Ulster 2015/2016

Page 4 of 21 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12 ... 21  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Ulster 2015/2016

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

First topic message reminder :

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!

Standulstermen

Posts : 5058
Join date : 2011-02-16
Age : 33

Back to top Go down


Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:05 pm

That's a heck of a signing for Armagh. It'll be interesting to follow our fortunes this season with his valuable input.

My question is this:
Some clubs have a head coach, some have a director of rugby as well. What exactly is a coaching consultant as is the job title with this new posting? Smile

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 23 Jul 2015, 8:26 pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=RRUuhlmzyrM

Joe Barakat talks a good game.

Don Alfonso

Posts : 2024
Join date : 2011-05-09
Age : 40
Location : The 'Shaft

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 9:26 am

Like the cut of that guy's jib - he's even aiming to win a premiership this season - I'd have settled for a pro12 myself but you've got to think outside the box I suppose.... Smile

rodders

Posts : 23377
Join date : 2011-05-20
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 10:04 am

I like the cut of his jib, he hit all the buzzwords and I hope he means every single one Smile

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 10:05 am

Ah Rodders, we're post twins Smile
There must have been seconds in that race to mention jibs.

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 10:27 am

Great jibs think alike I suppose.

rodders

Posts : 23377
Join date : 2011-05-20
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 10:46 am

Word on t'other forum is that Charlie-boy Piutau is heading to Wasps for a year before coming to us. I'm a little shocked Ulster didn't get nudged in there first with a 'look here chaps, this fella's ours anyway so hands off'.
Headlines could be 'Ulster stung by Piutau Wasps move!!' Smile

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 11:05 am

Where are they getting the idea that Piutau is going to Wasps? I would think it would have been widely reported by now, if there was any truth in it.
If it is true then Wasps will have him for about 5/6 months before he arrives at Ulster. That could actually work to Ulsters benefit. If it's true....

Munchkin

Posts : 6621
Join date : 2012-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 11:21 am

Well it's 50/50 at best on there with the rumours although this came from the one guy that is rarely off the mark, their version of Geoff.
A move to wasps would certainly give him some practice under multiple high balls and the whole to jump or not to jump conundrum Smile

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 2:44 pm

I'm still not convinced by the Piutau move, and it's been underlined by the recent travails Leinster have had with Kane Douglas, Toulon with Cooper, Glasgow with Naiyarovoro, Clermont with Naholo, even us with John Afoa and Xavier Rush.

The thing is, Piutau will replace Louis Ludik. And there is no dispute that he is a markedly better player than Ludik. It's undeniable. But we know Ludik has settled in NI. We know he is a team player. We know he is not going to be induced to break his contract by his home union. We know his attitude is good, he is not injury prone or a loose cannon on the field.

Despite all that, I could live with replacing him with Piutau (who is better) if it wasn't for the fact that we are not strengthening the back row instead. Where we have Nick Williams who doesn't tick all the boxes Ludik ticks. He'll probably be going at the same time as Ludik anyway, but the money we invest in Piutaus contract could be getting us a much better replacement.

I know Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble are entering the final phase of their careers, but we already have a lot of guys who are game breakers in the backs. We have a world class 9 and a 10 who will be, Olding, McCloskey and Payne can all create something out of nothing, Gilroy likewise. I feel like we are silly to go for the marquee player in the backs where we are bringing through homegrown marquee players there and the back row cupboard is so bare. If the Piutau move does backfire, as all moves for big-name internationals can do, we'll very much miss letting Ludik go. If we were getting an 8, we wouldn't be making room for him. We've nothing to lose in the back row.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 5:01 pm

Notch wrote:I'm still not convinced by the Piutau move, and it's been underlined by the recent travails Leinster have had with Kane Douglas, Toulon with Cooper, Glasgow with Naiyarovoro, Clermont with Naholo, even us with John Afoa and Xavier Rush.

The thing is, Piutau will replace Louis Ludik. And there is no dispute that he is a markedly better player than Ludik. It's undeniable. But we know Ludik has settled in NI. We know he is a team player. We know he is not going to be induced to break his contract by his home union. We know his attitude is good, he is not injury prone or a loose cannon on the field.

