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European Comps

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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 formerly known as Sam Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:05 pm

Heaf wrote:
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?

laughing

The TMO managed to miss the crafty Clermont flanker holding in Wigglesworth at the last scrum to allow Bezy the space to score. Poor from Wigglesworth really, shouldn't have been close enough to the flanker to allow that to happen.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:15 pm

It was pretty obvious wasn't it - makes you wonder what the TMO was watching at that point ...

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:24 pm

I watched Lyon-Saracens which was a pretty tight affair. Saracens had to defend a man down for the last 15 minutes which was real gutty defence. Still kind of frustrating to watch when they needlessly kick possession away, but a good hard fought match. Was interesting to see how Saracens learned to play with a weak lineout.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:25 pm

Dan McFarland is furious over the decision to not allow Ulster play at Kingspan. He's claiming that the pitch was playable today. Also there are La Rochelle supporters in the Aviva after the Ulster fans were told that it would be played behind closed doors! This could be yet another calamity for the EPCR.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:38 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Dan McFarland is furious over the decision to not allow Ulster play at Kingspan. He's claiming that the pitch was playable today. Also there are La Rochelle supporters in the Aviva after the Ulster fans were told that it would be played behind closed doors! This could be yet another calamity for the EPCR.
Not really an enjoyable watch with a near empty stadium - On the broadcast I don't see any people in the stands. This reminds me of the depth of Covid.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:39 pm

OK so that answered a question I've had for a long time ie if you throw to the front of a line-out and no-one jumps can it still be not straight - answer yes as LI just got pinged for it, but I've NEVER seen anyone else pinged. I've always thought if the front player doesn't jump or even move their feet it can't possibly be straight, but everyone else always gets away with it ...


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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:50 pm

.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:58 pm

2 forward passes in that move - where's the TMO?

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 5:59 pm

Wow they left that late

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:02 pm

Ironic - ref pings Stormers for not straight on one of their least crocked throw-ins

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:09 pm

Both sides pre-engage but Irish get pinged ... and another 2 clear forward passes not given ...

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:19 pm

Hopefully the officials will put their glasses on for the 2nd half so will be able to spot clearly forward passes ... not sure I've ever seen a try chalked off after the conversion?

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:29 pm

Just switched from match at the empty stadium in Dublin - by design - to the empty stadium in Cape Town. Very unfortunate.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:39 pm

Well the officials clearly didn't put their glasses on - 3rd try after the most crocked throw-in you could hope to see ... off to cook a curry now

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 17 Dec 2022, 6:52 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:Dan McFarland is furious over the decision to not allow Ulster play at Kingspan. He's claiming that the pitch was playable today. Also there are La Rochelle supporters in the Aviva after the Ulster fans were told that it would be played behind closed doors! This could be yet another calamity for the EPCR.
Not really an enjoyable watch with a near empty stadium - On the broadcast I don't see any people in the stands.  This reminds me of the depth of Covid.  

Struck me as him trying to fire up his own team. Us against the world type of thing after their hiding last weekend. Didn't work in the first half but second half they've turned up, could have had more than two tries had their 12 learned to keep his mouth shut.

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Post by Geordie Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:14 pm

Get in Joseph...for his second.

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Post by Geordie Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:15 pm

That big young backrower with the dreadlocks is really getting stuck in to the Stomers and winding them up...Good lad...zero fear

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Post by Geordie Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:16 pm

Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

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Post by Geordie Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:18 pm

Missed forward passes galore, dodgy lineouts and all sorts for the home side....is this what we have to look forward to with the SA sides in the competition

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Post by Duty281 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:22 pm

How on earth could the play for that final Irish 'try' be dragged all that way back? It must have been two or so minutes. If the TMO thought it was foul play, why not intervene earlier?

