Ulster 2016/2017

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Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Tue 24 May 2016, 6:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

The build up to Ulsters gloriously successful 2016/2017 campaign starts here!

Allow summer optimism to get the better of you or discuss why we are in crisis right here on this thread- before weary resignation over the quality of forwards we have sinks in once again.


Last edited by Notch on Mon 19 Sep 2016, 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Mon 30 May 2016, 1:10 pm

Did Leinster choke in the final? A squad rammed with internationals, a core leadership team who've won every trophy going, came top of the regular season, multiples of Connacht's money, resources and player numbers.

No - it's only Ulster who ever choke. Fourth-placed team fail to beat first placed team, away from home, in a competition where no semi-final has ever been won by an away team. Only logical conclusion - fourth-placed team are chokers.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 30 May 2016, 1:20 pm

And there it is. As expected, the true loyalists begin to shout down the discontented! I applaud your loyalty, but here is the reality. UR have really gone for it in terms of marketing, and brand new facilities and they capitalise through social media, and dish out media content. All the success of this popularity is finely balanced on promise and expectation.

UR will not keep it up without delivering. Whatever that means about the fans - I'm not here to debate it. The reality is, numbers will fall if we continue to fail. ANd even the most loyal will have to ask questions if the Anscombe-Doak-Kiss story ultimately fails.

Also, Don, do people like you take any satisfaction from the 'we just aren't that good' line??

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 1:40 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:Did Leinster choke in the final? A squad rammed with internationals, a core leadership team who've won every trophy going, came top of the regular season, multiples of Connacht's money, resources and player numbers.

No - it's only Ulster who ever choke. Fourth-placed team fail to beat first placed team, away from home, in a competition where no semi-final has ever been won by an away team. Only logical conclusion - fourth-placed team are chokers.

I think they did choke a bit, if you take their semi-final performance as their standard. But that semi-final display wasn't the standard they showed all season. While they ground out a number of wins and were consistent in the Pro12 they actually only played one really, really good game all season and it was against us in the semi so I'm not sure if them reverting to form is choking or not. There were a lot of people who wrote them off in the media after they were well beaten at Ravenhill, a lot of op-eds about how Jackson was better than Sexton now- obviously they needed no motivation for the semi-final. In the final Leinster didn't play at all well regardless of what Connacht did, and that was the Leinster I was expecting us to play and probably beat in the semi-final. I think there was a noticeable drop off in Leinsters first-up tackling between the semi-final and the final for a start- big reason for that was Connacht not giving the ball to static forwards around the ruck and letting them win the collisions like we did when we ran out of ideas. But also Leinster just looked more switched on and more intense against us.

But while it's true that it's very unlikely that a fourth-placed team will win the playoffs, the reason we were fourth and not top two is several games where we really played below the standards we would hope to set. Our best performances of the season prior to the playoffs were actually much better than Leinsters consistently 'just good enough' performances, but we also managed to lose at home to Munster and the Scarlets, and away to Cardiff. That little run cost us badly. Before those back to back defeats against the Welsh teams we were looking poised to challenge for top spot, afterwards we were scrambling to qualify for Europe. Three wins instead of losses there and we're hosting a semi-final, and I think those losses were at least partially mental.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 May 2016, 1:42 pm

clive I think you are being harsh.

As Don points out, are Leinster chokers? Someone has to lose, I'd be more worried if Ulster aren't making the playoffs and Europe but they are. I don't think the crowds will desert the team as long as they are there consistently but they can do more if they can add silverware

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:13 pm

... except Ulster have been failing in your terms Clive - they haven't won a trophy in over 10 years and yet fans haven't been leaving in droves - the opposite in fact.

Ulster are in a far better place now than where they were when they last won the League. They have an Academy that is at least producing high quality backs (yes the forwards need to be coming through too), and they have a wide net looking at School's players of various ages. They have more world class players in the squad than ever, and more Test class Irish players. That has hurt them this season, but that is a success factor.

People decry Schmidt for not choosing more Connacht players but that is the last thing Lam needs at the moment - he simply doesn't have the cover. Ulster are only starting to cope with losing more than one or two influential players whereas Leinster are past masters. The blues have the depth to give them the consistency that got them to the top of the table despite the RWC and injuries, but against a Connacht first XV they didn't have enough quality players on form (and a coach learning the ropes).

