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The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

I'd go as far as to say the average in the Premiership is not higher than the Pro 12; it's just more publicised and praised. For people's information this is the current table of both leagues.

1. Saracens - Leinster
2. Northampton - Munster
3. Bath - Ulster
4. Leicester - Glasgow
5. Harlequins - Ospreys
6. Sale - Scarlets
7. Wasps - Cardiff
8. Exeter - Edinburgh
9. Gloucester - Connacht
10. London Irish - Dragons
11. Newcastle - Treviso
12. Worcester - Zebre

Outside of the top four they seem like pretty even match-ups. For 5 to 12 I can imagine home wins for all teams, except maybe number 10. Then in the top four I'd say most would agree that it's 3 out of 4 for the Pro 12.

1 Day, 13 Hours ago

The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

The problem is that the Irish didn't really agree to it per se; they were forced to either accept this or not play European Cup rugby after the threat of boycott from the English, French and turncoat Welsh and their refusal to negotiate. The English and French could survive a year without it and do something else but the Irish, Scottish and Italians definitely couldn't.

The playoff idea is good but it'd be very difficult to implement because it would mean more matches in an already jam-packed season. It would have to be done after the leagues have finished and adding an extra few weeks to the season could cause problems in terms of logistics and also player welfare.

1 Day, 13 Hours ago

The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

I like the bit at the beginning where they declare that everyone is happy. Evidently Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian clubs don't count as part of the definition of 'everyone'.

They've been completely screwed over and I think it's pretty miserable of these analysts not to recognise that. The whole 'based on merit' thing is ostensibly a half-decent argument but isn't actually the case considering that Edinburgh, Cardiff Blues and Zebre will be excluded whereas English teams like Bath, Sale and Wasps (currently in top 7) will be there. The French clubs will largely merit their places for the simple fact that they've bought in loads of foreigners to play for them.

Also, due to the new qualification system teams that win the Challenge Cup won't even qualify, so I think that's a massive backward step for that competition. It's gone from being somewhat important with a decent prize to a nothing competition.

A bit of reality from the analysts would be appreciated. Making it out as if the English and French had to give concessions to the Pro 12 in the form of an extra place is just so disingenuous considering that in giving that extra place they also removed three others.

As Damien above said, this is probably just going to aggravate Wales, Italy, Scotland and to an extent Ireland's problems at club and international national.

1 Day, 16 Hours ago

The new European Rugby Champions Cup explained

I like the bit at the beginning where they declare that everyone is happy. Evidently Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian clubs don't count as part of the definition of 'everyone'.

They've been completely screwed over and I think it's pretty miserable of these analysts not to recognise that. The whole 'based on merit' thing is ostensibly a half-decent argument but isn't actually the case considering that Edinburgh, Cardiff Blues and Zebre will be excluded whereas English teams like Bath, Sale and Wasps (currently in top 7) will be there. The French clubs will largely merit their places for the simple fact that they've bought in loads of foreigners to play for them.

Also, due to the new qualification system teams that win the Challenge Cup won't even qualify, so I think that's a massive backward step for that competition. It's gone from being somewhat important with a decent prize to a nothing competition.

A bit of reality from the analysts would be appreciated. Making it out as if the English and French had to give concessions to the Pro 12 in the form of an extra place is just so disingenuous considering that in giving that extra place they also removed three others.

As Damien above said, this is probably just going to aggravate Wales, Italy, Scotland and to an extent Ireland's problems at club and international national.

1 Day, 16 Hours ago

UCT Ikeys win 2014 Varsity Cup final with unbelievable comeback

Wow. The commentators were talking about the best comeback of 2014, but I'd say it shouldn't be limited to 2014 alone.

Did anyone else notice at 82.15 that a missile seems to have been thrown at the ball-carrier? Is that normal is SA university rugby?

1 Week, 3 Days ago

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

You can say it could have paralysed him for life but the fact of the matter is that it was an accident, and accidents happen. High tackles can break people's necks but it doesn't mean they should all result in an automatic red card. Spear tackles should be red cards because you if you spear someone it's not by accident, but getting the same punishment for a clumsy clash due to a lack of spatial awareness?

People complain all the time about punishments in rugby being completely hypocritical and that's exactly the case here. There are links to other videos of people doing the same or worse and getting penalised and nothing more and nobody making any fuss about it.

And if that's the way you see it, why wasn't Mouritz Botha red-carded when he took out a player in the lineout? That player could have landed badly and been paralysed but Botha got penalised and nothing more. Does that not seem a bit hypocritical to you?

And saying that an accidental clash like this is more deserving of punishment than eye-gouging someone or stamping on someone's head is really just horrible. Do you really think that a yellow card in this case wouldn't be enough of a deterrent for players to avoid purposefully doing what Payne did? Do you think that in the absence of red cards they'd all start taking everyone out in the air knowing that they'll only get yellow?

Look at the other videos of players being taken out in the air and ask yourself if red cards in those situations would have been appropriate or wildly exaggerated punishments.

1 Week, 5 Days ago

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

Saying it's the same thing is a bit disrespectful to the non-British part of the Lions, but in any case, apology accepted. Just don't let it happen again.

And I agree with you in saying that red cards shouldn't be avoided where necessary because of the time when they happen. If it's a red card in the 70th minute then it should be the same thing even in the 1st. The problem is that in spite of your claims that taking someone's legs out in the air is a red card offence, I can't actually find another example of where it resulted in a red card, and there are actually several videos on this thread which show similar offences that definitely did not result in red cards and for which the players involved weren't banned.

1 Week, 5 Days ago

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

I think the O'Mahony video shows the hypocrisy of this whole situation and many of the comments here. Harley purposefully tackles O'Mahony in the air and it was just a penalty and everyone moved on. Then in Payne's case where he accidentally takes the player out he's red-carded and people are calling for his head. I don't remember Harley being cited either and given a two-week ban.

You're absolutely right in saying that the injury was what determined the red card and not the action itself.

Don't forget about this one either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCo5n1QmaoM . Penalty and no more.

View Video

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

It's actually the British and Irish Lions, and I think there's a bit of a difference between eye-gouging someone and clumsily taking someone out in the air by mistake.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Jared Payne banned for two weeks after red card challenge on Alex Goode

What is the law though? Does it say you're not allowed to collide with a player in the air or you're not allowed to tackle him, because this is clearly an accidental collision rather than a tackle.

Then, does the law say that as long as you jump you can do whatever you want to the other player as long as it's in the air? I'm not sure if there is actually a ground/air difference specified in the rules, although I could very well be wrong.

I don't know what the law is, but it seems like common sense is the thing to use here, and emotion rather than common sense seems to be what influenced the referee's decision. I've no doubt that if Goode had gotten up and walked away the referee would have given Payne a yellow card, and as someone mentioned, if it took 5 minutes of replays to determine the punishment then it obviously wasn't a clear red card.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

 
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