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 23 Jan 2017, 1:04 pm

Redman wrote:
Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have? 

That's the thing, Piutau is reportedly on about £500k. Heaslip is on that kind of money so you could pay a Conan, Dom Ryan a lot less or you could pick up a Butler or Dougall who are at Pau or a Tahdg Beirne who can play in the second and back rows and looks good at Scarlets.

So you can get two or three players in, also players like Stockdale and Lyttle would get more game time without him ahead of them which would have a longer term benefit

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 1:07 pm

For Piutau, I believe we were told that we were not allowed any further NIQ players in the forwards (certainly not allowed in second and back row and prob tight head prop anyway).

Meaning that we were only allowed a NIQ signing in the backs (maybe hooker or LHP), and we went out and got the best one we could, and Piutau is certainly the best back we could have got.

Can't blame Cunningham for that, he actually did well.

I know its placing a lot on one player but I think Coetzee can turn our season around.
As pointed out previously, our defence is actually sound, its our lack of tries that is costing us, we have the best backline in the league and are not able to use it, I hope that once Coetzee is in, we can get cleaner ball to the backs, half breaks that they can finish off.
I know its placing a lot on one player, but remember with Nick Williams, how he afforded us the breaks to finish off, I'm hoping for something, not quite as good but similar, who is also a beast at the breakdown and frees up Henry to get back to his best.

If we have Coetzee and Henry able to at least get par at the breakdowns, and help release the backline, we can start pouring in the tries we need.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 1:33 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Redman wrote:
Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have? 

That's the thing, Piutau is reportedly on about £500k. Heaslip is on that kind of money so you could pay a Conan, Dom Ryan a lot less or you could pick up a Butler or Dougall who are at Pau or a Tahdg Beirne who can play in the second and back rows and looks good at Scarlets.

So you can get two or three players in, also players like Stockdale and Lyttle would get more game time without him ahead of them which would have a longer term benefit

I don't think paying a Conan, Heaslip wages would be in our benefit long term, imagine we had this summer. When Henry's contract came up for renewal he would have wanted to get at least the same as Conan and you could see his point.
Diack as twice capped and Reidy would have wanted a pay increase etc, Coetzee may then feel he didn't get that good a deal, and could have held out for more, and may get pissed of.

I don't think you can offer an IQ backrow much over his current contact to move, throwing money at it, will mean that others will want more as well, and its self defeating in the long run.

I believe that the IQ backrows were offered competitive deals, and the promise of more gametime, to move, realistically we cannot offer way more than market value, or we create problems. We offered that and were turned down, we cannot then go back and offer way over the odds, or we create problems in the wage structure.

Really we need Leinster or Munster to not offer one of their players a contact extension to force a move, but this won't happen, as it would cause upset in their own squad, and the player may get pissed off and move to England/France which would be Irelands loss. So isn't going to happen.
Maybe if a player was offered a central contact on condition that they moved would help, but again, if they are good enough for a central contact their home province would be pissed of at the IRFU for making that offer, and losing them.

In truth we can only do what we are doing.


Last edited by Kingshu on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 1:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added last paragraph)

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 1:54 pm

I've said this before. The whole 'nobody will come North' thing to me is a joke. Truth is, nobody will come North for what Ulster are offering.
Everyone has a price. It seems those in charge of the purse strings would rather we pushed the IRFU to get whatever NIQ and foreigner we can, rather than pay too much to some squad player from Dublin. Completely ignoring the fact that a squad player for them could be a nailed on starter for us.

If anyone things paying the like of Conan or Murphy a six figure sum is lunacy, might I suggest that paying an even greater sum for a full-back/wing we don't need and cannot utilise is a far greater lunacy!

Ulster need to pay shell out whatever it takes to get IQ players in weak positions.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 1:59 pm

Kingshu wrote:For Piutau, I believe we were told that we were not allowed any further NIQ players in the forwards (certainly not allowed in  second and back row and prob tight head prop anyway).

Meaning that we were only allowed a NIQ signing in the backs (maybe hooker or LHP), and we went out and got the best one we could, and Piutau is certainly the best back we could have got.

Can't blame Cunningham for that, he actually did well.


I know its placing a lot on one player but I think Coetzee can turn our season around.
As pointed out previously, our defence is actually sound, its our lack of tries that is costing us, we have the best backline in the league and are not able to use it, I hope that once Coetzee is in, we can get cleaner ball to the backs, half breaks that they can finish off.
I know its placing a lot on one player, but remember with Nick Williams, how he afforded us the breaks to finish off, I'm hoping for something, not quite as good but similar, who is also a beast at the breakdown and frees up Henry to get back to his best.

