Connacht v Ulster

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Connacht v Ulster

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 7:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

Connacht Rugby v Ulster Rugby

Friday 7th October 2016, 19:35 Kick Off
Sportsground, Galway
Live on TG4 and BBC NI

Team News
Connacht
(15-9): Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Cian Kelleher, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade
(1-8): Finlay Bealham, Dave Heffernan, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (captain)
Replacements:

(16-23): Shane Delahunt, Ronan Loughney, JP Cooney, Lewis Stevenson, James Connolly, Stephen Kerins, Stacey Ili

Ulster
(15-9): J Payne (C); T Bowe, L Ludik, D Cave, C Gilroy; P Jackson, P Marshall;
(1-8): C Black, R Best, R Ah You, R Diack, P Browne, I Henderson, C Ross, R Wilson;

Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, K Treadwell, S Reidy, D Shanahan, B Herron, R Lyttle

So it's a big Irish derby this weekend with plenty of significance for both teams even if it's early in the season.  Both teams will want to launch in their respective European campaigns with a win here.  Ulster arrive unbeaten league leaders and coming off the back of a hard fought win v Ospreys and will look to remain top going into the European matches. Connacht on the other hand endured a torrid start to the season with 3 losses in a row punctuated only by a postponed match, however they finally got some traction with a win over Edinburgh in round 5 and will look to build on that with this home interpro.


Last edited by neilthom7 on Thu 06 Oct 2016, 1:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:21 pm

toml wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Ref's a joke. Gives the penalty against Ulster when Connacht have been getting away with it all night.

We have been sh!te but that's a home town ref if ever I saw one

Blydi Irish refs ruining the Pro12 Wink

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:24 pm

Congrats, Connacht.

Ulster picard

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by neilthom7 on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:25 pm

Well can't say we didn't deserve to get beat, deserved to get hammered really, excellent work Connacht but just horrendous play by Ulster

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:26 pm

Connacht may rue not being ruthless enough to deny us a LBP.

Bitterly disappointed. But have to give massive credit to Connacht- some really good stuff. Well done clap

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by wolfball on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:29 pm

Hardluck Ulster, nailbiting finish.

Well that was a relief. Our season has turned around a bit. I can't comment on the game itself as my stream skipped every 4-5 seconds so no proper sense of either team or the ref. It would have been nice to deny Ulster the LBP, but denying them a TBP works for me Wink

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by profitius on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:29 pm

Excellent game. Connacht deserved winners after their first half display. clap

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:30 pm

Yep, nice to see Connacht playing with a bit of belief again. Can't say the same about Ulster. No heart in that game. Maybe saving themselves for next weeks game.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Golden on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 9:37 pm

Much needed win for Connacht going into Europe next week

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 10:23 pm

wolfball wrote:Hardluck Ulster, nailbiting finish.

Well that was a relief. Our season has turned around a bit. I can't comment on the game itself as my stream skipped every 4-5 seconds so no proper sense of either team or the ref. It would have been nice to deny Ulster the LBP, but denying them a TBP works for me Wink

Congratulations Wolfball. Connacht deserved to win the game because they wanted to win the game and totally outplayed Ulster at the breakdown.

Until Ulster get a forwards coach who has the first notion about rugby they will continue to be perennial underachievers - when guys like Best and Henderson look so poor you know they are not getting any decent coaching. Luck can work for a while but eventually it runs out.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by maestegmafia on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 10:39 pm

Well done Connacht. Time to turn your season around

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by profitius on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 10:52 pm

Wonder what Leinster fans made of Kelleher getting the motm. They were p!ssed off that he left for Connacht. Although he is on my 'ones to watch list' I would have given the motm to Tiernan O'Halloran or even Caolin Blade.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 10:56 pm

Maybe Connacht would do a two for one deal with Ulster? We will give P Marshall and Windsor for Blade. Great deal for Connacht angel

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by SecretFly on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 11:41 pm

profitius wrote:Wonder what Leinster fans made of Kelleher getting the motm. They were p!ssed off that he left for Connacht. Although he is on my 'ones to watch list' I would have given the motm to Tiernan O'Halloran or even Caolin Blade.