Kiss needs a couple more seasons to see if he can get Ulster playing the way he wants them to and overcome the glaring weakness in Ulster's coaching staff - namely the forwards. Muller was the forwards coach and absolutely key to Ulster's relative success (far more so than Anscombe), so that is an area Les has to improve and maybe recruit for?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:17 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Kiss needs a couple more seasons to see if he can get Ulster playing the way he wants them to and overcome the glaring weakness in Ulster's coaching staff - namely the forwards. Muller was the forwards coach and absolutely key to Ulster's relative success (far more so than Anscombe), so that is an area Les has to improve and maybe recruit for?

Yeah I agree with that. Don't agree with anyone who's annoyed at Kiss. Didn't even had a full pre-season with Ulster this year and we are moving in the right direction.

The changes in coaching from McLaughlin to Anscombe to Doak has been a mess, but that's on Humphreys and Logan. I think Kiss has the priorities right.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:33 pm

In fairness though Aukster, you mention how Ulster were in a better situation than 2006 (was it?), and then found yourself having to admit the negatives that come along with them.

Yes, acadamy producing great backs - and yet we are all in agreement that they can't reach their potential without a platform. Yes, our players are getting international selection. Its good for them personally yes. It's bad for Ulster to lose them. Perhaps they get really good 'expereince' that they then bring back to the club. That's a dubious and debatable one... especially for those who are tackle bags or benchwarmers while on duty.

I'll continue to be excited about our prospects and hopeful as always, but I'm just sick of the disappointment. The Leinster fans aren't overly gutted, and probably because they know they had a dull and mediocre year. With Ulster though, they always show gimpses of absolute world class, just enough to show us all they have the potential, but unlike Connacht, they just don't repeat it.

That's what makes the lack of silverware most disappointing for me. As Notch said beginning this discussion. Connacht did it, and did it with less. There doesn't seem to be any clear advantage. So why don't we do it?

Perhaps the lack of pressure as some have mentioned. But no, I'm not sure. Connacht know the season they had, I think there was plenty of pressure on them not to let their season-long dominance amount to jack squat. Because they knew, with players leaving theres a high liklihood it won't be repeated.

Quite simply, Connacht just played to their collective potential in pretty much every game including the final.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:36 pm

I'm sorry that someone having a mildly divergent opinion vexes you so much, Clive. Perhaps you wouldn't feel shouted down by someone expressing a different outlook on some kind of "groupthink forum", if you can find such a thing, rather than a "discussion forum".

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:36 pm

There was pressure on them at the end, but there's not the same weight of expectation on Connacht as there is and always has been on Ulster and every season they don't deliver it feels like the players are under even more pressure.

Whether our expectations are justified or not is another question; but we certainly have the ingredients to make a top side, and the fans certainly expect success. I feel like its a burden on us. Connacht, on the other hand, have the no-one takes us seriously, no-one expects us to win, let's prove them wrong thing going for them...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by George Carlin on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:57 pm

If I take my life and testicles in my hand (which would make typing this difficult) and venture an opinion as an outsider who is a big fan of what Ulster have done - it seems that Ulster constantly seem to feel what I felt when I watched Connacht beat Glasgow in both games recently:

Is that Connacht squad of higher aggregate quality than my team's squad?
No, I don't believe that they are.

Was Connacht better than us over both games but more specifically the play-off?
Is is absolutely undeniable that they were better.

So where does that leave you?

Ulster, as we have established, cannot possibly blame their infrastructure or their huge crowds, so what is left? You can only come back to (a) the way that the players are coached, (b) the way the club is managed or (c) both (a) and (b).

I completely agree that management have riddled their feet with bullets in this respect and I personally believe that careering from McLaughlin to Anscombe to Doak is the reason why the club just has not been consistent.

But is it also the case that the IRU's policies are contributing to this? How much say does any manager of an Irish province really have when it comes to selecting players. Aki shows the quality that lies in Super Rugby for example - but from what I know it wouldn't possibly be acceptable if Ulster found 7 Aki's in their respective positions who became team starters.

