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    #46
    I like the conference system - it makes for a lot more meaningful fixtures for a lot more of the season. There used to be so many dead rubbers in the previous format, but right up till March-April of this year nearly every side had something to play for and the games tended to be more competitive as a result.

    Most of the "inferior" teams have managed to beat us or at least give us a fright recently, so I wouldn't be getting too complacent about our position - we've worked hard to get as far as we did. And I'd far rather endure the "monotony" of consistently finishing in the top 2 than go back to the stage of a few years ago, wondering whether we'd make it through to playing Champions Cup rugby the following season at all. Now if you want to talk about reasons for falling attendances ...
    Tis but a scratch.

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      #47
      Originally posted by mr chips View Post
      I like the conference system - it makes for a lot more meaningful fixtures for a lot more of the season. There used to be so many dead rubbers in the previous format, but right up till March-April of this year nearly every side had something to play for and the games tended to be more competitive as a result.

      Most of the "inferior" teams have managed to beat us or at least give us a fright recently, so I wouldn't be getting too complacent about our position - we've worked hard to get as far as we did. And I'd far rather endure the "monotony" of consistently finishing in the top 2 than go back to the stage of a few years ago, wondering whether we'd make it through to playing Champions Cup rugby the following season at all. Now if you want to talk about reasons for falling attendances ...
      I can't remember a pro14 team coming with in 20 points of us in Cork aside from Glasgow and that's always mid 6 nations and it's a combination of their 2nds and 3rds vs our 2nds. Sure we get beaten away when we send out a second string but by and large there is a very controlled plan in place where we send out the big guns enough to ease in to the top 2. It's great we are there for sure but the lack of competition is not good. The apparent lack interest from the Welsh it a killer. Sport needs to be exciting to generate interest.

      I worked with a Venezuelan lad last year, he played international rugby for Venezuela in his day. He was over for a month and he couldn't wait to go to Thomond. He had heard so much about this great theater of rugby. We went to the Cheetahs game first. We must have won by about 40 points. He couldn't believe how flat the whole thing was. There cant have been more than 5000 in the ground and the game was over as a contest early. We caught Ulster at the end of the month and Osperys in Cork in between. Each opposition had the the towel thrown in early, none of them came to win. Damage limitation and pretty boring to be honest.

      There was a bit of an atmosphere in Cork as kids cheered every try but Thomond was dead on both occasions. My Venezuelan mate was highly disappointed. I think he expected a Celtic Park like experience where the stadium is full week in week out. We are never going to get that, we don't have the population for it for a start a competitive Pro14 would help. Cake walks against second strings are grand for blooding talent but they don't bring punters through the gate.

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        #48
        Originally posted by hayeser View Post



        There was a bit of an atmosphere in Cork as kids cheered every try but Thomond was dead on both occasions. My Venezuelan mate was highly disappointed. I think he expected a Celtic Park like experience where the stadium is full week in week out. We are never going to get that, we don't have the population for it for a start a competitive Pro14 would help. Cake walks against second strings are grand for blooding talent but they don't bring punters through the gate.
        I've only been to Celtic Park once (when I lived in Glasgow). Celtic played Dundee Utd, Celtic had 18 corners to 1, the one corner was after we had left, Celtic won 1-0. I have never seen a match in any sport that was as boring, atmosphere was close enough to the match, I did not go back.

        Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



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          #49
          Originally posted by hayeser View Post

          The apparent lack interest from the Welsh it a killer.
          But the Welsh complain they aern't interested because we always play our second string.
          Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2020.

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            #50
            Originally posted by scotscor View Post
            I've only been to Celtic Park once (when I lived in Glasgow). Celtic played Dundee Utd, Celtic had 18 corners to 1, the one corner was after we had left, Celtic won 1-0. I have never seen a match in any sport that was as boring, atmosphere was close enough to the match, I did not go back.
            Well I'd 100% agree with you there. Outside die hards people generally people go to be entertained. Pure loyalty in Celtic's case because there ain't much by of entertainment. What my Venezuelan mate found surprising was the crowd. I suppose he was only ever going to see Thomond on TV when it's absolutely hopping for a big European game.

