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TRF_stormer2010

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URC QF fixtures:

Friday, 3 June


Ulster v Munster - 20:35 CAT

Saturday, 4 June

Bulls v Sharks - 13:45 CAT

Leinster v Glasgow - 16:15 CAT

Stormers v Edinburgh - 19:00 CAT
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Prediction time. Some of these are tough but I am going to back all home sides.

Leinster for me is a given if anything is.

The Stormers I'll back mainly because early season we drew with Edinburgh in a game where we lost the plot more than anything else and this was away from home in a struggling start to the season. TBF they themselves look on the up whereas we've had perhaps the slightest dip BUT I've watched their game vs Glasgow and I don't think they'll have the time and space vs us that they enjoyed vs Glasgow though... they did wallop their countrymen and there's a fair few of them that will feel right at home in Cape Town. Difficult but if I have to back someone I feel backing the Stormers is more than a heart decision even if we've a poor track record in knock-out rugby at levels higher than CC.

Bulls / Sharks is a tough one but I'll back the Bulls at home. Sharks keep underwhelming and the Bulls have traditionally been able to step it up in knock-out rugby.

Ulster / Munster also a tough one to predict. I'm simply going to say home advantage pips it in Ulster's favor for my money though I won't put more than a cent on it.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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I'd love to see Ulster win, but they'll probably choke.
I'll be following closely. Most *likely* one of those teams will be travelling to CT unless we go back to form and choke at the QF. We've been buckling a few trends this season though and I am hoping for that to continue.

I'm predicting a spicy Stormers-Ulster grudge match for a SF. Would go some way to building those rivalries this tournament misses to a small extent what with SA sides being newly included.

On that note are there any outside-of-conference rivalries in the URC a South African who hasn't followed the tournament before ought to be aware of?
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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I'd pick 4 home wins too. Leinster a near certainty. Bulls and Stormers both 60/40 favourites and Ulster 51/49

The problem is Ulster, Edinburgh and the Sharks all strike me as incredibly inconsistent and/or with so much potential. So I wouldn't rule out anything in those matches.
 

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I'd pick 4 home wins too. Leinster a near certainty. Bulls and Stormers both 60/40 favourites and Ulster 51/49

The problem is Ulster, Edinburgh and the Sharks all strike me as incredibly inconsistent and/or with so much potential. So I wouldn't rule out anything in those matches.
Leinster was heavy favourites against La Rochelle, I think the rest of the teams will gain confidence that Leinster is not unbeatable, even at Home.

I think Sharks will beat the Bulls and travel to play Leinster in the next round. But I am Super Biased so will accept the underdog tag.
 

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Ugh, barely want to watch the remaining rounds. The Heineken Cup really needs to be the final match of the European season.

I am pretty much certain we'll win three games in Dublin, but I'm not sure how good we'll look doing it. Coming into training today must have been brutal.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Leinster was heavy favourites against La Rochelle, I think the rest of the teams will gain confidence that Leinster is not unbeatable, even at Home.

I think Sharks will beat the Bulls and travel to play Leinster in the next round. But I am Super Biased so will accept the underdog tag.
Either the other teams will see Leinster as being beatable or Leinster will be wanting to make amends in a big way- I would not know which.

I was quietly hoping Leinster would win. Not sure if the mentality is different with them but I can't imagine a SA side winning the HEC and then being up for it mentally for lower tier play offs.

On the Sharks - Bulls match its a coin flip. I see the Sharks as having the higher ceiling and being the only SA side with a chance of taking the ***le on the road BUT then they will have to fire on 150% whereas it looks like even reaching 50% is an ask for them every other game. I can't see the Sharks win three on the road. Maybe when they get in their new signings and find a bit of rhythm. But I can't see anyone bar Leinster taking the ***le now though I would cheer for an upset.

Do you think a loss to the Bulls would put pressure on the coaching staff? If I were a Sharks fan I'd shout for a new head coach on every platform I could. The fact no-one has nabbed a guy like Jimmy Stonehouse is beyond me. I' think his style would suit your players and there are links with players like Roets for example.
 

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Very confident, not very motivated though as the season will feel disappointing regardless.

Not sure losing to La Rochelle will make much of a difference in all honesty. The last few years all ended with disappointment in Europe but saw relatively comfortable progressions through the playoffs regardless. Not saying we’re invincible or anything but I do think that if we lose it won’t be because we couldn’t get up for it after LR or because other teams will have gained some newfound confidence. Obviously the South Africans will add a new dimension but if we’re at home I’d still back us in a big way.

On a specific Leinster v Glasgow level, we’ll probably see some rotation this week and going forward. Leo seems to reward guys who performed in the league through these games and with an extra round it’s the only smart move from a player rest perspective.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Glasgow are so weak up front compared to La Rochelle that it's not funny. Leinster will have their way with them. Leinster versus a Saffa pack playing 'stuff it up your jumper' rugby might be interesting (but not for the neutral!).
 

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I'm reasonably confident we can turn Ulster over again. As shocking as we were against Leinster, Beirne (not guaranteed to play), Coombes, Kleyn and O'Mahony back is a big injection of class into the pack. I think we could win our next game against Stormers or Edinburgh too, although this is probably me being wildly overoptimistic. We will rightly be underdogs with the bookies if we have to travel South. Hoping Edinburgh can do us a favor and win in SA.

