Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

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brenno
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Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by brenno »

Hate to say it, but those questioning the Pro14 as a proper league have been given plenty ammunition after the first few weeks and the sooner the SA teams come in the better.

As of today, Leinster, Ulster and Munster have each won 5 out of 5, Connacht won 2 out of 4, so a win-loss of 17-2 for Irish teams. Wales are on won 8 lost 13, Scotland on won 3 lost 7 and Italy on won 1 and lost 7. Is anybody other than the Irish teams taking this league seriously and at some stage are sponsors going to look at pumping money into such a lopsided league.

Sooner, I think, that the big SA teams are in the better. Great that that the Irish teams are winning, but this isn't a situation that can continue indefinitely.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by Ruckedtobits »

Totally agree and at present the Welsh opponents are hardly even providing the same level of competition as the old B&I Cup fixtures. One of the consequences of this standard is the ridiculous hype being attached to young emerging Irish players. Toland is one of the biggest cheerleaders but his overbearing analysis and fauning commentary only serve to ridicule any claim to objective review of the emerging stars.

Unfortunate and best to remember that it's not the fault of the kids themselves.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by riocard911 »

Toland was funny - in the sense of ridiculous, cos he never takes his red glasses off - today. So there are Ospreys in the second half bashing away close to the Munster line. After a number of infringements at the ruck, the ref gives a peno and a warning to O'Donoghue, while instructing him to speak to his teammates. At the very next ruck the Munster captain enters blatantly from the side and receives a yellow card. To which Toland proclaims, the O'Donohue was "a victim of the ref's previous instructions". You couldn't make it up, if you tried.

That said I thought Munster's back play has improved.

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Logorrhea
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by Logorrhea »

I've never quite understood why, but both the Welsh and Scottish teams are horribly underfunded compared to the Irish teams. Its strange given we all share the same source of funds. Until they are appropriately funded, they will continue to be sh!t.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by ronk »

Logorrhea wrote:
November 15th, 2020, 8:26 pm
I've never quite understood why, but both the Welsh and Scottish teams are horribly underfunded compared to the Irish teams. Its strange given we all share the same source of funds. Until they are appropriately funded, they will continue to be sh!t.
Welsh and Scottish put their money into stadia and then didn’t have cash for provinces. We built up the provinces and had income coming from the provinces. Then built stadia.

We also solved the player drain to England/France earlier and had a historically strong generation come through at the right time to build provinces.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by dropkick »

Logorrhea wrote:
November 15th, 2020, 8:26 pm
I've never quite understood why, but both the Welsh and Scottish teams are horribly underfunded compared to the Irish teams. Its strange given we all share the same source of funds. Until they are appropriately funded, they will continue to be sh!t.
Attendances. Irish teams attract a lot more fans and they pay more for tickets. Leinsters in the aviva a few times a year is worth a lot of money. Because Irish teams are better they attract more sponsors and even the prize money in europe helps.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by leinsterforever »

It's really the Ospreys that are the problem. They've improved slightly compared to the last two seasons but they're still a pale imitation of the side they were from c. 2007-2014. They used to be a thorn in Leinster's side.

Cardiff were never very good in the league, but were always good for a big performance, knocking off a fancied English or French team, in the old Heineken Cup. They were always more of a cup side than a league side - the opposite of the Ospreys in their heyday, I suppose. Cardiff have been hurt by the move to the new format without a guaranteed three Welsh sides. Did the regions actually vote in favour of moving to the new format? Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas!

Scarlets are a bit uninspiring at the moment, but they won the league as recently as 2017. Can't really put too much blame on them.

Dragons were never up to much.

Glasgow weren't quite as good under Rennie as they were under Townsend and seem to have disimproved further under their new coach. But early days in his tenure, I suppose. Overall, they did make the final in 2019, and based on where they were 10 years ago, you'd have to say they're one of the success stories of the league.

I think Edinburgh, a bit like Cardiff, historically were more of a cup team than a league team. They seem to be in a bit of a rut at the moment, but in general Cockerill has turned them into a hard-nosed and competitive, if not quite good enough at the very top level, side.

Treviso aren't bad at all. Crowley's a good coach and they play some very enterprising rugby. They were incredibly unlucky with some of Owens's decisions late on in that quarter final against Munster a couple of seasons ago.

So, yeah. It's really the Ospreys not being nearly as good as they used to be that's making things look more stark. The air of inevitability around the loss to Munster is depressing for the league. Munster weren't really pressured or taken out of their comfort zone at all. Maybe Welsh rugby just isn't very good at the moment and Gatland was a miracle worker with what players he had.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by dropkick »

leinsterforever wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 12:40 am
Maybe Welsh rugby just isn't very good at the moment and Gatland was a miracle worker with what players he had.

