Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Pro14 2017-18 season thread

  • 28-08-2017 9:48am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9,184 ✭✭✭ Burkie1203


    So the new league season is almost upon us.

    Just saw a cheetahs twitter post. Their first home game v Zebre has free entry courtesy of ToyotaSA. Great gesture from them. Hopefully it gets a good crowd in. Hope one of the SA sides makes the playoffs


«13456764

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    List of transfers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2017%E2%80%9318_Pro14_transfers

    The Kings squad is more or less thrown together. Most of their Super Rugby team is gone and they have signed players (some on loan) from the other provincial teams. I don't see them being competitive on that basis, though they should finish above Dragons and Treviso. I can't remember if it was Martin Anayi or Conor O'Shea (or both) who said it, but there is an acknowledgment that the Kings will need time to become competitive.

    The Cheetahs should be stronger but they are in the tougher conference. The home advantage at altitude will make it tough for visitors and their squad is less thrown together! I'd actually back them to reach the playoffs, altitude will surely be worth a few wins alone.

    The Italians really need to up their game but I don't see it happening. Zebre/Zebre Rugby Club's situation was messy and Treviso have never really recovered from the raid on their squad after their excellent 2012-13 season where they finished 7th, only 4 points behind Munster.

    Scarlets will hopefully remain competitive. Leigh Halfpenny replaces Liam Williams and while he may not make many league appearances he can win a few tight games with his goalkicking. Cardiff haven't signed or lost anyone of note so I don't expect anything from them. Ospreys have lost Sam Underhill who could be a future England star but still have a very talented squad. The Dragons are in big trouble and when your big name signings are Zane Kirchner (33) and Gavin Henson (35) there's not much to cheer about.

    Prediction:

    Conference A
    Munster
    Glasgow
    Cheetahs
    Ospreys
    Connacht
    Cardiff Blues
    Zebre

    Conference B
    Leinster
    Scarlets
    Ulster
    Edinburgh
    Southern Kings
    Dragons
    Treviso


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,553 ✭✭✭✭ errlloyd


    It is looking very likely I will be at the Leinster game in Port Elizabeth (sadly will have to be home by the Boomfontein game). Extremely pumped for this season.

    My predictions are that the top 6 will be the same top 6 as we have had in 35 out of the last 36 cases. (Connacht 2016 being the only time in the last 6 years that all of Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Scarlets, Ospreys and Glasgow weren't top 6). But I believe Conference A is much more competitive and harder to call.

    Conf A: Munster, Ospreys, Glasgow
    Conf B: Leinster, Scarlets, Ulster


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,737 ✭✭✭ jacothelad


    List of transfers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2017%E2%80%9318_Pro14_transfers

    The Kings squad is more or less thrown together. Most of their Super Rugby team is gone and they have signed players (some on loan) from the other provincial teams. I don't see them being competitive on that basis, though they should finish above Dragons and Treviso. I can't remember if it was Martin Anayi or Conor O'Shea (or both) who said it, but there is an acknowledgment that the Kings will need time to become competitive.

    The Cheetahs should be stronger but they are in the tougher conference. The home advantage at altitude will make it tough for visitors and their squad is less thrown together! I'd actually back them to reach the playoffs, altitude will surely be worth a few wins alone.

    The Italians really need to up their game but I don't see it happening. Zebre/Zebre Rugby Club's situation was messy and Treviso have never really recovered from the raid on their squad after their excellent 2012-13 season where they finished 7th, only 4 points behind Munster.

    Scarlets will hopefully remain competitive. Leigh Halfpenny replaces Liam Williams and while he may not make many league appearances he can win a few tight games with his goalkicking. Cardiff haven't signed or lost anyone of note so I don't expect anything from them. Ospreys have lost Sam Underhill who could be a future England star but still have a very talented squad. The Dragons are in big trouble and when your big name signings are Zane Kirchner (33) and Gavin Henson (35) there's not much to cheer about.

    Prediction:

    Conference A
    Munster
    Glasgow
    Cheetahs
    Ospreys
    Connacht
    Cardiff Blues
    Zebre

    Conference B
    Leinster
    Scarlets
    Ulster
    Edinburgh
    Southern Kings
    Dragons
    Treviso

    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,553 ✭✭✭✭ errlloyd


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.

    Edinburgh, Dragons and Treviso managed to win 15 out of 66 games last year and the South Kings haven't even got a squad. Ulster may not challenge the top 2, but they should definitely come 3rd.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.

    Stop the Internet. Jaco wins.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 19,230 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.

    If Gibbes can't sort things out then the province needs to be overhauled from the ground up.

