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La Rochelle and Bulls travel plans

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:37 am

La Rochelle are already in Ireland. A tweet from Cork Airport shows the team arriving at around mid-day on Monday. Looks like they had a night's sleep after the Stormers game, then got straight on a plane.

https://twitter.com/CorkAirport/status/1777294644167970856

Meanwhile, SA Rugby says the Bulls are set to fly on Tuesday night, which will put them on the ground in England around Wednesday morning/mid-day.

Think I'd prefer the La Rochelle schedule. Perhaps the Bulls were constrained, as Jake White says, by not being able to confirm flights until the Saint-Munster game finished.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue Apr 09, 2024 7:31 am

Speaking of Europe, I had a question relating to the Challenge Cup winner. Do they get automatic entry to the Champions Cup? With 6 out of the 8 teams being from the URC I'm wondering if this will impact who qualifies if the winner is not in the top 8 in the league? I'm assuming if the winner does get qualification and did not make the top 8 only the top 7 get into the Champions Cup next year?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 09, 2024 8:18 am

Correct the winners of the Challange Cup get automatic entry into the
Championship Cup if they don’t qualify via their league.

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Post by Kingshu Tue Apr 09, 2024 10:29 am

Rugby Fan wrote:La Rochelle are already in Ireland. A tweet from Cork Airport shows the team arriving at around mid-day on Monday. Looks like they had a night's sleep after the Stormers game, then got straight on a plane.

https://twitter.com/CorkAirport/status/1777294644167970856

Meanwhile, SA Rugby says the Bulls are set to fly on Tuesday night, which will put them on the ground in England around Wednesday morning/mid-day.

Think I'd prefer the La Rochelle schedule. Perhaps the Bulls were constrained, as Jake White says, by not being able to confirm flights until the Saint-Munster game finished.

Costs, it costs a lot of money to put an entire team and traveling party in a hotel with food and training requirements for a day. Stade Rochelle are a rich club and seam to be happy to sign off on the extra 2 days, for the benefit it will bring, Bulls I dont think would/could.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue Apr 09, 2024 3:10 pm

Apparently the Bulls had to book 8 different flights for their players and team. One of their group has to fly alone with virgin. Also not all flights arrive at the same destination. Sounds like a logistical nightmare.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue Apr 09, 2024 4:09 pm

Flights from South Africa to the Midlands probably not that regular so London and then transport up. Need to find a hotel that has training facilities or is close to training facilities.

Easier for ROG you'd have thought as much closer, La Rochelle has an airport (maybe even a quick hop on a private plane). Then ROG has connections in the Cork area for training and maybe accommodation at a guess.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Apr 09, 2024 11:09 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:La Rochelle are already in Ireland. A tweet from Cork Airport shows the team arriving at around mid-day on Monday. Looks like they had a night's sleep after the Stormers game, then got straight on a plane.

https://twitter.com/CorkAirport/status/1777294644167970856

Meanwhile, SA Rugby says the Bulls are set to fly on Tuesday night, which will put them on the ground in England around Wednesday morning/mid-day.

Think I'd prefer the La Rochelle schedule. Perhaps the Bulls were constrained, as Jake White says, by not being able to confirm flights until the Saint-Munster game finished.
Jeez, their team buses will have to drive on the M25 and the M1. If they land on Wednesday it's only 50/50 they make it to Northampton by Saturday...

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed Apr 10, 2024 12:02 am

Jake White may have played up the logistics so his team can be seen as underdogs, or he may genuinely feel let down by the SARU. Either way, the SARU doesn't like being cast as a villain, and made this statement.

“Media are advised that SA Rugby provided 38 flights for the Vodacom Bulls Investec Champions Cup quarter-final squad – 33 in business class and five in economy class. The playing squad will arrive in London before 08h00 local time on Wednesday having travelled overnight in business class on two airlines: British Airways (24 players and management) and Lufthansa (four players and management).

“The coach and CEO also flew directly to London overnight on Virgin in business class. The balance of eight of the tour squad (four management and four players) travelled via Zurich, Doha, and Dubai. Media will appreciate that the high demand for business class seats in and out of South Africa, allied to the reduced number of flights into the country and the late confirmation of the required seats made it well-known to all parties that securing business class seats on a single flight would be impossible.

“Pre-booking seats was discounted as an option in view of the potential risk of loss of 100 per cent of the flight cost for a group booking, should it not be required as it was unknown until 48 hours before departure whether the Vodacom Bulls would qualify, or be playing home or away (in the event of qualification).

“SA Rugby believes that the flights sourced by SA Rugby for the Vodacom Bulls represent the very best outcome it was possible to achieve in the circumstances.”

