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

First topic message reminder :

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 Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:39 pm

.


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:40 pm

Senlac wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Senlac wrote:Maybe I'm seeing something others aren't, but he looks to be quite clearly lying flat on the ground when he first plays the ball, gather sit and places it over the line.

I always thought that if you were on the ground you were out of the game and could play the ball?

Hence the "playing the ball o the ground" rule.



'A player who is not tackled, but who goes to ground while holding the ball, or a player who goes to ground and gathers the ball, must act immediately'


Maybe that explains it.  News to me though.  Never knew you could do that.

Never seen a fullback whos had the ball pumped over his head sliding back and collecting the ball or a try scorer sliding after a ball and then collecting and dotting down?


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:40 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Senlac wrote:Maybe I'm seeing something others aren't, but he looks to be quite clearly lying flat on the ground when he first plays the ball, gather sit and places it over the line.

I always thought that if you were on the ground you were out of the game and could play the ball?

Hence the "playing the ball o the ground" rule.



'A player who is not tackled, but who goes to ground while holding the ball, or a player who goes to ground and gathers the ball, must act immediately'

Surely that applies to a player sliding and gathering the ball, not a player who's already on the ground?

If you are sliding you are on the ground

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:42 pm

Sorry, I deleted my post. I didn't see the game and I'm at work so I can't watch that video. But if Lyttle slid to gather the ball, but didn't gather the ball, then surely he's out of the game until he gets to his feet again?

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 4:44 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Sorry, I deleted my post. I didn't see the game and I'm at work so I can't watch that video. But if Lyttle slid to gather the ball, but didn't gather the ball, then surely he's out of the game until he gets to his feet again?

Read up its been answered

He fell going after the ball, Dragons player booted it against him as he was falling and trying to gather

He reached for the ball and then placed it

All in the rules

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by profitius on Tue 06 Sep 2016, 6:47 pm

First time seeing Lyttle. Looks a talent. Stockdale has started the season where he left off in the U20 world cup. Schloes leaving doesn't seem so strange now!

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Kingshu on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 11:25 am

Ulster Players abroad

Forwards
Paddy McAllister,
Niall Annett,

Half backs
Gareth Steenson, Michael Heaney

Backs
Ian Whitten, Chris Farrell, Rory Scholes, Ross Adair, Conor Gaston (Sam Arnold)

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 2:36 pm

profitius wrote:First time seeing Lyttle. Looks a talent. Stockdale has started the season where he left off in the U20 world cup. Schloes leaving doesn't seem so strange now!

No it's still strange that Ludik was kept over Scholes, especially given the brouhaha over Pienaar being forced to leave. If Ulster had kept Scholes (who has the potential to play for Ireland) at the expense of Ludik (who had to be granted special dispensation from the IRFU), it would have strengthened the case to keep Ruan. In fact when Ludik was signed everyone at Ulster knew Pienaar was on his last contract so if there had been any succession planning Cunningham should have been looking for a Gibson-Park equivalent as an understudy who would be IQ by the time Ruan was leaving.

Piutau and Coetzee aside, I'm underwhelmed by Bryn Cunningham in his recruitment role thus far. The jury's out on Ah You but he did recruit Ruaidhri Murphy and Dave Ryan while Findlay Bealham and Paddy MacAllister were let go. I'm still to be convinced that Sam Windsor offers anything more than James McKinney did, and as for Paul Rowley...

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Kingshu on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 4:26 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
profitius wrote:First time seeing Lyttle. Looks a talent. Stockdale has started the season where he left off in the U20 world cup. Schloes leaving doesn't seem so strange now!

No it's still strange that Ludik was kept over Scholes, especially given the brouhaha over Pienaar being forced to leave. If Ulster had kept Scholes (who has the potential to play for Ireland) at the expense of Ludik (who had to be granted special dispensation from the IRFU), it would have strengthened the case to keep Ruan. In fact when Ludik was signed everyone at Ulster knew Pienaar was on his last contract so if there had been any succession planning Cunningham should have been looking for a Gibson-Park equivalent as an understudy who would be IQ by the time Ruan was leaving.

Piutau and Coetzee aside, I'm underwhelmed by Bryn Cunningham in his recruitment role thus far. The jury's out on Ah You but he did recruit Ruaidhri Murphy and Dave Ryan while Findlay Bealham and Paddy MacAllister were let go. I'm still to be convinced that Sam Windsor offers anything more than James McKinney did, and as for Paul Rowley...

