Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby johng » January 14th, 2020, 7:57 pm

blockhead wrote:So the whole of the Bluestalk crew have now turned on the Pro14 it seems.

Bit of a leap from knowing that Guscott is England's Franno to turning on the league? :shock:

FWIW I saw the name and didn't read the article. Maybe it was one of his "stopped clock" articles.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby paddyor » January 15th, 2020, 12:32 am

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/51039142

Rob Baxter mainlining the cool aid.

Baxter says playing in the Premiership could see Gray improve enough to be selected for the Lions in 2021.

"One of the reasons he's committed to us is he really wants to put himself in the shop window for further international selection and potentially the Lions," Baxter said.

"We've got to help him develop those parts of his game that will potentially allow him to really feature there.

"One of those is he plays on a regular basis against front-line international locks and back-five forwards.

"The best thing about him playing in the Premiership is he can go from one week playing against Maro Itoje and George Kruis, the next week he could be playing against Courtney Lawes and the following week he could be playing against Joe Launchbury.

"That's how it can go and those are some of the things that can really help you develop and can really put you out there as an absolute front-line back-five forward."


Yes Rob, hopefully he gain from the experience of playing in the GP like players such as *checks notes* George North, Tby Faletau, Josh Strauss or who could forget Dai Young’s Prop Idol, Marty Moore!

Now, it’s not that they don’t develop players or give them chances or alternative choices. There’s lots of evidence of Welsh and Scots players developing in the GP. But the evidence for joining the GP being a big boost is thin on the ground. Best example I can think of is Skelton at Sarries. And they did a great job with n him tbf. I’m sure there’s others, but drawing a blank on Pro14 players. I think they overestimate the transformative powers of the GP for P14 test players and probably fringe too. Like they think none of the guys put in any effort.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 9:39 am

paddyor wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/51039142

Rob Baxter mainlining the cool aid.

Baxter says playing in the Premiership could see Gray improve enough to be selected for the Lions in 2021.

"One of the reasons he's committed to us is he really wants to put himself in the shop window for further international selection and potentially the Lions," Baxter said.

"We've got to help him develop those parts of his game that will potentially allow him to really feature there.

"One of those is he plays on a regular basis against front-line international locks and back-five forwards.

"The best thing about him playing in the Premiership is he can go from one week playing against Maro Itoje and George Kruis, the next week he could be playing against Courtney Lawes and the following week he could be playing against Joe Launchbury.

"That's how it can go and those are some of the things that can really help you develop and can really put you out there as an absolute front-line back-five forward."


Yes Rob, hopefully he gain from the experience of playing in the GP like players such as *checks notes* George North, Tby Faletau, Josh Strauss or who could forget Dai Young’s Prop Idol, Marty Moore!

Now, it’s not that they don’t develop players or give them chances or alternative choices. There’s lots of evidence of Welsh and Scots players developing in the GP. But the evidence for joining the GP being a big boost is thin on the ground. Best example I can think of is Skelton at Sarries. And they did a great job with n him tbf. I’m sure there’s others, but drawing a blank on Pro14 players. I think they overestimate the transformative powers of the GP for P14 test players and probably fringe too. Like they think none of the guys put in any effort.


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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby Laighin Break » January 15th, 2020, 10:57 am

paddyor wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/51039142

Rob Baxter mainlining the cool aid.

Baxter says playing in the Premiership could see Gray improve enough to be selected for the Lions in 2021.

"One of the reasons he's committed to us is he really wants to put himself in the shop window for further international selection and potentially the Lions," Baxter said.

"We've got to help him develop those parts of his game that will potentially allow him to really feature there.

"One of those is he plays on a regular basis against front-line international locks and back-five forwards.

"The best thing about him playing in the Premiership is he can go from one week playing against Maro Itoje and George Kruis, the next week he could be playing against Courtney Lawes and the following week he could be playing against Joe Launchbury.

"That's how it can go and those are some of the things that can really help you develop and can really put you out there as an absolute front-line back-five forward."


Yes Rob, hopefully he gain from the experience of playing in the GP like players such as *checks notes* George North, Tby Faletau, Josh Strauss or who could forget Dai Young’s Prop Idol, Marty Moore!

