Ulster 2015/2016

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Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Standulstermen on Sun 24 May 2015, 2:15 pm

Thought i would give ol' GC a helping hand and try and get Ulster types looking inward at what has been a tricky season and looking forward to next season and how we should improve. Dont have time to put down all my own theories but will do so later. This thread is a matawalu free zone btw!

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Sun 24 May 2015, 2:35 pm

I'm not sure what to expect from next season really. With players called for WC duty, and with Kiss not arriving until some time after, it's up to the present coaching staff (although it will be added too by an Aussie), and those not on international duty to see us through until then. During this time I would hope we can be competitive in challenging for top of the table, and be in a good place when our internationals return. It might not work out that way of course. Those teams who are not as badly effected during the WC might be better placed than we are during that time.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by George Carlin on Sun 24 May 2015, 3:12 pm

Good man Stand. I am totally in favour of Matawalu-free threads at the moment.

The Ulster supporters here are amongst the most confident on these boards, so how do you think you will fare next season? And remember that I am a layman/muggle/eejit on most things Ulster.

You have signed Piutau, Faloon, Windsor, Rowley and Browne and have lost Butterworth, Adair, Fitz, Allen, Heaney and Andrew. Presumably that leaves you in net credit? Whom do you still need in terms of cover?

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Sun 24 May 2015, 4:07 pm

Awwww I wanted more Matawalu bashing...Smile

Perhaps we can start next season as we finished this one, playing some decent rugby. For that matter it was light years better than our less than glorious season beginning.

GC Piatau doesn't arrive with us until the 2016/17 season although with whats happening to him right now you never know, he could arrive early if he wants to play some rugby.

I can only hope we can remain in a holding pattern until Kiss arrives post-RWC.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 4:33 pm

Borrowing from Townsend, I think next season we have to win the league to say it's a success. At this stage, with our record in the league over the past five years, we've proved we can compete with anyone and we've proved we can compete away from home in knockout games with anyone. Twice in a row we have played the 1st placed side away as the 4th placed side and we should have won both games, but didn't, for exactly the same reasons each time. We didn't capitalise enough on our periods of dominance when we had them. We relied on seeing out narrow leads and we were overhauled both times. But in the last two seasons, we should have been able to make the Final both times- we've been under performing across this entire period, most Ulster fans would agree, and yet we were still only two narrow losses from being in three Finals in a row. Knowing if we can improve our performance slightly we can be champions is not so much confidence, it's a fact; we really could have and should have won both of those semis, and we should have beaten Leinster in the Final in 2013 as well. I'm not saying we deserved to win; just that there is absolutely no reason we couldn't have won them with exactly the players on the field had we been a little more ruthless and a little more cute. That's what's missing, just an extra bit of leadership and an extra bit of depth in our preparation. We have a good basic structure and a good basic game plan, we just haven't adapted in a few key moments to ram home our advantage. Whats more, we could have won the league stage outright with a better attitude in certain games- we had no reason to lose to Zebre away or to lose to Dragons away. Those were just collective failures where we let ourselves down.

Noticing a theme? Ulster have made it to high-profile knockout games every season since 2011, we've been outclassed once in that time (Heineken Cup Final 2012). Thats the one game I look back on and say, we were never going to beat that Leinster side. We have been the Clermont of Ireland, and it's a mystery we have no trophies to show for our endeavours. But we consistently lose games we should be winning on the biggest stage. We need to develop our mental resources when faced with the big moments in big games. That's the difference between us winning silverware and not. That's the job of Les Kiss.

We will not have the reinforcements to compete properly in Europe, but in the league we are no worse than the other four sides at the top of the table. Progress is getting the edge over them. The personnel for a Pro12 winning side is all present and correct, that's been proven. So silverware is the only thing I would call success and it's what I expect from Ulster next season. For us to win the Pro12, and with a home semi on the way.

I think we've probably missed out on the only chance we'll ever have to host the Final. If it goes to every other region who can host you're looking at at least five other teams before it comes back to us and if those are successful the game will be upgraded to national stadiums.