Can someone explain to me why that's wrong, if it's wrong? I am also very interested to know to what extent Ulster fans feel under any responsibility for contributing to the development of Irish internationalists. Would it matter if Ireland did poorly as long as Ulster was doing well? Or would people only be interested in the club if they saw Irish players every week?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 30 May 2016, 3:11 pm

I just took a look at both Leinster and Ulster's success in both competitions over the past 8 years. (as if we needed to rub more salt in the wound!)

Europe
Leinster: Final, Semi, Winners, Winners, Groups, Quarters, Semi, Groups
Ulster: Groups, Groups, Quarters, Final, Quarters, Quarters, Groups, Groups

Pro12/Rabo/Celtic
Leinster: 3rd, Final, Final, Final, Winners, Winners, 5th, Final
Ulster: 8th, 8th, Semi, 6th, Final, Semi, Semi, Semi




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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 May 2016, 3:18 pm

George, from watching Connacht especially when they were playing 3rd and 4th string players they were putting in the performances and more importantly getting the results. The guys getting in believed they could keep the shirt, I think that's a culture that's been lacking at Ulster.

Too often we look to the SH and the NPC, Currie Cup etc for injury jokers instead of maybe throwing a youngster in at the deep end. Kyle McCall came in against Leinster at TH a few years back and held his own against Test players. Ulster have young back row players who have the ability but not necessarily the application but how much of that is due to lack of opportunity?

Most Ulster fans on here would love a squad filled with Irish players but its a big ask

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 3:22 pm

It's not wrong. We can only have four or five foreign players in total. We've been allowed to keep Ludik recently, as he'll qualify on residency, but were barred from signing an injury replacement for Coetzee in the back row for the start of next season. Every time with the back row we're stuck with one foreign player and no decent Irish ones coming through, but that doesn't matter for the IRFU. However we could have chosen to sign another forward instead of Piutau and made more of an effort to retain Rory Scholes, and I think signing another back row or tight five forward would have been smarter. Piutau seems like a big name to sell season tickets as opposed to a signing made as part of an intelligent, long-term vision. He'll be excellent of course, if he stays fit, but Scholes will be excellent at Edinburgh too- and Payne, Nelson, Scholes, Gilroy, Bowe and Trimble would hardly have been a bad set of back three options. Again you have to question the decision making there.

Connacht don't have the same restrictions on numbers of NIQ players, but they get less funding in exchange, so its hardly an excuse. Signing Aki was a massive coup for them, and that comes from getting in a coach who is greatly respected in NZ. But even though they don't have the same restrictions on numbers of foreign players as they've gotten more successful they've relied less and less on imports in general- Aki and McGinty are the only NIQ imports in that back line, McCartney and Heenan the only two in the pack. Sure a lot of the Irish players have come from other provinces, but thats not out of line with what we do and the composition of their team is pretty similar to the other Irish sides in terms of who is qualified for Ireland.

I think the IRFUs policies are a good explanation for explaining why we can't keep up with French or English teams. When you have to rely on home-grown players and they are able to sign almost however many players they want, we'll always have one hand tied behind our backs. Our much maligned Academy still produces more than many English or French clubs, who sign from overseas or from teams lower down the table. But our rivals in the Pro12 are either dealing with the same restrictions (Leinster and Munster) or are dealing with financial restrictions that we don't face; budgets mean they effectively have to rely on their academies anyway. No-one else in the league is bringing in guys like Piutau and Coetzee, so we can hardly complain about our lot!

In any event, the IRFUs policies are a good thing for the Pro12, because if the Irish provinces were allowed to spend whatever they wanted and get in as many NIQs as they wanted/needed Leinster and Munster could have consolidated after winning the European Cup and dominated the league. Instead key Irish players retired and the provinces needed to replace them by promoting from within, which has created opportunities for teams like Glasgow and Connacht to exploit. It makes the league a much more level playing field. At the moment, it's a league of home-grown talent with a few foreign players and no side that doesn't develop native talent can ever win it. Long may that continue, but it means our marquee signings will never be enough on their own.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 30 May 2016, 7:45 pm

Notch wrote:
Connacht don't have the same restrictions on numbers of NIQ players, but they get less funding in exchange, so its hardly an excuse. Signing Aki was a massive coup for them, and that comes from getting in a coach who is greatly respected in NZ. But even though they don't have the same restrictions on numbers of foreign players as they've gotten more successful they've relied less and less on imports in general- Aki and McGinty are the only NIQ imports in that back line, McCartney and Heenan the only two in the pack. Sure a lot of the Irish players have come from other provinces, but thats not out of line with what we do and the composition of their team is pretty similar to the other Irish sides in terms of who is qualified for Ireland.

