Premiership final

OB..


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The Premiership final was an exciting game won by the better team on the day. However to me that does not validate the current system whereby the winner of the marathon (league fixtures) has to win a couple of sprints to be awarded the title. Only 4 times out of 15 has the league winner also won the knockout phase. On one occasion Saracens came from 4th to win it. In 2002-3 Gloucester were 15 league points ahead of Wasps in second place; they had shared their head to head games, but Wasps beat them in the final. Is this really the way to decide the best team in the league?

The official line AIUI is that teams can be unfairly disadvantaged by international calls and injuries during the season. Surely injuries are random events, so why should you expect all team to be better off at the end of the season? I don't have an easy way to check the impact over the season but for internationals it is easier.

Last season there were 9 internationals, but on only four of those weekends were there any League games scheduled. Saracens, Exeter, and Leicester were hardest hit by calls - usually 4 or 5 each. Exeter won all four of those games; Saracens won 2 and lost 2; Leicester lost all four (contributing to their very bad year).

Is it cynical to suggest that maybe it actually comes down to sponsorship/ticket money?
 

Camquin

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As a sporting contest I agree - it is pointless.

But it sold 80,000 tickets and presumably many hot dogs and the odd beer.
So it generates £1m+ at the ground and gives BT an event at the end of the season which probably attracts extra viewers.
 

crossref


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A lot more than £1m I reckon
If the average ticket price was £40 that's 3.2m in ticket sales alone
 

TigerCraig


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Coming from an Australian viewpoint I think its great. Finals series have always been part of our sporting culture and the first past the post system seems like a weird soccer thing

The Premiership should always go to the team that wins the last game of the year
 

OB..


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In 2001-02 Zurich took over sponsorship of the Premiership and instituted an 8-team playoff at the end of the season, but this was a separate competition to the league with a separate trophy. This continued into the next season. An attempt to make the play-offs determine the Premiership Champion was dropped because of fan reaction.

I thought this was an excellent system. Towards the end of the season, just about every team in the Premiership still had something to fight for - Heineken cup place, avoid relegation, get into the playoffs; and it retained the distinction between league and cup play.

For the 2002-03 season Zurich dropped the 8-team format for the current 4-team one and apparently insisted on the winner of that being declared the Premiership Champion.
 

Marc Wakeham


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Leagues should be decided by the week by week slog and consistency.


Cups are for "on the day" displays.
 

OB..


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The Championship also used to have playoffs both for promotion and relegation,but these have been abandonned. Bristol won the league phase four times before finally getting promoted (then relegated then re-promoted...). Perhaps someone realised that success in a knockout phase is not good enough to provide for survival in the Premiership league phase.

AFAIK in other UK leagues, playoffs are only used where two leagues promote into one.
 

beckett50


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As a Saracens fan I am, on the one hand, in disagreement with your argument. However, as a fan of run and player welfare I wholeheartedly agree with your point, and have for a number of years been saying the very same thing.

At the end of the day it all comes down to money.

In this modern era where player welfare and burnout are becoming more to the fore something does need to be done to address this quite ridiculous situation.

Cracking final though :eek:)
 

TigerCraig


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I thought this was an excellent system. Towards the end of the season, just about every team in the Premiership still had something to fight for - Heineken cup place, avoid relegation, get into the playoffs; and it retained the distinction between league and cup play.

Of course we don't have cups or promotion/relegation in our sports (and in juniors especially don't catch up washed out games, which can effect the fairness of who plays who over the season) so end of season finals playoffs are culturally part of our thing from Under 10's up.
 

didds

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Its all about money.


And the other thing to understand is that when these play off systems are in place, the league is NOT a league - it is a qualifying competiton.


didds
 

crossref


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I think it's pretty easy to understand why the premiership is constructed in a way to deliver a grand final .
 

Dickie E


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The Premiership final was an exciting game won by the better team on the day. However to me that does not validate the current system whereby the winner of the marathon (league fixtures) has to win a couple of sprints to be awarded the title. Only 4 times out of 15 has the league winner also won the knockout phase. On one occasion Saracens came from 4th to win it. In 2002-3 Gloucester were 15 league points ahead of Wasps in second place; they had shared their head to head games, but Wasps beat them in the final. Is this really the way to decide the best team in the league?

The official line AIUI is that teams can be unfairly disadvantaged by international calls and injuries during the season. Surely injuries are random events, so why should you expect all team to be better off at the end of the season? I don't have an easy way to check the impact over the season but for internationals it is easier.

Last season there were 9 internationals, but on only four of those weekends were there any League games scheduled. Saracens, Exeter, and Leicester were hardest hit by calls - usually 4 or 5 each. Exeter won all four of those games; Saracens won 2 and lost 2; Leicester lost all four (contributing to their very bad year).

Is it cynical to suggest that maybe it actually comes down to sponsorship/ticket money?

would you like to see the RWC just a series of pool games and the one with the most points gets the chocolates?
 

TigerCraig


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I think it's pretty easy to understand why the premiership is constructed in a way to deliver a grand final .

Well weve done it for well over 120 years, in amateur and juniors as well as pros.
 

Camquin

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The RFU would not have approved, it might encourage unhealthy competition.
Much better to have ad hoc fixtures and preserve the corinthian spirit.
And anyway it would detract from the County Championship which everyone knows is the epitome of the game.
 

didds

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And anyway it would detract from the County Championship which everyone knows is the epitome of the game.


well... given that the amateur game wrt actual incvolvement probably ecompasses over 90% of the game in England (and I'm sure elsewhere on the whole), and most certainly over 50.1 %, then why wouldn;t the conty championship not represent the the game in england?

As for the "epitome" - well that could be represented by just two sides CF Scotland - is all other club rugby under the auspices of the SRFU unworthy?

didds
 

crossref


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OB you are asking the wrong question .. you ask what is the best way to determine the winner of a league

The real question is .. what is the best format for the top tier professional rugby format?

And I think the answer is . Some kind of round robin out of which the top group play a couple of knock out rounds
 
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