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Champions Cup Quarter Finals 2023

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 03 Apr 2023, 2:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

Quarter-finals

Friday, April 7th:
Leinster v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Stadium, 8pm

Saturday, April 8th:
Toulouse v Cell C Sharks, Stade Ernest Wallon, 4pm;
Exeter v DHL Stormers, Sandy Park, 5.30pm

Sunday, April 9th:
La Rochelle v Saracens, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 4pm

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:13 pm

TJ wrote:
Granted they won that day but they didn't field anywhere near their starting 15.

Leinster do not have a "starting 15"  thats the lesson they have for other clubs.  What they have is a squad of 30 odd players all of who can slot in and out of the side

Are you mixing up your 'sters?

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:15 pm

Sorry by the way as my earlier comments were not meant to attack leagues or specific clubs.

But my worry in rugby currently is that the Top14 will end up consuming all of club rugby at some stage. That won't help the Premiership or the URC in the long term.

And I think the failure to recapture the past history of the Champions Cup and quality to reach knock out stages will only feed faster into that demise. I don't want to see a scenario develop where essentially the other British leagues become feeder leagues for the Top 14. Super rugby is already suffering from this and as their budgets grow they will simply absorb the remaining leagues. We are already seeing trends of top players leaving and the demise of the Champions Cup will only speed this process up.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:16 pm

Other British leagues? What?

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:17 pm

TJ wrote:
Granted they won that day but they didn't field anywhere near their starting 15.

Leinster do not have a "starting 15"  thats the lesson they have for other clubs.  What they have is a squad of 30 odd players all of who can slot in and out of the side

It was Leicester

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:49 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Other British leagues? What?

I was essentially referencing the Premiership and the URC which granted is not fully British with South African and Italian sides involved as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 3:51 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Heaf wrote:Some teams will for sure have put out weaker teams in later rounds based on results, but I'm not sure I can recall any Prem sides starting with weakened teams - apart from due to injuries and not having the squad depth due to the cap?

I'd agree that if the Prem goes to 10 teams then 8 qualifying would be anomalous ...

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/report/match-report-leinster-rugby-57-gloucester-rugby-0/

I think Gloucester did when they played Leinster. This was in round 2.

No Rhys Zammit, Carreras, Harris, Akerman, Varney, May etc.

It was a total dead rubber pointless match.

Another silly point. Do clubs need to name a first 15 and get penalised if they don't name that side. Or do you just allow coaches to name what they feel is best for the side.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 4:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Heaf wrote:Some teams will for sure have put out weaker teams in later rounds based on results, but I'm not sure I can recall any Prem sides starting with weakened teams - apart from due to injuries and not having the squad depth due to the cap?

I'd agree that if the Prem goes to 10 teams then 8 qualifying would be anomalous ...

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/report/match-report-leinster-rugby-57-gloucester-rugby-0/

I think Gloucester did when they played Leinster. This was in round 2.

No Rhys Zammit, Carreras, Harris, Akerman, Varney, May etc.

It was a total dead rubber pointless match.

Another silly point. Do clubs need to name a first 15 and get penalised if they don't name that side. Or do you just allow coaches to name what they feel is best for the side.

Is it silly though? Gloucester didn't send their first team out there when they pretty much knew they couldn't win. I understand what your getting at here and that clubs will do what they see in the best interest for themselves.

But this completely undermines the tournament as a whole and is part of the reason European Rugby is in decline and is being devalued. It's all well and good looking at it from the specific clubs in questions viewpoint but this won't help when its time to agree new TV and Sponsorships as both these depend on overall viewing figures and neutrals won't be attracted to these sort of fixtures. Sponsors want to see the best players as well as it draws more eyeballs. Its Marketing 101.


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Post by TJ Wed 12 Apr 2023, 4:30 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
TJ wrote:
Granted they won that day but they didn't field anywhere near their starting 15.

Leinster do not have a "starting 15"  thats the lesson they have for other clubs.  What they have is a squad of 30 odd players all of who can slot in and out of the side

It was Leicester

DoH! sorry

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 4:33 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Other British leagues? What?

I was essentially referencing the Premiership and the URC which granted is not fully British with South African and Italian sides involved as well.  