The Welsh say they have as much talent as ireland but don't have the money to keep the talent.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by wixfjord »

Would agree with the OP.

The league is frankly a bit boring at the moment. Great for us to be winning so easily and blooding loads of young guys, which is enjoyable to watch.

But there's an air of inevitability about pretty much every game.

That doesn't help us in Europe.

As many Irish players who've played in England and France have said before, the league is far more of a slog and relegation has a massive impact on the intensity of every game. We don't have that.

Hopefully it will ramp up over Xmas as the internationals come back, and certainly the SA invasion will be good for the league too.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by hugonaut »

dropkick wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 8:43 am
The Welsh say they have as much talent as ireland but don't have the money to keep the talent.
My feeling is that the Pro12 would be a very competitive league if the Welsh sides were resourced properly, i.e. if the WRU adopted the NZRU/IRFU model of
i] centrally contracting all pro players to the union; and
ii] only selecting players for international duty if they were based in Wales.

The WRU can afford to do this. It chooses not to.

In very basic, rounded figures, the IRFU took in €84m and spent €46m on professional rugby [source: https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/i ... t_1819.pdf ] – approximately 54% of income went to the pro game.

The WRU took in £90.5m [approx. €99m] and spent £33m [approx. €36m] on professional rugby [source: https://d2cx26qpfwuhvu.cloudfront.net/i ... t_1819.pdf ] - approximately 36% of union income went to the pro game.

For the sake of comparison, I will just deal in one currency euro [€].

IRFU
Total Incomes: €84m [approx.]
Pro Game Exp: €46m [approx.]

IRFU
Total Incomes: €99m [approx.]
Pro Game Exp: €36m [approx.]

There is a €10m difference between how the IRFU funds the pro game and how the WRU funds the pro game. There is relatively little difference in playing population [approx. 25400 registered senior males in Ireland and 22400 in Wales] and no difference in the amount of professional teams in each jurisdiction; aside from those factors, the WRU had a significantly bigger income than the IRFU in 2018/19.

If the WRU raised their spend on their professional teams by £9m [approx. €10m], they would match the IRFU's spend on the professional game on a pound-to-euro basis, while spending significantly less of a percentage than the IRFU do of their total income [it would work out to around 47%, as opposed to the IRFU's 54%].

There's a lot of tangential issues around why support numbers for the Welsh sides are low, but a major one is that they are not successful. The Scarlets' average attendance rose by about 36% when they were champions:
"Following their Guinness PRO14 title success in 2017 and with the West Walians enjoying a memorable run to the Champions Cup semi-finals, the Scarlets’ attendances rose from an average of 6,809 to 9,256 in the space of 12 months ..." [source: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rug ... w-15645433 ]

The Welsh population is smaller and its economy weaker than that of Ireland, but rugby is more popular. The central contracting system makes as much sense in Wales as it does in Ireland, very likely moreso.

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munster#1
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by munster#1 »

As said already, apart from the enjoyment factor produced by seeing the young guns getting gametime and doing well, there is no real value in this league.

When any team can go into a game with only 1 or 2 first choice players in their starting 15, and not only win, but be expected to win, then you know that the league is fairly rubbish.
I doubt that you would get away with that in any of the other top leagues (not there are many).

What we are seeing over the last few weeks, is barely a step up from the B&I cup.

The league is nothing more than a tool for development.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by Dave Cahill »

There's no real value or insight to be gained from comparing Rugby in Wales to Rugby in Ireland. Apart from the game being a minority sport in both places, there aren't really any similarities. Rugby in Wales is really only popular in south Wales - and even there it is still a minority sport with two relatively successful Soccer clubs sucking in support and commercial money based in that area. In Ireland rugby's (minority) popularity is island-wide and isn't dependant on a subset of a subset of a population like it is in Wales.

A better comparison is to equate Welsh clubs with GAA clubs, the Welsh National team with County teams playing in the championship (en masse) and the regions with the Railway Cup provincial sides.
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by riocard911 »

munster#1:

When any team can go into a game with only 1 or 2 first choice players in their starting 15, and not only win, but be expected to win, then you know that the league is fairly rubbish.
I doubt that you would get away with that in any of the other top leagues (not there are many).

Bayern München not infrequently - when midweek Champions League matches are in the offing - give their second string a run out in the Bundeliga at the weekend and still still win, yet I don't hear anyone in Germany saying their soccer league is rubbish.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by OTT »

I hated when we would go to Glasgow or Edinburgh or Swansea or Llanelli back in the day ( Cheika era) with a load of young lads literally thrown together and get absolutely spanked.

I didn’t love (but accepted because of our success) in the Schmidt era where we knew we would throw a game here and there (eg in Connacht) and we would use it to motivate us to peak in a bigger game.