The special dispensation Ludik got was because one day he will be IQ, whereas Pienaar could never be. I liked the way we looked after the player but I think if would have been better for him if he finished his IQ with another province.
Instead of giving Ulster special dispensation to keep him, if the IRFU assisted a move to Munster it would have been more benifical.
He would have got more gametime with Munster and they then may not have needed the temporary signing of Jaco Taute

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 6:20 pm

Kingshu wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
profitius wrote:First time seeing Lyttle. Looks a talent. Stockdale has started the season where he left off in the U20 world cup. Schloes leaving doesn't seem so strange now!

No it's still strange that Ludik was kept over Scholes, especially given the brouhaha over Pienaar being forced to leave. If Ulster had kept Scholes (who has the potential to play for Ireland) at the expense of Ludik (who had to be granted special dispensation from the IRFU), it would have strengthened the case to keep Ruan. In fact when Ludik was signed everyone at Ulster knew Pienaar was on his last contract so if there had been any succession planning Cunningham should have been looking for a Gibson-Park equivalent as an understudy who would be IQ by the time Ruan was leaving.

Piutau and Coetzee aside, I'm underwhelmed by Bryn Cunningham in his recruitment role thus far. The jury's out on Ah You but he did recruit Ruaidhri Murphy and Dave Ryan while Findlay Bealham and Paddy MacAllister were let go. I'm still to be convinced that Sam Windsor offers anything more than James McKinney did, and as for Paul Rowley...

The special dispensation Ludik got was because one day he will be IQ, whereas Pienaar could never be. I liked the way we looked after the player but I think if would have been better for him if he finished his IQ with another province.
Instead of giving Ulster special dispensation to keep him, if the IRFU assisted a move to Munster it would have been more benifical.
He would have got more gametime with Munster and they then may not have needed the temporary signing of Jaco Taute

Ludik will be IQ and over 30, if he ever begins a Test career. Is he really the sort of player that should be given valuable international game time when it could be given to develop another younger candidate? I take the point about Munster but that is in hindsight.
It is highly unlikely that Ludik will ever wear a green shirt, so just because he could be selected for Ireland doesn't make him any more of a Test candidate than Pienaar! Increasing the ranks of the thirty something IQ players is maybe more effective at blocking potential young talent than having marquee NIQ players who can inspire their understudies.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 8:54 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
profitius wrote:First time seeing Lyttle. Looks a talent. Stockdale has started the season where he left off in the U20 world cup. Schloes leaving doesn't seem so strange now!

No it's still strange that Ludik was kept over Scholes, especially given the brouhaha over Pienaar being forced to leave. If Ulster had kept Scholes (who has the potential to play for Ireland) at the expense of Ludik (who had to be granted special dispensation from the IRFU), it would have strengthened the case to keep Ruan. In fact when Ludik was signed everyone at Ulster knew Pienaar was on his last contract so if there had been any succession planning Cunningham should have been looking for a Gibson-Park equivalent as an understudy who would be IQ by the time Ruan was leaving.

Piutau and Coetzee aside, I'm underwhelmed by Bryn Cunningham in his recruitment role thus far. The jury's out on Ah You but he did recruit Ruaidhri Murphy and Dave Ryan while Findlay Bealham and Paddy MacAllister were let go. I'm still to be convinced that Sam Windsor offers anything more than James McKinney did, and as for Paul Rowley...

Aukster, Murphy, Ryan, Bealham and McAllister were all prior to Cunningham coming in. Scholes is still IQ so while he goes the pool of players for Ireland widens

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Notch on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:14 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Ludik will be IQ and over 30, if he ever begins a Test career. Is he really the sort of player that should be given valuable international game time when it could be given to develop another younger candidate? I take the point about Munster but that is in hindsight.
It is highly unlikely that Ludik will ever wear a green shirt, so just because he could be selected for Ireland doesn't make him any more of a Test candidate than Pienaar! Increasing the ranks of the thirty something IQ players is maybe more effective at blocking potential young talent than having marquee NIQ players who can inspire their understudies.

Right, absolutely correct. It's not logical. But does anyone think that Angus Lloyd and Dave Shanahan will have a test career at scrum half at this point? They might surprise us, but even if they do they wouldn't they learn more understudying Pienaar as first choice than the admittedly much improved Paul Marshall?

You're looking for logic in the decisions of the IRFU regarding foreign players, but that is a futile exercise. We have 7 current internationals in the outside backs department and several players who look like they can be internationals in the future, to the point where we have lost backs with genuine international potential like Tommy Seymour, Chris Farrell and Rory Scholes to other clubs because there is no room for them. We have an embarrassment of riches- yet we been allowed to sign an All Black outside back on big money!

We have not produced an international-quality scrum half in the professional era. The only homegrown number 9 besides thirty something Paul Marshall is an 18-year old Academy player. The other two scrum halves are both even smaller than Paul Marshall and are guys we've signed because they couldn't get Academy places in Munster and Leinster respectively. And yet we aren't are not allowed to retain a top quality import.

