Rugby 2018


Clermont certainly took motivation from the postponement cock up …


Doc on Newstalk there now, reiterating that he feels the premiership teams have big physical matches every weekend and that seriously counts against them when they meeting a fresh and flying province in Europe.

Eg. Conor Murray has played 6 matches this year whereas Ben Young’s has played every match for Leicester.


But how come Saracens have been beating the shit out of everyone for the last two years? What changed this year?


There’s a freak team now and again which can break the general trend. Saracens were virtually unbeaten in all competition last few years, weren’t they? They were on fire anyways. The wheels have come off spectacularly for them this season.


7 defeats out of 7 for English teams his weekend - 4 at home.


Indeed. Are you saying the format of the premiership doesn’t mitigate against them? That the pro14 take it more seriously? The French have the same problems where only the really top teams like Claremont have the squads to give it a proper rattle on two fronts?


La Rochelle are flying. Why aren’t Pro 14 teams winning all the time? I just think Leinster have a really good team. Munster much less so.


I know this is the internet but it’s not black & white, gives pro14 teams an edge, doesn’t mean it’s easy for them.

Leinster do have a good team for sure, how many Irish internationals on the panel? Last count was 23.


Leinster looked much fresher than Exeter. They seem far better conditioned.


THats what o’callaghan was saying, in a close game the tougher schedule works against the English sides. As he’s seen it first hand from both points of view, so i’d be inclined to believe him. He even said it pains him to say it but it’s just not the priority over there like it is here.


Probably the worst example to pick. Murray has been eased back after being on the Lions Tour. Youngs didn’t go on that tour.


He was never too bright that lad :joy:

Still only 6 games, it is nearly Xmas, have the English lions played only 6 games? I expect a lot more


Eddie Jones used Otoje sparingly (as did Saracens) in the Autumn internationals. Again, probably a bad example as he then got injured last weekend.


Broke his jaw isn’t it? Big loss for them for six nations opener


In fairness DOC is playing for Worcester Warriors, they aren’t in the Champions Cup so he can hardly speak about that. They are currently sitting 2nd last in the Aviva Premiership, so of course their focus would be on the premiership and not getting relegated over the Challenge Cup!
As for the English teams having “more competitive” matches and promotion/relegation. Back when they were winning Heineken Cups, they claimed it was an advantage and an explanation as to why they were so good. Then when Irish teams started winning, the claimed it was a disadvantage and why they were performing poorly. So they changed the format, it worked for a while, now it’s not working again so they’re complaining.
Their ‘logic’ still doesn’t explain why the french teams are still doing well.

Some of Leinster’s internationals (obviously it’s a lot easier to become an international in a country with 4 professional teams than in a country with 12-14 teams) have played a good few games.
Jack Conan has played 11 games this season; Healy and Luke McGrath 9 each; Toner and Ruddock 8 each.


It worked in the World Cup year when the pro12 teams we’re bolloxed after the World Cup (4 National teams drawn from the league as opposed to 1). Also no coincidence that was the year Connacht won the pro12 (top teams were a mess that year).

So you’re saying the English clubs give as much priority to Europe as the provinces? The french clubs? That donnacha o’callahghan Is in no position to comment? :joy:


Some of them certainly do. Saries, Clermont, Toulon etc. I’d imagine Exeter and others are too, just didn’t go according to plan.
They all put out full strength teams, surely they would put out weakened sides if they held it at a lower priority?


The very top ones do. the majority of the rest don’t always put out their best teams and all of them give their domestic competitions more effort in the weeks before these games then our teams do. People are in serious denial about this. Where’s bart when you need some sense talked.:yum:


Not in denial @Tayto - you may be right but there’s as much evidence out there to put holes in your theory than to back it up. Results and winners in recent years being a fairly big one …


Don’t think that holes the argument at all. The top one or two in england and france give it a proper lash, they have the squads to be able to. The others give it a mixed priority depending on where they’re at. But none of them get to rest their squad with only the ERC in mind like the provinces do. I’m not saying it’s totally unfair or anything like that, just that some of the wins like v the likes of harlequins should be taken with a pinch of salt and when it comes to the same players going toe to toe in an international context things can be a little different.

I’d love to see the irish provinces (and welsh and scots) in a league with the english teams, that would be a great competition.