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 Redman on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 5:32 pm

If Gloucester could end games at 40 mins they'd be top 4 ........ maybe a slight exaggeration, but they've thrown away a load of games where they've been up against teams and then conspired to lose. Not poor teams either. Saracens, Leicester, etc.

Opinion on the Transfer Rumors thread seems to be they've signed really well for next season. Question will be with the takeover if Humphreys can survive to potentially reap fruit next season.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 5:43 pm

Munchkin wrote:
marty2086 wrote:I take it the review is taking place either because Kiss has said they need to go and Ulster/IRFU are wanting to make sure they do or its been decided and they are sounding out replacements but need to get that in place first before giving them the boot

I only hope the reports are true. If they are, then we have to hope that there are better, available, alternatives to Doak and Clarke. It would probably be the best thing for both of them, if they can get similar positions elsewhere. They have been too long in the same set-up, and with little to show for it. Moving to a new side might inspire them to better things.

Very much agree with this. A new environment should, if they're prepared to take the opportunity and not alienate themselves and others, be beneficial for their development as coaches. They are still relevantly young after all.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Sat 14 Jan 2017, 8:02 pm

Did anyone see the Raven's match yesterday? If so, how did the 9 Stewart get on?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Sat 14 Jan 2017, 11:43 pm

Saw the Connacht game, John Cooney looked superb at 10. He is rumoured to be Ruans replacement. Doesn't look like a lad short on confidence

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 5:25 pm

Anyone know what channel Ulster are on?
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by carpet baboon on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 5:27 pm

BT sport's 2

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 5:33 pm

Thanks chum
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:00 pm

Ulster really need to tighten up here. Exeter are all over them.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:06 pm

Excellent drive over the line from Exeter, Tom Waldrom is a very under-rated player. He still does the business.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:08 pm

On yer hole Nowell

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:09 pm

anyone got a decent stream? The one I have is seriously choppy. Doing my head in!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by eirebilly on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:11 pm

Clive, I normally use this if I cant get it on tv

http://www.vipleague.me/sports/rugby.html

Hope that helps
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:25 pm

clivemcl wrote:anyone got a decent stream? The one I have is seriously choppy. Doing my head in!

Try Mobdro app of you're struggling to find something decent its usually reliable


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 6:27 pm

Shanahan is killing us at the minute, hes taking 4 or 5 steps away from the ruck before passing and Exeter are right on top of the receiver when they are getting the ball

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:05 pm

Poite has been generous to Exeter all game, Ulster scrum goes down penalty to Exeter, Exeter scrum goes down its play on. The only time he calls maul on the choke tackle is when there is already an Exeter advantage and even the advantages are going on a while

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:07 pm

There's just no way you can say that was a certain try.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Heaf on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:08 pm

To be fair he did call a high tackle as OK as it was apparently 'tackling the ball' - only if the Exeter player was carrying it under his chin ....

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:08 pm

And he goes and gives that

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:08 pm

Heaf wrote:To be fair he did call a high tackle as OK as it was apparently 'tackling the ball' - only if the Exeter player was carrying it under his chin ....

It did slip up but did tackle the ball initially

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Heaf on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:10 pm

Surely it's still a high tackle even if it slips up?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:23 pm

There was nothing in it

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:24 pm

Those players, against a team who had nothing to play for. Just not good enough.

Need to watch the Connacht game to check  Cooney out. Hope Toml is right about Cooney. But more interested in seeing how he is at scrum half.

Unless of course, giving Shanahan this 'exposure' will some day transform him into an international honours contender...

P.S. must we always talk about reffing decisions. Bad refs would be the least of our concerns at present.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Heaf on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:26 pm

marty2086 wrote:There was nothing in it

I'd agree but we've seen much less penalised this weekend - it's the same old lack of consistency ...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:28 pm

The defence was so easy to get around, given that Kiss was considered one of the best in the world when he was with Ireland whats he doing with Ulster?

The line speed was there then players would stop short and allow Exeter to get the pass off, which wouldn't be so bad except we were constantly short of numbers when the ball went wide

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:28 pm

Heaf wrote:
marty2086 wrote:There was nothing in it

I'd agree but we've seen much less penalised this weekend - it's the same old lack of consistency ...

