Pro14 2018/19

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1 week 1 day ago - 1 week 1 day ago #60953 by pinky
pinky created the topic: Pro14 2018/19
There's been no mention of any change in format or any surprise new teams for next season, so I assume we're going with the same rules as this season.
Based on the Q&A they released last summer the conferences will be very similar to this season's, since there's been little change in the ranking of the teams within each country.
It's likely that Leinster and Munster will swap positions, though they are on course to meet in the semi-final and if Munster can turn them over, it looks like the conferences will be the exact same as this season. Edinburgh could still in theory swap with Glasgow but they would probably have to win the league to do it.
I actually thought that we were due to get Kings instead of Cheetahs next time as I thought Kings were the higher ranked SA team but apparently not (they finished with more points in Super Rugby but Cheetahs were higher placed in their conference and thus were higher ranked, as they will be next time around, so no change there).
The only real change for us next season is we get the extra home game (we should have Scarlets, Dragons and Treviso at home and Edinburgh and Kings away).
A lot depends on what kind of team Cheetahs are next season. They had a decent debut based on solid home form but not sure how their squad is shaping up. They're losing a few like Venter and Blommetjes and more worrying for them there are a few like Mapimpi that went back to Super Rugby in February. Haven't seen any big name signings (though maybe I haven't been paying attention) and I'm not sure how man of their current squad are contracted so there could be lots of changes.
So we will likely be slugging it out with Ospreys and Blues again for Champions Cup spots and maybe a sniff at third place if things go well. Ospreys probably won't give everyone the head start they did this season though ...

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"We haven’t liked the wind and rain for about four years now" - John Muldoon 1/1/2015
Last Edit: 1 week 1 day ago by pinky.
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1 week 23 hours ago #60955 by Fourdogs
Fourdogs replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
Pinky
Am I right in thinking that we will have a two game trip to SA next season.

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1 week 23 hours ago #60956 by pinky
pinky replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
Yep, that's my understanding anyway.
Of course you could never rule out them changing the rules entirely ...

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"We haven’t liked the wind and rain for about four years now" - John Muldoon 1/1/2015

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1 week 12 hours ago #60958 by Tall Paul
Tall Paul replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
I was just talking to someone about this at the weekend.
I was unsure how the 2 conferences draw would be made.
Thanks pinky

Does it make any difference at this stage where we end up in the table money wise?

If not, maybe they should give the older players with big mileage the rest of the season off and bring them back early for a good pre season next year, so the team hits the ground running.
If we do not have a good season next year.
We will loose players, support and sponsorship.

I really think we will have a good season.
So far I'm really happy with the way the team is shaping up.
My only 2 bugs are:
1 Rotating 7 to 8 players at a time
2 When the forwards are first receivers they go to ground far too easily.
The backs need quick ball.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
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6 days 13 hours ago #60966 by ConnachtCows
ConnachtCows replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
It's a pity that the groups look like they will be almost identical next season. Just Munster and Leinster switching conferences.
Still, if we get an away trip to Edinburgh next season, and it's in 2019 I'll be all over it

@ConnachtCows - Always looking for new followers :)

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6 days 12 hours ago #60967 by salmson
salmson replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
I wouldn't bet on that. We know that Leinster & Munster will switch position but how the Italian, SA & Scottish teams were distributed last year was intended to balance the pools as best they could (given that you're putting one top seed in one pool and two in the other).

The most balanced way to split them this year would be:
Glasgow (1st in conference), Kings (7), Treviso (5) and Edinburgh (3), Cheetahs (3), Zebre (7)
rather than:
Glasgow(1), Cheetahs (3), Zebre (7) and Edinburgh (3), Treviso (5), Kings (7)
or:
Glasgow (1), Kings (7), Zebre (7) and Edinburgh (3), Cheetahs (3), Treviso (5)

The Welsh/Irish split at the moment is:
Leinster (1), Cardiff (4), Ospreys (5), Connacht (6) and Scarlets (2), Munster (2), Ulster (4), Dragons (6)
with our conference slightly weaker.

So the Pro 12 could pick the "balanced" first Italian/Scottish/SA selections and distribute them arbitrarily, or they pick either of the equally unbalanced options and put the stronger selection in with us and Leinster.

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6 days 10 hours ago #60969 by pinky
pinky replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
Agree re the imbalance, but it does say:
Every season the conferences will be filled in the following order.
and goes on to specify Ireland 1 with Wales 2/3, etc.
That said, unbalanced conferences don't benefit any union so they could mutually agree to change the rules, and that is just an FAQ so the actual agreement may be looser.
It would seem odd that the two conference winners (and thus likely finalists) would end up in the same conference next season.

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"We haven’t liked the wind and rain for about four years now" - John Muldoon 1/1/2015
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6 days 7 hours ago #60970 by salmson
salmson replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19
Looks like our fixture list is pretty much already determined then:

Home and Away: Leinster, Ulster, Munster, Cheetahs, Glasgow, Zebre, Ospreys, Cardiff.

Home only: Scarlets, Treviso, Dragons.

Away only: Edinburgh, Kings.

Depending on the Challenge Cup draw we could have up to 6 visiting teams different from the previous year.

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6 days 7 hours ago #60972 by sea_point
sea_point replied to the topic: Pro14 2018/19

salmson wrote: Looks like our fixture list is pretty much already determined then:

Home and Away: Leinster, Ulster, Munster, Cheetahs, Glasgow, Zebre, Ospreys, Cardiff.

Home only: Scarlets, Treviso, Dragons.

Away only: Edinburgh, Kings.

Depending on the Challenge Cup draw we could have up to 6 visiting teams different from the previous year.


Quite depressing in the context of this season...
Of the Home/Away's only Zebre would be considered weaker than us, and not for much longer by the looks of it.
Not having Home & Away for Dragons/Treviso denies us the opportunity of potentially morale boosting/momentum building away wins...

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