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European Comps

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yappysnap
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RiscaGame
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formerly known as Sam
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No 7&1/2
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 05 Oct 2022, 1:27 pm

First topic message reminder :

From the EPCR websites:

'Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup are set for a major viewership boost with the announcement that BT Sport, as well as ITV, RTÉ and S4C, have all agreed multi-year partnerships for the new broadcast cycle in the UK and Ireland.

BT Sport to continue as lead broadcaster in UK and Ireland
EPCR and BT Sport extend long-standing partnership, with BT Sport set to broadcast eighth season of both competitions
ITV, RTÉ and S4C to generate new viewers with extensive free-to-air coverage
BT Sport, who have delivered comprehensive and innovative coverage of the elite club competitions since 2015, have recommitted to the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup to extend their long-standing partnership with EPCR. As lead broadcaster in the UK and Ireland, BT Sport will continue to televise both tournaments until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

In addition, ITV, RTÉ and S4C have come on board in the UK and Ireland to provide free-to-air coverage and the new agreements will expand access for rugby fans across two key markets to the Heineken Champions Cup – the world’s biggest and most celebrated international club rugby competition – which is entering its 28th year.

The agreements with ITV and RTÉ, which will see each broadcaster cover one Heineken Champions Cup match per round in the UK and Ireland – including the Final – on a free-to-air basis, also run until the end of the 2023/24 season.

S4C will focus on the Welsh regions with live coverage of all Ospreys’ pool stage fixtures in the Heineken Champions Cup as well as one match featuring either Cardiff Rugby, Dragons RFC or the Scarlets in each pool stage round of the EPCR Challenge Cup also until the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

“Broadcast partnerships are a massively important part of our strategy to bring our world-class competitions to even wider audiences, and we are very pleased with our partners in the UK and Ireland for the new cycle,” said EPCR Chairman, Dominic McKay.

“Following on from what was a magnificent Finals weekend in Marseille last May, we are delighted to continue to work with BT Sport, who have delivered incredible coverage of, and audience growth for, our competitions. It is also significant that we welcome three free-to-air partners on board in ITV, RTÉ and S4C, who will boost our viewership and profile as South African clubs come into the EPCR fold.

“BT Sport, ITV, RTÉ and S4C represent four more exciting broadcast partnerships in the key markets of the UK and Ireland, and with beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions in France, SuperSport in South Africa and FloSports in the USA, we are looking forward to bringing the pinnacle of international club rugby to more audiences than ever before.”

This update follows previous announcements of broadcast partnership renewals by both beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions in France, as well as confirmation of SuperSport as the exclusive broadcaster of EPCR’s tournaments in South Africa, with the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup set to extend their global reach with the historic inclusion of the DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks, Emirates Lions and Toyota Cheetahs from this season.

EPCR has also agreed a multi-year agreement with the streaming platform FloSports, the home of rugby in the USA, as the exclusive broadcaster of the tournaments to American rugby fans until the conclusion of the 2024/25 season.

The deal is part of a ground-breaking alliance which will see the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup bundled with key fixtures in the BKT United Rugby Championship and the TOP 14, ensuring viewers in America will have unprecedented access to all four competitions on one digital platform.

Rachel Knight, Sports Rights Director, BT Sport, said: “Today’s news means BT Sport remains the home of club rugby in the UK and Ireland, offering unrivalled coverage from the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup, plus multiple live matches every week from Gallagher Premiership Rugby.”

Last month, BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery completed their transaction to form a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) that combines the assets of BT Sport and Eurosport UK. As the JV works to develop a new sports offering for the UK and Ireland, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will retain their separate product propositions and customers can continue to enjoy the sport offerings in all the same ways as they do currently.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “This new deal brings rugby fans live, free-to-air coverage of some of the biggest matches in club rugby, featuring the stars of the game and adds Heineken Champions Cup action to ITV’s range of top-class rugby alongside the domestic and international competitions we bring to viewers.”

Declan McBennett, RTÉ Group Head of Sport, said: “The Heineken Champions Cup is a tournament that is much loved and followed by fans throughout Ireland. We are delighted to partner with EPCR to bring this prestigious competition to audiences free-to-air and extend its reach to the widest possible audience in the Republic of Ireland.”

