Ulster 2016/2017

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Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Mon 12 Dec 2016, 9:40 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well the danger is always that life happens and he might refocus his entire life after two years in France.... were he to go.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:21 am

marty2086 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Saw on Instagram that Reidy went back home this weekend and got hitched, wonder if he will be back for Sunday

This weekend, or last weekend? We really need Reidy to be playing.

Sorry that was meant to be this week

Posted a pic last night of the wedding saying

Top trip back home, especially tying the knot with @sireepatricia

Not the greatest timing, but hopefully ok to play. We will soon find out anyway.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by MrsP on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:10 pm

Ulster team & replacements to play ASM Clermont Auvergne, European Rugby Champions Cup Round 4, Sunday 18th December, Stade Marcel Michelin (kick-off 4.05pm local time, 3.05pm GMT)
(15-9): C Piutau, T Bowe, L Marshall, S McCloskey, L Ludik, P Jackson, R Pienaar;
(1-8): K McCall, R Best (captain), W Herbst, P Browne, F van der Merwe, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): R Herring, A Warwick, R Ah You, K Treadwell, C Ross, P Marshall, D Cave, J Stockdale.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:11 pm

Hopefully vDM being back will strengthen the scrum and lineout and give a better platform to build off


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:24 pm

Not a great impact bench for Clermont away. Lets hope there are no injuries

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:32 pm

Clermont team



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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:35 pm

marty2086 wrote:Hopefully vDM being back will strengthen the scrum and lineout and give a better platform to build off


Diack had a really good game last week and surprised he doesn't even make the bench this week. That said, it isn't good enough to turn up when it suits. Van der Merwe is a solid player, stronger than Diack and, with Browne, will help against a pack that will be out to bully us.

Our pack is as strong as it can be without O'Connor, or Kane on the bench. Ah You was very poor last week. He's really going to have to step up.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 12:45 pm

Thought Diack looked very physical last week Munchkin, take it that it was injury that saw him go off so maybe not fit for this week

Ulster need to play with plenty of ball in hand and have Clermont run themselves into the ground otherwise we will get bullied as somehow Clermont seem to have added more bulk and physicality to their team this week


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 1:08 pm

marty2086 wrote:Thought Diack looked very physical last week Munchkin, take it that it was injury that saw him go off so maybe not fit for this week

Ulster need to play with plenty of ball in hand and have Clermont run themselves into the ground otherwise we will get bullied as somehow Clermont seem to have added more bulk and physicality to their team this week


I agree. We need to try and tire their forwards out. A bit like we did v Saints. It was mentioned on their supporters site that some of their players looked tired by half-time. We really need to hold the scrum. We did ok last week, but for the last quarter. McCall did say that they were focusing on improving the scrum this week and, if Clermont has added more bulk, we will really need to get it right. If we can hold our own against their pack we have a chance. That's a huge 'if' though!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:50 pm

Sin é wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
Sin é wrote:No its not. Its ensuring that Ulster take the IRFU seriously.

Yes, it is. There's nothing to suggest that Ulster don't take the IRFU seriously. I mean, it's not as though we don't practice good house keeping and pay back our debts. In fact, we are fairly debt free  Very Happy  Anyway, your claim of 'payback' isn't believable. It's just Nucifora being a prat.


Munster had to give up Paul Warwick, Mafi and Wian du Preez in the past. Leinster had to give up Isa Nawcea (who decided to retire rather than move to another european club). Paul Warwick is married to an Irish woman and had an Irish child at the time who suffers from cystic fibrosis. We had Mafi since he was a young lad - but as soon as he hit 30 he was gone. BJ hung on for a while on short term contracts. He has just qualified for Irish citizenship recently.

Anyway, maybe Ulster could look to Munster to help them out - 2 SHs in Academy, 4 in the sub academy. Doubtful Munster will take them all into the Munster Academy.
Scrumhalf
John Poland(CBC) - u21
Keith Kavanagh(Shannon) - u20
Jack Stafford(Shannon) - u20
Jack Lyons(Young Munster) - u20
James Lennon(UL Bohs) - u20
Aaron Rice(Thomond) - u19
Joe Murphy(UL Bohs) - u19

We don't need any of them we have our 2 best prospects, in the professional era, in our own junior ranks - Stewart and O'Donnell.
Just when we get some real talent who would really benefit from coaching by a master of the position he has to leave.

You couldn't make it up  Doh


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:52 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Reading on another forum that Stockdale said Pienaar is leaving.