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:25 pm

Duty281 wrote:How on earth could the play for that final Irish 'try' be dragged all that way back? It must have been two or so minutes. If the TMO thought it was foul play, why not intervene earlier?
That's what I was wondering as well. I get the push-off was illegal, but the ref missed it in real time and went too far back, methinks.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:25 pm

11+ phases and about a minute and a half and they go back for the tiniest of pushes that you see at every kick chase ... whilst ignoring multiple offences in the build-ups to 3 of their tries. The officiating in this tournament has been dire - robbed last week and done over by the officials being one-sided this week.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:29 pm

Heaf wrote:
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?

Don't think it was forward anyway but yes equally '2' phases back.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:34 pm

Geordie wrote:Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

Yeah don't get that. A push isn't foul play is it? Think they've looked 9 phases back being generous possibly 10.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:37 pm

Well the officials got what they wanted - a five pointer for Stormers - only had to ignore forward passes, crooked throw-ins etc etc for Stormers whilst forensically analysing every Irish move for an offence ...

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:43 pm

Heaf wrote:11+ phases and about a minute and a half and they go back for the tiniest of pushes that you see at every kick chase ... whilst ignoring multiple offences in the build-ups to 3 of their tries.   The officiating in this tournament has been dire - robbed last week and done over by the officials being one-sided this week.
That was 11 phases? I thought the rule (is it a suggestion or recommendation?) was not more than two phases back. The play was a pen in my mind, but this is utterly ridiculous. And makes Rugby look foolish.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:50 pm

The law is 2 phases or according to the TMO in the Tigers match you can't go back after 3 completed phases (who incidentally can't count as he overruled a try when there had clearly been 3 completed rucks), but I suspect that may not count for foul play - but I believe that means things like dangerous play - not a slight push that you see all the time.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 7:54 pm

Oh and if it was 'foul play' why didn't the TMO call it in straight away rather than waiting well over a minute for Irish to score? Makes you wonder if he didn't see it at the time but then went back looking for a reason to disallow another Irish try.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:05 pm

Heaf wrote:Oh and if it was 'foul play' why didn't the TMO call it in straight away rather than waiting well over a minute for Irish to score?  Makes you wonder if he didn't see it at the time but then went back looking for a reason to disallow another Irish try.  
The ref clearly didn't see it in real time - despite looking right at it. Must have come from the TMO, whom I thought is supposed to know better????

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:24 pm

Definitely came from the TMO - he couldn't wait to chime in to strike off another try. Ref should have said, you had your chance 90 seconds and nearly a dozen phases back, now F off Rolling Eyes

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:25 pm

Geordie wrote:Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

You ring the changes you’ll probably get battered. Just ask Glaws. Newcastle have been using this to develop for a number of years now. Either you’re not developing players well enough, or the good ones get nicked by other teams (or maybe a bit of both).

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:35 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Geordie wrote:Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

You ring the changes you’ll probably get battered. Just ask Glaws. Newcastle have been using this to develop for a number of years now. Either you’re not developing players well enough, or the good ones get nicked by other teams (or maybe a bit of both).
I was gonna say it's understandable to rotate for this comp but I just checked the prem table and Newcastle are 11th. Why not target this comp and give the fans a potential run in a European comp? I'm sure there's a valid reason, but I'd personally be peed off as a fan.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:40 pm

No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 8:45 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Geordie wrote:Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

You ring the changes you’ll probably get battered. Just ask Glaws. Newcastle have been using this to develop for a number of years now. Either you’re not developing players well enough, or the good ones get nicked by other teams (or maybe a bit of both).