Last edited by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 4:41 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by asoreleftshoulder on Sun 24 May 2015, 4:35 pm

Ulster need to strengthen their backrow in particular,they have a very good starting side now that Henderson has been playing 6 and Henry is back but the drop off in quality when they aren't playing is stark.With a bit more strength in depth Ulster would be looking at a top 2 finish in the league and a home semi-final.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 5:25 pm

Ulster's last five years;

Heineken Cup Quarter-Final 2011
Northampton Saints 23-13 Ulster
Adam D'Arcy knocks on with the try line begging, which would have made it 20-20. As the game wears on, Ulsters lack of depth on the bench proves telling as the Saints cavalry takes control of the forward battle. Verdict; Lack of experience and depth made us unlikely winners

Pro12 Semi-Final 2011
Leinster 18-3 Ulster
Whilst the game is relatively even, Ulster are completely toothless in the Leinster 22 whilst Leinster clinically nail the few chances they create. We barely look like troubling the scoreboard even whilst going through phase after phase metres from their line. Verdict; Leinster the only team that was ever going to win, Ulster pedestrian in attack

Heineken Cup Final 2012
Leinster 42-14 Ulster
Ulster didn't even play that badly, but no-one was beating Leinster. A level of rugby I haven't seen matched by any team in the history of the European Cup. Verdict; Not for a second where we ever going to win it

Heineken Cup Quarter-Final 2012
Saracens 27-16 Ulster
Ulster demonstrated an infuriating lack of tactical nous in this game, by picking Nick Williams and Iain Henderson in the same back row and instructing them to stand around in the wide channels... whilst the job Saracens did on our breakdown and in terms of the rush defence made sure they would never have any impact on the game. A complete mugging that clued us in to Anscombe being a complete mug! Henderson still isn't the most dynamic at the breakdown, in 2013 this selection had two back rows who basically carried the ball and did nothing else. Verdict; We weren't going to win this one without different selection and tactics at the very least

Pro-12 Final 2013
Leinster 24-18 Ulster
The third of four years in a row Leinster ended our season. Despite Ulster finishing top we were not able to find an appropriate venue, and the game was held at the RDS. But this time, for the first time, we looked much more their equal. We went into the game having beaten them twice in the season for the first time in... well, a very long time. We knew we had their number but inexplicably we came out with no intensity in the first half and let them establish a lead. Second half we came back at them, strongly, but it wasn't enough. We had given them too much of a head start.  Rory Best having a serious throwing meltdown compounded that denying us the platform we needed early in the game. This was the first time I felt we really should have won a major game we were in. In the second half, we showed at our best they couldn't handle our physicality, yet it took us going 10 points down to get us to start playing like we had nothing to lose. Before that, the occasion weighed all too heavily on us. Verdict; In the warm-ups before the game Leinster looked calm, composed, focused. Ulsters forwards were messing up simple lineout drills and arguing. Mental strength and it's lack was the difference, frustratingly as at this stage Leinsters pack and midfield was beginning to creak and we had them when we could play with intensity- O'Connor was about to inherit a Leinster side that was past its peak. Should have won.

Heineken Cup Quarter-Final 2014
Ulster 15-17 Saracens
The Payne red card match. Before the game started, it was ended. And yet we still ended the game pressing for a penalty that would have won it for us! Saracens used clever set moves to unlock our defence because we simply couldn't number up. They exploited their advantage in the back line ruthlessly when they had the chance, and yet we physically dominated them and could have still won the game. Verdict; The mother of all missed opportunities! And the mother of all controversies. Should have won

Pro12 Semi-Final 2014
Leinster 13-9 Ulster
Fourth year in a row Leinster ended our season. But this wasn't Schmist's Leinster, this was O'Connors Leinster and all that entails. In other words- there for the taking. We dominated possession and territory, and looked content to dominate possession and territory without scoring. Leinster were doing their keystone cops in attack routine so familiar to Leinster fans this season and even our small lead looked unassailable. Then one moment of magic from Madigan opened us up. Our failure to actually turn our complete control of the game into a winning margin was turned on it's head by an individual that had one chance and took it. Verdict; I replay this game in my head an still have no idea how we found a way to lose against all odds. Should have won! The worst until...

