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Champions Cup (The Heino) 20/21 - Semi Finals

Akker Van Der Tigs

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But that is not the Pro14 fault as players play very little in that? And also play in interpros so it a bit lessened again. Maybe Leinster are just not the top top team but in that 2-4 spot.
It happens clubs. Munster in early 00s is probably a similarity. Very good but not the best

Couldn’t you argue that’s part of the problem though?
 

big ginger 8

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After hearing the hype about the Ulster pack v Tigers I thought the same thing re pro 14.

There was hype about the Ulster pack? They’ve a decent maul but their lack of carriers in the pack is consistently cited as their biggest issue.
 

Akker Van Der Tigs

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There was hype about the Ulster pack? They’ve a decent maul but their lack of carriers in the pack is consistently cited as their biggest issue.

TBF that was prob media hyping up a game I guess, but heard alot about the best scrum in the league or something
 

big ginger 8

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TBF that was prob media hyping up a game I guess, but heard alot about the best scrum in the league or something

Oh that’s just the scrum retention stat. Don’t know my commentators even mention it it’s not a measure of dominance. Pro14 level packs definitely benefited Ulster but anyone who watches their games wouldn’t say their scrum is a weapon. Michael Bent absolutely destroyed it in their last game against Leinster.
 

The Alpha Bro

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After hearing the hype about the Ulster pack v Tigers I thought the same thing re pro 14.
Yeah, back when we won 3 in 4 Heinos we couldn't win the pro14, rotation isn't a problem in the league but quality of the top teams is.
 

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TBF that was prob media hyping up a game I guess, but heard alot about the best scrum in the league or something
Yeah I wouldn't hype Ulsters pack at all. Objectively worse than Munster and Leinsters at least. They produce nice backs, but have had to make a lot of value signings in their pack. They're all decent players, but famously underpowered and blunt without Coetzee, who they will really struggle to emulate next season unless Nakarawa can step into his shoes in a big way which he hasn't looked like doing based in his Glasgow form. They were Connachtesque v Leicester completely underperforming in a winnable game.

RE the Pro 14 it's definitely a very poor competition right now outside of the Irish teams, because we can pretty comfortably hockey most teams with our second strings. Teams like Glasgow, Scarlets and Edinburgh have all fallen off really disappointingly this year. That said do Leinsters guys really lack top level competition? Huge number of their team are regular internationals. I think they just had a big off day and struggle with teams like La Rochelle and Sarries that have extremely dominant carriers across the park and great continuity. While the Saffers will be a welcome addition with how many internationals they lose Leinster will always heavily manage players and pick and choose games and probably be pretty successful doing it tbh. You won't get any argument from me that the Pro 14 was a really poor product this year and our teams **** the bed in Europe a bit.
 

The Alpha Bro

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But that is not the Pro14 fault as players play very little in that? And also play in interpros so it a bit lessened again. Maybe Leinster are just not the top top team but in that 2-4 spot.
It happens clubs. Munster in early 00s is probably a similarity. Very good but not the best
I think it's a bit different to Munster in the 00s, we look soft when we lose and it's hard to prepare for when it happens twice a year max. La Rochelle had their tactics perfect today but still relied on us not taking chances and getting frustrated incredibly easily.

Ultimately we can't blame the pro14 but I don't think the league is condusive to continental success at all right now. Every team in the knockouts didn't fire a shot in the game they lost.
 

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At the end of the day there has to be a winner and a loser, Leinster more often than not the winner that maybe part of the problem if you generally win in Cruz control it has to be hard when met with genuine competition, doesn’t say a lot for the prem when Exe bar the first quarter were pretty much dominated, generally they dominate the premiership and comfortably the best there. It did feel almost like Leinster thought turn up and there would be the win, with a record like theirs you couldn’t blame them if that were in part true. LAR did play very well though, very good at the breakdown.
 

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Tbh the all French games have been real let downs. Dread to think what watching the Top 14 must be like each week.
Wonder how we get 3 semi-finalists and 3 finalists with Montpellier
 

munstermuffin

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I think it's a bit different to Munster in the 00s, we look soft when we lose and it's hard to prepare for when it happens twice a year max. La Rochelle had their tactics perfect today but still relied on us not taking chances and getting frustrated incredibly easily.

Ultimately we can't blame the pro14 but I don't think the league is condusive to continental success at all right now. Every team in the knockouts didn't fire a shot in the game they lost.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying Pro14 is fine or anything but a large part of reason is IRFU welfare is poor. Like if Leinster wanted to be tested last week they couldvrfielded a slightly stronger team vs Munster and only played 50mins or something.

I think Leinster issues were alot deeper than Pro14
 

Jakedood

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After hearing the hype about the Ulster pack v Tigers I thought the same thing re pro 14.
Nah Ulster pack I was lolling at the hype. Our backline is wild talented, but up front, our props are workhorses but not necessarily great scrummagers, Henderson is pure class, but other than that no real top ball carriers since Coetzee left. He's been a big loss for us, and a lot of the idea of the Ulster pack was based on how strong he was in the carry
 

Umaga's Witness

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Both teams looked good at times.

was a bit stop start but overall relatively entertaining for a neutral

but why do Leinster not want to tackle Skelton?

lowes card came at a critical time, Leinster spent the next ten minutes playing no cards, eventually having a try scored against them for ten points while Lowe was off, and there just wasn’t enough time left to get back into the game.

