Magners League..is it taken seriously?

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro12' started by KeardiffBlues, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. leinster sem the only irish team interested in this, and ulster at times but munster never field stringer and ogara and o'callahan and pretty much all of their first xv if all clubs took it seriously and marketing was right does anyone think the quality is there to challange the top 14 or the guiness?
     
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  3. Buceph

    Buceph Guest

    The quality is there in the first 22s of the teams, but with the emphasis being place on the Irish national team it's not going to happen for another few years. The players just can't play at the level needed.

    Wales will always be a strong rugby nation, no matter what happens. But Ireland needs to utilise the success we're having at the moment and make sure there are more and more people coming into the sport. It's been a long process since turning professional and it's going to take another few years, but it will happen. With the BOD D4 fanclubs and trendiness helping, and the Munster passion we'll see more and more coming from it, if the League can hold out for another five or so years.
     
  4. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Would everyone agree that it would be taken more seriously if there was actually something serious to play for like HEC places linked to specific groups or a big Magners Trophy playoff rather than just having a dead simple league?

    I mean, at the moment, there isn't really anything to worry about missing out on, you're guaranteed to stay in the same league and entry to either the HEC or the ECC with the money that comes with it. It would be much more exciting if the top four teams had a best out of three playoff or something in the latter stages of the competition for a trophy.
     
  5. Certainly here in the UK it was a big debate whether quality-wise the Magners League had left the Guinness Premiership trailing. The Heineken Cup group stages seemed to back up that but the English teams rallied round well so perhaps they are even now.

    Mite has been saying for a while that the HEC places should be decided on league position...that'd mean the entire league would really be playing for something.
     
  6. Marco Polo

    Marco Polo Guest



    In terms of quality the top teams in the ML and the GP are of very similar quality.Although the lesser teams in the GP would be better than the ML equivelant. The problem for the ML is a lack of credibility due to weakened teams because of international call ups. Also as most teams are out of the running by the half way point of the season and are assured of HEC qualification the intensity levels can be lacking in many games towards the end of the season. I would like to see the introduction of a playoff system to ensure more teams have something to play for as the season progresses.



    However on the positive side attendances were up last year and sides do seem to be building up more strength in depth in their squads which shoould ensure better standards even when international players are unavailable.
     
  7. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    I dont agree with end-of year playoff's. You've either won the league by being the best team over the year or not.
    I do think the HEC places should be up for grabs, but there is no incentive for the unions to agree to it so it wont happen as long as the ML continues to tick over.
     
  8. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    The IRFU want a system in place where the elite panel of players are only playing 24 matches per season so if that is to continue, and in the interest of the national team it's proven to be a success, then we're going to continue to see the reserve players in ML action. Munster seem to take this to the extreme though and are happy to do just enough to finish ahead of Connacht, thus ensuring HEC qualification.

    Yes we do have a system of qualification for the HEC. It'll be interesting to see whether the Scots will lose their second HEC spot after the Borders went out of business cause the ERC seem quite keen on having at least 1 team from each country in the Challenge Cup.

    As for teams not having something to play for throughout the season well that's not true, with the playoff spot up for grabs against the Italian third placed side there's alwats the incentive to go for that or avoid it completely by pushing for one of the automatic spots.

    Regarding the quality of the ML it's on a par with the GP and Top14, you have the likes of Connacht consistently picking up wins in France against the lower teams in the Top14 while Glasgow and the Dragons put in a more than decent performance in the Challenge Cup as well.
     
  9. diom

    diom Guest

    Connacht, and take it quite seriously. It has been a goal of theirs to reach the HC for...well...forever.

    Plus the Challenge Cup shows that the lower priority teams in the ML still compare quite well with those from other competitions.
     
  10. HOMERJ

    HOMERJ Guest

    From an Irish point of view I don't think the IRFU take it as a serious competition.

    Leinster - Are competitive due to the fact that their pack is not depleted by International call ups and although their backs suffer they have excellent players in reserve to fill in for the Magners League

    Munster - They are the hardest hit, take away the Munster Forwards and their gameplan suffers, Munster play the majority of the Magners League with the second choice forwards

    Connacht - Don't suffer a massive exodus of players due to call ups so can play pretty much with their first team which unfortunately is still to weak to make an impact

    Ulster - Up until recently they didn't suffer badly from call ups however Eddie has finally acknowledged that Ulster have good players and they also suffer losing key players
     
  11. RC

    RC Guest

    Leinster always seem to put in the effort and so do Ulster, but you never get the same impression from Munster. Like Homerj said, Munster spend a lot of the season with 2ndt strong forwards.
    I honestly never see myself getting worried as an Ospreys fan when we're up against Munster. Leinster and Ulster(especially at Ravenhill) is something i don't look forward to.

    But we, as welsh rugby supporters, can't look down on some people. We, ourselves, fail to bring in that big a crowd week in-week out. Ospreys have a 20,000 seater stadium and get on avg 12,000 in. That's terrible.
     
  12. Substitute

    Substitute Guest

    I wrote about the Magners league on another forum and the rings of boos I got.

    I sadly think the Magner's league is a non-tournament. Certainly compared to the English and French tournaments. I admit I see little of it (although more than I see the GP on telly).

