Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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Will Ulster make the Champions Cup next season

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Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 1:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

Ulster Rugby

Final Table
               GP   Points
Leinster    21     70
Scarlets    21     70
Edinburgh 21     68
Ulster       21     62
Benetton   21     55
Dragons    21     20
Kings        21     11

Season Outcome: Playoff for Champions Cup Spot

Ulster are in the Champions Cup


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 24 May 2018, 5:24 pm

Where to start:

Rodders you are right reduced budget
We will not be plowing all of Piatau, Bowe, Payne, Trimble etc etc salaries back into the playing staff

O'Toole out of Under-20 WC - injured knee

I'd have McFarland over Friend any day of the week

Everything next year is geared towards a tilt at the World Cup - the provinces don't matter

We are seen as treading water developing our local kids

Expect some money to be released for 19-20

I've also heard Jackson and Olding to Sale is very much on

6,500 that is what I've heard and it is awful. Lost 4000 Season Ticket holders in 2 years ! and 3000 of them this year alone

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 24 May 2018, 5:37 pm

marty2086 wrote:Something else to cheer everyone up

Season Ticket sales pass 6,500 mark

Good to hear - hopefully clarity around new signings for next season will drive numbers further.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 24 May 2018, 5:44 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Something else to cheer everyone up

Season Ticket sales pass 6,500 mark

Good to hear - hopefully clarity around new signings for next season will drive numbers further.

Pot I think you will find he was being ironical - that is a TERRIBLE figure and shows our Season Ticket renewals have fallen off a cliff

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 24 May 2018, 5:57 pm

tracking just down according to ulster. It was 10000 odd last season so it really depends who renews between now and September. All 10000 ST weren't bought before June last season

I should add though, if I were a casual fan, what news would make me buy a ST. The fact the IRFU dont seem to be backing Ulster in the same way they did Munster? A lack of signings? Realistically we would need to very decent signings before I would consider purchasing. If the IRFU dont give a sh1t about the provinces over the next season why should casual fans

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 24 May 2018, 6:01 pm

JmD wrote:In all serious, that means next year the senior squad will be without an entire top level backline:

9) Marshall
10) Jackson
11) Trimble
12) Marshall
13) Payne
14) Bowe
15) Piatau
22) Olding
23) Ludik

And the only player coming in is Addison. At what point can we get some help? This is where we really suffer for having a D4 Yes-man at the top. You just know that he's not fighting our case to Nucifora et al to anywhere near the extent he should be.

Not a fan of Nucifora, but he can't really be blamed for Ulster's squad issues (not just the backline). Ever since Ulster were given special dispensation to sign BJ Botha following Simon Best's premature retirement, they have had a series of players come in as 'emergency' cover such as: Emerick, Terblanche, Raaymakers, Boys, Stanley and most recently Lealifano. Supposedly Nucifora is trying to get Carbery to move north now, but Ulster cannot keep hoping that the IRFU will come to the rescue.

Jackson, Olding and Payne have been missing all season with long odds on them returning so there should be no surprise that they didn't actually return.
Once Trimble and Bowe were out of Test reckoning (and central contracts) it was always likely that they would consider retirement.
Piutau was only ever going to be at Ulster for two years, so his departure was known.
A contract extension was in doubt for Paul Marshall last season, and his son's diagnosis last summer was likely to precipitate his retirement decision.
Guys like Geoff and others have been predicting these events for some time, so those closest to the squad must have been aware of the need to address the probability that these players would be unavailable next season.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 24 May 2018, 6:05 pm

While I agree, it's hardly as if other provinces haven't had short-term signings to cover injuries and squad issues. Brad bloody Thorn, anyone? I don't think there's been much of a special dispensation there.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 24 May 2018, 6:07 pm

He can be held accountable if he doesnt let us fill our quotas or release the funds we are entitled to, to do so Aukster. Im all for using the young guys but there is no point throwing them in all together because we have zero squad.

Carbery can do one as far as im concerned. Im happy to stick with McPhillips but let us surround him with talent. We have been less reliant on NIQs than any team over the past 18/24 months. Let us bring in a lock and we can field a pack with an entirely IQ front row, 1 NIQ in the row, and 1 NIQ in the backrow (and use the young lads) on a regular basis and that might even allow for some rotation. Am I correct in assuming we no longer have an NIQ in the backs?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 24 May 2018, 6:29 pm

Ulster have tried an awful lot of players and are losing experience without replacing it.

