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Northern Hemisphere Rugby

Italophile

Bill Watson (15)
Not really misleading though is it.. all clubs demonstrating a financial loss for the 22-23 FY year would support the broader context that debt is increasing
I meant misleading in terms of the overall actual figures. £191m revenue -v- £29m losses doesn't sound bad.
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
Very happy to see Reece Hodge have a successful return to professional rugby after a 10 month injury layoff. He's had two barnstorming games for Bayonne, a MotM last game with two tries. He'll be a fan favourite easily.

Bayonne are a fun club to follow, similar small passionate vibes to La Rochelle and are doing well for themselves despite not being a giant club. Same logic applies Jack Maddock's Pau, also punching above their weight this season.


Very keen for Leinster v Toulouse this weekend. I think Leinster will have them, they dispatched La Rochelle way too easily. Toulouse have been too hot and cold recently too. Semi finals in the UK weekend after. Finn Russell's Bath the big movers, going from 8th last year to 2nd, at the expense of Dan McKellar's Tigers who've tumbled from 3rd to 8th. With his squad it's pretty unacceptable.
 

KevinO

Geoff Shaw (53)
Game at a relatively friendly time too.

This game really hurts for me, two teams I passionately hate in the final. I think Leinster will get the job done, and make the Irish forums unbearable for a while.

Munsters current form has been unreal, wish they were playing like this after the group stages of Europe.
 

Italophile

Bill Watson (15)
Very happy to see Reece Hodge have a successful return to professional rugby after a 10 month injury layoff. He's had two barnstorming games for Bayonne, a MotM last game with two tries. He'll be a fan favourite easily.

Bayonne are a fun club to follow, similar small passionate vibes to La Rochelle and are doing well for themselves despite not being a giant club. Same logic applies Jack Maddock's Pau, also punching above their weight this season.


Very keen for Leinster v Toulouse this weekend. I think Leinster will have them, they dispatched La Rochelle way too easily. Toulouse have been too hot and cold recently too. Semi finals in the UK weekend after. Finn Russell's Bath the big movers, going from 8th last year to 2nd, at the expense of Dan McKellar's Tigers who've tumbled from 3rd to 8th. With his squad it's pretty unacceptable.
Fascinating final given how the semis played out with massive comebacks by the less favoured oppo. I lean towards Toulouse. Hot and cold, yes, but their hot is better than Leinster's.

Agree about Pau and Bayonne.
 

Italophile

Bill Watson (15)
Crikey, what a final. Dupont MOTM as much for his astonishing tireless defence as going forward. Just a fabulous player. Both defences on top but Leinster were muddled in attack with too many errors. Toulouse showed how it's done when the chances presented themselves. Outstanding game from Kinghorn. Subbing on Ramos could have cost them.
 

Steve_Grey

Larry Dwyer (12)
Crikey, what a final. Dupont MOTM as much for his astonishing tireless defence as going forward. Just a fabulous player. Both defences on top but Leinster were muddled in attack with too many errors. Toulouse showed how it's done when the chances presented themselves. Outstanding game from Kinghorn. Subbing on Ramos could have cost them.
Dupont said he mastered his jackal skills from his 7s training / playing - 4 turnovers I think?
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
Crikey, what a final. Dupont MOTM as much for his astonishing tireless defence as going forward. Just a fabulous player. Both defences on top but Leinster were muddled in attack with too many errors. Toulouse showed how it's done when the chances presented themselves. Outstanding game from Kinghorn. Subbing on Ramos could have cost them.
Thought Dupont's traditional 9 roles were lacking yesterday this morning, makes up for it by being a the best tracking fullback in the game and pilferer at the same time. What a freak.

Congrats to Richie and Manny on joining the small club of Aussies who've won the Champions Cup multiple times. Surely Richie is the first to do it with a red card too.
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
I know a lot of people dislike the idea of world club championship but I would love to see a full strength Brumbies/Reds/Canes/Blues/Chiefs take on Leinster/Toulouse/Saracens/La Rochelle. Don't know how to organise it so the clubs take it seriously. But I have no idea how the teams compare. Would the Canes crumble or dominate Toulouse? nfi.
 

Wilson

Michael Lynagh (62)
I know a lot of people dislike the idea of world club championship but I would love to see a full strength Brumbies/Reds/Canes/Blues/Chiefs take on Leinster/Toulouse/Saracens/La Rochelle. Don't know how to organise it so the clubs take it seriously. But I have no idea how the teams compare. Would the Canes crumble or dominate Toulouse? nfi.
That's the tricky part to this, timing and travel will have such a bearing on the results and I worry there's an natural reaction for those clubs up against on those counts to not engage properly as a way to save face.

I think the answer is probably just start it and let the prestige build over time, but a decent participation payout and massive prize money is probably the other part.
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
That's the tricky part to this, timing and travel will have such a bearing on the results and I worry there's an natural reaction for those clubs up against on those counts to not engage properly as a way to save face.

I think the answer is probably just start it and let the prestige build over time, but a decent participation payout and massive prize money is probably the other part.
Sell our souls and have a 4 week tourney in Qatar?
 