Geraint Evans, S4C Director of Content and Publishing Strategy, said: “The Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup are two of the finest competitions that club rugby has to offer and we are pleased to renew our successful broadcast partnership with EPCR. S4C viewers will be able to follow the progress of all four Welsh regions across both tournaments and we look forward to some top-quality matches.”

With more than 50,000 tickets already sold for EPCR’s 2023 finals, the journey to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will get underway in early December, and the exact dates, kick-off times and TV coverage of the pool stage fixtures will be announced later this week.'

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Dec 2022, 1:08 pm

Beeb:

'Exeter boss Rob Baxter says there must be an economic case to keep South African sides in the Champions Cup.

The Chiefs host the Bulls on Saturday before travelling to Pretoria for the return fixture in mid-January.

This season is the first with South African sides in Europe after they joined the United Rugby Championship.

"If we get a great crowd and it's a really good game, then for obvious reasons we can probably start saying there's a value to it," said Baxter.

"The flip of that is the expense of travelling to South Africa for a week is big and everyone's aware of the economic climate, particularly in the Premiership at the moment," he told BBC Radio Devon.

"I also thought the Champions Cup was pretty good as it was, I don't know if it needed adding to much.

"But the bigger issue is once the URC admitted South African sides it becomes slightly weird to have the next competition not involving teams that are in that competition, but involving other sides in that competition.

"Will it add to it? It's hard to tell, we'll see at the weekend."

'It sounds great in theory, but it has to create revenue as well'
Exeter will pay an initial amount for travel to South Africa next month, with the rest of the costs picked up centrally by competition organisers.

They will play the Bulls on Saturday, 14 January after flying out overnight on the previous Sunday - a day after hosting Northampton in the Premiership.

They return overnight the day after the game and host Castres the following Saturday at Sandy Park in their final pool game.

"I think what'll have to happen is enough Premiership clubs will have to make the trip to genuinely talk about it," Baxter said.

"I think a few of us will need to do it and see how it works out and see how we felt the week went, and then we can genuinely get together and start talking about whether it does logistically work.

"I think in the URC it's a little bit simpler as they can go on blocks of games and they can make it work, albeit doing a fair bit of travelling and you're still away for a period of time."

He added: "It's like anything, it sounds great in theory, but it has to create revenue as well.

"There's no point if the logistics and travel drain revenue from what is a good competition, then we've got to look at it seriously, because at the moment that's got to be one of those deciding factors.

"You can't lose money in competitions, there's got to be a value, which also means we've got to see a value in our crowd this weekend.

"If this game attracts a bumper sell-out for the season, that obviously considerably changes the view on it."'

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Dec 2022, 2:24 pm

Heaf wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Seen this from the Pau coach....

https://twitter.com/DjRossouw87/status/1602613924955824128?t=22AH0r56pEEwbR6nfuzfQQ&s=19

I'm the first to point out ref errors (as you probably all know) and we don't know what led to this however it's completely unacceptable - needs a severe punishment to nip it in the bud, I'd even consider ejecting Pau from the competition to make the point but at the very least the coach should be banned from the tournament.

10 weeks.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Dec 2022, 2:39 pm

Gloucester are getting a bit of stick at the team they're sending to Leinster I see.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 15 Dec 2022, 2:50 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Gloucester are getting a bit of stick at the team they're sending to Leinster I see.

Well I know LRZ has been stateside for a week or 2 so didn't think he would feature. It's tough because on one hand they got a good win last week so they can build on it but on the other they know full well that Leinster will probably beat them comfortably.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 15 Dec 2022, 4:23 pm

