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Spanish rugby

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Charvis » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 10:34

I tend to disagree Armchair fan. Although we have stuck to our amateur ethos, we are alive and kicking. We currently field 3 senior teams, a womans team, 1 under18, 2 u16, 2u14, 2 u12, 2u10, 2 u8 and 2 u6 sides. I have been at the club since 1989 and we have never been healthier. We do not win first division championships (although we are still the top club in championship titles with 9) and we cannot compete with larger budgets and more professional setups but we now look more like a club than when we won so many league titles.
I totally agree with the clubs decision to sign a great coach since we can all learn a great deal from him but I disagree with signing players. However not all rumours are true. This season we have had 4 young kiwis in the club who have improved our first xv but other players have come to the club drawn by the opportunity to get good coaching and a Spain u20 player in exchange for a students grant. We are not a professional club.
Our great problem at the beginning of the professional era was arrogance. We were the best team in Spain (along with Sanboiana) and a lot of players from other clubs wanted to join the club. The club stopped working on the underage levels since we got a lot of talented senior players every year from all over Spain and the team kept winning. Some at the club saw no need to train kids. That was our demise. When those players stopped flowing into the club we were relegated, promoted, relegated again and we now sit confortably in the second division.
As to the old story from Valladolid, it is nonsense. A lot of great players from that city came to Madrid as students or looking for work and decided to join a winning team which played enjoyable rugby. End of story. Arquitectura did not sign any of those players but half of the national squad played in our club and players were attracted by the playing standards. Plus Campbell is not our first foreign coach. We have a long tradition of working with great coaches: Ray Davies from Wales, Grobelaar from South Africa, O Reilly from NZ and that also worked in our favour in attracting players. The idea is that signing a player may improve a team but signing a good coach can improve the whole club.
Arquitectura is now showing signs of improvement at all levels, better results, more and better qualified coaches, more parents getting involved, more vets doing their bit.
I much prefer our setup now than when we were winning championships. We are a CLUB now whereas we used to be a TEAM.
Having said that, maximum respect for Armchair fan since he is the most reasonable of Spanish posters.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 10:42

I'm glad to see you not only disagreeing but also so dedicated in your explanation ;)

I have nothing against Arquitectura, one of my earliest contacts with rugby was a job colleague playing in your club, just tried to give a short answer to victorsra :thumbup:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Charvis » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 10:49

Your explanation was respectful and I took no offense. You gave the short answer and I, as an insider wanted to give the long version. I enjoy reading your posts and thank you for keeping Spain on the map in this forum. Cheers and keep up the good work.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 15:07

Good to know. So what changed with the geography of Spanish rugby? It was Madrid-Catalunya before dominating it, but in the last 20 years Valladolid and the Basque Country rised?
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 20:13

I'd like to give you a simple answer, but I don't think there is a single reason.

In terms of number of players and clubs, as well as the size of each one of them, Madrid and Catalunya are still far ahead of the rest. All of them probably struggled with the transition from full amateurism to current semipro status, some just saw their from fade, others tried to turn pro and suffered a heavy financial toll. This climate favoured small (Basque Country) or medium (Valladolid, Santander) sized cities where rugby isn't hidden by other sports and local sponsors can sustain long-term projects.

Modernisation of the country and decentralisation probably also have an influence. People don't necessarily need any longer to go to Madrid or Barcelona as much as back in the day to study what they wished.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby victorsra » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 21:40

Interesting. A similar thing happened in Italy. Milan and Rome clubs were really strong in early days, but small cities rised - L'Aquila and more recently Calvisano and Viadana - while major cities droped - no Milan, Torino, Naples, Genoa, Bologna in the top division, while Florence just now came back... Roman clubs might be still good enough to be in the top division but not enough to think about the title (not to mention Rugby Roma Olimpic's fate). The major difference is that Italy has the Venetian stronghold since amateur times.
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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 22:40

How other sports have evolved also helps to explain the current map of Spanish Rugby.

In soccer, Real Valladolid used to be a classic team in LaLiga but has spent 9 out of the last 14 seasons in second division. Real Racing Club de Santander used to be one of the core LaLiga teams too and got relegated in 2013 never to come back. It's actually in third division. Burgos hasn't had a team in LaLiga for the last 25 years.

