Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

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Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by neilthom7 on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 7:54 pm

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Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Europena Champions Cup Matchday 2 Pool 5
Saturday 22nd October 2016, 19:45 Kick Off
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Live on BT Sport 2

Referee- Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Touch Judge- Thomas Charabas (France), Cedric Clave (France)
TMO- Eric Briquet-Campin (France)
Citing Commissioner- Jean-Claude Legendre (France)

So after opening round losses to French sides both teams will want to bounce back in this one and get a win.  A loss could be devastating to the chances of making the quarter finals.  

Ulster Rugby
(15-9): J Payne, A Trimble (captain), L Marshall, S Olding, C Piutau, P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): K McCall, R Best, R Ah You, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, S Reidy, R Wilson;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Kane, A O'Connor, C Ross, P Marshall, C Gilroy, T Bowe

Exeter Chiefs
(15-9): Lachie Turner, Olly Woodburn, Ian Whitten, Henry Slade, James Short, Gareth Steenson (capt),Dave Lewis
(1-8): Moray Low, Jack Yeandle, Harry Williams, Mitch Lees, Geoff Parling, Kai Horstman, Julian Salvi, Thomas Waldrom
Replacements (16-23): Elvis Taione, Carl Rimmer, Tomas Francis, Jonny Hill, Dave Dennis, Jack Maunder, Sam Hill, Ollie Devoto


Last edited by neilthom7 on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 12:33 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 10:29 pm

Imagine how good our back line would be with a platform! Seriously worried by how soft we look up front. We just lack aggression, we're not knocking guys back in contact, we're not clearing rucks quickly or aggressively enough- several times Ruan Pienaar had to go into the ruck to secure the ball. Thats not good enough. Pienaar and Jackson both had their hairy moment but by and large 9-15 is very good. Looking at the way Munsters pack played against Glasgow or Connachts against us, and the difference is very stark. I'm worried that that Munster loose trio will outclass ours next week.

Speaking of Munster I must say, I was moved to hear The Fields sung at Ravenhill. Next weeks game will be another emotionally charged occassion.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Munchkin on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 10:55 pm

Ulster had a team that could raise its game to HEC level, once upon a time. Not any more. We play the same game, the same plan at the same level, no matter the competition. Our most encouraging game was against Glasgow, but that appears to be something the forwards are incapable of replicating. That's a coaching issue.

I get the impression all the coaching is going into the backs, with the forwards being largely forgot about. There's sod all point in having a dazzling backline if the forwards aren't doing their job and getting stuck in as a unit.

This side is going backwards.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:02 pm

Is it our forwards coach? Might be part of it but you know these guys aren't world beaters- we have some very average players in that pack. I like guys like Browne, Reidy and Ross who are making the most of what they have but they are never going to be top class as much as I admire the effort they put in. Van Der Merwe is a good lock but needs to be paired with a much more bruising, nasty player. Henderson could be that guy but then we're still one or two back rows short even when Coetzee gets back.

We look like Arsenal at the moment- all very pretty, intricate and not enough killer instinct. But I can't see any quick fixes up front.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by neilthom7 on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:17 pm

For sure our focus on recruitment next season needs to be 1 scrumhalf but after that entirely focussed on getting in better forwards. Where they come from is another story. realistically we need 2 thirds of a back row just to get us started when everyone is fit

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by toml on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:25 pm

neilthom7 wrote:For sure our focus on recruitment next season needs to be 1 scrumhalf but after that entirely focussed on getting in better forwards.  Where they come from is another story.  realistically we need 2 thirds of a back row just to get us started when everyone is fit

Looking at the pack in the last 3 games, we need to bring in a leader more than just a player. Someone to do what Paulie did for Munster for 10 years and now O'Mahoney does. A motivator on the pitch.

We need another Johann Muller

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Munchkin on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:40 pm

Notch wrote:Is it our forwards coach? Might be part of it but you know these guys aren't world beaters- we have some very average players in that pack. I like guys like Browne, Reidy and Ross who are making the most of what they have but they are never going to be top class as much as I admire the effort they put in. Van Der Merwe is a good lock but needs to be paired with a much more bruising, nasty player. Henderson could be that guy but then we're still one or two back rows short even when Coetzee gets back.