I hope I don't appear dismissive when I say I don't think the SA teams will trouble Leinster in the business end of the comp for this year at least. Playing Leinster means you have to go to Dublin and take on a knockout rugby hardened team who have had their annual underperformance already and that was against an extremely stacked La Rochelle team no matter how you look at it.

Leinster's other competition is us, who just refuse to get out of bed whenever we play them, and we have a likely SA trip on the cards, and Ulster who I still just don't think have the credentials at this end of the season.
 

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Either the other teams will see Leinster as being beatable or Leinster will be wanting to make amends in a big way- I would not know which.

I was quietly hoping Leinster would win. Not sure if the mentality is different with them but I can't imagine a SA side winning the HEC and then being up for it mentally for lower tier play offs.

On the Sharks - Bulls match its a coin flip. I see the Sharks as having the higher ceiling and being the only SA side with a chance of taking the ***le on the road BUT then they will have to fire on 150% whereas it looks like even reaching 50% is an ask for them every other game. I can't see the Sharks win three on the road. Maybe when they get in their new signings and find a bit of rhythm. But I can't see anyone bar Leinster taking the ***le now though I would cheer for an upset.

Do you think a loss to the Bulls would put pressure on the coaching staff? If I were a Sharks fan I'd shout for a new head coach on every platform I could. The fact no-one has nabbed a guy like Jimmy Stonehouse is beyond me. I'll think his style would suit your players and there are links with players like Roets for example.
No, I don't think a loss to the Bulls should necessitate a change in coaching. I'm a believer in giving coaches time to build their foundations, Everit has temped my faith, a couple of times this season, making me question my morals. But Neil Powel comes in next year as DOR, lets's see how he does when there is a dedicated guy to handle the off-field stuff, not to mention providing enormous value to the overall coaching team.

Consistency is a major factor, all of our teams have haemorrhaged players to the NH, and now we have some stability in the squad for once, with the planned continuation of that Next Year in resigning most of the squad. The Coach should have the opportunity to show his hand with a tight squad.

It's crunch time for him next season. If he fails then he goes end of next season, we then start afresh, maybe sign Eddie Jones who will probably be a free agent.

It's a coin flip between the Bulls and Sharks but I think the Sharks have a better chance to get a result when travelling to Leinster than the Bulls do. Jake's teams and the Bulls each in their own right have been poor travelers during the Super Rugby years.

Maybe the Champions Cup final taking place before the URC final is one of the best things to happen to this tournament. Leinster should be able to recalibrate, the competition might just now dramatically step up the intensity for the knockouts, and we might see rugby that is probably up to a Champions cup level if not better.

the Final, if Leinster play in it could be a tougher challenge for them than La Rochelle.
 

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I was made to realize today how utterly dumb the knockout scheduling is for the URC. So if Glasgow beats Leinster, then the winner of the Bulls vs Sharks game needs to travel to Glasgow even though Glasgow is much lower on the log at the lowest seed in the Knockout.

If Edinburgh beats Stormers then they get the home semi, even though they are lower ranked than both Ulster and Munster.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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I was made to realize today how utterly dumb the knockout scheduling is for the URC. So if Glasgow beats Leinster, then the winner of the Bulls vs Sharks game needs to travel to Glasgow even though Glasgow is much lower on the log at the lowest seed in the Knockout.

If Edinburgh beats Stormers then they get the home semi, even though they are lower ranked than both Ulster and Munster.
You have identified the first flaw in the format. Does this mean there could be a Sharks or Bulls home final though (if they beat Leinster in the semi).
 

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I was made to realize today how utterly dumb the knockout scheduling is for the URC. So if Glasgow beats Leinster, then the winner of the Bulls vs Sharks game needs to travel to Glasgow even though Glasgow is much lower on the log at the lowest seed in the Knockout.

If Edinburgh beats Stormers then they get the home semi, even though they are lower ranked than both Ulster and Munster.
I think there can be an argument be made that if you knock off the top seed you should be rewarded with a home game in the next round. Kind of make it take it sort of thing.

I personally think teams should just be reseeded after each round.
 

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You have identified the first flaw in the format. Does this mean there could be a Sharks or Bulls home final though (if they beat Leinster in the semi).
No the final was the only one to be announced as hosted by the top seeded teams while it does not apply to the QF and SF
 

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I think there can be an argument be made that if you knock off the top seed you should be rewarded with a home game in the next round. Kind of make it take it sort of thing.

I personally think teams should just be reseeded after each round.
Then the log position loses value, not all value since you made the knockouts atleast
 

TRF_stormer2010

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No the final was the only one to be announced as hosted by the top seeded teams while it does not apply to the QF and SF
The game itself could do with streamlining if it doesn't take away from what we love. No reason to bring confusion into the scheduling.
Then the log position loses value,
Exactly!

Wish Stormers could've had an earlier game. Kickoff at 19h00 means if I'd take my boy to the game its a CT winter night and we'd be home at the earliest 2 hours past bed time. Then you get the Bulls with an early afternoon kick off in highveld "winter". The Faithful always have to pay the price ITO scheduling it feels like.
 
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