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View Full Version : Magners League..is it taken seriously?



KeardiffBlues
13-08-07, 12:04 AM
leinster sem the only irish team interested in this, and ulster at times but munster never field stringer and ogara and o'callahan and pretty much all of their first xv if all clubs took it seriously and marketing was right does anyone think the quality is there to challange the top 14 or the guiness?

Buceph
13-08-07, 01:05 AM
The quality is there in the first 22s of the teams, but with the emphasis being place on the Irish national team it's not going to happen for another few years. The players just can't play at the level needed.

Wales will always be a strong rugby nation, no matter what happens. But Ireland needs to utilise the success we're having at the moment and make sure there are more and more people coming into the sport. It's been a long process since turning professional and it's going to take another few years, but it will happen. With the BOD D4 fanclubs and trendiness helping, and the Munster passion we'll see more and more coming from it, if the League can hold out for another five or so years.

Prestwick
13-08-07, 09:14 AM
Would everyone agree that it would be taken more seriously if there was actually something serious to play for like HEC places linked to specific groups or a big Magners Trophy playoff rather than just having a dead simple league?

I mean, at the moment, there isn't really anything to worry about missing out on, you're guaranteed to stay in the same league and entry to either the HEC or the ECC with the money that comes with it. It would be much more exciting if the top four teams had a best out of three playoff or something in the latter stages of the competition for a trophy.

RoyalBlueStuey
13-08-07, 09:29 AM
Certainly here in the UK it was a big debate whether quality-wise the Magners League had left the Guinness Premiership trailing. The Heineken Cup group stages seemed to back up that but the English teams rallied round well so perhaps they are even now.

Mite has been saying for a while that the HEC places should be decided on league position...that'd mean the entire league would really be playing for something.

Marco Polo
13-08-07, 10:12 AM
Certainly here in the UK it was a big debate whether quality-wise the Magners League had left the Guinness Premiership trailing. The Heineken Cup group stages seemed to back up that but the English teams rallied round well so perhaps they are even now.

Mite has been saying for a while that the HEC places should be decided on league position...that'd mean the entire league would really be playing for something.


[/b]



In terms of quality the top teams in the ML and the GP are of very similar quality.Although the lesser teams in the GP would be better than the ML equivelant. The problem for the ML is a lack of credibility due to weakened teams because of international call ups. Also as most teams are out of the running by the half way point of the season and are assured of HEC qualification the intensity levels can be lacking in many games towards the end of the season. I would like to see the introduction of a playoff system to ensure more teams have something to play for as the season progresses.



However on the positive side attendances were up last year and sides do seem to be building up more strength in depth in their squads which shoould ensure better standards even when international players are unavailable.

shazbooger
13-08-07, 10:43 AM
Would everyone agree that it would be taken more seriously if there was actually something serious to play for like HEC places linked to specific groups or a big Magners Trophy playoff rather than just having a dead simple league?[/b] I dont agree with end-of year playoff's. You've either won the league by being the best team over the year or not.
I do think the HEC places should be up for grabs, but there is no incentive for the unions to agree to it so it wont happen as long as the ML continues to tick over.

An Tarbh
13-08-07, 11:10 AM
The IRFU want a system in place where the elite panel of players are only playing 24 matches per season so if that is to continue, and in the interest of the national team it's proven to be a success, then we're going to continue to see the reserve players in ML action. Munster seem to take this to the extreme though and are happy to do just enough to finish ahead of Connacht, thus ensuring HEC qualification.

Yes we do have a system of qualification for the HEC. It'll be interesting to see whether the Scots will lose their second HEC spot after the Borders went out of business cause the ERC seem quite keen on having at least 1 team from each country in the Challenge Cup.

As for teams not having something to play for throughout the season well that's not true, with the playoff spot up for grabs against the Italian third placed side there's alwats the incentive to go for that or avoid it completely by pushing for one of the automatic spots.

Regarding the quality of the ML it's on a par with the GP and Top14, you have the likes of Connacht consistently picking up wins in France against the lower teams in the Top14 while Glasgow and the Dragons put in a more than decent performance in the Challenge Cup as well.

diom
14-08-07, 01:36 PM
Connacht, and take it quite seriously. It has been a goal of theirs to reach the HC for...well...forever.

Plus the Challenge Cup shows that the lower priority teams in the ML still compare quite well with those from other competitions.

HOMERJ
16-08-07, 07:26 PM
From an Irish point of view I don't think the IRFU take it as a serious competition.

Leinster - Are competitive due to the fact that their pack is not depleted by International call ups and although their backs suffer they have excellent players in reserve to fill in for the Magners League

Munster - They are the hardest hit, take away the Munster Forwards and their gameplan suffers, Munster play the majority of the Magners League with the second choice forwards

Connacht - Don't suffer a massive exodus of players due to call ups so can play pretty much with their first team which unfortunately is still to weak to make an impact

Ulster - Up until recently they didn't suffer badly from call ups however Eddie has finally acknowledged that Ulster have good players and they also suffer losing key players

RC
28-08-07, 06:27 PM
Leinster always seem to put in the effort and so do Ulster, but you never get the same impression from Munster. Like Homerj said, Munster spend a lot of the season with 2ndt strong forwards.
I honestly never see myself getting worried as an Ospreys fan when we're up against Munster. Leinster and Ulster(especially at Ravenhill) is something i don't look forward to.

