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 Munchkin on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 10:05 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:Wow. Just watched Kiss' interview with the Beeb after the Edinburgh game. The man was absolutely quaking with anger. He was livid.

Watched it, and he is angry, but that anger still seems directed at the players, and not where the real problem lies. The real problem is with the coaching staff. Ulster Rugby need to get rid of Clarke and Doak.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:02 pm

Whenever successful teams are assessed they usually have settled coaching staff often who failed for several years before finally making a breakthrough. Ulster had an increasingly influential Humphreys who worked with Williams, McLaughlin and Anscombe before he was offered a deal that was impossible to turn down. The Doc will come good at Gloucester, just as McCall, Townsend and Lam did after years of trying.
Kiss needs to be given several years before he can be judged objectively and allowed to actually address the dearth of world class forwards he inherited. That will only happen with an overhaul through schools, club and academy rugby coupled with a well-funded recruitment policy.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 12:16 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Whenever successful teams are assessed they usually have settled coaching staff often who failed for several years before finally making a breakthrough. Ulster had an increasingly influential Humphreys who worked with Williams, McLaughlin and Anscombe before he was offered a deal that was impossible to turn down. The Doc will come good at Gloucester, just as McCall, Townsend and Lam did after years of trying.
Kiss needs to be given several years before he can be judged objectively and allowed to actually address the dearth of world class forwards he inherited. That will only happen with an overhaul through schools, club and academy rugby coupled with a well-funded recruitment policy.

I agree with all that, Aukster, but would say Doak and Clarke have had their day. Somethings badly wrong at the heart of Ulster and I think it's down to those two. The attitude is rank and needs fixed asap.

I do think Kiss should stay, but be allowed to bring in his own coaching staff.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 9:53 am

Munchkin wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Whenever successful teams are assessed they usually have settled coaching staff often who failed for several years before finally making a breakthrough. Ulster had an increasingly influential Humphreys who worked with Williams, McLaughlin and Anscombe before he was offered a deal that was impossible to turn down. The Doc will come good at Gloucester, just as McCall, Townsend and Lam did after years of trying.
Kiss needs to be given several years before he can be judged objectively and allowed to actually address the dearth of world class forwards he inherited. That will only happen with an overhaul through schools, club and academy rugby coupled with a well-funded recruitment policy.

I agree with all that, Aukster, but would say Doak and Clarke have had their day. Somethings badly wrong at the heart of Ulster and I think it's down to those two. The attitude is rank and needs fixed asap.

I do think Kiss should stay, but be allowed to bring in his own coaching staff.

Absolutely agreed. Kiss is no chump but it's pretty well known that Doak and Clarke are.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 10:33 am

Munchkin wrote:

I do think Kiss should stay, but be allowed to bring in his own coaching staff.

Who would stop him? I'm not being smart there either, Munch; genuine question - who would stop him and why?
I can never understand this thinking. A coach is wanted for his valued opinions on how to make a team progress and be as successful as it can be. That's pretty much always why a coach is chosen/hired/brought in. And in his position he generally chooses just about everything else that happens on the field of play to try to do that very job he was hired to do - be successful and win things. He chooses training methods, chooses gameplans, chooses which players are on the team, chooses when to sub players etc etc.
But his potential choice of coaching backroom staff is considered something he shouldn't have a say in?
I'd say that's hampering his 'choosing' role, the very role he was hired to do.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 11:17 am

SecretFly wrote:
Munchkin wrote:

I do think Kiss should stay, but be allowed to bring in his own coaching staff.

Who would stop him?  I'm not being smart there either, Munch; genuine question - who would stop him and why?
I can never understand this thinking.  A coach is wanted for his valued opinions on how to make a team progress and be as successful as it can be.  That's pretty much always why a coach is chosen/hired/brought in.  And in his position he generally chooses just about everything else that happens on the field of play to try to do that very job he was hired to do - be successful and win things.  He chooses training methods, chooses gameplans, chooses which players are on the team, chooses when to sub players etc etc.
But his potential choice of coaching backroom staff is considered something he shouldn't have a say in?
I'd say that's hampering his 'choosing' role, the very role he was hired to do.

I might be wrong but it seems to be an IRFU directive to promote Irish coaches and the fact that Clarke and Doak have been working with the Emerging Ireland and Wolfhounds squad shows that the IRFU want them as part of the setup.

Its no mistake the season started with 3 Irish head coaches at 3 provinces

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 11:26 am

Well, even within that criteria, that still shouldn't preclude Kiss from pointing out or hinting at other Irish coaches that might be operating within the Provinces or other contest or indeed countries.

