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 marty2086 on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 2:51 pm

Sin é wrote:Angus Lloyd (on loan from Ulster) is staying with Munster until the end of the season. He should get a good bit of game time with Munster as he is now 3rd in the pecking order behind Murray and Duncan Williams.


Is Toma staying with them too?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 2:52 pm

So Taute gets to stay at Munster this season. Well that's a surprise isn't it kids?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Sin é on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 3:10 pm

I think Toma has another 2 months on his contract, when I presume he is going back to the Highlanders (he has about 2 Super Rugby caps so its early stage of his career).

Each Province need 4 scrumhalfs if they want to compete in B&I Cup as well.

As for Taute - its only to the end of the season and I imagine that Sweetnam being out for 6 weeks has swung it for him and will more than likely be Munster's bench option.

Its a big season for Munster when they need to do well - 10 year tickets are up for renewal this year which brought in about 9m in 2008 (1800 tickets sold at 5.5K each).


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 11:06 am

Sin é wrote:

As for Taute - its only to the end of the season and I imagine that Sweetnam being out for 6 weeks has swung it for him and will more than likely be Munster's bench option.

Its a big season for Munster when they need to do well - 10 year tickets are up for renewal this year which brought in about 9m in 2008 (1800 tickets sold at 5.5K each).


Taute was a done deal weeks ago though

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 2:15 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Sin é wrote:

As for Taute - its only to the end of the season and I imagine that Sweetnam being out for 6 weeks has swung it for him and will more than likely be Munster's bench option.

Its a big season for Munster when they need to do well - 10 year tickets are up for renewal this year which brought in about 9m in 2008 (1800 tickets sold at 5.5K each).


Taute was a done deal weeks ago though

Exactly the extended contract pre dated the injury so a red herring

Also heard that Ulster were not allowed to sign an injury replacement in the back row even when we were down to 3 fit players with more than a handful of backrow appearance.

Roger Wilson by the way has gone and he knows it - will retire in the summer.
Will Ulster actually pick kids now instead of him or is the plan to flog Henry, Ross and Reidy to death.
I know where my bet is furious


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 2:18 pm

The Leinster game was depressing from 1 to 9 the man in blue was, by some distance, the best player in 8 of those positions.

The only exception was TH where Simpson comfortably out performed Bent, Ah You and the much praised Porter.
The thing is Simpson only played, like Kane, because of injury.

Simpson, Kane and Trenier are why I say Lutton should be given the shepards hook in the summer
If they progress this year and next I'd do the same to Ah You in 2018, who is a lot of show but little substances

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 2:36 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Also heard that Ulster were not allowed to sign an injury replacement in the back row even when we were down to 3 fit players with more than a handful of backrow appearance.

Roger Wilson by the way has gone and he knows it - will retire in the summer.
Will Ulster actually pick kids now instead of him or is the plan to flog Henry, Ross and Reidy to death.
I know where my bet is furious

That to me makes sense from the IRFU because Ulster need to start at least throwing guys in and seeing how they perform but whatever we save from vDM and Pienaar going needs to be thrown at half decent IQ backrows

geoff999rugby wrote:
The only exception was TH where Simpson comfortably out performed Bent, Ah You and the much praised Porter.
The thing is Simpson only played, like Kane, because of injury.

Simpson, Kane and Trenier are why I say Lutton should be given the shepards hook in the summer
If they progress this year and next I'd do the same to Ah You in 2018, who is a lot of show but little substances

If Simpson has that level of performance in him weekly Id have him above Ah You now in the pecking order

It was also noticeable how the scrum seem to weaken after Herring went off

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 9:44 pm

marty2086 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Also heard that Ulster were not allowed to sign an injury replacement in the back row even when we were down to 3 fit players with more than a handful of backrow appearance.

