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[2018/19 Heineken Cup] Round : Pool (12&13/10/2018)

The Alpha Bro

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Modern club rugby is high key a squad sport. Criticising the Pro 14 teams for developing squads so they can rotate is silly. It doesn't happen on here all too often unless provoked like in this thread but elsewhere it does and that creeps in here when given the opportunity, e.g Andy Goode's "No one cares 14" was used in this thread, he promotes that cliche as do the eggchasers and its dumb, especially when you look at the rotation in the Top 14 which is never really called out and how much winning the tournament means to fans, Munster would kill for a Pro 14 title right now. The Pro 14 is probably at least equally as popular as the Gallagher relative to the populations and popularity of the sport in the regions playing in it.

I did enjoy it last year when the premiership sides went even worse than this year with Sarries again the only quarter finalists, except 8th on the log, but I only enjoyed that because of the novelty of it and the stark contrast between that and what had happened two years previously when the knockouts were Anglo-French and the English media enjoyed sticking the knife in to the pro 14 then. This year I don't care, it doesn't matter that much because I don't see any other side worrying the top three in the log and they're all in different leagues.

The premiership is trying to copy its football equivalent in England and play the best available players week after week after week. It doesn't work, it never will and the sooner they realise the better it'll be for the league and their clubs. The pro 14 teams all realise that a fresh second choice is more effective than a wrecked starter and that's where the advantage is gained, all the other stuff argued in this thread is a byproduct of this. Any team with ambitions to play knockout rugby in Europe should have a squad that can finish ahead of Worcester, Bristol, Newcastle, Saints and a few of the other clubs who are in transition or in a rut or whatever else. You only have to look at the Pro 14 conferences to realise the 5 quarter finalists are contesting on both fronts, Leinster, Munster and the two Scottish sides occupy the top 4 while Ulster are currently out of the European places but only two points away from second in their conference having started the season nothing short of tragically.
 
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It should also be noted that Leinster used 34 different players in the Champions Cup pool stage this season. It appears resting front liners in Europe applies just as much as it does in the league. Perhaps rotation is the smart thing to do so players aren't knackered at the end of the season. Who knew?
 

munstermuffin

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It should also be noted that Leinster used 34 different players in the Champions Cup pool stage this season. It appears resting front liners in Europe applies just as much as it does in the league. Perhaps rotation is the smart thing to do so players aren't knackered at the end of the season. Who knew?
And from Munster POV we have lads like Fineen who would have filled in for POM Saturday and played against Leinster who are blooded in the right way through top games. Same can be said for way Leinster treated their 10 issue over the Christmas. Frawley played full game vs Leinster because they knew Sexton was unlikely to make Europe and made sure even their 3rd choice was exposed a small bit.

Thr fact is that if it is planned right it is effective and as Alpha said a 70% starter is not as effective as a 100% backup.

This is boosted by all our scientific monitoring which I'm sure the IRFU and provinces aren't the only 1s who adopt that monitoring
 
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