Pro12 Semi-Final 2015
Glasgow 16-14 Ulster
Come half-time, and it was deja vu all over again. Ulster had completely dominated Glasgow in every respect and only had 8 points to show for it. Sky Sports were giving us the arse-smoke treatment but I remembered last year and thought "Surely we won't make the same mistake again". But the game was so finely poised and defences so on top, that if we scored a try in the second half there was no way back for Glasgow. We had the Final in our grasp, we just had to go out and produce a good 20 minutes and take it. Having dominated with a  running game from 10, we inexplicably changed our tactics to kick from 9 and poor kicking out on the full gave Glasgow field position in the quarter of the game right after half-time when we needed to go up a gear and kill it off. Now Glasgow fans may not like this, but this was a Glasgow side that had made poor decisions to kick for the corner twice, that had a shaky lineout and was failing to get to grips with a makeshift Ulster scrum. Ulster led the game until the last 10 minutes, inexplicably refusing to use the bench. We even had the ball in the right part of the field to close the game out until we gave way a stupid penalty. They got possession and territory and engineered a score. Verdict; At this stage Ulsters lack of killer instinct is beyond a joke. That game was on the brink of being closed out even with a terrible second half performance and we still manufactured a way to let them back into it. Should have won


Last edited by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 5:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 5:36 pm

4 major knock-out games in a row Ulster have lost by less than a score. You can see the way these games have swung, from us not being in it to our last couple where we've actually had more of the play- but still managed to find a way to lose. The players are certainly there. The ability is certainly there. Is the leadership? Is the coaching? We'll find out next season. But that's why I think we need to win the title now to say it's a success. We've done everything short of it!

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:09 pm

So we should ahve something along the lines of below to start the season with when the World Cup guys go
Black, Herring, Herbst
VDM, O'Connor
Diack, Wilson, Faloon
P.Marshall, Humphreys
McCloskey, Cave
Scholes, Ludik, Nelson

This team takes into consideration Tuohy going which is at best marginal and all 3 of our wingers going which again is unlikely but even with that it's better than this years side.
We should be strong in the scrum, that a decent back row with Faloon hopefully adding that much needed balance to the team.
Backs are somewhat flaky but definitely have quality

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by George Carlin on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:13 pm

Notch wrote:4 major knock-out games in a row Ulster have lost by less than a score. You can see the way these games have swung, from us not being in it to our last couple where we've actually had more of the play- but still managed to find a way to lose. The players are certainly there. The ability is certainly there. Is the leadership? Is the coaching? We'll find out next season. But that's why I think we need to win the title now to say it's a success. We've done everything short of it!
The margins are just so fine - that's why it's very difficult to put your finger on what the reasons for missing out were - although I appreciate the detailed assessments you made above. Do you think that the current Irish policy on NIQs hurts your chances of success at the highest level?

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:16 pm

Subs would then be
Warwick
McCall?
Lutton/B. Ross
Stevenson
Williams/Dow/other
? Shanahan
Windsor
L. Marshall

ANyone I have missed there? Looking light on the bench

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:25 pm

George Carlin wrote:
Notch wrote:4 major knock-out games in a row Ulster have lost by less than a score. You can see the way these games have swung, from us not being in it to our last couple where we've actually had more of the play- but still managed to find a way to lose. The players are certainly there. The ability is certainly there. Is the leadership? Is the coaching? We'll find out next season. But that's why I think we need to win the title now to say it's a success. We've done everything short of it!
The margins are just so fine - that's why it's very difficult to put your finger on what the reasons for missing out were - although I appreciate the detailed assessments you made above. Do you think that the current Irish policy on NIQs hurts your chances of success at the highest level?

Maybe? However it won't change because at the end of the day we are part of the bigger picture and I think we can all accept that it has to be limited for Ireland to prosper. I think the bigger fact is maybe we are lacking the correct NIQ players positionally? No doubt too that Williams at this stage is a waste of a NIQ spot.
Also maybe some of the coaches are acting strangely (see Ricky Lutton appearing in the last 2 games having not played all season)
Certainly at this stage it's a mentality issue as well it can't happen eveyr year and not be a mentality thing and hopefully Kiss will help us get over that.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:27 pm

Well, Ulster certainly have more unused money that they could spend on NIQs but they are prevented from doing so, which is the point which is always conveniently ignored when the question of the budgets the teams are run on comes up. You've seen that in the number of random Kiwis we've paid to have three months over here on injury cover deals where they play once for the Ravens and then disappear forever. Ulster are one of the most profitable teams in Europe but when you're limited to the best guy with an Irish granny whose kicking around the lower level of NZ/SA club rugby in the position you need to fill, that doesn't exactly matter. You can spend what you want; you're not going to get quality that way.

