Ulster Rugby 2017-18

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Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 05 Jul 2017, 10:42 am

First topic message reminder :

Director of Rugby Les Kiss  
Head Coach Jono Gibbes  
Assistant Coach Dwayne Peel
Scrum Coach Aaron Dundon  
Skills Coach Niall Malone


Players In
John Cooney from Connacht
Schalk van der Merwe from Southern Kings
Jean Deysel from Sharks
David Busby promoted from Academy
Aaron Cairns promoted from Academy
Ross Kane promoted from Academy
Rob Lyttle promoted from Academy
Tommy O'Hagan promoted from Academy
Jack Owens promoted from Academy

Players Out
Franco van der Merwe to Cardiff Blues
Roger Wilson retired
Conor Joyce to Jersey Reds
Mark Best to Jersey Reds
Jonny Murphy to Rotherham Titans
Ruan Pienaar to Montpellier
John Donnan released
Lorcan Dow released
Ricky Lutton released
Stephen Mulholland released

Ulster Rugby 2017/18 Senior Playing Squad

Rodney Ah You (18 ULS, 3 IRE)
John Andrew (27 ULS)
Rory Best (198 ULS, 104 IRE)
Callum Black (128 ULS)
Tommy Bowe (150 ULS, 69 IRE)
Peter Browne (31 ULS)
David Busby (2 ULS)
Aaron Cairns (1 ULS)
Darren Cave (193 ULS, 11 IRE)
Marcell Coetzee (4 ULS, 28 SA)
John Cooney (0 ULS, 1 IRE)
Jean Deysel (0 ULS, 4 SA)
Robbie Diack (193 ULS, 2 IRE)
Craig Gilroy (149 ULS, 10 IRE)
Iain Henderson (74 ULS, 32 IRE)
Chris Henry (165 ULS, 24 IRE)
Wiehahn Herbst (54 ULS)
Rob Herring (120 ULS, 1 IRE)
Brett Herron (7 ULS)
Paddy Jackson (123 ULS, 25 IRE)
Ross Kane (11 ULS)
Louis Ludik (54 ULS)
Robert Lyttle (8 ULS)
Luke Marshall (104 ULS, 11 IRE)
Paul Marshall (195 ULS, 3 IRE)
Kyle McCall (36 ULS)
Stuart McCloskey (58 ULS, 1 IRE)
Johnny McPhillips
Peter Nelson (37 ULS)
Alan O'Connor (39 ULS)
Tommy O'Hagan
Stuart Olding (62 ULS, 4 IRE)
Jack Owens (1 ULS)
Callum Patterson
Jared Payne (78 ULS, 20 IRE)
Charles Piutau (23 ULS, 16 NZ)
Matthew Rea
Sean Reidy (58 ULS, 2 IRE)
Clive Ross (52 ULS)
David Shanahan (13 ULS)
Jonny Simpson (4 ULS)
Jacob Stockdale (24 ULS, 2 IRE)
Kieran Treadwell (21 ULS, 2 IRE)
Andrew Trimble (217 ULS, 70 IRE)
Schalk van der Merwe
Andrew Warwick (74 ULS)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:19 pm

marty2086 wrote:All seem a bit cagey about it, could just be overly cautious with his history but with injuries like his there usually are issues that flare up

Just hope he's not another Ferris

That's what I'm afraid of

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by eirebilly on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:23 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Regarding Payne's headaches, has there been any news on it? Does he still have them and do they know what caused them?

He's still getting then Billy but is undergoing treatment. Sometimes those kind of things take a lot of trial and error before the correct treatment / medication can be found. He had scans done and it was verified that they weren't related to any impacts on the field. He should be back week after next I think.

Cheers Pete, still never a good sign if they cant find what is causing them.

Just for interests sake, should he forced to retire, do you think Ulster would keep him on in a coaching capacity? Personally I think he would make an excellent defensive coach.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:30 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Regarding Payne's headaches, has there been any news on it? Does he still have them and do they know what caused them?

He's still getting then Billy but is undergoing treatment. Sometimes those kind of things take a lot of trial and error before the correct treatment / medication can be found. He had scans done and it was verified that they weren't related to any impacts on the field. He should be back week after next I think.

I thought they had all cleared up and it was a matter of fitness now for him Pete?

No cause was talked about but I've had them twice in my life, one was an eye problem the other was a neck injury so if you see him walking about with glasses you'll know the answer

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:32 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Just for interests sake, should he forced to retire, do you think Ulster would keep him on in a coaching capacity? Personally I think he would make an excellent defensive coach.