Despite all that, I could live with replacing him with Piutau (who is better) if it wasn't for the fact that we are not strengthening the back row instead. Where we have Nick Williams who doesn't tick all the boxes Ludik ticks. He'll probably be going at the same time as Ludik anyway, but the money we invest in Piutaus contract could be getting us a much better replacement.

I know Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble are entering the final phase of their careers, but we already have a lot of guys who are game breakers in the backs. We have a world class 9 and a 10 who will be, Olding, McCloskey and Payne can all create something out of nothing, Gilroy likewise. I feel like we are silly to go for the marquee player in the backs where we are bringing through homegrown marquee players there and the back row cupboard is so bare. If the Piutau move does backfire, as all moves for big-name internationals can do, we'll very much miss letting Ludik go. If we were getting an 8, we wouldn't be making room for him. We've nothing to lose in the back row.

I absolutely agree the backrow should have been prioritised, I've been a bit out of the loop recently....are we definitely not brining in another big name after Piatau and the lesser signings that have been made?  But I disagree about Piatau being comparable to some of the big names you've mentioned.  Afoa was great for us until he left, bare in mind he demolished Soane Tonga'uiha when we turned over Saints at Franklin Gardens.  When he played for us he was brilliant, things turned sour when he to some extent did the dirt and signed for another club for dubious reasons.  But I don't think hes comparable to marquee players who sign contracts with no real motivation to put in good shifts because when he was on the pitch Afoa was great.  As for Rush,  Blues did a hell of a lot worse out of that than we did and I don't think Rush is a bad guy, I think he was a bit confused about the best way to finish his career and made some poor decisions.  But again if he had turned out for us he would have given 100% unlike the guys who sign contracts with little interest in performing.  When you look at the really big signings we've made, all have turned out well....Pienaar, Afoa, Muller, Wannenburg.  I'm reasonably confident Piatau will fall into this category.  The ones that haven't turned out well is when we've taken punts on guys that had star potential that they never fulfilled, see the likes to Horua for this.

Artful_Dodger

Posts : 3857
Join date : 2011-05-31

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 5:23 pm

Maybe I'm misreading what you are saying Notch, but I thought that we were out of slots anyway. So you are talking about Ludik and his dependability, but also talking about needing a backrow - but with losing an NIQ spot, is it not a case of either keeping Ludik, or getting Piatau, or getting a Nick Williams replacement - only one of those can happen.

For me, its Franco who could go - allowing for an NIQ No.8. His contract ends the same summer, and we have Hendo, Tuohy, Stevenson,  O'Connor, Browne there.

But, what's the thoughts on young Taggart? Is it possible he might step up? Is he well rated?

clivemcl

Posts : 3372
Join date : 2011-05-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Sun 26 Jul 2015, 1:27 am

Watching Piatau in his man of the match performance with the All Blacks. Some player and his value will have risen after his recent performances. I can't see him not being part of the their RWC squad now and very possibly a starter.

Munchkin

Posts : 6621
Join date : 2012-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 9:20 am

The Guy's a complete beast both in attack and defence. I know we need a backrower more but I won't let that ruin my excitement over Piutau's eventual arrival.

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 10:36 am

Notch wrote:I'm still not convinced by the Piutau move, and it's been underlined by the recent travails Leinster have had with Kane Douglas, Toulon with Cooper, Glasgow with Naiyarovoro, Clermont with Naholo, even us with John Afoa and Xavier Rush.

I agree - its hard not to be cynical - I really don't see Piutau coming if he's in the AB frame, certainly not willingly and Ludik has been a consistent high performer for us.

No doubt a fit and motivated Piutau would bring something extra but the chances of that don't look good atm so this doesn't look a good piece of business.

Pienaar looking good for the Boks at the weekend - if only there were more players like him around.

I wonder if Kaino is still interested......

rodders

Posts : 23377
Join date : 2011-05-20
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 1:39 pm

Piutau is a good signing for Ulster. Ludik is a decent player but not International class, Payne is now a Centre, some of the back up 15s have potential but are unproven yet can learn from Piutau. Ulster needed a Test class 15 and frankly there aren't a whole pile of them in Ireland.

Henderson and Henry will be starting backrow, but it is the third position that is questionable. Wilson is past his peak and Diack is just shy of true Test class, Nick Williams on a good day is adequate, Browne played a lot at eight and Faloon is returning.