Just a digression on your valid points Notch. I'm absolutely gutted for McGinty that he has had to leave because he's "not irish....... qualified". He added so much to this seasons Connacht, he was very impressive taking the ball to the line and making space, finding gaps and his defence was superb. He might not be completely rounded but on form I would rank him the 3rd "Irish" 10.
Bit ridiculous we can have the rules bent because Ludik will become Irish qualified (and most likely never play for ireland - he'll be nearly 31 when qualified) whereas Connacht didn't get assistance to let McGinty stay - he's Irish born and bred but for a couple of years and few caps in the USA. I know rugby's a business but I don't think it should be so cold

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:03 pm

Well he's Irish, but he can never play for Ireland so- c'est la vie. I'm pretty sure he didn't have to leave? Connacht have signed another non-Irish 10 to replace him in Marnitz Boshoff, albeit an uncapped one who could qualify on residency, so if he was forced out over eligibility concerns its a strange one.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:08 pm

Boshoff has been capped by SA so cant qualify for Ireland, I think MacGinty simply got a better offer from Sale

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:10 pm

Would it not be reasonable to have a rule whereby say three years without a cap entitles you to take on a three year residency bid for another country. Six years in total would be quite long. But surely it's unfair to limit a players opportunities over a few caps. Especially if he finds himself unable to practice his career in the country of his birth. Surely it's the type of thing the courts would have something to say about??

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:31 pm

Notch wrote:Well he's Irish, but he can never play for Ireland so- c'est la vie. I'm pretty sure he didn't have to leave? Connacht have signed another non-Irish 10 to replace him in Marnitz Boshoff, albeit an uncapped one who could qualify on residency, so if he was forced out over eligibility concerns its a strange one.

Na the Story is Pat Lam went and signed Boshoff so they could have a top kicking flyhalf to give them a different game plan in the winter months, and went to the IRFU/Nucifora? (as Bryn did about Ludik) to see if the could keep on McGinty. Nucifora told him no chance so Pat Lam called all his contacts in England and got him a gig at Sale.
Just a bit gutting that an Irish fella who has really poured his all into an Irish province can't stay because he has been capped for another country

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:33 pm

clivemcl wrote:Would it not be reasonable to have a rule whereby say three years without a cap entitles you to take on a three year residency bid for another country. Six years in total would be quite long. But surely it's unfair to limit a players opportunities over a few caps. Especially if he finds himself unable to practice his career in the country of his birth. Surely it's the type of thing the courts would have something to say about??

Yeah! restriction of trade in his own country

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Mon 30 May 2016, 9:45 pm

No-one made him play for the US. If he was good enough, Connaxht would have kept him on as an NIE player.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 10:21 pm

It sounds like Connacht could have just not signed another NIQ 10 and then he could have stayed on. Feel sorry for him, but the IRFU were perfectly happy for Connacht to have one ineligible out half and they've decided that there is a better candidate for his job.


Last edited by Notch on Mon 30 May 2016, 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 30 May 2016, 10:44 pm

clivemcl wrote:In fairness though Aukster, you mention how Ulster were in a better situation than 2006 (was it?), and then found yourself having to admit the negatives that come along with them.

Yes, acadamy producing great backs - and yet we are all in agreement that they can't reach their potential without a platform. Yes, our players are getting international selection. Its good for them personally yes. It's bad for Ulster to lose them. Perhaps they get really good 'expereince' that they then bring back to the club. That's a dubious and debatable one... especially for those who are tackle bags or benchwarmers while on duty.