I said last season I can see him going into coaching, he was waterboy in a game and didn't sit still or shut up for 80mins

Pienaar/Payne 2020

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by eirebilly on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:36 pm

He just has a very good rugby brain and he would be more than worthwhile to keep in a coaching capacity Ireland could do a lot worse than have him as defence coach in a few years.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 12:55 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Regarding Payne's headaches, has there been any news on it? Does he still have them and do they know what caused them?

He's still getting then Billy but is undergoing treatment. Sometimes those kind of things take a lot of trial and error before the correct treatment / medication can be found. He had scans done and it was verified that they weren't related to any impacts on the field. He should be back week after next I think.

I thought they had all cleared up and it was a matter of fitness now for him Pete?

No cause was talked about but I've had them twice in my life, one was an eye problem the other was a neck injury so if you see him walking about with glasses you'll know the answer

He said something about it in the last interview I saw with him. It may have been in the half time feature on BBCNI. I'm sure he said something about they were working on controlling them now as opposed to the fact they had been completely cured. They can stem from so many things. My other, better half was cursed by them for years until she had her wisdom teeth removed. They've completely cleared.

I think he'd make an excellent coach as you guys have said he has an excellent rugby brain and a reading of the game that's extremely rare which could well cross over into a coaching capacity.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 2:11 pm

Miss most of those features these days have to see if I can look it up

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 2:20 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ieKukB1RYk&list=PL9mmlCY22idm_MXmlVOd1LI9gLYfsftK4

View this from about 59 mins onwards. He says 'hopefully they're clearing up'. It was elsewhere I'd read about the ongoing treatment.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 6:35 pm

Not the Heineken Cup squad posted. No surprises. No Jacko, Olding.

Coetzee, Rea, Timoney, McBurney, Cairns, Lyttle all in.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 11:03 pm

Some of the positions are nominal, but -

FORWARDS

HOOKER
John Andrew
Rory Best
Rob Herring
Adam McBurney

LOOSEHEAD
Callum Black
Kyle McCall
Shalk Van Der Merwe
Andrew Warwick

TIGHTHEAD
Rodney Ah You
Wiehahn Herbst
Ross Kane

LOCK
Pete Browne
Robbie Diack
Iain Henderson
Alan O'Connor
Kieran Treadwell

BACK ROW
Marcell Coetzee
Jean Deysel
Chris Henry
Matt Rea
Sean Reidy
Clive Ross
Nick Timoney

BACKS

SCRUM-HALF
Aaron Cairns
John Cooney
Paul Marshall
David Shanahan

FLYHALF
Brett Herron
Christian Lealiifano
Peter Nelson

CENTRE
Darren Cave
Luke Marshall
Stuart McCloskey
Jared Payne

WING
Tommy Bowe
Craig Gilroy
Rob Lyttle
Jacob Stockdale
Andrew Trimble

FULLBACK
Louis Ludik
Charles Piutau

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Don Alfonso on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 11:32 pm

My all-hale-and-hearty Don Euro 23:

1) McCall (at least until we get the measure of Van Der Merwe)
2) Best
3) Herbst
4) Henderson
5) O'Connor
6) Deysel
7) Henry
8) Coetzee
9) Cooney
10) Leali'ifano
11) Piutau
12) McCloskey
13) Marshall
14) Trimble
15) Payne

16) Van Der Merwe (probably)
17) Herring
18) Ah You
19) Treadwell
20) Reidy
21) Marshall
22) Nelson
23) Stockdale

Treadwell and Henderson are our two best second rows, but I think Treadwell's speed and agility (relatively speaking!) off the bench at 50/60 minutes might help us shift up a gear.

No game-changers on that bench bar possibly Treaders and Stockdale. We'll see how Rea and Timoney progress, but I don't expect either to edge out Reidy this season.

To be honest, I'd hope that by our last games Ah You and Herring will be under pressure from Kane and Andrew respectively.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 9:45 am

The conundrum whether to start or bench Treadwell is a coin toss but for me I'd prefer him to be on the pitch for 50 - 60 minutes rather than 20 - 30. That being said we've yet to see what form he's in but hopefully it'll carry on from where he left off.
Louis Ludik misses out on that squad Don and I cannot see anywhere for him to slot in despite being one of our brightest and consistent sparks. It could be argued that he could push Trimble for the 14 shirt I suppose but it's hard to argue against Trimbs.
Herring and Andrew will have some battle this season and Andrew is definitely gnashing at Herring's heels. It's a great situation to be in, I wish we had that kind of competition for every spot.
Ah You showed a real step up in actually looking like he cared about playing in the Dragons game. His yellow card was not as bad as the slow-mo shots suggested and at least, after 80 minutes, he was still showing off his newly discovered line speed. Perhaps he knows his place is really on the line or maybe it's the Gibbes factor. I hope he continues to show improvement.
If we can roll out that back row in the European games we really could have a chance of feeding our backline some useful ball, if we can do that we'll definitely improve on last year's efforts.