Falcons have had something of an injury crisis. They are missing most of their big names.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:40 pm

Where do they find these TMOs? Foot clearly in touch, but the TMO sees nothing conclusive until the referee talks him out of his nonsense.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:46 pm

A bit more wrestling going on in Montpellier vs Ospreys, if anyone’s interested?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:56 pm

Aaannnndddd Ospreys end their drought by beating Montpellier 21 - 10.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 17 Dec 2022, 9:56 pm

Superb effort from Ospreys built on strong defence.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 10:02 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 10:11 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.
Well that applies to every team. Making the knockout stages is a lot more likely than achieving anything in the league this year for some sides. This isn't just about prem teams, I've seen the likes of Connacht, Dragons and Treviso do the same thing over the years.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 17 Dec 2022, 10:18 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.
Well that applies to every team. Making the knockout stages is a lot more likely than achieving anything in the league this year for some sides. This isn't just about prem teams, I've seen the likes of Connacht, Dragons and Treviso do the same thing over the years.
Not necessarily the same for everyone. Teams with bigger playing squads are in a different position than teams with smaller squads. Teams can be competitive in thier league, but not have the resources for two competitions. How many teams do you think are putting out weaker squads in Europe?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 17 Dec 2022, 10:43 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.
Well that applies to every team. Making the knockout stages is a lot more likely than achieving anything in the league this year for some sides. This isn't just about prem teams, I've seen the likes of Connacht, Dragons and Treviso do the same thing over the years.
Not necessarily the same for everyone.  Teams with bigger playing squads are in a different position than teams with smaller squads.  Teams can be competitive in thier league, but not have the resources for two competitions.  How many teams do you think are putting out weaker squads in Europe?  
I'm not talking about being competitive in both competitions though? Teams are free to prioritise any comp they want. Personally, I would maybe want a run in a knockout tournament than going for an outside chance at mid table in the league, if my side was struggling, like Newcastle (just an example). Its very easy to make the knockout stages this year. I said above I'm sure teams have valid reasons why they throw certain comps.

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Post by Heaf Sat 17 Dec 2022, 10:58 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Geordie wrote:Another BS decision but the officials in this game.

You ring the changes you’ll probably get battered. Just ask Glaws. Newcastle have been using this to develop for a number of years now. Either you’re not developing players well enough, or the good ones get nicked by other teams (or maybe a bit of both).

I believe GF was talking about the Irish v Stormers match?

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 18 Dec 2022, 12:16 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.
Well that applies to every team. Making the knockout stages is a lot more likely than achieving anything in the league this year for some sides. This isn't just about prem teams, I've seen the likes of Connacht, Dragons and Treviso do the same thing over the years.
Not necessarily the same for everyone.  Teams with bigger playing squads are in a different position than teams with smaller squads.  Teams can be competitive in thier league, but not have the resources for two competitions.  How many teams do you think are putting out weaker squads in Europe?  
I'm not talking about being competitive in both competitions though? Teams are free to prioritise any comp they want.  Personally, I would maybe want a run in a knockout tournament than going for an outside chance at mid table in the league, if my side was struggling, like Newcastle (just an example). Its very easy to make the knockout stages this year. I said above I'm sure teams have valid reasons why they throw certain comps.
But it is about playing competitively in two competitions, since place in league is needed to get into the Heineken Cup.  So, as I said, league comes first.  Last season most teams in the Premiership were bunched in the middle of the table and only a BP here or there may have been the difference, so every match point is critical.  Here is an exerpt from an article in the Telegraph about George Skivington the Gloucester coach talking about why he did what he did:

The Gloucester head coach would also not be drawn on accusations that he had "devalued" the competition.

"I would 100 per cent be going hard at it, but I don't have another solution," Skivington said. "That's for everyone else to decide. I have to manage Gloucester as best I can throughout the season.

"From my point of view, I'm not devaluing it at all. I hope one day we can fire on all fronts. Fingers crossed, the Premiership won't be rescheduling anything any time soon. But I do understand that side of it but that's not why we've approached it the way we have.

"Inevitably, with the league being restructured, we will have less rugby which will hopefully allow for international breaks and playing this competition hard. Fingers crossed we get back to that and I'm not sitting here getting grilled about these sorts of decisions."