The URC only has 6 British sides from 16, quite a stretch to call it a British league.

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Post by Heaf Wed 12 Apr 2023, 5:11 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
Heaf wrote:Some teams will for sure have put out weaker teams in later rounds based on results, but I'm not sure I can recall any Prem sides starting with weakened teams - apart from due to injuries and not having the squad depth due to the cap?

I'd agree that if the Prem goes to 10 teams then 8 qualifying would be anomalous ...

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/report/match-report-leinster-rugby-57-gloucester-rugby-0/

I think Gloucester did when they played Leinster. This was in round 2.

No Rhys Zammit, Carreras, Harris, Akerman, Varney, May etc.

It was a total dead rubber pointless match.

Another silly point. Do clubs need to name a first 15 and get penalised if they don't name that side. Or do you just allow coaches to name what they feel is best for the side.

Is it silly though?  Gloucester didn't send their first team out there when they pretty much knew they couldn't win.  I understand what your getting at here and that clubs will do what they see in the best interest for themselves.

But this completely undermines the tournament as a whole and is part of the reason European Rugby is in decline and is being devalued.  It's all well and good looking at it from the specific clubs in questions viewpoint but this won't help when its time to agree new TV and Sponsorships as both these depend on overall viewing figures and neutrals won't be attracted to these sort of fixtures.  Sponsors want to see the best players as well as it draws more eyeballs.  Its Marketing 101.


Glaws clearly decided Leinster were going to win anyway (probably correctly) so put their resources into the other matches - which worked as they qualified for the quarters. So their tactics were correct and in the end they came close to knocking out the title holders at home. The fact that they were able to get to the quarters doing this is down to the structure of the tournament - so that's what needs changing if they want to avoid this type of tactic devaluing it in the future ....

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 5:24 pm

I think the solution has to be less English sides too. 8 from a potential 10 sides is very far removed from the merit based argument that the restructuring of the champions cup was based on. Gloucester certainly devalued the tournament with their 57-0 loss and I can see that happening again in future comps as with respect the English Premiership isn't currently that strong. I think there would be a strong argument at this stage for more URC sides and less English ones if merit was the key criteria. However, in a multi jurisdictional tournament merit shouldn't be the only criteria as the best thing about the Champions cup is participation of teams from a range of different countries so I'd personally rather see a team like Treviso in the comp than some of the weaker English sides.

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Post by Heaf Wed 12 Apr 2023, 5:31 pm

I also think it's a bit unfair to criticise Leicester for sending a winning team to Ospreys. I'm sure all teams would love to have a squad of the quality of Leinster but they just don't and have to manage their resources accordingly and on that occasion it seems Leicester got it right.

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Post by Heaf Wed 12 Apr 2023, 5:44 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:I think the solution has to be less English sides too. 8 from a potential 10 sides is very far removed from the merit based argument that the restructuring of the champions cup was based on. Gloucester certainly devalued the tournament with their 57-0 loss and I can see that happening again in future comps as with respect the English Premiership isn't currently that strong. I think there would be a strong argument at this stage for more URC sides and less English ones if merit was the key criteria. However, in a multi jurisdictional tournament merit shouldn't be the only criteria as the best thing about the Champions cup is participation of teams from a range of different countries so I'd personally rather see a team like Treviso in the comp than some of the weaker English sides.

I think the whole thing needs a rethink but I'd be wary of going back to guaranteed places based on country rather than merit - remember in the past some teams drawn with certain Italian teams in their pools were pretty much guaranteed bonus point wins, which then skewed the seedings for the knock-out stages. I know the quality of the Italian teams is different now but I still think it should be league position based - with number of league places determined by league size.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:30 pm

Heaf wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:I think the solution has to be less English sides too. 8 from a potential 10 sides is very far removed from the merit based argument that the restructuring of the champions cup was based on. Gloucester certainly devalued the tournament with their 57-0 loss and I can see that happening again in future comps as with respect the English Premiership isn't currently that strong. I think there would be a strong argument at this stage for more URC sides and less English ones if merit was the key criteria. However, in a multi jurisdictional tournament merit shouldn't be the only criteria as the best thing about the Champions cup is participation of teams from a range of different countries so I'd personally rather see a team like Treviso in the comp than some of the weaker English sides.