Roger Wilson by the way has gone and he knows it - will retire in the summer.
Will Ulster actually pick kids now instead of him or is the plan to flog Henry, Ross and Reidy to death.
I know where my bet is furious

That to me makes sense from the IRFU because Ulster need to start at least throwing guys in and seeing how they perform but whatever we save from vDM and Pienaar going needs to be thrown at half decent IQ backrows


Problem with that are we did not, and will not play the youngsters but flog the decedent Reidy and Henry, the mediocre Ross and the washed up Wilson to death till the end of the season rather than give younger players a chance.

Other provinces have had quality injury replacements.
Other than Terblanche all of ours have been a total waste of space and even if fit only Boys was any good, the rest were very poor

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 10:50 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Also heard that Ulster were not allowed to sign an injury replacement in the back row even when we were down to 3 fit players with more than a handful of backrow appearance.

Roger Wilson by the way has gone and he knows it - will retire in the summer.
Will Ulster actually pick kids now instead of him or is the plan to flog Henry, Ross and Reidy to death.
I know where my bet is furious

That to me makes sense from the IRFU because Ulster need to start at least throwing guys in and seeing how they perform but whatever we save from vDM and Pienaar going needs to be thrown at half decent IQ backrows


Problem with that are we did not, and will not play the youngsters but flog the decedent Reidy and Henry, the mediocre Ross and the washed up Wilson to death till the end of the season rather than give younger players a chance.

Other provinces have had quality injury replacements.
Other than Terblanche all of ours have been a total waste of space and even if fit only Boys was any good, the rest were very poor

Thankfully we have Coetzee coming in who will hopefully take on some of the burden, I'd also like to see a bit of Browne in the back row when we have more options in the second row, even give a young lock a chance and have him and vDM there to guide them through

We shouldnt need injury replacements especially in the back row, how many of Leinsters back rows were given a a chance because a SOB or Jordi Murphy was injured or away with Ireland?

You know more about the inner workings geoff, is it a matter of Ulster institutionally just not being prepared to give young players a chance? Are they simply asking for a player to show almost exceptional ability at age grade level similar to Henderson or Jackson rather than looking for players who can help build a squad? Or is it the quality or attitude isnt there to try them?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 9:27 am

marty2086 wrote: is it a matter of Ulster institutionally just not being prepared to give young players a chance?

Are they simply asking for a player to show almost exceptional ability at age grade level similar to Henderson or Jackson rather than looking for players who can help build a squad?

Or is it the quality or attitude isnt there to try them?

In answer to your questions:

1. Yes that is the case - has been since McCall left regardless of the coach

2. Yes you have to exceptional to be trusted

3. The quality is there and but nearly always from non traditional schools.
Our squads do have a large number of make weights who only get in the squads because they went to the right school
The more I look into it the more I am confidence that blowing up Methy, Inst and Campbell would be the best thing that could happen to Ulster rugby.
They contribute little and distort player development and a number of our blazers only look to them when it comes to recruitment.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 9:56 am

So we would really need a Nucifora type in charge of recruitment at age grade who has a fresh view and no relationships and then send the best players to Munster? Whistle

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 12:31 pm

Pienaar, Gilroy, Ah You, Wilson and Herring all injured for Scarlets game

Herbst out with another injury for 4-6 weeks this time

McCall out for 4-6 months so probably wont see him again this season

Ross Kane, Robbie Diack, John Donnan and Aaron Cairns are all back

How bad is AOCs concussion? Seems hes been out for quite a while now?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 11:22 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote: is it a matter of Ulster institutionally just not being prepared to give young players a chance?

Are they simply asking for a player to show almost exceptional ability at age grade level similar to Henderson or Jackson rather than looking for players who can help build a squad?

Or is it the quality or attitude isnt there to try them?

In answer to your questions:

1. Yes that is the case - has been since McCall left regardless of the coach

2. Yes you have to exceptional to be trusted

3. The quality is there and but nearly always from non traditional schools.
Our squads do have a large number of make weights who only get in the squads because they went to the right school
The more I look into it the more I am confidence that blowing up Methy, Inst and Campbell would be the best thing that could happen to Ulster rugby.
They contribute little and distort player development and a number of our blazers only look to them when it comes to recruitment.