He was consistent as Exeter had an identical one near the end

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:29 pm

Congrat's, Exeter. Deserved winner.

We are pathetic. Really bad.

With the run-in we have, we should make the top 6. That's about all we can hope for this year.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Heaf on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:33 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Heaf wrote:
marty2086 wrote:There was nothing in it

I'd agree but we've seen much less penalised this weekend - it's the same old lack of consistency ...

He was consistent as Exeter had an identical one near the end

I meant from one ref to another ...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 7:51 pm

Late watching the replay. Has anything happened about Henderson being knocked out in 67th min but staying on with no check?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Munchkin on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 8:18 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Late watching the replay. Has anything happened about Henderson being knocked out in 67th min but staying on with no check?

I must have missed it.

Considering the game finished not very long ago, what follow-up do you expect us to be aware of?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 8:23 pm

I was still watching at the time caught up now just didn't know if it had been picked up post match. Was trying to avoid scores from bbc etc!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 9:34 pm

Didn't see it in real time and there was no mention of it on BT that I watched. Does anyone have a replay?

Baxter said something interesting in the post match punditry. When asked about what the team talk was at half time he said, and I paraphrase here but you'll get the gist, "Well it was basically what the lads had worked out themselves during the first half, that the Ulster defence was very narrow and multiple phases allowed them space to go around."

There's a novelty for you. A coach who coaches his players to think on their feet and play what's infront of them rather than the obsession with Doak's fabled "strike moves" or Clarke's ....... does Clarke coach anything? I guess our lineout stats are not bad but ......

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 9:41 pm

Munchkin wrote:Congrat's, Exeter. Deserved winner.

We are pathetic. Really bad.

With the run-in we have, we should make the top 6. That's about all we can hope for this year.

Agree with this -well done to Exeter, the better team won the game.

The real question is whether prioritising this game over the Scarlets last week was worth it?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Sun 15 Jan 2017, 11:24 pm

Redman wrote:
Baxter said something interesting in the post match punditry.  When asked about what the team talk was at half time he said, and I paraphrase here but you'll get the gist, "Well it was basically what the lads had worked out themselves during the first half, that the Ulster defence was very narrow and multiple phases allowed them space to go around."

Thats what I was getting at earlier, it was made worse by us getting up in their faces and not engaging. Its been something we have been doing all season, we are seriously exposed out wide and we don't have a drift defence, its almost like we are afraid of getting caught up the middle and are trying to send teams out wide then not having a plan to deal with them when they get out there other than scramble and hope we can push them into touch.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 1:05 am

Munchkin wrote:Congrat's, Exeter. Deserved winner.

We are pathetic. Really bad.

With the run-in we have, we should make the top 6. That's about all we can hope for this year.


I suspect that Connacht will want to have a say about that.

Ulster were shambolic.  Kiss seems to have lost the plot on coaching.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by profitius on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 1:28 am

It's not all bad for Ulster. When Munster were at their lowest point last season I remember being calm about it because I knew change was on the way and the only way is up. That's the position Ulster are in now. It's been a horrible season but at least it might result in a spring cleaning and they can start to build something new next season.


Forget about Pienaar and accept he is leaving. What Ulster need is forwards. The likes of Black, Lutton, Warwick etc are ok squad men and good to have but Ulsters problem is having too many of those types of bog standard forwards. Wilson shouldn't be anywhere near the squad at the stage never mind getting as many starts as he does.


The rest of the season should be about trying to blood new forwards. Get a few wins and the confidence will return.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 10:29 am

I don't know if its quality of the the player in the pack or just their physicality, but the forwards lost nearly every collision yesterday.

Nearly every time there was a multi-phase play we went backwards phase after phase. Not parity but backwards. Even Henderson doesn't look like he will make ground very often. Someone like Callum Black is always going to be a poor ball carrier, but 7 out of 8 forwards? Thats unsustainable.

Do we need a raft of new players or is there a strength and conditioning issue where physically the players aren't up to it?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by rodders on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 10:49 am

toml wrote:
Do we need a raft of new players or is there a strength and conditioning issue where physically the players aren't up to it?

