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URC Grand Final 2023

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 23 May 2023, 6:47 pm

The URC grand final is upon us and it looks like it is an intriguingly poised battle set to go down in South Africa. Stormers are the favourites but Munster can't upset another big team away from home, can they? Should be an absolutely belting game to watch either way.

DHL Stormers v Munster
Saturday May 27th 2023
Kick Off- 17:30 (Ireland and UK) 18:30 (South Africa and Italy)
DHL Stadium, Cape Town
Live on SuperSport, TG4, Viaplay, Premier Sports, Discovery +, FloRugby.com and URC.tv

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 36th league game)

AR 1: Mike Adamson (SRU) AR 2: Craig Evans (WRU)

TMO: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 23 May 2023, 6:49 pm

An interesting referee for this one, obviously Irish and South African referees are out but I thought one of the Welsh or Scottish officials would get it. I've seen this fella a couple of time and was very not impressed so hopefully he can hold it together and not hurt this game.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 23 May 2023, 11:53 pm

I’m not sure what Welsh ref could get it really, despite the concerns of other refs like Peyper. Not sure Scotland really have one either? Adamson carries a lot of flack too?

Refereeing is a huge problem. The RWC panel backs that up, as well. What we need is a referee that stops these mad clear outs from any angle and scrummaging guesses. Probably won’t see that for years, until one day it becomes flavour of the month. Head of refs in the URC is a con too.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 24 May 2023, 8:33 am

Since joining the URC, the Stormers have beaten every team in the league....apart from one.

That side? Munster.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 May 2023, 10:04 am

I facny Munster for this one. Stormers will race into an early lead as per but Munster will come back through their inegnuity and win it, they can put out a strong team too.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 24 May 2023, 10:06 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I facny Munster for this one. Stormers will race into an early lead as per but Munster will come back through their inegnuity and win it, they can put out a strong team too.

I agree, they have 4 players coming back from head knocks which will make them stronger. Fancy Beirne to be Man of the Match.

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Post by Brendan Wed 24 May 2023, 3:43 pm

On the refs why aren't the URC looking to get in the Georgian ref. He is up and coming and I'm sure Irish and SA teams would rather him for games between each other.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 24 May 2023, 10:03 pm

Would be great for Irish rugby if Munster get the win. Hope its a good match, could be a great one!

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Post by Intotouch Thu 25 May 2023, 12:05 am

Oakdene wrote:Since joining the URC, the Stormers have beaten every team in the league....apart from one.

That side? Munster.
That’d be impressive if the Stormers had been in the URC for more than a couple of kicks and if Munster hadn’t won last on a day the Stormers 10 missed every kick.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 25 May 2023, 8:11 am

Intotouch wrote:
Oakdene wrote:Since joining the URC, the Stormers have beaten every team in the league....apart from one.

That side? Munster.
That’d be impressive if the Stormers had been in the URC for more than a couple of kicks and if Munster hadn’t won last on a day the Stormers 10 missed every kick.

Was only stating a fact.

I mean you could apply that logic to a lot of sporting occasions.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 25 May 2023, 10:47 am

Ulster’s Tom Stewart was named next-gen player of the season and top try scorer, while John Hodnett from Munster was named Tackle Machine.

URC Elite XV

Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls); Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Daniel du Plessis (DHL Stormers), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma); Ross Byrne (Leinster), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks); Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht); Niall Murray (Connacht), Federico Ruzza (Benetton); Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), Scott Penny (Leinster), Gavin Coombes (Munster)

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 25 May 2023, 10:47 am

Chip well and truly on Munsters shoulder for the game. 1 Munsterman makes the URC team of the year.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 25 May 2023, 11:31 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Chip well and truly on Munsters shoulder for the game. 1 Munsterman makes the URC team of the year.