But we, as welsh rugby supporters, can't look down on some people. We, ourselves, fail to bring in that big a crowd week in-week out. Ospreys have a 20,000 seater stadium and get on avg 12,000 in. That's terrible.

Substitute
28-08-07, 07:47 PM
I wrote about the Magners league on another forum and the rings of boos I got.

I sadly think the Magner's league is a non-tournament. Certainly compared to the English and French tournaments. I admit I see little of it (although more than I see the GP on telly).

As for why I feel like that I'm not quite sure. I think the absence of relegation certainly has a lot to do with it. I imagine teams when knowing they can't win or even qualify for the HC play B-sides. You really need competitiveness right to the end. Sadly with sides like Connacht (no offence intended to Connacht fans) there will always be sides not good enough for the league and that seems wrong. Also think it's less attritional and that's an aspect of the game I like.

As for remedies they'd be tough. Scotlands rugby clubs really are struggling and it's a shame to see that rugby in scotland doesn't get a decent following. Murrayfield is an exceptional stadium and it's disappinting they can't sell it out. I think if Frank Hadden can get Scotland to improve then things will be better. Essentially Scotland needs more money. As relegation won't be possible (regions are another thing that depersonalises the league) I would rather see a knockout format with pools - nothing lke the shoddy set-up we have here in England. Sadly 10 is only condusive to two pools of 5 - but that'd work. And finally I think more marketing could be done by the clubs - family fun days, hog roasts (was brilliant at the Bath-Newbury game) etc. And I'd have the IRFU giving more money to Connacht.

Let it never be said I argue without solutions.

stormmaster1
29-08-07, 09:52 AM
The Magners league has many great clubs, but as mentioned by everyone it's let down by great clubs putting out poor teams. The impression i've always had of it is that it's also celebrated for having more running rugby than the GP. Something that i feel is true, but for 2 reasons: it's easier to play with less caution as although winning is great, losing isn't as such a terrible thing as for relegation threatedned GP clubs. The other reason seems to be it is simply less attrititional, in particularly what little i've seen of a lot of welsh sides they are much less physical in defence than GP sides. it's easier to play champagne rugby when players fall off tackles.

An Tarbh
29-08-07, 11:00 AM
There's no point whatsoever in raising the topic of relegation with regards to the ML, no point at all. Bring in relegation and who do you promote? and where and who to the relegated team play against? It's simply can't work and is a non-starter, as I've said before there is always something to play for in the ML but people seem to be quite content in ignoring that fact.

ecks tartan army
29-08-07, 03:30 PM
to the ospreys fan - you complain about only getting 12,000 through the gate? we only get 2,500!

ive not been following it for long enough to coment on the seriousness with which it is taken, but i cant see any reason why there isnt anything to play for for teams until very late in the season.

stormmaster1
29-08-07, 04:44 PM
There's no point whatsoever in raising the topic of relegation with regards to the ML, no point at all. Bring in relegation and who do you promote? and where and who to the relegated team play against? It's simply can't work and is a non-starter, as I've said before there is always something to play for in the ML but people seem to be quite content in ignoring that fact. [/b]



i don't think they should bring in relegation, that wasn't what i was suggesting. I was just pointing out the obvious differences between the celtic and english leagues. I don't see that there is much of importance to play a lot of the time in the ML, otherwise we wouldn't see so few top players turning out for their sides. Clearly whatever reasons they are playing to win aren't important enough to the likes of Munster.

Prestwick
29-08-07, 05:26 PM
There needs to be some form of competetiveness instilled into the ML. Either by putting in a cup decided by end of season playoffs or by fixing the HEC slots to just the top five qualifying teams.

So what if that ruins the cushy and easy going system of gauranteeing each nation in the ML at least one HEC place? If it makes teams fight for ML position then that can mean nothing but fun.

Obviously though, the minute Munster fail to qualify for a HEC place, that would obviously mean that the whole ML is rigged and its the world against Munster and that there should obviously be a "Munster wins the ML automatically" rule in the ML rulebook and that quite frankly Munster shouldn't even play any ML games because obviously they're only good enough to play in the HEC and thus thats why they need a gauranteed HEC place.

An Tarbh
29-08-07, 06:11 PM
I'm surprised at some of your comments there, you seem to be implying that the ML isn't a competitive league, that's absolute rubbish, you only have to look at the table for that, where else do you only have 10 points separating the top 6 sides.

It's easy to jump on Munster's back in all this, they don't take the ML seriously because they concentrate on the HEC, that's their perogative, they've qualified for the HEC by right like any other team in the competition so they're free to do what they like.

carter1979
30-08-07, 03:37 PM
For me - the Magners league is a fantastic competition purely being ignored by the mainstream because it isn't the English competition.

I really do not think lack of relegation is an issue, nor do i see a problem with the allocation of the European places.