It is undoubtedly easier to get noticed in a School's Cup final and so players making finals stand a better chance of an Academy place. However they are so few of them make it to the pro ranks that the quality has to be lacking - especially forwards. Ulster are getting little national recognition at underage level and those selectors will have a different bias. Neither are Ulster clubs progressing in the UBL so it's hard to see that the quality is there irrespective of what school they played for.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 9:54 am

Doak to Connacht? Any truth in it?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 9:57 am

Please

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 10:34 am

Would that not mean theres a chance Clarke becomes Head Coach? Shocked

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 10:41 am

I think Doak is the best coach in the set up at the minute.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 11:12 am

rodders wrote:Doak to Connacht? Any truth in it?

I'd prefer Istanbul but it'd be a good start Smile

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 11:47 am

Aye Doak being shipped on (the IRFU need to give him a role somewhere), making room for our new coach Ruan Pienaar.

(Based on absolutely eff all info!)

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:10 pm

marty2086 wrote:Pienaar, Gilroy, Ah You, Wilson and Herring all injured for Scarlets game

Herbst out with another injury for 4-6 weeks this time

McCall out for 4-6 months so probably wont see him again this season

Ross Kane, Robbie Diack, John Donnan and Aaron Cairns are all back

How bad is AOCs concussion? Seems hes been out for quite a while now?

Its not concussion.

He has a long standing problem in the nether regions which means he can only play periodically

This is why Leinster didn't take him on

Will only ever be an occasional player

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:13 pm

Sorry I asked Shocked

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:16 pm

Ulster team & replacements to play Scarlets, Guinness PRO12, Friday 6th January, Parc y Scarlets (7.35pm kick-off):
(15-9): L Ludik, A Trimble (captain), L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, P Jackson, P Marshall;
(1-8): C Black, R Best, R Kane, K Treadwell, I Henderson, C Ross, C Henry, S Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, J Simpson, F van der Merwe, P Browne, D Shanahan, B Herron, T Bowe.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:17 pm

Good to see Kane back and Simpson on the bench again, Browne covering back row as well its nice to know Les is finally starting to listen to me

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:28 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote: is it a matter of Ulster institutionally just not being prepared to give young players a chance?

Are they simply asking for a player to show almost exceptional ability at age grade level similar to Henderson or Jackson rather than looking for players who can help build a squad?

Or is it the quality or attitude isnt there to try them?

In answer to your questions:

1. Yes that is the case - has been since McCall left regardless of the coach

2. Yes you have to exceptional to be trusted

3. The quality is there and but nearly always from non traditional schools.
Our squads do have a large number of make weights who only get in the squads because they went to the right school
The more I look into it the more I am confidence that blowing up Methy, Inst and Campbell would be the best thing that could happen to Ulster rugby.
They contribute little and distort player development and a number of our blazers only look to them when it comes to recruitment.

It is undoubtedly easier to get noticed in a School's Cup final and so players making finals stand a better chance of an Academy place. However they are so few of them make it to the pro ranks that the quality has to be lacking - especially forwards. Ulster are getting little national recognition at underage level and those selectors will have a different bias. Neither are Ulster clubs progressing in the UBL so it's hard to see that the quality is there irrespective of what school they played for.

The quality is lacking in the big schools - that's the whole point
At underage there is a built in bias for the squad fillers to come from the Dublin region, when teams are selected the bias is not so marked.
The problem we have is we are not tapping into the potential outside of Belfast and so we have some poor quality forwards in the aged teams from the big schools.

Players from the big institutions get noticed, get selected most, get badly coached, block better players in Enniskellen, Derry etc.
Mediocrity feeds off itself year on year, it becomes self fulfilling.
The system doesn't work, we don't change the system - surprise surprise we dont produce the player we should.

I am absolutely we have as much potential as Munster but dont deliver and part of that is the top schools make it less rather than more likely to deliver.
I honestly believed if we ignore all forwards from those 3 schools for 3 years and looked elsewhere the aged teams would be of better quality

Here is a question for you in the last 15 years how many forwards have those 3 schools produced (say since Roger Wilson) who were up to the mark.