So stop looking for logic in this situation. It will drive you mad. And it's not down to Bryn Cunningham. Nucifora is the guy who's deciding these policies.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Notch on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:21 pm

By the way I think we were absolutely right to resign Ludik- he can play 13, 14 and 15 with equal competence, never misses a tackle and has a great attitude. He's the perfect squad player. He's not the guy who will win us the Final or get the headlines, he's the guy who will help us get there by just doing his job really solidly when we're struggling to find our rhythm away from home and we just need to grind out a win.

The Project thing was just the bullshoite we need to say to Dublin so we didn't fall foul of their counter-productive and overly rigid rules like we have with Pienaar. We know he won't play for Ireland. He knows he won't play for Ireland. The IRFU probably know he won't play for Ireland.

Of course, from the IRFUs point of view the decision still makes no sense. They've authorised us to sign two NIQ outside backs while stopping us from signing an NIQ 9 or even a short term signing in the back row.

So, we have no problems with them letting us sign players who aren't Irish qualified- just so long as they are not in positions where we have guys who won't ever make the grade for Ireland.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Notch on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:23 pm

Kingshu wrote:Instead of giving Ulster special dispensation to keep him, if the IRFU assisted a move to Munster it would have been more benifical.
He would have got more gametime with Munster and they then may not have needed the temporary signing of Jaco Taute

Bloody good point that. Nucifora is a disaster and I can't wait until he goes tbh.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:34 pm

Notch wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Ludik will be IQ and over 30, if he ever begins a Test career. Is he really the sort of player that should be given valuable international game time when it could be given to develop another younger candidate? I take the point about Munster but that is in hindsight.
It is highly unlikely that Ludik will ever wear a green shirt, so just because he could be selected for Ireland doesn't make him any more of a Test candidate than Pienaar! Increasing the ranks of the thirty something IQ players is maybe more effective at blocking potential young talent than having marquee NIQ players who can inspire their understudies.

Right, absolutely correct. It's not logical. But does anyone think that Angus Lloyd and Dave Shanahan will have a test career at scrum half at this point? They might surprise us, but even if they do they wouldn't they learn more understudying Pienaar as first choice than the admittedly much improved Paul Marshall?

You're looking for logic in the decisions of the IRFU regarding foreign players, but that is a futile exercise. We have 7 current internationals in the outside backs department and several players who look like they can be internationals in the future, to the point where we have lost backs with genuine international potential like Tommy Seymour, Chris Farrell and Rory Scholes to other clubs because there is no room for them. We have an embarrassment of riches- yet we been allowed to sign an All Black outside back on big money!

We have not produced an international-quality scrum half in the professional era. The only homegrown number 9 besides thirty something Paul Marshall is an 18-year old Academy player. The other two scrum halves are both even smaller than Paul Marshall and are guys we've signed because they couldn't get Academy places in Munster and Leinster respectively. And yet we aren't are not allowed to retain a top quality import.

So stop looking for logic in this situation. It will drive you mad. And it's not down to Bryn Cunningham. Nucifora is the guy who's deciding these policies.

Fully agree with this.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:40 pm

Bit melodramatic, that.

But he has, on his own terms, been a complete failure. Look at the IQ players who have moved away or indeed, stayed away, when provinces have been crying out for guys in their positions. Madigan to Connacht/Munster? Nope. Scholes to Leinster? Nope. Moore to Ulster/Munster? Nope. And what surplus players have stayed at a home province, clogging up succession? Ludik to Munster/Leinster? Nope. Conan or Leavy to Ulster? Nope.

Where are his successes? He wanted Henshaw to stay in Connacht, apparently. That went well. So what has he actually delivered?

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Notch on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 9:53 pm

The first and most important part of his job was to secure the respect of the players and coaches of the provinces- convincing people to move, sign a new contract, agree that they need to let a player go is all about people skills.

Has he earned the respect of these people? It didn't seem like Marty Moore respected him when he was negotiating with him- he went for Wasps, then the emergent call went out to Joe Schmidt. Schmidt- who is universally respected- convinced him to consider staying almost right away, but by that point he had already signed on the dotted line with Wasps and it was too late.

Has he earned the respect of the people running the provinces? I think you just need to look at Ulster's statement about Pienaar to decide that.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:31 am

According to some guy on Pundit arena, Pienaar has signed a 3 year deal with Montpellier.