Ulster really needed BOTH a 15 and an 8, so given that Ireland have a load of backrows there is still a fair chance that one of them might be attracted north, but signing Piutau was the right thing to do (provided he actually does arrive).

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 2:35 pm

Aukster given the number of backrows Leinster alone have you'd like to think some would be attracted north but unless they get a kick up the arse from the IRFU its unlikely to happen. With the number of games at club and test level, injuries etc everyone seems to be getting a fair share of game time

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Sin é on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 3:25 pm

Far more attractive for them to go to France for a few years and then come back to their home province. If Dougal didn't go back to Ulster where he seems to have a good few friends, its going to be hard to attract others who have no connection there.


Sin é

Posts : 12548
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : Dublin

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 4:09 pm

How much money though would Ulster have to sign someone who would effectively be third choice in the backrow? Dougall will have Butler and Coughlin there from Munster along with Simon Mannix who coached them under Penney

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Sin é on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 6:31 pm

Not sure what you are saying there, but Butler can play right across the backrow (all his U20s rugby was at No. 8). He would have been a great asset to any team.

Dougal would have been better acquisition than Faloon.

Sin é

Posts : 12548
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : Dublin

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 6:44 pm

Sin é wrote:Not sure what you are saying there, but Butler can play right across the backrow (all his U20s rugby was at No. 8). He would have been a great asset to any team.

Dougal would have been better acquisition than Faloon.

Im saying Pau have money to spend and Ulster may not necessarily have the available funds to outbid them, throw in familiar faces at Pau too it might not have been an easy sell for Ulster because hes a few friends at Ravenhill plus Faloons only signed on for a year so the job security may be lacking too

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Sin é on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 9:14 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Sin é wrote:Not sure what you are saying there, but Butler can play right across the backrow (all his U20s rugby was at No. 8). He would have been a great asset to any team.

Dougal would have been better acquisition than Faloon.

Im saying Pau have money to spend and Ulster may not necessarily have the available funds to outbid them, throw in familiar faces at Pau too it might not have been an easy sell for Ulster because hes a few friends at Ravenhill plus Faloons only signed on for a year so the job security may be lacking too

Ulster have apparently come up with £500K a season for Piutau and you have backs coming out your ears so I'd say you could have come up with a decent offer to Dougall and/or Butler.

Backrow is a very competitive position in Munster with most players still in their early to mid 20s.


Sin é

Posts : 12548
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : Dublin

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 9:56 pm

Well that's the concern of Ulster fans, Sin é. As much as Piutau is a special talent we don't presently have any issues with the backs. We do have issues with the backrow, and it would be a poor decision to have signed Piutau without addressing the backrow issue. I would think Piutau is a Kiss signing, and it would be odd that Kiss brings in Piutau without giving thought to the backrow issues, and so I think the plan would be to address this in time for Piutau's arrival. At least I hope so.


Munchkin

Posts : 6621
Join date : 2012-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 11:29 pm

Munchkin wrote:Well that's the concern of Ulster fans, Sin é. As much as Piutau is a special talent we don't presently have any issues with the backs. We do have issues with the backrow, and it would be a poor decision to have signed Piutau without addressing the backrow issue. I would think Piutau is a Kiss signing, and it would be odd that Kiss brings in Piutau without giving thought to the backrow issues, and so I think the plan would be to address this in time for Piutau's arrival. At least I hope so.


I disagree Munchkin. Ulster have had a big issue at full back since Bryn retired. There has basically not been anyone who has commanded selection in a pivotal position in the team, second only in importance to flyhalf in the backline. Payne looked like the man but he is now a Centre, so Ulster need a Payne replacement and they aren't in abundance. I have hopes for Nelson and maybe Adair, even Gilroy, but they are a long way off Piutau's level. So Ulster needed a 15 - no question.

Ulster also need an 8, but maybe the quality of player they're looking for just isn't available?

Butler and Dougall are both good players but they would have been still squad players at a level only slightly higher than Munster, so if they aren't staying in Ireland in Limerick then they aren't staying in Ireland. I agree with Marty that Ulster probably can't compete with Pau on either contract length or value.