I think we are clearly not an 80 minute side right now but think that is mental as much as physical. I though we fronted up well in the first half but were ground down a bit later on.

One thing I have noticed this season is how good we can look off first and second phase - some of our attacking play under Kiss has been superb.

However after 3, 4 + phases, if we haven't scored we start to look all over the place. It reminds me of Ireland under the latter stages with Kidney (and Kiss!).

Interesting to hear Rob Baxter's interview also - once they saw that we always attacked and defended the same way they worked us out and got more confident as the game went on.

Time and time again they isolated Best one on one in midfield and once they read the ball round the back from Jackson they were able to smash Henderson and McCloskey backwards.

In defence we are too passive and too predictable in attack, lacking a plan B. Personally I blame Les Kiss as both were hallmarks of Ireland when he was involved.

Trimble's captaincy has been a disaster, it looks like he handed it to Rory before kick off. That was the worst I've seen him play in a few years.  In fairness Rory wasn't great either, in fact none of the big players bar McCloskey and Piatau did much.

On the positive side Shanahan looked decent and was unlucky not to score. We made 11 line breaks and scored 3 good tries. The set peice went better than expected considering the injuries we had.

It's frustrating because the game was there to be won but over the game Exeter were the better organised and cohesive side. Bar individual brilliance on a few occasions we'd have been hammered, which is probably the story of our season.  

Really impressed with Newell and Camagnaro, both caused us endless problems.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:05 am

toml wrote:I don't know if its quality of the the player in the pack or just their physicality, but the forwards lost nearly every collision yesterday.

Nearly every time there was a multi-phase play we went backwards phase after phase. Not parity but backwards. Even Henderson doesn't look like he will make ground very often. Someone like Callum Black is always going to be a poor ball carrier, but 7 out of 8 forwards? Thats unsustainable.

Do we need a raft of new players or is there a strength and conditioning issue where physically the players aren't up to it?

tom I think part of the problem, especially in the first half was Shanahans delivery. He wasn't getting the ball away from the ruck but carrying it away before passing, Exeter were close to offside quite a bit and were on top of the ball carriers who were often static, so you see them driven back

I was wondering last night about the S&C since every season now we seem to go through periods where we have a raft of injuries, I know its an attritional game but I hope its part of the ongoing 'review'.

For me Kane wasn't fit yesterday and it hurt us in the scrum, I know Luttons coming back from injury but surely he would have been better than an injured Kane?


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:35 am

Maybe this lad will break the gain line. 2 NIQ back rowers now

Ulster Rugby has today announced the capture of South African international Arno Botha, who will move to Belfast following the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby campaign. He will join the Province on a two-year deal.


Botha, who can operate either as a flanker or number eight, has made 46 Super Rugby appearances for the Bulls. He is currently vice-captain for the franchise, where he has spent his entire professional career.

The 25-year-old captained South Africa U20s in the 2011 World Championships in Italy and was also named as their Player of the Year after a string of impressive performances.

He made his debut for the Springboks against Italy in June 2013, but suffered a knee injury just four minutes into his second test, against Scotland, later that month.

Botha has been in superb form over the past couple of seasons and he captained the Blue Bulls as they made the final of last year's Currie Cup, South Africa's premier domestic competition.

Commenting on Botha's arrival, Director of Rugby Les Kiss said:

"Arno was tipped to be a future Springboks captain from a young age but his career was somewhat curtailed by injuries after he made his international debut in 2013. Those injuries are behind him now and he has regained his best form over the past 12 months.

"His leadership and abrasiveness will be key attributes for us over the next couple of seasons. He is very aggressive in attack and his ability to get over the gainline will be especially good for us. Arno is also strong in defence, he's a nuisance at the breakdown and he's a good lineout option, so he has a very well-rounded game.

"He is an ambitious young man and he is determined to make an impact with us. He is a serious competitor who is willing to work hard to earn his jersey. I believe he will settle well in our environment and become a huge fan favourite here at Kingspan Stadium.