Team News
15. Lloyd Evans*

14. Alex Hearle

13. Giorgi Kveseladze

12. Billy Twelvetrees

11. Jake Morris*

10. George Barton*

9. Ben Meehan (C)



1. Harry Elrington

2. Henry Walker*

3. Ciaran Knight*

4. Freddie Thomas*

5. Arthur Clark*

6. Jake Polledri*

7. Jack Clement*

8. Albert Tuisue



16. Seb Blake*

17. Alex Seville*

18. Kirill Gotovtsev

19. Alex Craig*

20. Harry Taylor*

21. Charlie Chapman*

22. Seb Atkinson

23. Kyle Moyle

For those wondering

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 15 Dec 2022, 5:22 pm

Are you suggesting Gloucester are sending a team out to make my Superbru point spread selection a bit low? Already took Leinster by 28.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 15 Dec 2022, 8:19 pm

I know Borthwick likes to rotate his side for away games in Europe and still get a result but Skivington is really trying to one up him with that selection. Backrow looks pretty tasty and there's some young lads that'll be desperate to give a good showing of themselves.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 6:48 am

You've got to let sides pick who they want to play surely? Else you're getting into the realms of asking teams to name their strongest 15 at the start of the season and making them play. Gloucester look well set to go through to the next stage so don't blame them having an eye on the top 4 of the prem.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 16 Dec 2022, 7:10 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Gloucester are getting a bit of stick at the team they're sending to Leinster I see.
This is simply down to the rediculous new format where a team can get through by only getting 1 win. Gloucester already have 5 points so should be pretty safe in qualifying for the next stage as they will surely pick up more points in the next couple of games. I can't see this new format lasting long.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 8:44 am

Yup, too much ticking of boxes to ensure that teams play outside the league and have a minimum amount of money coming in from x number of fixtures. Personally I'm a bit old school in I like straight knock out competitions. Make it a proper cup!

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri 16 Dec 2022, 9:39 am

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Hugo Keenan (46)
14. Jimmy O’Brien (60)
13. Garry Ringrose (109) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai (8)
11. James Lowe (67)
10. Ross Byrne (138)
9. Luke McGrath (183)

1. Andrew Porter (98)
2. Rónan Kelleher (41)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (33)
4. Ross Molony (149)
5. James Ryan (64)
6. Caelan Doris (60)
7. Josh van der Flier (119)
8. Jack Conan (122)


16. Dan Sheehan (36)
17. Ed Byrne (92)
18. Cian Healy (254)
19. Joe McCarthy (14)
20. Max Deegan (88)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (118)
22. Johnny Sexton (187)
23. Jordan Larmour (77)



Gloucester Rugby
Starting lineup
15Lloyd Evans
14Alex Hearle
13Giorgi Kveseladze
12Billy Twelvetrees
11Jacob Morris
10George Barton
9Ben Meehan

1Harry Elrington
2Henry Walker
3Ciaran Knight
4Freddie Thomas
5Arthur Clark
6Jake Polledri
7Jack Clement
8Albert Tuisue


Replacements
16Seb Blake
17Alex Seville
18Kirill Gotovtsev
19Alex Craig
20Harry Taylor
21Charlie Chapman
22Seb Atkinson
23Kyle Moyle

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 16 Dec 2022, 12:33 pm

STARTING XV
15 Freddie Steward [61]
14 Anthony Watson [7]
13 Guy Porter [50]
12 Dan Kelly [45]
11 Harry Potter [50]
10 Charlie Atkinson [5]
9 Ben Youngs (vc) [288]
1 James Cronin [7]
2 Julián Montoya (vc) [31]
3 Dan Cole [299]
4 Ollie Chessum [37]
5 Calum Green [97]
6 Hanro Liebenberg (c) [69]
7 Tommy Reffell [85]
8 Jasper Wiese [49]

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [62]
17 Nephi Leatigaga [73]
18 Will Hurd [15]
19 Harry Wells [165]
20 Olly Cracknell [9]
21 Richard Wigglesworth [42]
22 Freddie Burns [111]
23 Chris Ashton [20]

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Post by Geordie Fri 16 Dec 2022, 12:54 pm

Newcastle Falcons team v Cardiff Rugby (Saturday, 5.30pm, Kingston Park Stadium)

15 Elliott Obatoyinbo,
14 Nathan Earle,
13 Ben Stevenson,
12 Zach Kerr,
11 Mateo Carreras,
10 Josh Thomas,
9 Sam Stuart;

1 Trevor Davison,
2 Ollie Fletcher,
3 Mark Tampin,
4 Sebastian de Chaves,
5 Matthew Dalton,
6 Sean Robinson (captain),
7 Guy Pepper,
8 Tom Marshall.