I think the whole thing needs a rethink but I'd be wary of going back to guaranteed places based on country rather than merit - remember in the past some teams drawn with certain Italian teams in their pools were pretty much guaranteed bonus point wins, which then skewed the seedings for the knock-out stages.  I know the quality of the Italian teams is different now but I still think it should be league position based - with number of league places determined by league size.
I don't necessarily disagree with the merit based qualification, but just to put forward the other side of the argument:

You could end up with a situation where you only have four nations represented in the tournament, if the provinces and SA teams ended up in the top 8. Is it really wise to shut out entire markets for the competition in terms of TV viewership and sponsors? It's bad enough they've shut out any potential new markets when they eradicated having tier 2 clubs in the challenge Cup.

I have absolutely no interest in watching French v French or English v English or SA v SA, etc etc clubs playing against each other in Europe, even in the knockout stages. I always loved the diversity of matches in the old HC groups. We've seen how the likes of the Ospreys and Edinburgh, who have struggled in the league have been able to get themselves fired up and competitive for European games against the French and English sides.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:45 pm

TJ wrote:
But.....you still need to pay the big bucks to be able to keep hold of these players and Leinster are in a fantastic position to be able to this, fair play to them.

Actually there are other considerations - like not being flogged to death, like a good environment to live and work in, like being in a winning team

Once again its a shame that we do not get transparency over finances but its believed that Sexton for example is paid way less than Russell.  Some of leinsters players could easily get more money elsewhere.  What Leinster do so well is have a wide squad all of whom can slot in and out without disruption and a part of that is not overpaying the top players so yo have budget for the wider squad

What the successful teams do is pay well but not excessively and provide other non monetary attractions

All of the above and getting a big load of money in your pocket!

Leinsters starting pack (pack only) earns approximately 3.5m Euro a year......The English sides just can't compete with this currently.

On Leicester and Gloucester fielding weakened sides....they both made the knock out rounds so the point is moot.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:50 pm

I haven't seen anything about the Prem going to 10...but if it does, 8 places is too much.

Personally, I'd prefer the top 4 to 6 from each league going through and home/away knock outs from the off.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 6:54 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:I think the solution has to be less English sides too. 8 from a potential 10 sides is very far removed from the merit based argument that the restructuring of the champions cup was based on. Gloucester certainly devalued the tournament with their 57-0 loss and I can see that happening again in future comps as with respect the English Premiership isn't currently that strong. I think there would be a strong argument at this stage for more URC sides and less English ones if merit was the key criteria. However, in a multi jurisdictional tournament merit shouldn't be the only criteria as the best thing about the Champions cup is participation of teams from a range of different countries so I'd personally rather see a team like Treviso in the comp than some of the weaker English sides.

I think the whole thing needs a rethink but I'd be wary of going back to guaranteed places based on country rather than merit - remember in the past some teams drawn with certain Italian teams in their pools were pretty much guaranteed bonus point wins, which then skewed the seedings for the knock-out stages.  I know the quality of the Italian teams is different now but I still think it should be league position based - with number of league places determined by league size.
I don't necessarily disagree with the merit based qualification, but just to put forward the other side of the argument:

You could end up with a situation where you only have four nations represented in the tournament, if the provinces and SA teams ended up in the top 8. Is it really wise to shut out entire markets for the competition in terms of TV viewership and sponsors? It's bad enough they've shut out any potential new markets when they eradicated having tier 2 clubs in the challenge Cup.

I have absolutely no interest in watching French v French or English v English or SA v SA, etc etc clubs playing against each other in Europe, even in the knockout stages. I always loved the diversity of matches in old HC groups. We've seen how the likes of the Ospreys and Edinburgh, who have struggled in the league have been able to get themselves fired up and competitive for European games against the French and English sides.

Im in the same boat. Even if the Italian sides were weak I'd rather see 1 weak Italian side included at the expense of a weak English or French side even if they were potentially slightly less weak than the Italians on the basis that there will already be a good mix of English and French sides.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:01 pm

No English or French side is as weak as an Italian side.

The premier European league should have the best sides, not some quota system.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:02 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Other British leagues? What?