Now of course, those coaches would have to be willing to join up with Kiss; but if he had a view and expressed it, his opinion should be listened to as coach - the man who was hired to choose for success.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 1:15 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Munchkin wrote:

I do think Kiss should stay, but be allowed to bring in his own coaching staff.

Who would stop him?  I'm not being smart there either, Munch; genuine question - who would stop him and why?
I can never understand this thinking.  A coach is wanted for his valued opinions on how to make a team progress and be as successful as it can be.  That's pretty much always why a coach is chosen/hired/brought in.  And in his position he generally chooses just about everything else that happens on the field of play to try to do that very job he was hired to do - be successful and win things.  He chooses training methods, chooses gameplans, chooses which players are on the team, chooses when to sub players etc etc.
But his potential choice of coaching backroom staff is considered something he shouldn't have a say in?
I'd say that's hampering his 'choosing' role, the very role he was hired to do.

I don't know that he will be stopped, but Anscombe only got the head coach job with the understanding that he can't bring in his own people. As marty says, the IRFU/ Nucifora might put a spanner in the works because of the aim of bringing through Irish coaches. Logan might also side with Doak and Clarke. With my tinfoil hat firmly in place, I suspect an Old Boys network having too much influence at Ulster.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 4:18 pm

Isn't it the case that Doak, Clarke etc. are permanent employees of the branch and therefore have to be utilized and retained in some role?

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/branch/staff.php#.WCNL6C2LTcs

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 4:35 pm

rodders they are all on contracts are they not?

So essentially it could be paid up or they are put on gardening leave until it runs down or they come to an agreement on terms for them to leave

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 5:26 pm

I heard somewhere they are permanent employees, can't recall where.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 6:05 pm

I don't know, but I did read on the other forum that Doaks contract is up at the end of the season.

It would make no sense to have coaches as permanent employees, but it is Ulster Rugby we're talking about.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 6:36 pm

Are we in crisis again yet, or do we have to wait a little longer?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 7:47 pm

Even if they are permanent employees, that just means they need moved to different positions outside of coaching. If they are on contracts, get them paid off! Sure we spent £100,000 to get rid of Anscombe, and he actually had the team in decent shape! Money clearly isn't an issue if they actually want shot of someone. I just can't help but think that Logan etc... thinks the pair are top class and they just need paired with the right head coach..... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:05 pm

Here is the latest injury update ahead of our game versus Zebre at Kingspan Stadium on Friday 25th November (7.35pm).

Chris Henry (shoulder) and Stuart McCloskey (foot) have returned to contact training and should be available for selection later this month.

Darren Cave (calf), Jacob Stockdale (finger infection), Louis Ludik (fractured cheekbone) Rodney Ah You (knee) and Ricky Lutton (toe) will be assessed on an ongoing basis ahead of the game versus Zebre on 25th November.

Alan O'Connor has recovered from a recent concussion and is available for selection.

Roger Wilson is doubtful for the game against the Italians as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

Kieran Treadwell picked up an ankle while playing for Ballymena RFC on Saturday and will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

Ross Kane sustained a knee ligament injury in the game against Edinburgh and is expected to be sidelined for approximately six weeks.

Iain Henderson (shoulder) and Stuart Olding (hip flexor) have been monitored by national team medics this week ahead of Ireland's game versus Canada.

Marcell Coetzee, Peter Nelson and Matthew Rea remain on the injured list.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:07 pm

I noticed on the injury update it states

Injury update in association with The Ulster Independent Clinic.

I'm assuming that's paid for or they are at least getting some free/cheaper services there. Looks like Ulster are trying to get money out of as many sources as they can, which is great to see.

Also whats Jacob Stockdale been doing with his finger? Shocked

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 1:23 pm

Having Henry and McCloskey back (assuming Henry is somewhere near where he was before) can't come too soon. And AOC back is great news. Our bets second row over the last season or so.

And Doak's contract and Clarke's are both up this summer. McLaughlin had some sort of weird "lesser employee for life" deal as a sweetener after he was sacked from head coach, but he didn't take them up on it and left.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 1:59 pm

Don as I said the other day, I think from a leadership point of view I think Henry will be a big plus even if hes not at his best.

