TerenureJim wrote:Are they the more popular team though? I'd say it's really just in media circles, in general ourselves and Ulster would have similar levels of support to them and if we want to be specific well we're ahead on attendance figures (thanks Lansdowne RD).
I'm fine with the flattery when it's in a review of a game where we've cut a team to ribbons with exciting back play rather than struggled against a team that should put us away only to snatch a drop goal. I really hope we don't get the sycophantic drooling that was and is laid on Munster and all the phrases like brave & faithful etc that they've been labeled with. It covers over too many cracks in serious analysis and people start thinking their own sh!t don't stink. At this stage it doesn't look like we will and that's no bad thing.
Actually, Leinster average ML/Pro 12 attendance in 2006/07 season (10 home games) including the 'Last Stand' was 11,892 this seasons six home games (including Munster in Lansdowne) the average is 20,650 an increase of 74%. Munster's average has risen from 6,922 to 11,688 (Musgrave Park taking its toll on both seasons) a 69% improvement.
Alas, Ulster's average in 2006/07 was 10,207 (10 home games) this season it is 7,045 (5 home games). A fall of 31%
The average for their 11 home games last season 2010/11 was 8,485 a decline of 17% from 2006/07
I'm not convinced about the accuracy of the figures which the ML/Pro12 web sites provide, but its all that we have to use for comparisons. But what's clear, is that Ulsters average home crowd is declining, perhaps the new stand has reduced capacity, but I'd imagine their lack of on field success has probably been the main driver.
But we (nor Munster) should rest on our laurels, a few poor seasons of mid-table mediocracy in the Pro12 and/or not managing to get out of our group in the H Cup could easily see our gains significantly eroded.
Every cent Leinster Rugby make needs to be pumped back into our Academy, Clubs, Schools etc to ensure that there is consistent production line of young rugby players who can play for us, and where we are deficient, World Class NIQs need to be bought in to ensure our continued success.