Now, it’s not that they don’t develop players or give them chances or alternative choices. There’s lots of evidence of Welsh and Scots players developing in the GP. But the evidence for joining the GP being a big boost is thin on the ground. Best example I can think of is Skelton at Sarries. And they did a great job with n him tbf. I’m sure there’s others, but drawing a blank on Pro14 players. I think they overestimate the transformative powers of the GP for P14 test players and probably fringe too. Like they think none of the guys put in any effort.


They really do think everything English is superior. In the Pro14 he could go from one week playing against James Ryan and Devin Toner/Scott Fardy, the next week he could be playing against Alun Wyn Jones and the following week he could be playing against Jake Ball or Iain Henderson or Grant Gilchrist...
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby johng » January 15th, 2020, 11:00 am

Ah but he couldn't cause we all rest our players so much. :lol:
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby domhnallj » January 15th, 2020, 11:05 am

johng wrote:Ah but he couldn't cause we all rest our players so much. :lol:


Well, with no relegation there really isn't much to be bothered playing for.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 11:30 am

2 targets at the start of every season for the PL Teams:
A. Win the bloody thing
B. Avoid relegation.

Target A is is a pipe dream for 10 of the teams, it just ain't gonna happen and its been that way for 5 years and there are no signs of it changing.

Target B, only one of the 10 also rans will miss this target.
2019-Newcastle 10pts behind 2nd last
2018-London Irish 14pts behind 2nd last
2017-Bristol 13pts behind 2nd last
2016-London Irish 7pts behind 2nd last
2015-London Welsh 33pts behind 2nd last (1 point in the entire season)

So as you can see its not really something difficult to avoid, its the yo-yo clubs domain, you would have to be a shocking sack of sh!t of a club to miss target B.
This fear of relegation excuse spouted by the PL teams when getting spanked in Europe is just that, an excuse.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby johng » January 15th, 2020, 11:40 am

johng wrote:The difference is that when Exeter (who are not thinking about fearing relegation) go out v Worcester they get a harder game than we do v Zebre or Dragons. Because Zebre and Dragons don't have relegation to motivate them.

Again. It's not the fear of relegation it's......
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 12:01 pm

johng wrote:
johng wrote:The difference is that when Exeter (who are not thinking about fearing relegation) go out v Worcester they get a harder game than we do v Zebre or Dragons. Because Zebre and Dragons don't have relegation to motivate them.

Again. It's not the fear of relegation it's......


So you could argue that because our opposition don't try as hard as they could then we are in for a rude awakening when we meet the teak tough teams of the PL.
Certainly that is what they were espousing back in the they when they were dominant.

Also, wouldn't this "harder games" thingy have a cumlative effect on the PL teams battling it out in Europe?
ie its get harder to battle on 2 fronts the longer they get into the season.

The PL teams played 4 League games before the heino began this season.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby Oldschool » January 15th, 2020, 12:30 pm

blockhead wrote:
johng wrote:
johng wrote:The difference is that when Exeter (who are not thinking about fearing relegation) go out v Worcester they get a harder game than we do v Zebre or Dragons. Because Zebre and Dragons don't have relegation to motivate them.

Again. It's not the fear of relegation it's......


So you could argue that because our opposition don't try as hard as they could then we are in for a rude awakening when we meet the teak tough teams of the PL.
Certainly that is what they were espousing back in the they when they were dominant.

Also, wouldn't this "harder games" thingy have a cumlative effect on the PL teams battling it out in Europe?
ie its get harder to battle on 2 fronts the longer they get into the season.

The PL teams played 4 League games before the heino began this season.

You've identified a different problem there.
Only 4 games before the Heino suggests that they might be undercooked rather than battle hardened.
I don't know what the stats are but it's likely that the PRL teams struggle most in post Lions/RWC seasons due to the fact that they usually contribute the bulk of the players to Lions squads and England typically do better in the RWC than the Pro14 teams so there is less time to integrate players and/or exhaustion is an issue.
A solution to those issues for the PRL is not obvious.
Perhaps the club's should be getting paid (or paid more) for supplying players to Lions/RWC squads
That might offset the likely loss in revenue due to the likelihood of earlier than usual exit from the HCC.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 2:13 pm

Oldschool wrote:You've identified a different problem there.
Only 4 games before the Heino suggests that they might be undercooked rather than battle hardened.
I don't know what the stats are but it's likely that the PRL teams struggle most in post Lions/RWC seasons due to the fact that they usually contribute the bulk of the players to Lions squads and England typically do better in the RWC than the Pro14 teams so there is less time to integrate players and/or exhaustion is an issue.
A solution to those issues for the PRL is not obvious.
Perhaps the club's should be getting paid (or paid more) for supplying players to Lions/RWC squads
That might offset the likely loss in revenue due to the likelihood of earlier than usual exit from the HCC.