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              #51
              I was also at the games against Cheetahs and Ulster. The attendances were well above 5000 on both occasions, and the atmosphere was entirely what one would expect for early season fixtures when it's simply too soon for anything to be riding on a single result. The nature of European games is that do-or-die fixtures are a more regular feature in that competition than in the league, and there's more of a novelty factor in playing against opponents we don't generally meet as regularly, so it's inevitable that the atmosphere at those is usually more frenzied.

              I know that during the season just ended, we consolidated a good home record in the league - however it's the term "inferior teams" which smacks of hubris. Look at how much we struggled away from home. Yes, we beat Cardiff (for the first time in around two years IIRC?) when at home in April, but before that they had utterly dismantled us over there in September. In fact, win or lose we performed horribly over in Wales, especially (but not exclusively) against teams shorn of their stars during the 6N - we barely fired a shot in losing to a depleted Scarlets side, we just about fell over the line against Ospreys (while they were in the midst of their existential turmoil) and we beat Dragons by a one solitary point.

              Elsewhere, it was only a late score against Cheetahs that gave us the win away to them - not without conceding a try BP in the process - while Ulster, Leinster and Glasgow all had too much for us in their home grounds. Even at home, we only beat Glasgow in Thomond with the last kick of the game courtesy of Rory Scannell, a long-range effort of which ROG would have been proud - but it was still a complete hail mary in the dying seconds. Glasgow returned the favour with interest in Scotstoun, of course.

              I don't think we've earned the right to talk of our opponents as inferior teams. We simply aren't head & shoulders above them.

              Tis but a scratch.

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                I was also at the games against Cheetahs and Ulster. The attendances were well above 5000 on both occasions, and the atmosphere was entirely what one would expect for early season fixtures when it's simply too soon for anything to be riding on a single result. The nature of European games is that do-or-die fixtures are a more regular feature in that competition than in the league, and there's more of a novelty factor in playing against opponents we don't generally meet as regularly, so it's inevitable that the atmosphere at those is usually more frenzied.
                Look at the crowd for the quarter final against Benneton, the one game where they are not adding non attending season ticket holders to the official attendance, that was 10k. Compare how full Thomond was that day to the Cheetahs game, half the crowd at best. I wasn't saying the Ulster game was 5k, might have been 7/8k but still miserable fro an inter pro. but sure look who Ulster sent down to play us.

                You have done a good sales pitch on the Pro14 and yes the Glasgow game was class and sure we lost away and had some close calls but that's when we are minding players. We are in a situation where we can pick and chose the games we want to put the boot down for and comfortably cruise into the play offs there is very little excitement.

                I'm not sure what the answer is for the Pro14 maybe less games if it was a case the teams would be forced to put close to their best teams out and go for it. the majority of season ticket holders clearly don't give a hood about these Pro14 fixtures as evidenced by their non attendance, maybe you could even pull in more money for less fixtures if they were more keenly contested. The Musgrave games were a complete wash out this year, same the previous year except for a mid 6 nations game of 2nd/3rd strings with Glasgow.


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                  #53
                  It's a bit boring when you know the team is going to win. There's not much excitement going to happen. We're relying on other teams becoming more competitive. When Ulster and ospreys send over their academy players it's bad for Munster and the league.


                  The league is growing though. It's still building up rivalries. It doesn't help when people dismiss it yet they'll get worked up when the end of the season comes. So a change of attitude towards the league would benefit Munster. The Heineken cup takes care of itself.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Our attendances and ticket sales are right up there with the best.

                    There's nothing you can do to make the league tighter - squads have to be managed and last all season. So mismatches are bound to occur.

                    It's not for us to create any atmosphere - the crowd will respond to good rugby and nobody just turns up to pass their time after all. Having said that some of our performances have been a bit flat and seemingly almost devoid of innovation in attack.

                    Ergo.....

                    Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
                    Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by Miguel Sanchez View Post
                      Our attendances and ticket sales are right up there with the best.
                      Ticket sales are great, up the best no doubt about that. Actual attendance are definitely not. We sell the same amount of season tickets as Leinster and Ulster - 10/11k. That's very impressive.