But I don't think that changing the rule would be a good thing. It could encourage less prudence if we could go out and use our extra financial muscle to outspend the other contenders, and to be honest, who wants to see a league like that, where one team gains an advantage due to their off pitch situation? Right now, in terms of what we can spend on transfers in real terms, there's a weird equivalence between us and teams who are not run as well or are in an earlier stage of growth. While we can pay 2 or 3 players really top wages others can't match, but we also can't go out and sign a guy like Tyler Ardron or Leone Nakarawa as a squad player to fill a position where we have a decent first choice but no depth. So the NIQ policy is seriously inhibiting our squad depth but;

a) The international team relies on the provinces giving priority to investing in our academies
b) Knowing we can't just go out and sign decent journeymen level players means we have no choice but to invest in the grassroots to generate depth. The only way we can possibly get a good squad together is to increase the number of players we get through the Academy. This actually benefits schools rugby, club rugby- its great for the wider rugby community in Ulster, and it's great for the national team
c) Any surplus in our budget has to go into off field operations once a few marquee NIQ spots have been filled as we can't spend all that much extra cash once the NIQ deals and central contracts are sorted out.

Long-term, I think the system we have is the best possible one for developing sustainable professional structures and actually seeing what gives us more pleasure than anything else; seeing genuinely top class rugby players come out of Ulster. Any system which relies on accruing lots of debt to compete or importing players en masse from outside the country isn't sustainable for rugby at every level even if it may win short term success. I honestly think NIQ-limits are good for every level of the game. Grassroots, provincial, international.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by George Carlin on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:39 pm

Just whilst you're all here and chatty, can you tell me what the politics and practicalities are for IQ players moving within the provinces. I am fascinated by that but know nothing about it.

Does it ever happen? Is it frowned upon? There are a few Leinster players, for example, that I would be looking to poach for example - surely a move north would be attractive given that Ulster is more likely to kick on next season that those Ladyparts?

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:47 pm

Ulster need to bolster the backrow that they haven't addressed since Pollock retired in 2011. Henderson has come through but he plays as much at lock as backrow and Henry has been missing most of the season. Diack is good enough and Wilson is OK but was never really test class and then the drop off is stark. Faloon is a decent squad player, but the rest are barely pro12 standard. This area more than any other has cost Ulster because they've had to play players carrying knocks.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 6:47 pm

It's a very murky business, but there's a lot of guys who would prefer to go abroad than have to line up against the team they've supported since childhood in the colours of their oldest rivals.

Generally players moving from one province to the other are either guys who are unlikely to get a top-flight contract elsewhere (heading from one of the big three to Connacht) or guys who are coming back from exile and trying to get into the international team, when their home province doesn't have room for them. Transfers directly between the 'big three' are very rare. They do happen, just not as often as people would like. It's one of the things we hope Nucifora is able to sort out.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 24 May 2015, 7:03 pm

Getting guys to move is an issue Leinster for example have loads of backrows but with injury and with players going on international matches they all get enough gametime to keep them happy. Those who don't seem to prefer to move accross the water instead of moving between provinces as Notch says hopefully it improves

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Sun 24 May 2015, 7:25 pm

Not had much time to read through this thread entirely - just one question I have. Is there any likelihood that Windsor may be above Humphries in the pecking order, and so our starting 10 during World Cup?

Humphries will be 34 before the next season finishes - and his tackling is as bad as ever.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 24 May 2015, 7:40 pm

He seems like a reasonable player but it's very hard to know just how good he can be at this level. I guess it all depends on just how he gets on in training and what not

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 7:40 pm

clivemcl wrote:Not had much time to read through this thread entirely - just one question I have. Is there any likelihood that Windsor may be above Humphries in the pecking order, and so our starting 10 during World Cup?

Humphries will be 34 before the next season finishes - and his tackling is as bad as ever.