I don't see why, the team of the year was announced 2 weeks ago.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 27 May 2023, 7:34 pm

Well done Munster.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 27 May 2023, 8:16 pm

Congratulations Munster, 3 away games in a row against some of the very best in the league, they did it the hard way.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 27 May 2023, 8:59 pm

Great result for the Munster Men. Rowntree making a very good start to being the main man.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 May 2023, 9:05 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Great result for the Munster Men. Rowntree making a very good start to being the main man.
Say it quietly, mate. They might make Graham Rowntree, ears and all, the next England coach.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 27 May 2023, 9:06 pm

Congrats Munster. Stormers probably feel a bit silly for their celebration video. Good to know Dragons helped them turn the tide Wink

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 27 May 2023, 9:09 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Congrats Munster. Stormers probably feel a bit silly for their celebration video. Good to know Dragons helped them turn the tide Wink

I bet that was shown to the Munster squad everyday this week too, Munster never really seemed like the kind of team that needed help to get motivated for a game but Stormers gave them it anyways.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 27 May 2023, 9:17 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Great result for the Munster Men. Rowntree making a very good start to being the main man.
Say it quietly, mate.  They might make Graham Rowntree, ears and all, the next England coach.

If he can back up this season and start building a CV up as head coach there's no reason why not. I can't imagine Borthwick not holding it for the next two world cups though it's not like Rowntree will be in a rush.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 May 2023, 9:23 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Congrats Munster. Stormers probably feel a bit silly for their celebration video. Good to know Dragons helped them turn the tide Wink

I bet that was shown to the Munster squad everyday this week too, Munster never really seemed like the kind of team that needed help to get motivated for a game but Stormers gave them it anyways.
You know it's a funny thing.  Teams frequently post the smack mentioned by their opponents, but professional players typically don't care (though some will use it to egg on their fans).  Being in a final is all the motivation one needs.  The other stuff easily becomes a distraction and many pro athletes I have treated have told me that if they can't get up for a playoff run or in the playoffs because someone said something about their mother, they are likely to wash out of the team regardless.  On the other hand a former DL for the NY Giants told me he imagines someone talking smack before every play to keep the level of aggression.  But doesn't care what or if anything was said in actuality.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 27 May 2023, 9:33 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Congrats Munster. Stormers probably feel a bit silly for their celebration video. Good to know Dragons helped them turn the tide Wink

I bet that was shown to the Munster squad everyday this week too, Munster never really seemed like the kind of team that needed help to get motivated for a game but Stormers gave them it anyways.
You know it's a funny thing.  Teams frequently post the smack mentioned by their opponents, but professional players typically don't care (though some will use it to egg on their fans).  Today, being in a final is all the motivation one needs.  The other stuff easily becomes a distraction and many pro athletes I have treated have told me that if they can't get up for a playoff run or in the playoffs because someone said something about their mother, they are likely to wash out of the team regardless.  On the other hand a former DL for the NY Giants told me he imagines someone talking smack before every play to keep the level of aggression.  But doesn't care what or if anything was said in actuality.      

All comes down to the mentality of the individual. Some people don't react well to that sort of motivation and others love it. I remember a talk by a Kiwi coach who said he used to deliberately do the opposite and talk to the players about enjoying the occasion and doing everything they'd worked hard towards.

Rowntree being a bit old school will have I'm sure brought it up and some might have used it for motivation. Whether the players will have needed that or used it will vary.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 27 May 2023, 10:51 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Congrats Munster. Stormers probably feel a bit silly for their celebration video. Good to know Dragons helped them turn the tide Wink

I bet that was shown to the Munster squad everyday this week too, Munster never really seemed like the kind of team that needed help to get motivated for a game but Stormers gave them it anyways.
You know it's a funny thing.  Teams frequently post the smack mentioned by their opponents, but professional players typically don't care (though some will use it to egg on their fans).  Today, being in a final is all the motivation one needs.  The other stuff easily becomes a distraction and many pro athletes I have treated have told me that if they can't get up for a playoff run or in the playoffs because someone said something about their mother, they are likely to wash out of the team regardless.  On the other hand a former DL for the NY Giants told me he imagines someone talking smack before every play to keep the level of aggression.  But doesn't care what or if anything was said in actuality.      

