Is the EDF Energy Cup a waste of time?

Watching some of the fixtures over the weekend, I couldn’t help wondering if we couldn’t do without this competition.

Harlequins versus the Ospreys was one of the worst rugby matches I have ever seen, and that includes the U11 B school fixture I watched a while ago.  Error after error meant that Quins couldn’t score even when the Welsh side was reduced to 12 men, and to make matters worse, Gavin Henson scored all of his team’s points and no one likes to see that!

The players just didn’t seem focused on winning, as if they’d rather be out of the competition, and when there’s so much discussion about player fatigue and there being too much rugby, who can blame them?

It’s probably a good revenue-generator as it’s shown on terrestrial television, but only for the 16 top clubs that take part – the previous format was much more inclusive, and teams actually wanted to win it.

Is there a place for this competition in the calendar?  Should it remain as it is?  Or should the lower league teams be included once again?  Why is the Heineken Cup so much more exciting to watch?

5 thoughts on “Is the EDF Energy Cup a waste of time?

  1. Come 2009/10 season clubs will be playing their second string sides as the competition is to be played on international weekends.

  2. Many teams seem to play their second string sides anyway. If it can be used as a player development arena, then it may have some value.

  3. I hadn’t heard that Andy about it being moved to international weekends, but I think that’s good news. I think it’s a waste of time currently, but I think having it on international weekends will mean that it gets cheapened even further – but that’s good, because currently it’s the Premiership that suffers during international weekends, and too much for my liking.

    The fact that it might take the strain off the Premiership is about the best thing I can say about it. In its own right there’s not much positive to say about it. Powergen obviously agreed as they happily let one of their major rivals walk in and become headline sponsors!

  4. whilst the competition winners are rewarded with a heineken cup spot it will be worth winning. Teams try hard to win their first match of the tournament but if they lose that it is very unlikely they will go through so they stop trying for the subsequent two group fixtures. I enjoy watching any rugby union on tv so i say keep it but just tinker with the format so group matches don’t become meaningless.
    Also, the semi and final days are usually good days out at Cardiff and Twickenham.

  5. I think they should actually have it as a competition for 2nd/development teams and then include the National 1 clubs as well. Most of them are professional anyway and if it gets shown on TV then that’s some decent exposure for the players in what is really quite a strong league.
    Also the next tier down is the National Trophy which is National 1 and below. This is currently a little bit ridiculous because it comprises a hundred or so amateur teams and about 15 professional teams. Once the National One teams come in it becomes very uneven and they ae probably closer in standard to Premiership development teams than they are to all but an elite few in National 2.

    If you change the competition along these lines then you give crowds a chance to see young up-and-coming players, exposure to the 2nd tier of English rugby where hidden gems can be found (eg Dan Ward-Smith who played in that league until v recently) and a more even 2nd tier competition. Sponsors may be reluctant to get involved with something like this at first but then I think they’ll find that it could prove a popular competition among the rugby public.

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