I'll continue to be excited about our prospects and hopeful as always, but I'm just sick of the disappointment. The Leinster fans aren't overly gutted, and probably because they know they had a dull and mediocre year. With Ulster though, they always show gimpses of absolute world class, just enough to show us all they have the potential, but unlike Connacht, they just don't repeat it.

That's what makes the lack of silverware most disappointing for me. As Notch said beginning this discussion. Connacht did it, and did it with less. There doesn't seem to be any clear advantage. So why don't we do it?

Perhaps the lack of pressure as some have mentioned. But no, I'm not sure. Connacht know the season they had, I think there was plenty of pressure on them not to let their season-long dominance amount to jack squat. Because they knew, with players leaving theres a high liklihood it won't be repeated.

Quite simply, Connacht just played to their collective potential in pretty much every game including the final.

If I was an objective neutral looking for a team to support, I'd choose Ulster 2016 over Ulster 2006 every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'm saying Ulster are in a far better place today than ten years ago - they have a better academy, better team, better coaching, better management, better facilities than they did ten years ago - where is the contradiction in that?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 30 May 2016, 11:10 pm

All your improvements you listed all came with caveats though. The thing is, the improved professionalism at the club, the better signings, the better setup and facilities - it's all been here or near enough for a good few years now.

We have superiority over most other clubs in the league in a lot of aspects apart from actually winning silverware.

I guees it's just sport though, to keep hoping. But if I have to hear Rory say 'We really believed we had it in us this year' again, I'm going to start turning off the TV once I hear the final whistle. I just can't bare it. And I find it excruciating that he keeps having to face the same interview in front of a camera and say the same thing about 'taking a break, taking a hard look at ourselves, re-grouping, get stuck in again - next year is the year for us!'. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Tue 31 May 2016, 2:58 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
clivemcl wrote:In fairness though Aukster, you mention how Ulster were in a better situation than 2006 (was it?), and then found yourself having to admit the negatives that come along with them.

Yes, acadamy producing great backs - and yet we are all in agreement that they can't reach their potential without a platform. Yes, our players are getting international selection. Its good for them personally yes. It's bad for Ulster to lose them. Perhaps they get really good 'expereince' that they then bring back to the club. That's a dubious and debatable one... especially for those who are tackle bags or benchwarmers while on duty.

I'll continue to be excited about our prospects and hopeful as always, but I'm just sick of the disappointment. The Leinster fans aren't overly gutted, and probably because they know they had a dull and mediocre year. With Ulster though, they always show gimpses of absolute world class, just enough to show us all they have the potential, but unlike Connacht, they just don't repeat it.

That's what makes the lack of silverware most disappointing for me. As Notch said beginning this discussion. Connacht did it, and did it with less. There doesn't seem to be any clear advantage. So why don't we do it?

Perhaps the lack of pressure as some have mentioned. But no, I'm not sure. Connacht know the season they had, I think there was plenty of pressure on them not to let their season-long dominance amount to jack squat. Because they knew, with players leaving theres a high liklihood it won't be repeated.

Quite simply, Connacht just played to their collective potential in pretty much every game including the final.

If I was an objective neutral looking for a team to support, I'd choose Ulster 2016 over Ulster 2006 every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'm saying Ulster are in a far better place today than ten years ago - they have a better academy, better team, better coaching, better management, better facilities than they did ten years ago - where is the contradiction in that?

Just out of interest w while saying Ulster 2016 have the better team academy etc than 2016, there is no doubt, we have improved, but so has everyone else.

Maybe a better comparison is who was closest to thier rivals, Ulster 2006 or Ulster 2016?

I'd have togo for 2016 myself, I'm really looking forward to next year (say that every year though), but its a good thing that we still feel we are on an upward curve.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 31 May 2016, 3:03 pm

Kingshu wrote:
Just out of interest w while saying Ulster 2016 have the better team academy etc than 2016, there is no doubt, we have improved, but so has everyone else.

Maybe a better comparison is who was closest to thier rivals, Ulster 2006 or Ulster 2016?

I'd have togo for 2016 myself, I'm really looking forward to next year (say that every year though), but its a good thing that we still feel we are on an upward curve.

Given that Ulster were ahead of their rivals in 06 and are now behind them its a strange position to take.

