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URC Round 17

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 11 Apr 2023, 16:17

2 games left with the playoff places still up for grabs.

Round 17
Sharks vs Treviso 14th Apr 5.30pm
Glasgow vs Scarlets 14th Apr 7.35pm
Ulster vs Dragons 14th Apr 7.35pm
Lions vs Leinster 15th Apr 1pm
Bulls vs Zebre 15th Apr 3.05pm
Stormers vs Munster 15th Apr 5.15pm
Edinburgh vs Ospreys 15th Apr 7.35pm
Connacht vs Cardiff 15th Apr 7.35pm

Some really big fixtures in there. Stormers and Ulster both trying to chase the top 2 finish for home semi final draws. Ulster have the easier draw out of those but Stormers will be desperate to beat Munster given Europe is over for them now.

That Cardiff and Connacht game looks critical as well. A Connacht win here will probably end Cardiff's season for top 8 and might even struggle to stay at no 1 in the Welsh Pool as they have Ospreys in the final game but that probably depends on how Ospreys do against Edinburgh.

That Stormers/Munster game looks like the game of the weekend for me. One thing is for sure, some sides league season will be over after this weekend. Zebre and Dragons have already had their seasons ended. Think Scarlets and Edinburgh or Ospreys will also have any top 8 spots dashed this weekend.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 11 Apr 2023, 16:45

Glasgow vs Scarlets should be good. Both are in good form, and both will meet again soon in the challenge cup QF.

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 11 Apr 2023, 18:33

Looking forward to it, hopefully Munster can do us a favour in the race for second, think we will need those South African teams at home if we are going to make the final.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 11 Apr 2023, 19:57

Some really good games on the slate:

- Sharks vs Treviso looks like it could be an 8th place decider.

- Connacht vs Cardiff is a must win for Cardiff. Connacht could confirm their playoff place/push Munster for fifth and leave a very real risk that Wales will fail to have one team in the top 10

- Stormers vs Munster has the quality and some stakes. Munster lose and there is no chance of a home quarter and potentially could get pipped to fifth by Connacht (and get an away game to Ulster). Stormers loss will likely drop them to third and put them at risk of dropping to fourth

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 08:01

What's interesting is that Munster could lose both those SA games as I don't see Sharks or Stormers not desperate for the wins there.

And the issue is that if the top 8 don't have a welsh team in it only the top 7 will qualify for Europe. So if Munster don't get any points the 48 they are on could be ousted by the 3 teams just below them. That would leave Munster facing Leinster away and also out of Champions Cup qualification.

For me that Sharks/Munster game will therefore be a hell of a battle as neither side will want to drop to 8th.

I'm glad this is the last season for this silly European qualification for Welsh Teams. I believe this was only a 2 agreement which I believe now ends this season. I'd imagine the Top 8 will therefore qualify from next year as I thought in order for this to continue all of the Unions (excluding SA have to vote in favor of this) and Ireland already opposed this system from the outset. To be honest teams that don't make the top 8 shouldn't be qualifying for the Champions Cup.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 12 Apr 2023, 08:18

mikey_dragon wrote:Glasgow vs Scarlets should be good. Both are in good form, and both will meet again soon in the challenge cup QF.

Semi Final.

I'm not sure we will go fully loaded up to Glasgow to be honest, if we had a better chance of winning the Welsh shield then maybe but I can see a few being rested.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 12 Apr 2023, 12:34

Yeah and given Glasgow's form at home as well I think your probably right Oakdene.

But I do think there will be a lot of those fixtures which have strongest squads out this weekend. Should make for a entertaining weekend.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 20:26

It must be so frustrating being a Dragons fan, some of the stupid stuff they try is just ridiculous, would drive me mad watching them if they do that every week.

Be better served working on their set piece a bit more.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 14 Apr 2023, 20:46

Yes, Dragons do it every week. That was a harsh call on Vermeulen for the taking out, AOB committed to the tackle (that’s the point of a dummy runner). I saw a few similar like that in the 6N, especially from Italy, I think the law needs looking at.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 20:56

Ulster defence still as bad as ever, if Bell keeps his job this summer someones head needs examined

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 21:00

mikey_dragon wrote:Yes, Dragons do it every week. That was a harsh call on Vermeulen for the taking out, AOB committed to the tackle (that’s the point of a dummy runner). I saw a few similar like that in the 6N, especially from Italy, I think the law needs looking at.