Kerr Barlow is still frustrating to watch, still has a nice pass but still takes his time before delivering it.
 

munstermuffin

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Both teams looked good at times.

was a bit stop start but overall relatively entertaining for a neutral

but why do Leinster not want to tackle Skelton?

lowes card came at a critical time, Leinster spent the next ten minutes playing no cards, eventually having a try scored against them for ten points while Lowe was off, and there just wasn’t enough time left to get back into the game.

Kerr Barlow is still frustrating to watch, still has a nice pass but still takes his time before delivering it.
I'd happily be first to slate Leinster and Lowe when they cost games.
Yesterday though hard to fault them like when Skelton is on the mood very few deal with him. Leinster didn't really fail here more he was unplayable. Those days happen.

On Lowe the yellow looking back was correct and harsh. He was just the unlucky straw that broke the camels back. But I think playing for Ireland has been Lowes downfall. Like as a Munster man I can say we always feared him. But now he's who we want to see as well I think his confidence has been hit but also lads in Irish camp have figured him out and well hard to put finger on it. He just seems to have suffered a bit from Ireland. Wouldn't say he isn't international class more I don't know. Leinster just lacked dog in front 5. Fardy may have been better to bring on earlier than Ryan B yesterday but hindsight is great thing
 

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I’ve really enjoyed watching the French. Good variety of performances. Obviously well deserved.

The Ospreys revolution is coming next season though.
 

Umaga's Witness

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I'd happily be first to slate Leinster and Lowe when they cost games.
Yesterday though hard to fault them like when Skelton is on the mood very few deal with him. Leinster didn't really fail here more he was unplayable. Those days happen.

On Lowe the yellow looking back was correct and harsh. He was just the unlucky straw that broke the camels back. But I think playing for Ireland has been Lowes downfall. Like as a Munster man I can say we always feared him. But now he's who we want to see as well I think his confidence has been hit but also lads in Irish camp have figured him out and well hard to put finger on it. He just seems to have suffered a bit from Ireland. Wouldn't say he isn't international class more I don't know. Leinster just lacked dog in front 5. Fardy may have been better to bring on earlier than Ryan B yesterday but hindsight is great thing
Possibly Skelton is a lot better than he was before he moved north. He certainly has lost a lot of weight. Pity for australia that there’s no way they can match French or saracens money.
 

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I’ve really enjoyed watching the French. Good variety of performances. Obviously well deserved.
yeah 2 different semis, tensed affairs. The final is going to be unbearable. Parental Guidance advised. Hopefully the Lions will be on by then.
 
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Curls

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Last week I met up with some friends for a chinwag about the Leinster game and I was the only one that worried our medium rare grilling was going to be an issue.
In a way its not surprising how the game panned out. Opening period Leinster choked the life out of LAR like they do everyone else but when LAR turned it up a bit the boys looked a bit perplexed by it. This was not the Leinster of old that went to the well in '11 to overcome Northampton or the barnstorming juggernaut that has contested 10/12 of the last Celtic finals and won 4 in a row. They looked to have had their rudder shot out a bit.

Reason IMHO? They're varied...

1) The P14: Its a joke. Its so much of a joke that Leinster win games with a 3rd or 4th string. Its so much of a joke that many teams playing Leinster put out a 2nd string because there's no point risking the 1st fitness in a 6 try BP defeat. In the 6N people pointed out that the likes of Farrell and Itoje were undercooked due to a lack of top rugby and Leinster for me at the weekend were much the same.
The solution? Well there is no solution really. Bring in the SA 4 maybe? They could spice up the competition and add some challenge to the likes of Leinster and Munster who are cruising around the P14 but I dont think its a long term solution. Joining the GP or T14 would hardly be allowed by the IRFU because of the possible relegation jeopardy that exists and the risk of "ghettoising" one or more provinces.
Ultimately the P14 is an issue that will not be resolved easily as the gulf between the haves and have nots is widening and week to week competition is non existent.

2) Nationalisation of the laws: I watched the game with a few friends, some of who are relatively high level referees. One thing that came up throughout was the fact Referee Carley was giving LAR a lot of soft penalties and seemed to be a lot stricter on Leinster when it came to the breakdown. Of course he was not out to get Leinster but it highlights how the game and its interpretation now vary widely between unions. In the P14 if you go hands past the ball and back on to jackel you're told to leave it or penalised, but in the GP and T14 referees allow more leeway on this. LAR exploited this well as they were smart in how they targeted the ball at the breakdown. First man arriving to the breakdown for LAR in attack was engaging the first Leinster player but rolling off feet to seal. On Leinster attacking rucks the first LAR man in was doing the old matador routine and stepping away so the arriving Leinster player went off feet. Ringrose got done by one of those in a promising Leinster attack. In defence when there was a jackel on LAR defenders we going hands past the ball and waiting for the clean out to push them back on. Just after the LAR yellow there was a clear example of it that was penalised and I was unsure why a second yellow was not shown. It was subtle though and well coached and classic Gibbs. It took Leinsters platform away.

3) Player Welfare: If you only play a handful of meaningful games a year you learn nothing and are undercooked. Simple as that.

4) The IRFU benevolent Academy fund: Simply put if you develop a talent like Joey Carbury you should have the right to play him when Sexton is injured. It appears probably more so going forward that the fruits of the Leinster Academy will be cherry picked to feed the needy elsewhere. A player like Carbury would have been useful on Sunday and if rumours are to be believed the man himself may agree.

*Bonus Opinion*

Why on Earth would ROG go near the Munster or Ireland job given where he is now? There's a lot of talk of him being the saviour of Munster rugby and yes he is the Messiah down there but given the issues at grassroots in Munster and the supply pipeline problems I can't see him going home any time soon.
 
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