Replacements: 16 Conrad Cade, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Marcus Tiffen, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Iwan Stephens.

Not available for selection: Jamie Blamire, Phil Brantingham, Sam Clark, Connor Collett, Carl Fearns, Gary Graham, Louie Johnson, Conor Kenny, Freddie Lockwood, Pete Lucock, Charlie Maddison, Logovi’i Mulipola, Matias Orlando, Tom Penny, Oliver Spencer, Philip van der Walt, George Wacokecoke, Will Welch.

Cardiff Rugby:
15 Ben Thomas,
14 Owen Lane,
13 Rey Lee-Lo,
12 Max Llewellyn,
11 Josh Adams,
10 Rhys Priestland,
9 Tomos Williams;

1 Rhys Carre,
2 Kirby Myhill,
3 Dmitri Arhip,
4 Seb Davies,
5 Rory Thornton,
6 Josh Turnbull (captain),
7 Ellis Jenkins,
8 Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Will Davies-King, 19 Teddy Williams, 20 James Ratti, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Mason Grady, 23 Theo Cabango.

Referee: Vivien Praderie (France)

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Post by RugbyFan100 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 1:04 pm

Leinster will put 60 on Gloucester.

Europe is dead.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 1:18 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Leinster will put 60 on Gloucester.

Europe is dead.

Why do you think it's dead?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 1:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Leinster will put 60 on Gloucester.

Europe is dead.

Why do you think it's dead?

More and more teams aren't bothering every season, because they are prioritizing other competitions. More and more thrashings are being handed out. Only a few teams can win it.

I'm sure your pathetic contrarian attitude will find a way to dismiss this. But we all know Leinster are going to smash Gloucester tonight.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 2:28 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Leinster will put 60 on Gloucester.

Europe is dead.

Why do you think it's dead?

More and more teams aren't bothering every season, because they are prioritizing other competitions. More and more thrashings are being handed out. Only a few teams can win it.

I'm sure your pathetic contrarian attitude will find a way to dismiss this. But we all know Leinster are going to smash Gloucester tonight.


In this case I think it's probably because Gloucester already feel they're through. They put a much stronger team out vs Bordeaux. If they'd put out this team vs them too then perhaps something to reflect on. I do think there are a smallish group that can win but then that's generally always the case. Have a cup comp setup as a straight knockout in neutral grounds would add more jeopardy.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 16 Dec 2022, 2:53 pm

My Dragons, Your Dragons, Our Dragons: Jordan Williams; Riooooooooooooo Dyer, Sio Tomkinson, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Bradley Roberts, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Sean Lonsdale, Harri Keddie (captain), Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Brodie Coghlan, Rob Evans, Lloyd Fairbrother, Ryan Woodman, Ross Moriarty, Lewis Jones, JJ Hanrahan, Max Clark.

Potential debut for highly rated Ryan Woodman. This could be a game worth watching tomorrow, as apparently Pau like to have a crack too, on top of the set piece etc. Dragons are pretty attack minded too.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 16 Dec 2022, 3:08 pm

PhilBB's Dragons...

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 16 Dec 2022, 7:29 pm

Ulster v La Rochelle will be played in Dublin behind closed doors. Kingspan pitch was not given the go ahead due to safety concerns.


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Post by doctor_grey Fri 16 Dec 2022, 11:15 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Leinster will put 60 on Gloucester.

Europe is dead.
You were 'that close'.  Pretty amazing when talking about a team sent like lambs to the slaughter!  

Don't quite think European Rugby (plus UK) is dead, but it does need to find its way.  I think it's been adrift for quite a while now.  Other teams have sent weaker squads in the past when they feel they can't compete on two fronts at the same time. But I think the whole tournament needs a reboot.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:11 am

The disparity in budgets doesn't help.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:43 am

Heaf wrote:The disparity in budgets doesn't help.
It's because the prem doesn't have relegation anymore.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 11:19 am

Wouldn't impact Gloucester of course here.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 11:31 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:The disparity in budgets doesn't help.
It's because the prem doesn't have relegation anymore.