It's all down to image and trying to persuade the sponsors and the media that the competition is just as entertaining if not more so than the Guinness Premiership.

The "British" Media are the major problem - they don't even acknowledge the Top 14 to any real degree.

An Tarbh
30-08-07, 05:33 PM
the one area where I think that the ML has an advantage is the fact that the team who finishes first actually wins the league, none of this playoff nonsense.

Prestwick
30-08-07, 05:45 PM
It's easy to jump on Munster's back in all this, they don't take the ML seriously because they concentrate on the HEC, that's their perogative, they've qualified for the HEC by right like any other team in the competition so they're free to do what they like. [/b]

I am merely voicing the frustrations of those fans whose teams never get to see HEC action and when they do, probably just for a season or two. Saracens, for example, are going to embark on their first HEC campaign for a long while and already we're being knocked for being in an "easy group".

It is very easy to say that, especially when you know that you are more or less gauranteed a HEC place every season come what may. Yes, sure only the highest ranked Irish provinces get the HEC places but if Munster couldn't even manage that then I think Thurmond Park would be burnt to the ground by angry mobs.

When you have to watch your team fight tooth and nail to get a spot, it can be very easy to be at first envious and then later pretty cynical and annoyed at other teams who get an easy ride every year into the HEC. Yes, Munster isn't the only one, other teams like the Welsh teams and the high flying English and French teams like Wasps (what do they have to do to make sure they can't get into the HEC next year?!), etc, the ML teams and the way that they get into the HEC sits however as a glaring example of an overall European Cup competition that is neither fun nor fair for those who don't support the golden teams of European rugby.

As for the Magners League, okay, you're right, it is already competetive, I was just wanting to look at ways of making it worthwhile and more exciting for fans and teams alike.

EDIT: And if you think its bad for me, think of the Italian teams who battle their way to HEC qualification too. Think of the children!

An Tarbh
30-08-07, 06:02 PM
so you'll accept it's competitive but not exciting, what's that about? and what's with your Thurmond park as well?

Prestwick
30-08-07, 06:54 PM
An, its just a damn round robin competition with nothing, nothing to play for other than bragging rights. What exactly is there to be excited about?

For leagues to be relevent, they need to have something to which Fans can look forward to, something which can stir interest, something which can really make fans think "christ, I'll be biting my nails come the last few games of the season!" What in the Magners League generates the tension, drama and sheer excitement that a league like the Guinness Premiership, the French or Italian leagues generate? Nothing. There is no league cup as an interesting side show, no reward for the winner of the league, only bragging rights and mutterings from fans that "well, we care more about the HEC anyway."

There is nothing to draw me towards watching a Magners League match in the middle of January. The quality of the rugby may be good, but does it actually mean anything in the long run? No, because nobody really gives a toss where you come so long as you get HEC qualification!

The Magners League needs a league cup competition to run alongside it, it needs something to tell fans that they need not wait till HEC weekend to watch their team play for something that truly matters, that they can turn up to any Magners League fixture knowing that winning this will actually mean something and not just mean that they'll go to 3rd in a competition that has absolutely no relevence to anything outside of the Home Nations.

And Thurmond Park is what Google came up with XD

ecks tartan army
30-08-07, 07:07 PM
an easy group?

not if we get our way! ;)

Prestwick
30-08-07, 07:16 PM
Ignore the bigger kids Ecks! That is just a jibe to try and make us look less like Giant Killers! :P Glasgow is going down against Sarries though, I'm so confident, I'll hire the BBC Orchestra to play Flight of the Valkaries every time Saracens score a try! And then, when we win, I'll get them to play a modified version of Handel's Hallejujah, with the choir singing "you are gay" instead of "Hallejujah."

ecks tartan army
30-08-07, 08:53 PM
your confident?

what was it last time? 22-19? could have gone either way?

oh, and 6-6 last time in glasgow?


TBH though, i'll be happy if we beat viadana and get 2 close games.

Prestwick
30-08-07, 09:22 PM
Glasgow and Saracens: The REAL HEC grudge match! :lol:

It'll be a good game come what may, its not as if either of us are going to win the HEC or beat Biarittz...

Thingimubob
30-08-07, 09:28 PM
An, its just a damn round robin competition with nothing, nothing to play for other than bragging rights. What exactly is there to be excited about?