I do think Ulster are in a great position but the next two years are crucial as there is a core group of young players there that if they get a taste of success in the league could kick on and do great things

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Tue 31 May 2016, 3:21 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:
Just out of interest w while saying Ulster 2016 have the better team academy etc than 2016, there is no doubt, we have improved, but so has everyone else.

Maybe a better comparison is who was closest to thier rivals, Ulster 2006 or Ulster 2016?

I'd have togo for 2016 myself, I'm really looking forward to next year (say that every year though), but its a good thing that we still feel we are on an upward curve.

Given that Ulster were ahead of their rivals in 06 and are now behind them its a strange position to take.

Well not really - Munster were European champions in 06 and Leinster semi-finalists so wouldn't say were ahead because we won the league.

In truth we were the 3rd best province then and based on the league this season still are, although thing we've played better rugby than Leinster for the most part, with some good signings and players to come back in I think we are in good place.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Tue 31 May 2016, 5:00 pm

rodders wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:
Just out of interest w while saying Ulster 2016 have the better team academy etc than 2016, there is no doubt, we have improved, but so has everyone else.

Maybe a better comparison is who was closest to thier rivals, Ulster 2006 or Ulster 2016?

I'd have togo for 2016 myself, I'm really looking forward to next year (say that every year though), but its a good thing that we still feel we are on an upward curve.

Given that Ulster were ahead of their rivals in 06 and are now behind them its a strange position to take.

Well not really - Munster were European champions in 06 and Leinster semi-finalists so wouldn't say were ahead because we won the league.

In truth we were the 3rd best province then and based on the league this season still are, although thing we've played better rugby than Leinster for the most part, with some good signings and players to come back in I think we are in good place.

I was thinking along the same lines as rodders, but also back then Munster and Leinster were in the top 4 in Europe? Were we closer to Munster in 06 than we are to Saracens now?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Tue 31 May 2016, 5:16 pm

Financially it's hard to compare the European game to how things were just 3 years ago, let alone 10.

However we are now consistently in the mix for the pro 12 play-off and European KO stages (we missed by a point this year) which is a lot better than a decade ago - 2006 was an exception in an otherwise grim decade post 1999.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 05 Jun 2016, 2:28 pm

Will Faloon be playing for us next season, or is he retiring? He'd be very useful if he got back anywhere near fitness and form.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Marshes on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 12:32 pm

Thought I heard a rumour ages ago about Ulster going in for Peter Lydon as back up to Paddy Jackson, nothing materialising out of that? Thought he was playing well for London Scottish.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 1:27 pm

Think that was just on here his name was thrown out as a possible when we didn't know who we may be getting, we know Herrons coming in from Bath.

Lydons signed on for next season with Scottish though what shape they will be in after their partnership with the SRU fell through, remains to be seen.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 1:39 pm

With Schmidt referencing Olding as a potential back-up at 10 for Ireland, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Ulster using him there.

I fear Olding ending up getting the utility tag due to the competition at centre.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Marshes on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 1:41 pm

Ah yes I remember Herron's signing up now, looks a good prospect.

Lydon still young and could develop further if he got a shot at a higher level

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 6:04 pm

Watching the Ireland U20s. They are all pretty awful so far but Stockdale looks especially poor... maybe I don't get it but I don't see the potential in him to be any more than a journeyman. Hopefully i'm wrong but i'm worried the back 3 cupboard might be looking a bit bare in a couple of years

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 6:14 pm

Hang on maybe Ireland were just hungover for the first half hour

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 6:58 pm

Yep Stockdale and Ireland making me eat my words

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 9:17 am

Smile You were just too quick Tom that's all Smile

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 12:16 pm

The Rise of the Journeyman

In cinemas now!

See it while it lasts................ right up until the Baby Blacks.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:34 am

Notch wrote:With Schmidt referencing Olding as a potential back-up at 10 for Ireland, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Ulster using him there.

I fear Olding ending up getting the utility tag due to the competition at centre.