Also said that Payne fractured a rib which lacerated his kidney. From experience; it's very hard to run with fractured ribs, but lacerated kidney must be so much worse. No surprise he didn't come out in the second half Shocked

And he had back spasms as well going into the match, the guy must have some pain threshold

Wont see Payne for months - unlikely to make the 6N I reckon

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 2:53 pm

marty2086 wrote:Thought Diack looked very physical last week Munchkin, take it that it was injury that saw him go off so maybe not fit for this week

Ulster need to play with plenty of ball in hand and have Clermont run themselves into the ground otherwise we will get bullied as somehow Clermont seem to have added more bulk and physicality to their team this week


Diack injured - wont be back till the New Year

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 4:09 pm

Somebody in the know on another forum has highlighted some underage "excellent prospects" fro Ulster in the backrow - Matthew Crowther, Joe Dunleavy and Azur Allison. The last has a chance of being underage Irish captain.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 2:36 pm

Exeter could just be about to do Ulster a huge favour and beat Bordeaux in France

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 2:50 pm

marty2086 wrote:Exeter could just be about to do Ulster a huge favour and beat Bordeaux in France

Exeter have done Ulster a favour and also denied them a LBP

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 3:03 pm

Yes, a very good result for Ulster. Exeter are out of it, and if Clermont beat Begles they are out as well. Still a lot to do for Ulster to qualify, starting with getting something out of the game tomorrow.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 7:47 pm

Watching those final scenes at the Sportsground tonight where the Connacht team were absolutely euphoric after the game and there was a great pitch invasion with the fans staying and singing.

Do we still have that... or has it been diluted over the last few years as the Kingspan has got bigger and more sterile

Do enough of our players bleed Ulster, like Bundee bleeds Connacht?

I guess I thought about it because Lewis Stevenson was going nuts at the end, and looks to have fully bought into it after only a few months

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Sat 17 Dec 2016, 8:44 pm

toml wrote:Watching those final scenes at the Sportsground tonight where the Connacht team were absolutely euphoric after the game and there was a great pitch invasion with the fans staying and singing.

Do we still have that... or has it been diluted over the last few years as the Kingspan has got bigger and more sterile

Do enough of our players bleed Ulster, like Bundee bleeds Connacht?

I guess I thought about it because Lewis Stevenson was going nuts at the end, and looks to have fully bought into it after only a few months

This is a question I have been asking myself. When I see some of the performances I honestly think some don't care enough, but then maybe the problem is with the coaching rather than the players?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 1:12 pm

Munchkin wrote:
toml wrote:Watching those final scenes at the Sportsground tonight where the Connacht team were absolutely euphoric after the game and there was a great pitch invasion with the fans staying and singing.

Do we still have that... or has it been diluted over the last few years as the Kingspan has got bigger and more sterile

Do enough of our players bleed Ulster, like Bundee bleeds Connacht?

I guess I thought about it because Lewis Stevenson was going nuts at the end, and looks to have fully bought into it after only a few months

This is a question I have been asking myself. When I see some of the performances I honestly think some don't care enough, but then maybe the problem is with the coaching rather than the players?

When you hear guys talking and watch their interviews you can see how many of them buy into Ulster, they love living here, the people, the fans etc but when its out on the pitch it doesn't translate. The QF win at Thomond was maybe the last time we saw Ulster have scenes like that at the end of a game, Connacht seem to operate though with a chip on their shoulder and thats part of it

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 3:32 pm

Foreboding conversation from earlier. This is total, utter crap. There is no interest in this team whatsoever.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 3:38 pm

Back to business as usual for Ulster. Brainless, abject crap.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 18 Dec 2016, 3:42 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Back to business as usual for Ulster. Brainless, abject crap.

Ulster are poor but the officials really dont help, being penalised for going into the side of a maul but Clermont arent even though the players told to get out? Clermont loosehead turning into the scrum and Ulster penalised? Then that lineout given to Clermont?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 11:36 am

That's what home advantage brings! Forget the referee, Ulster were just poor.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 11:56 am

Ulster were very poor in the first half. Yes Clermont were playing like demons and yes there were a few iffy decisions such as the forward pass for the initial try. Forward in my mind, flat for any French fans. However, we cannot blame anyone but our players for not being able to hold on to or catch a ball. The simple things were letting the guys down due to the massive amount of pressure Clermont exerted but professional players should be dealing with that pressure. If we were to proceed in Europe we'd have to absorb an awful lot more. It was great to see the second half revival but ultimately it was all for nothing with a huge mountain to climb.
Back to the bread and butter stuff and the visit of Connacht, lets put on another home performance of Clermont crushing quality.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 12:55 pm

I think McCloskey and Henderson were immense for 80 mins and tried their damnedest to win every collision and turn the ball over but were alone in their efforts for long periods

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 3:12 pm

That's the issue Marty - too many players are just shy of being top quality against sides that are brimful of them. Piutau stands out in an Ulster shirt - Toeava is just another name in the Clermont backline. Henderson was immense but would just be another forward at Clermont.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 3:28 pm