the Dundon interview left me feeling very optimistic. I know he had to down play the Coetzee injury but maybe it isn't a major worry and just being carefully managed especially in games where he's not needed. Save him for the big ones. The most optimistic thing he said however was that in the Dragons game the team were able to show early glimpses of what the coaching team is trying to do. Promising or just overly optimistic?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:30 pm

Pro14 Stats
Ulster leads the following categories:
Clean breaks - 57
Defenders beaten - 94
Metres gained - 2272

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:32 pm

marty2086 wrote:Pro14 Stats
Ulster leads the following categories:
Clean breaks - 57
Defenders beaten - 94
Metres gained - 2272

More than the whole of last season probably Smile

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:56 pm

Couldn't find a full breakdown per team for last season but we did top the clean beaks for last season with 178, 50 of those belonged to Piutau and Stockdale

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:07 pm

Team for the Zebre game

(1-8): C Black, J Andrew, R Ah You, P Browne, I Henderson, M Rea, S Reidy, J Deysel;
(9-15): J Cooney, C Lealiifano, L Ludik, L Marshall, D Cave, A Trimble (captain), C Piutau;
Replacements (16-23): A McBurney, A Warwick, W Herbst, K Treadwell, N Timoney, D Shanahan, P Nelson, R Lyttle.

Strong backline and great to see John Andrew get a start and Adam McBurney in line for a debut off the bench, like the look of him as a player.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:16 pm

marty2086 wrote:Team for the Zebre game

(1-8): C Black, J Andrew, R Ah You, P Browne, I Henderson, M Rea, S Reidy, J Deysel;
(9-15): J Cooney, C Lealiifano, L Ludik, L Marshall, D Cave, A Trimble (captain), C Piutau;
Replacements (16-23): A McBurney, A Warwick, W Herbst, K Treadwell, N Timoney, D Shanahan, P Nelson, R Lyttle.

Strong backline and great to see John Andrew get a start and Adam McBurney in line for a debut off the bench, like the look of him as a player.

I don't think I've seen McBurney yet but have read some great things about him.
I'd like to think that side is more than enough to beat Zebre with plenty to spare.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:25 pm

Utter sh17e from Ulster so far. This ref can't seem to see that Zebre are constantly offside and is being a pedant against both sides. That being said Zebre are playing some nice rugby.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:28 pm

Is it just me or has there been absolutely nothing wrong with the scrums he has penalised, just the props setting up for the engagement?

The offsides are a joke, he's standing in their line at times looking across and can see where they are and giving nothing.

He's rubbish at the breakdown too

But it is yet another poor performance in Italy

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:51 pm

Not a thing wrong Marty. Just another crap ref ruining a game by stopping it at every opportunity. Ulster are looking worse than last year and now have lost the lead and could lose this game. Rubbish.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:52 pm

Lealiifano is a liability, his restarts constantly put under pressure and his passes on a number of occasions have put team mates under pressure and cost a number of turnovers

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by humphstheman on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 3:58 pm

Aye, but he's not responsible for weak tackling and dropped balls.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:06 pm

He certainly isn't. The execution is embarrassing.
On a lighter note Jim Neilly calls our No.9 George Cooney.

And on comes Shanahan. Strange tactic.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:07 pm

This is hard to watch. Classic Ulster. Coming out on a standard five point game and flailing and scrambling like we haven't a clue.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by humphstheman on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:08 pm

Embarrassing is a good word for it.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:10 pm

Thank goodness for that. Nothing in the last 12 minutes will save them from the roasting from Gibbes coming their way. Will be happy if we get the win though.. plenty to do.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:13 pm

What is going on?? This is a farse of a game. Somebody explain what tmo saw there??

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by JmD on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:16 pm

Surely it needs to be clear and obvious to overrule a given try? The officiating has been atrocious today.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:17 pm

F*ck me.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:18 pm

How was that not a penalty for taking out Shanahan?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by humphstheman on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:20 pm

Farce it is...but Zebre have been allowed to live off side all day long.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:25 pm

I can't watch anymore crap displays by Ulster. The officiating has been disgusting but that's not what lost this. Hang your heads Ulster. Disgusting performance, more pathetic than last season and that I thought was our all time low. This is harder to take than anything last year. Shameful

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:28 pm

Warwick with the idiot offload that finishes us off

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:36 pm

Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:43 pm

eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Bizarre decision was made to take him off, we had two very kickable penalties but opted to go for the corner. On both occasions it come to nothing, Cooney being taken off perhaps a factor in not taking the points.