Not sure what that statement means but it does look like the euro competitions are facing a critical strategic point. The French don't need the tournament financially and most teams dont prioritise it. Then you get someone with the profile of Dupont questioning a European competition with SA sides in it. Baxter at Exeter is openly questioning the costs of travel for a one off game on the high veldt in a tight timescale and is not convinced the finances work having had the SA sides imposed on them.

Leinster might have a second team that is competitive but pretty much everyone else doesn't and no club has or ever likely to have the experience of playing together against the AB's or Springboks. The current format is simply that the club season won't fit in the fixtures from four team pools. So not sure what is going to give other than it won't be the dozen internationals per year and with significantly reduced squad numbers within salary caps means the domestic leagues which make up the bulk of the season will be prioritised.

Competitions are only credible if they are competitive and the simple fact that it is very rare for any team to win a Euro competition without a test flyhalf, never mind test teams disguised as clubs reduces the credibility. Exeter and La Rochelle have been the exceptions and maybe will do so again but the odds are against it.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 11:46 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:The disparity in budgets doesn't help.
It's because the prem doesn't have relegation anymore.

Not sure what that statement means but it does look like the euro competitions are facing a critical strategic point. The French don't need the tournament financially and most teams dont prioritise it. Then you get someone with the profile of Dupont questioning a European competition with SA sides in it.  Baxter at Exeter is openly questioning the costs of travel for a one off game on the high veldt in a tight timescale and is not convinced the finances work having had the SA sides imposed on them.

Leinster might have a second team that is competitive but pretty much everyone else doesn't and no club has or ever likely to have the experience of playing together against the AB's or Springboks. The current format is simply that the club season won't fit in the fixtures from four team pools. So not sure what is going to give other than it won't be the dozen internationals per year and with significantly reduced squad numbers within salary caps means the domestic leagues which make up the bulk of the season will be prioritised.

Competitions are only credible if they are competitive and the simple fact that it is very rare for any team to win a Euro competition without a test flyhalf, never mind test teams disguised as clubs reduces the credibility. Exeter and La Rochelle have been the exceptions and maybe will do so again but the odds are against it.
It's a running joke in Irish rugby forums in reference to various figures in English rugby over the years using relegation in the prem as an excuse for why the prem clubs have been both competitive and uncompetitive through the years. I do agree with most of your comment.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 11:56 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:The disparity in budgets doesn't help.
It's because the prem doesn't have relegation anymore.

Not sure what that statement means but it does look like the euro competitions are facing a critical strategic point. The French don't need the tournament financially and most teams dont prioritise it. Then you get someone with the profile of Dupont questioning a European competition with SA sides in it.  Baxter at Exeter is openly questioning the costs of travel for a one off game on the high veldt in a tight timescale and is not convinced the finances work having had the SA sides imposed on them.

Leinster might have a second team that is competitive but pretty much everyone else doesn't and no club has or ever likely to have the experience of playing together against the AB's or Springboks. The current format is simply that the club season won't fit in the fixtures from four team pools. So not sure what is going to give other than it won't be the dozen internationals per year and with significantly reduced squad numbers within salary caps means the domestic leagues which make up the bulk of the season will be prioritised.

Competitions are only credible if they are competitive and the simple fact that it is very rare for any team to win a Euro competition without a test flyhalf, never mind test teams disguised as clubs reduces the credibility. Exeter and La Rochelle have been the exceptions and maybe will do so again but the odds are against it.
It's a running joke in Irish rugby forums in reference to various figures in English rugby over the years using relegation in the prem as an excuse for why the prem clubs have been both competitive and uncompetitive through the years. I do agree with most of your comment.

Strange. Those English clubs in the senior Euro competition are not affected by relegation. More likely their ability to finish in the top four for the league playoffs or the next season's Euro qualification would be the consideration. The implications of SA sides in euro competitions hasn't worked through yet and could well be the catalyst for further change either in format or complete restructure of the season. As far as I can tell the SA test players don't get any off season, that's not sustainable.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 12:20 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Recwatcher16 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:The disparity in budgets doesn't help.
It's because the prem doesn't have relegation anymore.