We look like Arsenal at the moment- all very pretty, intricate and not enough killer instinct. But I can't see any quick fixes up front.

I wouldn't lay all the blame at the feet of Clarke. The point I was, badly, trying to make was that although these guys may not be world beaters, they are capable of raising their game. As they did against Glasgow. We have had two Euro games now were the pack hasn't come close to that level, and the game against Connacht before that.
In the big games, especially the Euro games, our forwards need to punch above their weight. In some of the games they have been punching below they're weight.

We are largely using the same pack as we did last season, bar Williams. Just goes to show how important Williams was to us. Not only was he our most effective ball carrier, but his play lifted the team as a whole. He may not have been our captain, but he led from the front and carried us in many games. Maybe that's at the heart of why we are so soft now. We are fairly leaderless.

Edit: toml got there before me mad

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 11:59 pm

neilthom7 wrote:For sure our focus on recruitment next season needs to be 1 scrumhalf but after that entirely focussed on getting in better forwards.  Where they come from is another story.  realistically we need 2 thirds of a back row just to get us started when everyone is fit

If we somehow got a Hart or a Marmion I would be looking to bring in another back row, definitely. At least two NIQ back rows required. Maybe a new lock to replace Franco. Wilson should retire, not being mean. He owes us nothing now.

We really need to start seeing Academy graduates step up and I'd hope to see the start getting the chance. Unfortunately the A team continues to be poor.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:00 am

toml wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:For sure our focus on recruitment next season needs to be 1 scrumhalf but after that entirely focussed on getting in better forwards.  Where they come from is another story.  realistically we need 2 thirds of a back row just to get us started when everyone is fit

Looking at the pack in the last 3 games, we need to bring in a leader more than just a player. Someone to do what Paulie did for Munster for 10 years and now O'Mahoney does. A motivator on the pitch.

We need another Johann Muller

We need more than just a leader too though we need at least 2 thirds of a back row no matter whether we get a leader we still need two thirds of a backrow. Where those players come from though I don't know, when is VDM contract up is it this season? If so we need to use that to get ourselves a back row who is good enough and a leader or at least a player who plays in such a way that people raise their game because of him

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:02 am

I hope Coetzee has a big impact but one player isn't going to change things no matter how good he is.

We should definitely replace Van Der Merwe, in that part of our problem is that Henderson doesn't contribute to the breakdown enough to be a 6. If he was freed up enough to into the second row that would be great.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:05 am

I have to wonder where we get those backrow players though. I mean if we can get one world class NIQ backrow then thats fair enough but we still need another after that and I've no idea where we get him since none of our southern friends seem to fussed about moving up here

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:09 am

All of the things being discussed above really identify one very distinct problem. Which is that we aren't producing anything close to the calibre of forward we need. Aside from Henderson we haven't come up with a really outstanding prospect who has then transitioned into an outstanding player for god knows how long.

We have some props who are very promising like McCall, but still none who are doing what Henderson has done which is establish themselves as an international. Granted it will take props more time to do that than other positions. Outside of the front row its much worse. In the engine room and backrow we are poaching Irish qualified player and desperately trying to make them top class. Don't get me wrong, Peter Browne and Sean Reidy have done incredibly well. BUT, how does an academy which is churning out quality outside backs at a rate of naughts find itself unable to produce quality forwards? It is something that really needs looked at.

Look at our current second row options in a bit more detail - Dan Tuohy who is an Irish qualified English man, Franco van der Merwe who is a bit of a journeyman that did very well to get a Springbok cap, Peter Browne, again an Irish qualified Englishman, same goes for Kieran Treadwell... and Alan O'Connor who we nabbed from another provinces academy setup. This is majorly concerning, correct me if I'm wrong, but we don't currently have an Ulster produced lock in the whole senior squad...?