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Munchkin on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 2:13 am

Personally I think Ludik is doing a great job at fullback, and should we need cover for Ludik then Payne can always step in as we are hardly short on centres. Piutau is without question a superb player who will add to whatever position he plays, wings or fullback, but if I had to choose right now either a fullback or a backrow player, I would definitely choose the backrow player. Williams will be leaving at the end of this season, Wilson is probably close to retirement, Henry isn't getting any younger and as much as I would like Henderson to continue playing at 6 that is something I feel the IRFU will decide more than Ulster. Especially with Kiss taking over.
Don't get me wrong. I think Piutau is a fantastic player and I'm delighted we have him at the end of this season, but he isn't going to see much ball if our backrow is weak in a season or two. I don't think it will be. I trust Ulster will bring in quality replacements. It's just that I think a backrow replacement is the priority.


Last edited by Munchkin on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total

Munchkin

Posts : 6621
Join date : 2012-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 9:55 am

Sin é wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Sin é wrote:Not sure what you are saying there, but Butler can play right across the backrow (all his U20s rugby was at No. 8). He would have been a great asset to any team.

Dougal would have been better acquisition than Faloon.

Im saying Pau have money to spend and Ulster may not necessarily have the available funds to outbid them, throw in familiar faces at Pau too it might not have been an easy sell for Ulster because hes a few friends at Ravenhill plus Faloons only signed on for a year so the job security may be lacking too

Ulster have apparently come up with £500K a season for Piutau and you have backs coming out your ears so I'd say you could have come up with a decent offer to Dougall and/or Butler.

Backrow is a very competitive position in Munster with most players still in their early to mid 20s.


Piutau doesn't join until next season when some of our higher earners are out of contract, Dougall was available this season so one does not relate to the other

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Golden on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 11:15 am

Ludik could be a decent signing for Leinster next year. Kirchener will be gone as will Isa I presume.

He'll be a year away from been IQ, wont be on huge wages and decent cover/competition for Kearney

Golden

Posts : 3281
Join date : 2011-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 2:07 pm

Munchkin wrote:Personally I think Ludik is doing a great job at fullback, and should we need cover for Ludik then Payne can always step in as we are hardly short on centres. Piutau is without question a superb player who will add to whatever position he plays, wings or fullback, but if I had to choose right now either a fullback or a backrow player, I would definitely choose the backrow player. Williams will be leaving at the end of this season, Wilson is probably close to retirement, Henry isn't getting any younger and as much as I would like Henderson to continue playing at 6 that is something I feel the IRFU will decide more than Ulster. Especially with Kiss taking over.
Don't get me wrong. I think Piutau is a fantastic player and I'm delighted we have him at the end of this season, but he isn't going to see much ball if our backrow is weak in a season or two. I don't think it will be. I trust Ulster will bring in quality replacements. It's just that I think a backrow replacement is the priority.

Ludik has done a good job at fullback and scored some important tries, but is still shy of being top class. You can only start 15 players so it doesn't matter that Payne can cover fullback because he will be starting at Centre. Payne made a material difference to the side playing at 15 and was probably Ulster's best ever fullback. However if Ulster were to play him at FB in anything other than an emergency I'd say his agent would be on the phone pronto.

Ludik is a Cunningham type player - reliable, dependable, solid are the adjectives that spring to mind, but that's not what I want nor what I think Ulster needs in their last man. With defence so organised the fullback more than ever has to have an attacking edge, and most of all be able to read the game - I'd give Louis a B+.

Since Cunningham, Ulster have had Bartholomeusz, Schifcofske, D'Arcy, Tereblanche, McIlwaine, Smith, Payne and Ludik, with Gilroy, Danielli, Bowe, Seymour, Andrew and Nelson all being tried as well. There's probably some I've missed but the point is that the position hasn't been settled for a while, and filling it with a make-do player just perpetuates the problem.

Ulster have taken the opportunity to land a world class 15 and that won't come along often. Ludik out - Piutau in, improves the team.


Regarding the backrow situation, there was also the directive that there should be no more that one NIQ in a specific position in the team. So with Williams already contracted it is always going to be difficult to convince the IRFU to sanction another NIQ 6/8 signing, therefore I don't see the 'either fullback or backrow' conundrum as being realistic. Ulster still need to bolster the backrow, with Butler being a good fit and no doubt would have been competing with Pau for his services.