It's fine by me. Great to see him moving on up under the right kind of coach for him. He's been on a 'one to watch list' since he was playing on the Ireland U20 sides and looked even then a step up in explosiveness and a mature desire to find space. Looked ready for first team Provincial trialling even then. Lots to look forward to.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 2:04 am

Blade's performance was very eye-catching. Hope he can repeat that in the coming weeks/months. I love nippy scrum-halves who are willing to have a go themselves.

If Marmion continues be picked for Ireland squad, he should get a good run of games.

Has Blade just re-signed a contract with Connacht for next two years? It would certainly make sense for him to head north to bolster Ulster for next season.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 1:05 pm

Thought Kelleher played well but not motm for me. Looks to be settling in well.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 1:32 pm

I was really torn between what I wanted to happen in this game in the lead up. By half way through the first half I just wanted Ulster to win though. It does still really annoy me that we are bringing in guys like the Georgian on a 3 month contract when Bealham and Carey are obviously so able and should be playing for us.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 1:40 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:I was really torn between what I wanted to happen in this game in the lead up.  By half way through the first half I just wanted Ulster to win though.  It does still really annoy me that we are bringing in guys like the Georgian on a 3 month contract when Bealham and Carey are obviously so able and should be playing for us.

And what would Connacht do then?

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 1:45 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:I was really torn between what I wanted to happen in this game in the lead up.  By half way through the first half I just wanted Ulster to win though.  It does still really annoy me that we are bringing in guys like the Georgian on a 3 month contract when Bealham and Carey are obviously so able and should be playing for us.

And what would Connacht do then?

Sign some Georgians? Whistle

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by wolfball on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 1:54 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
wolfball wrote:Hardluck Ulster, nailbiting finish.

Well that was a relief. Our season has turned around a bit. I can't comment on the game itself as my stream skipped every 4-5 seconds so no proper sense of either team or the ref. It would have been nice to deny Ulster the LBP, but denying them a TBP works for me Wink

Congratulations Wolfball. Connacht deserved to win the game because they wanted to win the game and totally outplayed Ulster at the breakdown.

Until Ulster get a forwards coach who has the first notion about rugby they will continue to be perennial underachievers - when guys like Best and Henderson look so poor you know they are not getting any decent coaching. Luck can work for a while but eventually it runs out.

Cheers Aukster, its a less stressfl season now. We will go into the ECC matches with a bit more will about us.

Pot Hale wrote:Blade's performance was very eye-catching.   Hope he can repeat that in the coming weeks/months.  I love nippy scrum-halves who are willing to have a go themselves.

If Marmion continues be picked for Ireland squad, he should get a good run of games.

Has Blade just re-signed a contract with Connacht for next two years?   It would certainly make sense for him to head north to bolster Ulster for next season.

Blade was solid. He takes too many steps before passing. He is too excited at times. But he showed alot of good decision making. He will develop well under Lam.

He absolutely should not head to Ulster. As you said yourself he is needed at Connacht when Marmion is on Ireland duty. Who praytell covers Marmion if Blade leaves? Ulster will find another irish Pieannar somewhere Wink

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 3:13 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:I was really torn between what I wanted to happen in this game in the lead up.  By half way through the first half I just wanted Ulster to win though.  It does still really annoy me that we are bringing in guys like the Georgian on a 3 month contract when Bealham and Carey are obviously so able and should be playing for us.

And what would Connacht do then?

Same thing Ulster will have to do if we can't persuade some promising 9 from the Leinster, Munster or Connacht academies to sign for us! Get by with someone home-grown who isn't as good. It's not exactly bad form to lament that players who were once signed to Ulster playing elsewhere should have been retained. Sure we're always saying that teams have to hold onto their best homegrown talent (although Bealham and Marmion are both exiles originally). Anyway, Ulster letting those players move on was a completely self-inflicted injury so fair play for them for going on and proving how stupid that decision actually was.

I was a little dismayed by Robbie Diacks interview after the game;

"It frustrates me when the word 'attitude' gets thrown around because we prepared really well and I think we were there bang on with attitude, it was just individual mistakes that let us down.

"I think when you're playing last year's champions and it's an inter-pro, you know it's going to be tough. To be fair to them, they played well, especially in the first half. We came back and showed what we were capable of doing, but we needed to prolong that good spell. If you're not at your best down here, you're going to lose.