"Bryn Cunningham and myself have been working hard to add quality and depth to our squad for next season, particularly up front, and Arno is a great addition in that respect. Marcell (Coetzee) is yet to play for us so he will almost be like a new signing too. In the coming weeks, we will announce a further addition to strengthen the forward pack, as well as the retention of some of our high-profile current players."

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/news/15645.php#.WHyvVmVjnFI

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:42 am

The best bit is that there will be another forward signed, hopefully a quality one too


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by UlsterinKildare on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:43 am

As usual, most of the Ulster fans on this forum have an over-inflated opinion of Les Kiss. A career assistant coach, who's reputation was entirely made on the back of a great Irish team. Simply not good enough to lead a coaching set-up at provincial level. Limited in his game planning, tactics, talent evaluation and leadership. A decent no. 2, that's about it.

What's crazy is that the people who are lauding Kiss were the same ones who were first to criticise Anscombe. Kiss's teams have had arguably as much,  if not more talent, yet Ulster have regressed during his tenure.

And now apparently, if we believe what's in the media,  he is being given free rein to appoint his own staff. This is going to set Ulster rugby back 5 years. By the time that Logan and the rest realise that it's all gone Pete Tong, we'll have wasted the best years of some of our most talented players. Jackson, Olding, Henderson, Marshall, Stockdale, O'Connor and Co. will spend their Ulster careers in an underperforming environment under the 'leadership' of a coach who is clearly out of his depth.

Just look at recent performances...  Can anyone honestly say that Ulster are even playing to 75% of their potential? Does it look as if it's getting better? Has Kiss improved performances from last season, or the season before?

Doak and Clarke may not be up to the required standard either, but they are convenient scapegoats for another wasted season under Kiss.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:54 am

UlsterinKildare wrote:As usual, most of the Ulster fans on this forum have an over-inflated opinion of Les Kiss. A career assistant coach, who's reputation was entirely made on the back of a great Irish team. Simply not good enough to lead a coaching set-up at provincial level. Limited in his game planning, tactics, talent evaluation and leadership. A decent no. 2, that's about it.

What's crazy is that the people who are lauding Kiss were the same ones who were first to criticise Anscombe. Kiss's teams have had arguably as much,  if not more talent, yet Ulster have regressed during his tenure.

Sorry but who has been lauding Kiss? At no point, especially recently I have seen no one praise him, the criticism has focused on Clarke and Doak granted but since they are the constant in recent times with the same problems from Anscombe to Kiss then its fair to assume they are part of the problem.

If Kiss is handcuffed by them then he deserves the opportunity to work free of them, by the way Erasmus has never been a head coach, nor has Cullen yet they aren't having their credentials questioned

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 11:59 am

UlsterinKildare wrote:As usual, most of the Ulster fans on this forum have an over-inflated opinion of Les Kiss. A career assistant coach, who's reputation was entirely made on the back of a great Irish team. Simply not good enough to lead a coaching set-up at provincial level. Limited in his game planning, tactics, talent evaluation and leadership. A decent no. 2, that's about it.

What's crazy is that the people who are lauding Kiss were the same ones who were first to criticise Anscombe. Kiss's teams have had arguably as much,  if not more talent, yet Ulster have regressed during his tenure.

And now apparently, if we believe what's in the media,  he is being given free rein to appoint his own staff. This is going to set Ulster rugby back 5 years. By the time that Logan and the rest realise that it's all gone Pete Tong, we'll have wasted the best years of some of our most talented players. Jackson, Olding, Henderson, Marshall, Stockdale, O'Connor and Co. will spend their Ulster careers in an underperforming environment under the 'leadership' of a coach who is clearly out of his depth.

Just look at recent performances...  Can anyone honestly say that Ulster are even playing to 75% of their potential? Does it look as if it's getting better? Has Kiss improved performances from last season, or the season before?

Doak and Clarke may not be up to the required standard either, but they are convenient scapegoats for another wasted season under Kiss.

To find out if Kiss is any kop, give him some decent coaches to work with.

Cullen has had assistance from Graham Henry and Lancaster... Leinster have looked miles better than last season.