Of the 47 players that made it to the match-day squad in 2015/16 only 21 will still be in the squad next season
Gone:
Franco vd Merwe, Paddy Jackson, Andrew Trimble, Ruan Pienaar, Robbie Diack, Roger Wilson, Ricky Lutton, Nick Williams, Paul Marshal, Callum Black, Rory Scholes, Stuart Olding, Jared Payne, Dan Tuohy, Sam Arnold, Lewis Stevenson, Ian Humphreys, Willie Faloon, Bronson Ross, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Mulholland, Sam Windsor, Jonny Murphy, Lorcan Dow, Paul Jackson, Paul Rowley

Remaining:
Craig Gilroy, Stuart McCloskey, Luke Marshall, Rob Herring, Sean Reidy, Chris Henry, Louis Ludik, Kyle McCall, Darren Cave, Rory Best, Wiehahn Herbst, Pete Browne, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson, Pete Nelson, Andrew Warwick, J Stockdale, Clive Ross, John Andrew, Dave Shanahan, David Busby

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 24 May 2018, 10:18 pm

Standulstermen wrote:tracking just down according to ulster. It was 10000 odd last season so it really depends who renews between now and September. All 10000 ST weren't bought before June last season


Whilst true why would an existing Season Ticket renew from today if they haven't already ?
Certain discount and spread payment benefits no longer apply.
Essentially they will be worse off if they renew now

Cant see many new Season Ticket holders
A 40% drop in 2 years is horrendous

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 24 May 2018, 11:04 pm

Logan leaving?
New signings?

It seems fairly certain they will hit 7k. I agree that would be a drop but if they got to 8k I suspect they would be a bit of relief because it wouldnt be catastrophic. We will have to see in September I reckon. Im certainly not trying to defend Logan or back how they have handled things but a couple of bits of positive news like I mention above could see another spike

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 7:55 am

I would be amazed if it is much above 7000.
The renews are done and there will not be a flood of new applications.
The one thing that could push it to 8000 is the resignation of Logan - there is a lot of bitterness towards him and that includes the vast majority of people at the club itself.
Apparently a committee member said to him ' how can we trust a single word that comes out of your mouth'

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 8:11 am

Here is a list of players who are (or may) stay who have senior 1st XV experience of any sort, anywhere

LH: McCall , Warwick, VdeMerwe
Hooker: Best, Herring, Andrew, McBurney
TH: Herbst, Moore, Kane, O'Toole, Ah You
Lock: Henderson, O'Connor, Treadwell, Lutton, Browne
Backrow: Coetzee, Deysel, Reidy, Ross, Timoney, Hall, Jones, Rea, Murphy, Henry
Scrum half: Cooney, Stewart, Shanahan
Fly Half: McPhillips, Curtis
Centre: Cave, McCloskey, Addison
Back three: Stockdale, Gilroy, Lyttle, Nelson, Owens, Busby, Cairns

Left out those who have left and those with long term injuries (Marshall and Ludik)
Those in bold are yet to be confirmed as definitely staying, although I am now of the view most will be keep for 1 more year.
Those underlined have played in less than 10 games, and that includes games as subs.

Clearly illustrates the thinness of the squad, if you leave out those with less than 10 appearance you are left with

LH: 2 + 1 maybe
Hooker: 3
TH: 3 + 1 maybe
Lock: 3 + 1 maybe
Backrow: 7 + 1 maybe
SH: 2
Fly Half: 1
Centre: 3
Back three: 4

28 + 3 maybes
When you consider that 28 includes Timoney, Rea, McPhillips, Andrew, Lyttle it highlights perfectly we will be watching the Academy playing 1st XV rugby with a small group of old hands thrown in


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 25 May 2018, 9:35 am

Gareth Robinson @ggphysio wrote:Last Sunday...and 18 seasons later...my final whistle. Goodbye and thankyou to all @UlsterRugby and our amazing supporters. I will miss you. Keep standing up and remembering Nevin. GG

https://twitter.com/ggphysio/status/999930948488761344

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Fri 25 May 2018, 9:42 am

You missed Stockdale and Gilroy

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 25 May 2018, 9:46 am

marty2086 wrote:
Gareth Robinson @ggphysio wrote:Last Sunday...and 18 seasons later...my final whistle. Goodbye and thankyou to all @UlsterRugby and our amazing supporters. I will miss you. Keep standing up and remembering Nevin. GG

https://twitter.com/ggphysio/status/999930948488761344

Not Cheesy as well??? The one man we want gone still remains while the good'ns leave

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 10:30 am

Kingshu wrote:You missed Stockdale and Gilroy
picard

and Lyttle - Ill update

That makes all the difference we are in clover Run

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 25 May 2018, 10:49 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Gareth Robinson @ggphysio wrote:Last Sunday...and 18 seasons later...my final whistle. Goodbye and thankyou to all @UlsterRugby and our amazing supporters. I will miss you. Keep standing up and remembering Nevin. GG

https://twitter.com/ggphysio/status/999930948488761344

Not Cheesy as well??? The one man we want gone still remains while the good'ns leave

Going to miss him bouncing up and down and celebrating tries

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by JmD on Fri 25 May 2018, 11:16 am

Anyone who has ever graced a stand at Ravenhill knows you will never see a man with more passion for Ulster Rugby than Gareth Robinson.

