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    Munsters home attendance figures are distorted by having one less match in TP in 2018/19 and having 3 games left to play in TP and only 1 in MP this season which would have increased the average.

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      Originally posted by Wallyman View Post
      Munsters home attendance figures are distorted by having one less match in TP in 2018/19 and having 3 games left to play in TP and only 1 in MP this season which would have increased the average.
      Probably true- and it’s not as though we have been tearing up trees in terms is success. Like it or not, a winning team will always inflate the gate. Moreover the figures dwarf those elsewhere in the Pro14, and premiership ( the occasional visit to twickenham aside).
      Last edited by jagawayagain; 18-July-2020, 10:06.

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        I genuinely don't think the pro 14 is as bad as people make it out to be. It's a league like, not knockout rugby so squads have to be managed and rotated and in all leagues there are peaks and troughs in form and there are poor teams at the bottom of every league in every sport.

        When you see some of the dross the premiership and the top 14 serve up, the pro 14 is regularly more entertaining.
        When things go wrong, blame McGahan

        Comment


          Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

          Connacht, Ulster, Munster and Leinster (partially due to not having the Munster Aviva game) all recorded smaller Pro14 home attendances for this season than last season. Over the past four years, since the introduction of the conference system, there has been a noticeable drop in the home attendances of Ulster and Munster for Pro14 games.

          Ulster:
          Average home pro12 attendance in the 2016–17 season: 15,961
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2017–18 season: 14,663
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2018–19 season: 13,835
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2019–20 season: 13,818

          Munster:
          Average home pro12 attendance in the 2016–17 season: 14,006
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2017–18 season: 13,288
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2018–19 season: 12,918
          Average home pro14 attendance in the 2019–20 season: 12,411




          What’s your time frame for the Pro14 becoming more competitive? The 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons were definitely two of the most competitive seasons, but since then the quality of the Welsh teams has been decreasing exponentially and the quality of the Irish teams ( bar Connacht ) has been increasing, widening the gap between Leinster and the top 4/5, and the top 4/5 and the rest.

          Excluding Munster’s home matches against the two Pro14 conference leaders, Munster won their 5 other home games by an average of 27 points. Prior to Covid-19, Leinster were on a 23-game unbeaten run, on track to complete an unbeaten season and win their third pro14 in a row.
          Leinster are one of, if not the strongest side in Europe. Every league has a team or two that is a cut above and very rarely loses. That doesn’t make a league inherently uncompetitive. Munster are also one of the strongest teams in the league but, despite your stats, we’re not topping our conference or doing a whole lot better than in the past.

          The way I see it, some sides have weakened (Blues, Glasgow and Ospreys) but others have strengthened (Cheetahs, Treviso, Edinburgh). That’s fairly normal churn rather than a decline in the overall standard.

          So, while attendances have fallen somewhat (although they’re hardly dwindling away) I think your contention that crowds have reduced because competitiveness has reduced is questionable. There could be a number of factors at play.

          For example, it’s just as likely that changes to format have had a negative impact. The decline you plot coincides with the switch to conferences, which we know a lot of people don’t like.

          So, while the addition of stronger sides might help, it’s not a panacea. Constant tinkering, and over expansion, can do more harm than good and they need to think very carefully before growing the thing any further.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Wallyman View Post
            Munsters home attendance figures are distorted by having one less match in TP in 2018/19 and having 3 games left to play in TP and only 1 in MP this season which would have increased the average.
            The amount of home games in TP does have some effect, but the single biggest drop in pro14 home attendance occurred between the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season, where the exact same number of home matches (8) took place in TP during each season.

            I included Ulster’s attendances due to the fact they are a one-stadium team. Playing in two stadium’s has an effect on attendances for sure, but I would also add that none of the pro14 matches at IIP this season were a sell-out this season, despite having a lower capacity than TP.

            Again, the point of my post wasn’t to focus on Munster’s attendance, but more so the general trend of most teams having reduced attendances for the pro14, since the 2016-17 season. The Munster support base is as strong as it’s ever been, with the second largest home attendance (70,525) in Europe for champions cup games.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post
              Leinster are one of, if not the strongest side in Europe. Every league has a team or two that is a cut above and very rarely loses. That doesn’t make a league inherently uncompetitive. Munster are also one of the strongest teams in the league but, despite your stats, we’re not topping our conference or doing a whole lot better than in the past.
              It doesn’t make the league inherently uncompetitive, but calling a league where one team is on track for a third pro14 title in a row and a historic, first-ever unbeaten season, “increasingly competitive”, is a bit of a stretch.