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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:14 pm

Haven't seen enough of Ulster play this year to make a reading of the detail of how they play...but it does look like Kiss is having a bad time as head coach.  He managed to push himself into a hidden corner for most of his time with Ireland and watch as other coaches took the flak.  Now he's exposed more and I've always been curious to see what he looks like when he becomes the fall guy.

That said, there are probably a number of mitigating factors that have added to the mood up there that would not lend itself to establishing a nice rhythm through the season.  So one more season of grace.

But I really do think he's going through a bit of a midlife crisis and I think the results and performances would go up instantly if he just shaved off that thing on his chin. Wink  
I only half jest.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:27 pm

Ulster Rugby has today confirmed that scrumhalf John Cooney has signed a two-year contract at Kingspan Stadium and will move from inter-provincial rivals Connacht at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old started his career with Leinster, making his competitive debut in September 2011 in an away fixture versus Ospreys. He then made his European bow later that season when Leinster beat Ulster in the 2012 Heineken Cup Final.

Cooney made 27 appearances for the RDS club before moving to Connacht for the 2014-15 season, where he has amassed 30 caps.

Commenting on his decision to move north, Cooney said:

"I'm delighted to be joining Ulster. My mum lived in Belfast for a few years and she really enjoyed the city so that made my decision a lot easier.

"Les Kiss was a big factor is my move too as he's so well-respected and I believe I can develop my game under his coaching. I spoke with him at length a few times about his hopes for Ulster Rugby and it sounds like an exciting time to be involved in the set-up.

"I loved my time in Galway and it re-energised my career, but I felt it was the right time for a fresh challenge. I have aspirations to play international rugby but first and foremost my focus will be on earning the starting scrumhalf position at Ulster."

Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, said:

"Having searched domestically and abroad for the best available Irish-qualified scrumhalf, John was undoubtedly our number 1 target and we're delighted that he'll come on board from this summer. Bryn (Cunningham) has been on the ball throughout this process and has been working quietly in the background to ensure the deal was completed successfully.

"John has had a couple of unfortunate niggles which have restricted his game-time, but what really impressed me is his attitude and competitive approach in coming here to Ulster and wanting to earn a starting jersey on a weekly basis. He is a driven person who wants to develop his game and he certainly has the attributes to do so. I know from speaking with the Irish management team that they also rate him very highly and he has the potential to play international rugby.

"He is a great talent; threatening in attack, strong in defence, has a good kicking game and excellent game management skills. I think he will really suit the style of play that we will play next season, with a strong mobile pack and an exciting backline.

"Our pack will be strengthened by a couple of additions next season and they should help to provide the platform for our scrumhalves and outside backs to thrive."

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:44 pm


Ulster Rugby has today announced the capture of South African international Arno Botha, who will move to Belfast following the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby campaign. He will join the Province on a two-year deal.


Botha, who can operate either as a flanker or number eight, has made 46 Super Rugby appearances for the Bulls. He is currently vice-captain for the franchise, where he has spent his entire professional career.

The 25-year-old captained South Africa U20s in the 2011 World Championships in Italy and was also named as their Player of the Year after a string of impressive performances.

He made his debut for the Springboks against Italy in June 2013, but suffered a knee injury just four minutes into his second test, against Scotland, later that month.

Botha has been in superb form over the past couple of seasons and he captained the Blue Bulls as they made the final of last year's Currie Cup, South Africa's premier domestic competition.

Commenting on Botha's arrival, Director of Rugby Les Kiss said:

"Arno was tipped to be a future Springboks captain from a young age but his career was somewhat curtailed by injuries after he made his international debut in 2013. Those injuries are behind him now and he has regained his best form over the past 12 months.

"His leadership and abrasiveness will be key attributes for us over the next couple of seasons. He is very aggressive in attack and his ability to get over the gainline will be especially good for us. Arno is also strong in defence, he's a nuisance at the breakdown and he's a good lineout option, so he has a very well-rounded game.

"He is an ambitious young man and he is determined to make an impact with us. He is a serious competitor who is willing to work hard to earn his jersey. I believe he will settle well in our environment and become a huge fan favourite here at Kingspan Stadium.