If we have Coetzee and Henry able to at least get par at the breakdowns, and help release the backline, we can start pouring in the tries we need.


Actually Kingshu, I would blame him for that. We don't HAVE to take our full NIQ allocation. Piutau signed for two years I believe. That means that a)the money and b) the NIQ spot is tied up during the end of this season. A season where we see two other NIQ's leave and we should be looking to spend.
You take the hit one year knowing that at end of that year you have more NIQ spots and money to play with when shopping around.
I don't think it's fair to say they spent a shed load and locked themselves into a two year NIQ contract just because their options were limited.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:04 pm

Kingshu wrote:
I don't think paying a Conan, Heaslip wages would be in our benefit long term, imagine we had this summer. When Henry's contract came up for renewal he would have wanted to get at least the same as Conan and you could see his point.
Diack as twice capped and Reidy would have wanted a pay increase etc, Coetzee may then feel he didn't get that good a deal, and could have held out for more, and may get pissed of.

Why does this argument only refer to IQ players. You don't think any of our backs might look at Piutau's wages and think 'Ulster have THIS kinda money to be throwing around? Am I getting enough of it?'.

At end of the day, it's business. The value of anything is decided by the NEED for it. Maybe it's right that Henry demands more money knowing that Ulster don't develop many other good backrowers...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:09 pm

Kingshu wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Redman wrote:
Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have? 

That's the thing, Piutau is reportedly on about £500k. Heaslip is on that kind of money so you could pay a Conan, Dom Ryan a lot less or you could pick up a Butler or Dougall who are at Pau or a Tahdg Beirne who can play in the second and back rows and looks good at Scarlets.

So you can get two or three players in, also players like Stockdale and Lyttle would get more game time without him ahead of them which would have a longer term benefit

I don't think paying a Conan, Heaslip wages would be in our benefit long term, imagine we had this summer. When Henry's contract came up for renewal he would have wanted to get at least the same as Conan and you could see his point.
Diack as twice capped and Reidy would have wanted a pay increase etc, Coetzee may then feel he didn't get that good a deal, and could have held out for more, and may get pissed of.

I don't think you can offer an IQ backrow much over his current contact to move, throwing money at it, will mean that others will want more as well, and its self defeating in the long run.

I believe that the IQ backrows were offered competitive deals, and the promise of more gametime, to move, realistically we cannot offer way more than market value, or we create problems.

Im not saying we pay them the same as Heaslip, Im, saying you could offer a slightly more competitive rate to bring them in and could get two or maybe three players for that amount of money if you use it wisely.

I mentioned Beirne who was released over the summer by Leinster and is now looking like a quality player at Scarlets, Im betting he could have been signed fairly cheap.

Flanagan at Saracens can play lock was signed from Bedford in the summer but has played all of 7 mins in the AP this season and is 5th choice now they have brought Skelton in.

Theres quite a few IQ forwards out there that Leinster and Munster in particular have let go, most aren't up to scratch but there clearly are a few who could provide cover and competition which is what we are severely lacking.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:23 pm

Let's not overthink things. Bryn and his signings have been / will be world class in nature.

Remember that Piutau was signed over 2 years ago. March 2015. We weren't overflowing with backrowers but Wilson was doing ... ok. Reidy was on the verge of a Ireland call up. Dow was still someone they thought might come good and Nick Williams was still with us.

The real issue wasn't signing Piutau then, rather it's when we should have taken an offer from Wasps at the end of 2016 season (which was on the cards) when we could see that we had precious few backrow options for this season. That kind of joined up thinking / squad management isn't Bryn alone, it's Kiss and everyone else.

Point taken on increasing the natives salaries, but there's two sides to that coin. Failure this season means we need to pay existing Ulster players even more to stay (Jackson - if he signs, etc) and more for NIQs to come to a team which isn't competing for anything meaningful. I think you'll ebb away cash regardless. Many Leinster players could get paid more in France, but they opt to stay to compete for club and country. That's the benefit that success brings. The same isn't usually the case for the other regions / clubs / countries (Scotland, Wales, Italy) with nothing to play for.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:31 pm

clivemcl wrote:
Kingshu wrote:
I don't think paying a Conan, Heaslip wages would be in our benefit long term, imagine we had this summer. When Henry's contract came up for renewal he would have wanted to get at least the same as Conan and you could see his point.
Diack as twice capped and Reidy would have wanted a pay increase etc, Coetzee may then feel he didn't get that good a deal, and could have held out for more, and may get pissed of.

Why does this argument only refer to IQ players. You don't think any of our backs might look at Piutau's wages and think 'Ulster have THIS kinda money to be throwing around? Am I getting enough of it?'.