Piutau was also signed for games like this and was as big a liability as anyone, at least after his mistake you could see Pienaar was hurting and wanted to put it right but those guys are just another name because they spend huge amounts on superstars for every position, Ulster dont have that luxury

The team are capable of winning those big games but there is a mental fragility that needs addressing

A question from the weekends games I have is why isn't Tadhg Beirne an Ulster player? Have seen him a few times for Scarlets and looks like a quality player and covers second and backrow

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 3:47 pm

I know of one player (at least) who wouldn't come to Ulster because of Clarke's reputation. The underage guys have their own grapevine that stretches across the provinces.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 10:25 pm

Surprised to hear people describing Piutau as stand out. Personally I'm starting to feel like we aren't getting our value for money out of him. He's not making the breaks he did earlier in season, he's getting less out of his contact and bosh game, his ability to think about buys us time to get others closer to the breakdown, but he's not making any great strides of late. I also feel he backs himself 90% of the time even when the pass is the better option.

Ludik for me has been impeccable. But ultimately our entire backline is up there with the best in Europe, but the pack is where we can't keep up.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 11:13 pm

Clive is spot on you can have the best backs in the World, we don't but they are good, it doesn't matter if your pack doesn't front up .

Other than Henderson and Best are forwards simply are not good enough, although to be fair the props have the potential.

We are very very short of locks for next week it will have to be Henderson and de Merwe with Treadwell on the bench.
No one else in the full squad or the academy fit.

Looks like Greg Jones (Dublin born U-20 player ) is joining.
With Gavin Thornbury probably signing as well have the players Leinster don't want become our main recruiting area ??
Angius Curtis the young 10 from SA will be with us next year been told it is a definite.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Mon 19 Dec 2016, 11:26 pm

Pleased that Curtis is joining us. Looks a real prospect. Jones might be a good signing also Indie

So, who is our 9 going to be? Very Happy

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 10:29 am

Blade, Cooney or Heaney I reckon - which one though ??


Also we shout about our backs but the harsh reality is the top 4 Irish centres next year will be Henshaw, Payne, Ringrose, Aki not one of them came through the Ulster system

McCloskey, Olding, Marshall, Cave are all a long long way from being regular irish internationals

Maybe individually not quite as good as we make them out to be

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:38 am

If those are the options you know it'll be Heaney because hes an Ulsterman and to prove a point to the IRFU

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:47 am

Cave never had the pace to be top class.
Marshall and Olding are converted 10s and it's questionable if their bodies are up to the pressures of midfield, but they would have had more caps except for injury.
McCloskey doesn't look at full fitness but he would make a lot of Test teams.

The backs can't play if they're getting smashed by opposition back rows, and that not only increases their risk of injury but reduces their chance to impress Schmidt. I can't help but think that the Ulster midfield (and halfbacks) looked a lot better when Williams was in the team as he had both power and pace to take some of the pressure off. Maybe Coetzee will rekindle that advantage whenever he gets fit but in the meantime Henshaw and Ringrose have the freedom to shine as policed by SOB, Conan, VdF, Heaslip, Ruddock, Leavy, Deegan etc.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:48 am

I did always think Henry was the best of our previous scrum half signings. That said, he ought never be anything more than squad filler.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:51 am

clivemcl wrote:I did always think Henry was the best of our previous scrum half signings. That said, he ought never be anything more than squad filler.

Pity we converted him to a backrow though Whistle

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 11:54 am

marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:I did always think Henry was the best of our previous scrum half signings. That said, he ought never be anything more than squad filler.

Pity we converted him to a backrow though Whistle

Damned autocorrect! Very Happy

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 12:00 pm

clivemcl wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:I did always think Henry was the best of our previous scrum half signings. That said, he ought never be anything more than squad filler.

Pity we converted him to a backrow though Whistle

Damned autocorrect! Very Happy

The way Pienaar has had to clear out rucks this year henry might have to be our scrumhalf next year lol

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 12:12 pm

Well hopefully it is just Pienaar going, saw that Bath have told George Ford he can leave early if he wants which could mean they are looking for a fly half for next season Shocked

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 12:35 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:I did always think Henry was the best of our previous scrum half signings. That said, he ought never be anything more than squad filler.

Pity we converted him to a backrow though Whistle

Damned autocorrect! Very Happy

The way Pienaar has had to clear out rucks this year henry might have to be our scrumhalf next year lol

'The best use of a world class scum half is in clearing rucks as it covers up my inadequacies' alleged quote from a certain forwards coach.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:11 pm

Just done the maths on European Championship.

The results mean that Ulster will, probably qualify if they get 2 straight wins and almost certainly if they get a bonus point as well.