I really don't know. I'd imagine that thats what people are hoping for, including the coaches. But he's an unknown quantity.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Sun 24 May 2015, 8:14 pm

Pienaar playing for the Baabaas


http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/774707495?-11081:2392


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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Sun 24 May 2015, 8:21 pm

Munchkin wrote:Pienaar playing for the  Baabaas


http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/774707495?-11081:2392


Good news, although I hope he starts on the bench on Thursday.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Sun 24 May 2015, 8:29 pm

True, it would be pushing it a bit to start him. He could probably do with a break, although I'm sure he's more than happy to take part.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Standulstermen on Sun 24 May 2015, 9:09 pm

Back after work so will give my two cents (or incoherent ramblings). I agree with notch in terms of our lack of nous/ruthlessness/ability to convert chances. There is a mindset problem and that needs changed. Whether Neil Doak, Les Kiss or even Rory Best is the man to do that, I doubt massively (maybe give Kiss a pass). The only man I have seen do it was a certain Mr Muller but unfortunately that avenue is closed to us.

With no more signings (and I do hope there is some good news on that front yet) then we are looking pretty weak in Europe. if I were Logan I would be canvassing for a backrower and possibly moving forwar Piutaus arrival now the opportunity is there. The last thing we need is him getting overused in France for a season. 

What we need from Ulster is to see a new identity being built around our young players. Let's see a team like

Warwick   Herring?   Herbst
   O'Connor    Tuohy
Diack.                   Taggart/Faloon
            Wilson/Dow
   Marshall.        Humph
     McCloskey    Marshall/Arnold
Scholes.                Gilroy
             Ludik

Of that team I would argue only gilroy and tuohy have a sniff of a green jersey in September so that's strong enough. We have Williams allegedly but what benefit is he going to be next year? 

Let's find out about ourselves and where our NIQs should be employed going forward. Let's not rely on individual brilliance but rather an attacking strategy to unlock teams. 

 In fairness to Doak (and I've been critical) there has been a noticeable improvement in this during the calendar year but I'm still not convinced we are accountable enough. Ulsters best team picks itself and his lack of willingness to change things up last weeks masks an issue that's deeper. We are not holding people accountable. Schmidt would have a field day with a video review of Ulsters indiscipline. Anscombe, for all his flaws, was never shy about criticising players and even pulled Henderson in his breakthrough season and when asked said Henderson wouldn't have a place in the team  unless he worked on it.

I haven't covered half the ground I want to but for me we are lacking the personality(ies) to drag us forward and not accept SF or final losses.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 May 2015, 11:14 am

After seeing Peter Stringers performance on Saturday for Bath, it baffles me that none of the provinces pushed the boat out to bring him in for next season

Ulster could have made good use of him next season to compete with Marshall during the RWC and would have offered another option at 9 and allowed Pienaar to be managed a bit better instead of being run into the ground as is usually the case with him

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Standulstermen on Mon 25 May 2015, 11:36 am

Stringer was looking for first team rugby. I don't think having pienaar as the clear number one appealed to him. I think Leinster may have enquires as well but it was more as RWC cover

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 May 2015, 11:48 am

Stand hes not guaranteed a starting spot at Sale though he may just earn it if he continues his form

He'd be ahead of Marshall for me if he came to Ulster

Munster are probably kicking themselves they signed O'Leary over him

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 25 May 2015, 12:31 pm

I wouldn't agree with signing Stringer at this stage of his career.

Ulster need to be thinking of a succession plan to Pienaar rather than denying gametime to possible cover. I thought Marshall had a very good game against Glasgow, but I'd also like to see what Paul Rowley can offer. At age 25 he might provide a bit more than just RWC cover.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Standulstermen on Mon 25 May 2015, 3:56 pm

At least we know Luke Marshall isn't completely out of the picture. Selected by Joe for the BaaBaas game. You have to wonder has there been a fallout somewhere with him

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Mon 25 May 2015, 4:18 pm

Yes, not being sure what was happening with Marshall it is a relief to see him included. I wouldn't think he has had a fallout with anyone. Think his exclusion from the Ulster squad has mainly been down to injury and the ban he received. Along with having to squeeze past any of Cave, McCloskey and Olding.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:46 am

http://www.the42.ie/ireland-world-u20-championship-argentina-standout-players-2138704-Jun2015/

3 Ulster players being highlighted as standouts for the U20s yesterday, Arnold, Thompson and Stockdale

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:50 am

What is with us and inside centers?? In faireness, this past season we required all of Marshall, Olding and McCloskey at various times. But certainly, it's beginning to look like we have to move somebody positionally, or they will be away elsewhere next summer.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:58 am

I think given the injury rate of Olding and Marshall and international call ups to Payne we can't afford to lose any more 3/4s with Allen leaving.