Wilson

Michael Lynagh (62)
Sell our souls and have a 4 week tourney in Qatar?
It's probably the most likely route at this stage. A more neutral ground for travel (although timezones favour Europe and South Africa) but timing is still tricky. Could probably push the mid year tests back a month and find a bit of a window in there that is pretty good for it though.
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
Heading into the final round for Top 14, lots of permutations for 8 teams making a 6 team final series.

Toulouse have secured a home semi final already as minor premiers they can rest easy.

Stade Francais with the freres Alo-Emiles are up against Duncan Pai'aua's Toulon, battling for 2nd and 3rd spot. Whoever wins gets a home semi and the loser has to play in quarter finals (but a home qf).

Will Skelton's La Rochelle and Pete Samu's Bordeaux are safe in the top 6, playing Racing 92 and Oyonnax respectively. Oyonnax are relegated already so should be an easy win for Bordeaux. La Rochelle though are up against Kolisi's Racing 92, who are placed 6th, so they need to win if they want to stay in the finals.

7th and 8th are where it gets interesting. It's the absolute darkhorses Perpignan led by Jake McIntyre in 7th and my favourite Tom Staniforth with Castres at 8th. They're both playing lower ranked teams, Maddock's Pau and Hodge's Bayonne but both away from home. I predict Racing 92 in 6th will lose to La Rochelle in La Rochelle, opening up that 6th spot to Perpignan or Castres. I would love either one to sneak in, so I'll go with Perpignan for the underdogs.

Unfortunately Brandon Paenga-Amosa's Montpellier are toiling away in the annoying 13th spot meaning they'll be locked up in relegation matches for another couple weeks.
Current:
1717732568306.png

Predicted:
1. Toulouse
2. Toulon
3. Stade Francais
4. Bordeaux
5. La Rochelle
6. Perpignan
 

RebelYell

Arch Winning (36)
Heading into the final round for Top 14, lots of permutations for 8 teams making a 6 team final series.

Toulouse have secured a home semi final already as minor premiers they can rest easy.

Stade Francais with the freres Alo-Emiles are up against Duncan Pai'aua's Toulon, battling for 2nd and 3rd spot. Whoever wins gets a home semi and the loser has to play in quarter finals (but a home qf).

Will Skelton's La Rochelle and Pete Samu's Bordeaux are safe in the top 6, playing Racing 92 and Oyonnax respectively. Oyonnax are relegated already so should be an easy win for Bordeaux. La Rochelle though are up against Kolisi's Racing 92, who are placed 6th, so they need to win if they want to stay in the finals.

7th and 8th are where it gets interesting. It's the absolute darkhorses Perpignan led by Jake McIntyre in 7th and my favourite Tom Staniforth with Castres at 8th. They're both playing lower ranked teams, Maddock's Pau and Hodge's Bayonne but both away from home. I predict Racing 92 in 6th will lose to La Rochelle in La Rochelle, opening up that 6th spot to Perpignan or Castres. I would love either one to sneak in, so I'll go with Perpignan for the underdogs.

Unfortunately Brandon Paenga-Amosa's Montpellier are toiling away in the annoying 13th spot meaning they'll be locked up in relegation matches for another couple weeks.
Current:
View attachment 19243
Predicted:
1. Toulouse
2. Toulon
3. Stade Francais
4. Bordeaux
5. La Rochelle
6. Perpignan
Great summary - keep 'em coming, pls do the whole finals series!
 

Dctarget

Tim Horan (67)
Great summary - keep 'em coming, pls do the whole finals series!
Shall do. Interestingly Biarritz, who recently had Kuridrani and Speight (still has Guy Millar), were only saved from pulling a Sunderland, that is being relegated from Top 14 last year then relegated from Pro D2 this year, by two bonus points. They finished in 13th in ProD2 this year. Pretty rapid descent.
 

Steve_Grey

Larry Dwyer (12)
Tale of two Hemispheres / Rugby Codes and how they sit support wise.

RL / RU - respective finals on the same day, Wembley and Twickenham hosting - RL crowd 65,000, RU crowd 82,000.
 

Derpus

George Gregan (70)
I know a lot of people dislike the idea of world club championship but I would love to see a full strength Brumbies/Reds/Canes/Blues/Chiefs take on Leinster/Toulouse/Saracens/La Rochelle. Don't know how to organise it so the clubs take it seriously. But I have no idea how the teams compare. Would the Canes crumble or dominate Toulouse? nfi.
Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't think the northern clubs are properly structured to take on NZ super sides. NZ super sides have much more condensed talent and depth, I would have thought. And I think the talent available is still pretty much the best in the world.
 

KevinO

Geoff Shaw (53)
Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't think the northern clubs are properly structured to take on NZ super sides. NZ super sides have much more condensed talent and depth, I would have thought. And I think the talent available is still pretty much the best in the world.
Leinster, would be the most condensed team in the world. A few of the top French clubs are not quite as condensed but then they are topped up by foreign players.
 
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