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 2:26 pm

:Cough: Stuart Olding :Cough:

rodders

Posts : 23377
Join date : 2011-05-20
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 3:26 pm

Here's the thing though; Ludik is less shy of being a top class 15 than any of our current back row options are of being top class 8s, or any realistic target that is Irish qualified. Whats more, Piutau will replace Ludik not this season but next when Williams is out of contract so he doesn't really come into it. Everything you say about filling 15 with a 'make-do player' (which is harsh on Ludik) applies even more to 8. Ideally we'd be able to fill both slots with a top class player but if we have just one slot, use it on an 8.

Maybe Franco and Williams will both leave and we'll sign a back row instead of a lock. That would make more sense. But we are much better off at 15 than we are in the back row. We are also gambling on Piutau not getting here and realising he's stepping away from the All Blacks in his prime or the NZRU not trying to get him out of his contract.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 3:37 pm

Notch wrote:Here's the thing though; Ludik is less shy of being a top class 15 than any of our current back row options are of being top class 8s, or any realistic target that is Irish qualified. Whats more, Piutau will replace Ludik not this season but next when Williams is out of contract so he doesn't really come into it. Everything you say about filling 15 with a 'make-do player' (which is harsh on Ludik) applies even more to 8. Ideally we'd be able to fill both slots with a top class player but if we have just one slot, use it on an 8.

Maybe Franco and Williams will both leave and we'll sign a back row instead of a lock. That would make more sense. But we are much better off at 15 than we are in the back row. We are also gambling on Piutau not getting here and realising he's stepping away from the All Blacks in his prime or the NZRU not trying to get him out of his contract.

Notch, even if Piutau were to decide he's going nowhere he'd have to buy his way out of his contract and as long as he doesn't do it at the last minute it still mightn't be a bad thing for Ulster.

With the back row, hopefully the likes of Joyce, Dow and Taggart will get some game time this season to aid their development and to see what Ulster actually need going forward

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 3:40 pm

And Nick Timoney as well

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 6:07 pm

Notch wrote:Here's the thing though; Ludik is less shy of being a top class 15 than any of our current back row options are of being top class 8s, or any realistic target that is Irish qualified. Whats more, Piutau will replace Ludik not this season but next when Williams is out of contract so he doesn't really come into it. Everything you say about filling 15 with a 'make-do player' (which is harsh on Ludik) applies even more to 8. Ideally we'd be able to fill both slots with a top class player but if we have just one slot, use it on an 8.

Maybe Franco and Williams will both leave and we'll sign a back row instead of a lock. That would make more sense. But we are much better off at 15 than we are in the back row. We are also gambling on Piutau not getting here and realising he's stepping away from the All Blacks in his prime or the NZRU not trying to get him out of his contract.

It's all well and good saying fill the NIQ spot with a backrow, but the target player may not be really interested - remember Rush? Ulster have one unspectacular fullback whose contract is up next season and Piutau has already signed. Scholes, Nelson, Olding, Gilroy et al are simply nowhere near experienced enough to hold down such an important position in the team. They may become so and learn from a guy like Charles, so that is good forward planning.

Ulster have four capped players plus Williams (ex-player of the year) vying for the backrow spots. Faloon and Browne are both experienced cover men and Ross showed he can do a job. Then there's the young guys who need to get P12 time - they can be eased into their role with experience around them. There isn't that luxury at fullback, because it's an exposed position.

However it's the big games that the big names are really needed for. The question is whether Ulster could attract an 8 that would have as much influence on the game as Piutau would have from 15 - a hard comparison to make but a bird in the the hand...

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by rodders on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 11:36 am

There's something not right with this Piutau move is the issue with me Aukster - not coming until 2016/2017, getting selected for the ABs (with Fitzpatrick waxing lyrical about him as back up to Jane/Smith) and then talk of going to wasps for a season.

I hate to be cynical and not give the guy a chance but there is something fishy about this.

If he is a genuine potential AB regular then I can't see him going overseas for 3 (1 for Wasps and 2 for us) years post RWC - not unless he's a total mercenary with no international ambition ... and I don't believe Hanson would select if that's the case, so my feeling is the AB selectors know something we don't.

rodders

Posts : 23377
Join date : 2011-05-20
Age : 35

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 11:40 am

Yeah, but is the bird in the hand- not coming for another season and lately we've seen young player after young player get their heads turned by lucrative contracts, sign up and then get cold feet when they realise what they'll be missing in terms of international rugby.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 1:49 pm

rodders wrote:There's something not right with this Piutau move is the issue with me Aukster - not coming until 2016/2017, getting selected for the ABs (with Fitzpatrick waxing lyrical about him as back up to Jane/Smith) and then talk of going to wasps for a season.