At end of the day, it's business. The value of anything is decided by the NEED for it. Maybe it's right that Henry demands more money knowing that Ulster don't develop many other good backrowers...

The difference in this is that Piatau is a world class player. None of our backs realistically can say I am a world class player so I deserve the same as Piatau. If you bring in a forward who has lets say been capped once for Ireland then Diack, Reidy, Henry, Hendo, Best, Herbst, Ah You, Herring etc could all say I am as good as this guy I should be getting paid the same, then you have Coetzee maybe saying I am better so I should be on even more. The cost starts to grow and grow and once the wages go up they cannot come back down, every player you sign after that will have to have that wage or more and eventually it spirals out of control to the point were Ulster cannot afford to pay their players.
You are quite right in that players are worth more depending on their need but you also have to be responsible and not overpay.
Just for clarification I don't think Piatau should have be signed and we should have used that money elsewhere, I am merely using this as an example

I also think that if we would actually play our young back rowers like Leinster and Munster do and not be so deathly afraid of giving youth a chance we may find we don't need back rows as desperately as we thought. I mean the likes of Lorcan Dow were considered good enough to be on the best 23 players in the whole of Ireland at U-20 level yet cannot even get a smidget of gametime for us? He's not the only one we have in the academy either who has played U-20's for Ireland maybe if you just give them a chance instead of flogging people like Wilson who relaistically have no business playing for Ulster anymore maybe they would turn good.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:42 pm

The problem is Piutau could command the same or more elsewhere and guys like Henderson and Best are on central contracts. Would any of the rest get picked up by another province? Some might get a contract at Munster as a back up or a into a mid table AP team or lower but it would be hard for them to turn round and say pay me more or somebody else will

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:46 pm

I'll tell you one thing for sure, If we don't re-sign Paddy, Ulster may have a riot on their hands. (Well a virtual, facebook based riot).
Seriously though, that could be the last straw for a lot of people. I'm sure there are plenty sniffing around him!

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Kingshu on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 2:52 pm

clivemcl wrote:
Kingshu wrote:
I don't think paying a Conan, Heaslip wages would be in our benefit long term, imagine we had this summer. When Henry's contract came up for renewal he would have wanted to get at least the same as Conan and you could see his point.
Diack as twice capped and Reidy would have wanted a pay increase etc, Coetzee may then feel he didn't get that good a deal, and could have held out for more, and may get pissed of.

Why does this argument only refer to IQ players. You don't think any of our backs might look at Piutau's wages and think 'Ulster have THIS kinda money to be throwing around? Am I getting enough of it?'.

At end of the day, it's business. The value of anything is decided by the NEED for it. Maybe it's right that Henry demands more money knowing that Ulster don't develop many other good backrowers...

Piutau is a 16 times capped All Black and one one the best wings in Europe, which means his wage demands are high, I don't think Darren Cave would be annoyed he's not on the same wage as he isn;t the same caliber of player.
Conan is a one cap irish international, and has potential, but is currently not one of the best in Europe.

If you were talking about paying a big wage for one of the best in Europe like Heaslip, CJ Stander or POM that that would be ok, but these players are not for leaving.
To offer the same kind of wage to Copeland, Conan, or Ruddock would just unbalance the wage structure, and push it up to unsustainable levels across the Backrow. Doing this may represent a short term solution, but in the long run we would be hurting ourselves, and pushing players wages up to levels we cannot sustain.

If we offer Copeland, Conan, or Ruddock big money to move we would also have to give big money to Henry, Henderson, maybe Best. Diack, Reidy even the likes of Ross and Low would look for big increases when their contact is up for renewal, and there is no way we can sustain that.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 3:06 pm

Yea, but that is business, the lack of backrowers should be upping the value of Henry Henderson, Reidy anyway. If anything, the fact that it is obvious that nobody wants to come north, and the reluctance to play the youngsters only further increases the value of those looking a contract extension.

If I was Reidy I'd be filling my boots.
'I'd like a good bit more please but... I guess you could maybe give Roger another contract'.

I think theres some confusion here though. I'm not suggesting we sky rocket the money here. I'm talking maybe a 20/30% hike in our offers.

In real terms, that could be 30/40/50k extra per year, and actually getting game time. I just don't buy it. I just have a sneaky feeling Ulster are refusing to give these guys decent offers.

If I were Conan or Murphy, I'd be offended if I was offered the same as Diack or Ross.

And maybe, we have a reputation among players as a province that throws our money at big stars and don't pay the honest squad members well enough...

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 3:10 pm

Leaving ourselves short in the backrow has the potential to drive up wages too, if we are short of numbers it means we need to retain those we have even more driving up their value to us.

