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An end to the Powergen cup?

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DonBilly

Guest
TIME TO PULL THE PLUG ON CUP

By Duncan Bech, PA Sport

Anyone serious about relieving the burden on over-worked players need only look to the Powergen Cup for inspiration on where to wield the axe.

Player burn-out is an issue which needs urgent attention and has several possible solutions, none more compelling than scrapping a cup competition which is struggling to find an identity in the modern game.

It has been left behind by the rise of the Heineken Cup where the cream of Europe battle out some ferocious contests, played in fantastic settings and before noisy crowds.

A day out at Twickenham used to be a special occasion but it has been devalued by the Guinness Premiership final's yearly appearance at HQ, further eroding a major selling point of the knockout cup.

Lawrence Dallaglio, who led Wasps to victory over Llanelli in last Sunday's final, this week gave an indication of just how far the prestige of the competition has sunk.

In a damning indictment from the winning captain, he said: "Although we won, it did feel a little bit of an anti-climax with a strange atmosphere."

Efforts have been made to give the Powergen Cup more appeal by handing the winners automatic entry into the Heineken Cup and this remains a strong selling point.

But the tournament needed another shot in the arm and that was provided this season when England's 12 Premiership clubs were joined by all four Welsh regions.

While attendance and viewing figures have been encouraging for the new format, the Powergen Cup remains the smallest draw and is the obvious choice to be removed.

Clubs will lament the revenues lost by its demise, and justifiably so given they receive £250,000 for taking part with a prize fund of up to £200,000 available for the semi-finalists.

Llanelli underlined the importance of the competition by stating the money they receive will fund their academy.

But the greater good of the game, and the welfare of those playing it, must surely come before Llanelli's academy.

Players are being flogged by a conveyor belt of matches which decrease their shelf-life, affects their form and places them at risk of serious injury.

With the collisions growing in intensity every season, the demands on players are becoming too high. Something must give as the human body is only designed to take so much punishment.

Axing the Powergen Cup would take four weekends out of the season, a month which could be dedicated to extending the players' summer R&R - giving them the down time they desperately need.

Withdrawing the fixtures would allow the regular season to start a month later in October, the most sensible way of shortening the campaign.

There are ways the shortfall in revenue could be addressed, boosting funds for both tiers of European competition.

Reports suggest the Heineken Cup is failing to maximise its earning potential by a substantial amount, while the Challenge Cup has been without a sponsor for two years.

Another possibility is to raise ticket prices. With Wasps regularly selling out their 10,000 capacity Causeway Stadium in the Premiership, it would take less than a £3 increase in the cost of a home ticket to make up the lost £250,000.

Price hikes are never popular with supporters but if the reasons behind the increases are clearly explained, fans may be willing to accept them.

Signing the Powergen Cup's death warrant would appear an obvious answer to player burn-out but with broadcaster BBC having signed up for another three years, it unfortunately looks here to stay.

::::::::::::::::

News that Andy Farrell's season is a write-off is a further evidence his cross code switch has been one of the Rugby Football Union's most ill-conceived ideas yet.

Farrell has yet to play for Saracens since moving from Wigan rugby league club 12 months ago, and his hopes of appearing at the World Cup are in tatters.

The 30-year-old arrived in union having just recovered from a serious knee injury and it would take a miracle for him to build sufficiently on his token union experience to feature in England's Webb Ellis trophy defence.[/b]
 
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gjohn85

Guest
Its silverware up for grabs for f**k sake. I can't believe that they want to scrap this tournament. I like this cup, ok It's not as exciting as the Heineken cup, but no one is sure who can win the tournament. I thought that if a big British team goes out in the Heinekin cup, & they won't win anything (i.e in the league, be it the Guiness Premier league or the celtic league) they would go to win the the powergen cup to get some silverware.
 
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PeeJay

Guest
Rugby needs to follow football's lead (blasphemy, I know :p ) and start playing some games on a Wednesday.
 
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Bullitt

Guest
The ring fenced PG cup is shite and is nothing more than a honey pot for the RFU and WRU.

When you consider the old format was identical to the FA Cup, which is the best format of any tournament, they converted it to the poxy 4 groups and a semi final. Where are the huge upsets? When are we going to see London Welsh beat London Irish? When will Bedfor turn over Leicester?

Never.

It's a crappy tournament which everyone except the Welsh fans tend to agree with, only because they now have a 'major' domestic tournament to compete in.
 
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Black-Monday

Guest
What I get from this is that the welsh don't find the CL competitive enough, otherwise why not let the others in. So they go for this while gaining money.

This game is an industry and they are in it to make money, so don't pay out.

BM
 
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el_tk

Guest
It was a stupid idea to take away the history of the old cup- and the ability for lower league teams to cause upsets just to cash in in the short run. Shame on the RFU and WRU for creating the <insert sponsor here> Cup.
 
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Bullitt

Guest
Originally posted by Cymro@Apr 13 2006, 09:11 PM
I like the suggestion using the Powergen Cup as a FA cup tpye of Cup
Errrm... Hello?

