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Heineken Cup knockout rounds should be over two legs

psychic duck

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I am a big fan of the Heineken Cup, but I'm convinced that the knockout round in particular the semi finals should be played over two legs, like in the Champions League in football.

If somebody asked you who would win between for example Clermont and Leinster, you would just say the home team, and European rugby is becoming too predictable in favour of the home team. (Last season the home teams won all the knockout matches, this season just Toulouse won an away tie against Biarritz)

Also home advantage is so strong is European rugby, that the actual pound for pound best team doesn't always win, and I think over two home and away legs the best team would win, fair and square.

I know someone could say, teams earn a home tie, but for the semi finals it is luck, and even for the quarters it comes down to who gets the Italian team/French team who doesn't give a stuff about away games in their group.

I know there is not much room to just add fixtures willy nilly, but surely the likes of the LV Cup could be ditched, or the Top 14 could become 12 teams, surely it would be good to have the best team in Europe crowned champions, not just the team that gets the home tie.
 

munstermuffin

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No it's fine way it is.
No need for extra matches, Teams who get home advantage earn the right and well if we introduced it'd effect competition at group stages.
 
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The four highest seeds get home draws in the quarter final. The same should happen for the semi final. I don't believe there's room in the calender to add a second semi final leg.
 

gingergenius

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No. The way to make it fairer is have neutral semi-finals. You earn your seeding for the Quarters by your performance in the Group stages. However, by the time the semis come around it's quite arbitrary.

If you made it aggregate over 2 legs, 1) That's another match or two in a clogged up calendar, 2) you lose the excitement, 3) HC games are nearly always close. You could easily get the situation where you win your home leg by a point and lose away by 2 points. In rugby terms (unlike goals in football) there's no real difference between those two results, yet you'd still go out.

So for this year, I'd say Leinster vs Toulouse should have been in Cardiff/ London/ Rome/ Edinburgh; Saints vs Perpignan should be in Cardiff/ Rome/ Edinburgh/ Dublin. The final's got to be predetermined anyway, so it's just luck if you make the final when it's being played in your home city.
 

Logorrhea

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Toulouse brought under 4000 to the Aviva, wouldnt be much different if it was in Wales or England. Leinster would probably add another 8000 or so. The stadium would be empty for one of the biggest fixtures in the european calendar. Neutral venues simply wont work.

Neither will 2 legged semis as they change the whole dynamic of the tournament.

Home advantage is part of the semi lineup and it should be random as opposed to constantly rewarding the team with an Italian team in their group.

The HEC is perfect the way it is. Doesnt need tweaking or changing.
 

TRF_Cymro

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Don't fix something that ain't broken.
 

DonBilly

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Well I have no problem with the current format although I would remove the current pools system and have home and away knock out rounds from the beginning, a real cup!
 

munstermuffin

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No it's not broken.
For the away team the beauty of getting an away win is special.
The home team usually battled hard and are deserving of that home advantage and keeps teams on their feet even if qualified because they want a seeding as high as they can get.
And if you take home team out of their home that eliminates their advantage and makes the point of qualifying as high a seed as possible pointless.

The format is perfect as it is and shouldn't be changed
 

psychic duck

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No it's not broken.
For the away team the beauty of getting an away win is special.
The home team usually battled hard and are deserving of that home advantage and keeps teams on their feet even if qualified because they want a seeding as high as they can get.
And if you take home team out of their home that eliminates their advantage and makes the point of qualifying as high a seed as possible pointless.

The format is perfect as it is and shouldn't be changed
no it rewards teams with an easy group who get the home tie

there was no way a team from the group with Toulon/Munster/Ospreys/London Irish could get in the top 4 seeds

and in the semi finals that "earnt" home advantage is just down to luck

In 2009/10, Biarritz were not the second best team in Europe but got lucky with an easier group than the other ones, and then two home ties to get to the final

In 2007/08 London Irish and Saracens were not in the top 4 teams in Europe, and finished 7th and 8th in the Premiership, but both got home ties and got lucky, London Irish in particular had the Dragons and Treviso in their group

You don't get the best teams at the end of the tournament

I'll give you quarter finals can be earnt home advantage (although ideally I think they should be two legs), but the semi finals must be two legs or neutral venues.
 

TRF_Cymro

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So your suggesting adding more games for already a fixture list that is already overcrowded and too big <_< ... there's nothing wrong with the current format, only yourself has an issue with it.

GG suggested neutral venues, which could work but then also has it problems.

Im afraid its just luck of the draw.
 
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munstermuffin

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And well that is same in every sport it's called "the luck of the draw".
Who's to say Munster Toulon etc are big name but play crap and if Dragons or Treviso are said to be poor but play superbly.
That is sport and this is a damn fine competition the way it is producing superb passion so no need to fix something that working perfectly

And semi finals are neutral venues but in a home country
 

Teh Mite

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You don't get the best teams at the end of the tournament

I'll give you quarter finals can be earnt home advantage (although ideally I think they should be two legs), but the semi finals must be two legs or neutral venues.
It's not a popularity contest. If the mandate for who "deserves to be there" based on popular opinion is what floats peoples boat boat, the X-Factor should be on telly again soon.

