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This weekends Euro Games

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Recwatcher16
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formerly known as Sam
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Post by Geordie Fri 12 Apr 2024, 10:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Just watching the Gloucester v Ospreys game...and the chat after on TNT

Is it me or is Dallaglio really agitated..? Foot tapping, constant motion, actually quite irritating to watch...

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 14 Apr 2024, 3:26 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Stephen Jones having another big whinge over Leinster hosting their semi final in Croke park. What a sausage. I hope for his sake Harlequins dont make the final as Im sure he will be equally outraged that they will have a home final.
Why is he outraged about Croke Park?

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Post by Poorfour Sun 14 Apr 2024, 3:37 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Why is he outraged about Croke Park?

Because it’s not “neutral”. Also, probably because Saracens have no chance of winning there. Or, indeed, anywhere in this year’s competition.
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Post by Geordie Sun 14 Apr 2024, 4:26 pm

Exeter young lads being given a learning experience....

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Post by carpet baboon Sun 14 Apr 2024, 4:28 pm

Toulouse are great to watch when they start to enjoy themselves

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 14 Apr 2024, 4:28 pm

Bearing in mind that Leinster have a season ticket to at least the semi final, playing any semi final at Croke Park is like giving them a home tie. Why not play them in Scotland and Wales, then they are guaranteed to be neutral venues. Run
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Post by Geordie Sun 14 Apr 2024, 4:45 pm

The Ineligibility of players outside England doesn't actually bother me...as most players wouldn't really get in the England sqaud....but Jack Willis is one of the few exceptions....he's some player that lad.

Roots is not even a patch on him...

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Post by Poorfour Sun 14 Apr 2024, 4:51 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Bearing in mind that Leinster have a season ticket to at least the semi final, playing any semi final at Croke Park is like giving them a home tie. Why not play them in Scotland and Wales, then they are guaranteed to be neutral venues.  :run:

Just make them play at Thomond Park. Simples.
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Post by doctor_grey Sun 14 Apr 2024, 5:34 pm

Poorfour wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Bearing in mind that Leinster have a season ticket to at least the semi final, playing any semi final at Croke Park is like giving them a home tie. Why not play them in Scotland and Wales, then they are guaranteed to be neutral venues.  Run

Just make them play at Thomond Park. Simples.
You really have an evil mind. thumbsup

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 14 Apr 2024, 5:44 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Stephen Jones having another big whinge over Leinster hosting their semi final in Croke park. What a sausage. I hope for his sake Harlequins dont make the final as Im sure he will be equally outraged that they will have a home final.

I don't read the Sunday Times, but the IRFU pretence that Leinster are a quasi club team, who can play their games anywhere other than their home ground is wearing a little thin.
The Aviva is clearly too small now, or is there a gig on there too? Croke Park isnt even a rugby ground given previous historical statements but the Irish union are happy to use national stadia for Leinster. The other provinces don't appear to be treated equally, which could well bite the Union eventually.

Perhaps other countries should use Paris, Twickenham, Murrayfield or Millenium stadium for any of their clubs that make the knockout rounds of European club competitions.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sun 14 Apr 2024, 6:15 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Stephen Jones having another big whinge over Leinster hosting their semi final in Croke park. What a sausage. I hope for his sake Harlequins dont make the final as Im sure he will be equally outraged that they will have a home final.

I don't read the Sunday Times, but the IRFU pretence that Leinster are a quasi club team, who can play their games anywhere other than their home ground is wearing a little thin.
The Aviva is clearly too small now, or is there a gig on there too?

Aviva not available

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Post by carpet baboon Sun 14 Apr 2024, 6:21 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Stephen Jones having another big whinge over Leinster hosting their semi final in Croke park. What a sausage. I hope for his sake Harlequins dont make the final as Im sure he will be equally outraged that they will have a home final.

I don't read the Sunday Times, but the IRFU pretence that Leinster are a quasi club team, who can play their games anywhere other than their home ground is wearing a little thin.
The Aviva is clearly too small now, or is there a gig on there too? Croke Park isnt even a rugby ground given previous historical statements but the Irish union are happy to use national stadia for Leinster. The other provinces don't appear to be treated equally, which could well bite the Union eventually.