I hate to be cynical and not give the guy a chance but there is something fishy about this.

If he is a genuine potential AB regular then I can't see him going overseas for 3 (1 for Wasps and 2 for us) years post RWC - not unless he's a total mercenary with no international ambition ... and I don't believe Hanson would select if that's the case, so my feeling is the AB selectors know something we don't.

Surely the reasoning was fairly straightforward? There was always a chance of Piutau going to the RWC as he's a good squad option and still eligible while contracted to the NZRU, so he couldn't sign before then and Ulster were simply accommodating that.

The issue is if he doesn't make the final cut for the AB squad, he will left without rugby for a season. The problem is really the IRFU's ruling on NIQs that wouldn't allow him to sign because of the quota. It is madness that he would be forced to sign for say Wasps (and the risk that they would break the bank to keep him) when Ulster could be using him during the RWC window. It looks as though Pienaar will again be unavailable so there is no danger of having more than the NIQ quota of players on the pitch. In fact the IRFU allow short term contracts to cover for injuries so the absence of say Bowe and Trimble for a third of the season should equally qualify?

Maybe the NZRU are trying to keep Piutau in suspense to ultimately make life difficult for him as a lesson to any other potential defectors, but the IRFU (who have sanctioned the move) should be doing the opposite.

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 2:15 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
rodders wrote:There's something not right with this Piutau move is the issue with me Aukster - not coming until 2016/2017, getting selected for the ABs (with Fitzpatrick waxing lyrical about him as back up to Jane/Smith) and then talk of going to wasps for a season.

I hate to be cynical and not give the guy a chance but there is something fishy about this.

If he is a genuine potential AB regular then I can't see him going overseas for 3 (1 for Wasps and 2 for us) years post RWC - not unless he's a total mercenary with no international ambition ... and I don't believe Hanson would select if that's the case, so my feeling is the AB selectors know something we don't.

Surely the reasoning was fairly straightforward? There was always a chance of Piutau going to the RWC as he's a good squad option and still eligible while contracted to the NZRU, so he couldn't sign before then and Ulster were simply accommodating that.

The issue is if he doesn't make the final cut for the AB squad, he will left without rugby for a season. The problem is really the IRFU's ruling on NIQs that wouldn't allow him to sign because of the quota. It is madness that he would be forced to sign for say Wasps (and the risk that they would break the bank to keep him) when Ulster could be using him during the RWC window. It looks as though Pienaar will again be unavailable so there is no danger of having more than the NIQ quota of players on the pitch. In fact the IRFU allow short term contracts to cover for injuries so the absence of say Bowe and Trimble for a third of the season should equally qualify?

Maybe the NZRU are trying to keep Piutau in suspense to ultimately make life difficult for him as a lesson to any other potential defectors, but the IRFU (who have sanctioned the move) should be doing the opposite.

Leinster look set to sign Conrad Hoffman from the Sharks as cover at scrum half with Boss and Reddan set to be away

With Piutau, its always possible that the ABs lowballed his offer hoping the lure of playing for them would win out and lost the battle. Given that they are threatening to put him on ice once the RWC is over and not before shows that blooding young players over players with a more commercial interest isn't as much of a priority as they would like to make out, though a hard stance to take when half their squad will go abroad at the end of it all.

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 3:19 pm

I do have a strong feeling that Piutau will never be seen in an Ulster shirt. He's already under considerable pressure to rethink his contract it seems both from the NZ media and from the ABs themselves. Time will tell but if I was Bryn Cunningham I'd be looking for an alternative signing to have in his thoughts, preferably a backrower.

Pete330v2

Posts : 2334
Join date : 2012-05-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 4:16 pm

Yes, it would be extremely prudent to line up alternatives. We've seen that pressure from the Unions and international selectors can turn a player around even after everything is signed. If Piutau turns up, great, if he doesn't lets make sure we replace him adequately.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:10 pm

I leave a comment for all to read - it gets ignored for a few days, and then everyone continues blindly as they were.