I was essentially referencing the Premiership and the URC which granted is not fully British with South African and Italian sides involved as well.  
Rolling Eyes Okay now you have to be trolling...

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:26 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:No English or French side is as weak as an Italian side.

The premier European league should have the best sides, not some quota system.
Wait what? Shocked  I don't think Benetton would agree with that... But having the top 8 from each league is a quota system? Even the champions league allocates spots to smaller markets in order to grow the competition. It's not as simple as having all of the best teams qualify, we need to also grow the sport. That's one thing the ERC used to really focused on and did it very successfully.


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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:30 pm

Benetton are in the semis of the challenge cup, there are no English sides left in that tournament. They arent too bad.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:35 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Benetton are in the semis of the challenge cup, there are no English sides left in that tournament. They arent too bad.

Having not faced a Prem team along the way. Not all Prem teams take the Challenge Cup particularly seriously, especially if they have injury issues and are trying to finish in the top 8 of the Prem and play a higher level of European competition.

Benetton aren't the whipping boys they used to be though, I agree there. They've come on a great deal.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 12 Apr 2023, 7:37 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Benetton are in the semis of the challenge cup, there are no English sides left in that tournament. They arent too bad.

Having not faced a Prem team along the way. Not all Prem teams take the Challenge Cup particularly seriously, especially if they have injury issues and are trying to finish in the top 8 of the Prem and play a higher level of European competition.

Benetton aren't the whipping boys they used to be though, I agree there. They've come on a great deal.
They are quite the force at home as Connacht found out in the last 16, they do struggle away from home though. It'll be interesting to see how they get on in Toulon, who seem to be really gunning for this CC.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 12 Apr 2023, 8:00 pm

They did beat Stade Francais who are third in the top 14 and Bayonne who are 8th though.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 12 Apr 2023, 8:48 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:They did beat Stade Francais who are third in the top 14 and Bayonne who are 8th though.

Again, French teams not always known for taking the lesser European games seriously, especially away from home.

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Post by TJ Wed 12 Apr 2023, 8:50 pm

Benneton would not be whipping boys if they played in the English league.  A mid ranked team in the URC having beaten teams that beat english clubs.  they would beat some english clubs no doubt at all.  Only the bottom ones for sure but they would. this year Benneton are a better side than Edinburgh - and Edinburgh beat Sarries

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 13 Apr 2023, 5:31 am

The French and English sides generally don't take the Challenge Cup seriously. The post regarding The Italian sides was that the French/English sides in the Champions Cup would beat them.

Exeter came 7th in the Premiership and now in a semi-final......I would take a punt and say an Italian side has never got this far.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 13 Apr 2023, 5:40 am

TJ wrote:Benneton would not be whipping boys if they played in the English league.  

Completely irrelevant as it's not going to happen.

this year Benneton are a better side than Edinburgh - and Edinburgh beat Sarries

If only this was how sport worked......

Falcons beat Exeter in November and Exeter have just beaten Montpellier who in turn beat La Rochelle last home game who beat Leinster..........so Falcons v Leinster should be a routine win for the mighty Newcastle!


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 13 Apr 2023, 5:42 am

Just a polite reminder......if a certain poster winds you up, please use the ignore function (add to foes list)  OK

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Post by broadlandboy Thu 13 Apr 2023, 12:24 pm

I don't think many people have a problem with the final being played at the Aviva but more that Leinster have played the previous 3 rounds there and so would have played twice as many games there than at the RDS in this competition, assuming they played the group games at RDS.
It seems as if some of the Leinster players play more at the Aviva than at the RDS.

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Post by Heaf Thu 13 Apr 2023, 1:01 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Heaf wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:I think the solution has to be less English sides too. 8 from a potential 10 sides is very far removed from the merit based argument that the restructuring of the champions cup was based on. Gloucester certainly devalued the tournament with their 57-0 loss and I can see that happening again in future comps as with respect the English Premiership isn't currently that strong. I think there would be a strong argument at this stage for more URC sides and less English ones if merit was the key criteria. However, in a multi jurisdictional tournament merit shouldn't be the only criteria as the best thing about the Champions cup is participation of teams from a range of different countries so I'd personally rather see a team like Treviso in the comp than some of the weaker English sides.