Perhaps other countries should use Paris, Twickenham, Murrayfield or Millenium stadium for any of their clubs that make the knockout rounds of European club competitions.

Well croke park isn't there home ground and either is the Aviva.
And there is no reason that Paris Twickenham Murrayfield or the Principality can't be used.

When money is tight which it is for all rugby clubs, if you can pack out a massive stadium why shouldn't you?

As for the other provinces, I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure if Ulster make it to the semi final of the European cup ( current situation says that might not be for quite some time) I'm sure the IRFU would treat us the same as Leinster.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 14 Apr 2024, 6:24 pm

A chastening one for Chiefs then against a Toulouse side that went into party mode before the end.

Two semi-finalists trebles the total number the Prem have had since covid hit and the cap dropped. Zero semi-finalists in '20/21 and '21/22. Chiefs last season were the first to reach a SF since they won the title in '19/20. Prior to that Prem clubs won 4 out of 5 Champions Cups between '15/16 and '19/20. 3 teams making the SFs in 4 seasons obviously isn't great but it's a hell of a lot better than 1 in 4.

So Quins and Saints both making the semi-finalists is a significant improvement in KO rugby by the Prem teams compared to how things have gone in a tumultuous period of ringfencing and clubs going bust.

Saints were obviously helped by the odd Bulls situation but Bourdeaux were playing great rugby this season and Quins played really well to sneak that thriller. The SFs might be ugly affairs given it's Leinster and Toulouse with both away from home. They are both very good teams. Leinster are Ireland with a few fantasy players. Toulouse being able to bring Marchand, Flament and Ramos off the bench is nuts. Regardless of what happens, it's been a much better showing in the KO games.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 14 Apr 2024, 7:06 pm

Doesn’t look like anyone can get past Leinster or Toulouse (replace them for La Rochelle in another season), same old story.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 14 Apr 2024, 7:50 pm

For such a good team La Rochelle have weathered their injuries surprisingly poorly.

Given they are forward and collision based, their front row injuries are brutal. Wardi and Bourgarit are fantastic internationals. Whilst Colombe allows they to change Antonio like for like.

I think they've missed Sazy in the second row too following retirement. He reliably did the boring things well, allowed the madmen elsewhere in the pack to run amok.

Skelton has looked a bit more like his pre Sarries days. Where he had infrequent but big impacts then a lot of nothing. Peak Skelton was having frequent big impacts and high work rate elsewhere.

Botia, whilst one of my favourite current rugby players, is 35 as well. He has been outstanding for them but there will be a drop off given his age and how he plays.

They just didn't look like quite the same team to me. Still fisted Tigers mind.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 14 Apr 2024, 9:15 pm

king_carlos wrote:For such a good team La Rochelle have weathered their injuries surprisingly poorly.

Given they are forward and collision based, their front row injuries are brutal. Wardi and Bourgarit are fantastic internationals. Whilst Colombe allows they to change Antonio like for like.

I think they've missed Sazy in the second row too following retirement. He reliably did the boring things well, allowed the madmen elsewhere in the pack to run amok.

Skelton has looked a bit more like his pre Sarries days. Where he had infrequent but big impacts then a lot of nothing. Peak Skelton was having frequent big impacts and high work rate elsewhere.

Botia, whilst one of my favourite current rugby players, is 35 as well. He has been outstanding for them but there will be a drop off given his age and how he plays.

They just didn't look like quite the same team to me. Still fisted Tigers mind.

There was a point Vs Tigers it looked very much in the balance with momentum behind Tigers and La Rochelle with a sin bin. Tigers of course fecked it and La Rochelle ran away with it.