I get that attitude is the wrong thing to say as you can do everything right all week mentally but still things just go wrong, and that some of the missed tackles that put us under pressure very much were individual errors. But it wasn't a game which hinged on just a few moments- its very rare that any one team is so dominated in one area as we were at the breakdown. I think if you looked at every single breakdown in the game it would be massively in favour of Connacht in terms of who is winning the collision, who is there first etc. The only period I can think of where we actually looked secure on our own ball- in the whole game- was the build up to the Gilroy try. So thats not just a few individual errors.

We did scrum extremely well, our lineout went well, we scored a lovely try off first phase ball, but we were beasted at the ruck and our backs had no platform.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Maine man on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 3:32 pm

I missed last night's game. We're there any bright spots at all in the ulster team?

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sat 08 Oct 2016, 3:39 pm

Maine man wrote:I missed last night's game. We're there any bright spots at all in the ulster team?

Tommy Bowe ran a beautiful line off a lineout to put Payne in under the posts, looks to be back and fully fit. Connacht had to be totally illegal to deal with our maul and we got a good try off that. Our lineout was impeccable, just losing one, and we were getting very good clean ball off it all game. And our scrum was on top all game and we got a lot of penalties that basically kept us in it.

But I don't think there's any individuals who stood out. The pack was manhandled in the loose and the backs had nothing to work with. It's pretty much all down to our set piece that it was as close as it was, and one spell at the start of the second half where we got a couple of scores off the back of that lineout I mentioned.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 10:47 am

When we came back to draw level, I thought we would push on to win ut. I suspect a few of the players on both teams did, as well. But Connacht kept their heads and we didn't.

We were very poor. It happens. If Pienaar is winning MOTM awards and scoring tries from charge-downs at the end of the season instead of looking jaded, Kiss will be vindicated. It was a calculated risk, which didn't pay off in Friday night. I'd still rather be in our current position than Connacht's.

Does anyone remember Europe? Does anyone remember us against French opposition last season? Does anyone remember Oyonnax away? This can be a serious team. I haven't been impressed by Barakat particularly, but we need a good replacement. Next season, when we aren't paying for Pienaar or VdM, spend that money flying Johannes Muller's farm over to the Ulster countryside and constructing a huge bio-dome over it so he can grow whatever he wants and have braais whenever he wants. And get the Ulster pack overperforming again, as it did when he was unofficial forwards coach.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 10:52 am

Don Alfonso wrote:Does anyone remember Europe? Does anyone remember us against French opposition last season? Does anyone remember Oyonnax away? This can be a serious team. I haven't been impressed by Barakat particularly, but we need a good replacement. Next season, when we aren't paying for Pienaar or VdM, spend that money flying Johannes Muller's farm over to the Ulster countryside and constructing a huge bio-dome over it so he can grow whatever he wants and have braais whenever he wants. And get the Ulster pack overperforming again, as it did when he was unofficial forwards coach.

Yah we tend to be a bit dramatic us Ulster fans. We're practically Welsh in how quickly we go from saying our team are the best to them being the worst. Oyannax is an interesting example, since it shows just how bad we can be and how good we can be in just one game.

I think we really missed Van Der Merwe on Friday. Diack is such a slick lineout forward, maybe one of the very best lineout forwards in the country. He's just not got the hard edge needed and he was knocked around in contact. Around the park, Van Der Merwe's unflashy but necessary work was seriously missed for me. I think he's very underrated.

Getting Muller back is a seriously good call.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 11:15 am

Diack has regressed. He's a yo-yo - poor and marginalised under McLaughlin, a much improved and important (and occasional captain) under Anscombe, back to inconsequential under Kiss.

There are some shrewd minds at Ulster. I suspect Coetzee is in not only for his playing style, but his leadership skills. If he can not just play well, but inspire a few of the others, we'll be well on our way.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 1:54 pm

We were bad, really bad, against Connacht. No real excuse for it. We are a good side, and we could have played much better. That's what makes me angry mad
Every year Ulster play a couple of games as if they couldn't be bothered, and the pack certainly played as if they couldn't be bothered, bar the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half. It's these games that cost us a home semi.

Now we will go out all guns blazing next week and destroy the opposition, but that still doesn't excuse the performance.

P.s Diack doesn't know what playing with attitude is.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Don Alfonso on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 2:20 pm

P.S. I see Connacht started the second half with fifteen players again. Before the ref reminded them they still had five minutes of a yellow card to serve.