I think the whole thing needs a rethink but I'd be wary of going back to guaranteed places based on country rather than merit - remember in the past some teams drawn with certain Italian teams in their pools were pretty much guaranteed bonus point wins, which then skewed the seedings for the knock-out stages.  I know the quality of the Italian teams is different now but I still think it should be league position based - with number of league places determined by league size.
I don't necessarily disagree with the merit based qualification, but just to put forward the other side of the argument:

You could end up with a situation where you only have four nations represented in the tournament, if the provinces and SA teams ended up in the top 8. Is it really wise to shut out entire markets for the competition in terms of TV viewership and sponsors? It's bad enough they've shut out any potential new markets when they eradicated having tier 2 clubs in the challenge Cup.

I have absolutely no interest in watching French v French or English v English or SA v SA, etc etc clubs playing against each other in Europe, even in the knockout stages. I always loved the diversity of matches in the old HC groups. We've seen how the likes of the Ospreys and Edinburgh, who have struggled in the league have been able to get themselves fired up and competitive for European games against the French and English sides.

I can see your point somewhat - but if weaker teams are allowed to qualify based on country rather than merit then I think they need to look at the way knock-out fixtures are determined, as total pool points can be skewed as mentioned giving the winners/runners-up in those pools an unfair points advantage over other pools ....

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 13 Apr 2023, 1:10 pm

broadlandboy wrote:I don't think many people have a problem with the final being played at the Aviva but more that Leinster have played the previous 3 rounds there and so would have played twice as many games there than at the RDS in this competition, assuming they played the group games at RDS.
It seems as if some of the Leinster players play more at the Aviva than at the RDS.
One of the main problems with Rugby, if not the biggest issue, is the need to bring people in to watch the sport.  So if Leinster are able to move to the Aviva and bring in the bodies, then more power to them!

At least as far as Twickenham goes, there are neighborhood restrictions on the number of games played there, though I am not sure the number.  Otherwise I would guess  Harlequins and Saracens would play more fixtures there, as well.  Quins are on a fairly long streak of sell outs at The Stoop.

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Post by broadlandboy Thu 13 Apr 2023, 1:21 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
broadlandboy wrote:I don't think many people have a problem with the final being played at the Aviva but more that Leinster have played the previous 3 rounds there and so would have played twice as many games there than at the RDS in this competition, assuming they played the group games at RDS.
It seems as if some of the Leinster players play more at the Aviva than at the RDS.
One of the main problems with Rugby, if not the biggest issue, is the need to bring people in to watch the sport.  So if Leinster are able to move to the Aviva and bring in the bodies, then more power to them!

At least as far as Twickenham goes, there are neighborhood restrictions on the number of games played there, though I am not sure the number.  Otherwise I would guess  Harlequins and Saracens would play more fixtures there, as well.  Quins are on a fairly long streak of sell outs at The Stoop.



As Leinster are selling out the Aviva, & you said we need more bodies, why don't they move to Croke Park?

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 13 Apr 2023, 1:30 pm

broadlandboy wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
broadlandboy wrote:I don't think many people have a problem with the final being played at the Aviva but more that Leinster have played the previous 3 rounds there and so would have played twice as many games there than at the RDS in this competition, assuming they played the group games at RDS.
It seems as if some of the Leinster players play more at the Aviva than at the RDS.
One of the main problems with Rugby, if not the biggest issue, is the need to bring people in to watch the sport.  So if Leinster are able to move to the Aviva and bring in the bodies, then more power to them!

At least as far as Twickenham goes, there are neighborhood restrictions on the number of games played there, though I am not sure the number.  Otherwise I would guess  Harlequins and Saracens would play more fixtures there, as well.  Quins are on a fairly long streak of sell outs at The Stoop.

As Leinster are selling out the Aviva, & you said we need more bodies, why don't they move to Croke Park?
Not sure what is involved to pull that off but in theory makes sense.

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Post by TJ Thu 13 Apr 2023, 2:46 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:No English or French side is as weak as an Italian side.

The premier European league should have the best sides, not some quota system.