                      However you have half that number showing up for a lot of games and a couple of thousand of them could be walk up crowd that it means your have 7/8 thousand people who have pre-purchased match tickets but couldn't be bothered using then. That's a crazy number. I think that makes it very justifiable to question the Pro14 product. It is probably similar in Dublin and Belfast but because they are located in big populating bases they get a bigger walk up crowd.

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                        #56
                        we seemed to have a lot of Friday night games last season which is going to affect your walk-up crowd. People have to travel from around the province to get to games and not everyone can get out of work early enough to get to them. This is the main difference with Belfast and Dublin where a good proportion of their fan bases are based in those cities or you have a better chance of a walk-up crowd because of the size of the population.

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                          #57
                          Probably a Friday evening game in Cork makes more sense than in Limerick.
                          Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



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                            #58
                            Haha, I'm not selling anything, just expressing my own views about the league - I hope it stays with the two conference format as I find it more entertaining.

                            Ultimately, in spite of how important it is to those of us on here, when it comes to attendances rugby in Ireland is still a minority sport, trailing in the public imagination behind soccer, hurling and football (maybe even horse racing?). Thomond Park will never be filled to the rafters for an early season league game, and it's simply unrealistic to expect otherwise. As I said above, it's the relative importance of the occasion - while one or two poor league results in September can probably be redressed through the course of the season, bigger crowds will always be drawn to the European fixtures due to the fact that there's more on the line for a greater proportion of the games, together with the novelty/wow factor of opponents, especially from the Top14.

                            The reality is that attendances (not just ticket sales) are extremely healthy compared to our peers, and improving greatly - see here:
                            Attendance increased by 15% across the season with Irish Independent Park recording four Guinness PRO14 sell-outs for the first time ever while Thomond Park hosted two sold-out games (both with additional capacity).
                            and here:
                            There were seven sell-out fixtures at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park during the season. All four games at Irish Independent Park sold out for the first time ever with the Ireland v France U20s 6 Nations match in Cork also at capacity. There were two sell-out attendances at Thomond Park with additional seating also installed for both games.
                            Tis but a scratch.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                              Haha, I'm not selling anything, just expressing my own views about the league - I hope it stays with the two conference format as I find it more entertaining.

                              Ultimately, in spite of how important it is to those of us on here, when it comes to attendances rugby in Ireland is still a minority sport, trailing in the public imagination behind soccer, hurling and football (maybe even horse racing?). Thomond Park will never be filled to the rafters for an early season league game, and it's simply unrealistic to expect otherwise. As I said above, it's the relative importance of the occasion - while one or two poor league results in September can probably be redressed through the course of the season, bigger crowds will always be drawn to the European fixtures due to the fact that there's more on the line for a greater proportion of the games, together with the novelty/wow factor of opponents, especially from the Top14.

                              The reality is that attendances (not just ticket sales) are extremely healthy compared to our peers, and improving greatly - see here:

                              and here:
                              Didn't mean to sound smart there with the selling commnet and you are spot on about Musgrave, Despite the games being very one sided they did sell out. They have been smart about it and promoted it very well within clubs. The place is a packed with kids. It's great to see. Thomond actual attendances are very poor though for standard Pro14 games, even a home QF only drew 10k.


                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by hayeser View Post

                                Didn't mean to sound smart there with the selling commnet and you are spot on about Musgrave, Despite the games being very one sided they did sell out. They have been smart about it and promoted it very well within clubs. The place is a packed with kids. It's great to see. Thomond actual attendances are very poor though for standard Pro14 games, even a home QF only drew 10k.
                                Thomond attendances are generally bigger than the capacity in Cork (including the quarter final). The stadium however is too big. 18K similar to Ravenhill or the RDS would have been a much better size, but they knew when building it that it would only be full 3-4 times a year.

                                And you keep banging the drum about the quarter final. They had a week to sell tickets and it was two weeks after the semi in Coventry. People aren't made of money. 10K was a respectable attendance in the circumstances.

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