I didn’t love in the MOC era where we played our first team practically every week and played turgid stuff and we would lose to the Dragons home and away within a couple of weeks.

Not sure the league is any worse now than it ever was I just think we have got much better at managing it and the other Irish teams have as well. There were always shite teams in it, there were always average teams in it and there were always the better teams in it now instead of them coming from the different countries they are all from Ireland. We led the way and the other Irish teams are copying our template.

We like to knock ourselves which is very Irish but we are one of the best teams in Europe. Toulouse and Saracens are the only team who have beaten us in 3 years in Europe. That’s not luck. Successive Irish coaches have leaned heavily on Leinster players not because they are wearing blue tinted glasses or are trying to upset Munster and Ulster supporters as they like to believe but because we have produced loads of excellent rugby players. Munster now have some brilliant young lads coming through themselves. Ulster have built a really good team, a team that plays hard and competes. Connacht play a brilliant brand of rugby and are trying to increase their depth which is more limited than the other provinces. Our (Irish) teams are very good at the minute.

Welsh and Scottish teams for whatever reason (lack of effort with the Welsh imo) are struggling at the minute but the quality from the Irish teams makes up for that, for me anyway. Dare I say I enjoy watching the other Irish teams playing every week in addition to Leinster. Long may we be leading the way, if the the other countries want to compete they should try and imitate us but if they can’t be arsed it certainly won’t effect my enjoyment of getting to see our legends or the next young lad off the rank. When we next lose to the Dragons in the RDS, or get hosed over in Glasgow and leinsterfans is going mad can someone resurrect this thread and go yeah but the league is much better now.
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munster#1
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by munster#1 »

riocard911 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:13 pm
munster#1:

When any team can go into a game with only 1 or 2 first choice players in their starting 15, and not only win, but be expected to win, then you know that the league is fairly rubbish.
I doubt that you would get away with that in any of the other top leagues (not there are many).

Bayern München not infrequently - when midweek Champions League matches are in the offing - give their second string a run out in the Bundeliga at the weekend and still still win, yet I don't hear anyone in Germany saying their soccer league is rubbish.
I am not too up on soccer, so I couldn’t tell you how good or bad the German league is, so it is probably a poor analogy for me, so I will have to take your word that nobody says that the league is rubbish.

Looking within the sport I do follow, I would not expect Racing to put a second/third string out against Toulon and expect to win, or even go on to get a TBP
Likewise if Exeter were playing Gloucester.

In the Pro 14, it is not only when the top teams play the bottom teams that we see teams fielding weak teams, it is the norm across most games.
Even in the big inter-pro games we do not get to see full strength teams.

It is my opinion that until we see the likes of the Irish provinces fielding full strength teams at least 40% of the time, then it is a rubbish league.

Munster like Leinster and Ulster remain unbeaten to date.
I can not see that Munster team go unbeaten in the french or English league for 5 games. Could you?

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by Xanthippe »

OTT wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:47 pm

I didn’t love (but accepted because of our success) in the Schmidt era where we knew we would throw a game here and there (eg in Connacht) and we would use it to motivate us to peak in a bigger game.
Ouch - what a dreadful suggestion. I'm sure that deliberately 'throwing' games is the sort of thing that could get you into very serious trouble!
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by OTT »

Xanthippe wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:55 pm
OTT wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:47 pm

I didn’t love (but accepted because of our success) in the Schmidt era where we knew we would throw a game here and there (eg in Connacht) and we would use it to motivate us to peak in a bigger game.
Ouch - what a dreadful suggestion. I'm sure that deliberately 'throwing' games is the sort of thing that could get you into very serious trouble!
Apologies, thankfully I am a keyboard warrior and have no input into the running of Leinster Rugby so it probably won’t get me into to much trouble. I meant that we would target certain games to peak in and other games we were less worried about the result.
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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by riocard911 »

munster#1 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:53 pm
riocard911 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:13 pm
munster#1:

When any team can go into a game with only 1 or 2 first choice players in their starting 15, and not only win, but be expected to win, then you know that the league is fairly rubbish.
I doubt that you would get away with that in any of the other top leagues (not there are many).

Bayern München not infrequently - when midweek Champions League matches are in the offing - give their second string a run out in the Bundeliga at the weekend and still still win, yet I don't hear anyone in Germany saying their soccer league is rubbish.
I am not too up on soccer, so I couldn’t tell you how good or bad the German league is, so it is probably a poor analogy for me, so I will have to take your word that nobody says that the league is rubbish.

Looking within the sport I do follow, I would not expect Racing to put a second/third string out against Toulon and expect to win, or even go on to get a TBP
Likewise if Exeter were playing Gloucester.