This is competitive sport we're talking about. There's nothing fair about sport.
 

psychic duck

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there is a lot wrong with the current format

do you think Biarritz were the second best team in Europe last season?

Northampton were obviously going to beat Perpignan at home and the result was far too predictable, but Perpignan would win at Barcelona, with two legs the best team would go through

I think all of you knew there was very little chance of Perpignan winning away

likewise Toulouse (to a lesser extent), that made that semi between two teams with nothing in between them an 11 point margin

with the current system you might as well not play most quarter finals and semi finals and just put the home teams through until the final

there are other matches which could be slashed (LV=Cup, Playoffs etc.)

the semi finals are not neutral venues, there the nearest 20,000 plus ground

how is Perpignan playing in Barcelona "neutral", didn't you see the amount of passionate Catalan support there,

same how is Leinster at Lansdowne Road, Biarritz at San Sebastian, Toulouse at the football stadium in Toulouse etc neutral
 

Teh Mite

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The top seeds in the 1/4s have HOME STADIUM ADVANTAGE in a match ARRANGED BY THE TOP 4 QUALIFYING CLUBS
The LUCK OF THE DRAW in the 1/2s have HOME COUNTRY ADVANTAGE in a match ARRANGED BY THE ERC
The final is pre-determined.

If it doesn't go your way - Well **** happens.

When do you propose these extra fixtures should be played out of interest? If you genuinely believe so much needs to be changed, I'm sure you've developed a complete and comprehensive business plan to back up the slant for debate? Yes?
 

TRF_Cymro

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FML ...

Neutral Venues, you do understand that, do you? Do you even read, or jump on the horse as its riding before sitting down on it? I said I agree with GG view on neutral venue fool. I never said that this years were neutral venues.
 

munstermuffin

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Psychic duck you make no sense. Biarritz made final fairly last season and well you say were they 2nd best team in Europe last season. Probably not and you logic is rubbish. Harlequins beat us in Thomond but by right according to you Munster should be in Amlin final and cup upsets aren't allowed happen.
The format is perfect and if the 2 best teams in Europe don't meet in a final it simply because 1 wasn't good enough along line somewhere and bottled it. But that is sport. If you want a popularity contest watch reality tv and vote as Mite said.
This is rugby 15v15 on a field battling it out on a field. May best team win
 

psychic duck

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Psychic duck you make no sense. Biarritz made final fairly last season and well you say were they 2nd best team in Europe last season. Probably not and you logic is rubbish. Harlequins beat us in Thomond but by right according to you Munster should be in Amlin final and cup upsets aren't allowed happen.
The format is perfect and if the 2 best teams in Europe don't meet in a final it simply because 1 wasn't good enough along line somewhere and bottled it. But that is sport. If you want a popularity contest watch reality tv and vote as Mite said.
This is rugby 15v15 on a field battling it out on a field. May best team win
Harlequins upset Munster at Thomond, fair enough, well played Quins

but Biarritz last year just luckily managed to get a home draw from an easy group and from there they were pretty much in the final

i'm not saying the so called best teams should be there by right, i'm saying 2 legs would be fairer system of determining which the best team is, because home advantage counts for too much normally and it's too predictable

Biarritz beat Munster and Ospreys at home last year, but home advantage gave them about 12 extra points from the start, and Ospreys and Munster would of probably beaten Biarritz to go through over 2 legs, and then two better European teams last season would have progressed

but if Biarritz made an upset and defeated Ospreys or Munster away, fair play to them they are the better team and deserve it

and the Ospreys or Munster would of had their chance at home and lost it, and the best team would go through

just like in the UEFA Champions League

have you seen the Top 14? apart from Bourgoin and La Rochelle, the home team almost always wins, and even a crap team at home could nearly win
 

Teh Mite

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And if my auntie had a cock she'd me my uncle.

All the extra legs in the Champions league means is the same 4-6 teams are always there or there abouts - Namely Barcalona, Man United, Real Madrid, Milan, Chelski and Byern.

Has the HEC ever had a repeat final? I count at least 2 of them in Champions League over the past decade. Same bloody fixtures every time.
 

psychic duck

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And if my auntie had a cock she'd me my uncle.

All the extra legs in the Champions league means is the same 4-6 teams are always there or there abouts - Namely Barcalona, Man United, Real Madrid, Milan, Chelski and Byern.

Has the HEC ever had a repeat final? I count at least 2 of them in Champions League over the past decade. Same bloody fixtures every time.
the difference and which is better between the champions league and H Cup is a different debate
 
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