For leagues to be relevent, they need to have something to which Fans can look forward to, something which can stir interest, something which can really make fans think "christ, I'll be biting my nails come the last few games of the season!" What in the Magners League generates the tension, drama and sheer excitement that a league like the Guinness Premiership, the French or Italian leagues generate? [/b]

I can tell you. Seeing at one point Leinster, Ulster, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and (at least in theory) Llanelli Scarlets all in contention for the title towards the end of the season, and having the majority of them playing each other during the last few games. For example as a Blues fan, I was jumping for joy as Nick MacLeod slotted a winning drop goal againts Ulster, which meant we'd lifted ourselves onto a platform from which we could win the title from, and it shattered Ulsters hope of defending their title. And then in our last game of the season, many of us were downcast after the shattering defeat at Stradey, we managed to win a bonus point victory over Leinster in the Arms Park, which if it had been the other way round, and Leinster had won with the bonus point, it would definatley have been Leinster lifting the trophy and not the Ospreys. Oddly enough, that was the second time we'd beaten Leinster to deny them the title, in the 05/06 season, we beat them in a high scoring last match of the league in the Millenium Stadium, which gave the title to Ulster. Now I was more than biting my nails as I anxiously waited for news from the Borders, but unfortunaly for us, the Ospreys won there, and were the deserved winners of the title.

màiri
30-08-07, 09:54 PM
Don't you think that if there were semi finals and a final just like in the Guinness Premiership and French Top14 or even the Super 14, it could bring some more excitment at the Magners League?

Thingimubob
30-08-07, 10:09 PM
I guess it would give teams like Munster a second chance at the title, if they can work their way up to fourth +, but I like the way it is now, and last years tournament had more than enough exitement, with so many teams capable of winning in the last couple of rounds.

scuubasteve
30-08-07, 10:21 PM
I think the fact that a good few teams haven't been competitive over the past few years must be of detriment to the competitions credibility.

Once the Scotish club rugby ship is righted, and these teams become genuine contenders, then hopefully their crowds will expand (with the help of some better marketing) to give the competition more spead in interest / fan fare.

There seems to be some differing ideals of who should be considered the league champions between NH and SH supporters.

Down here (SANZAR) we are subjected to a finals series for every competition (Club Rugby), with the winner being the champion. Others appear to disagree and see the team at the top of the table, after the season finishes, as the champion.

As some of you have stated above, having something to play for is of great importance in maintaining interest in the competition right to the final game, and having numerous teams in contention at the end adds to the excitement (as can promotion/relegation).

Obviously promotion/relegation would not work with the current setup, but I believe that a play-offs series would add interest and focus to the season, as well as increased revenues.

A top 4 playoffs would be a good line to draw from a pool of 10 teams.

1 plays 4, 2 plays 3. With all games being played at the home of the top ranked team. So if you're the top team at the close of the season, well done to you, but you are not yet the champions. You will be rewarded by having home advantage for your semi-final (and final if you win the semi) giving you the best chance to take out the title. It also means, if you win, that you were the best team in both an extended basis (round-robin / Heineken Cup juggling play) and in 2 presure fuelled / knockout games (semis and final), thus becoming the undesputed Celtic champs.

The biggest incentive to be top of the table though, would be in the massive revenue generated from having two extra (hopefully sold out) home games.

Alternatively, if the fan support warranted it, the final could be moved to a national stadium (Murrayfield, Millenium, Croke/Landsdowne) to generate more revenue and help fill the national body's (IRFU, WRU, SRU) coffers and provide more money to plough back into the grass roots that drive the game forward.

Thingimubob
30-08-07, 10:40 PM
@Scuuba

That's a pretty good idea, but I wouldn't like seeing to see for at least the two more seasons, but I'd like something similar in place by 09/10 season or the 10/11 season, since eventually supporters will get bored of the existing set up.

scuubasteve
30-08-07, 10:48 PM
Also, hopefully the IRB and the chosen representatives can make a decent fist of an international playing calander, when they meet in November.

If they can sort out a couple of fixed windows for international rugby (and not have any club games impede on this) then we can ensure that the club vs country tug-of-war for talent can end. If this happens then the magners league fans might see a bit more gametime from its Celtic stars. Now that would definitely increase interest and make people take the competition more seriously.

stormmaster1
31-08-07, 04:49 PM
@Scuuba

That's a pretty good idea, but I wouldn't like seeing to see for at least the two more seasons, but I'd like something similar in place by 09/10 season or the 10/11 season, since eventually supporters will get bored of the existing set up.
[/b]



Be careful what you wish for. Most English fans hate the play-off system (although 11 of 12 clubs supported it).

Thingimubob
31-08-07, 11:56 PM
what I meant was it'd be nice to (eventually) have a change in the system, since the Celtic League has changed a few times, and used to be something like the top 8 played each other in quarters, semi's and a final. So teh winner of the League would get one trophy (The Celtic League) and the winner of teh final would get another (The Celtic Cup). Decent enough set up, but back then Wales had 9 clubs, so it wouldn't work now because those 9 clubs are now 4 regions.

ecks tartan army
01-09-07, 09:06 AM
last season, although Glasgow were well out of the running, we also added to the excitment of where the leauge was going by notching up home wins against Leinster and Ospreys - and even an away win against Ulster (although they were out of it by then)

was at the Glasgow game last night - Glasgow looked like a promising side, every time they got the ball they looked dangerous. espc. the wings - and Lome hasnt even started playing for us yet! :D

I'm hopefull this Glasgow team can start to compete - if not for the title at least to start picking up more away wins and to be in contention. this, combined with better marketing, would be a great platform from which to increase attendances and raise the profile of the game in scotland.

