As we hit the next set of international games, do you feel that International window’s disproportionately affect results and eventual league standings?
I want to use Glasgow Warriors Vs Ospreys as my example tonight. Both are sides with a great number away injured or on international duty.
Before the game, the commentators said that it was 15/16 Ospreys away and 18 Glasgow Warriors away.
The difference on the night (other than the red card) probably came down to injuries. Glasgow Warriors had ten men injured. That’s enough to put you down to a third choice backline or scrum as opposed to second choice.
When we look at the bench, there were multiple guys making debuts, some just academy players. The front row options were a 21 year old, to be replaced by a 19 year old. It’s a credit to the players to be selected in these games and also, it must be said, a brilliant opportunity for young talents to be spotted. But it does show that teams are stretched for depth in these periods.
When we look back on this season and those that have gone before, this is a key time in the season for defining who our finalists are.
Before the Ospreys Vs Newport Gwent Dragons game, Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy highlighted the importance of winning in this part of the season and the effect that it has on eventual standings. It’s no coincidence that Glasgow doing well in these periods in previous years has led to back to back play-off rugby for the last couple of years.
The Warriors aren’t dead and buried. On the night, Ospreys thoroughly deserved their win- they just looked a bit more fluid and comfortable on the ball. With two wins in this crucial time of the season, they can rest assured they’re on the right track so far, for some Pro12 play-off action this year. Glasgow on the other hand, will be hoping for some big results when their international players return to regain some momentum.
Do International’s affect your club? If so, good or bad? Drop me a message on Twitter or an email to let me know your thoughts.
You can read the original piece from the Six Nations last year (Premiership related) below!
The Scribbler, 25th November, 2016
In the hallowed week of the Six Nations, I thought I’d take a look at how international rugby (focussing on the Six Nations) affects club competitions and how it could affect the validity of the final standings. The topic was first brought to my attention by the Driving Maul twitter page, where a poll was run asking if people think that the Six Nations is the cause for the upsets in the premiership last week (round 12) and therefore ruins the validity of the competition. The most notable upset that weekend was of course, Saracens defeat to Wasps, 23-64.
Looking at Wasps victory in the Premiership first, the first thing that struck me was the strength of both side’s team sheets. Of course, influential names such as Owen Farrell, Duncan Taylor and the suspended Chris Ashton are missing from Saracens team and the likes of Joe Launchbury and Ruaridh Jackson…
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