The La Rochelle injuries were big losses to them. The props really depowered La Rochelle's pack as the game went on and Bourgarit is a massive part of their breakdown game which is a key area in which they lost the game. No Brice Dulin at 15 was a huge miss, his composure and massive boot allowed Leinster to dominate territory.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 14 Apr 2024, 11:04 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Stephen Jones having another big whinge over Leinster hosting their semi final in Croke park. What a sausage. I hope for his sake Harlequins dont make the final as Im sure he will be equally outraged that they will have a home final.

I don't read the Sunday Times, but the IRFU pretence that Leinster are a quasi club team, who can play their games anywhere other than their home ground is wearing a little thin.
The Aviva is clearly too small now, or is there a gig on there too? Croke Park isnt even a rugby ground given previous historical statements but the Irish union are happy to use national stadia for Leinster. The other provinces don't appear to be treated equally, which could well bite the Union eventually.

Perhaps other countries should use Paris, Twickenham, Murrayfield or Millenium stadium for any of their clubs that make the knockout rounds of European club competitions.


Jeez, Leinster arent doing anything any other team arent permitted to do. The whinging over nothing is wearing very thin.


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Post by Poorfour Mon 15 Apr 2024, 12:43 am

I think what people object to is the level of uncritical coverage that Leinster get in the competition, with the fact that they’re a quasi-international side largely glossed over. It would be a massive underperformance if Leinster weren’t reaching the later stages of the competition every year with their current squad.

To some extent, it’s sour grapes from us English. Our national squad is distributed over more teams, with a salary cap that precludes those teams from stocking up on foreign imports like the French teams do, and we get grumpy about it from time to time. Though we got even grumpier about it when one of our own teams decided that the salary cap was for everyone else and were very successful off the back of it, and many of us are still grumpy that the broadcasters pretend that was all in the past and they can safely go back to fawning over Saracens as well.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 15 Apr 2024, 5:18 am

Poorfour wrote:I think what people object to is the level of uncritical coverage that Leinster get in the competition, with the fact that they’re a quasi-international side largely glossed over. It would be a massive underperformance if Leinster weren’t reaching the later stages of the competition every year with their current squad.

To some extent, it’s sour grapes from us English. Our national squad is distributed over more teams, with a salary cap that precludes those teams from stocking up on foreign imports like the French teams do, and we get grumpy about it from time to time. Though we got even grumpier about it when one of our own teams decided that the salary cap was for everyone else and were very successful off the back of it, and many of us are still grumpy that the broadcasters pretend that was all in the past and they can safely go back to fawning over Saracens as well.
Adding to the general grumpiness, most Premiership teams do not have an empty 50k or 80k capacity stadium at the ready close by.

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 7:48 am

Jesus thats hardly Leinsters fault. Any team that does have access to a large stadium nearby is perfectly entitled to use it and they certainly do. Quins recently played Saracens at Spurs stadium, one of many examples. If anything be annoyed at the RFU/PRL for not making better arrangements to use other stadia. Anyway most teams have better grounds than Leinsters normal venue the RDS, which is the last provincial venue in Ireland to be developed, it is a show jumping ground with a hedge around it for god sake. Also the idea that Leinster is a "quasi international" side and to be somehow annoyed about that is such sour grapes. Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation. There seems to be a fairly pathetic narrative forming that Leinster are only good because they are essentially the Ireland team rather than the truth being that because they themselves have put themselves in a position to be very good they therefore have lots of internationals as a natural consequence of being good.

The problem with English rugby is that when other nations sides experience success the reaction tends to be that its not fair, that they shouldnt be allowed to do that, lets try to change them rather than actually attempting to address their own flaws, issues and potential. Get your own house in order first if you want sustainable long term success.


Last edited by Collapse2005 on Mon 15 Apr 2024, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Poorfour Mon 15 Apr 2024, 8:45 am

Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 15 Apr 2024, 8:46 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Jesus thats hardly Leinsters fault. Any team that does have access to a large stadium nearby is perfectly entitled to use it and they certainly do.

