Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

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Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Wed 20 Jan 2016, 1:17 pm

First topic message reminder :


ULSTER VS OYONNAX

Saturday 23rd January 2016, KO 1pm
Kingspan Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast
Referee; Marius Mitrea

TEAMS; tbc

Ulster have posted a brief guide on the sequence of results we need to make it through as one of three best runners up

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/news/14498.php#.Vp-IVutmw04

Wiehahn Herbst, Chris Henry and Louis Ludik are all probably out but Ulster will have Nick Williams and Darren Cave back as well as Jared Payne.


Last edited by Notch on Wed 20 Jan 2016, 1:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:13 pm

Always knew that it would be a big score. Ulster play some good rugby.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by maestegmafia on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:13 pm

Nice work Ulster...! Great display today.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:36 pm

As I haven't done the math and am too lazy to go and do so, are Ulster through?

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by maestegmafia on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:38 pm

It looks like they are at the moment.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Kingshu on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:50 pm

We need two of Leinster, Leicester, Exeter and Scarlets to win to qualify

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Kingshu on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 3:53 pm

think maybe Bordeaux Begles winning as well with one of the others would do it.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:07 pm

Leinster and Scarlets I hope Wink.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by maestegmafia on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:17 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Leinster and Scarlets I hope Wink.

Scarlets would take a massive boost to their confidence should they win. They have had a tough time since mid December.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 4:46 pm

eirebilly wrote:Not much to say except that I wish Ulster and the Ulster fans the best of luck today, hope you get the TBP win.

Always knew you were a good bloke at heart billy Wink

As for Ulster, we can hold our heads high after that performance and if the other results don't go our way and we're out we can still look towards the rest of the Pro12 with a huge amount of optimism and positivity. Since Les Kiss came in he's really encouraged the backs to be a lot less conservative and safety first in their mindset, and improved their technical skills in terms of footwork, positioning and handling. The longer the season goes on, the more potent we look. You can see the likes of Jackson and Marshall, in recent seasons they were being coached to kick the ball in their own half of the field unless it was really on whereas now they are much more likely to try and take on the first man and try and create something for the men around them, even if we are attacking from deep. Obviously thats how it had to be today because were chasing the tries, but that attacking mindset is adopted in most games we play.

Luke Marshall was my man of the match. He's really laid down a marker for the Ireland coaches now as a 12 option. Makes the whole centre debate even more interesting.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by johnnymonaghan on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:14 pm

I'm clearly stating the obvious on this one but.... Jarred Payne at full back compliments the back line completely. Rob Kearney must be under serious pressure for the Irish jersey.

Can anyone explain to me how Payne at 13 either for Ulster or Ireland is beneficial for either? I'm not slating his ability at 13 btw but the time and space he creates at 15 is unrivalled.

I appreciate the opposition today weren't great but the ulster backs were on fire. Payne was the catalyst ..rant over

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 6:26 pm

For Ireland we needed someone to fill a gap in between Brian O'Driscoll retiring and other players coming through. If Ringrose, Olding, McCloskey etc. etc. all make progress he won't be needed. He was always going to come in as a stopgap at 13, the big debate is about at what point are the younger guys ready to replace him? Is it now, is it next year- should it have happened last year? Opinions are, shall we say, divided over this issue.

As for Ulster, we always had more centres than fullbacks so it only makes sense to get our best players on the pitch which means Payne at 15. With Piutau coming it will be interesting. Tommy Bowe could be the one to lose out with Piutau on the wing and Payne at 15.

I think the only reason Ulster went with Payne at 13 last season was the IRFU wanted it to happen. Totally believe that was a decision taken in Dublin.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by brennomac on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 7:03 pm

Northampton got bp so are on 19, 1 ahead of Ulster. Looks dicey for a QF place, need Bordeaux to stop Clermont getting a bp and Exeter to beat Ospreys, and Leicester not losing to Stade

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 7:12 pm

Ulster made 1,003m today with ball in hand. I'm sorry but that is just disgusting!

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by johnnymonaghan on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 8:59 pm

Interesting read here...........http://www.the42.ie/ulster-oyonnax-talking-points-payne-2563925-Jan2016/?