Warriors#1
01-09-07, 10:48 AM
Glasgow will hopefully make this season more exciting for me (not that last season was exciting) but aswell as the good wing play some of the defense in the last 5-10 minutes was pretty good (except when they got near the try-line), how many phases did newcastle go on for and only make it from the half way line to just between the 10 and 22!

Well played Glasgow and defiently the way we want to play in the Magners League!

And when all the internationalists come back we should have an even more formidable force.

So bring it on Saracens!!!

:D

Thingimubob
01-09-07, 05:28 PM
I hope Glasgow do well this year, as I think they're great, and the fact that they have the balls to get hammered one time at home, then go on to claim the heads fo teams like Cardiff, Leinster and the Ospreys (to name a few). Damn good for a place that see's football as it's main sport (at least that's what I heard)

ecks tartan army
02-09-07, 08:50 AM
TBH, the most popular sport in glasgow (espc. maryhill, where we play) is getting pished and fighting people.

but yeah, most popular pro sport is football by a mile, and then club rugby is actually more popular than the pro-teams. (although the SRU are trying to convince people that there is room for both with the pro-teams playing on friday night and the clubs on saturdays.)

btw, anyone coming up to glasgow (to watch your team get hammered ;) ), Firhill is a real B****** to get to unless you have a car. (apparently)

feicarsinn
02-09-07, 09:25 AM
personaly i think a strong or at least competitive connacht team is needed. we all saw last year munster sending out their second xv week in week out because they knew as long as they were the third irish team theyd be fine. personally i think it should be run like a real league with the top 7 going into the HEC

Thingimubob
03-09-07, 03:36 PM
Apparently the IRFU see Connacht as a 'development team', not sure if that's true, but it's a rumor I've heard. On their day they can surprise anyone if you ask me, they gave the Blues a scare at the Arms Park with an early try last season, but a bit of luck and 5 Ben Blair penalty kicks just about won it 15 - 13. Gotta say, for me that was one of the lowest points of last season for me, mostly because it was a game we really didn't deserve to win, but it's only beaten by the 34 - 0 hammering at Welford Road to the Tigers, and the 38 - 10 hammering to the Scarlets at Stradey Park. Drawing with Connacht away cost us dear as well Connacht fought their way back from being something like 13 - 3 down to 16 - 13 up, and a last minute penalty just about secured a draw. Which is annoying, because if we'd won that, we'd be Magners League Champions.

RC
03-09-07, 08:34 PM
Which is annoying, because if we'd won that, we'd be Magners League Champions. [/b]

If, if, if...

Life is made up of ifs - get over it.
However if the ospreys miss out on the title by a few points this year you will most definately hear me saying,
"If shaun conner had successfully made that kick against cardiff we would have won the magners league!"

Prestwick
04-09-07, 07:26 AM
I'm going to get my "ffs Matt get over it already!!!" early then.. :lol:

màiri
04-09-07, 04:55 PM
Glasgow will hopefully make this season more exciting for me (not that last season was exciting) but aswell as the good wing play some of the defense in the last 5-10 minutes was pretty good (except when they got near the try-line), how many phases did newcastle go on for and only make it from the half way line to just between the 10 and 22!

Well played Glasgow and defiently the way we want to play in the Magners League!

And when all the internationalists come back we should have an even more formidable force.

So bring it on Saracens!!!

:D
[/b]

I definitely thing the Warriors are going to do great this season. And i'm afraid that with all the players who left Edinburgh and all the problems... We're not gonna do any miracles! :( I still hope Larkham will join by the way...

ecks tartan army
05-09-07, 03:01 PM
whats the latest on larkham? i noticed the other day he has been registered by edinburgh to play in the magners league - are they still hopefull of getting him?

and FFS, why does he still want to come? wouldnt most players get out as quick as possible after the "summer of rugby farce"?

Thingimubob
05-09-07, 03:39 PM
<div class='quotemain'> Which is annoying, because if we&#39;d won that, we&#39;d be Magners League Champions. [/b]

If, if, if...

Life is made up of ifs - get over it.
However if the ospreys miss out on the title by a few points this year you will most definately hear me saying,
"If shaun conner had successfully made that kick against cardiff we would have won the magners league!"
[/b][/quote]

We&#39;re allowed to dream :) Way I see it is, both teams were good enough to win, and whichever team won deserved it. So the Ospreys were deserved winner because they got that 1 point which the Blues didn&#39;t so well done to you boys! It was nice seeing 3 Welsh teams in the top 4 as well, considering 4 years ago, the top three sides were all Irish.