"Bryn Cunningham and myself have been working hard to add quality and depth to our squad for next season, particularly up front, and Arno is a great addition in that respect. Marcell (Coetzee) is yet to play for us so he will almost be like a new signing too. In the coming weeks, we will announce a further addition to strengthen the forward pack, as well as the retention of some of our high-profile current players."

I'm super excited to hear about some IQ 27 yr old who was once in the Leinster academy but didn't make the cut and has been playing in the english second division. Now is your chance to step up Mr Medi O'Cre!


(I suppose a project in the mould of Stander would be a VERY welcome surprise, but I'll not hold my breath!)

clivemcl

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:48 pm

laughing Very well done, clive.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:49 pm

marty2086 wrote:


Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, said:

"Having searched domestically and abroad for the best available Irish-qualified scrumhalf, John was undoubtedly our number 1 target... speaking with the Irish management team that they also rate him very highly and he has the potential to play international rugby.
"

Sounds like they weren't interested in Hart at Racing...

Having watched Cooney a few times, he looks streets ahead of Marshall and Shanahan.

Injury prone though.


Last edited by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

toml

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 12:51 pm

clivemcl wrote:
Ulster Rugby has today announced the capture of South African international Arno Botha, who will move to Belfast following the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby campaign. He will join the Province on a two-year deal.


Botha, who can operate either as a flanker or number eight, has made 46 Super Rugby appearances for the Bulls. He is currently vice-captain for the franchise, where he has spent his entire professional career.

The 25-year-old captained South Africa U20s in the 2011 World Championships in Italy and was also named as their Player of the Year after a string of impressive performances.

He made his debut for the Springboks against Italy in June 2013, but suffered a knee injury just four minutes into his second test, against Scotland, later that month.

Botha has been in superb form over the past couple of seasons and he captained the Blue Bulls as they made the final of last year's Currie Cup, South Africa's premier domestic competition.

Commenting on Botha's arrival, Director of Rugby Les Kiss said:

"Arno was tipped to be a future Springboks captain from a young age but his career was somewhat curtailed by injuries after he made his international debut in 2013. Those injuries are behind him now and he has regained his best form over the past 12 months.

"His leadership and abrasiveness will be key attributes for us over the next couple of seasons. He is very aggressive in attack and his ability to get over the gainline will be especially good for us. Arno is also strong in defence, he's a nuisance at the breakdown and he's a good lineout option, so he has a very well-rounded game.

"He is an ambitious young man and he is determined to make an impact with us. He is a serious competitor who is willing to work hard to earn his jersey. I believe he will settle well in our environment and become a huge fan favourite here at Kingspan Stadium.

"Bryn Cunningham and myself have been working hard to add quality and depth to our squad for next season, particularly up front, and Arno is a great addition in that respect. Marcell (Coetzee) is yet to play for us so he will almost be like a new signing too. In the coming weeks, we will announce a further addition to strengthen the forward pack, as well as the retention of some of our high-profile current players."

I'm super excited to hear about some IQ 27 yr old who was once in the Leinster academy but didn't make the cut and has been playing in the english second division. Now is your chance to step up Mr Medi O'Cre!


(I suppose a project in the mould of Stander would be a VERY welcome surprise, but I'll not hold my breath!)

I reckon the other forward signing may be a loose head. Callums Black looks cooked, Warwick very average and McCall still developing

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 16 Jan 2017, 1:07 pm



Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, said:

"Having searched domestically and abroad for the best available Irish-qualified scrumhalf, John was undoubtedly our number 1 target... speaking with the Irish management team that they also rate him very highly and he has the potential to play international rugby.
"

He's coming 27. He will be 28 before he finishes his first season with us. To gain an international cap at that age, he is competing with Murray, Marmion, McGrath, Hart and Blade and Jamison Gibson-Park come 2019.

Nucifora and his mates are having a laugh with that comment!

Don't get me wrong - he is likely to be the best scrum-half Ulster have had outside Pienaar in many a year, but to me, they are trying to justify their stance by claiming he can compete for international honours.

I'll be happy to be proved wrong though!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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