Listen up folks - LUDIK IS NIQ TOO! For one more year after next.

People on here basically saying "Ludik is grand - keep him and get an NIQ 8."

NO! IT CAN'T BE DONE.

If we want an NIQ 8 we either lose Ludik/Piatau, or one of the others - Franco or Pienaar.

Unless of course the arguments you are making is that there is only finance enough for one top salary? And to be honest, I seriously doubt we have the ability to sign an 8, who is as high a standard in his position as Piatau is at 15.

Honestly, what 8 would we sign that would be worthy of 500k per season??

You've got to take the stars when they are willing IMO.

An NIQ 8 would be great - no doubt - but it would means one of two things:

- We lose Franco
- Or our starting 15 shirt goes to Nelson/Gilroy (Not NIQ Ludik)

Come 2017/2018 we will be allowed 3 NIQ + project. We have the following to choose from:

Herbst (Project)
Pienaar
Franco
Williams
Another NIQ 8
Ludik
Piatau

Do the maths!

clivemcl

Posts : 3372
Join date : 2011-05-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:29 pm

I'm arguing that from the season after next we could have Pienaar, Ludik and Marquee 8 plus Herbst as the project. As opposed to Franco/less expensive 8, Pienaar and Piutau. I like Franco but if we have to cut a place 8, 9 and 15 are priorities over lock. So really the reduction in places is a separate issue which has nothing to do with Ludik. With Henderson, Tuohy and O'Connor coming through it seems like lock will be where the cut is. I think we are very thin at 4, 8 and 15 but unless the IRFU can be persuaded to bend their rules, one of them has to go.

My point is we would be better off keeping Ludik if we want an NIQ 15 and trying to get a marquee 8. That, since we have committed to having a NIQ 15 and at least one NIQ forward at lock or probably 8 we should make the forward the marquee signing and the fullback the solid but consistently impressive professional. And my original point was we may be letting an NIQ 15 we know is comfortable at the level we play at and we know is 100% committed go to accommodate a player who could easily have his head turned by breaking into the ABs squad between now and when he joins. If Piutau does have one of the changes of heart which have become so popular amongst young Aussie and Kiwi player leaving for overseas, we're back to square one in both positions.

That risk goes equally for any top 8 we might go after of course. But tbh it's less of a gamble to me because we are not letting go anyone special in Williams to get him in.

I don't think we are going to be able to pay Piutau, Pienaar and another top class international 8s salary but I'd be happy to be wrong. Equally you may say we can't get a truly top class 8, and it may be true- if that is genuinely the case I have no issue. But we would have said the same thing about Pienaar, Afoa, Piutau and their positions and salaries before they were announced.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:38 pm

Look Ulster know what they're about more than I do. I'm just saying... the Piutau deal feels too good to be true and there's a long time for him to think about it before he arrives here. I'm not annoyed about it, I'm not saying Ulster are wrong I just feel basically letting Ludik, who we know is fully committed, go may backfire on us if Piutau does have second thoughts. I also feel that a marquee loose forward and Ludik would balance our squad more than a marquee fullback and a player of Ludiks level coming in in the back row.

One thing I'm certain about is that there is no way we won't be bringing in another NIQ back row once Williams leaves. Just look at our options. The more I think about it the more the reduction in NIQ places is irrelevant to this. We may be thin at lock but we are threadbare at 8 and 15, and Pienaar is already signed for two more years.

The only question is whether its right to spend the big money at 8 or 15 and thats what I worry about.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by clivemcl on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:43 pm

At least we are all on the same page now Notch - I felt some posters may have been getting the wrong idea.

To be honest, If we were to be happy with the standard of player Ludik is, then I'd be inclided to go with Gilroy as our 15, keeping Franco (or another NIQ lock) and doing our best to ensure Hendo is kept at backrow.

Gilroy is IMO as good as Ludik at 15. If situations require him at wing, we know Payne can play there if need be, and his position can be taken by any number of our centres.

We have discussed our need in the forwards being greater than  our need in the backs - does this not maybe go as far as second row for us as well as backrow?