On the recent episode of his podcast, Dan Cole says Leicester were not allowed to play a semi-final at Leicester City's King Power stadium, because it was not regarded as neutral. I think he must be talking about the 2016 semi-final, which was played at Nottingham Forest's ground instead.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 15 Apr 2024, 8:49 am

Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
The neutral venue is not a thing anymore, if your stadium is big enough it can host the semi final. This has been the case since circa 2016.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 15 Apr 2024, 9:20 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
The neutral venue is not a thing anymore, if your stadium is big enough it can host the semi final. This has been the case since circa 2016.

Doesn't make it right or fair especially when it known that it is likely to give one side in particular a "home" game in a semi final. I have no problem with using the stadium, but use it for the groups 2 & 3 semi. To me it devalues the achievement in getting to the final. I could imaging the Irish headlines if the game were to be held at the Emirates or similar stadium in North London easily in reach of Saints fans.
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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 9:43 am

Good results for English clubs. Harlequins did really well. I'll be honest though I can't see them beat Toulouse in France.

Leinster in Ireland is always going to be a problem. I will say if there is one side in English rugby that can do it, its Northampton. I feel for Northampton though as I think they could have done with a better test from Bulls first team. I still think they would have won it but they would have been tested physically a bit more.

Either way both hopefully will be good games that are close. I wonder what the odds on Northampton/Harlequins to win are? As a neutral if they are good I may have to have a little punt on it.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 15 Apr 2024, 9:54 am

Ahhh good old colonial mindset. " How dare the upstarts be good, everything they do devalues the win as it's not us winning"

This whole "it's unfair" it's utter Stephen Jones' horseshit rage bate "journalism"
"It's not fair the Dublin schools have rugby programmes" yeah I forgot milfield, colston, brooksby etc etc etc don't do they?

I'm a Ulster fan and as much as I want to hate them, what would be my reason to? Because they are good? Because they have maximised what they have in there location? Because they have 2 big stadiums near by? How dare they. The scoundrels, think of poor harlequins being based in one of the biggest city's in the world with only 5 large stadiums they could use.

I would love Ulster to have some fee paying schools churning out almost fully professional players at 18. But alas we don't. Have we maximised what we do have? Again I don't think we have, and that's on us.

Leinster are good because they decided to look at what they do have and maximise the absolute f*CK out of it. Fair play to them.

We ain't a big country and rugby isn't even our biggest sport, so we need to squeeze the life out of what we do have.
Sorry it upsets England's sense of fair play. I'm sure in time we will be rubbish again and you can be happy.

Anyway I'm off to rewatch old Saracens victories and see how often the commentators mention the foundation on which they were sustained, as it's unfair to bang on about how good a team is without pointing out all the advantages they have.

Toodle pip old boy, tea and biscuits, what what.

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 9:55 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
The neutral venue is not a thing anymore, if your stadium is big enough it can host the semi final. This has been the case since circa 2016.

Doesn't make it right or fair especially when it known that it is likely to give one side in particular a "home" game in a semi final. I have no problem with using the stadium, but use it for the groups 2 & 3 semi. To me it devalues the achievement in getting to the final.  I could imaging the Irish headlines if the game were to be held at the Emirates or similar stadium in North London easily in reach of Saints fans.

Of course its fair. If you want a home semi, win all your games. It literally couldnt be any fairer than that. The PRL changed the whole structure of the Champions Cup to make the tournament a "merit based" tournament. Merit was the buzz word used to rationalise all changes and yet merit seems not to count if you have earned a home semi.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:13 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
The neutral venue is not a thing anymore, if your stadium is big enough it can host the semi final. This has been the case since circa 2016.

Doesn't make it right or fair especially when it known that it is likely to give one side in particular a "home" game in a semi final. I have no problem with using the stadium, but use it for the groups 2 & 3 semi. To me it devalues the achievement in getting to the final.  I could imaging the Irish headlines if the game were to be held at the Emirates or similar stadium in North London easily in reach of Saints fans.

Of course its fair. If you want a home semi, win all your games. It literally couldnt be any fairer than that.

This isn't true (historically anyway)

When Scarlets won all their pool games and a quarter final (7 out of 7 games) we had to play the semi final away in Leicester, (at the football stadium) who had won 6 out of 7 games. Needless to say we lost.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:15 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Of course its fair.