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 18 Dec 2022, 6:31 am

doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:No relegation this year either right? I know teams have been ducking games for over 20 years though, as required, and some teams get more stick for it than others…
Nope, which is why I'm confused. Giving your fans a home game in a knockout tournament in Europe or maybe a nice away trip, could be a huge boost in a year where the club is struggling.
Teams need their place in the league - I presume this is only about the Premiership - in order to qualify for Europe.  So the league will always come first.  It has to.  

And now with smaller budgets there is limited strength in depth.  Relegation did a somewhat similar thing.  The lack of financial certainty makes the situation worse and forces teams to be more conservative.  When Saracens were over the cap was the same time they were competing consistently at top in Europe.  And relegation can grab the big clubs like Saints and Quins (Tigers were going down, too) as well as financially weaker clubs like Newcastle and Worcester.    

I believe relegation is an anacronism which only a sport like soccer can get away with due to its immense popularity and financial strength.  Even run by a criminal organisation.  When and how we get through the current economic downturn (is there a better word than downturn?) we can restart and hopefully be able to create a structure which works for everyone - not forgetting our players are playing too much Rugby now.  

Believing in player welfare also makes it hard to see two paralel competitions, leagues and Europe, surviving in their current form.
Well that applies to every team. Making the knockout stages is a lot more likely than achieving anything in the league this year for some sides. This isn't just about prem teams, I've seen the likes of Connacht, Dragons and Treviso do the same thing over the years.
Not necessarily the same for everyone.  Teams with bigger playing squads are in a different position than teams with smaller squads.  Teams can be competitive in thier league, but not have the resources for two competitions.  How many teams do you think are putting out weaker squads in Europe?  
I'm not talking about being competitive in both competitions though? Teams are free to prioritise any comp they want.  Personally, I would maybe want a run in a knockout tournament than going for an outside chance at mid table in the league, if my side was struggling, like Newcastle (just an example). Its very easy to make the knockout stages this year. I said above I'm sure teams have valid reasons why they throw certain comps.
But it is about playing competitively in two competitions, since place in league is needed to get into the Heineken Cup.  So, as I said, league comes first.  Last season most teams in the Premiership were bunched in the middle of the table and only a BP here or there may have been the difference, so every match point is critical.  Here is an exerpt from an article in the Telegraph about George Skivington the Gloucester coach talking about why he did what he did:

The Gloucester head coach would also not be drawn on accusations that he had "devalued" the competition.

"I would 100 per cent be going hard at it, but I don't have another solution," Skivington said. "That's for everyone else to decide. I have to manage Gloucester as best I can throughout the season.

"From my point of view, I'm not devaluing it at all. I hope one day we can fire on all fronts. Fingers crossed, the Premiership won't be rescheduling anything any time soon. But I do understand that side of it but that's not why we've approached it the way we have.

"Inevitably, with the league being restructured, we will have less rugby which will hopefully allow for international breaks and playing this competition hard. Fingers crossed we get back to that and I'm not sitting here getting grilled about these sorts of decisions."
We were talking about the Challenge cup...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 18 Dec 2022, 8:15 am

It is worth noting that in the last two weeks Glaws have lost their first choice hooker and tighthead to injuries that will probably rule them out for the rest of the season.

May have caused a rethink in priorities.

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Post by Heaf Sun 18 Dec 2022, 11:55 am

I'm wondering if it's even worth watching any matches today - why don't we just ask the officials who they are awarding the matches to and we can save ourselves a lot of time and raised blood pressure steam

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 18 Dec 2022, 12:30 pm

Heaf wrote:I'm wondering if it's even worth watching any matches today - why don't we just ask the officials who they are awarding the matches to and we can save ourselves a lot of time and raised blood pressure steam
Nah, my Saints will find a way to lose without any assistnce from the ref or TMO.

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Post by Heaf Sun 18 Dec 2022, 12:42 pm

English team playing Munster with French officials - you're dooooomed Shocked

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