              The way I see it, some sides have weakened (Blues, Glasgow and Ospreys) but others have strengthened (Cheetahs, Treviso, Edinburgh). That’s fairly normal churn rather than a decline in the overall standard.
              Edinburgh are a very good team, but I wouldn’t subscribe to the notion that present day Benetton/Cheetahs are as good as the Welsh regions were 2/3 years ago. Scarlets got to a champions cup semi-final in the 2017–18 season and while Benetton have definitely improved, they still finished bottom of their champions cup pool. Edinburgh are in the challenge cup this season and Cheetahs despite their good home form, have only recorded two away wins and both were against teams that were at the bottom of their respective conferences ( Kings and Ospreys ). Cheetahs' away form features a 28-point hammering against Zebre and a loss to the Dragons.

              So, while attendances have fallen somewhat (although they’re hardly dwindling away) I think your contention that crowds have reduced because competitiveness has reduced is questionable. There could be a number of factors at play.
              A dwindling crowd is a crowd which is “gradually diminishing in size, amount, or strength“, so unless you know something about the attendances that isn’t out in the public domain, I don’t understand your issue with the use of that word.

              For example, it’s just as likely that changes to format have had a negative impact. The decline you plot coincides with the switch to conferences, which we know a lot of people don’t like.

              So, while the addition of stronger sides might help, it’s not a panacea. Constant tinkering, and over expansion, can do more harm than good and they need to think very carefully before growing the thing any further.
              There may well be other factors at play and while “correlation doesn’t imply causation”, I do think the relationship between the number of lopsided games and the reduced attendance has to be strongly considered. For example, Munster’s smallest attendance of the season vs Kings at IIP, correlated with their biggest winning margin of the season (65 point win).

              I’m sure constant tinkering isn’t the ambition of the pro14, but rather a necessary evil to keep the teams inside the competition afloat financially. The Welsh regions/clubs have been struggling massively over the past few seasons, with the WRU taking over the Dragons and strong rumours that the Ospreys have a limited shelf life.
              Last edited by Mumhain; 18-July-2020, 21:08.

              Comment


                No betting yet on Pro14 season - or HCUP or residual 6 Nations. Presumably bookies must not be sure enough that competitions will go ahead- seems slightly surprising as they could just get the money now and worry about competitions being cancelled later.
                ​​​​​​#GiveLeinsterTheHCupNow

                Originally Posted by mr chips
                AG gets the responses he does because he is a journalist..

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                  Roux: South Africa has not been kicked out of Super Rugby

                  "New Zealand has opted to play a domestic competition first before a possible crossover competition within the old Super Rugby format. That format is still being discussed by Sanzaar and there are different options on the table."

                  Thought this comment was interesting, Roux is still playing both sides.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post
                    Roux: South Africa has not been kicked out of Super Rugby

                    "New Zealand has opted to play a domestic competition first before a possible crossover competition within the old Super Rugby format. That format is still being discussed by Sanzaar and there are different options on the table."

                    Thought this comment was interesting, Roux is still playing both sides.
                    Seems very clear what NZ want, especially for next season (21/22).

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

                      Seems very clear what NZ want, especially for next season (21/22).
                      Yeah, the NZR seem to be big believers in the proverb “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission”. Not sure RA will be/are happy with being told they must drop X teams and they, like everybody else it seems, have plans A, B, C, D….

                      Australia court Sunwolves for go-it-alone competition if trans-Tasman Super Rugby series founders

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                        Yeah, the NZR seem to be big believers in the proverb “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission”. Not sure RA will be/are happy with being told they must drop X teams and they, like everybody else it seems, have plans A, B, C, D….

                        Australia court Sunwolves for go-it-alone competition if trans-Tasman Super Rugby series founders
                        The only good thing that might come out of this is that it could boost opportunities for Pacific island and Japanese teams- not because RA or NZR are bothered about them, but because they need teams to play against.

                        Whatever the relative strengths of Top14, Prem and pro14+, we have good league and a great international club competition on our door step, topped off by 6N. I really hope these aren’t compromised in order to produce a global calendar- although it would be great if aligning seasons was possible. Makes it an even more complex task with all of the SH unions in a muddle themselves.

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