to go somewhere to play and for the URC the revamp on the league and adding them was required.

Obviously all things being equal we would rather Covid wasn't an issue but it is unfortunately and it's going to throw up these curveballs.

Also this decision to include South Africa was made many months ago long before Omicron and when the world was starting to open back up a bit to predict that this situation would occur would have been impossible.

If anything the timing of the first round of Games in the URC to be played in South Africa was incredibly unlucky, 1 round later or had the restrictions been known about or gone into effect a few days earlier and these teams would not have had this issue.

Covid is going to throw up these issues from time to time and it's unfortunate but we just have to get on with it, Covid may never go away.

Exactly. So the less cross border competition perhaps the better?

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Post by Pot Hale Wed 08 Dec 2021, 6:25 pm

Munster now have an outbreak in the cohort of the squad that returned from SA. they took the decision early doors to assign a different coach and squad to participate in the match away to Wasps.
They did have some senior test players - Murray, De Allende, O'Mahony, Kilcoyne, Beirne - who didn't travel and are available to play. They've registered 22 academy players and club/AIL amateur players from which they can draw to finalise the match-day 23. They have decided to not travel until the morning of the match on Sunday, in order to allow some travelling players to finish their quarantine, and possibly pick one or two from them.

It'll be nip and tuck, but looks like they're just getting on with it.
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Post by Guest Wed 08 Dec 2021, 6:31 pm

Sounds like Munster are in a simile position to Cardiff. Good to hear.

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Post by neilthom7 Wed 08 Dec 2021, 6:55 pm

The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever.  I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet.  It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

I don't think there was much other timing they could do really, South African teams hadn't played in signifcant time and so needed to go somewhere to play and for the URC the revamp on the league and adding them was required.

Obviously all things being equal we would rather Covid wasn't an issue but it is unfortunately and it's going to throw up these curveballs.

Also this decision to include South Africa was made many months ago long before Omicron and when the world was starting to open back up a bit to predict that this situation would occur would have been impossible.

If anything the timing of the first round of Games in the URC to be played in South Africa was incredibly unlucky, 1 round later or had the restrictions been known about or gone into effect a few days earlier and these teams would not have had this issue.

Covid is going to throw up these issues from time to time and it's unfortunate but we just have to get on with it, Covid may never go away.

Exactly. So the less cross border competition perhaps the better?

Then we could also make the same argument and say that there should be no european competitions either, and in fact even without South Africa the URC crosses a number of borders. There is no perfect solution and even if they were not added you are probably going to have games called off etc anyways but I certainly don't think adding the South African teams to the URC was a terrible idea.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 09 Dec 2021, 1:25 am

The Oracle wrote:In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever.  I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet.  It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

They had a plan to play SA games in Italy. That would’ve been more likely to work this season. The tours weren’t best planned, but I guess money talks.

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Post by Guest Thu 09 Dec 2021, 9:35 am

neilthom7 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:In hindsight I wonder if it was poor timing to add the SA teams in to the ProWhatever.  I’m all for them being in, but they joined at a time when cross border stuff (generally speaking, as in holidays, travel, overseas business, etc. and not just sport) was already an issue due to COVID and we were/are far from ‘out of the woods’ yet.  It was probably foreseeable that COVID would affect things going forward for a quite a while.

I don't think there was much other timing they could do really, South African teams hadn't played in signifcant time and so needed to go somewhere to play and for the URC the revamp on the league and adding them was required.

Obviously all things being equal we would rather Covid wasn't an issue but it is unfortunately and it's going to throw up these curveballs.

Also this decision to include South Africa was made many months ago long before Omicron and when the world was starting to open back up a bit to predict that this situation would occur would have been impossible.

If anything the timing of the first round of Games in the URC to be played in South Africa was incredibly unlucky, 1 round later or had the restrictions been known about or gone into effect a few days earlier and these teams would not have had this issue.

Covid is going to throw up these issues from time to time and it's unfortunate but we just have to get on with it, Covid may never go away.

Exactly. So the less cross border competition perhaps the better?

Then we could also make the same argument and say that there should be no european competitions either, and in fact even without South Africa the URC crosses a number of borders.  There is no perfect solution and even if they were not added you are probably going to have games called off etc anyways but I certainly don't think adding the South African teams to the URC was a terrible idea.

No, I don’t think adding the SA teams is a terrible idea. In fact I was all for it when it was first proposed pre-covid. And I still want them to be in. Just saying that with the world so upside down and back to front, it was perhaps a little silly to start even more cross border sporting activity during a pandemic. Just the timing was the issue for me. 20/20 hindsight and all that, but the warnings were there from pretty much every public health body out there that the pandemic was far from over. Unfortunately it’s just going to put our league back somewhat while the English and French leagues carry on with much less impact.

Off topic slightly again, but what happens with the remaining games in SA or against SA teams going forward? Too early to say I suppose but I imagine it would be months at least before SA gets the ‘red light’.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 09 Dec 2021, 10:07 am

It's all down to money, and it has been put before player, fan, and just in general, people welfare. I'm sorry, but South Africa are not dealing with the pandemic as well as other countries, only 25.5% of the population have been fully vaccinated, where as in the UK more than double of that number have been vaccinated.

Until South Africa got their vaccination numbers to over 60% or more, then they should not have been allowed to host any sporting event to teams from other countries.

I'm sorry if people find this a little harsh, but it is how I see it.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 09 Dec 2021, 10:44 am

We didn't have one positive COVID result in South Africa or since we have returned, so I don't think we should be punished with a 28-0 reverse. Also the BBC sport headline "COVID hit Scarlets concede game with Bristol" has annoyed me somewhat.

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