In the Pro 14, it is not only when the top teams play the bottom teams that we see teams fielding weak teams, it is the norm across most games.
Even in the big inter-pro games we do not get to see full strength teams.

It is my opinion that until we see the likes of the Irish provinces fielding full strength teams at least 40% of the time, then it is a rubbish league.

Munster like Leinster and Ulster remain unbeaten to date.
I can not see that Munster team go unbeaten in the french or English league for 5 games. Could you?

I understand your argument and without doubt there is validity to it, but already in the Prem we have seen the likes of Exeter and Saracens following the Leinster example and rotating their squads to give their academy lads a run out and build squad depth. That will only become more prevalent, when the Prem becomes ringfenced and relegation abolished. I'm in full agreement with the original poster, that the sooner the top Saffer teams join the ProWhatEverYou'reHavingYerself - (c) DC - the better!!!

p.s. Bayern are to the Bundesliga what Leinster are to the Pro** - they more often than not are champs every spring and are also bulk supplier to the national squad.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by munster#1 »

riocard911 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 2:23 pm
munster#1 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:53 pm
riocard911 wrote:
November 16th, 2020, 1:13 pm
munster#1:

When any team can go into a game with only 1 or 2 first choice players in their starting 15, and not only win, but be expected to win, then you know that the league is fairly rubbish.
I doubt that you would get away with that in any of the other top leagues (not there are many).

Bayern München not infrequently - when midweek Champions League matches are in the offing - give their second string a run out in the Bundeliga at the weekend and still still win, yet I don't hear anyone in Germany saying their soccer league is rubbish.
I am not too up on soccer, so I couldn’t tell you how good or bad the German league is, so it is probably a poor analogy for me, so I will have to take your word that nobody says that the league is rubbish.

Looking within the sport I do follow, I would not expect Racing to put a second/third string out against Toulon and expect to win, or even go on to get a TBP
Likewise if Exeter were playing Gloucester.

In the Pro 14, it is not only when the top teams play the bottom teams that we see teams fielding weak teams, it is the norm across most games.
Even in the big inter-pro games we do not get to see full strength teams.

It is my opinion that until we see the likes of the Irish provinces fielding full strength teams at least 40% of the time, then it is a rubbish league.

Munster like Leinster and Ulster remain unbeaten to date.
I can not see that Munster team go unbeaten in the french or English league for 5 games. Could you?

I understand your argument and without doubt there is validity to it, but already in the Prem we have seen the likes of Exeter and Saracens following the Leinster example and rotating their squads to give their academy lads a run out and build squad depth. That will only become more prevalent, when the Prem becomes ringfenced and relegation abolished. I'm in full agreement with the original poster, that the sooner the top Saffer teams join the ProWhatEverYou'reHavingYerself - (c) DC - the better!!!

p.s. Bayern are to the Bundesliga what Leinster are to the Pro** - they more often than not are champs every spring and are also bulk supplier to the national squad.
I would love to be in a position to believe that the team I support plays in the best league in the world, thus making them one of the best teams in the world, but that is not the case.

I fully understand that every team in every league would target games with a view of introducing academy players.
I know you didn’t imply that I said this, but I do not believe that squad rotation is something that exists only in our league, but i don’t think it is as prevalent in any other league.

If we look closer to your home, Leinster have 25 points from a possible 25, all while have a severely reduced squad. If they looked at the fixtures list before the first kick of the ball, they would have had a realistic expectation of getting in excess of 20 points in those games whilst knowing that they would lose their first choice in most positions, and their second choice along with them in others.

I personally want to see a league where this is not the case. One where we regularly see full strength or at least very close to full strength teams.

Do I think I will every see that, no,
So I accept the league for what it is. It is a very good development tool for team Ireland, which is great as an Irish fan.

On the Bayern topic, after looking them up, their league would appear to be much more of a one horse race than the pro 14?

I hope my post does not come across as aggressive, as I definitely take your points onboard.

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Re: Pro14 - Sooner SA teams the better

Post by riocard911 »

Dearest Munsterfan#1,

your post doesn't come across in the slightest bit aggressive. Your points are all well made. I would agree with most of them. Our league has room for improvement no question. I too find it annoying how badly the Welsh and Scottish teams are performing and are organised, but there is very little we can do about that, only keep improving ourselves - and as an Ireland fan, I'm delighted to see the successful blooding of young players by Munster. Most if not all leagues have perennial winners and also rans - the major soccer leagues in Germany, England, France, Italy and Spain are proof of that. In 80 to 90 percent of the fixtures the winner can be predicted at the start of the season. As regards the Pro**, we can't wait for the Welsh and Scots to get their houses in order, so under these circumstances I think bringing in the best RSA franchises and accompanying TV money is a great idea. Who knows, we might end up with the best rugby league yet!!!

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