If we do sign someone to come north for a bit extra, if they contribute to success it ends up paying for itself through prize money, increased sponsorship etc

At the minute we have Henry, Reidy and Ross signed on for next season plus Coetzee and Botha who are both coming back from injury but will hopefully be fit. Diack and Henderson look like they will be needed at lock and we have Dow who should be getting more game time so we do need to splash cash somewhere.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Maine man on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:02 pm

Is there any young second rows coming through?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:19 pm

Coming up on a year since his debut. Has he featured again since??

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:32 pm

The thing is maybe it is not even a money issue, maybe the offer Ulster are coming with is actually acceptable monetarily to these guys but there are other things stopping them.
Lets say you are a promising back row at Leinster and Ulster approach you, they offer you a decent package to move, financially you are happy with it but you get thinking.
You think to yourself maybe Ulster are in regression and is that going to help you and your chances internationally?
You think to yourself so much has been said about those coaches and about how players are stagnating at Ulster and you wonder if you aren't better to stay were the coaching is better?
You see the fact Ulster would rather flog a past it old player than give youth even a small chance and maybe that tells you something?
Maybe when you add that all up, combine it with the fact you would be away from home, family, friends etc, the stories you hear about Belfast and the fact you may believe you can break into the Leinster team (which you probably have to have to be good enough to make it that far in the first place) and perhaps Ulster does not look like an exciting prospect

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:50 pm

clivemcl wrote:Coming up on a year since his debut. Has he featured again since??

There is absolutely no good reason he should not be playing ahead of Wilson

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:53 pm

Maine man wrote:Is there any young second rows coming through?

Thompson is the one they have big hopes for, think he's only 21/21 and there's Donnan too who's a few years older and on a development contract

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:54 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:Coming up on a year since his debut. Has he featured again since??

There is absolutely no good reason he should not be playing ahead of Wilson

Weren't we told that Wilsons experience was vital because he had a better understanding of the complexities of the breakdown Erm

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 4:59 pm

I don't know who thinks that but they need to take a look at the breakdown this year and see how many times he has been any use at it lol
Seriously like experiance is all well and good if it's in conjunction with ability and Wilson doesn't have the ability or legs to do it anymore so his experiance adds nothing, I question that anyway as it's not like he was ever a huge leader figure in the Ulster team anyway.
If Wilson plays you have a player who we can see is terrible right now playing but if Dow plays even he may fit perfectly into that team, he may be a sensation. Even if he is not even if he is not great he cannot be much worse in Wilson and he can develop and elarn from the experaince and grow as a player to potentially be better where as Wilson can't.
The decision to continuely play Wilson ahead of Dow is something I will never ever understand

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by clivemcl on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 5:11 pm

Considering we had a period of Henderson, Henry and Coetzee all being injured and he still didn't get a look. Has he even made the bench?

How can he be expected to get game time now with europe qualification at stake, and Coetzee back...

I could see him jumping ship, and it would be no more than Ulster deserve. Don't forget this is a young lad living away from home. He could be with his friends and family in England playing regular Championship rugby.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 7:53 pm

clivemcl wrote:Considering we had a period of Henderson, Henry and Coetzee all being injured and he still didn't get a look. Has he even made the bench?

How can he be expected to get game time now with europe qualification at stake, and Coetzee back...

I could see him jumping ship, and it would be no more than Ulster deserve. Don't forget this is a young lad living away from home. He could be with his friends and family in England playing regular Championship rugby.

I was thinking that myself, if I was him I would probably leave, given his potential he could quite easily be playing championship rugby and if he proved good enough premiership rugby, it really is remarkable we have not given him a chance
Anytime Wilson plays he should be playing instead

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 7:55 pm

Ulster A will play Munster A away in the B and I cup quarter final

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 8:24 pm

neilthom7 wrote:Ulster A will play Munster A away in the B and I cup quarter final

Its only the third time Ulster have got to the QFs and the first two times they lost to Munster A

Im glad to see its a tournament thats being taken seriously and hopefully it'll contribute to creating a winning mentality at Ulster

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 8:34 pm

marty2086 wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Ulster A will play Munster A away in the B and I cup quarter final

Its only the third time Ulster have got to the QFs and the first two times they lost to Munster A

Im glad to see its a tournament thats being taken seriously and hopefully it'll contribute to creating a winning mentality at Ulster

Makes you wonder if they should be in the first team instead lol seriously though it will benefit their development

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 8:39 pm

neilthom7 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Ulster A will play Munster A away in the B and I cup quarter final