I remember when the Irish Independent published an article from one of its rugby correspondents arguing otherwise.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/heineken-cup-again-damaged-by-the-farce-of-neutral-venues/26206900.html

For me, semi-finals should be on strictly neutral grounds which should mean in neutral cities, as in the FA Cup.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:15 am

To be fair here the solution is an easy one. Just win more games in the Pool rounds to get home draws. If teams are not doing this then they can't really argue about home/away draws in the first place. Leinster at the end of the day always win all or the majority of their games in those stages to make sure they get top seeds. It's not just them either. Toulouse as well.

I really dont think Stephen Jones has a leg to stand on with his argument. But Journo's these days often to need to right these sort of articles to get views. I suspect behind close doors he doesn't believe half the sensationalized crap he rights half the time Smile

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:17 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote: Any side that produces a large volume of local talent because of a really strong academy system they have put in place is inevitably going to have a lot of success and therefore a lot of national representation

Tell that to London Irish or Newcastle, both of whom produced a lot of talent they weren’t able to keep.

Likewise, Quins play two games a year at Twickenham (and more often than not one at wherever Saracens are playing their equivalent fixture), but these are home games where they’ve negotiated the use of a larger venue.

It’s a little different when a supposedly “neutral” fixture is played at a venue the team regularly uses - if Exeter had beaten Toulouse, the all-English semi would have been played in Bristol. (Which I’d have quite enjoyed, and I’d have been OK with playing it at Twickenham, too…)

The Irish system is different and it concentrates players in Leinster and Munster because players with ambitions to play for Ireland have to play in Ireland (to the extent that IQPs developed overseas sometimes go to Irish clubs in the hope of getting capped).

All of which is fine for the club. You play the hand you’re dealt, and Leinster play it well. No-one is “blaming” them for that.

But it’s really grating when the TV commentary teams harp on and on about how good a team is without at least acknowledging its structural advantages in the competition.

Mind your, based on the columns they write most of the pundits either don’t understand the differences or think their audiences don’t.
The neutral venue is not a thing anymore, if your stadium is big enough it can host the semi final. This has been the case since circa 2016.

Doesn't make it right or fair especially when it known that it is likely to give one side in particular a "home" game in a semi final. I have no problem with using the stadium, but use it for the groups 2 & 3 semi. To me it devalues the achievement in getting to the final.  I could imaging the Irish headlines if the game were to be held at the Emirates or similar stadium in North London easily in reach of Saints fans.
Well the failings of the EPCR have been talked about everywhere. Let's remember it's them that set the rules and pick the stadiums and ticket prices. Perhaps the answer is to go back to the random draw for semi finals.

I'm not sure why you think the Irish would have a problem with saints playing in North London. I'm sure fans would love to attend games in those great stadiums.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:20 am

Yes but that Scarlets scenario, wasnt that during the period before the PRL took charge or European Rugby. Since then they have altered a lot of these things and the same thing wouldnt happen today based on the current rules.

Essentially Europe is a different beast to what it was back then when they used to rate overall rankings based on historic values in the tournament. I believe there was a seeding ranking that accounted for the last 4 years history in Europe. As Leicester had a better ranking in that period over Scarlets, that is what resulted in that outcome. The current system is more even and allows current form to dictate home/away allocations. If your team doesn't place in the top 2 in the group stages you wont get home draws until the final. Simple really.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:20 am

Collapse2005 wrote:

The problem with English rugby is that when other nations sides experience success the reaction tends to be that its not fair, that they shouldnt be allowed to do that, lets try to change them rather than actually attempting to address their own flaws, issues and potential. Get your own house in order first if you want sustainable long term success.

I think this would perhaps be accurate if Leinster's model was something that English clubs (or any clubs) could replicate. But it's not.

This is not Leinster's fault (that needs to be made clear). It's the fault of World Rugby for allowing Unions to own and run clubs who then treat one of them like an Ireland A side. The Union pours money into the Leinster jugernaut from youth level to senior level (facilities, coaches, training). And the result is a machine that operates to levels that others cannot begin to ceompete with. Was always bound to happen and now it has ruined club rugby in the home nations as Leinster just stockpile their test quality players. The Champions Cup is dogsh1t as a result. Only the French can compete with Leinster.