    Some kind of dedicated IRFU performance director just for Ulster.

    o33hgOu.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,071 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    Glasgow will improve this season I think. They have strengthened their squad and Rennie should rejuvenate things a bit. I don't see Munster being as strong as last season. The coaching uncertainty won't help and they got off very lightly with injuries last year as far as I recall which doesn't seem sustainable. The Cheetahs will definitely be better of the two SA sides but it's hard not to see them hitting a wall at some stage given they are effectively rolling from one full season into another. Ospreys don't look to have strengthened much. I expect Connacht to be a lot better than last season, new voice, some good additions and not having European cup rugby should help. Glasgow to top the conference and the two Irish provinces to take the other playoff berths.

    The other conference looks fairly boring to be honest. It should be a cakewalk for Leinster. Scarlets have lost a couple of key players and haven't really strengthened their squad. Ulster should surely have enough talent to get in the top three. Maybe Cockerill can light a fire under Edinburgh and make things somewhat interesting in terms of top three but it's hard to see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,716 ✭✭✭✭ Interested Observer


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.

    The conference is extremely weak otherwise, not making the top 3 would be inexcusable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,246 ✭✭✭ bazwraf


    Munster wont win their group, and will struggle to make top 3


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,716 ✭✭✭✭ Interested Observer


    bazwraf wrote: »
    Munster wont win their group, and will struggle to make top 3

    Ah they'll almost certainly make the top 3. It's a competitive conference though, winning it will be tough.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,246 ✭✭✭ bazwraf


    Ah they'll almost certainly make the top 3. It's a competitive conference though, winning it will be tough.

    I'd give them about a 40% chance of making the top three.
    I'm biased in thinking Connacht will finish ahead of them, so you can discount that, but I really dont think they'll win the group.
    I think they'll perform more like they did in 2015/2016 than they did last year.
    I like Munster though, and hope they do perform well.

    Mainly excited for the start of the season. Feels like ages since Connacht have had a league match.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,596 ✭✭✭ Rigor Mortis


    Conference A
    Glasgow
    Munster
    Cheetahs
    Connacht
    Ospreys
    Cardiff Blues
    Zebre

    Conference B
    Leinster
    Scarlets
    Ulster
    Edinburgh
    Southern Kings
    Treviso
    Dragons

    In Conference B i would see 3 - 5 as being interchangeable. If Cockerill gets Edinburgh firing it wouldnt be impossible to see them getting ahead of Ulster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    Cheetahs' squad for Ulster and Munster:

    Charles Marais, Ox Nche, Joseph Dweba, Jacques du Toit, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Erich de Jager, Aranos Coetzee, Tom Botha, Justin Basson, Armandt Koster, Reniel Hugo, Rynier Bernardo, Paul Schoeman, Henco Venter, Gerhard Olivier , Niell Jordaan,

    Shaun Venter, Tian Meyer, Zee Mkhabela, Cecil Afrika, Robbie Petzer, Makazole Mapimpi, Ali Mgijima, William Small-Smith, Rayno Benjamin, Rosko Specman, Sergeal Petersen, Clayton Blommetjies


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    I think we'll come third, but with a gap between us and the Scarlets, and then we'll be beaten in the playoff quarter finals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    I call shenanigans on at least 5 of that Cheetahs roster, made up just so they look like they have a squad. Cecil Afrika and Mr Mipimpi??? I was half expecting to see I.P. Freely and Justin Tyme on the bench.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    awec wrote: »
    I think we'll come third, but with a gap between us and the Scarlets, and then we'll be beaten in the playoff quarter finals.

    Anything less than third would be unacceptable. Treviso and Dragons should be 9/10 pointers each. Edinburgh are meh. It's hard to know with Kings but given their squad is thrown together...


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    DURBAN - South African rugby will enter uncharted waters this weekend when a full-strength Cheetahs team plays Ulster in a Pro 16 debut in Belfast on Friday, while their “C” team watches from a Durban hotel room before playing the Sharks in a Currie Cup premier Division match at Kings Park the next day.

    What a mess. Well done, Sanzaar. Well done, Saru. Is this type of Premier Division Currie Cup fixture a mortal blow for the 127-year-old Cup, so long the coveted trophy in South African rugby?

    The reality is that the Cheetahs have taken their best 28 players on tour to the North for two matches - against Ulster and then Dublin giants Munster - in what was the Pro 12, before the Kings and Cheetahs were added after being cut from Super Rugby.

    https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/currie-cup/cheetahs-and-sharks-set-for-currie-cup-farce-at-kings-park-10983403

    :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Can the Currie Cup be further emasculated? Interestingly, the kick-off time for the Sharks match against the Cheetahs at Kings Park has been brought forward to 4.15pm so that nationwide viewers can watch the Kings play the Scarlets (from Cardiff) later in the evening.