Its only the third time Ulster have got to the QFs and the first two times they lost to Munster A

Im glad to see its a tournament thats being taken seriously and hopefully it'll contribute to creating a winning mentality at Ulster

Makes you wonder if they should be in the first team instead lol seriously though it will benefit their development

If you look back at the top players in the tournament in recent years players like Leavy, Marsh, Byrne, Scannell, O'Mahoney and Kelleher have all done the business there and now they are regulars for their provinces

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 8:45 pm

marty2086 wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:Ulster A will play Munster A away in the B and I cup quarter final

Its only the third time Ulster have got to the QFs and the first two times they lost to Munster A

Im glad to see its a tournament thats being taken seriously and hopefully it'll contribute to creating a winning mentality at Ulster

Makes you wonder if they should be in the first team instead lol seriously though it will benefit their development

If you look back at the top players in the tournament in recent years players like Leavy, Marsh, Byrne, Scannell, O'Mahoney and Kelleher have all done the business there and now they are regulars for their provinces

Well lets hope that works out for some of these guys then and lets hope that we actually give them a shot when they are ready

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 10:46 pm

Redman wrote:Piutau is sublime.  He may well be the best winger in Europe at the minute.  But what people are saying is, is he value for money if our backs are playing on the backfoot?

Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have?

That's not a slight on Bryn.  He's a keeper and has done extremely well, but we need to ensure our signings marry up to a) the game plan and b) our current squad needs.  

How has Bryn done extemely well? Ulster need forwards so he brings in guys like Clive Ross, Charlie Butterworth, Ruaidhri Murphy and Rodney Ah You - Pete Browne has done OK though. Coetzee should be good but has still to appear and Botha's injury record isn't promising.
In the backs Piutau was a good signing except he couldn't come for season which wasn't good for Ulster so does that offset Paul Rowley and Sam Windsor? Then there was the Ludik fiasco where Bryn gets special dispensation to keep him, when he maybe should have been letting him go and trying to get the dispensation for Pienaar instead.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Mon 23 Jan 2017, 10:56 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Redman wrote:Piutau is sublime.  He may well be the best winger in Europe at the minute.  But what people are saying is, is he value for money if our backs are playing on the backfoot?

Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have?

That's not a slight on Bryn.  He's a keeper and has done extremely well, but we need to ensure our signings marry up to a) the game plan and b) our current squad needs.  

How has Bryn done extemely well? Ulster need forwards so he brings in guys like Clive Ross, Charlie Butterworth, Ruaidhri Murphy and Rodney Ah You - Pete Browne has done OK though. Coetzee should be good but has still to appear and Botha's injury record isn't promising.
In the backs Piutau was a good signing except he couldn't come for season which wasn't good for Ulster so does that offset Paul Rowley and Sam Windsor? Then there was the Ludik fiasco where Bryn gets special dispensation to keep him, when he maybe should have been letting him go and trying to get the dispensation for Pienaar instead.


The only one of those forwards you slate Bryn for signing that he actually signed was Ah You.

You actually think nott keeping Ludik would have made any difference to Pienaars situation? Keeping a versatile future IQ player and get an IQ 9 playing regularly or keep a 30 something NIQ 9? I know we say Nucifora is illogical but that would make less sense than anything hes done so far

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by profitius on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 1:38 am

I just had a look over the Ireland U20 thread. It shows the players selected for the U20 world cup squads.

Number of Ulster forwards.
2016 - 1
2015 - 3
2014 - 1
2013 - 3
2012 - 1
2011 - 5

The 2011 crop includes Connacht's Bealham and Connor Carey! Henderson included in 2011 and 2012.

So there you have the problem and that's where resources should be directed and apparently they have been. Get that right first because Ulster or any other Irish team cannot spend their way to success.

The U20 6N squad will be announced today. I've heard there's a better crop from Ulster on the way in the next few seasons. That's good but patience will be needed as it takes a few years to transition to senior rugby.
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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 9:27 am

profitius wrote:I just had a look over the Ireland U20 thread. It shows the players selected for the U20 world cup squads.

Number of Ulster forwards.
2016 - 1
2015 - 3
2014 - 1
2013 - 3
2012 - 1
2011 - 5

The 2011 crop includes Connacht's Bealham and Connor Carey! Henderson included in 2011 and 2012.

So there you have the problem and that's where resources should be directed and apparently they have been. Get that right first because Ulster or any other Irish team cannot spend their way to success.

The U20 6N squad will be announced today. I've heard there's a better crop from Ulster on the way in the next few seasons. That's good but patience will be needed as it takes a few years to transition to senior rugby.