It was an inspired performance from Zebre, they have their tails up after their South Africa tour, scored something like 80 points in their games in SA.

Cooney isn't a concern, Lealiifano is.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:44 pm

One thing is clear, Ulster went there with an attitude that they expected to win that game, Zebre brought more than they expected and the attitude came across in some of the basic skills

Toes need to be introduced to backsides

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:52 pm

eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Cooney played better than most Ulster players on the pitch. I believe him being subbed may have been the deciding factor. A bizarre decision.

Our backline was getting nowhere due to Zebre being allowed to be offside for the entire match despite the referee being told.

P.S. Still heading towards displacing Marmion Billy Smile

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by clivemcl on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 4:56 pm

You see I feel had Rory been playing, he would have been dancing the line of a yellow card as a result of his determined pleading of the ref. Today, I don't feel our case was being pleaded to the ref enough. Who was captain? Trimble?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm

Excellent result forZebre. Commiserations Ulster.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:01 pm

Clive, Trimble had a number of conversations with the ref but the ref just didn't seem to care and offside just didn't seem to register with him until the Marshall penalty

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:04 pm

It was Trimble and he's no captain which I thought had been found out last season. He should have been hammering on at the ref about the offside laws but even then it may have been a coin toss. Zebre were really good today, better than I've ever seen them but we should never be taken apart like that regardless of gormless officiating.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:06 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Cooney played better than most Ulster players on the pitch. I believe him being subbed may have been the deciding factor. A bizarre decision.

Our backline was getting nowhere due to Zebre being allowed to be offside for the entire match despite the referee being told.

P.S. Still heading towards displacing Marmion Billy Smile

And I am feeling more and more comfortable about our bet Very Happy
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 5:37 pm

Adamson is consistently lenient with his interpretation of the offside line in most games I've seen him officiate, that his interpretation and it's up to teams to adapt to it. Ulster struggle because they don't have the pace to exploit it themselves in neither defence nor attack.

Zebre had far more pace in their team and played to the whistle so deserved the victory -
- congratulations to them.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Geen sport voor watjes on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:09 pm

Michael Bradley is a sh1t coach clearly

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:26 pm

Geen sport voor watjes wrote:Michael Bradley is a sh1t coach clearly

He has certainly developed a reputation as a Coach that can take over struggling teams and give them some belief. He got Edinburgh to the semi-finals in the HC/CC. I remember when he was appointed thinking to myself that Zebre would be his greatest challenge yet. As brutal as this result is to take as an Ulster fan, I'm pleased for Bradley. I hope he does what he did with Edinburgh again, this time with Zebre.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by Pete330v2 on Sun 01 Oct 2017, 2:58 pm

eirebilly wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Cooney played better than most Ulster players on the pitch. I believe him being subbed may have been the deciding factor. A bizarre decision.

Our backline was getting nowhere due to Zebre being allowed to be offside for the entire match despite the referee being told.

P.S. Still heading towards displacing Marmion Billy Smile

And I am feeling more and more comfortable about our bet Very Happy

Lets see how you feel after the 2 lads in question go head to head next week Wink

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by rodders on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:25 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Cooney played better than most Ulster players on the pitch. I believe him being subbed may have been the deciding factor. A bizarre decision.

Another one of my gripes with Kiss. He seems to make these decisions to rbing on replacements pre match and ignores what is happening on the field.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:38 am

rodders wrote:
Pete330v2 wrote:
eirebilly wrote:Well well, I never saw that coming. How did the Cooney play?

Cooney played better than most Ulster players on the pitch. I believe him being subbed may have been the deciding factor. A bizarre decision.

Another one of my gripes with Kiss. He seems to make these decisions to rbing on replacements pre match and ignores what is happening on the field.


Think that's harsh, Cooney had 64 mins on the pitch and wasn't able to get the backline firing through no fault of his own so was there really any harm in putting in a player who would offer something different in Shanahan

Saying that thought, I'd have much preferred to see Nelson come on and work with Cooney who I think would have been a better option

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by rodders on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 11:25 am

Fair enough, it was a more general point as I recall he did a similar thing earlier in the season which probably cost Ulster a winning bonus point.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

Post by marty2086 on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 12:18 pm

Against Treviso when we had Scarlets the following week which we won, sometimes you've got to gamble and at times it'll pay off and others it won't

The basic lack of skills at times was reminiscent of last season and the loss mightn't be the worse thing in the world, if that had happened against Scarlets or Leinster then it may be expected but against Zebre it will be a shock to the system and hopefully put the players on guard against complacency

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-18

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