Its not much better in the backrow, ultimately we just aren't producing forwards. We produce top class backs, promising front rows and just about sweet FA in the second row and back row. It's all very well saying we need X,Y and Z like a new Muller (and I absolutely agree thats what we need) but players like that aren't going to come out of thin air when we barely have 5 signings to make across the whole squad as far as foreigners are concerned. The major issue is at academy and schools level.....and the fact that the IRFU's attempt to augment Irish players between the provinces on the basis of need have largely failed - see none of the surplus of Leinster backrows coming to Ulster as an example.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by wolfball on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 5:12 am

Artful_Dodger wrote:All of the things being discussed above really identify one very distinct problem.  Which is that we aren't producing anything close to the calibre of forward we need.  Aside from Henderson we haven't come up with a really outstanding prospect who has then transitioned into an outstanding player for god knows how long.

We have some props who are very promising like McCall, but still none who are doing what Henderson has done which is establish themselves as an international.  Granted it will take props more time to do that than other positions.  Outside of the front row its much worse.  In the engine room and backrow we are poaching Irish qualified player and desperately trying to make them top class.  Don't get me wrong, Peter Browne and Sean Reidy have done incredibly well.  BUT, how does an academy which is churning out quality outside backs at a rate of naughts find itself unable to produce quality forwards?  It is something that really needs looked at.  

Look at our current second row options in a bit more detail - Dan Tuohy who is an Irish qualified English man, Franco van der Merwe who is a bit of a journeyman that did very well to get a Springbok cap, Peter Browne, again an Irish qualified Englishman, same goes for Kieran Treadwell... and Alan O'Connor who we nabbed from another provinces academy setup.  This is majorly concerning, correct me if I'm wrong, but we don't currently have an Ulster produced lock in the whole senior squad...?

Its not much better in the backrow, ultimately we just aren't producing forwards.  We produce top class backs, promising front rows and just about sweet FA in the second row and back row.  It's all very well saying we need X,Y and Z like a new Muller (and I absolutely agree thats what we need) but players like that aren't going to come out of thin air when we barely have 5 signings to make across the whole squad as far as foreigners are concerned.  The major issue is at academy and schools level.....and the fact that the IRFU's attempt to augment Irish players between the provinces on the basis of need have largely failed - see none of the surplus of Leinster backrows coming to Ulster as an example.

Its really strange. All the systems in the world and all it takes is one coach in the background who prefers centres to flankers (Ulster) or the opposite (Leinster) and a team produces unbalanced resources. I am not saying there is a nameable person at fault or anything. Its just that you can plan for your academy to produce players but its the soft , hard to pin down elements of how excited lower level coaches/selecters get about different attributes (some love a good groundhog some love a backrower with a decent step) which have massive effects on pro teams. I met a big blazer from connacht once and he thought all large flankers should be converted into hookers. He literally said SOB was missing his calling as a world class hooker. You can imagine the effect that has. if ideas like that are being entertained just below the pro level, messing around with up and coming players. NZ has this aura about them but I honeslty think nearly all their power/skill comes from having coaches at lower levels who know talent when they see it and make sure that talent gets the help they need. And then you get a good coach at international level and they coach this amazing foundation of skilled players playing at 99% of their talent level.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 9:49 pm

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any points being made, but I do find this post match chat quite in contrast to last week's ridiculing of Facebook fans who were going on about how bad we are.

I watched the game today, and have to say I saw it a little differently. I didn't feel that Exeter got to much out of our forwards in the contact. In fact I thought we held up quite well and frustrated them at times.

Clearly, our backline has ability, but I feel a large part of our ineffectiveness maybe came from innacurate passing. Sometimes from Jackson, often from Pienaar. Having other parts of the game where you were stellar does not actually eliminate the shortcomings. Jackson also made a few unforced errors, and Pienaar kicked out on the full too.

Piutau almost makes the rest of our backs look average. That said though, I couldn't help but feel that Trimble was included based on reputation/captaincy. We need to play our players who are capable of creating something out of nothing - a clear choice if Gilroy over Trimble.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 9:58 pm

clivemcl wrote:I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any points being made, but I do find this post match chat quite in contrast to last week's ridiculing of Facebook fans who were going on about how bad we are.

