The Champions Cup action saw a nearly clean sweep for English sides and many European encounters with momentum swinging. Attendances were high as fans flocked to ascertain their favorite players back in action in domestic rugby football once the international break. It absolutely was all music to the ears of recent tournament organisers EPCR.
One of the expressed goals of the new tournaments was a rise in what competitive would be, and if that has been achieved within the Champions Cup – there are 3 groups still in competition all told pools, and in one any of the four might still qualify – a similar can not be same of its baby sister, the Challenge Cup. The video below is a clip of the game between the Osprey and the Racing Metro which attracted a considerable crowd.
There are four sides and in each pool it’s fairly obvious United Nations agency are qualifying. While 25,600 were looking at a full-blooded Munster vs Clermont affair, a paltry 4,000 visited see Brive attack Oyonnax (to place that in context, Brive average over twelve,000 per game within the high 14). When 22,114 were enjoying the Tigers beating powerful champions Toulon at Welford Road, just 3,212 came to ascertain capital vs London Welsh – a game compete at a construction that holds sixty seven,800.
To be truthful to EPCR, not all blame may be arranged at their door – the Amlin Challenge Cup, its previous incarnation, was never notably admired by supporters, however crucially there was a minimum of the carrot of an area within the Heineken Cup for the winner, if your second string aspect happened to urge you thru the pool stages initial, of course. once a number of the perimeters from the Heineken Cup born right down to the knockout stages – a call not admired by everybody – there have been a minimum of some Brobdingnagian clashes that provided games.
This logic, though, is blemished – why will finishing seventh in an exceedingly league cause you to a lot of ought to have an area within the high tournament than winning a cup over the course of a complete season? Candidly, it doesn’t. Sure, the place, high fourteen and PRO12 are all competitive leagues however all the play-off system will is create them even a lot of thus, while confiscating any remaining believability the Challenge Cup had.
If you can’t end within the high six in your league (or the PRO12’s collective version per country), does one be an area within the Champions Cup? Arguably not. to place along a winning cup run – even within the Challenge Cup – is unquestionably one thing that deserves a larger reward.
If there’s any hope of the Challenge Cup being a worthy tournament, they need to bring back qualification for its massive brother, the Champions Cup. Till that happens, it’ll stay a humid pyrotechnic of a tournament, spurned by fans, media and, to be savagely honest, clubs alike.