4 of the 13 forwards as well have been hookers as well

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 2:07 pm

marty2086 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Redman wrote:Piutau is sublime.  He may well be the best winger in Europe at the minute.  But what people are saying is, is he value for money if our backs are playing on the backfoot?

Could his £XXX,XXX salary not have been spent on say Conan.  Sure we'd be making a prospect with only 1 international cap one of the highest paid players in the UK, maybe even the world.  But it's more aligned with what we need rather than what is ... amazing as Piutau is, a nice to have.  

Appreciate Conan turned us down, but did we offer him Piutau wages?  Should we have?

That's not a slight on Bryn.  He's a keeper and has done extremely well, but we need to ensure our signings marry up to a) the game plan and b) our current squad needs.  

How has Bryn done extemely well? Ulster need forwards so he brings in guys like Clive Ross, Charlie Butterworth, Ruaidhri Murphy and Rodney Ah You - Pete Browne has done OK though. Coetzee should be good but has still to appear and Botha's injury record isn't promising.
In the backs Piutau was a good signing except he couldn't come for season which wasn't good for Ulster so does that offset Paul Rowley and Sam Windsor? Then there was the Ludik fiasco where Bryn gets special dispensation to keep him, when he maybe should have been letting him go and trying to get the dispensation for Pienaar instead.


The only one of those forwards you slate Bryn for signing that he actually signed was Ah You.

You actually think nott keeping Ludik would have made any difference to Pienaars situation? Keeping a versatile future IQ player and get an IQ 9 playing regularly or keep a 30 something NIQ 9? I know we say Nucifora is illogical but that would make less sense than anything hes done so far

Bryn replaced his mate Humphreys at Cornerflag/Esportif so was on the scouting/selling side of some of those players, but irrespective of that the absence of quality forward signings is just as much an indictment of his performance as those that he signed.

It would have been fine keeping Ludik, except that Ulster already had the promising Scholes who had the potential to play Test rugby. Ludik is now 30 and is shy of Test class (and not IQ until next season), whereas Scholes is 23 and will be potentially SQ by the time he is 26 - doesn't seem to be too much logic in evidence letting the younger and potentially better player go. Add to that it was clear then that Pienaar's contract would not be extended further, so any 'dispensation' should have been negotiated to either retain Pienaar or a NIQ alternative rather than use that joker to keep Ludik who despite his exemplary attitude was blocking Scholes, Stockdale, Nelson and now Lyttle.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 2:18 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Bryn replaced his mate Humphreys at Cornerflag/Esportif so was on the scouting/selling side of some of those players, but irrespective of that the absence of quality forward signings is just as much an indictment of his performance as those that he signed.

It would have been fine keeping Ludik, except that Ulster already had the promising Scholes who had the potential to play Test rugby. Ludik is now 30 and is shy of Test class (and not IQ until next season), whereas Scholes is 23 and will be potentially SQ by the time he is 26 - doesn't seem to be too much logic in evidence letting the younger and potentially better player go. Add to that it was clear then that Pienaar's contract would not be extended further, so any 'dispensation' should have been negotiated to either retain Pienaar or a NIQ alternative rather than use that joker to keep Ludik who despite his exemplary attitude was blocking Scholes, Stockdale, Nelson and now Lyttle.

Seriously? So now its Bryns at fault for either doing what Ulster or his client asked him to do?

Pienaar was never going to happen, we could have injected Jamie Heaslips DNA in big Ferris and brought him back and the IRFU still weren't going to let Pienaar stay.

I may be wrong but Scholes was offered a contract and turned it down, if he is better than Ludik as you say then maybe you should have told the kid because he obviously didn't think so.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 4:59 pm

What I think is interesting about Scholes is that he chose to go to Edinburgh and not anothe rIrish province, we talk alot about players potentially refusing to come North but they aren't stacking up to go south much either, I mean look at some of the players who had first team experiance we let go, Whitten went to Exeter, Seymour to Glasgow, Scholes and Allen to Edinburgh you would imagine some of those guys could have got plenty of gametime at other Irish provinces and might then if they played well have a shout at Irish duty (this doesn't apply to Seymour) so why would they rather go accross the water? Is it simply just a monetary thingor something?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Guest on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 7:20 pm

Chris Farrell moving to Munster, along with JJ and Hart, apparently. > MOVING-TO-MUNSTER

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by toml on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 8:55 pm

neilthom7 wrote:What I think is interesting about Scholes is that he chose to go to Edinburgh and not anothe rIrish province, we talk alot about players potentially refusing to come North but they aren't stacking up to go south much either, I mean look at some of the players who had first team experiance we let go, Whitten went to Exeter, Seymour to Glasgow, Scholes and Allen to Edinburgh you would imagine some of those guys could have got plenty of gametime at other Irish provinces and might then if they played well have a shout at Irish duty (this doesn't apply to Seymour) so why would they rather go accross the water? Is it simply just a monetary thingor something?