Strange contrast to bring up, considering there was a lot of criticism directed at Ulster last weekend in the game they actually lost. More so than in this thread. There is fair and justified criticism and then there is childish, over-the-top bitching. Facebook tends to always fall in the latter category with mindless statements and a silly thumbs up or two.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:00 pm

I thought Trimble did add some aggression though- something that was sorely lacking.

I'm not super-critical of this Ulster team, but I am a little worried at our lack of ball carriers. We could really use Tuohy back but apparently he went off injured when playing for the As. And its worrying to me that Pienaar is getting to some rucks and having to clear them himself. Although he did do very well for Reidys try in that regard. And the restarts need sorted. We let them back in time and time again.

We are running some really nice lines and the skill levels have gone up (in terms of offloading, some of the passing was a little sloppy). Kiss highlights our lack of flow, and he's right in that we are not always making the right decisions but I think if we have some more aggression up front this back line will be looking good. We can't be relying on Olding as our main carrier for goodness sake.

It was disappointing to have it come down to a missed drop goal. Olding blew one try, after a very good break by him, Van Der Merwe knocked on over the line, we let a rolling maul get pushed into touch and we turned down the points and got nothing from it a few times. It shouldn't have been a 1-point win. We were the better team and should have made it count. It was quite a wasteful display.


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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:03 pm

I think next week we will be without our Irish internationals, as will Munster.

So we might be looking at;

McCall, Herring/Andrew, Ah You
O'Connor/Browne, Van Der Merwe
Diack, Reidy, Ross
Pienaar, Herron
??, Stockdale
Gilroy/Lyttle, Bowe
Piutau

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:06 pm

So you are saying it's not good enough to make a true statement if others have a feeling you don't actually know it's true??

I'm not one of the Facebook guys, I don't have a personal Facebook account. That said, I'm in the camp that it's either correct, or incorrect.

If, we are not good enough because of weaknesses in some positions, then surely fans are justified in being annoyed by the recruitment/development/coaching. Whether they can articulate it well is neither here nor there.

But anyway, our most dangerous weapon yesterday, was our backline, which IMO was stifled more by the number of poor passes than it was by the pack.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:09 pm

Notch wrote:I think next week we will be without our Irish internationals, as will Munster.

So we might be looking at;

McCall, Herring/Andrew, Ah You
O'Connor/Browne, Van Der Merwe
Diack, Reidy, Ross
Pienaar, Herron
??, Stockdale
Gilroy/Lyttle, Bowe
Piutau

Windsor plays a lot of 12... censored

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:12 pm

clivemcl wrote:So you are saying it's not good enough to make a true statement if others have a feeling you don't actually know it's true??  

I'm not one of the Facebook guys, I don't have a personal Facebook account. That said, I'm in the camp that it's either correct, or incorrect.

If, we are not good enough because of weaknesses in some positions, then surely fans are justified in being annoyed by the recruitment/development/coaching. Whether they can articulate it well is neither here nor there.

But anyway, our most dangerous weapon yesterday, was our backline, which IMO was stifled more by the number of poor passes than it was by the pack.

I guess it comes down to being respectful to the efforts of the players. I wouldn't belittle the effort they put in but that doesn't mean I think everything is rosy all the time. Also, some fans seem to think they are entitled to a world beating team and anything less is a pathetic waste of time. Thats not really how sport works, its a bit more complicated.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:15 pm

I agree with that! OK

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 10:19 pm

clivemcl wrote:
Notch wrote:I think next week we will be without our Irish internationals, as will Munster.

So we might be looking at;

McCall, Herring/Andrew, Ah You
O'Connor/Browne, Van Der Merwe
Diack, Reidy, Ross
Pienaar, Herron
??, Stockdale
Gilroy/Lyttle, Bowe
Piutau

Windsor plays a lot of 12... censored

No sign of Windsor for the As- is he injured? I'm assuming Olding and Marshall will be called up. I really hope we get some of the Irish guys. Especially in the backs- Henderson will be rested I'm sure.