Also it frees Reidy up to play 8 and maybe keep Wilson away from the team for a while

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 4:04 pm

Agreed. And McCloskey should be able to get over the gainline more successfully than any forward other than Hendo.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 11:31 pm



Kieran Treadwell picked up an ankle while playing for Ballymena RFC on Saturday

What luck! Just lying there on the grass? Can wee see if this 'glass slipper' is a fit for big Stevie? Very Happy

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:33 am

Interview with Anscombe in the Tele yesterday

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/ulster-rugby/mark-anscombe-raps-his-ugly-ulster-exit-35203384.html

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:34 am

Given that Andy Farrell looks set for the Lions tour as defence coach, I wonder if they will take Les on tour next summer

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:38 am

marty2086 wrote:Interview with Anscombe in the Tele yesterday

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/ulster-rugby/mark-anscombe-raps-his-ugly-ulster-exit-35203384.html

This is the bit that concerns me about Ulster Rugby:

".....as a province we were doing well and then it is just small-minded individuals who have got their own agenda made it happen."

Who are the 'small minded individuals", and what was/is their agenda?


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:45 am

Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Interview with Anscombe in the Tele yesterday

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/ulster-rugby/mark-anscombe-raps-his-ugly-ulster-exit-35203384.html

This is the bit that concerns me about Ulster Rugby:

".....as a province we were doing well and then it is just small-minded individuals who have got their own agenda made it happen."

Who are the 'small minded individuals", and what was/is their agenda?


I thought that too though at the same time though he says it still rankles with him so could just be anger or him not accepting the reasoning behind it

Wasn't it Geoff who told us it Muller who spoke up before he left? Muller doesn't strike me as a small minded

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:52 am

marty2086 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Interview with Anscombe in the Tele yesterday

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/ulster-rugby/mark-anscombe-raps-his-ugly-ulster-exit-35203384.html

This is the bit that concerns me about Ulster Rugby:

".....as a province we were doing well and then it is just small-minded individuals who have got their own agenda made it happen."

Who are the 'small minded individuals", and what was/is their agenda?


I thought that too though at the same time though he says it still rankles with him so could just be anger or him not accepting the reasoning behind it

Wasn't it Geoff who told us it Muller who spoke up before he left? Muller doesn't strike me as a small minded

Muller could be one of the individuals he's talking about, but it could also be Doak and Clarke. What agenda would Muller have? I can see the coaching staff having an agenda, but Muller was leaving.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 11:57 am

Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 12:13 pm

marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 1:19 pm

I think more the Nucifora influence, wouldn't want the pathway for indigenous coaches blocked sure Whistle

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 2:03 pm

marty2086 wrote:I think more the Nucifora influence, wouldn't want the pathway for indigenous coaches blocked sure Whistle

Ha! I shouldn't laugh because there might be some truth in that Crying or Very sad

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 2:13 pm

Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 2:19 pm

Do we know what side if any Humphs was on? His leaving may also be another piece of this puzzle.
It's possible complaints were made, and that Muller was simply asked to verify the feelings of the players/coaches involved. I'd imagine he was simply asked to be impartial - I can't imagine him being a guy to cast judgement or ridicule, but when asked he could be trusted to either verify or deny certain feelings in the camp or incidents that happened.
As for Geoff - who knows who exactly he is, or who he is close to. We take all he ever said as gold - but you never know - maybe he's part of or good mates with the 'small minded individuals' or the 'old boys influence'.

It is hard though from a fans POV not to agree with Anscombe though when he recalls the level we were playing at under his reign, and the fact it has been pretty much down hill ever since.

Perhaps.... *adjust his tin hat slightly and squints up at the sky* ... some people involved in the branch were rather annoyed at McLaughlin getting shifted out - the ones who want the club to be fully indigenous. Perhaps Humph wanted a better coach and he forced the situation. Perhaps the seasons that followed were filled with tensions behind the scenes, both against Anscombe (just because he wasn't 'our own man' McLaughlin), and against Humphs for pushing McLaughlin out and bringing Anscombe in what may have been seen as a ruthless manner.
Maybe in the end, Logan felt he need to act to unify the club and the branch.
But thats probably nonsense, and maybe even I've forgotten facts from the time that disprove this crackpot theory... Erm

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 2:30 pm

rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

I know Cheika was turned down because of it, but if Humphs had a free hand to recruit then surely he could have allowed Cheika to bring in his own staff? Or are you saying that it was D4 that narrowed his options?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 3:21 pm

Munchkin wrote:
rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

I know Cheika was turned down because of it, but if Humphs had a free hand to recruit then surely he could have allowed Cheika to bring in his own staff? Or are you saying that it was D4 that narrowed his options?

Humphreys did all the rugby related recruitment, including staff.

Cheika wasn't turned down - Anscombe was prepared to accept the terms of the post and Cheika, being more experienced in the head role, wasn't.

Logan always wanted to replace both Humph and Anscombe with a single head coach, essentially Kiss role now - Humph jumped ship early, when he realized this probably wouldn't be him but someone more hands on and then Ancombe got the chop without Humph there.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Sin é on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 3:47 pm

Munchkin wrote:
rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

I know Cheika was turned down because of it, but if Humphs had a free hand to recruit then surely he could have allowed Cheika to bring in his own staff? Or are you saying that it was D4 that narrowed his options?

I remember when Munster recruited Penney, Alan Quinlan said that he had asked Humphs if he had looked at Penney when recruiting Anscombe and he said he had, but Penney was a bit too strong for Ulster. I took that to mean that Humphs wanted to have someone he could control.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 4:43 pm

Anscombe's was coach when Ulster went on their unbeaten streak after the death of Nevin, which I think was less to do with him and everything to do with the solidarity and sense of fraternity in the squad. Also having better forwards.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 8:52 pm

rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

I know Cheika was turned down because of it, but if Humphs had a free hand to recruit then surely he could have allowed Cheika to bring in his own staff? Or are you saying that it was D4 that narrowed his options?

Humphreys did all the rugby related recruitment, including staff.

Cheika wasn't turned down - Anscombe was prepared to accept the terms of the post and Cheika, being more experienced in the head role, wasn't.

Logan always wanted to replace both Humph and Anscombe with a single head coach, essentially Kiss role now - Humph jumped ship early, when he realized this probably wouldn't be him but someone more hands on and then Ancombe got the chop without Humph there.

If Ulster weren't going to allow Cheika to bring in his own staff that as good as turning him down, methinks.

That's interesting about Humphreys reasons for moving on. I highly suspected there was more to it than just the money, and that makes sense, even if it daft.

So you think it was Logan gave Anscombe the push?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 8:54 pm

Sin é wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
rodders wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Could be anyone really, maybe he thinks someone who wasn't getting game time was bad mouthing him, Doak and Clarke got promotions out of it but would Logan just sack him because someone was bitching?

No, I don't believe Logan would. This is why I suspect an Old Boys influence in the coaching set up. Humphs himself dictated that the new Head coach could not bring in his own coaches, and that could be seen as protecting the positions of Doak and Clarke. Maybe Kiss has the same hurdles to clear? It's only a suspicion and I could be completely wrong, but somethings not right, and Ulster Rugby need to get it sorted.

I don't think that was the issue. The role Ulster had at the time had a narrow remit to run the team but recruitment and general rugby operations was to be handled by humph - Cheika wanted more control similar to the role he had at Leinster so that ruled him out.

I know Cheika was turned down because of it, but if Humphs had a free hand to recruit then surely he could have allowed Cheika to bring in his own staff? Or are you saying that it was D4 that narrowed his options?

I remember when Munster recruited Penney, Alan Quinlan said that he had asked Humphs if he had looked at Penney when recruiting Anscombe and he said he had, but Penney was a bit too strong for Ulster. I took that to mean that Humphs wanted to have someone he could control.

A bit too strong? That's exactly what Ulster needs.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 9:05 pm

I never liked that Humphreys role.... the 'director' looking over the shoulder of a lower ranked though mostly coaching...coach.  I just always felt and feel its a self-regarding role and if that was his reason for not looking at Penney (a person I feel Munster should have clung onto) then that would confirm my opinions of the role.
If a Director wants to coach, let him coach - let him do the day job.  If he wants to Direct, stay away from trying to influence the coach's role and get the strongest coach you can get.
A director seems to want to be coach without having to deal with the flak that comes with being one.  If the team are going badly, blame and sack the coach.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Sat 12 Nov 2016, 2:19 pm

I don't know why people are saying it was a mistake to let Anscombe go, both in results and gameplay we got worse during his tenure. We were best during the first half of his first season, on the back of a European cup final and unfortunately the death of Nevin.
Most likely he was reaping the benefits of the work the departing and existing coaches had been putting in.

If he was a great coach, we would have got better as a side, not worse. Kiss to get another season, hopefully he is allowed to bring some fresh faces in. (John Plumtree and Andy Farrell appointments with Ireland have been a boost) A bit ridiculous Leinster bring in some one of the caliber of Stuart Lancaster and we are stuck with Allen Clarke!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sat 12 Nov 2016, 10:16 pm

toml wrote: A bit ridiculous Leinster bring in some one of the caliber of Stuart Lancaster and we are stuck with Allen Clarke!