Yeah I agree thought it was harsh, probably does need looked at as a rule but I suppose it is hard to tweak it without some very obvious obstructions then getting missed

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 21:01

This ref isn't up for slowing the game down, he seems to have become very suspicious of players going down, had a right go at the Dragons 9 there

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 14 Apr 2023, 21:16

I have seen that Poopie has penalised Nche for trying to blag a TMO check in Benetton game tonight. I wonder if there is some sort of clamp down from officials.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 21:22

I'm not against them clamping down on time wasting and talking to refs and stuff, it has started to creep in.

Although in fairness the 9 did look like he had a genuinely hurt back

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Post by Unclear Fri 14 Apr 2023, 22:57

I think he was right on the Dragons 9 as time wasting, he was trying to make sure the winger who was down in the Ulster 22 had a chance to get back. Quite how he let McCloskey away with some of his comments early on was lucky for Ulster. Yes the Vermeulen call was harsh, but there seemed little respect for the official, and that's from an Ulster fan.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 15 Apr 2023, 19:27

Thank you Munster, you did us a real solid there.

Great win in South Africa too

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 15 Apr 2023, 19:30

Brilliant win for Munster, mighty stuff.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 15 Apr 2023, 19:31

Two great wins for Irish teams in SA today!!

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 15 Apr 2023, 22:04

Munster just need to beat the Sharks next week and Connacht will qualify for the champions cup. Or if connacht win away to Glasgow they will also be through. Or if Leinster win away to the Bulls.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 15 Apr 2023, 22:12

Astonishing result from that Leinster side, so impressive. The Prendergast hype will be off the rails but his gametime needs to be managed correctly next season.

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Post by Intotouch Sat 15 Apr 2023, 23:13

I’m surprised and impressed by Leinster and Munster’s wins today. I thought that both would lose. This competition regularly throws up surprises and exciting matches. Im really enjoying the URC this year and looking forward to great matches to come.

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Post by BigGee Sat 15 Apr 2023, 23:16

Edinburgh decided to turn up tonight and Ospreys were very poor, they barely looked bothered at all.

To little to late for Edinburgh though but a nice send off for Mike Blair

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 16 Apr 2023, 00:03

Did Zebre get a red card? Slaughtered.

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 16 Apr 2023, 10:52

So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.


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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 16 Apr 2023, 11:48

I assume the knock out games dont count for champions cup qualification? Because Cardiff arent in the top 8 but top the Welsh conference whoever finishes 8th in the league wont qualify for the champions cup but could win the URC. That would be odd.

Good chance Connacht will qualify as they are in 6th which would mean all four Irish teams will be in but just two SA teams.

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:01

I don't think knock out games count however there is 1 exception, from my understanding (at least of the way it was last year) is that if the team wins the URC final then they are in the champions cup.  So if 8th wins they get in and 7th would then be out.

Although in fairness I doubt we are that worried about that happening as 8th will have to go and win away against Leinster and then would have to win 2 more away matches as well to win the tournament so odds wouldn't be in their favour


Last edited by neilthom7 on Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:06; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:03

Thats fair enough

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 16 Apr 2023, 16:03

South Africans seem to have struggled in the second half of the season. Last season must have been a fluke as they weren’t in the two competitions Wink.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Sun 16 Apr 2023, 19:34

neilthom7 wrote:So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.


There’s some tongue in cheek/half serious chat on Twitter about Os and Scarlets losing this weekend to try to avoid going into the Champions cup! As ridiculous as that may sound, and I doubt pro players would deliberately lose (Scarlets looked pretty up for trying to win in the Glasgow game. I didn’t see the Os game but hear they were pretty lacklustre), but either side would be going into the Champions cup with a circa 30% smaller squad budget, smaller squad size, and lots of current ‘star’ players leaving. No one’s fault outside of Wales of course, so not trying to start an argument or anything. But the Champions cup must seem very daunting and unappealing for any teams facing such big cuts.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 16 Apr 2023, 19:45

TAFKA The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.


There’s some tongue in cheek/half serious chat on Twitter about Os and Scarlets losing this weekend to try to avoid going into the Champions cup! As ridiculous as that may sound, and I doubt pro players would deliberately lose (Scarlets looked pretty up for trying to win in the Glasgow game. I didn’t see the Os game but hear they were pretty lacklustre), but either side would be going into the Champions cup with a circa 30% smaller squad budget, smaller squad size, and lots of current ‘star’ players leaving. No one’s fault outside of Wales of course, so not trying to start an argument or anything. But the Champions cup must seem very daunting and unappealing for any teams facing such big cuts.
I thought the Scarlets weren't getting as badly effected in terms of players leaving? It's great seeing them back in form and I'd love to see them in the CC next season.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Sun 16 Apr 2023, 21:13

My understanding is that next season the Welsh budgets will reduce to £5.5m, and then the following season reduce again to £4.5m for the remainder of the 6 year deal. And I was under the impression that scarlets had the biggest budget at around £8m?