Unless Toulon win at Saracens they will, almost certaintly be on 15 or 16 points in 2nd place
Scarlets if the beat Saracens at home and Sale away (5 points) will be on 17 points
Bottom line a 2nd place team is not getting out of that group if Saracens play to form.

In the Leinster group Montpellier will need to win in Dublin to finish with more than 17 points and if they lose by more than 7 they will be on 16 points
I don't believe they will win in Dublin

Bear in mind Exeter have nothing to play for and if Bordeaux lose at home to Clermont neither will they.

In view of the above we will not be concentrating on the Pro 12 much as some want that to be the case, we will be going all out to win those games

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:25 pm

Connacht are all but guaranteed 18pts so will go through.

Ulster should get 17/18 pts with Bordeaux to come to Belfast.  

Munster have 2 tough away games but Racing have nothing to play for.

I fancy all 3 to go through.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:38 pm

I know I said I wouldn't care if Ulster don't get out of the group but I do of course always want our team to do their very best in all competitions. I just don't think we have the depth in available squad members to do battle on two fronts. I love to be proven wrong in these situations and regularly am. Pro12 and European champion titles would be a hell of a farewell to Ruan but hey, we can always dream Wink

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:50 pm

I don't think we have a hope of winning it but qualifying would be seen as an achievement.

To be honest we could see all 4 Irish provinces in the QF's provided
Saracens and Leinster do the business at home to Toulon and Montpellier respectively.

Ulster success probably hinges on how Exeter approach the game at Sandy Park

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 3:51 pm

rodders wrote:Connacht are all but guaranteed 18pts so will go through.


Not if they get hammered in Toulouse they wont

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 4:18 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
rodders wrote:Connacht are all but guaranteed 18pts so will go through.


Not if they get hammered in Toulouse they wont

They are on 13pts with Zebre to play in Galway.

Even if they lose to Toulouse they will finish on 18.

Given Toulouse play Wasps at the Ricoh they could be done at that stage, Connacht could yet win the pool.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 4:25 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I know I said I wouldn't care if Ulster don't get out of the group but I do of course always want our team to do their very best in all competitions. I just don't think we have the depth in available squad members to do battle on two fronts. I love to be proven wrong in these situations and regularly am. Pro12 and European champion titles would be a hell of a farewell to Ruan but hey, we can always dream Wink

Given there will likely be 5 pro 12 sides in the KO stages plus a Clermont side we have beaten already and that we are unlikely to get a home SF in the pro 12 we have the same chance in both competitions - an outside one.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 5:57 pm

rodders wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
rodders wrote:Connacht are all but guaranteed 18pts so will go through.


Not if they get hammered in Toulouse they wont

They are on 13pts with Zebre to play in Galway.

Even if they lose to Toulouse they will finish on 18.

Given Toulouse play Wasps at the Ricoh they could be done at that stage, Connacht could yet win the pool.

All 3 could end up on 18 if Wasps hammer Toulouse in England and Toulouse hammer Connacht in France so not guaranteed 2nd place with 18 points
If that occurs it goes down to points difference I believe Connacht are over 30 points behind Toulouse and 50 odd behind Wasps.
Don't get me wrong 5 points against Zebre should be enough but not certain, still need to avoid a tonking in France to be sure though.

Anyway not directrly relevant to Ulster it is the Saracens and Leinster home performances staying solid that gives us a real chance of qualifying

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 6:01 pm

rodders wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I know I said I wouldn't care if Ulster don't get out of the group but I do of course always want our team to do their very best in all competitions. I just don't think we have the depth in available squad members to do battle on two fronts. I love to be proven wrong in these situations and regularly am. Pro12 and European champion titles would be a hell of a farewell to Ruan but hey, we can always dream Wink

Given there will likely be 5 pro 12 sides in the KO stages plus a Clermont side we have beaten already and that we are unlikely to get a home SF in the pro 12 we have the same chance in both competitions - an outside one.

Odds on winning the Pro 12 - 9-1
Odds on winning the European Championship 55-1 according to Paddy Power

We have a much better chance in the Pro12 than the European Cup

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 7:29 pm

To be honest the only team I think we cant beat is Saracens and most teams will struggle with that

The biggest problem Ulster might have is that Exeter dont necessarily need to rest players for the last two rounds as they will have two weeks between games after Clermont for the 6Ns

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 20 Dec 2016, 10:39 pm

marty2086 wrote:To be honest the only team I think we cant beat is Saracens and most teams will struggle with that

The biggest problem Ulster might have is that Exeter dont necessarily need to rest players for the last two rounds as they will have two weeks between games after Clermont for the 6Ns

It's great to know that Kiss and his cohorts will have worked out a way to beat Clermont at the Marcel Michelin in April especially with the only available halfbacks being Shanahan and McPhillips. Smile

A home semi in the Pro12 in comparison should be a breeze...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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