RC
05-09-07, 05:56 PM
Very much agreed, buddy.
It&#39;s just a shame the Magners league doesn&#39;t quite reflect our international status...

màiri
05-09-07, 11:01 PM
whats the latest on larkham? i noticed the other day he has been registered by edinburgh to play in the magners league - are they still hopefull of getting him?

and FFS, why does he still want to come? wouldnt most players get out as quick as possible after the "summer of rugby farce"?
[/b]

I still don&#39;t know. In the BBC rugby website and in the Scotsman you could read that Larkham wanted to set up his family in Edinburgh, and wanted to play for the team, but he was quite stressed by the fact that he didn&#39;t know what was the current situation for the club.
I also know the Stade Toulousain (French Top14) is really interrested in him (as far as their 10 star, Fred Michalak is leaving for South Africa) and that Leeds Carnegie was really interrested in Larkham as well (sources: Guinness Premiership website).
So... I&#39;m afraid that if Edinburgh doesn&#39;t give an answer quickly, is gonna go somewhere else. :cryy:

RC
22-01-08, 12:04 AM
Thinking about the whole play-offs shenanigans, i really wouldn&#39;t like to see that introduced into the magners league.
I mean, i always feel sorry for gloucester when i see how many time they&#39;ve been cheated out of the title recently (yup, i see it as being cheated) and it must be awful for the fans.
If that happened last season and the top 4 were thrown into a playoff, then the final games wouldn&#39;t have been half as good becuase they would have simply been designating a home ground. Whereas last year, it was truly nail baiting (something certain english members think the Magners league can&#39;t actually produce simply beacuse there&#39;s no relegation system) and although there was heartbreak for cardiff and leinster there was also ecstatic glory for the ospreys.
There isn&#39;t a better way to win the season.

Then i got to thinking when we (ospreys) last won the title. It was in the 05/06 season. We had the title won just after Wales won the Grand Slam. It was 26th March and we had only lost a couple of games the whole season. We were awarded the trophy god knows how many games before the end of the season.
So, i&#39;m sorry, if we ended up losing in the semis or the final, then that would have simply proved of how little justice there is in the idea of having a semi and a final to decide the champion of the league.
I&#39;m sure Gloucester would agree. Furiously.

redunderthebed
22-01-08, 04:50 AM
Magners league is good i enjoy it throughly but it needs a bit of improvement. It needs a playoff system make it a top 4 where 1 vs 2 3 vs 4 play each other.Have a league cup competition that plays during the midweek.Also if they are going to have more than 4 spots for the HEC make it a play off for them, from 5 to 8th this could give lower teams like connacht a go at making the HEC and those who couldnt make it go into the challenge cup.



You could still reward the team that finishes top at the end of the season with a trophy after all its still a great achievement to do so.



Dont knock playoffs/finals they are great in Australia accross all codes (even in football) they have them.

Vambo
22-01-08, 10:01 AM
My own opinion is that the Magners, Guiness Premiership & Super 14 are all devalued due to the international handcuffs placed on many of the teams within them. Whilst the emphasis is on chasing international success this will continue to be so.
The ratings damage already done to the Super 14 due to the withdrawal of so many All Blacks for so many games last season may never be repaired.

RE: Playoffs.
Personally I think they&#39;re great. The problem is that at the minute so few clubs & supporters take them seriously. If the system was voted in by 11 clubs out of 12 then I don&#39;t understand why only Wasps seem to prepare for them?
In the SL the intensity lifts massively in the playoffs because all six teams give absolutely everything and some incredible games are witnessed. Wigans comeback at Bradford last season will go down in history.

I also believe a playoff system would greatly enhance the Magners League... I watched the game at Borders when The Ospreys picked up the title and it was a truly dreadful spectacle and a woeful advert for the Magners League.
Can you imagine the interest a Munster v Leinster playoff final would generate? A game like that would put the Magners League well and truly on the map.

stormmaster1
22-01-08, 10:02 AM
Magners league is good i enjoy it throughly but it needs a bit of improvement. It needs a playoff system make it a top 4 where 1 vs 2 3 vs 4 play each other.Have a league cup competition that plays during the midweek.Also if they are going to have more than 4 spots for the HEC make it a play off for them, from 5 to 8th this could give lower teams like connacht a go at making the HEC and those who couldnt make it go into the challenge cup.



You could still reward the team that finishes top at the end of the season with a trophy after all its still a great achievement to do so.



Dont knock playoffs/finals they are great in Australia accross all codes (even in football) they have them.

[/b]



Rewarding the league would undermine the play-offs. Whether it&#39;s correct or not it isn&#39;t going to happen. I think the playoffs are fair if it&#39;s close at the top. If a team is 15 points ahead by the final week, they would be anoyed if they didn&#39;t win the play-off. But then if they didn&#39;t, would the league be a fair reflection of the teams. In the last few years, the league in the GP has been very close. Last year Glos and Tigers were tied on points. Tigers had 1 point deducted for admin error and both sides (i think certainly tigers in the final weeks) had put out weakened teams to keep the first XV fresh for play-offs. Add all that to the number of games during international windows (including what would have been the title decider last seasn at Kingsholm) and it leaves you with a league that doesn&#39;t reflect which club is actually the best. At the end of the season, the best team in the GP has won it. last season Tigers were better than Glos. the seasons before Wasps (and it pains me to say it) were the best. they targetted their wins and made sure their 1st 22 was geared up to win the crunch matches. Each time at the end of the season their 1st 22 was the best in England.