Take this coming season for example - would you be more concerned by an injury to Ludik? Or an injury to Franco?? Food for thought.

clivemcl

Posts : 3372
Join date : 2011-05-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 7:54 pm

Well, we'll see if the IRFU do force us to go down to 3 NIQ as planned. My position is that we need more than that. If we have to go down a place it will leave us short somewhere.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 10:09 am

What positions do our young academy back rows play?

Joyce - Blindside flanker
Taggart - Openside flanker
Timoney- Number 8
Dow- Number 8

Is that right? Joyce hasn't shown much, wasn't hugely impressed with Dow at U20s.

Don Alfonso

Posts : 2024
Join date : 2011-05-09
Age : 40
Location : The 'Shaft

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Notch on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 10:29 am

It's pretty flexible at that level though, a lot of guys who play 8 at U20 end up at 7 because they don't have the sheer power needed when they make the step up.

Notch
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 25635
Join date : 2011-02-10
Age : 28
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 10:35 am

I think someone said that on The Other Forum in reference to Timoney.

Don Alfonso

Posts : 2024
Join date : 2011-05-09
Age : 40
Location : The 'Shaft

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 2:37 pm

The whole basis for the NIQ restrictions imposed by the IRFU was to encourage the movement of players between provinces and for the provinces to have more outlets for their academies, eventually in turn creating more options at Test level.

For whatever reason Ulster aren't producing enough forwards, and Munster aren't producing enough backs. No one is developing fullbacks or scrum halves except maybe Connacht. Young squad players are being attracted by more money to France and England like Hanrahan, Butler, Dougall, MacAllister, Farrell, Gilsenan, and Griffin. Hardly any are moving within Ireland.

In short the NIQ policy isn't delivering what it set out to do - other than maybe at Leinster. The gap between UBL and provincial rugby is decreasing there, resulting in shorter career pathways and their NIQs are sound backups rather than marquee names to provide cover when senior players are rested or away (Gopperth aside!).

However even if the Leinster model were applied to other provinces, it would still be questionable whether it would work as well and would still take years. The new policy announcement was in 2011:
http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/6806.php#.VbojPvNVikp
Since then the IRFU realised they hadn't thought it through enough and relaxed some of the rules. It is high time they reviewed these again, because their policy may be hampering the development of some players who are searching for SH mentors to improve their game to go to the next level.

The current rules are certainly going to hurt Ulster, if VdM is forced out by them. He has been an exceptional player who has also helped Alan O'Connor a lot. Pienaar is so far ahead of the alternatives it is scary. Ludik too is the best 15 Ulster have ATM but getting Piutau instead would improve the team further. Williams gets a lot of stick but there is no questioning his commitment - remember him playing several weeks with broken ribs? If any of them have to leave because of the NIQ rules that will weaken Ulster overall because the alternatives aren't there. An overall weaker Ulster doesn't affect the development of one player but all the players in the squad.

The Great Aukster

Posts : 3577
Join date : 2011-06-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by marty2086 on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 4:40 pm

Aukster was the policy not put in place more so that the provinces are self sufficient, ie they are bringing their own players through their own academy rather than picking up each others outcasts?

How strict are these guidelines now though?

For the 2013/14 season and onwards, for any given position involving a contracted NIE player, a province will not be permitted to renew that NIE player contract or bring in a new NIE player into that same position in its squad.

Ulster replaced one NIQ player in Muller with FvDM but surely won't be allowed to keep him with O'Connor and potentially Donnan and Thompson to come through. Though Munster were allowed to replace Andrew Smith with Saili, with Bleyandaal there too all while letting Hanrahan leave.

marty2086

Posts : 4824
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 30
Location : Belfast

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 30 Jul 2015, 5:22 pm

Those rules have pretty much gone by the wayside. For everybody. Leinster brought in Kane Douglas after letting Quinn Roux go to Connacht.

I think it's become clear that none of the provinces has been able to solve their "problem positions" off the back of simply being told that they couldn't replace one NIQ with another. It hasn't worked.

Having said that, the way O'Connor is shaping up, I'be be happy with a starting second row of him and Tuohy, and wouldn't lobby too hard for VDMerwe to be kept on.

Don Alfonso

Posts : 2024
Join date : 2011-05-09
Age : 40
Location : The 'Shaft

Back to top Go down

Re: Ulster 2015/2016

Post by Sponsored content Today at 3:52 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 21 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12 ... 21  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum