Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

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Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by LordDowlais on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:55 am

Pro12: Ulster v Newport Gwent Dragons
Date: Friday, 2 September Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO Northern Ireland and the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app; highlights later online and Scrum V on Sunday

Ruan Pienaar will start Ulster's Pro12 opener against the Dragons on Friday with Charles Piutau and Brett Herron handed debuts for the Irish province.

Pienaar's selection comes a day after the announcement that he would be leaving Ulster after this season.

Props Sam Hobbs and Craig Mitchell join backs Nick Macleod and Pat Howard in competitive Dragons debuts.

Ex-Wales hooker Rhys Thomas captains the visitors while Wales centre Tyler Morgan is on the bench.

England Under-18 international Herron will partner Pienaar at half-back with All Blacks star Piutau at full-back.

Prop Ross Kane will join Herron and Piutau in making his competitive debut after also playing in pre-season games.

With summer signing Rodney Ah You joining injured props Wiehahn Herbst, Ricky Lutton and Jonny Simpson as an absentee after being concussed in last weekend's warm-up win over Northampton, academy player Kane is handed his opportunity.

Andrew Trimble, along with other Ireland players Rory Best and Iain Henderson, is unavailable following his summer tour exertions with the national squad so hooker Rob Herring will captain the side.

Trimble and Herring are sharing the Ulster captaincy this season after national skipper Best stepped down from the role.

With Chris Henry also not available because of injury, Sean Reidy, Clive Ross and Roger Wilson are named in the back row.

Ulster's backline includes Ireland internationals Stuart McCloskey, Stuart Olding and Craig Gilroy with Louis Ludik not being risked because of a thumb injury and Darren Cave missing for personal reasons.

Piutau and Gilroy are joined in the back three by Ireland Under-20 player Jacob Stockdale.

Dragons' regional captain Lewis Evans is back-row cover on the bench.

TEAMS

Ulster: C Piutau; C Gilroy, S Olding, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Herron, R Pienaar; C Black, R Herring (captain), R Kane; P Browne, F van der Merwe; C Ross, S Reidy, R Wilson. Replacements: J Andrew, K McCall, A Warwick, A O'Connor, R Diack, P Marshall, S Windsor, R Lyttle.

Newport Gwent Dragons: C Meyer; A Warren, S Beard, J Dixon, P Howard; N Macleod, S Pretorius; S Hobbs, T Rhys Thomas (capt), C Mitchell: C Hill, R Landman; O Griffiths, N Cudd, E Jackson. Replacements: R Buckley, T Davies, L Fairbrother, N Crosswell, L Evans, C Davies, A O'Brien, T Morgan.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Helen O'Reilly (IRFU)

Citing commissioner: Wayne Sheridan (IRFU)

TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by munkian on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:01 am

Hopefully sneak a win, we pushed them hard last time and they only won at the death.


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:04 am

munkian wrote:Hopefully sneak a win, we pushed them hard last time and they only won at the death.


Hate to break it to you

Ulster 15.C Piutau

We got this one in the bag Whistle

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by GavinDragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:06 am

Lets hope we don't kick it to him then!

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by munkian on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:08 am

marty2086 wrote:
munkian wrote:Hopefully sneak a win, we pushed them hard last time and they only won at the death.


Hate to break it to you

                                           
Ulster 15.C Piutau

We got this one in the bag Whistle

If your forwards can get him ball Hug

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:15 am

I like the look of our pack but what I seen of Hobbs at Cardiff hes a decent player and going up against a young TH but he did ok when he came on against the Saints last week

If you guys overcommit at the breakdown I think you could be in trouble with the backline we have

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by munkian on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:15 am

marty2086 wrote:I like the look of our pack but what I seen of Hobbs at Cardiff hes a decent player and going up against a young TH but he did ok when he came on against the Saints last week

If you guys overcommit at the breakdown I think you could be in trouble with the backline we have

Won't argue with you there.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by GavinDragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:24 am

We don't tend to overcommit at the breakdown. But you will get some joy if you are direct and take us on narrow and get your ball carriers over the gainline. We have a light weight pack.

Exeter last week, we rarely competed but just spread the width, they just controlled the ball and got themselves over the gainline in and around the ruck.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:28 am

marty2086 wrote:
munkian wrote:Hopefully sneak a win, we pushed them hard last time and they only won at the death.


Hate to break it to you

                                           
Ulster 15.C Piutau

We got this one in the bag Whistle

I've put him in my fantasy Pro12 team to soften the blow Sad

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by GavinDragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:38 am

Me too

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:49 am

Bet you Carl Meyer does more this game. I know who I would rather have in my team anyway. Piatau looked good in a handy Wasps team, but he never had to face a team as strong as NGD.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:51 am

I'm feeling confident about Ulster's season and equally confident of a good result tonight.
This is not a good thing though folks as I am a terrible jinx Smile

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:55 am

If we're serious about winning the league, we need to start putting the weaker teams to the sword. I'll be disappointed if we don't come away from Ravenhill with a bonus-point win.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by GavinDragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:59 am

BP Win? Heck a 50 point drubbing should be the expectation surely?

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 12:03 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I'm feeling confident about Ulster's season and equally confident of a good result tonight.
This is not a good thing though folks as I am a terrible jinx Smile

If we lose tonight Pete you have to wait outside the ground tonight so everyone can walk past and give you a dead arm boxing

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 12:10 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I'm feeling confident about Ulster's season and equally confident of a good result tonight.
This is not a good thing though folks as I am a terrible jinx Smile

If we lose tonight Pete you have to wait outside the ground tonight so everyone can walk past and give you a dead arm boxing

A fully deserved one at that

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 12:13 pm

Thanks for the thread, LD Hug

We have lost only one opening weekend since 2009, and that was away to the Dragons in 2013. Dragons should really have beaten us at Ravers last season, but for Jackson converting a penalty in the dying minutes. We also struggled against the Dragons when we visited them last season.

We are without Williams now, and consequently have no ball carrying threat in the backrow. In fact, we have no ball carrying threat in the pack. We have a starting 10 making his first league appearance and a starting 5th choice TH also making his first league appearance.

We do have a great backline, and I expect Pienaar will take the pressure of Herron. We do have Piutau, also making his PRO12 debut. This could be a much tighter game than some expect though, although I do think we should win at home.

It seems an age since we last played in the league. Really looking forward to this game.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 2:25 pm

To be fair Munchkin Reidy stepped up at the end of last season and really provided us with a decent ball carrier in the backrow and while we don't have Williams bulldozing through players theres enough there to do the job tonight

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Kingshu on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 2:39 pm

This season I think we are looking for parity in the pack, solid platforms to attack of, good line out and let the backs cut loose.

Dragons are a tough team, and they are capable of a few surprises however I really think we need to be targeting a BP win at home, if we are going to top the League table.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 4:21 pm

marty2086 wrote:To be fair Munchkin Reidy stepped up at the end of last season and really provided us with a decent ball carrier in the backrow and while we don't have Williams bulldozing through players theres enough there to do the job tonight

I don't think Dragons have the strongest pack, so we should get the job done.

Point taken on Reidy. I like the guy and he's certainly improved.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:26 pm

I'm not sure anybody can judge our pack yet, when in effect it's a new front row.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:50 pm

Dragons are up for it!

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:52 pm

Brett Herron has done something pretty disastrous every time he has touched the ball. Jacob Stockdale not much better and Clive Ross having an evening nap for that Dragons try.

Ulster need some big names to take control of the game, cause these guys aren't stepping up to the early season opportunities they have.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:56 pm

I blame McClosky's ridiculous man bun.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:59 pm

On the plus's side Ross Kane looks handy. He can scrum and seems to be getting around the park

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:02 pm

Clucking headless chicken time from Ulster so far....

And then Ruan proves just why he must stay

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:05 pm

Pienaar, as so often decides to be the one to take control. Thats what the young guys need.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:08 pm

Lyttle has pace and can kick can we convert him to 9? Get ruan to give him intensive lessons.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:11 pm

The junior world cup seems to have done stockdale the world of good. And he's been eating some meat.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:14 pm

Herron continuing to make a bollix out of everything he touches.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:15 pm

Sorry, the above was a bit harsh didn't realize hes only 20. But its obvious he hasn't played at this level before.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:17 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Herron continuing to make a bollix out of everything he touches.

He's not having the best of days.
Glad to see Pete Browne is continuing his good form.
And Charles P looks hard as nails

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Kingshu on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:23 pm

Just to be clear even though I have said on another page that I think Dragons may end up bottom and Ulster should be aiming for a BP win, I am not a Dragon hater, before anyone thinks I am.

I actually really like them, and respect them they are a tough team esp at home.
I think their fans are great, very few teams would struggle around the bottom for a few years, and still bring in an average of 6000 fans.

Thats shows the team has solid support, and the reason I think they are somewhat of a sleeping giant. What other team can get this support in the bad times, and imagine what it would be like in the good times.

Anyway good luck Dragons, just not today.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by GavinDragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:29 pm

As an aside, are Ulster fans not embarassed by your commentators on BBC NI? Awfully biased, make Jonathan Davies look like the picture of fairness.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Kingshu on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:36 pm

Just to be clear even though I have said on another page that I think Dragons may end up bottom and Ulster should be aiming for a BP win, I am not a Dragon hater, before anyone thinks I am.

I actually really like them, and respect them they are a tough team esp at home.
I think their fans are great, very few teams would struggle around the bottom for a few years,  and still bring in an average of 6000 fans.

Thats shows the team has solid support, and the reason I think they are somewhat of a sleeping giant. What other team can get this support in the bad times, and imagine what it would be like in the good times.

Anyway good luck Dragons, just not today.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Griff on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:50 pm

GavinDragon wrote:As an aside, are Ulster fans not embarassed by your commentators on BBC NI? Awfully biased, make Jonathan Davies look like the picture of fairness.

On the contrary, I've been enjoying the Ulster commentary. Makes a nice change from The BBC2 Wales lot who I'm completely bored with. I'm not seeing Bias here. They're championing Ulster, which you'd expect as a BBC NI team, just as Jiffy et al. get all excited when the Welsh team scores. But I like these commentators and don't feel they're being biased.

On the game: Dragons started well but Ulster class now starting to show through. We'll do well to get a bonus point now but more than likely it will be no points Sad

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by clivemcl on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:56 pm

How much of the whole "look! She's female" can BBCNI do before it starts becoming accidentally sexist? Is true equality not simply to say 'first woman, and about time!' and then leave it at that...

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RiscaGame on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:57 pm

Who is the mathematician on commentary who just said something like I don't see Dragons coming back into this needing three or four tries, when we are only 9 points behind. Got a lot of time for that Wink


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:58 pm

So much of our good work falls apart when it gets to Herron at 10. Its the opposite of what a 10 should be doing. We need Jackson back asap.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:59 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I'm not sure anybody can judge our pack yet, when in effect it's a new front row.

Disappointingly it still looks weak.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Maine man on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:25 pm

I know it's his first game but Herron looks completely out of his depth.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Maine man on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:26 pm

When's Nelson due back?

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:26 pm

Ulster are good, and better than dragons in every department. As for dregs, well it doesn't seem much/anything has changed since last season and I'm going to guess Kingsley is part of the reason. There's also certain players (like the one at hooker) who should have their pro contract ripped up. Shocking.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Artful_Dodger on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:28 pm

Hope Paul Marshall didn't just manage to injure himself with Ulster playing for nothing but points difference at the end.....


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by clivemcl on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:29 pm

20 years old though. And yes not a turnstyle. He's not the worst ten we've fielded in recent seasons.

Promising performance for Ulster. For first game of season with lots of players absent, that's rather pleasing.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by dragon4life on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:38 pm

Congrats Ulster bare the first 20 you really controlled the speed at which the game was played at although the first few tries were mostly off Dragons mistakes I.e over throw or lineout steal. I was expecting a BP victory for you guys given the difference in quality of players (Piatau is on the same wage as our whole match day 23


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Griff on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:40 pm

Well done Ulster. Good win, well played. clap

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by dragon4life on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:43 pm

New props weren't very promising and replacements improved slightly. Backs were good for first 20 stretching Ulster it's a shame we couldn't play like that for full 80. Also bbc ni were very bias even when Ulster weren't playing well

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by dragon4life on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:44 pm

If we can cut out basic errors in lineout and have better kicking game we should give more teams a game this season although I think we will still be near the bottom of table

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:59 pm

Pete - there was absolutely no need for that comment and it has been removed.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

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