Nucifora and the IRFU can go boil their heads.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Notch on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:33 am

3 years until we get him back as a coach then.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:50 am

I was hoping the IRFU would see sense, very slim hope that it was. I was really hoping that he would be a year out, and then come back as coach, but 3 years Crying or Very sad

Nucifora must be an ARU agent sent to destroy Irish rugby. Probably the only Union gullible enough to take him.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 9:13 am

I've searched high and low and not found anything else to base the pundit arena guy's claims on fact. I'm hoping he's spouting speculatively because he was reading l'equipe a couple of weeks back.

If however it is true then lets not be too hasty in giving up all hope. Remember Xavier Rush and his U-turn.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 9:48 am

Don Alfonso wrote:Bit melodramatic, that.

But he has, on his own terms, been a complete failure. Look at the IQ players who have moved away or indeed, stayed away, when provinces have been crying out for guys in their positions. Madigan to Connacht/Munster? Nope. Scholes to Leinster? Nope. Moore to Ulster/Munster? Nope. And what surplus players have stayed at a home province, clogging up succession? Ludik to Munster/Leinster? Nope. Conan or Leavy to Ulster? Nope.

Where are his successes? He wanted Henshaw to stay in Connacht, apparently. That went well. So what has he actually delivered?

If Im not mistaken Madigan said he wouldn't go to Munster as that idea was floated, was Scholes wanted at Leinster? Moore is the big one though, he low balled him a contract and Wasps threw money his way and he wouldn't up his offer and then after he signed for Wasps Joe told him to fix it and it was too late

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:30 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I've searched high and low and not found anything else to base the pundit arena guy's claims on fact. I'm hoping he's spouting speculatively because he was reading l'equipe a couple of weeks back.

If however it is true then lets not be too hasty in giving up all hope. Remember Xavier Rush and his U-turn.

It's lacking substance, but I strongly suspect that there's no way back for Pienaar. The URSC have also called a stop to their online petition, citing that the IRFU will not change their decision. So it's likely that they have heard something from a reliable source (probably Ulster Rugby). Still think they should have allowed the petition to run though. It was starting to pick up real pace.

#NuciforaOut.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:52 pm

Munchkin wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I've searched high and low and not found anything else to base the pundit arena guy's claims on fact. I'm hoping he's spouting speculatively because he was reading l'equipe a couple of weeks back.

If however it is true then lets not be too hasty in giving up all hope. Remember Xavier Rush and his U-turn.

It's lacking substance, but I strongly suspect that there's no way back for Pienaar. The URSC have also called a stop to their online petition, citing that the IRFU will not change their decision. So it's likely that they have heard something from a reliable source (probably Ulster Rugby). Still think they should have allowed the petition to run though. It was starting to pick up real pace.

#NuciforaOut.

I think there was 1100 signatures or something of that order but some of the comments being added were cited as being one reason for the petition being pulled. I am just clutching at straws for any small piece of solace over the entire issue.
Maybe during the season it will become obvious to the IRFU that there simply are no successors to the position that won't break the spine of the Ulster team.

There I go again, clutching Smile


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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 12:53 pm

The decision is made - I think we have to move on unfortunately.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 1:10 pm

It is, Rory, and Pienaar has to move on himself with signing another contract, if he hasn't already done so.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Munchkin on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 1:17 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I've searched high and low and not found anything else to base the pundit arena guy's claims on fact. I'm hoping he's spouting speculatively because he was reading l'equipe a couple of weeks back.

If however it is true then lets not be too hasty in giving up all hope. Remember Xavier Rush and his U-turn.

It's lacking substance, but I strongly suspect that there's no way back for Pienaar. The URSC have also called a stop to their online petition, citing that the IRFU will not change their decision. So it's likely that they have heard something from a reliable source (probably Ulster Rugby). Still think they should have allowed the petition to run though. It was starting to pick up real pace.

#NuciforaOut.

I think there was 1100 signatures or something of that order but some of the comments being added were cited as being one reason for the petition being pulled. I am just clutching at straws for any small piece of solace over the entire issue.
Maybe during the season it will become obvious to the IRFU that there simply are no successors to the position that won't break the spine of the Ulster team.

There I go again, clutching Smile

Yep, close to 1100. I never really believed the petition would have succeeded, but it would have at least registered the strength of opposition to the IRFU's decision if they had have let it run. I want Nucifora out.

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by marty2086 on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 1:39 pm

David Humphreys must be rubbing his hands with glee watching Nucifora dig his own grave

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 2:02 pm

marty2086 wrote:David Humphreys must be rubbing his hands with glee watching Nucifora dig his own grave

I'm a little ashamed to say that I rub my hands every times Gloucester mess up, like last weekend Smile

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Re: Pro12: Ulster v Dragons (Fri)

Post by Sponsored content Today at 10:05 pm


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