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Post by Oakdene Mon 17 Apr 2023, 08:37

TAFKA The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.


There’s some tongue in cheek/half serious chat on Twitter about Os and Scarlets losing this weekend to try to avoid going into the Champions cup! As ridiculous as that may sound, and I doubt pro players would deliberately lose (Scarlets looked pretty up for trying to win in the Glasgow game. I didn’t see the Os game but hear they were pretty lacklustre), but either side would be going into the Champions cup with a circa 30% smaller squad budget, smaller squad size, and lots of current ‘star’ players leaving. No one’s fault outside of Wales of course, so not trying to start an argument or anything. But the Champions cup must seem very daunting and unappealing for any teams facing such big cuts.

I think for us, it was more about resting players who have played a lot recently & we have a huge semi final up ahead at the end of the month.

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Post by TAFKA The Oracle Mon 17 Apr 2023, 08:48

Oakdene wrote:
TAFKA The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.



There’s some tongue in cheek/half serious chat on Twitter about Os and Scarlets losing this weekend to try to avoid going into the Champions cup! As ridiculous as that may sound, and I doubt pro players would deliberately lose (Scarlets looked pretty up for trying to win in the Glasgow game. I didn’t see the Os game but hear they were pretty lacklustre), but either side would be going into the Champions cup with a circa 30% smaller squad budget, smaller squad size, and lots of current ‘star’ players leaving. No one’s fault outside of Wales of course, so not trying to start an argument or anything. But the Champions cup must seem very daunting and unappealing for any teams facing such big cuts.

I think for us, it was more about resting players who have played a lot recently & we have a huge semi final up ahead at the end of the month.

Yeah, as I said I thought the Scarlets looked well up for it!  And yes, some rested for the bigger game.  All just banter I think.  But still, the thought of going into the Champs Cup with tighter budget constraints than this season is a big worry.  

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Post by Oakdene Mon 17 Apr 2023, 09:50

TAFKA The Oracle wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
TAFKA The Oracle wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:So whats still up for grabs next weekend.

Who will be in the top 8 and make the quarters is set now I think

2nd place still up for grabs between Ulster and Stormers to secure a home semi should they get that far but an Ulster win at home to Edinburgh would see them take it.

Glasgow have secured top 4 so will have the other home quarter final.

5-8 can still change position to determine who goes where in the play offs and also important you don't finish in 8th as you would not make the Champions Cup next year with a Welsh team being guaranteed a spot.

On that front Cardiff lead the way in the race for top spot in the Welsh pool and that Champions Cup place, Ospreys however still in with a shout so that game betwen them will determine which side makes it.



There’s some tongue in cheek/half serious chat on Twitter about Os and Scarlets losing this weekend to try to avoid going into the Champions cup! As ridiculous as that may sound, and I doubt pro players would deliberately lose (Scarlets looked pretty up for trying to win in the Glasgow game. I didn’t see the Os game but hear they were pretty lacklustre), but either side would be going into the Champions cup with a circa 30% smaller squad budget, smaller squad size, and lots of current ‘star’ players leaving. No one’s fault outside of Wales of course, so not trying to start an argument or anything. But the Champions cup must seem very daunting and unappealing for any teams facing such big cuts.

I think for us, it was more about resting players who have played a lot recently & we have a huge semi final up ahead at the end of the month.

Yeah, as I said I thought the Scarlets looked well up for it!  And yes, some rested for the bigger game.  All just banter I think.  But still, the thought of going into the Champs Cup with tighter budget constraints than this season is a big worry.  

Totally agree, especially with smaller squad sizes. We need to get back to the 6 groups of 4 teams in the competition.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 17 Apr 2023, 11:10

Do not like 24 teams in the Champions Cup but miss the group stages.

I would prefer 8 groups of three or go to 8 groups of four and either bin the Challenge Cup or turn it into a knockout.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 17 Apr 2023, 15:15

Rumor doing the rounds after this weekend is the EPCR are looking to revert to the original format again.

Not sure that is the way to go but it will be better than the current format.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 17 Apr 2023, 15:16

Welshmushroom wrote:Rumor doing the rounds after this weekend is the EPCR are looking to revert to the original format again.  

Not sure that is the way to go but it will be better than the current format.

Finally, that is a great decision if true!

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