Not sure what that statement means but it does look like the euro competitions are facing a critical strategic point. The French don't need the tournament financially and most teams dont prioritise it. Then you get someone with the profile of Dupont questioning a European competition with SA sides in it.  Baxter at Exeter is openly questioning the costs of travel for a one off game on the high veldt in a tight timescale and is not convinced the finances work having had the SA sides imposed on them.

Leinster might have a second team that is competitive but pretty much everyone else doesn't and no club has or ever likely to have the experience of playing together against the AB's or Springboks. The current format is simply that the club season won't fit in the fixtures from four team pools. So not sure what is going to give other than it won't be the dozen internationals per year and with significantly reduced squad numbers within salary caps means the domestic leagues which make up the bulk of the season will be prioritised.

Competitions are only credible if they are competitive and the simple fact that it is very rare for any team to win a Euro competition without a test flyhalf, never mind test teams disguised as clubs reduces the credibility. Exeter and La Rochelle have been the exceptions and maybe will do so again but the odds are against it.
It's a running joke in Irish rugby forums in reference to various figures in English rugby over the years using relegation in the prem as an excuse for why the prem clubs have been both competitive and uncompetitive through the years. I do agree with most of your comment.

Strange. Those English clubs in the senior Euro competition are not affected by relegation. More likely their ability to finish in the top four for the league playoffs or the next season's Euro qualification would be the consideration. The implications of SA sides in euro competitions hasn't worked through yet and could well be the catalyst for further change either in format or complete restructure of the season. As far as I can tell the SA test players don't get any off season, that's not sustainable.
That's why it's a running joke, it's such a rediculous statement to make.

I've always called for the SA's to not be involved in Europe, but I also said that about the league and they've been a revelation in the URC, so I'm willing to give them a chance. To be honest the demise of Europe came long before the introduction of the SA sides. The EPCR are simply not fit to run the competition, they haven't fulfilled any of the promises they made. The fact we've ended up with the exact same sponsor (Heineken) would be comical, if it wasn't so tragic. The unions have set up the most successful tournaments in world rugby (6 nations, World Cup and the old HC) maybe they actually do know what they are doing? The attendances so far have been atrocious this year, which is a major worry. I know the weather has been poor, so I'm willing to give that time, but I can't remember it being so easy to get tickets for European home games here in Ireland.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 12:37 pm

I'm sure once Leinster manage to win it again and Munster get a better team it'll become a bit more popular again in Ireland though.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 12:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm sure once Leinster manage to win it again and Munster get a better team it'll become a bit more popular again in Ireland though.
If Leinster have to win it every year in order for it to be popular then the competition clearly has serious issues. Look the group stages are broken nobody can seriously deny that. The comp will come alive during the knockout stage again though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:04 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm sure once Leinster manage to win it again and Munster get a better team it'll become a bit more popular again in Ireland though.
If Leinster have to win it every year in order for it to be popular then the competition clearly has serious issues. Look the group stages are broken nobody can seriously deny that. The comp will come alive during the knockout stage again though.

I think its natural that there's a good chunk of every team who have supporters who only turn up when it's trophy time. And yeah when there are dead rubbers you see teams send out weakened squads etc. Also a fairly serious impact of cost of living.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:04 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm sure once Leinster manage to win it again and Munster get a better team it'll become a bit more popular again in Ireland though.
If Leinster have to win it every year in order for it to be popular then the competition clearly has serious issues. Look the group stages are broken nobody can seriously deny that. The comp will come alive during the knockout stage again though.
I don't think the competition is all that popular.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:13 pm

By the way, anyone watching Exe-Bulls? The Bulls have the 400 year old Bismarck duPlessis and the equally 400 year old Morne Steyn in their starting line-up. Unbelieveable in today's world.

OK, both are 38. Close enough.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:33 pm

https://twitter.com/btsportrugby/status/1603844833759707136?t=xoeSDhdXbKzgsdNcJxDk_g&s=19

This is a random.i suppose strictly by the letter of the law he doesn't land on his head but I'd still say this was red all day long?!