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu Apr 11, 2024 2:38 pm

Looks like Jake has left the stars behind, 11 springboks left at home for Northampton.

Second string side going over there. Does nothing for the profile of the Champions Cup. Jake is making sure the next 2 rounds in the URC are more of a priority.

I can understand the reasoning because if they went through they would keep getting away draws and he probably doesn't think Bulls can win the cup against the remaining powerhouses in there.

He clearly is targeting the URC title instead which based on their form is a very realistic target for them. Bad news for both Munster and Ospreys.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:11 pm

That would be a shame. I want Saints to get through, but also want to know how good they are. I wanted to see a full strength Bulls side. So if Saints win, we still learn nothing until the following round which will be like putting themselves in a French or Irish meat grinder. Playing either La Rochelle or Leinster is a ‘reward’ for getting to the semi-finals?

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:12 pm

Might not be a great advert for the competition this weekend.
If the above is correct I can see comfortable wins for Toulouse and Saints and maybe Bordeaux as well.


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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:That would be a shame.  I want Saints to get through, but also want to know how good they are.  I wanted to see a full strength Bulls side.  So if Saints win, we still learn nothing until the following round which will be like putting themselves in a French or Irish meat grinder.  Playing either La Rochelle or Leinster is a ‘reward’ for getting to the semi-finals?

Better than playing Toulouse imo - the stand out team in Europe at the moment

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:46 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:That would be a shame.  I want Saints to get through, but also want to know how good they are.  I wanted to see a full strength Bulls side.  So if Saints win, we still learn nothing until the following round which will be like putting themselves in a French or Irish meat grinder.  Playing either La Rochelle or Leinster is a ‘reward’ for getting to the semi-finals?

Better than playing Toulouse imo - the stand out team in Europe at the moment
Toulouse is the ultra prize for finding a way past La Rochelle or Leinster.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Apr 11, 2024 9:25 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Looks like Jake has left the stars behind, 11 springboks left at home for Northampton.

Second string side going over there.  Does nothing for the profile of the Champions Cup.  

If the Bulls don't put in a competitive performance having left those players behind they should get fined heavily.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Apr 11, 2024 10:38 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Looks like Jake has left the stars behind, 11 springboks left at home for Northampton.

Second string side going over there.  Does nothing for the profile of the Champions Cup.  

If the Bulls don't put in a competitive performance having left those players behind they should get fined heavily.

A lot of teams would get have to get fined to make it consistent - in all three leagues.
Unworkable

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Apr 12, 2024 7:24 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Looks like Jake has left the stars behind, 11 springboks left at home for Northampton.

Second string side going over there.  Does nothing for the profile of the Champions Cup.  

If the Bulls don't put in a competitive performance having left those players behind they should get fined heavily.

A lot of teams would get have to get fined to make it consistent - in all three leagues.
Unworkable

Knock out rounds of the competition are different. This is coming towards the climax of the showpiece. If the Bulls send out a second team that isn't competitive they should be slapped with a fine for devaluing the competition.

If they send out a second team that is competitive fair enough but if they just roll over and take a kicking having left the rumoured 11 internationals at home (who are fit to play) then the deserve a financial kicking.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri Apr 12, 2024 10:11 am

It's a bit silly of Jake White to leave the top players at home. Bulls will still put out a good team because their depth is ridiculous, but that is also why he shouldn't be rotating so heavily for a KO game. It looks like Northampton will take the win and by the end the score should be convincing.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Apr 12, 2024 1:45 pm

Here’s the thing that I don’t understand: why would they go all out against Lyon in the first round of the knockouts, but not continue in the next round? What was in it for the players to win last week if they were only going to put out a much weaker squad this week?

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Post by carpet baboon Fri Apr 12, 2024 1:50 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Here’s the thing that I don’t understand: why would they go all out against Lyon in the first round of the knockouts, but not continue in the next round?  What was in it for the players to win last week if they were only going to put out a much weaker squad this week?

A bit more competition money??

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri Apr 12, 2024 2:02 pm

Probably wants his fans to get behind him - winning at home achieves that no matter what tournament.

I do think its a smart play on his part as whoever wins this weekend wont be getting any further anyhow. Plus the travel costs alone are crazy for them. Probably will save the Bulls 80K in travel fees alone for going out a round earlier.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:02 pm

The South African teams didn’t have significant travel costs in the old Super Rugby days?

There must be more flights between London and SA than trans-Pacific from SA to either Aus or NZ.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Apr 14, 2024 5:44 pm

Now that the dust has settled, I still don't understand why/how Bulls would spend a reported £175k for travel just for a beat down.

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