Is Ludik leaving too? Massively underrated and one our best players this year imo.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:02 pm

It looks like Piatau will be a straight NIQ swap for Ludik. Which is a shame since one more year would see him IQ.

I get the feeling though, with being at Agen before Ulster he is ready for home, and that was always going to be the case from the offset.

If we wanted to keep him it would mean losing Franco on top of Williams. NIQ spots will be reduced by one remember.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:10 pm

If Arnold got some game time and managed to impress during RWC, we could be in a situation with Arnold, McCloskey, Olding, Marshall, Payne, Cave all fighting for two centre positions come 2016/2017 season if not the second half of next season.

I don't imagine we will manage to keep them all.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:13 pm

clivemcl wrote:If Arnold got some game time and managed to impress during RWC, we could be in a situation with Arnold, McCloskey, Olding, Marshall, Payne, Cave all fighting for two centre positions come 2016/2017 season if not the second half of next season.

I don't imagine we will manage to keep them all.

And Piutau too as he an play centre

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:17 pm

marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:If Arnold got some game time and managed to impress during RWC, we could be in a situation with Arnold, McCloskey, Olding, Marshall, Payne, Cave all fighting for two centre positions come 2016/2017 season if not the second half of next season.

I don't imagine we will manage to keep them all.

And Piutau too as he an play centre

9 Pienaar
10 Jackson
11 Bowe
12 Piutau
13 Payne
14 Trimble
15 Gilroy


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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:21 pm

clivemcl wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:If Arnold got some game time and managed to impress during RWC, we could be in a situation with Arnold, McCloskey, Olding, Marshall, Payne, Cave all fighting for two centre positions come 2016/2017 season if not the second half of next season.

I don't imagine we will manage to keep them all.

And Piutau too as he an play centre

9 Pienaar
10 Jackson
11 Bowe
12 Piutau
13 Payne
14 Trimble
15 Gilroy


With Olding, Cave, Marshallx2 to cover the bench with the likes of Arnold, Stockdale and Scholes pushing them

notworthy Yahoo thumbsup

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:27 pm

I thought Piutau was coming for the 2016/2017 season?

My answer - Payne back to fullback next season. The way he used to slot into the line from 15, often off Paddy's shoulder, opened up so many defences. It won't happen though.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:30 pm

For me it's gotta be;

Pienaar
Jackson
Gilroy
McCloskey/Olding
Payne
Trimble
Piutau

You'd go horses for courses with McCloskey and Olding.

Once Piutau arrives, in fact once Trimble is back fully fit, Bowe can no longer consider himself to be an automatic starter. I wonder what will happen with Luke Marshall. In a very short space of time he's become fourth choice at 12 for Ulster. McCloskey and Cave ahead of him for the run-in, Olding ahead of him when fit.

His destiny may be bound up on whether Olding ever recuperates properly from his horrible injury. It's always a question mark with that kind of injury. If Olding didn't make it back, Marshall and McCloskey would surely rotate once Cave is off the scene. If Olding does return, who could blame Marshall for looking elsewhere...

At least we capped him for Ireland. He's in a similar situation to Tommy Seymour when he left Ulster and has similar potential to be an international regular- its always disappointing for me seeing a homegrown Ulster Academy product representing another country.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:33 pm

Yea Don, We are only dreaming n advance!

Ludik was superb towards the end of this season, and solid throughout the rest.

I think Payne has proved himself at 13 too.

That said, I still feel our backline failed to live up to its potential this past season. And for me that's down to coaching.

The conundrum we have at centre will take some real nous to crack, but it has to be cracked. Part of our backline's problem this past season was lack of continuity. We simply cannot swap the 12 and 13 shirts around all season long. We need a decision on the best backline, and we need to allow them time to mould.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:35 pm

We'd also have the option of Olding to full back, depending on the opposition and conditions its a back line that can be rotated to suit differing game plans

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:39 pm

I'd imagine Marshall will have a chance to start afresh and battle for the 12 jersey at the start of next season. Although Luke is more similar to McCloskey than Olding is, i could see a "horses for courses" selection policy between the two. It would be nice to see Marshall play games where the emphasis isn't on the bosh. I worry that his skills have atrophied between injury and being played as a crash ball centre.