All comes down to the mentality of the individual. Some people don't react well to that sort of motivation and others love it. I remember a talk by a Kiwi coach who said he used to deliberately do the opposite and talk to the players about enjoying the occasion and doing everything they'd worked hard towards.

Rowntree being a bit old school will have I'm sure brought it up and some might have used it for motivation. Whether the players will have needed that or used it will vary.
Point I was making, most players just don't care what is said (unless they are a Kardashian or something). There is so much mental prep going into games, trash talk or bulletin board material doesn't matter.

Said another way, do you want players who can only get themselves up for the biggest game of the season if someone is talking trash about them?  Maybe it used to be that way back in the olden days, but most pros I talk to really don't care.   Even the Rassie stuff during the last Lions tour didn't really impact the players, but it was the media, and through them the rest of us, who went bananas (and sold more papers).

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Post by Unclear Sun 28 May 2023, 10:01 am

Congratulations to the Munster players and coaches. They were written off so many times during the season it is a lesson to us all in realities of sport. And even better, hardly a mention of the referee! A great game, and commiserations to the Stormers. They contributed to a great game for the neutral.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 28 May 2023, 10:33 am

Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 28 May 2023, 11:15 am

Unclear wrote:Congratulations to the Munster players and coaches.  They were written off so many times during the season it is a lesson to us all in realities of sport.  And even better, hardly a mention of the referee!  A great game, and commiserations to the Stormers.  They contributed to a great game for the neutral.    

That's good. The Italian was obviously the right choice then. Good sign if he can come into a game that big and just let it flow. Luke Pearce had a good game in the Prem final as well which increases hopes that the world cup might still be well officiated.

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Post by Pot Hale Sun 28 May 2023, 4:03 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

Why would it?   It's good that Munster won.

And even better for the league. Since Munster last won title in 2011, there have been 9 different finalists and 7 different winners. It's being even more competitive.
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Post by doctor_grey Mon 29 May 2023, 12:41 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

Why would it?   It's good that Munster won.

And even better for the league. Since Munster last won title in 2011, there have been 9 different finalists and 7 different winners.  It's being even more competitive.
One of the key aspects of success in the NFL is the variety of team making the playoffs each season.  They have a few teams which dominant for a few years at a pop, but the turnover of teams in the playoffs and teams which have a puncher's chance at the playoffs is considered one of the pillars of league success.  Equivalent in importance to the salary cap, the draft, and financial and P&L transparency.  

And this result -  9 different finalists and 7 different winners - is great for the URC!

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Post by George Carlin Mon 29 May 2023, 12:51 pm

Well done to the Mighty Mazongas of Munster.

Wouldn't have picked them to win but they absolutely deserved it and fought for every inch.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 29 May 2023, 1:15 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

Why would it?   It's good that Munster won.

And even better for the league. Since Munster last won title in 2011, there have been 9 different finalists and 7 different winners.  It's being even more competitive.
One of the key aspects of success in the NFL is the variety of team making the playoffs each season.  They have a few teams which dominant for a few years at a pop, but the turnover of teams in the playoffs and teams which have a puncher's chance at the playoffs is considered one of the pillars of league success.  Equivalent in importance to the salary cap, the draft, and financial and P&L transparency.  

And this result -  9 different finalists and 7 different winners - is great for the URC!

I omitted Benetton winning the URC Rainbow Cup from that list. Honours are important to be recognised.
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Post by doctor_grey Mon 29 May 2023, 4:25 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

Why would it?   It's good that Munster won.