That's what they stopped to make the poxy thing they have now.
 
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PeeJay

Guest
Maybe they should go back to that but give the four welsh sides a bye into the round of 32 or something?
 
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Bullitt

Guest
Originally posted by PeeJay@Apr 13 2006, 10:01 PM
Maybe they should go back to that but give the four welsh sides a bye into the round of 32 or something?
Ahem, round of 32?

1 Sale
2 Wasps
3 London Irish
4 Leicester
5 Gloucester
6 Northampton
7 Saracens
8 Bristol
9 Worcester
10 Bath
11 Newcastle
12 Leeds
13 Harlequins
14 Bedford
15 Cornish Pirates
16 Earth Titans
17 Plymouth Albion
18 Exeter
19 Nottingham
20 Coventry
21 Otley
22 Doncaster
23 London Welsh
24 Newbury
25 Sedgley Park
26 Pertemps Bees
27 Moseley
28 Waterloo
29 Esher
30 Launceston
31 Wharfedale
32 Barking
33 Manchester
34 Redruth
35 Halifax
36 Blackheath
37 Stourbridge
38 Henley
39 Harrogate
40 Orrell

Plus, why should the Welsh sides get an advantage in an English cup?
 
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el_tk

Guest
Originally posted by Teh Mite@Apr 13 2006, 11:07 PM
Plus, why should the Welsh sides get an advantage in an English cup?
Why should they be there in the first place? Kick them back to the Principality.
 
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Black-Monday

Guest
Never realised manchester rugby played in the old tier, now i feel very annoyed at the new system.... grrr

BM
 
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PeeJay

Guest
Originally posted by Teh Mite+Apr 14 2006, 10:07 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-PeeJay
@Apr 13 2006, 10:01 PM
Maybe they should go back to that but give the four welsh sides a bye into the round of 32 or something?
Ahem, round of 32?

1 Sale
2 Wasps
3 London Irish
4 Leicester
5 Gloucester
6 Northampton
7 Saracens
8 Bristol
9 Worcester
10 Bath
11 Newcastle
12 Leeds
13 Harlequins
14 Bedford
15 Cornish Pirates
16 Earth Titans
17 Plymouth Albion
18 Exeter
19 Nottingham
20 Coventry
21 Otley
22 Doncaster
23 London Welsh
24 Newbury
25 Sedgley Park
26 Pertemps Bees
27 Moseley
28 Waterloo
29 Esher
30 Launceston
31 Wharfedale
32 Barking
33 Manchester
34 Redruth
35 Halifax
36 Blackheath
37 Stourbridge
38 Henley
39 Harrogate
40 Orrell

Plus, why should the Welsh sides get an advantage in an English cup? [/b]
OK, the round of 16 then, whatever works :)
 
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Canadian_Rugby_Guy

Guest
As much as more games means more entertainment for fans, it's true that it takes out of the player's energy. If you wanted to keep the Powergen Cup, put new teams into it or something, maybe make it National League two teams and Welsh (can't remember what their 2nd level pro comp is calld). OR maybe for the academies to have some fun so that clubs still get the money but suddenly market the budding talent of Wales and England. The NCAA works fine in the US, even though there are still the other top notch pro leagues. But guys who play in the GP and HCup and other tourneys have enough to chew on.
 
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harrison2468

Guest
It would only mean a minimum one game though for the clubs if reverted back to a knock-out comp, rather than the three they have to play before anything happens. By going back to the old format it would help reduce the number of games anyway for most clubs.
 
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Boy

Guest
Rugby can't possibly follow football's lead and have regular midweek games. The physical demands of rugby simply wouldn't allow it without a drastic increase in the salary cap and wage size.

To be honest, I think most people would rather the cup was scrapped rather than have the Anglo-Welsh tournament. If they got rid of the cup it would promote the end of season play-offs, which still haven't caught the imagination. Of course, they should then recognise the No.1 placed team, like the Minor Premiership title in NRL or regular season champions in Super League.

Keep the Powergen Trophy for Division 1 and below, by all means, but I don't think the Premiership needs it, especially if every club is involved in one of the European competitions.
 
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Cymro

Guest
Originally posted by el_tk+Apr 13 2006, 11:16 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Teh Mite
@Apr 13 2006, 11:07 PM
Plus, why should the Welsh sides get an advantage in an English cup?
Why should they be there in the first place? Kick them back to the Principality. [/b]
Bit of a harsh comment. Wales is not a principality and has not been since 1232 so there.

But I think Wales should be included in that. It would be good and quite funny watching a team like London Welsh beating Newport Dragons or Bath for example.

But again their are of course the dwonside. The physical demand of players
 
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el_tk

Guest
Originally posted by Cymro@Apr 14 2006, 12:39 PM
Bit of a harsh comment. Wales is not a principality and has not been since 1232 so there.

Whatever. It's not a real country though.
 
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SaintsFan_Webby

Guest
Go back to the old format or scrap it.

This year's competition was an embarassment, no upsets, no energy, no interest.
 

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