In an ideal world the league would reflect the order of clubs, but currently in the GP it doesn&#39;t, although it may reward strength in depth. I&#39;ll let you decide whether you think the Magners table reflects truly which club is top.

shazbooger
22-01-08, 10:11 AM
Nahhh I kinda agree with all of you.
There are problems as Prestwick pointed out. Your performance in this years competition should have an impact on the competitions your play in next year. As it is, all Ulster, Leinster and Munster have to do is finish above Connaught and they qualify for the HEC.
You could just award HEC places to the top 8 teams in the league (kinda daft with only a ten team league though), or maybe guarantee a better seeding depending on where you finish. I dont think there is an easy solution to this. All Magners league needs a few more teasm to give them the flexibilty and possible drawing power, but while we all struggle to stay in the black, the HEC and international games will remain the priority. Thats where the real money is.
The idea of a playoff at the end of the season is a little repulsive to me. You win the league based on your performances over the season, not a last ditch run of form. Just my two cents.

stormmaster1
22-01-08, 10:30 AM
Nahhh I kinda agree with all of you.
There are problems as Prestwick pointed out. Your performance in this years competition should have an impact on the competitions your play in next year. As it is, all Ulster, Leinster and Munster have to do is finish above Connaught and they qualify for the HEC.
You could just award HEC places to the top 8 teams in the league (kinda daft with only a ten team league though), or maybe guarantee a better seeding depending on where you finish. I dont think there is an easy solution to this. All Magners league needs a few more teasm to give them the flexibilty and possible drawing power, but while we all struggle to stay in the black, the HEC and international games will remain the priority. Thats where the real money is.
The idea of a playoff at the end of the season is a little repulsive to me. You win the league based on your performances over the season, not a last ditch run of form. Just my two cents. [/b]



That&#39;s most people&#39;s view of the play-offs. I thought that initially, but i&#39;ve seen the excitement of play-offs elsewhere and i honestly beleive it is slowly working well in the GP. My biggest problem with the league is that i don&#39;t thnk that by the end of the season it is a true reflection of the teams, like it should be.



The idea of linking seeding to ML placing sounds good to me .

ecks tartan army
22-01-08, 03:43 PM
play-off&#39;s in a seaon like lasts (when 3 teams could still win going into the final weekend) would work - but the problem is it isnt always that close. Take the Scottish prem 1 this season, Bourughmuir have only lost 1 game all season (and have already clinched the title) but if we had a play off they could loose form over the remainder of the season (no need to win) and could easilly fall victim to a huingry team in the play-off&#39;s.

I believe the team with the most points at the end of the season should lift the title. But would it be possible to bring back the Celtic League Cup? perhaps with the top 4 playing &#39;play-off&#39;s&#39; but for the Cup instead? (with the final alternating between Millenium, Lansdowne Road and Murrayfield)

or possibly increase numbers to 8 but have the top 4 seded as home teams (ie. the higher you are the easier your QF will be) Would mean teams well out of the League (like Ulster, Dragons, Ospreys, Glasgow ect this season) still have something to play for the rest of the season. (and would mean a day where supporters of all teams could meet up and enjoy a few beers in the sun - or rain when its held in edinburgh)

redunderthebed
23-01-08, 06:19 AM
<div class='quotemain'> Magners league is good i enjoy it throughly but it needs a bit of improvement. It needs a playoff system make it a top 4 where 1 vs 2 3 vs 4 play each other.Have a league cup competition that plays during the midweek.Also if they are going to have more than 4 spots for the HEC make it a play off for them, from 5 to 8th this could give lower teams like connacht a go at making the HEC and those who couldnt make it go into the challenge cup.



You could still reward the team that finishes top at the end of the season with a trophy after all its still a great achievement to do so.



Dont knock playoffs/finals they are great in Australia accross all codes (even in football) they have them.

[/b]



Rewarding the league would undermine the play-offs.

[/b][/quote]

No no it wont ill repeat it again.

Finish top of the league you get a trophy call it a minor premiers or whatever the fark they want to call it.

They could make it a top 6 with the top two teams getting a week off through to the second week (qualifying-final preliminary final and then the big one GF).Or if they want it short a top 4 but i think with the benefit of hindsight the top 6 would be better.

It undermines nothing.

stormmaster1
23-01-08, 02:02 PM
Finish top of the league you get a trophy call it a minor premiers or whatever the fark they want to call it.

They could make it a top 6 with the top two teams getting a week off through to the second week (qualifying-final preliminary final and then the big one GF).Or if they want it short a top 4 but i think with the benefit of hindsight the top 6 would be better.

