The Heineken Cup - English Club Performances.
January 19, 2014, 10:02:00
Now that the Group games are virtually completed - none of the remaining games can influence the final group standings - the 8 teams that will proceed to the quarterfinal phase of the competition:-
Group Winners (6)
Group Runners Up - Highest Points (2)
Only Ulster won all their 6 Group Games - the other group leaders won 5 of their games (likely to be the case in the 2 groups where games are still to be played as well) - and Leicester and Saracens won 4 of their Group Matches.
The Top 4 teams on the final Log will have home games and as far as I can understand it -
* Saracens will have to go to play Ulster away; and
* Leicester is in the same boat having to play Toulon
The odds are heavily in favour of the home clubs in such an event.
It is becoming a clear indication that the English Clubs do not perform well in the Competition. We have been widely entertained by the village idiot Ceradyne about how much stronger English rugby is compared to SA rugby - but it seems that on club level they play second fiddle to French and Irish clubs.
This has been a repeat of the situation over the past few years - so the English Clubs want to change the situation by hook or by crook. They first of all convinced the French Clubs that they can do better financially by joining them in a new European Club competition - but then the real issues came out and the French Clubs sent them packing. The English Clubs wanted to prescribe to the French Clubs and the Irish ones their contract conditions - especially what they may pay their contracted players.
The French and Irish clubs saw through their shenanigans and sent them packing so the English Clubs next year are out of European competition. One of their approaches has been to SA - and their is a possibility that the Vodacom Cup teams from the top provincial franchises in SA could play them - but that would also present serious logistical problems - since Super 15, CC and test players will not be available to play against the English because of present contractual obligations. Problem also relates to the location of games and when it should be played - in view of the seasonal situation. Then it must also be borne in mind that in the winter season the SA Public is flooded by rugby and the games would not be televised live in SA - a real disincentive insofar as the franchises are concerned.
So where to now for the English Clubs next year and thereafter. The result would probably be that the Heineken Cup will get better TV buy-ins and sponsorship rights either from present sponsors or new ones and England will have to go hat in hand back to the other unions and plead for their re-admission into the European competition.
WHAT A FARCE!!!!!!!!