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Is the ERC a farce?

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Is the ERC a farce? - Page 2 Empty Is the ERC a farce?

Post by Welshmushroom Mon 06 Dec 2021, 11:58 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 neilthom7 Thu 09 Dec 2021, 10:20 pm

The Oracle wrote:
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’.

It's possible they move the teams back to Italy like before but whop knows how long this will last, the variant is started to spread through UK and Ireland so won't be long to we have as many cases. Once they have a few weeks and understand how dangerous Omicron is most of these restrictions will be lifted, remember the restrictions were not lifted the first time cos Covid went away but because they decided it wasn't dangerous enough to keep them

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 17 Dec 2021, 11:18 pm

Wonder if anyone is thinking if Europe has now turned into a farce?

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Post by Guest Sat 18 Dec 2021, 12:18 am

Welshmushroom wrote:Wonder if anyone is thinking if Europe has now turned into a farce?

Europe, yes (in terms of rugby). But only due to COVID.

ERC? Not really a farce, no!

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 16 Jan 2022, 1:50 am

The Oracle wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Wonder if anyone is thinking if Europe has now turned into a farce?

Europe, yes (in terms of rugby).  But only due to COVID.

ERC?  Not really a farce, no!
It is a farce, the competition is at it's lowest ebb in it's history, worse then when the English left in 1999 and it's only being exemplified by the absurd situation that occurred between Montpellier and Leinster back in December. The people running this once great competition are not fit for purpose.

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Post by Heaf Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:09 am

Did they ever explain the rationale for awarding the win to Montpellier when Leinster could have fielded a team?

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Post by Gooseberry Sun 16 Jan 2022, 2:33 am

My ill thought out feelings on it....

The bigger pools system makes a lot of sense and at least gives some way back for a team penalised for a called off fixture. The ruled on who gets the points might be a bit off but if its going to be played at all (and the clubs need the money to stay solvent) it's done a pretty decent job of at least having a contest.

The Welsh teams contribution to date is the biggest farce, but at least they are getting to play.

No question the ERC has lost a bit of its gleam in the past decade, but I'd argue that's true of club rugby across the board with test teams taking priority for player release. At least runs is largely being played by first choice squads (covid allowing) half the fixtures in the leagues are second strings nowadays.

Dropping into the b competition is always a bit odd, but if rheyvare really that bad and don't deserve to be there they will get beaten first up ....of they beat rhe team they are seeded against who were better than a team who missed out to them what's the problem? Again also gives some security to teams that are done over by covid cancellations.


As for the SA teams it was really unfortunate timing tbh but long term it makes sense to add the additional quality and audience into NH rugby, whether that's in an all nations cup or ProX

Once all this is settled down I'm sure we'll see them back in some form.

Also have to bear in mind they set the fixtures for this season at a time when it was expected we had seen the worst of covid, and financed accordingly. Easy in hindsight to suggest cross border competitions maybe a bad idea ( although Welsh and Scottish pro rugby would be almost dead without them) but really what was the alternative?

Be glad for what's there and enjoy it, and hope the WRU finds a way of getting competitive teams again .its in the interests of all the unions to see that, although the financial hammering the games taken probably makes of less likely they'll be happier a bigger revenue share to help out.


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Post by Guest Sun 16 Jan 2022, 3:14 am

Gooseberry wrote:My ill thought out feelings on it....

The bigger pools system makes a lot of sense and at least gives some way back for a team penalised for a called off fixture. The ruled on who gets the points might be a bit off but if its going to be played at all (and the clubs need the money to stay solvent)  it's done a pretty decent job of at least having a contest.

The Welsh teams contribution to date is the biggest farce, but at least they are getting to play.


Bit harsh I feel.

Cardiff played two games with a load of misfits as most of their squad was in isolation.  The one game they have played with their full squad (yesterday) they lost to a good Quins team in the dying moments. A cracking game.  It’s not like Cardiff rolled over and got thrashed.  So their contribution, when able to play with their pro players, was a great contribution think.

Ospreys.  Played one so far. Yes that was poor against Sale at home.  Their other game was cancelled.

Scarlets haven’t played due to COVID.

Are you insinuating they pulled all out of these games because they couldn’t be bothered?

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Post by Heaf Sun 16 Jan 2022, 3:17 am

I thought Cardiff put in a good show in all their games tbh ...

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Post by Guest Mon 17 Jan 2022, 8:19 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:My ill thought out feelings on it....

The bigger pools system makes a lot of sense and at least gives some way back for a team penalised for a called off fixture. The ruled on who gets the points might be a bit off but if its going to be played at all (and the clubs need the money to stay solvent)  it's done a pretty decent job of at least having a contest.

The Welsh teams contribution to date is the biggest farce, but at least they are getting to play.


Bit harsh I feel.

Cardiff played two games with a load of misfits as most of their squad was in isolation.  The one game they have played with their full squad (yesterday) they lost to a good Quins team in the dying moments. A cracking game.  It’s not like Cardiff rolled over and got thrashed.  So their contribution, when able to play with their pro players, was a great contribution think.

Ospreys.  Played one so far. Yes that was poor against Sale at home.  Their other game was cancelled.

Scarlets haven’t played due to COVID.

Are you insinuating they pulled all out of these games because they couldn’t be bothered?

I take it all back. Cardiff aside, I spoke too soon. The Welsh contribution has been absolutely sh!te!

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