Oh dear. Bennetton would be a good match for your bottom few clubs. Have you seen them play? This season they are a significantly better team than my team Edinburgh - and Edinburgh beat Sarries


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Post by neilthom7 Thu 13 Apr 2023, 3:07 pm

A lot would be involved to move to croke park. They would for starters have to get a non rugby organisation to agree to it since it’s owned by the GAA.

That wouldn’t be easy, GAA used to have to change its code to even play non GAA sport games at Croke, not sure if that is still the same but it’s not just as straight forward as booking the venue

They would probably have to pay some extra fees etc too and book it well in advance given the other sports and concerts etc that take place there.

where as Aviva is owned by Irish rugby and can be used at relatively short notice which these things are.

There’s also probably times when Leinster have to use the Aviva, certainly there used to be games in knockout stages that required a minimum attendance figure, don’t know if that’s still the case but potentially if it is the rds wouldn’t satisfy that figure.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 13 Apr 2023, 4:28 pm

neilthom7 wrote:A lot would be involved to move to croke park. They would for starters have to get a non rugby organisation to agree to it since it’s owned by the GAA.

That wouldn’t be easy, GAA used to have to change its code to even play non GAA sport games at Croke, not sure if that is still the same but it’s not just as straight forward as booking the venue

They would probably have to pay some extra fees etc too and book it well in advance given the other sports and concerts etc that take place there.

where as Aviva is owned by Irish rugby and can be used at relatively short notice which these things are.

There’s also probably times when Leinster have to use the Aviva, certainly there used to be games in knockout stages that required a minimum attendance figure, don’t know if that’s still the case but potentially if it is the rds wouldn’t satisfy that figure.

Even for the RDS, the horse show takes priority over Leinster getting a home game. There may even be a concert by the Boss on in there too. Aviva is only co-owned as the FAI have a stake there too.... but it's an easier and quicker situation to resolve and spin up.
Interesting that the soccer bid for the euro'28 was used with Lansdowne Rd rather than Croke Park.... though I'd wonder if that was a deliberate decision by the UK to use the smaller capacity Irish venue as they can use capacity then as rationale to keep the final rounds of fixtures at wembley and in the UK. If Croker was on the list, second highest capacity... it could start arguing for semi-final fixture....

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 13 Apr 2023, 5:25 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:A lot would be involved to move to croke park. They would for starters have to get a non rugby organisation to agree to it since it’s owned by the GAA.

That wouldn’t be easy, GAA used to have to change its code to even play non GAA sport games at Croke, not sure if that is still the same but it’s not just as straight forward as booking the venue

They would probably have to pay some extra fees etc too and book it well in advance given the other sports and concerts etc that take place there.

where as Aviva is owned by Irish rugby and can be used at relatively short notice which these things are.

There’s also probably times when Leinster have to use the Aviva, certainly there used to be games in knockout stages that required a minimum attendance figure, don’t know if that’s still the case but potentially if it is the rds wouldn’t satisfy that figure.

Even for the RDS, the horse show takes priority over Leinster getting a home game. There may even be a concert by the Boss on in there too. Aviva is only co-owned as the FAI have a stake there too.... but it's an easier and quicker situation to resolve and spin up.
Interesting that the soccer bid for the euro'28 was used with Lansdowne Rd rather than Croke Park.... though I'd wonder if that was a deliberate decision by the UK to use the smaller capacity Irish venue as they can use capacity then as rationale to keep the final rounds of fixtures at wembley and in the UK. If Croker was on the list, second highest capacity... it could start arguing for semi-final fixture....
That's interesting stuff, boys. I figured Croke would be difficult, especially on somewhat short notice. And for the soccer, I don't think it's too difficult to justify games in Wembley. It is one of the best known soccer stadia in the world (from what little soccer info I am aware of). And the Aviva is a real nice building for a spectator and looks great on tv as well.

Regarding the priorities at the RDS, I don't care about the horses, but The Boss takes priority over everything! Even my wallet when I look at what I paid for tix at Met Life at the end of the summer. I could probably buy Wasps and Worcester Warriors and still have change left over.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu 13 Apr 2023, 5:27 pm

neilthom7 wrote:A lot would be involved to move to croke park. They would for starters have to get a non rugby organisation to agree to it since it’s owned by the GAA.