As a starter - R.Best, S.Best, Henderson, Henry, Ferris all came from elsewhere

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:29 pm

rodders wrote:I think Doak is the best coach in the set up at the minute.

Maybe but crap as opposed to really crap is not much of a recomendation

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:36 pm

When is Loran Dow going to make his breakthrough, I had high hopes that be may prove himself good when he signed?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:50 pm

As I posted above we will flog Ross, Henry and Reidy to death before we pick one of the kids.

Look at the bench we prefer 2 locks to 1 lock and a young backrower Rolling Eyes

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 12:51 pm

As to Doak counts for diddle sqwat if Clarke stays

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 1:30 pm

Personally I have never been a fan of the Ulster Schools Cup, the people who are seam to have come from one of the Schools in it and there would be uproar if it ever changed.

I can never understand why there is so much emphasis on it, I always though that underage players should play for their club first and formost, and School Rugby is just a bit of fun.

In any other sport here the schools competition is only secdonary and the club primary, I don't know why its different in Rugby, and only adds to the elitist image its been trying to shake.

I was surprised that its only after someone leaves School that they first join a club, IMO they should have been playing for their local club since they first picked up a ball.

I was surprised that Brian McLaughlin came from being a School PE teacher to Ulster head coach, why wasn't someone like this coaching a Club team?

In truth while the schools have the best coaching young players will not join the clubs, I think we need to see an improvement in the Clubs underage coaching, to attract players to train with clubs instead of schools, as well as downgrading the schools cup, and promoting an Ulster club underage competition, as the main area used to pick up young players for the academy.

I remember a number of years ago the GAA granted Dublin £1million to invest in underage coaches for hurling, and within 10 years Dublin became a decent team at hurling again.
I believe that Ulster need to do something similar, invest in underage coaches for the clubs in Ulster (not schools), get the best coaches there, encourage kids to play for their local clubs and limit the training with schools to the same as other sports.
Ulster Rugby with the IRFU along with local government etc should be able to raise the funds required.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 2:02 pm

Wasn't is Clarke who designed the current academy structures?


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 2:06 pm

Off topic but does anyone know where Notch is? Not seen him post for a while.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 2:20 pm

"Personally I have never been a fan of the Ulster Schools Cup, the people who are seam to have come from one of the Schools in it and there would be uproar if it ever changed.

I can never understand why there is so much emphasis on it, I always though that underage players should play for their club first and formost, and School Rugby is just a bit of fun.

In any other sport here the schools competition is only secdonary and the club primary, I don't know why its different in Rugby, and only adds to the elitist image its been trying to shake.

I was surprised that its only after someone leaves School that they first join a club, IMO they should have been playing for their local club since they first picked up a ball.

I was surprised that Brian McLaughlin came from being a School PE teacher to Ulster head coach, why wasn't someone like this coaching a Club team?

In truth while the schools have the best coaching young players will not join the clubs, I think we need to see an improvement in the Clubs underage coaching, to attract players to train with clubs instead of schools, as well as downgrading the schools cup, and promoting an Ulster club underage competition, as the main area used to pick up young players for the academy.

I remember a number of years ago the GAA granted Dublin £1million to invest in underage coaches for hurling, and within 10 years Dublin became a decent team at hurling again.
I believe that Ulster need to do something similar, invest in underage coaches for the clubs in Ulster (not schools), get the best coaches there, encourage kids to play for their local clubs and limit the training with schools to the same as other sports.
Ulster Rugby with the IRFU along with local government etc should be able to raise the funds required
."

+1
Absolutely how things should be but the hold the schools cup has isn't one that can be shaken easily. The dinosaurs that refuse change these things need either woken up or kicked out to be honest. It's not the kind of business model any sane minded business man would ever work from yet it is, like it or not, a business.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 2:22 pm

eirebilly wrote:Off topic but does anyone know where Notch is? Not seen him post for a while.