More excuse's. :roll:

In the meantime Nakarawa is in the Glasgow squad for the game at sale.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby johng » January 15th, 2020, 2:43 pm

blockhead wrote:
johng wrote:
johng wrote:The difference is that when Exeter (who are not thinking about fearing relegation) go out v Worcester they get a harder game than we do v Zebre or Dragons. Because Zebre and Dragons don't have relegation to motivate them.

Again. It's not the fear of relegation it's......


So you could argue that because our opposition don't try as hard as they could then we are in for a rude awakening when we meet the teak tough teams of the PL.
Certainly that is what they were espousing back in the they when they were dominant.

You can argue it both ways as they have done over the years. When prem teams were doing well it was because they had a tough league and relegation which made them battle hardened. When they were doing badly it was because they had a tough league and relegation which made them cream crackered and didn't allow them to rest their players.
blockhead wrote:Also, wouldn't this "harder games" thingy have a cumlative effect on the PL teams battling it out in Europe?
ie its get harder to battle on 2 fronts the longer they get into the season.

The PL teams played 4 League games before the heino began this season.


Yes it would. Perhaps the best example is the 2nd half performance by northampton in 2011. They had played the same starting 15 all season. As you point out that excuse can't be used this early in the season.

The other thing which is unarguable is that the HC is the absolute priority for the Irish sides. To the extent that there are no IRFU enforced resting of players during HC weekends. Very few French or English teams have that luxury. Only the very top spending ones. And even then they will prioritise their national comp if push comes to shove.

For me that's the beauty of the HC. Seeing how the different structures of the 3 leagues and 6 unions pan out in Euro competition. Currently We are looking good. But a mere 3 or 4 years ago we were "unlikely to ever be able to compete again in Europe"
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 3:23 pm

Perhaps the best example is the 2nd half performance by northampton in 2011. They had played the same starting 15 all season.

I've been laughing at that one for 8 years now.
"Our season caught up with us at half-time, that's we lost the 2nd half 27-0" :lol:
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby MylesNaGapoleen » January 15th, 2020, 3:49 pm

blockhead wrote:
Perhaps the best example is the 2nd half performance by northampton in 2011. They had played the same starting 15 all season.

I've been laughing at that one for 8 years now.
"Our season caught up with us at half-time, that's we lost the 2nd half 27-0" :lol:


ah yes. 2011. when we got that scrum penalty in the second half, that was quite a moment after what went before. got a taxi to london the following morning with 4 other leinster fans on the lash after that game. happy days.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby MylesNaGapoleen » January 15th, 2020, 4:23 pm

blockhead wrote:
Perhaps the best example is the 2nd half performance by northampton in 2011. They had played the same starting 15 all season.

I've been laughing at that one for 8 years now.
"Our season caught up with us at half-time, that's we lost the 2nd half 27-0" :lol:


ah yes. 2011. when we got that scrum penalty in the second half, that was quite a moment after what went before. got a taxi to london the following morning with 4 other leinster fans on the lash after that game. happy days.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby blockhead » January 15th, 2020, 4:27 pm

MylesNaGapoleen wrote:
blockhead wrote:
Perhaps the best example is the 2nd half performance by northampton in 2011. They had played the same starting 15 all season.

I've been laughing at that one for 8 years now.
"Our season caught up with us at half-time, that's we lost the 2nd half 27-0" :lol:


ah yes. 2011. when we got that scrum penalty in the second half, that was quite a moment after what went before. got a taxi to london the following morning with 4 other leinster fans on the lash after that game. happy days.


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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby paddyor » January 15th, 2020, 5:23 pm

johng wrote:
johng wrote:The difference is that when Exeter (who are not thinking about fearing relegation) go out v Worcester they get a harder game than we do v Zebre or Dragons. Because Zebre and Dragons don't have relegation to motivate them.

Again. It's not the fear of relegation it's......

Worcester are 4w 4l this season in the GP. 2 of those loses were Glos 36 -3 and Saracens 62-5........
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby Laighin Break » January 16th, 2020, 10:24 am

Oldschool wrote:
blockhead wrote:The PL teams played 4 League games before the heino began this season.