Maybe they only had Brexit British passports

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 9:35 pm

toml wrote:
neilthom7 wrote:What I think is interesting about Scholes is that he chose to go to Edinburgh and not anothe rIrish province, we talk alot about players potentially refusing to come North but they aren't stacking up to go south much either, I mean look at some of the players who had first team experiance we let go, Whitten went to Exeter, Seymour to Glasgow, Scholes and Allen to Edinburgh you would imagine some of those guys could have got plenty of gametime at other Irish provinces and might then if they played well have a shout at Irish duty (this doesn't apply to Seymour) so why would they rather go accross the water? Is it simply just a monetary thingor something?

Maybe they only had Brexit British passports

Lol maybe
I was thinking about why Scholes would move away from an irish province and came up with the options that A- He really felt no irish province could give him gametime
B. the money Edinburgh offered was significantly more or
C. No other Irish province was interested

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 10:20 am

There's an interview with Scholes in an Edinburgh paper. It's online somewhere. It was to play fullback, and he said that Solomans sold it to him quite heavily that he had a really good shoot of getting the jersey. Ironically though he's lost out to some Scotland U20 player coming through and hasn't had much gametime for them.

Also I think on the other forums people were saying with Edinburgh being a capital city, etc, it was a good chance to get away. Vibrant, etc.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Redman on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 11:30 am

How annoying, I had a long post responding to the Bryn question but closed the browser by mistake.

Anyway in summary.

I assume Bryn handles external recruitment, but ultimately feeds into his DoR about what he wants from the squad. Kiss says he wants X number of forwards, Y number of backs and Bryn sets out the options.

In the past two years we've done much better than the other provinces at trawling the globe for IQ players, and international quality signings (if only to make up for the fact our academy is producing so little domestically - or we're not playing youth). Coetzee, Treadwell, Herron, Piutau,. All good to world class signings. Each of the those players could be playing elsewhere for more money, but they've they've been sold on Ulster. I assume, and I may be wrong, that those are on Bryn.

The issue is we are not signing more Irish players. Here again I'm making an assumption. That the snake oil that Bryn sells to overseas players doesn't work on Irish ones because they know the system, they know the coaches, they know Ireland.

As an example. Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Conan, Leavy, Copeland, O'Donnell, Ryan, Nagle and probably quite a few more will have played under Clarke for Emerging Ireland in 2013 and 2015 and before that when he was Elite Player Development Manager. I'd imagine many of them will never want to work with him again. Nothing Bryn can do about that.

The same sadly seems to be true for Kiss. He's been in the Ireland setup since 2009. 2009!!!! That in tandem with Bryn, they've not managed to convince any players to move North speaks to issues much wider than just Bryn's negotiating skills.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by marty2086 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 11:48 am

Plenty of Irish players speak highly of Kiss, though I've never heard a player speak highly of Clarke. Im not saying they don't but I've just never heard it

The problems with players coming North seems to be more geopolitical and social than anything

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:48 pm

'Coetzee, Treadwell, Herron, Piutau,. All good to world class signings'

World Class????

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:13 pm

Provinces can't outbid each other, no? All we can offer players from down south is more game time and a couple of years missed in their earnings that they can get tax back on.


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:36 pm

I seem to remember reading that even if they come north for a couple of years they can still get the tax rebate on those earnings. This of course could be complete fiction.
I agree with Marty, when you disregard all logical reasons for players not coming north you're left with the geopolitical and social arguments only. Asking someone from Cork or Dublin to live in Belfast has more of a reaction than simply financial.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:39 pm

Redman wrote:How annoying, I had a long post responding to the Bryn question but closed the browser by mistake.  

Anyway in summary.  

I assume Bryn handles external recruitment, but ultimately feeds into his DoR about what he wants from the squad.  Kiss says he wants X number of forwards, Y number of backs and Bryn sets out the options.

In the past two years we've done much better than the other provinces at trawling the globe for IQ players, and international quality signings (if only to make up for the fact our academy is producing so little domestically - or we're not playing youth).  Coetzee, Treadwell, Herron, Piutau,.  All good to world class signings.  Each of the those players could be playing elsewhere for more money, but they've they've been sold on Ulster.  I assume, and I may be wrong, that those are on Bryn.

The issue is we are not signing more Irish players.  Here again I'm making an assumption.  That the snake oil that Bryn sells to overseas players doesn't work on Irish ones because they know the system, they know the coaches, they know Ireland.