Between that, Clancy going upstairs to the TMO to rule on a try after he had blown the final whistle, and Henderson's overturned red card (the only one in the history of the league), I feel it is INARGUABLE that refs give Ulster the hardest time,of all the teams in the league. I'm wondering should I start a thread on that. I feel if I present my sound evidence on an objective manner, everyone on the board will surely agree...

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 2:33 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:P.S. I see Connacht started the second half with fifteen players again. Before the ref reminded them they still had five minutes of a yellow card to serve.

Between that, Clancy going upstairs to the TMO to rule on a try after he had blown the final whistle, and Henderson's overturned red card (the only one in the history of the league), I feel it is INARGUABLE that refs give Ulster the hardest time,of all the teams in the league. I'm wondering should I start a thread on that. I feel if I present my sound evidence on an objective manner, everyone on the board will surely agree...

Lam playing mind games, as he had been all week. How dense are the officials that sent him on though?

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 2:43 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:P.S. I see Connacht started the second half with fifteen players again. Before the ref reminded them they still had five minutes of a yellow card to serve.

Between that, Clancy going upstairs to the TMO to rule on a try after he had blown the final whistle, and Henderson's overturned red card (the only one in the history of the league), I feel it is INARGUABLE that refs give Ulster the hardest time,of all the teams in the league. I'm wondering should I start a thread on that. I feel if I present my sound evidence on an objective manner, everyone on the board will surely agree...


It's a conspiracy. You must start a thread Emo

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 3:30 pm

Munchkin wrote:P.s Diack doesn't know what playing with attitude is.

He's a super nice guy though. I mean, he is. He's a really nice bloke- playing in a position which is normally populated by nasty, hard-edged buzzards. So I'm not sure he ever gets that maybe thats what people mean. That bit of dog that all great forwards have is often missing.

I mean, you could just see Connacht really, really, really wanted to smash Ulster- physically and on the score board. They wanted to beat us so badly, they were just throwing themselves into rucks with crazy aggression. And it's to their great credit that like all the best teams it was a very controlled aggression. Ulster forwards were just waiting for someone else to get in and clear out because they were waiting for the ball to come out to them so they could carry. Henderson and Wilson especially I noticed just waiting at first receiver waiting for the ball to come out while Connacht players got in and spoiled.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 4:21 pm

Wilson looked exhausted after 30 minutes play. Henderson wasn't really there. He was still in bed and it was his astrally projected ghost we all witnessed o0

Ulster can do nasty, with the exception of Diack. We like to rip into Glasgow for some reason. We pull them into a fight, and it's the right tactic, but that's something we rarely do with other sides. One real battle that will live long in the memory is a 14 man Ulster ripping into Saracens. We had to be that aggressive and, as well as the Glasgow games, it shows that the dog is there. It's just dormant for much of the time.

We gave all the belief Connacht needed in the first half, and they raised their game accordingly. They are a good side who were short on confidence, and the wins against Edinburgh and Ulster will have gone a long way in restoring that. I expect much more from them this season, especially when some of their injured return.

Our set piece was good against Connacht, but our defence was shocking, our breakdown work more so. Maybe loosing Barakat isn't such a blow after all? That said; we will be a different side next week ...

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 4:33 pm

I think the forward pack was very unbalanced really in terms of players to ruck. You had henderson and Wilson who really prefer to have ball in hand and run at players rather than get in an do the hard stuff, Wilson I don't think can even do it anymore at the ruck. We could probably have used Hendo in the 2nd row and maybe Reidy or someone at 6, would have been a better balance at least

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 4:53 pm

I don't believe the support play needed to be as slow as it was though. Bringing Reidy on earlier would surely have helped though. Diack is soft, but Browne was a liability. Maybe replacing both of them sooner would have helped? Have to think bringing on Shanahan earlier might have helped as well (couldn't have been worse). Marshall is soooo sloooow at getting the ball away, giving the opposition all the time they need to reorganise their defence.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 7:09 pm

Well I do think Henderson and Diack should have essentially been switched but the numbers on their shirts were down to their lineout roles in all probability. Thats obviously the best configuration at the lineout but there are going to be more breakdowns than set pieces in the game and the better the opponent is, the truer that is. When we pick props purely on their scrummaging and locks purely on their lineout then yeah, its a struggle. Guys like Callum Black and Robbie Diack are really fantastic at the set piece and thats important but we're trying to play a fast continuity game based on recycling the ball very quickly. Without quick ball, we perish and they just don't contribute enough around the field. You can't afford to have two or three forwards in your tight five who just scrum well or just run the lineout well if you need to be clearing every breakdown very quickly. Unless we start getting the ball out of the breakdown much, much faster guys like Piutau and Payne will not have the space to do the things we know they can do. And I just feel that maybe the emphasis in how our forwards are coached is very set piece orientated in a game that is increasingly won and lost at the breakdown.