I was asking the same thing a couple of weeks back Billy. He still comments on facebook so is still around. He must be taking a sabbatical from the 606 world.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:02 pm

marty2086 wrote:Ulster team & replacements to play Scarlets, Guinness PRO12, Friday 6th January, Parc y Scarlets (7.35pm kick-off):
(15-9): L Ludik, A Trimble (captain), L Marshall, S McCloskey, J Stockdale, P Jackson, P Marshall;
(1-8): C Black, R Best, R Kane, K Treadwell, I Henderson, C Ross, C Henry, S Reidy;
Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, A Warwick, J Simpson, F van der Merwe, P Browne, D Shanahan, B Herron, T Bowe.

Must be saving Piutau for next week.

Good to see Ludik in the position he should have been in all season. Also very happy that Kane has returned, with Simpson on the bench.

Not a bad starting starting XV, considering our injury list, with P Marshall the only glaring weakness.

If Ulster decide to play, we might just pip this. If their minds are on next weeks game, not a chance.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:10 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Off topic but does anyone know where Notch is? Not seen him post for a while.

I was asking the same thing a couple of weeks back Billy. He still comments on facebook so is still around. He must be taking a sabbatical from the 606 world.

Rarely saw eye to eye with him but do miss his input.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:10 pm

One other advantage to not having Piutau is that we may expand the game plan beyond give it to Charlie

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Thu 05 Jan 2017, 3:18 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Off topic but does anyone know where Notch is? Not seen him post for a while.

I was asking the same thing a couple of weeks back Billy. He still comments on facebook so is still around. He must be taking a sabbatical from the 606 world.

Rarely saw eye to eye with him but do miss his input.

Great minds think alike but fools often differ I suppose .... angel

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 1:00 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:The quality is lacking in the big schools - that's the whole point
At underage there is a built in bias for the squad fillers to come from the Dublin region, when teams are selected the bias is not so marked.
The problem we have is we are not tapping into the potential outside of Belfast and so we have some poor quality forwards in the aged teams from the big schools.

Players from the big institutions get noticed, get selected most, get badly coached, block better players in Enniskellen, Derry etc.
Mediocrity feeds off itself year on year, it becomes self fulfilling.
The system doesn't work, we don't change the system - surprise surprise we dont produce the player we should.

I am absolutely we have as much potential as Munster but dont deliver and part of that is the top schools make it less rather than more likely to deliver.
I honestly believed if we ignore all forwards from those 3 schools for 3 years and looked elsewhere the aged teams would be of better quality

Here is a question for you in the last 15 years how many forwards have those 3 schools produced (say since Roger Wilson) who were up to the mark.

As a starter - R.Best, S.Best, Henderson, Henry, Ferris all came from elsewhere

For me the quality is lacking in all the schools not just the big ones. The traditional grammar schools spend considerable money in coaching and facilities. The bigger ones have plenty of pupils to choose from making it really competitive for places and that gives them a big advantage in the Ulster School's Cup. This actually encourages rugby mad parents to send their kids there from a fairly wide catchment area to get the highest level of coaching they can. If these big schools aren't producing the quality required the small ones certainly can't. The system is self perpetuating as success in the USC brings more success. There are pupils attending the 'big three' from Ballynahinch, Craigavon and as far as Ballymoney every day.

I agree the USC needs modification to include age grade club sides to get more competition against the 'big three', and may have to force schools to amalgamate their rugby resources to reach a critical mass of players. The rules of the competition do not favour traditional forwards, so it is hardly surprising that Ulster aren't producing forwards.

Regarding your starter names, (and excluding Roger Wilson), I'd also exclude Simon Best as he pre-dated Wilson.
Rory Best admits how influential Newcastle Falcons Academy were in his development, and as he was at Uni there he wouldn't have been available for an Ulster Academy (if there had been one)
Henderson went to a traditional rugby school in BRA, who have now employed Brian McLaughlin as their coach - they are just as serious as the big three (B3).
Chris Henry went to Wallace who have been to three USC finals in the last 15 years, train four times a week, and begin pre-season in April just like the B3 do.
Ferris says himself he didn't play rugby seriously until he played for Dungannon after school, so wouldn't have been on the Ulster Academy radar.