You're right in a sense to defend the pack- we finished the game with two opensides and a hooker in the back row. Hardly ideal.But that wasn't an amazing pack we were up against either (although it is comparable to many Pro12 packs).

The thing I'm seeing is that the backs moves that are just not cutting through right now would be really dangerous if someone could take the ball just three or four yards further past the gain line. The backs look sharp but without someone sucking in defenders and putting the opposition on the back foot its hard for them to create something from nothing. And I always feel we're a little vulnerable on our own ball.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by marty2086 on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:29 am

clivemcl wrote:I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any points being made, but I do find this post match chat quite in contrast to last week's ridiculing of Facebook fans who were going on about how bad we are.

I watched the game today, and have to say I saw it a little differently. I didn't feel that Exeter got to much out of our forwards in the contact. In fact I thought we held up quite well and frustrated them at times.

clive the Facebook criticism included saying how rubbish we are sitting top of the table with 5 wins from 6, it included saying how rubbish our new recruits are even though they were out injured, not to mention I seen one complaining about given Ludik a new contract and mentioning Dagg being free for next season those are hardly reasoned and justified complaints

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Munchkin on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:57 am

clivemcl wrote:I'm not necessarily disagreeing with any points being made, but I do find this post match chat quite in contrast to last week's ridiculing of Facebook fans who were going on about how bad we are.

I watched the game today, and have to say I saw it a little differently. I didn't feel that Exeter got to much out of our forwards in the contact. In fact I thought we held up quite well and frustrated them at times.

Clearly, our backline has ability, but I feel a large part of our ineffectiveness maybe came from innacurate passing. Sometimes from Jackson, often from Pienaar. Having other parts of the game where you were stellar does not actually eliminate the shortcomings. Jackson also made a few unforced errors, and Pienaar kicked out on the full too.

Piutau almost makes the rest of our backs look average. That said though, I couldn't help but feel that Trimble was included based on reputation/captaincy. We need to play our players who are capable of creating something out of nothing - a clear choice if Gilroy over Trimble.

The back that really needs to work on his passing is Piutau. I know I just broke taboo but I don't care  Cool

The work at the breakdown reaped miserly reward. Did we win any turnover ball? It also doesn't look good that we have Pienaar clearing rucks, doing the job of forwards who are supposed to protect him. If Pienaar gets badly injured our hopes of silverware this season are gone.

Our pack is soft, and badly lacking in leadership. The pack is capable of doing much more than we witnessed against Connacht and Exeter. We have seen how they can raise their game against Glasgow, yet were so weak against Connacht, and lacking that bit of nastiness against Exeter. That's why I get frustrated with them. I do believe they underperform at times.


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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:57 am

Can't argue with that Marty to be fair! Still think we aren't as horrendous as the post match comments on here suggest. With current injuries and disruption, im reasonably happy to come away with one win from two and still be in the hunt. For me, we were missing two starting backs (McCloskey and Ludik) and three from the pack (Herbst, Touhy and Henry). Also were missing potential bench players in Cave, Diack and potentially Peikrishvili.

Rounds 3/4 will hopefully see a few more of these guys back, and a bit more settled team. Rounds 5/6 will see Coetzee added in.

It's early days, and we've kept ourselves in the race.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by marty2086 on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:07 am

clivemcl wrote:Can't argue with that Marty to be fair! Still think we aren't as horrendous as the post match comments on here suggest. With current injuries and disruption, im reasonably happy to come away with one win from two and still be in the hunt. For me, we were missing two starting backs (McCloskey and Ludik) and three from the pack (Herbst, Touhy and Henry). Also were missing potential bench players in Cave, Diack and potentially Peikrishvili.

Rounds 3/4 will hopefully see a few more of these guys back, and a bit more settled team. Rounds 5/6 will see Coetzee added in.

It's early days, and we've kept ourselves in the race.