Munchkin wrote: Henderson wasn't really there. He was still in bed and it was his astrally projected ghost we all witnessed

When I heard that Henderson had been on antibiotics all week I just thought we might be in a bit of trouble. I suspect if either Van Der Merwe or O'Connor had been able to play at lock, Diack would have been at 6 and Henderson would have been left back in Belfast to recover fully.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 7:24 pm

For sure Marshall is much too slow at getting the ball out, I agree with Munchkin in that it gives a defence way to much time to set and read the attack, needs to be quicker.
Everything needed to be quicker really yesterday, the defence was not getting round the corner fast enough and so guys were getting sucked in and it was leaving huge overlaps and gaps although the number of missed tackles didn't help

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Notch on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 7:51 pm

neilthom7 wrote:For sure Marshall is much too slow at getting the ball out, I agree with Munchkin in that it gives a defence way to much time to set and read the attack, needs to be quicker.
Everything needed to be quicker really yesterday, the defence was not getting round the corner fast enough and so guys were getting sucked in and it was leaving huge overlaps and gaps although the number of missed tackles didn't help

Right, we struggle to get intensity and speed into our game in attack- slow ball at the ruck and a 9 who is ponderous at the base- but in defence you have to match the intensity of your opponents and thats how Connacht won the league last season. Thats how Glasgow won it before them. They go through the phases so quickly and with such intensity that teams get tired out and concede four tries or more. This gets the bonus points, which gets the home semi-final, then its just a matter of playing to your potential and holding your nerve at the end.

I do believe that our whole game is based around getting quick ball and we rarely get quick ball so thats kind of a big problem. We're beating teams, but not breaking them down the way Connacht and Glasgow have done. There's so, so many other really positive aspects about our game but I'll be very interested to see what the number of games where we score exactly three tries is this season.

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 8:14 pm

I agree Notch there is a reason teams like New Zealand score so many points in the 2nd half because teams cannot match their intensity for 80 minutes, they actually play a very simple game but just do the basics absolutely perfect and let overall skill levels shine through

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

Post by Munchkin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 11:45 pm

Notch wrote:Well I do think Henderson and Diack should have essentially been switched but the numbers on their shirts were down to their lineout roles in all probability. Thats obviously the best configuration at the lineout but there are going to be more breakdowns than set pieces in the game and the better the opponent is, the truer that is. When we pick props purely on their scrummaging and locks purely on their lineout then yeah, its a struggle. Guys like Callum Black and Robbie Diack are really fantastic at the set piece and thats important but we're trying to play a fast continuity game based on recycling the ball very quickly. Without quick ball, we perish and they just don't contribute enough around the field. You can't afford to have two or three forwards in your tight five who just scrum well or just run the lineout well if you need to be clearing every breakdown very quickly. Unless we start getting the ball out of the breakdown much, much faster guys like Piutau and Payne will not have the space to do the things we know they can do. And I just feel that maybe the emphasis in how our forwards are coached is very set piece orientated in a game that is increasingly won and lost at the breakdown.

Munchkin wrote: Henderson wasn't really there. He was still in bed and it was his astrally projected ghost we all witnessed

When I heard that Henderson had been on antibiotics all week I just thought we might be in a bit of trouble. I suspect if either Van Der Merwe or O'Connor had been able to play at lock, Diack would have been at 6 and Henderson would have been left back in Belfast to recover fully.

All good points, Notch. Although Diack was giving us some joy at the lineout, the breakdown was a shambles, and it was the breakdown that needed urgent attention. I did think at the time that losing Diack may rob us of opportunities to steal lineout ball, but losing him was the lesser of two evils. He wasn't much use to us elsewhere.
It could well be that Hendersons head wasn't in the right place because of the antibiotics. It certainly looked that way. Kiss probably took the risk of starting Henderson with a view to next weeks game. Just wish he hadn't took the risk of resting Pienaar, although it was a scheduled break and probably too late to change.

Munchkin

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Re: Connacht v Ulster

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