I think it's unanimous - Jared to 15

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 9:01 pm

Even I agree. It's a very different selection picture to the World Cup.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:11 am

Notch wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Not much to say except that I wish Ulster and the Ulster fans the best of luck today, hope you get the TBP win.

Always knew you were a good bloke at heart billy Wink

As for Ulster, we can hold our heads high after that performance and if the other results don't go our way and we're out we can still look towards the rest of the Pro12 with a huge amount of optimism and positivity. Since Les Kiss came in he's really encouraged the backs to be a lot less conservative and safety first in their mindset, and improved their technical skills in terms of footwork, positioning and handling. The longer the season goes on, the more potent we look. You can see the likes of Jackson and Marshall, in recent seasons they were being coached to kick the ball in their own half of the field unless it was really on whereas now they are much more likely to try and take on the first man and try and create something for the men around them, even if we are attacking from deep. Obviously thats how it had to be today because were chasing the tries, but that attacking mindset is adopted in most games we play.

Lukee Marshall was my man of the match. He's really laid down a marker for the Ireland coaches now as a 12 option. Makes the whole centre debate even more interesting.

Luke Marshall is like an entirely new player. He gels extremely well with Jackson and although he isn't quite as flashy as McCloskey or Olding he is bringing the best out of our backline. It does make me wonder; was Anscombe seriously that bad an influence on his development? This isn't a bosh merchant by any means but a player with confidence playing with his head up.

I honestly struggle to know who is our best option at 12. I will say that the Irish 12 shirt belongs to an Ulster-man. Injury permitting of course.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:45 am

Lot of excellent performances today - albeit against less than stellar opposition.

We all love McCloskey. But God Almighty - Marshall at 12. And Payne at 15... sublime. Having watched the Leinster game... why would anyone start Kearney ahead of Jared?

Herring was fantastic. That win was managed under his watch - we should remember. Good runner, smart, decisive.

Now for the controversial question - having been given some game time consistently, is it just me, or does Reidy look like he is shaping up nicely? Aggressive. Genuinely very good trailing lines. If he plays like that against Pro12 teams, he will be a handy, important squad member.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 12:52 am

If Jackson is picked, suddenly Marshall comes into it as a real option. Marshall got his first caps because Kidney wanted to blood Jackson and felt he could use a familiar face who dovetailed nicely with him. Similarly if Marshall is picked, the case for Jackson gets stronger.

You pick the best combinations, not the best players, which is why so much time and effort has been invested in creating the Henshaw-Payne midfield. But the Jackson-Marshall axis could be worth a look too.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by eirebilly on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 6:51 am

As I said on the Irish squad thread, Marshall and McCloskey need to start for Ireland against Wales but for that to work, Jackson has to be the starting 10.

There is now way that Schmidt can ignore Payne at 15 now. another amazing performance from him. His ability to counter from 15 and bring in others is second to none right now.

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Kingshu on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:48 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Notch wrote:Ulster have chosen to rest Pienaar for both games versus Oyonnax in this pool. This time we are also managing the amount of game time Best and McCloskey are getting.

Kiss has very clearly nailed his colours to the mast over the past few months; we are prioritising making sure we are making the playoffs and peaking coming into the final few weeks of the Pro12 season. I totally understand why and think it is the rational choice and offers us the best possible chance of winning silverware. I actually think we have a great chance of coming in under the radar to challenge for the title. I know many others also see this and totally agree with his selection policy, for well-thought out and valid reasons.

I have to admit that I am a little sad to see it though. For me, the three European home games were the Marquee fixtures of the season even when we weren't doing well for about a dozen years before we made the breakthrough into the knockout stages. Every single one of my favourite memories at Ravenhill has come against an English or French team in this competition, with no exceptions whatsoever. For me selections like this illustrate a little bit of why the magic of this tournament has been lost recently. As league games become more important, the meaning of the European Cup is diluted.

I feel sentimental because I love the European Cup and the golden age of that tournament is now well and truly over. The Irish teams were the last sides to treat it like a matter of life and death, huge occasions which always came above other games. Now team from all nations are choosing to rest and rotate for these big games due to player management. Fixture congestion and too much rugby has done away with that feeling of Cup Magic and the BT and Sky hype machine can't quite conceal that fact. If clubs like Ulster, Exeter etc. are pragmatic in how they approach this tournament and prioritise the league you're never going to see an outsider win it again.