You've identified a different problem there.
Only 4 games before the Heino suggests that they might be undercooked rather than battle hardened.
I don't know what the stats are but it's likely that the PRL teams struggle most in post Lions/RWC seasons due to the fact that they usually contribute the bulk of the players to Lions squads and England typically do better in the RWC than the Pro14 teams so there is less time to integrate players and/or exhaustion is an issue.
A solution to those issues for the PRL is not obvious.
Perhaps the club's should be getting paid (or paid more) for supplying players to Lions/RWC squads
That might offset the likely loss in revenue due to the likelihood of earlier than usual exit from the HCC.


Considering they're spread across 12 teams rather than 2 or 4, they'd have to have >3 times the amount of Irish players in the Lions for that argument to have any validity.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby Oldschool » January 16th, 2020, 10:44 am

Laighin Break wrote:
Oldschool wrote:
blockhead wrote:The PL teams played 4 League games before the heino began this season.

You've identified a different problem there.
Only 4 games before the Heino suggests that they might be undercooked rather than battle hardened.
I don't know what the stats are but it's likely that the PRL teams struggle most in post Lions/RWC seasons due to the fact that they usually contribute the bulk of the players to Lions squads and England typically do better in the RWC than the Pro14 teams so there is less time to integrate players and/or exhaustion is an issue.
A solution to those issues for the PRL is not obvious.
Perhaps the club's should be getting paid (or paid more) for supplying players to Lions/RWC squads
That might offset the likely loss in revenue due to the likelihood of earlier than usual exit from the HCC.


Considering they're spread across 12 teams rather than 2 or 4, they'd have to have >3 times the amount of Irish players in the Lions for that argument to have any validity.

They often do.
Nick Popplewell was the only Irish rep on one particular Lions tour. It's well known that the Welsh and English make up the bulk of Lions players, that's historically, not just during Garlands reign.
Ireland had 4 reps on the 1997 tour to SA. All four of them were capped - Anyone care to name them without looking it up.
Which probably explains why it's not just the PRL clubs that are struggling but also the Welsh Pro14 teams, following Lions tours and RWCs.
It's worth remembering that Wales has been the most successful Pro14 nation at the RWC too.
Ah but the plot (excuses) thicken.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020 - Standings\predictions

Postby Laighin Break » January 16th, 2020, 1:45 pm

Oldschool wrote:
Laighin Break wrote:
Oldschool wrote:You've identified a different problem there.
Only 4 games before the Heino suggests that they might be undercooked rather than battle hardened.
I don't know what the stats are but it's likely that the PRL teams struggle most in post Lions/RWC seasons due to the fact that they usually contribute the bulk of the players to Lions squads and England typically do better in the RWC than the Pro14 teams so there is less time to integrate players and/or exhaustion is an issue.
A solution to those issues for the PRL is not obvious.
Perhaps the club's should be getting paid (or paid more) for supplying players to Lions/RWC squads
That might offset the likely loss in revenue due to the likelihood of earlier than usual exit from the HCC.


Considering they're spread across 12 teams rather than 2 or 4, they'd have to have >3 times the amount of Irish players in the Lions for that argument to have any validity.

They often do.
Nick Popplewell was the only Irish rep on one particular Lions tour. It's well known that the Welsh and English make up the bulk of Lions players, that's historically, not just during Garlands reign.
Ireland had 4 reps on the 1997 tour to SA. All four of them were capped - Anyone care to name them without looking it up.
Which probably explains why it's not just the PRL clubs that are struggling but also the Welsh Pro14 teams, following Lions tours and RWCs.
It's worth remembering that Wales has been the most successful Pro14 nation at the RWC too.
Ah but the plot (excuses) thicken.


There's hardly any point going back to Popplewell's era or the 90's if you're using it as an excuse to why the English underperform in Europe. The Irish teams started being contenders in Europe from the mid-2000s onwards so:
2005: 20 English (+3), 11 Irish (+1), 10 Welsh (+2), 3 Scots (+1)
2009: 10 English, 16 Irish, 15 Welsh, 4 Scots [Not as easy to split original squad and call ups on Wiki]
2013: 10 English (+4), 9 Irish (+3), 15 Welsh (+1), 3 Scots (+1)
2017: 16 (+1) English, 11 Irish, 12 Welsh (+4), 2 Scots (+3)

Total: England 56, Ireland 47, Wales 52, Scotland 12

Probably a bigger Irish influence than most would have imagined.
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