Who Is The Most Dominant European Side, Leinster or Munster?
This is a tricky one.
With 3 wins and no other finals, by a traditional winners table, Leinster is ahead. In the Olympics the medal table is decided by looking at the gold medalists first and then looking at silver. Similarly, in football, all time World Cup winning tables look at champions first. And so on.
It’s sport. So there’s no arguing that winning is the most important indicator of success. But Munster fans would feel that this system doesn’t give them enough credit for their four finals, compared to Leinster’s three.
Are two Runner Up spots just as good as a win?
It’s difficult to put a value on being Runner Up. Technically the Runner Up in knock out competitions could be coming from a side of the draw so weak that no one on that side was as good as any of the teams on the winner’s side. Though that would be quite a harsh way of looking at Munster’s heartbreaking final losses.
Tennis probably uses the most sophisticated points system in sport. And the weighting they give is 2000 point for winning a Grand Slam and 1200 for Runner-Up. So by those maths, Munster is ahead of Leinster with 6400 points compared to 6000.
What about the whole competition?
To continue the exercise in anorak maths, let’s see what a tennis points system can tell us about which of the sides has been the most dominant since the competition began. The ATP awards points as follows:
Semi Final: 720
Quarter Final: 360.
So if you apply that all the way back to 1996, giving both sides points for every quarter, semi and final they’ve appeared in, you get these grand totals:
So there is certainly a maths that makes Munster the most dominant Irish side in Europe. But the gap is just 1,120. That will be a substantial difference, difficult to overcome, if both sides keep up their present form. But a couple of stumbles by Munster and Leinster will be ahead by both metrics
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