That wouldn’t be easy, GAA used to have to change its code to even play non GAA sport games at Croke, not sure if that is still the same but it’s not just as straight forward as booking the venue

They would probably have to pay some extra fees etc too and book it well in advance given the other sports and concerts etc that take place there.

where as Aviva is owned by Irish rugby and can be used at relatively short notice which these things are.

There’s also probably times when Leinster have to use the Aviva, certainly there used to be games in knockout stages that required a minimum attendance figure, don’t know if that’s still the case but potentially if it is the rds wouldn’t satisfy that figure.
There is a minimum capacity requirement for the semi final. It's why La Rochelle have to play in Bordeaux.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Apr 2023, 7:11 am

TJ wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:No English or French side is as weak as an Italian side.

The premier European league should have the best sides, not some quota system.

Oh dear.  Bennetton would be a good match for your bottom few clubs.  Have you seen them play?  This season they are a significantly better team than my team Edinburgh - and Edinburgh beat Sarries


Oh dear oh dear indeed TJ.....

That Bennetton beat Edinburgh and they in turn beat Saracens means absolutely diddly squat in real terms I'm afraid. I'm sure Bennetton would get a few wins in the Premiership but I still fail to see how that would warrant playing in the Champions Cup.....


Last edited by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 14 Apr 2023, 9:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 8:58 am

If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 14 Apr 2023, 9:56 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.

Same reason I am glad the same is happening to the Welsh Regions. I've not heard anything so far but I assume this is the last season this sort of thing will happen. Top 8 of the URC should be the ones to qualify as they all have earned their places. Welsh Teams should have to earn their Champions Cup spots same as everyone else.

To be fair to Treviso they have been pretty close to qualifying outright and technically still have a chance with 2 more games to go. They really are a descent outfit at home.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:02 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
TJ wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:No English or French side is as weak as an Italian side.

The premier European league should have the best sides, not some quota system.

Oh dear.  Bennetton would be a good match for your bottom few clubs.  Have you seen them play?  This season they are a significantly better team than my team Edinburgh - and Edinburgh beat Sarries


Oh dear oh dear indeed TJ.....

That Bennetton beat Edinburgh and they in turn beat Saracens means absolutely diddly squat in real terms I'm afraid. I'm sure Bennetton would get a few wins in the Premiership but I still fail to see how that would warrant playing in the Champions Cup.....

They are in 9th though with just a single point behind the Sharks. So Bennetton can still qualify for the Champions Cup based on Merit so that would suggest to me they really are not as average as people are making out. Granted I think they will still miss out even if they manage to slip into 8th because of the stupid Wales must have 1 qualifier rule (which hopefully will be over after this season)

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:08 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:12 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with this. I don't see anywhere that it's happening though...it'll more than likely go back to 12 in a few years if things go to plan.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:15 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

It's a simple thing so why overcomplicated things.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:20 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with this. I don't see anywhere that it's happening though...it'll more than likely go back to 12 in a few years if things go to plan.

I'm not so sure on this. From what I gather all of the CEO's at the clubs have agreed 10 teams in the way forward. The current issue is they cannot decide on who is getting cut.

Once they make that change and given the Shares redistribution from Worcester & Wasps the remaining 10 clubs will receive considerably higher money from the Premiership Profit share. I don't see why those 10 clubs would want to reduce it again to share the pot between 12. Premiership club owners have often just looked at their own benefits instead of looking at the greater good so would be very surprised if they made a change based on any wider ranging benefits.

So for me the only question is will they actually cull to 10 - if they do I just don't see them reversing it even in the long term.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:22 am

I've only seem rumours of this WM....I can't see any side wanting to opt out.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 14 Apr 2023, 10:25 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with this. I don't see anywhere that it's happening though...it'll more than likely go back to 12 in a few years if things go to plan.
I hope so, who would the 12th team be?

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 14 Apr 2023, 11:13 am

Benetton are a better team than Newcastle or Bath and could hold there own against the three just above them.
Remember they are the core of the Italy side and at full strength are not to be taken lightly.
The current Italy squad is (roughly) 20 Benetton, 8 Zebre, 10 other

They do get bad results but largely because of losing so many players to the Italy squad

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