I don't. He has the quality to be able to play multiple positions - that is rare in Ireland but common for (say) the All Blacks (who are a team of 'utility' players). Some players get 'tried' in various positions and labelled utility because they tick most of the boxes but in truth they are missing a key skill to be truly Test class. For me Olding ticks all the boxes at 10,12,13 and 15, and I would especially like to see him push Jackson at flyhalf because Ulster and Ireland need him to.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Marshes on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 10:31 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
Notch wrote:With Schmidt referencing Olding as a potential back-up at 10 for Ireland, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Ulster using him there.

I fear Olding ending up getting the utility tag due to the competition at centre.

I don't. He has the quality to be able to play multiple positions - that is rare in Ireland but common for (say) the All Blacks (who are a team of 'utility' players). Some players get 'tried' in various positions and labelled utility because they tick most of the boxes but in truth they are missing a key skill to be truly Test class. For me Olding ticks all the boxes at 10,12,13 and 15, and I would especially like to see him push Jackson at flyhalf because Ulster and Ireland need him to.

Does he tick all the boxes at 10? Haven't seen enough of him there, definitely at centre I can see his class, and good to have him as an option at full-back?

Also bit of an aside, but whats the second row going to look like for Ulster next season? Will Hendo be focused there? Is Alan O Connor still putting in consistent performances? And will you see much of Treadwell (heard good things)?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 11:34 am

Olding has a similar skill set and background as a 10 to Jackson, but who knows how he would develop given the same experience?

At lock Ulster have VdM, Tuohy, Treadwell, AOC and Browne as well as Henderson. If there were a couple of injuries I'd still like to have Henderson in the backrow and give Diack or one of the Academy lads the bench lock spot. With Coetzee injured, Henderson, Henry and maybe Reidy are the only Test class backrows in the squad, so Iain is needed there.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 6:48 pm

Given the success at Newlands, Ulster might need to add a couple more players as there might be more restrictions on some of the internationals!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 7:52 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Given the success at Newlands, Ulster might need to add a couple more players as there might be more restrictions on some of the internationals!

The way Paddy played, we won't see much of him. I would goes its Nelson and Olding? Maybe McPhillips

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 8:59 pm

The big question is where dose Payne fit in with Ulster now?

Its funny how when Ireland wanted him at centre he was fullback for Ulster, and now they may see him as a viable fullback in the strongest Ulster 15 he'll be at centre

Charles Piutau
Trimble Payne Marshall Bowe

Ludik
Gilroy McColskey Olding Nelson

Not used Cave

Its ridiculous the number of Centers we have produced (and lack of back row)

Cave, Marshall, Spence, McCloskey, Olding, Whitten, Farrell, Arnold

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 9:43 pm

Unfortunately I don't think Tommy will be automatically back in the strongest side

Payne,
Trimble, Marshall, McCloskey or Olding, Piatau

Still think Piatau was signed and announced (a year and a half before joining) because interest in Ulster was flagging at the time.

Has another player been announced for a team 18 months before joining before?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 9:54 pm

Kingshu wrote:The big question is where dose Payne fit in with Ulster now?

Its funny how when Ireland wanted him at centre he was fullback for Ulster, and now they may see him as a viable fullback in the strongest Ulster 15 he'll be at centre

Charles Piutau
Trimble Payne Marshall Bowe

Ludik
Gilroy McColskey Olding Nelson

Not used Cave

Its ridiculous the number of Centers we have produced (and lack of back row)

Cave, Marshall, Spence, McCloskey, Olding, Whitten, Farrell, Arnold

I think Allen is playing in the centre for Embra, isn't he?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 9:55 pm

tom Ulsters hand was forced with the announcement though, the Blues and NZRU were talking about it so Ulster had to make the announcement. Piutau was in contract negotiations so Ulster had to move fast to sign him up

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:35 pm

Clivemcl or Don Alfonso,

Is there any truth or have either of you heard of the rumour that Ulster have approached ROG to be kicking coach, specifically to help Jackson?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:45 pm

On the evidence of last weekend - Jackson wouldn't need him!

But if true, it would be good. I suppose ROG would be there to expand the tactical kicking approach when you want to annoy the feck out of the opponents who are just behind on the scoreboard but can't cope with the selection of behind-the-lines pops and sidewinders.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:47 pm

Really not sure if there is any truth in it Fly, just heard through a mate of mine. He seemed convinced that someone high up was pushing to have ROG work closely with Jackson.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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