I mean forget it being replciated in England and Wales - it can't even be replciated in Munster and Ulster

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:24 am

I will say that change was about the only good thing that has happened to European rugby since the Irish ran it. Almost everything else has got worse. Not to mention the actual pool stages and lack of games a team needs to win to actually make the last 16 spots.

On a side note has anyone seen any news about next seasons qualification for the Champions Cup. I'd imagine the Premiership wouldnt still get 8 places for it due to them dropping to a 10 team league and that was indicated by stake holders but I've heard nothing more since. Anyone heard anything?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:26 am

Hopefully the South Africans will be dumped out of it. They have been a truly woeful addition to Nortehrn Hemisphere competiitons.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:31 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:

The problem with English rugby is that when other nations sides experience success the reaction tends to be that its not fair, that they shouldnt be allowed to do that, lets try to change them rather than actually attempting to address their own flaws, issues and potential. Get your own house in order first if you want sustainable long term success.

I think this would perhaps be accurate if Leinster's model was something that English clubs (or any clubs) could replicate. But it's not.

This is not Leinster's fault (that needs to be made clear). It's the fault of World Rugby for allowing Unions to own and run clubs who then treat one of them like an Ireland A side. The Union pours money into the Leinster jugernaut from youth level to senior level (facilities, coaches, training). And the result is a machine that operates to levels that others cannot begin to ceompete with. Was always bound to happen and now it has ruined club rugby in the home nations as Leinster just stockpile their test quality players. The Champions Cup is dogsh1t as a result. Only the French can compete with Leinster.

I mean forget it being replciated in England and Wales - it can't even be replciated in Munster and Ulster

Hmm nothing was mentioned about La Rochelle winning the last 2 seasons. As a neutral in this discussion I will just say every country is different. I would argue while Leinster have clear advantages in Ireland, compared to other sides in the Top14 they are not that much of a special case. Have you seen the French academy system lately at club level? The advantage a lot of the French clubs have is they can pretty much call first dips on recruitment from anywhere in the World. Leinster by contrast have a very limited quota for overseas signings. I'd say that unfairly biases French clubs.

My basic point here is every country is working with different restrictions and challenges.

I actually think what Leinster have done is show smaller nations how to compete with the juggernaut that is French rugby. I've said before with the growth of the game in France, in 10-15 years from now the game will be so big there every other league will be a feeder league for the TOP14 is a very realistic possibility.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:33 am

Welshmushroom wrote:

I actually think what Leinster have done is show smaller nations how to compete with the juggernaut that is French rugby.  

And how exactly are they supposed to do that?

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:35 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:Hopefully the South Africans will be dumped out of it. They have been a truly woeful addition to Nortehrn Hemisphere competiitons.

Really? Based on what exactly. Bulls and Stormers did pretty well considering if you discount last weekends weakened squad that went to Northampton. Also Sharks have made the Semi Finals in the challenge cup.

If you look at the history of Europe, I lost count with how many French and English teams have devalued the tournament by sending weaker teams out all the time. Some of the English clubs had a real bad track record of this at one point.

Its actually one of the primary reasons I dont think England should get 8 Champions Cup places.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:41 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

I actually think what Leinster have done is show smaller nations how to compete with the juggernaut that is French rugby.  

And how exactly are they supposed to do that?

Improve player pathways and academies so you dont have to rely heavily on the transfer market for players. In theory England has a much larger population by a substantial amount over Ireland so having options at youth and finding talent shouldnt be a problem.

But lets face it here one of the primary challenges England has that Ireland/Wales/Scotland don't really have is Premiership Football. It dominates the landscape in England and has a bigger impact on the sport there than anything else we are talking about on this tread - including Leinster.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:42 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:Hopefully the South Africans will be dumped out of it. They have been a truly woeful addition to Nortehrn Hemisphere competiitons.