And even better for the league. Since Munster last won title in 2011, there have been 9 different finalists and 7 different winners.  It's being even more competitive.
One of the key aspects of success in the NFL is the variety of team making the playoffs each season.  They have a few teams which dominant for a few years at a pop, but the turnover of teams in the playoffs and teams which have a puncher's chance at the playoffs is considered one of the pillars of league success.  Equivalent in importance to the salary cap, the draft, and financial and P&L transparency.  

And this result -  9 different finalists and 7 different winners - is great for the URC!

I omitted Benetton winning the URC Rainbow Cup from that list.   Honours are important to be recognised.
Agree completely. I know this is Rugby, so mismanagement is expected and a pleasant surprise when it doesn't happen. But the URC as constituted really has the early look of being primed and ready for real growth. Just making simple adjustments as/if/when needed and this could really raise the bar and raise the level for everyone. I'm a firm believer in the rising tide that raises all ships.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 30 May 2023, 11:08 am

doctor_grey wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Wow, fantastic win for Munster!

Has this season just gone from bad to worse for the Leinster lot?

Why would it?   It's good that Munster won.

And even better for the league. Since Munster last won title in 2011, there have been 9 different finalists and 7 different winners.  It's being even more competitive.
One of the key aspects of success in the NFL is the variety of team making the playoffs each season.  They have a few teams which dominant for a few years at a pop, but the turnover of teams in the playoffs and teams which have a puncher's chance at the playoffs is considered one of the pillars of league success.  Equivalent in importance to the salary cap, the draft, and financial and P&L transparency.  

And this result -  9 different finalists and 7 different winners - is great for the URC!

I omitted Benetton winning the URC Rainbow Cup from that list.   Honours are important to be recognised.
Agree completely.  I know this is Rugby, so mismanagement is expected and a pleasant surprise when it doesn't happen.  But the URC as constituted really has the early look of being primed and ready for real growth.  Just making simple adjustments as/if/when needed and this could really raise the bar and raise the level for everyone.  I'm a firm believer in the rising tide that raises all ships.        

It's great having Irish, SA, Scottish and Benetton being competitive. If the welsh got their act together the URC could get very big very quick.
I love the respect in the game. I'm liking the niggle the SA has brought. We don't all have to be luvvy duvvy all the time. Off the pitch yes. But get niggle into the game. Get the drama.

It might be for a discussion elsewhere. But when it comes to growing sports, be it NFL, NBA, premiership. Do they grow when everyone beats everyone? Long term I mean, generationally. The Niners had a dynasty, also the Patriots (Brady v Manning)... Woods in golf.... Lakers and Celtics...... Man Utd for the Ferguson era.... Liverpool before that..... Real Madrid and Barcelona..... Usain Bolt in athletics?

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 30 May 2023, 12:26 pm

Well done Munster. Just goes to show that hunger still plays a part in pro rugby and their guys had it in spades. Great game from a neutral's perspective. Really enjoyed it.




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Post by Intotouch Tue 30 May 2023, 1:19 pm

I’m still somewhere between shock and delight. I never believed that Munster would win it. I loved the change in style and pace but really thought it would take a couple of years to see what this new coaching group and players could achieve. Like most Munster fans I’ve grown accustomed to seeing them lose playoffs. This is unbelievable! And really exciting! I’m seriously looking forward to where this team will take us.

As for the league it is definitely really good for it. Especially because Munster did it in spite of the travel and away matches. A league where 99% of home sides win is dull as dishwater.

Has this years playoffs / end of the competition helped the competitions popularity in Wales at all? Excuse me if this is a dumb question. I hope that the unpredictable end engaged rugby fans even if their teams aren’t involved.

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Post by Brendan Tue 30 May 2023, 1:50 pm

The rise in the SA cap will be helpfull too. Cardiff did fine considering the turmoil. In reality not having the Champions Cup might be a blessing long run. Losing some of the has beens might be a help for the Welsh too.

We would be hard pressed to find a playoffs where so many away teams win which is good. Last thing we want is a procession to the final for the top two.

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