    As for why I feel like that I'm not quite sure. I think the absence of relegation certainly has a lot to do with it. I imagine teams when knowing they can't win or even qualify for the HC play B-sides. You really need competitiveness right to the end. Sadly with sides like Connacht (no offence intended to Connacht fans) there will always be sides not good enough for the league and that seems wrong. Also think it's less attritional and that's an aspect of the game I like.

    As for remedies they'd be tough. Scotlands rugby clubs really are struggling and it's a shame to see that rugby in scotland doesn't get a decent following. Murrayfield is an exceptional stadium and it's disappinting they can't sell it out. I think if Frank Hadden can get Scotland to improve then things will be better. Essentially Scotland needs more money. As relegation won't be possible (regions are another thing that depersonalises the league) I would rather see a knockout format with pools - nothing lke the shoddy set-up we have here in England. Sadly 10 is only condusive to two pools of 5 - but that'd work. And finally I think more marketing could be done by the clubs - family fun days, hog roasts (was brilliant at the Bath-Newbury game) etc. And I'd have the IRFU giving more money to Connacht.

    Let it never be said I argue without solutions.
     
  13. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest

    The Magners league has many great clubs, but as mentioned by everyone it's let down by great clubs putting out poor teams. The impression i've always had of it is that it's also celebrated for having more running rugby than the GP. Something that i feel is true, but for 2 reasons: it's easier to play with less caution as although winning is great, losing isn't as such a terrible thing as for relegation threatedned GP clubs. The other reason seems to be it is simply less attrititional, in particularly what little i've seen of a lot of welsh sides they are much less physical in defence than GP sides. it's easier to play champagne rugby when players fall off tackles.
     
  14. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    There's no point whatsoever in raising the topic of relegation with regards to the ML, no point at all. Bring in relegation and who do you promote? and where and who to the relegated team play against? It's simply can't work and is a non-starter, as I've said before there is always something to play for in the ML but people seem to be quite content in ignoring that fact.
     
  15. to the ospreys fan - you complain about only getting 12,000 through the gate? we only get 2,500!

    ive not been following it for long enough to coment on the seriousness with which it is taken, but i cant see any reason why there isnt anything to play for for teams until very late in the season.
     
  16. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest



    i don't think they should bring in relegation, that wasn't what i was suggesting. I was just pointing out the obvious differences between the celtic and english leagues. I don't see that there is much of importance to play a lot of the time in the ML, otherwise we wouldn't see so few top players turning out for their sides. Clearly whatever reasons they are playing to win aren't important enough to the likes of Munster.
     
  17. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    There needs to be some form of competetiveness instilled into the ML. Either by putting in a cup decided by end of season playoffs or by fixing the HEC slots to just the top five qualifying teams.

    So what if that ruins the cushy and easy going system of gauranteeing each nation in the ML at least one HEC place? If it makes teams fight for ML position then that can mean nothing but fun.

    Obviously though, the minute Munster fail to qualify for a HEC place, that would obviously mean that the whole ML is rigged and its the world against Munster and that there should obviously be a "Munster wins the ML automatically" rule in the ML rulebook and that quite frankly Munster shouldn't even play any ML games because obviously they're only good enough to play in the HEC and thus thats why they need a gauranteed HEC place.
     
  18. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    I'm surprised at some of your comments there, you seem to be implying that the ML isn't a competitive league, that's absolute rubbish, you only have to look at the table for that, where else do you only have 10 points separating the top 6 sides.

    It's easy to jump on Munster's back in all this, they don't take the ML seriously because they concentrate on the HEC, that's their perogative, they've qualified for the HEC by right like any other team in the competition so they're free to do what they like.
     
  19. carter1979

    carter1979 Guest

    For me - the Magners league is a fantastic competition purely being ignored by the mainstream because it isn't the English competition.

    I really do not think lack of relegation is an issue, nor do i see a problem with the allocation of the European places.

    It's all down to image and trying to persuade the sponsors and the media that the competition is just as entertaining if not more so than the Guinness Premiership.

    The "British" Media are the major problem - they don't even acknowledge the Top 14 to any real degree.
     
  20. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    the one area where I think that the ML has an advantage is the fact that the team who finishes first actually wins the league, none of this playoff nonsense.
     
  21. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    I am merely voicing the frustrations of those fans whose teams never get to see HEC action and when they do, probably just for a season or two. Saracens, for example, are going to embark on their first HEC campaign for a long while and already we're being knocked for being in an "easy group".

    It is very easy to say that, especially when you know that you are more or less gauranteed a HEC place every season come what may. Yes, sure only the highest ranked Irish provinces get the HEC places but if Munster couldn't even manage that then I think Thurmond Park would be burnt to the ground by angry mobs.

    When you have to watch your team fight tooth and nail to get a spot, it can be very easy to be at first envious and then later pretty cynical and annoyed at other teams who get an easy ride every year into the HEC. Yes, Munster isn't the only one, other teams like the Welsh teams and the high flying English and French teams like Wasps (what do they have to do to make sure they can't get into the HEC next year?!), etc, the ML teams and the way that they get into the HEC sits however as a glaring example of an overall European Cup competition that is neither fun nor fair for those who don't support the golden teams of European rugby.

    As for the Magners League, okay, you're right, it is already competetive, I was just wanting to look at ways of making it worthwhile and more exciting for fans and teams alike.

    EDIT: And if you think its bad for me, think of the Italian teams who battle their way to HEC qualification too. Think of the children!
     
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