They have been a great addition to the URC - they are here to stay.

The rules are the same for everyone - if you want a home Semi Final win all your matches - SIMPLES Hug

Also nothing stopping any national employing the Irish model.
Each nation makes its own model - 'you make the bed you lie in it'.

As to Leinster being better than the other provinces it is not about IRFU money - its about a superior structure, better management & private money.
As a consequence they have the majority of Central Contracts.
Nothing stopping the other provinces changing their structures.

Ulster have been very badly run under the last two CEO's and have a schools cup that is a dead weight around the professional game - they need to change the model to improve (not Leinster's fault)

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:42 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:

The problem with English rugby is that when other nations sides experience success the reaction tends to be that its not fair, that they shouldnt be allowed to do that, lets try to change them rather than actually attempting to address their own flaws, issues and potential. Get your own house in order first if you want sustainable long term success.

I think this would perhaps be accurate if Leinster's model was something that English clubs (or any clubs) could replicate. But it's not.

This is not Leinster's fault (that needs to be made clear). It's the fault of World Rugby for allowing Unions to own and run clubs who then treat one of them like an Ireland A side. The Union pours money into the Leinster jugernaut from youth level to senior level (facilities, coaches, training). And the result is a machine that operates to levels that others cannot begin to ceompete with. Was always bound to happen and now it has ruined club rugby in the home nations as Leinster just stockpile their test quality players. The Champions Cup is dogsh1t as a result. Only the French can compete with Leinster.

I mean forget it being replciated in England and Wales - it can't even be replciated in Munster and Ulster

Leinster is not treated like an Ireland A side. Id accept your point if talented players from Munster, Connacht and Ulster were all being jettisoned to Leinster to create one strong team for the benefit of the Ireland side but that simply is not the case. Its rare enough that the best players from other provinces join Leinster. these days it would be more likely that top players from Leinster's school or academy system are being sent to the other provinces like Beirne, Loughman, Paterson, Carbery, OBrien and Jager in Munster or Cooney and Timoney in Ulster or Hawkshaw, Thornbury and Perndergast in Connacht. Players usually move either cause they cant make their local provincial team or they have a family reason to do so. Leinster just like Saracens, Toulouse, Treviso, Glasgow, Ospreys, Crusaders, Sharks and other sides who have or have had in the past the majority of their countries internationals because they are the best side in the country. The only examples ever that I can think of club sides that are effectively the national team were the Jaguares and Fijian Drua.


Last edited by Collapse2005 on Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:26 am; edited 3 times in total

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:44 am

Welshmushroom wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:

I actually think what Leinster have done is show smaller nations how to compete with the juggernaut that is French rugby.  

And how exactly are they supposed to do that?

Improve player pathways and academies so you dont have to rely heavily on the transfer market for players.  In theory England has a much larger population by a substantial amount over Ireland so having options at youth and finding talent shouldnt be a problem.

.

Italy should be dominating the sport then.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:45 am

Welshmushroom wrote:

But lets face it here one of the primary challenges England has that Ireland/Wales/Scotland don't really have is Premiership Football.  It dominates the landscape in England and has a bigger impact on the sport there than anything else we are talking about on this tread - including Leinster.

Premiership Football is a huge drain on Irish sport - soccer is still the biggest sport.
Add in Gaelic football which is also bigger than Rugby, plus Hurling.

Rugby has as many challenges, from other sports, in Ireland as it does in England

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:48 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
Also nothing stopping any national employing the Irish model.
Each nation makes its own model - 'you make the bed you lie in it'.

I mean there literally is.

Unless you think that a Union can afford to suddenly take ownership of the 20 or so pro clubs in France. Do they have a spare billion euros ?

Are you being deluiberately disingenuous?

As to Leinster being better than the other provinces it is not about IRFU money - its about a superior structure, better management & private money.


It's literally all about money. You don't get those things without money. Even one of your own keys to success is.....money. It's not a guarantee of sucess, but it's completely necessary.