Some teams have always rotated in the HEC to keep players fresh. Given that the AP teams have no rest weekends over the 6N so are having to rotate more than usual.

I appreciate that the Irish teams struggling but the tournament as a whole this year has been fantastic. As for no outsiders winning this is the year where Wasps trounced Toulon in a pool that is all over the place and genuinely open, Tigers went and did the unthinkable and become the first team to win twice at Munster in Europe, the Ospreys, Chiefs and Clermont pool looks set to be going to the wire. Lots of entertainment and to suggest the golden years are gone is odd and for me this is considerably better than the last few years where most pools were done and dusted by now most by game 4.

I have been thinking about this, is a lot of it down to respective, if the Cup is good or not?

Mostly in 00's we enjoyed the cup for big names coming to town and Ulster putting in a performance at home.
In recent years Ulster had a real chance of winning it and it was great, the cup seamed better.
This year we know we can't win it and the shine has gone a little, (its not the same as the 00's as our exceptions have been recently higher and they weren't then)

For Tigers the cup has mostly been great, but last few years Tigers were not really in the running and maybe for Tigers fans the shine went off it a bit, (same as Ulster fans now as they used to be hopeful of winning it but weren't last few years), now Tigers are back in contention the shine has come back for them.

In short it may be possible that Ulster fans feelings toward the cup, are similar to Tigers fans view last few years, and being in contention to win it would bring the shine back?

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

Post by Notch on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:57 am

Probably thats part of it, but on another level what made it so special is it was considered as actually being more important than test rugby in Ireland for several years- much to the detriment of the national team. The attitude was wrong, in a way, in that Irish rugby fans were saying that the European Cup was a better, more exciting tournament than the Six Nations and if a player flopped in international colours, it didn't change their standing with fans so long as they produced the goods on the big stage.

For me that is the reason that Munster and Leinster were the two dominant team for a while. Now a new generation of teams is dominating; Racing Metro, Saracens, Toulon and Wasps. Firstly, unlike when the Irish teams were on top, there is a direct correlation between foreign imports, big budgets and success. Even Wasps have far less homegrown players than either the great Munster and Leinster teams of says gone by. Secondly, none of those teams are as thrilling to watch as Leinster in their pomp.

If you watch what Leinster did to Ulster in the 2012 Final, I'm not sure anyone will see a better performance in a European Final ever again. Ulster were made to look really bad, and people wrote us off with hindsight, but we weren't bad in the Final we were just outclassed. We had hammered Leicester at Ravenhill, beaten Munster at Thomond Park and were unlucky not to beat Clermont in the Stade Marcel Michelin. We also scored a great try off in the Final about 20 phases with offloads and great lines of running- and we were still outclassed. Thats just how good that Leinster team really was. Do Toulon compare to them? For me, no way, and I doubt they ever will- only when they had Wilkinson could they come close to the benchmark Leinster set that day and if you watched Toulon vs Saracens in the Final a few years later, the actual quality of the rugby was just a million miles away from the all-Irish final in Twickenham. And of course- unlike Wilkinson, Sexton grew up dreaming of wearing the Leinster shirt. Even if I was jealous of Leinsters success seeing players winning silverware with their own local team always warms my heart.

That for me is why it was the golden age of European Rugby. Not just because I prefer it when Irish teams dominate (I really do of course) but because it was being won by teams with players who grew up wanting to play for their home team who were living their dream, and it was being won by teams who spent more money on developing players than importing players.

The thing is, if the status quo had been allowed to continue- teams that spent on a few imports and were able to use the league to blood players and target games would still have the advantage over club sides who import their whole side. That's why they changed the rules to stop it from happening. The truth is, England and France should have changed their systems to be more like Ireland's as opposed to forcing us to change our system to be more like their own. That the RFU and FFR missed their chance to reform the game to take power away from club owners is one of the greatest sporting tragedies of all time for me.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time"

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Re: Champions Cup Pool One; Ulster vs Oyonnax

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