Crisis hit hard basketball and handball (especially the latter as it used to be sponsored by real estate, building companies...), whose professional leagues in response decided to put bigger barriers of entrance (in ACB you need +5,000 seats, some millions as entrance fee, a minimum budget). Burgos had to wait basically five years to get an ACB team. Fórum Valladolid, who once saw Arvydas Sabonis and Oscar Schmidt wearing its shirt, disappeared. Santander also lost its team. ASOBAL basically became a semipro league where only FC Barcelona is fully professional.

And of course demographics come into play too. Alcobendas is one of the richest towns of Spain, full of wealthy neighbourhoods, international schools and headquarters of international companies. La Vila is an expat spot. That's why I believe we will continue to see changes. I'd be surprised if we don't see teams from Valencia, Mallorca or Marbella in the near future. It will be hard for clubs like Gernika or Hernani due to their size or for Cisneros due to their amateur ethos to keep up the pace. Even though they made it to Liga Heineken quarterfinals, Santboiana will soon find themselves at a crossroads and with FC Barcelona eating their market and pool of players.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 28 Apr 2018, 23:24

Ciutat de Valencia stadium transformation into a rugby pitch right after a LaLiga Women's Championship game this afternoon. I find it's a beauty:


Let's see how spectators respond. It won't be full, but I expect both grandstands at 90% and ends at 40%. Around 18,000.

Unfortunately TV is letting us down, since it doesn't look like it will be live on FTA TV and all online streaming services will be geoblocked. I'll try a few of them 30 minutes before kick-off (12:30 CEST) but it doesn't look good.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby qwerty » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 02:58

Would there be big support if the Spanish team were to play a game in Barcelona, Bilbao or San Sebastián?

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 08:09

I don't think we will ever know. In order to see that happening somebody would have to pay for it and I don't see their town halls doing it. But I don't think it would be a failure, maybe political issues would even help to promote the game.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 10:06

Unfortunately there is only a geoblocked streaming: http://www.rtve.es/deportes/mas-tdp/dir ... =accesible
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 11:33

15,159 spectators, official attendance.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 12:18

VRAC wins it 16-20.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 12:40

Pretty good crowd.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 12:44

It wouldn't look like it is if you saw current Spanish rugby twittosphere. Only people criticising FER because the stadium wasn't full and it wasn't in Valladolid and it wasn't on live TV due to tennis and badminton (Nadal and Marín, two Olympic champions). People are losing their minds, as if 15k in a city without top-tier clubs was a decline.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 13:30

I can understand the live TV complaint. But in a country where the sport isn't huge 15,000 for a club game is pretty damn good. Some of our Super Rugby teams struggle to get 15,000 sometimes.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 29 Apr 2018, 17:36

Gallery:
Image
http://plazadeportiva.valenciaplaza.com ... rla-cortes

Full game:


Alfonso Feijóo saying he's proud of the success, that he knew it wasn't going to be a sellout like Valladolid and that he intends to keep moving the Cup final around Spain:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 02 May 2018, 09:00

Liga Heineken promotion Play-Offs - Return first leg
UBU-Colina Clinic 12 - 0 CRC Pozuelo Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (48-20)
Ciencias Fundación Cajasol 38 - 30 Les Abelles (62-58)

So we've got the final everybody expected, UBU-Colina Clinic v Ciencias Fundación Cajasol. The rich team from a new rugby city like Burgos against the recently relegated traditional club from Sevilla. Both teams had healthy crowds in their semifinals (some reports even talked about 4,000 in Sevilla) and their two final games will be broadcast by regional TV.

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Liga Heineken Quarterfinals
Just to remember they are taking place this weekend. The second game should be a cracker:
Sanitas Alcobendas v UE Santboiana
Senor Independiente v Ampo Ordizia

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Valladolid hosted for the last week Spanish Military Rugby Championship final phase, with both men's XV and women's 7s tournaments. Not a big surprise to see Valladolid Cavalry team winning it, while General Military Academy from Zaragoza won the ladies tournament. Decent crowd too at Pepe Rojo for the finals and some shirts were a beauty.
https://twitter.com/MADOC_ET/status/991421995991601153
https://twitter.com/RugbyArmada/status/ ... 9371288576

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 06 May 2018, 09:56

Liga Heineken - Quarterfinals - Live Streaming
12:00 CET - Senor Independiente v Ampo Ordizia


