Challenge Cup 2018/19

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61964 by connachta
Replied by connachta on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19

superconnacht7 wrote: I would like to see Pau, Connacht, Bristol (Prem, Pro 14), that would be a very tasty and tempting match up!


Hell no, I want final phases again, not tasty pool..

Pau is a team to avoid IMO. Sale and Agen would be great.

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8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #61965 by pinky
Replied by pinky on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Basically we get one from La Rochelle, Pau, Sale and Saints and one from Bordeaux, Agen, Worcester and Bristol (not both from the same country), plus one of the bottom 5.
Because of the fact they could end up in the same pot as us, we are less likely to get the second and fourth ranked teams than the first and fifth. So we have an 11/36 probability of getting La Rochelle, Sale, Agen, Bristol and 7/36 for Pau, Saints, Bordeaux, Worcester (about 30.5% v 19.5% or thereabouts). The bottom 5 all equally likely as neill_m says.

In terms of getting to them, The English ones are all straightforward.
Bordeaux has daily flights year round, which also covers Agen. La Rochelle has direct flights in October, otherwise it's only 2 hours train to Nantes or Bordeaux. Grenoble is close to Lyon and Geneva. You can get to Perpignan via Carcassonne but probably as handy to fly to Barcelona. Paris is a no brainer. Only one a bit awkward is Pau, but you can fly to Biarritz or Toulouse in October and Bordeaux otherwise (2h20 on train).
Timisoara has cheap flights from Bergamo with Ryanair so you could probably work out something that way. Otherwise I think Budapest is the nearest with direct flights (bit of a trek from there).
Pobeda (low cost Aeroflot subsidiary) now have really cheap flights from Moscow to a few places in Europe like Bergamo and Bratislava for €40-50 so there might be a budget way of getting to wherever in Russia we might end up.


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"We haven’t liked the wind and rain for about four years now" - John Muldoon 1/1/2015
Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by pinky.
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8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #61966 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Sale, Connacht, Bordeaux and Perpignan
Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by neill_m.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61967 by ThisYearWillBeDifferent
Replied by ThisYearWillBeDifferent on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
And Pat Lam gets to go back to Siberia!

Well, probably Sochi these days.
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8 months 3 weeks ago #61968 by pinky
Replied by pinky on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Not the worst. Would have preferred Timisoara from the last pot. And Bordeaux will probably take it more seriously than Agen. But three teams we haven't played in recent years so a bit of variety anyway.

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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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8 months 3 weeks ago #61969 by Accidentally Onside
Replied by Accidentally Onside on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Tough group but could be interesting :)
Any idea when fixtures comes out?

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61970 by St Placide
Replied by St Placide on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19

Accidentally Onside wrote: Tough group but could be interesting :)
Any idea when fixtures comes out?

Within two weeks of the finalisation of the Pro14, Top14 and Premiership fixture lists apparently.....
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8 months 3 weeks ago #61971 by Fourdogs
Replied by Fourdogs on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
The 6 weekend dates are already out
Oct 12-14 & 19-21
Dec 7-9 & 14-16
Jan 11-13 & 18-20

So get busy on Booking.com for Bordeaux and Perpignan. Manchester will be easy.

12 booking but don't forget the free cancellation
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8 months 3 weeks ago #61972 by coll roig
Replied by coll roig on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Hi everybody here !

I 'll be very happy to discover GALWAY city and people ...I'm an USAP fan , we were in PRO D 2 for the last 4 years , we come back in European competition with a great pleasure ...

I and my friends will attempt to be there for our game in CONNACHT stadium ...

As the dates will be known , I will come back here ...
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8 months 3 weeks ago #61973 by Accidentally Onside
Replied by Accidentally Onside on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Cheers folks :)
One thing I would say is Manchester can get very expensive if it's a premier league weekend as one of the teams will almost certainly be at home and they attract a big non-local fanbase.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61974 by Stakeknife84
Replied by Stakeknife84 on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Recently moved to Bristol so was hoping we'd get them. Will deffo make the Sale away game and hopefully convince the gf of the merits of a romantic weekend in Bordeaux. Tough draw though. A solid start to the Pro 14 is imperative - does anyone know when those fixtures are announced?

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61976 by Diabhal
Replied by Diabhal on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Has the Thursday night Challenge Cup slot been done away with? It doesn't have any Thursdays down on that dates list.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61977 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19

Diabhal wrote: Has the Thursday night Challenge Cup slot been done away with? It doesn't have any Thursdays down on that dates list.


Looks like it. Possibly due to there being only one UK/Ireland TV rights holder now.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61978 by FACECUTTR
Replied by FACECUTTR on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Welcome Coll roig. Great to see fans of other teams dropping by and saying hello. You and your friends will be very welcome in Galway and The Sportsground.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61979 by Borders no.2
Replied by Borders no.2 on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Don't really fancy us in that group. Looking at the other groups this will more than likely be a group that only one team gets out of. Depends on the schedule and how bothered the French sides are about the competition I guess but there's no soft points in this group like last year.

I think the league is priority for us this year. Last season I thought the challege cup was very winnable but the competition looks stronger this year and our chances of a good seeding are low. Of course we have to see how the fixtures play out and where we are at in the league when Europe rolls around but the league looks our most realistic avenue back into the top competition.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #61981 by St Placide
Replied by St Placide on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
I agree, after two dismal seasons, the league has to be our priority.

It's a very even group and easily the most difficult of the five. Depending on the timing of the fixtures, both of the French sides are likely focus on the Top 14. USAP is probably, along with Grenoble, the weakest side in the division. Despite being the best supported side in Europe,UBB has struggled over the past three seasons, reaching no higher than 10th place. Sale is at a similar level. Based on the last two seasons, we're probably a little behind both Sale and UBB and ahead of USAP. Nonetheless, we should be able to win all three at home. After this, it will be a lottery....
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