I'd really like to see some of these young fellas switch between inside and outside centre, though.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:46 pm

clivemcl wrote:That said, I still feel our backline failed to live up to its potential this past season. And for me that's down to coaching.

The conundrum we have at centre will take some real nous to crack, but it has to be cracked. Part of our backline's problem this past season was lack of continuity. We simply cannot swap the 12 and 13 shirts around all season long. We need a decision on the best backline, and we need to allow them time to mould.

For me it's down to slow ball from the breakdown and slow continuity play- which is also down to coaching Smile

But you're right, our back line finished the season remarkably well because we stuck with the same combinations, even though it means sidelining Luke Marshall who was hugely unlucky. Unfortunately he needed to be left out because we could never have gotten the same fluency if we had continued the rotation policy.

Also a massive, massive factor in the underperformance of the back line- the injuries to Pienaar and Jackson. The difference in quality between those two and their back-ups in terms of consistent distribution is astronomical. Humphreys and Marshall can do great things one second and brain fart the next. Pienaar and Jackson must be consistently two of the most accurate passers of a rugby ball in the league. I think Pienaar has the best pass of any scrum-half in the Pro12 and Jackson is up there with Finn Russell. It's just a massive difference to any back line that level of distribution.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:01 pm

How about the backline for during RWC - any thoughts?

Is there any chance we may lose a 12 to the RWC? McCloskey? Has he done enough yet to suddenly be in a world cup squad?

Is Windsor going to be better than iHumph? I feel he might be!

9 Marshall
10 Windsor
11 Gilroy
12 Olding/Marshall
13 Cave
14 Scholes
15 Ludik

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:11 pm

marty2086 wrote:http://www.the42.ie/ireland-world-u20-championship-argentina-standout-players-2138704-Jun2015/

3 Ulster players being highlighted as standouts for the U20s yesterday, Arnold, Thompson and Stockdale

looks like a young Trimble beside Arnold.

Great to see them playing well and being recognised for it.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:13 pm

rodders wrote:I think given the injury rate of Olding and Marshall and international call ups to Payne we can't afford to lose any more 3/4s with Allen leaving.

Is Ludik leaving too? Massively underrated and one our best players this year imo.

Completely agree. I will be sad to see him go, but can't see how he can fit in once Piutau arrives,

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:13 pm

Olding's out til Jan.

We'll see how McCloskey goes in the Emerging Ireland squad and potentially the subsequent warm-ups, and how quickly Trimble gets back up to fitness, but I wouldn't be surprised to see -

9) Marshall
10) Windsor
11) Gilroy
12) Marshall
13) Cave
14) Trimble
15) Ludik

Sweeeeeeeeeeeet.

Question - can players just come back straight back in to their club teams once their international team is eliminated from the RWC?

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:16 pm

Having said that, what do people think the starting pack will be? I think Herring deserves to go, but I think Strauss will go ahead of him, Think Tuohy might get the edge over Ryan.

1) Black
2) Herring
3) Herbst
4) Van Der Merwe
5) O'Connor
6) Diack
7) Faloon
8) Wilson

Not too shabby.

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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:32 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:
I'd really like to see some of these young fellas switch between inside and outside centre, though.

Agree with this - but then I'm from the school of thought that there is no such thing as and inside and outside centre - only a center combination and that but for the old style 2nd5/8 most semi competent player should have the skills to play in or out.

I think there are real question marks about both Marshall and Olding and their durability at this level. Olding is a pretty small guy (by modern 3/4 standards) and maybe he should consider fly half again. Marshall has a lot to prove for me, whether he can consistently be a starting xv player - definitely has the talent but has had a lot of chances.

For me Cave/Payne in the centre is the best option with McCloskey, followed by Olding best placed to challenge. Payne won't play much in the league so people will get a chance.

Would it be sacrilege to say that Payne to Leinster wouldn't be a bad option for all parties, especially with Pitau on the way?



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Re: Ulster 2015/2016

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