12:30 CET - Sanitas Alcobendas v UE Santboiana


Liga Heineken - Promotion final - First leg - Live Streaming
13:00 CET - Ciencias Fundación Cajasol v UBU-Colina Clinic
Last edited by Armchair Fan on Wed, 09 May 2018, 14:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 07 May 2018, 17:28

Liga Heineken - Quarterfinals
Sanitas Alcobendas 40 - 33 UE Santboiana
Senor Independiente 44 - 38 Ampo Ordizia

So 20 tries in only two games. Head coaches must be delighted with defense. Semifinals will be held in a fortnight at Pepe Rojo, VRAC Quesos Entrepinares v Senor Independiente and SilverStorm El Salvador v Sanitas Alcobendas, already a classic.

Regarding the final, Valladolid mayor has mediated to ensure it will be held at Zorrilla stadium if any of the teams from the city reaches it. It would take place next May 26 right before Champions League final. The word was that VRAC wasn't convinced by the idea but given the Copa del Rey final bid fiasco the mayor needed this one.

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Liga Heineken - Promotion final - First leg
Ciencias Fundación Cajasol 20 - 22 UBU-Colina Clinic

Return match will take place this Sunday in Burgos, if anybody goes to EPCR finals on a roadtrip it may be worth a visit...

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby gambass » Fri, 11 May 2018, 10:59

Apparently, Top 14 games in Spain could be back next year as USAP's president beeing in talks with Girona FC bosses to a possible game there. Strange thing as the Girona's stadium doesn't seem larger than USAP's one (wikipedia numbers).

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby beber » Fri, 11 May 2018, 14:21

I were un both stadiums this season and yes, Aime Giral (Perpignan) is larger and also looks more professionnal.
However, it can be an interesting way tout extend USAP fanbase. Also, I read few months ago in a local newspaper that Girona could be interested to play a game in Perpignan

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 13 May 2018, 09:07

I'm afraid I'm going to need to talk politics to explain this, as well as other news surrounding Spanish rugby.

It doesn't matter whether Montilivi is larger or not than Aimé Giral. It's a marketing and political operation. During last glorious USAP era they were sponsored by TV3 (Catalan public TV) and Turisme de Catalunya (Catalan government branch for tourism promotion). By holding games in the south of Pyrenées again they are aiming at increasing revenues. And Girona offers a few benefits compared to Barcelona: closer to Perpignan, stadium probably cheaper to open than Montjuïc and a town hall leaded by nationalist parties more open to holding this kind of event than Barcelona current left-wing mixed coalition.

This article is from a Madrid digital newspaper, very opposed to Catalan independence, but explains well how much money did Catalan government give USAP during the 2000s while neglecting local rugby scene... https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/c ... re_735182/

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During the week of Bilbao finals, Basque government held a presentation to made people aware of their plan to promote a Basque league by 2020. They've signed agreements with rugby managers from the French side, except for Biarritz and Bayonne, and they expect to hold a Cup competition in 2019 as a warm-up. Yet, it remains to be seen the commitment from clubs from both French and Spanish Basque Country. Will Fédérale 1 sides field anything other than their Espoirs? Will Liga Heineken sides leave Spanish competitions? Can Euskadi sustain this when their rugby has clearly stagnated compared to the rest of Spain?

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Once again we need to talk about Valladolid. Its town hall launched Liga Heineken final. Yes, it's yet to be seen whether it can be held at Zorrilla, but they're already selling refundable tickets... Valladolid mayor has openly admitted that he mediated to lessen reluctance from VRAC, it's now part of Óscar Puente's war against Alfonso Feijóo. He wants a sellout at Zorrilla only to send FER president to hell:
Image

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And now, some rugby. Liga Heineken promotion is at stake today. 12:30 CEST kick-off, Ciencias Sevilla visits Burgos with a two point advantage over UBU-Colina Clinic:

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 13 May 2018, 12:15

UBU-Colina Clinic wins 33-22 and is promoted to Liga Heineken at their third attempt. Nice to see a new city (Burgos) in Spanish top tier league and a club doing things right from marketing POV, but we will have next season another team full of foreigners and dramatically lacking home-based players. In the local press they were estimating a 400-450,000€ budget for next season.

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Re: Spanish rugby

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 19 May 2018, 11:23

Liga Heineken - Semifinals - VRAC Quesos Entrepinares v Senor Independiente - Saturday 18:00 CEST

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