From the outside we are blaming Clarke but he may be a good coach with players who arent listening, he is rated by the IRFU and seemingly Ulster and Kiss too

Lancaster was basically a needs must appointment following McQuilkens family situation

But the coaches at the other 3 provinces have been given some leeway to bring in their own coaches, Cullen has brought in Lancaster and had Graham Henry in consulting, Erasmus brought in his own defence coach and Lam brought a few into Connacht

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Notch on Sun 13 Nov 2016, 9:49 am

It doesn't seem credible to me to suggest that Clarke/Doak being here isn't down to UR hierarchy.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Sun 13 Nov 2016, 9:59 am

marty2086 wrote:
toml wrote: A bit ridiculous Leinster bring in some one of the caliber of Stuart Lancaster and we are stuck with Allen Clarke!

From the outside we are blaming Clarke but he may be a good coach with players who arent listening, he is rated by the IRFU and seemingly Ulster and Kiss too

Lancaster was basically a needs must appointment following McQuilkens family situation

But the coaches at the other 3 provinces have been given some leeway to bring in their own coaches, Cullen has brought in Lancaster and had Graham Henry in consulting, Erasmus brought in his own defence coach and Lam brought a few into Connacht

All fair points, although I think our pack has went backwards since Muller left and it was apparently known he was the defacto forwards coach

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 10:14 am

Been browsing for some time but not posting - been away because of health issues in both family and friends. I am now fine and as fit as a fiddle but 4 funerals in a year has been tough.

Have to respond to the following though

clivemcl wrote:  As for Geoff - who knows who exactly he is, or who he is close to. We take all he ever said as gold - but you never know - maybe he's part of or good mates with the 'small minded individuals' or the 'old boys influence'.


AS I have said, on here, I know no blazer; I know no one in the management team - my contacts are through players.
The only exception being Mark McCall who was, of course, a player before being a coach.
Mark McCall is one of the nicest most decent people I have ever met in the game not backed by the disgraceful Reid, and left with no option but to leave.

Two segments to this post - first a recap of past events.
Logan wouldn't know one end of a rugby ball from another, and to be fair does not profess to.
Hence Humphreys and his roll
Cheika walked away from us and did not even bother going to the interview once he understood he would have to work with existing staff.
Sexton declined the offered post of coach for the same reason.
Richard Hill got the hump that he was not first choice and said he was no longer interested
Anscombe was third choice, EOS was talked to but nothing come of it.

Anscombe greatly benefited from the good practise in coaching methods instigated by McLoughlin.
Both McLoughlin and Anscombe benefited from the presents of Muller as a leader of men
Humphreys left because he did not get the Nucifora job and could see Ulster were on the slide in terms of player quality.
Anscombe left because the way he conducted himself, off the pitch, was a disgrace. Logans instinct was to keep him but the IRFU and Muller told him he had to go.
I see some posting here saying we should have kept him and at the same time questing Jackson and Olding, without any proof - double standards ?

Current situation
Doak and Clarke are in place because of an IRFU commitment to bring on Irish coaches.
Blazer wise - Dublin and Belfast are in agreement.
Baracak (sp?) is leaving, I believe, in large part because he believes the set up is a joke - he is right.
Doak and Clarke cant stand each other - both are simply not up to the job.
If I was Les I would walk.

I am very worried about our future - there will be no big signing next year and quite possibly the following year.
Projects, at best, and possible only IQ

However our failure to bring through forwards is very worrying - although the front row has improved a bit.
McAllister, Annett, Bealham is not bad - the manner in which both props left has to very seriously questioned.
We played the Beagles with only 1 Ulster born forward and he is 35 years old.
Until the un professional grip of our schools is broken we are totally screwed  - although Ulster coaching hasn't improved matters.

I can only see decline ahead.
Northampton are sniffing around Jackson.
If Carbery jumps above him in the 6N as the backup and with the possible court case coming I would not be surprised if he went.
McCloskey seems to have upset Joe - if I was him I'd leave.
Olding ditto the possible court case may also review - although he is contracted till 2019

Difficult not to get the sense of a sinking ship.

