It's so unfair

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by snoopy snoopy dog dog, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    :rolleyes:

    And so the Heineken Cup has become an exclusive French-Irish affair. 'Tis probably a fair reflection of Europe's current balance of power.

    Indeed, the exit of the Saints and the Ospreys marked the passing of the game in England and Wales - or so you would believe from the obituaries churned out by the Sunday papers and the crowing Irish denizens of cyberspace.

    But is that entirely fair?

    Sure, Welsh and English clubs have under-performed, of that there is no doubt. But are we comparing like for like?

    The cream of Irish rugby is roughly divided between two sides. For Munster and Leinster, read Ireland Probables and Ireland Possibles.

    The Welsh have a more even distribution across the nation's four elite sides. Moreover, there are fewer than 50,000 registered players in Wales. Ireland has over 150,000.

    England's 12-way dilution is tempered by foreign imports, but it is still a factor. Sure, the French are in the same position in terms of sheer numbers, but the lack of a salary cap means that their top five or six sides can happily pepper their benches with seasoned internationals.

    The same cushy deal isolates the same five or six French sides from the threat of relegation, and that's an issue that envelopes all 12 Guinness Premiership clubs during the early stages of the season, and a fear that dicates priorities.

    Conversely, the likes of Munster can sleepwalk through the Magners League and come out smelling like roses.

    Just look at the difference between the Munster that lost to Leinster at Thomond Park on April 2 and the Munster that beat the Saints at Thomond Park on April 10. It verges on the laughable.

    With eyes for just one competition, the only surprise is that they don't win the Heineken Cup every year.

    http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,16016_6087573,00.html
     
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  3. monkeypigeon

    monkeypigeon Senior Member

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    "Just look at the difference between the Munster that lost to Leinster at Thomond Park on April 2 and the Munster that beat the Saints at Thomond Park on April 10. It verges on the laughable.

    With eyes for just one competition, the only surprise is that they don't win the Heineken Cup every year. "

    Seems a fairly stupid comment as far as I'm confirmed. The best team available was picked for the match and they were just outperformed and it was not out of poor conviction.



    But yeah, it's kind of just stating what everyone says anyway. Nothing new.
     
  4. Feicarsinn

    Feicarsinn Super Αdmin

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    Wasn't that much difference between those two Munster sides at all really. Jim Malliner was also having a whinge about this, although the Welsh thing I din't see coming. Bit rich when you consider how many internationals the O's have. Here's a thought: maybe the French and Irish sides are just better?
     
  5. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    I love how Munster (2nd in the ML and defending champions) and Leinster (top of the ML and champs two seasons ago) apparently don't care about that competition! Nor do two time winners and frequent Heineken Cup knockout participants the Ospreys.

    The Magners League is a bloody good tournament.
     
  6. coonor

    coonor Senior Member

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    scotland have their players spread between 2 teams and they don't make it into the quater finals. I think it just a way to try and take the blow of no british sides in the final. If it bothers wales that much they could alway just have 2 teams. besides munster and leinster are our best teams so they usually get our best players same in wales with the ospreys. and with leicster in the past
     
  7. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    The only reasons the Ospreys has 'the talent' is because they have the money to do so. The Holah's, Tiatia's and Collins's are only there for the money. The O's have produced some talent but have pinched a bit also if you believe the stories. To merge Wales into two regions is pretty much one of the (and im going to put it bluntly) most stupid idea's I have heard.
    If Wales want to progress they need to look at spreading the talent. Go back to the Ospreys they have talent, the likes of Gareth Owen, Ben Lewis, Tom Prydie and Kirstian Phillips. Where are these lads going to get a game? The Welsh Prem is not a good enough breeding ground for this, no matter what people tell you about it, its simply not good enough. One way they should have done it, the WRU should have done central contracts when they formed the regions. It would have enabled talent to be spread but also a side like the Dragons could benefit from having other decent Welsh players. But say that would the likes of Tovey and Fussell have come through the ranks? Yet having central contracts would have enabled the WRU to have control of who plays where and also could balance the problem of certain players having more experience but also adding to other sides. This would not mean the likes of the Ospreys losing its talents, it would allow to the WRU to move players on loan to other regions. For instance Gareth Owen, a quality centre/full back, but where does he get game time for the O's? When the international boys are away? Not enough im afarid. Now put him on a central contract and ship him on loan to the likes of the Scarlets and Dragons.
    The second? Reform the Wales 'A' side. Now David Pickering chairman of the WRU has banged on about Wales should have an A team. Yet now he is WRU Chairman he has changed his mind and said the WRU cannot afford it? Yet it can afford to pay its players a vast amount of silly money. Now the figure banded about the cost of running and A-Side is £250,000 a year. But you ask what's this got to do with regions? Well the fact is the WRU formed the 5 Welsh Regions (now 4) to develop players for the Wales team. Now the amount of money is not the point, that money will pay itself back when they start to develop players for the Welsh national side. Yet where are these lads meant to gain experience for Wales and also personal development? Now when you look at the Ospreys players such as Craig Mitchell, Ross Davies, Ben Lewis, Rhys Webb, Ashley Beck, Kristian Phillips, Tom Prydie, Gareth Owen, Jonathan Spratt etc all need somewhere to go. The Welsh 'A' side would not provide all the experience but would provide enough.
    So to conclude, to have two Welsh regions is silly. Wales needs its 4 Welsh regions as there is a demand for it and as long as the clubs can fund themselves along with the help of the WRU long may it continue. Scotland is not Wales and Wales is not Scotland. Wales has the players to run four Welsh regions, it probably could field a fifth. Yet Rugbi Gogledd Cymru (or North Wales Rugby for you not fluent in Welsh) is not good enough and to make London Welsh a fifth regions itself is not a financially good one but also it plies its trade in England, yet if they did go to the GP then the Ospreys sending their players there might be a good idea. All in all 4 Welsh regions are better than 2.
     
  8. Jockstap

    Jockstap Senior Member

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    The number of Irish registered players is misleading, in 2003 the number was 57,000 it's only in the last 7 years that the number has soared to 150,000 players with Ireland's relative success. We won't see dividends of the extra 60,000 players for a few years yet which is when Ireland wll be the dominant force in European rugby. ;)
    here's the link

    http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/rwc2003.htm
     
  9. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    Funny when you look realistically (excluding Stephen Jones) Ospreys and Cardiff made up majority of Welsh team so don't buy into this talk of unfair talk.
    English is over 12 teams yeah but they have a much bigger budget and well have alot more imports.
    The French are the same.

    And as Snoop said it is funny Munster and Leinster "don't care" about the ML yet they are consistently competing for it and up there.
    Yes sometimes they leave players out but majority of time that is because of the IRFU player management scheme which as far as I'm concerned benefits the players massively.
     
  10. dullonien

    dullonien Senior Member

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    As far as the Welsh regions failing to get any further in the Heineken Cup, I think it all comes down to the length of time they've been in existance. The Ospreys will make it past the quarters (well they should have already, twice!) in time. Other clubs took their time to progress in the tournament. From a Welsh perspective, Ireland don't particularily have far superior players, but Munster and Leinster have learn't how to win over the years, something the Blues and Ospreys haven't mastered yet in the biggest games.

    It's certainly frustrating from a Welsh perspective, but one of the teams (maybe even the Scarlets or Dragons with their quality youngsters) will eventually cross the hurdle and win the HC. I'll still back the Ospreys to reach the semi's/final next year again, as they obviously have the talent and players.
     
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