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:37 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:https://twitter.com/btsportrugby/status/1603844833759707136?t=xoeSDhdXbKzgsdNcJxDk_g&s=19

This is a random.i suppose strictly by the letter of the law he doesn't land on his head but I'd still say this was red all day long?!
I can't access the video 'in my region'. Elon Musk is denying me freedom of information access. Maybe we should give him the red.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:42 pm

If you ever watched wrestling it's basically hulk hogan suplexing someone.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 1:55 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If you ever watched wrestling it's basically hulk hogan suplexing someone.
I haven't watched that wrestling in a long, long, time. I think I actually saw wrestlemania number 1, then probably not since then. Agree it's all the same. Some big dudes who failed acting school wearing thier unmentionables throwing themselves around for a while.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 2:41 pm

doctor_grey wrote:By the way, anyone watching Exe-Bulls?  The Bulls have the 400 year old Bismarck duPlessis and the equally 400 year old Morne Steyn in their starting line-up.  Unbelieveable in today's world.  

OK, both are 38.  Close enough.  

It’s different to the team they were putting out in the URC. Not sure why, but they do have decent depth.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 3:13 pm

Looks like Raynal must have had some feedback for his appalling decision on the Warwick tackle last week as he's just given Ewers a yellow for a tackle not as bad as the one he didn't even penalise last week ...

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 3:31 pm

10 miutes in and Saracens have lost two of thier own lineouts. Thier second row - Itoje is not playing today - is really poor. Plus they do not look organised on defence. On attack, Satracens look OK for now.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 3:36 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:By the way, anyone watching Exe-Bulls?  The Bulls have the 400 year old Bismarck duPlessis and the equally 400 year old Morne Steyn in their starting line-up.  Unbelieveable in today's world.  

OK, both are 38.  Close enough.  

It’s different to the team they were putting out in the URC. Not sure why, but they do have decent depth.
I'd imagine it's down to travel and just the workload on players in general. It's interesting seeing the SA sides prioritising the URC over Europe.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 3:44 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:By the way, anyone watching Exe-Bulls?  The Bulls have the 400 year old Bismarck duPlessis and the equally 400 year old Morne Steyn in their starting line-up.  Unbelieveable in today's world.  

OK, both are 38.  Close enough.  

It’s different to the team they were putting out in the URC. Not sure why, but they do have decent depth.
I'd imagine it's down to travel and just the workload on players in general. It's interesting seeing the SA sides prioritising the URC over Europe.

I imagine that’s the logic behind it. This is basically their Currie Cup team. Bulls URC team is very strong but they don’t have that many Springboks, so not quite sure I get the logic. Sharks have all their Boks playing.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:51 pm

Tigers' try being disallowed for a forward pass was the just conclusion but if the laws say you can only go back 2 phases the officials got it wrong again as there were clearly 3 rucks so it appears they can't count ... can forgive the ref but the TMO had plenty of time to count the phases.

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Post by Geordie Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:53 pm

Tigers have got themselves a rough diamond in Charlie Atkinson.  Him and JVP could develop into a fabulous half back partnership...

Add in Kelly at 12....and thats quite a platform in the midfield to work with....


Last edited by Geordie on Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:53 pm

True enough. There's even real creep in the tmo s involvement.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:55 pm

Wow. Dan Kelly really likes defending.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:55 pm

Make that Atkinson mainly.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:56 pm

Geordie wrote:Tigers have got themselves a rough diamond in Charlie Atkinson.  Him and JVP could develop into a fabulous half back partnership...

Yeah he's improving the more he plays, obviously joining a new team mid season isn't ideal. JVP/Atkinson/Kelly is a young and exciting all round combination that could be together for a long time with any luck.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 17 Dec 2022, 4:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Make that Atkinson mainly.

Like any good 10/12 combo the 10 set it up and the 12 finished it off.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wow. Dan Kelly really likes defending.

If he hadn't held that up I wonder if the TMO would have gone back for the Clermont forward pass?

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