New Pro14 conferences infuriates fans
REACTION: The new conferences for the Pro14 have been announced, and they have already left some fans bemused on social media.
The conferences will be in place for the next two seasons, and the main problem is that last season’s finalists, Leinster and Glasgow Warriors, have been drawn in the same group. This is because the seeding was based on points at the end of the regular season, in which Munster had more than their rivals Leinster, despite losing to them comfortably in the semifinal.
Although they reached the Champions Cup final and won the Pro14, Leinster may have paid the price for resting players during the latter stages of the competition, as it affected their seeding. They have not only been matched with last season’s best team in terms of points, Glasgow, but Wales’ best team as well last term, the Ospreys.
While the seeding does make logistical sense, some fans are still infuriated by the outcome, as Munster seem to be in quite a favourable position compared to Leinster. The competition as a whole has received quite a lot of criticism due to this.
Furthermore, while Leinster fans feel a bit aggrieved, Scottish fans, particularly from Glasgow, are perhaps the most incensed. For a long time, Welsh and Scottish fans have argued that the competition is weighted in the Irish teams’ favour, and this seeding only means that it is more likely that a Leinster vs Munster final will happen in 2020. This is despite Glasgow probably being the second best team in the competition over the past five years or so.
Of course, the Warriors could still make the final, but if they were to finish in second place in their conference (as opposed to first last season), they would face an away semi-final, probably against Munster.
A change to the conference structure was always going to cause controversy for some sections of fans, but the fact that the two finalists are in the same group has perhaps caused more than expected.
This is what has been said:
The only league where failure is rewarded seemingly.Scarlets and Edinburgh very poor last season and rewarded with an easy group, walk in the park for Munster who finish behind Glasgow and yet get easier group, madness
— Scott (@scobby28) June 17, 2019
You have to be kidding using regular season points from one season not final league position. Leinster have won the last two seasons, and should be seed 1.
— Brian O’Farrell (@BrianOFarrell) June 17, 2019
2 best sides in the pro 14 In the same conference doesn’t make sense. Leinster won their conference with a whole lot of games in hand, so could afford to take it easy and rest top players
— St Brides Poultry (@StBridesPoultry) June 17, 2019
Having the 2 finalists in the same conference shows how flawed this seeding system is! It takes away the credibility of the competition.
— Douglas Luke (@dougl84) June 17, 2019
You are having a laugh. Why not use the aggregated points over the last two seasons. That would tell a different story.
It looks like a bit of a stitch up tbh.
— Andrew Gardner (@andyg831977) June 17, 2019
Leinster had qualified for home SF at start of March, so squad was used for rest of regular season, & we had 3 @ChampionsCup matches to face,
— Gerard Fitzpatrick (@GerardYNWA) June 17, 2019
Guinness strikes again trying to get an all irish final and after the con of this years final no shame pathetic
— william wallace🏴⚔️ (@bruce_1314) June 17, 2019
Complete and utter merd served up by the Pro14. How they can justify anointing the competition winners as Ireland 2 – nominally this 2nd best Irish side – is beyond me…
— PJ (@Pugoramma) June 17, 2019
Well that’s pretty stupid. Everybody knows Glasgow and Leinster were the top two. Comparing points scores between conferences makes no sense at all.
— David Scott (@GreatDando) June 17, 2019