The fee paying schools in Leinster are of course not copyable anywhere else. That's just another advantage that can't be copied in places like West Wales or Galway.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Apr 2024, 10:50 am

Have you seen this

https://twitter.com/ClementMazella/status/1779524141353206010

Who is the offender - throw the book at him

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:00 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Also nothing stopping any national employing the Irish model.
Each nation makes its own model - 'you make the bed you lie in it'.

I mean there literally is.

Unless you think that a Union can afford to suddenly take ownership of the 20 or so pro clubs in France. Do they have a spare billion euros ?

Are you being deluiberately disingenuous?


France doesn't need to take on board 20 clubs - their model works successfully for them.

If France finds a model that works for them, Ireland find a model that works for them, New Zealand find a model that works for them
other countries need to find a way to complete.
What they can't do is complain its not fair that they invest more in the game than we do and they should come down to our level.

geoff999rugby wrote:As to Leinster being better than the other provinces it is not about IRFU money - its about a superior structure, better management & private money.


RugbyFan100 wrote:It's literally all about money. You don't get those things without money. Even one of your own keys to success is.....money. It's not a guarantee of sucess, but it's completely necessary.

The fee paying schools in Leinster are of course not copyable anywhere else. That's just another advantage that can't be copied in places like West Wales or Galway.


I see you dropped off IRFU - I never said it wasn't about money I said it wasn't about IRFU money very important distinction.
Of course private schools are a big help, of course private money helps.
Are you suggesting the private schools should stop hiring professional rugby coaches, are you suggesting private money is wrong ???

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Post by Duty281 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:10 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Have you seen this

https://twitter.com/ClementMazella/status/1779524141353206010

Who is the offender - throw the book at him

That's terrible. Not something you often see these days, thankfully.

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Post by Heaf Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:18 am

Looks like Yeandle and looks bad ...

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:24 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Also nothing stopping any national employing the Irish model.
Each nation makes its own model - 'you make the bed you lie in it'.

I mean there literally is.

Unless you think that a Union can afford to suddenly take ownership of the 20 or so pro clubs in France. Do they have a spare billion euros ?

Are you being deluiberately disingenuous?


France doesn't need to take on board 20 clubs - their model works successfully for them.

If France finds a model that works for them, Ireland find a model that works for them, New Zealand find a model that works for them
other countries need to find a way to complete.
What they can't do is complain its not fair that they invest more in the game than we do and they should come down to our level.

geoff999rugby wrote:As to Leinster being better than the other provinces it is not about IRFU money - its about a superior structure, better management & private money.


RugbyFan100 wrote:It's literally all about money. You don't get those things without money. Even one of your own keys to success is.....money. It's not a guarantee of sucess, but it's completely necessary.

The fee paying schools in Leinster are of course not copyable anywhere else. That's just another advantage that can't be copied in places like West Wales or Galway.


I see you dropped off IRFU - I never said it wasn't about money I said it wasn't about IRFU money very important distinction.
Of course private schools are a big help, of course private money helps.
Are you suggesting the private schools should stop hiring professional rugby coaches, are you suggesting private money is wrong ???

Eh? Private money should be how clubs are run and owned. Like in most other professional sports.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 15 Apr 2024, 12:11 pm

Duty281 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Have you seen this

https://twitter.com/ClementMazella/status/1779524141353206010

Who is the offender - throw the book at him

That's terrible. Not something you often see these days, thankfully.
Why? Simply why?
Hoping the perp gets the lifetime ban.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 15 Apr 2024, 1:32 pm

Defo a very long ban imo.

I have seen a few comments saying that if you want a home ties in the Investec Cup, you just need to win all your games. have those people looked at the tables, Saints did win all their games, what they mean is win all there games and score 4 tries in each one, it is the bonus points that dictate where you rank.

I thought the stadiums put forward by the English were a bit disappointing, Stadium MK (Milton Keynes Dons) capacity circa 30k. Ashton Gate Bristol circa 27k. Alongside the others, they are 2nd rate and not even rugby stadiums. Saints used to play their European games at MK when there ground was considered too small, no atmosphere at all.
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