I'd also add others who were capped by Ireland:
Ryan Caldwell former captain of Inst who did go through the Academy
Neil Best who like Ferris only got noticed after he left school at Malone
Matt McCullough from Ballymena Academy
Bryan Young from Ballymena Academy

So that's eight forwards in 15 years from Ulster who have made it to Test level, five from traditional rugby schools and three from other routes. The problem isn't the schools it's the lack of numbers.

Regarding the B3 schools, MCB are showing signs of producing more forwards with Adam Macklin, Paul Jackson, Ross Kane and Conor Carey all reaching the pro ranks. Inst have only really produced the unfortunate Alan Whitten and John Andress (remember him?!) as well as Caldwell, while for CCB it's only McCombe and McComish that I can think of.
The quality isn't markedly better in the rest of the schools throughout the province: Warwick, Andrew, Mulholland, Pollock (unlucky), Faloon, Birch, McMillan, Anderson, Murphy, Simpson, McCall etc.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 1:38 pm

Great post Aukster. I also heard a number of years back of several staff who actually left/turned down roles with the academy, BM being one, because the level of players coming into the academy was so low, specifically with the forwards, that they felt the academy was a waste of time and chose to focus on raising standards in the schools and community.

Cited examples were things like players unable to lift safely in the lineout and that the average time to get a player from the academy to the pitch was 2 years they were so poorly prepared by their school coaching.

Interesting that arguably 2 of Ulsters best forwards in the pro era - N Best and Ferris - unfortunately it seems that route is now closed due to the gap between the club game and pro game widening rather than closing in this time.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 3:46 pm

OK, I'm not overly in teh know about the schools system or alternatives, so if my comments are silly, please forgive me.

My initial very basic thoughts are ... surely if the same few schools are reaching the schools cup semis/final consistently - then does that not just really straightforwardly point to both fascilities/coaching rather than the players themselves?

OK, so I know that if you are a ten your old from Belfast who shows promise, you will do what you can to get to the right school, but ultimately - geography cannot simple be the explanation for talent.

So... if it's so obvious that it's the facilities and coaching that breads schools cup success, then why do UR assume that the players are the best - simply because they benefited from the best facilities/coaching.

UR cannot be THAT dumb can they?

But here's my follow on point - even if kids were to play for their club, it would still be a similar problem. The 15 yr old who lives in the town with the better club will progress better and get noticed more obviously.

Nobody is going to 'sign for' and travel a distance to a better club while they are still at school. Training two nights a week, and a saturday match? You can only play for the school/club near you.

So, for me - the real problem is perhaps lack of funding and poor scouting. (But as I say, I don't know much about it)

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 5:27 pm

Agreed, great post.

We can add in Annett and McAllister to the list as well.

How are we doing in terms of pure numbers? Registered players and ratios of rugby playing schools vs non-rugby playing schools? I'm guessing we'd be equal or maybe even ahead of other providences in those areas.

With the likes of Blackrock/Belvedere/Presentation Brothers surely Munster and Leinster have big schools issues too, is it the case that their focus is completely different from our Big 3?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 5:33 pm

Massive game for Ulster tonight. I would say this is a must win for them. Best of luck thumbsup

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 7:36 pm

We need all the luck we can get.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 7:39 pm

I was just thinking it's almost 3 minutes and we haven't conceded a try ......

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 7:40 pm

Got away with it.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:00 pm

Try, Stockdale. Very nice Try in these conditions.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:10 pm

Have we got a new defence coach or just remembered to do it this week?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:21 pm

Unable to watch the game as Wifey has other ideas about what is considered good viewing. How are Ulster playing?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:22 pm

Booooooooooooooooooo

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Fri 06 Jan 2017, 8:24 pm

Booooooooooooooooooo! Is that always the atmosphere there

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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