    :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    The Southern Kings Guinness PRO14 touring squad for Wales and Ireland is:

    FORWARDS
    Tango Balekile
    Stephan Coetzee
    Rossouw de Klerk
    Bobby de Wee
    Martin Dreyer
    Schalk Ferreira
    Khaya Majola
    Siyabulela Mdaka
    Andisa Ntsila
    Luvuyo Pupuma
    Victor Sekekete
    Entienne Swanepoel
    Dries van Schalkwyk
    Jurie van Vuuren
    Michael Willemse (capt)

    BACKS
    Masixole Banda
    Kurt Coleman
    Ntabeni Dukisa
    Rowan Gouws
    Berton Klaasen
    Godlen Masimla
    Jacques Nel
    Yaw Penxe
    Sibusiso Sithole
    Rudi van Rooyen
    Luzuko Vulindlu
    Oliver Zono

    https://www.supersport.com/rugby/pro14/news/170828/Willemse_to_captain_Kings_on_Pro14_tour


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,375 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    So, anyone know anything about, well, any of them?


  • Advertisement
  • Subscribers Posts: 36,268 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Dries van Schalkwyk has been playing pro 12 for the last 5 years...

    for Zebre ;)

    Schalk Ferreira was with toulouse for a few seasons..... Sibusiso Sithole is about the only back worth talking about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,230 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    Dries van Schalkwyk has been playing pro 12 for the last 5 years...

    for Zebre ;)

    Schalk Ferreira was with toulouse for a few seasons..... Sibusiso Sithole is about the only back worth talking about.

    I heard that lad Sibusiso is meant to be fairly rough, apparently he grew up in a right Sithole.

    Mapimpi is the perfect name for someone who owns a Brothel.

    Ok I'm done.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,529 Mod ✭✭✭✭ icdg


    :pac:

    Believe it or not...that website was once Irish owned...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,261 ✭✭✭✭ Clegg


    Paul Rees of The Guardian discusses the possibility of the Pro 14 expanding to Germany, Spain and Canada.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/30/the-breakdown-pro-14-expansion-germany-spain-canada

    Quote from the Pro 14 CEO:
    “The first question of any newcomers is will they come with a competitive team? That is vitally important. Then you look at player welfare and then how do you make it work commercially. If a team is not going to be competitive and works against player welfare, it does not matter how much money it brings in. As far as the United States is concerned, the union there needs to be a willing and active participant in any move, along with World Rugby who are looking to increase the number of elite teams and increase the value of the international game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Rumours of Matawalu back to Glasgow


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,784 ✭✭✭✭ Winters


    Where is Steven Sykes these days...


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    Rumours of Matawalu back to Glasgow

    1385331830_yes_yes_yes_yes.gif

    The league is worse off without Psycho Niko.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,553 ✭✭✭✭ errlloyd


    Sounds like a broadcast deal is close. I have to say this is great news. SuperSport will broadcast a premium quality feed in English.

    http://www.sarugbymag.co.za/blog/details/supersport-eyes-pro14-coverage


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    errlloyd wrote: »
    Sounds like a broadcast deal is close. I have to say this is great news. SuperSport will broadcast a premium quality feed in English.

    http://www.sarugbymag.co.za/blog/details/supersport-eyes-pro14-coverage

    A big season is crucial for the Pro 14 with our TV rights up for grabs.

    Could be a lot of money flittering about this time next season.

    Could really do with a revenue-sharing deal done sooner rather than later, especially if SA teams get added to the Champions Cup.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    jacothelad wrote: »
    I would normally think this is about right but having watched with increasing alarm at the descent into utter shambles that is unfolding at Ravenhill, I doubt that Ulster will be within a warthog's pork sword of the top 3.

    We have a stronger pack, much weaker half backs, although once Leafilano gets up to speed he may even be an upgrade on Jackson, and the outside backs are pretty much the same. We also have a better coaching ticket.

    In theory we should have a better season.

    But what we've seen in pre season doesn't match up with that.

    As I said last week I'm fairly unenthused, I just hope we make the top 3, play some entertaining stuff and see a few youngsters break through to give us hope for the future.

    Individually it would be nice to see Stockdale and Treadwell progress with Ireland.

    As for the league as a whole I think Glasgow will be back to being a force this season, and I'm expecting big things from Leinster.


Advertisement