As an example.  Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Conan, Leavy, Copeland, O'Donnell, Ryan, Nagle and probably quite a few more will have played under Clarke for Emerging Ireland in 2013 and 2015 and before that when he was Elite Player Development Manager.  I'd imagine many of them will never want to work with him again.  Nothing Bryn can do about that.  

The same sadly seems to be true for Kiss.  He's been in the Ireland setup since 2009.  2009!!!!  That in tandem with Bryn, they've not managed to convince any players to move North speaks to issues much wider than just Bryn's negotiating skills.  


Treadwell and Herron "good to world class" signings? Both have the potential to be good but are unproven at high level. Coetzee is undoubtedly a good signing but as yet we have no idea how good - will he he great like Muller or OK like Van der Merwe? That leaves Piutau who some (including yourself) debate whether he is a great fit for Ulster. I'm not saying Bryn has been a disaster just that he hasn't earned the designation of having done "extremely well". Until Cunningham proves himself he is in the same 'jobs for the boys' category as Doak, Clarke, Malone, Campbell, Humphreys, Longwell, Davidson, McCall et al.

The problem I have with Piutau is the way his recruitment was managed and Cunningham has to take responsibility for that. His signing was announced before the RWC, at least half a year too soon, which massively diluted the PR benefit. Then there was the wrangle with the NZRU and the associated bad taste that left. When it became clear the Charles wouldn't be at the RWC, what was he going to do for a season? He couldn't come to Ulster because they already had the NIQ Ludik keeping him out and the IRFU wouldn't help - that must have made Charles feel wanted. Then when he finally arrived it turns out Ulster had lobbied for and been granted special dispensation to keep the still NIQ Ludik as well - another confidence booster for Charles. The supreme irony is that the exposure of young IQ players like Scholes was being blocked by not one but now two NIQ signings so all the nonsense from Nucifora about blocking IQ talent conveniently didn't apply.

Then there is the Pienaar situation, and it has been known since Bryn arrived that Ruan would be leaving. In that period Connacht signed Cooney, Leinster signed Gibson Park and now Munster have announced signing Hart - where was Bryn when arguably Ulster didn't need just one S/H but two? He did sign Paul Rowley... but if Cooney had been signed two years ago he would have had Ruan to learn from and been competing with Paul Marshall for the back-up slot, but crucially he would now have been through the settling-in period and been far better prepared for post-Pienaar rugby.

All of this was on Bryn's watch, so where is the evidence to support the notion that Cunningham has done "extremely well"?

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 9:49 am

Pete330v2 wrote:I seem to remember reading that even if they come north for a couple of years they can still get the tax rebate on those earnings. This of course could be complete fiction.
I agree with Marty, when you disregard all logical reasons for players not coming north you're left with the geopolitical and social arguments only. Asking someone from Cork or Dublin to live in Belfast has more of a reaction than simply financial.

No, they can't earn tax back from playing here because it's nothing to do with HMRC. The change is that if they go away to another EU state, they can pick up where they left off when they get back. Having said that, that won't apply in NI post-Brexit.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:21 am

Don Alfonso wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:I seem to remember reading that even if they come north for a couple of years they can still get the tax rebate on those earnings. This of course could be complete fiction.
I agree with Marty, when you disregard all logical reasons for players not coming north you're left with the geopolitical and social arguments only. Asking someone from Cork or Dublin to live in Belfast has more of a reaction than simply financial.

No, they can't earn tax back from playing here because it's nothing to do with HMRC. The change is that if they go away to another EU state, they can pick up where they left off when they get back. Having said that, that won't apply in NI post-Brexit.

I should have known it was in the realms of fantasy Smile

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:42 am

Having said that, I think you're right - people are being disingenuous when they dismiss social and political differences as playing a part in players' reticence to move North.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 12:20 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:Having said that, I think you're right - people are being disingenuous when they dismiss social and political differences as playing a part in players' reticence to move North.

It's the truth that a lot of people would rather not admit to, the great unspoken. I've talked to a few people from various places south of the border and the issues have always been the same. Belfast still has the negative stigmas attached to it that really should have been forgotten by now. Unfortunately the only time it hits the world news is during the summer and for all the wrong reasons. Showing the positive, lively and attractive aspects of Belfast don't make for very exciting news unfortunately.

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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

Post by SecretFly on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 12:43 pm

Plus...the more south you go, the more subtropical the climate... Cool

As Belfast freezes in Summer at a frigid 17°C, Dublin is positively basking at 17.8°C. And as for Cork and those places, scorching at 18.2°C!


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Re: Ulster 2016/2017

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