Lastly on the Pienaer thing.
He was interested in coaching.
We have some serious young talent coming to the fore at 9 for the first time in living memory.
We could have kept Pienaer for 2 more years, where he would have been blocking absolutely no one remotely close to International standard,
and he would have been the perfect role model and inspiration for these two lads.
If that meant ditching Marshall to push these two lads higher up the pecking order so be it.
His dismissal is a complete and utter joke and the Ulster management are not best pleased with Nucifora.
Guess on my part - I would make Gloucester and Sale favourites.
Pienaer wants to continue to live here and is pursuing his residence application.
Sale have announced they have 4 to 5 big signings lined up for next year and one of their 9's is Stringer.
At Gloucester - lot of old friendships and Laidlaw is off to France.

We are a million miles behind all of the other provinces in terms of professionalism

Good to be back but at the same time I see some really dark times ahead for Ulster rugby - hope I am wrong.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:16 am

Thanks for posting Geoff. I hope you haven't taken any offence - I was just pointing out that nobody really knew your connections - you could have been a drinking buddy of Clarke for all we knew. But thanks for clarifying. and thanks for the info.

If player power got Anscombe shifted, is there any sense that players may force an end to the poor coaching setup. Do you feel Doak and Clarke are protected in their positions in any way, either contractually or by friends in high places?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:25 am

That's awful to hear Geoff but good to get some actual information on these aspects at last. There's need of a shakeup before we're past rescuing but I can't see where the shakeup will come from. The 'jobs for the boys' setup at Ulster protects the blazers and coaches whilst the IRFU seem keen only to undermine anything that would assist us. Sad times for Ulster.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:51 am

Clive non offence taken just clarifying.

It was not player power that rid of Anscombe but a management assessment that the way he conducted himself was unacceptable.
Logan felt exposed with the departure of Humphreys and was looking to Anscombe to be his rugby  replacement.
IRFU said that was totally unacceptable and Muller confirmed he was not fit for the role; needless to say Muller was not impressed by the way Anscombe conducted himself either.

Doak and Clarke are protected by Blazers both sides of the border because they are Irish. There is an obsession that all Provinces need to develop Irish coaches.
All well and good but not at the cost of having Irish coaches not fit for purpose who bring down a Province due to their individual and collective incompetence.

My very real worry is that players on the fringe of the Irish team, of which we have many, will decide this isn't worth and move to the bright lights of England.

Two other bits of news.
We are definitely getting an IQ 9 next year - my guess is one of the Connacht boys.
Piatau has not been impressed by the set up but has vowed to fulfil his contract.
Having said that if Wasps offered to buy out his contract he would say yes, if Ulster did.
What he wont do though is throw a hissy fit, like Afoa, to get his way,; he is a more honourable man.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:57 am

Would we beat this team

Koch, Brits, Du Plessis, Hamilton, Flanagan, Brown, Vunisa, Fraser
Spencer, Lowoski, Ellery, Tomkins, Bosch, Ashton, Maitland

Not a chance - my rough guess at Saracens 2nd XV - that illustrates how big the gap is and its getting bigger

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:59 pm

Thanks, geoff, and good to see you back.

So it's the blazers that are holding on to Doak and Clarke. That's really disappointing because it likely means no change in the future. I feel it's hypocritical of the IRFU though as Connacht, Leinster and Munster have all had coaches brought in from outside of Ireland.

There is a rumour that Clark and Doak have been arguing during training sessions and that a training session was called off because of it. Also, that there has been a fight during a match. If true, I can understand why the players look so despondent at times.

Things seem to be going from bad to worse. I don't have high hopes for Ulsters future and, from what you say, the blame for that rests with the blazers, and the schools set up to some extent.

Grim.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 1:33 pm

All of the other Irish provinces have Irishmen in their coaching make up.
Les Kiss and Joe are not Irish so to be honest all provinces are a mix of Irish and non Irish coaches.

It just so happens our Irish coaches are useless mad

Principle is a good one, but lets have some decent ones not any old rubbish

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 2:12 pm

Well that's my day ruined Crying or Very sad

A mad conspiracy theorist might conclude that the endeavors of Ulster to see foreigners Muller and Pienaar join the coaching team, might be partially why the IRFU forced Pienaar to go. Hoping that would disrupt a smooth transition and put them off the idea.

If the IRFU want to continue to enforce their agenda and protect Doak/Clarke at Pienaar/Muller's expense in a coaching setup, I can see things coming to a head.

Whats more, can you imagine how the general fans and the facebook loonys would react if anyone publicly reported that the IRFU were forcing us to stick with two bad coaches who happened to hate each other and disrupt training sessions with arguing!

...maybe somebody needs to leak it to the BelTel Whistle

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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