It undermines nothing.
[/b]



When the then zurich premiership started the play-offs, they were viewed as a second rate trophy. Fans didn&#39;t like them, teams didn&#39;t respect them but the clubs still wanted the cash. Only once the league winners stopped getting a trophy did the play-offs start to mean anything. a league trophy could be given eventually, but right now it would simply be viewed as the real prize and breed distrust and dislike of the play-offs as happened in England.

thrustfulemu
25-01-08, 09:09 PM
Yeah I reckon if there was a bit more incentive for team in this league we would see some really good teams deveopling and maybe some better players entering the league I know here in that ulster take it very seriously

Nat
07-02-08, 08:42 AM
From what I have seen the ML is of a good standard. Irish and Welsh teams in this league give a good account of themselves. Thanks to Sententa being in AUS now I can get a look of the Northern teams and I rate them rather highly, infact the standard of refs is a way ahead of the S14. I would like to see the Champions of the HEC and the Champions of the S14 face off in a World Club Cup like they have in league. I would be a great money spinner and bragging rights would be great motivation for the teams!

sionlikesmusic
06-08-08, 11:24 PM
honestly, i would say that the ML isn&#39;t taken seriously but i think there&#39;s a number of reasons why.

from a general point of view, there are hardly any teams that consistently put out their first XV which obviously makes it harder for consistency overall. and it&#39;s hard for the fans as well as the players. when you see your team beat stade francais convincingly and then slump to a 6 - 3 win over the dragons, or whatever it was, then you lose heart because you wonder what the hell is going on. and let&#39;s be honest, no-one would want to watch a leauge that throws up the most inconsistent results going.

from a welshman&#39;s point of view, the welsh regions aren&#39;t living up to the standards that have been set (in particular, this year) by the national team. the fact that the majority of the welsh team that won the grand slam came from the ospreys, and then what was more or less the same team lost to the saracens in a game that they could&#39;ve (and maybe should&#39;ve) won is beyond belief. granted, there are teams like the dragons who don&#39;t have the same funding or resources as other regions, but if that is such a factor, then why do we see the better off teams like the scarlets, the blues and the ospreys still put on appaling displays of rugby?

personally, at this moment in time, i don&#39;t think the ML can be taken seriously because i don&#39;t think the teams that are involved in it take it as seriously i.e. the classic situation with munster not fielding their first team hardly ever. and until that changes, i can&#39;t see this image of it being a second rate competition changing.

however, another point i&#39;d like to make is the refereeing. i know it&#39;s easy to point the finger, but honestly, the reffing can be as bad, if not worse, than the games themselves, and on occasions, i&#39;ve felt that the reffing has had some effect on the nature of the games. what is embarrassing and humbling is that there are people who will defend the ML to the death when it&#39;s compared to it&#39;s english counterpart, but when an RFU ref came and took a game in cardiff, it was one of the best displays of reffing the ML has ever seen. what kind of an impression does that give?

rant over.

Prestwick
07-08-08, 12:02 AM
The fact that the majority of the welsh team that won the grand slam came from the ospreys, and then what was more or less the same team lost to the saracens in a game that they could&#39;ve (and maybe should&#39;ve) won is beyond belief. [/b]

Oh boo hoo, Saracens came out all guns blazing during that legendary HEC QF and the Ospreys couldn&#39;t handle the pressure. Thats what happened. Saracens showed class and anyway, its hard to beat a team that had a living God playing for them at the time...

Sir Speedy
07-08-08, 12:10 AM
hard to beat a team that had a living God playing for them at the time...
[/b]
Andy Farrell?

Prestwick
07-08-08, 04:08 AM
Nope, the Game!

http://www.brunel.ac.uk/7670/hongrads_2002/hill.jpg

Thingimubob
07-08-08, 11:43 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
The fact that the majority of the welsh team that won the grand slam came from the ospreys, and then what was more or less the same team lost to the saracens in a game that they could&#39;ve (and maybe should&#39;ve) won is beyond belief. [/b]

Oh boo hoo, Saracens came out all guns blazing during that legendary HEC QF and the Ospreys couldn&#39;t handle the pressure. Thats what happened. Saracens showed class and anyway, its hard to beat a team that had a living God playing for them at the time...
[/b][/quote]

Yeah they should&#39;ve won that one, doesn&#39;t make much sense if they can go from hammereing them 30 - 3 in the Millenium Stadium one week, then lose 19 - 9 a couple of weeks later in Watford. I mean I&#39;m a Blues fan, so I like the Ospreys (I like to see them all do well), but not really a massive fan, so it&#39;s not as if I&#39;m jelous of the Sarries for beating them or anything like that. Just honestly see it as a first rate cock up by the Ospreys - not trying to take anything away from the Sarries though.

crispy
25-08-08, 03:07 AM
You know, I&#39;ve always scoffed at people who say the ML isn&#39;t a serious competition but thinking about it now, I look at it as a vehicle for player development for the Scotland national side rather than a competition that needs to be won at all costs. That isn&#39;t to say I don&#39;t want Edinburgh to win it, but I&#39;d much rather they use extra Scottish players than bring in foreign players who might improve our chances of winning. I&#39;m even happy to see Glasgow do well (except when they beat us of course :P). Rugby in Scotland is in such a fragile state right now I&#39;m just happy that we have any pro teams.

I&#39;m optimistic about the future though, I think Edinburgh have a good chance to make an impact and finish better than fourth this year and over the next few seasons. There&#39;s depth in alot of positions now, and it&#39;s mostly Scottish talent, so it looks good for the national side too. Glasgow also have improved alot and hopefully can push on and start challenging for the upper echelons. Maybe once Scottish rugby recovers such that the SRU can fund another region I&#39;ll be more partisan with respect to Edinburgh&#39;s fortunes. :)