I think this group is more open than most think, none of the 4 teams are convincing even Clermont. Exeter beat themselves as much as anything last week and from what I seen Bordeaux caused them plenty of problems. If Ulster can get their act together and some players back two wins are very possible but its going to take two huge efforts

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:22 am

A losing bonus point in Bordeaux would have been massive for us. As far as I can see progress normally comes through either four wins and a good few bonus points, or five wins. We need at least three more wins and probably three bonus points to stand a chance. Thats 19 points.

Most likely route to that in my opinion is a home win over Clermont (4), losing bonus point away to Clermont (1), BP win away to Exeter (5), BP win at home to Bordeaux (5). That puts us on 19 points.

It feels like a really tall order to get 15 points from our next four games considering we almost lost at home to a seriously misfiring Exeter side, I have to be honest. Now we might have to go there in Round 5 and score 4 tries if we don't beat Clermont twice. Fail to win both legs of the double header the odds will be against us and they are looking really sharp- not to mention their formidable home record.

The other hope is that all the teams take points off each other and we end up in a three or four way struggle for top spot with just a hair separating the winner from the runners up.

I've got to admit, I'm not optimistic about our chances. That bonus point in France we blew is huge, really huge.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Notch on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:26 am

I think that maybe we might get lucky if Exeter are technically out of the competition by Round 5 and are focusing on the league, but they will never just lie down at Sandy Park.

One thing seems clear to me- we need 5, 6 or even 8 points from the double header with Clermont. 4 is not going to be enough.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by marty2086 on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:33 am

That LBP really would have been a big help but I think the consolation we can take is that we aren't playing well and able to win against good teams even if they are misfiring so are we so there is a lot of room for improvement

We do need Henderson fully fit and firing for the two big games and Henry should be back and hopefully back to his best by then with Reidy hopefully at 8.

Its just a pity Clermont aren't in January when Coetzee will be back

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by clivemcl on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:48 am

When Coetzee returns, would we be looking to move Henderson into second row with Reidy and Henry in the backrow?

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by Munchkin on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:56 am

You would have to think so. Van der Merwe will be gone at the end of season, so it's possible that he will be benched when Henderson is available.


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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by marty2086 on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:58 am

It all depends on form and need, there may be times to play Henderson at lock other times in back row. Against a team like as Clermont a back row from 3 of those 4 would be needed and the other on the bench.

That's were we have went wrong in the past, trying to shoehorn guys in but sometimes the best approach is to hold one in reserve. Leinster were able to get a LBP yesterday by doing that and a good setup on their bench.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:08 pm

I think our biggest weakness is the back row, I look at our front row and think with everyone fit that's a decent unit, 2nd row is same but backrow and even with everyone fit there seems to be holes. We get coetzee back that helps, if Henry can get back to his absolute best then that would be good but we are still left with a number 8 that just is not good enough, for everything he has done in the past Wilson is past it at this stage. We also don't have a lot of back up, Reidy is a good player but after that options are thin, we are only really 1 or 2 injuries or call ups away from having a poor back row. WHat I think we need to work on is to get a starting back row that is top class then try and fill in some of the gaps we have in depth. I think elsewhere when we are injury free we are pretty ok. Also it would be nice if Olding was not the guy to be trying to punch the ball up and make the hard yards too.
I had a go at the facebook posters last week but only because there were people saying things like our season is over just because we lost 2 games when we still sit top of the table and what not which is absurd.
In terms of back passing and what not I think alot of those problems would be settled once we get a string of games with one backline which we haven't had really this season due to injuries and players filtering back in from International duty, we may have to wait for that to happen though with the November internationals coming up

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Post by rodders on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:10 pm

Pretty good performance and result given where the side is at. Too many players are half fit and/or out of sorts - Piatau and Pienaar are carrying the side at the minute.

Williams ball carrying is badly missed, especially with Henderson struggling a bit and McCloskey out.  Generally the side is imbalanced with plenty of talent and skill in the backs but a lack of depth and quality in the pack to go with it.

Can't see us qualifying for the KO stages now but fancy us as a decent bet for the pro12.

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Re: Champions Cup Matchday 2 Ulster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

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