No GG and no Sparky is unthinkable.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Fri 25 May 2018, 12:11 pm

Standulstermen wrote:The fact the IRFU dont seem to be backing Ulster in the same way they did Munster? A lack of signings? Realistically we would need to very decent signings before I would consider purchasing. If the IRFU dont give a sh1t about the provinces over the next season why should casual fans

Can you elaborate Stand?

We have one of the current best backrowers in Jordi Murphy coming and they tried everything to convince Carbury to come as well.

We had years of special treatment by the IRFU - a big cash injection and additional marquee NIEs that was only ever on a temporary basis, the fact that we didn't use that time to get our house in order is not the IRFU's fault.

Munster wanted to retain Grobler but weren't allowed so from what I see the rules are applied consistently enough so really don't get these complaints about D4.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 12:18 pm

A lot of what you say is true Rodders but I would be asking are we only being allowed 2 NIE players for next year or are we going to be allowed to sign 2 more ?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Fri 25 May 2018, 12:37 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:A lot of what you say is true Rodders but I would be asking are we only being allowed 2 NIE players for next year or are we going to be allowed to sign 2 more ?

Well I'm going to play devils advocate here and say it depends what 2 NIE's and in what position.

I would say they won't allow a fly half as they will want at least 3 starting 10's at the provinces. If Bleyendaal was fit potentially you could have just 1 start Irish 10 next season.

Nor a scrum half with Gibson Park there. Fardy and Kleyn floating around may make the reluctant to allow any more locks but other than that I don't see any issues.

I do expect we will eventually get 1 from Byrne, Carbury or Keatley so sort our fly half problem but they have limited powers to force people to move and can't provide any financial incentive.

I really do hope that we are allowed a high quality NIE in the outside back though to replace Piatau and all the backs we are losing, I just don't think we have enough depth or quality.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 25 May 2018, 12:49 pm

rodders wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:The fact the IRFU dont seem to be backing Ulster in the same way they did Munster? A lack of signings? Realistically we would need to very decent signings before I would consider purchasing. If the IRFU dont give a sh1t about the provinces over the next season why should casual fans

Can you elaborate Stand?

We have one of the current best backrowers in Jordi Murphy coming and they tried everything to convince Carbury to come as well.

We had years of special treatment by the IRFU - a big cash injection and additional marquee NIEs that was only ever on a temporary basis, the fact that we didn't use that time to get our house in order is not the IRFU's fault.

Munster wanted to retain Grobler but weren't allowed so from what I see the rules are applied consistently enough so really don't get these complaints about D4.  


What I say is based on us signing less than the bare minimum in the summer rodders. By that I mean a ten and no more. we had a cash injection about 8 years ago when Pienaar, Muller and Afoa came in. The IRFU has since been rewarded by having a self sufficient province even with ZERO titles in that period. The attendances at Ravenhill saw us with the highest average attendance in the league a year or two ago and we have provided a surplus for the IRFU in terms of money if not players. I actually believe we have been (prior to this year) more profitable than Leinster even.


I am not asking for a Sam Whitelock and Elton Jantjes and a Joe Moody here. I am merely saying that losing an entire international backline (Marshall, Jackson, Bowe, Olding, Payne, Trimble, Piutau) and replacing it with Will Addison is imo unacceptable and contradictory with how the IRFU has looked at other provinces but it isnt necessarily special treatment. This season Munster had Cloete, Kleyn, Marshall, Grobler and Taute with Botha en route to replace Grobler next year. This season we had VDM, Deysel, Coetzee and Piutau. Next season we currently have the three aforementioned with no replacement for Piutau. We are down to three and we have had a 10 blocked. Why? Carbery isnt coming and though I would welcome Keatley it would only be under the proviso that we have funds for a lock or a LH. I understand that the IRFU want us to develop our academy and I agree, in fact it is one of the only reasons I renewed. I want to see meaningful gametime for O'Toole, Dalton, O'Hagan, Hall, Timoney, Rea, McPhillips, Curtis, Agnew etc. In fact I would almost adhere to an unwritten rule that states Coetzee and Deysel do not start in the same backrow.


That said I want Ulster to be competitive and I want these youngsters to be in the best possible situation each and every time they take the field. An experienced lock in the tight five plus one of Coetzee or Deysel in the backrow isnt too much to ask for, especially if we are blooding McPhillips or using Keatley at 10 in a fully Irish qualified backline. Thats one more NIQ I am asking for with reduced gametime for a current one and you can do away with VDM for all I care. If im Cunningham I dont think thats unreasonable, especially when you consider the wages going out the door.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Fri 25 May 2018, 12:51 pm

The IRFU may well want three starting Irish 10s and three provinces, but if nobody comes North, then their argument against an NIQ 10 has to be that they believe McPhillips has international potential. Does he? Do they think he does?

Even if they did, they have to agree that we are very light in that position. If they can't persuade any other IQ 10 to come here to boost our squad options, I think it's a little unfair of the IRFU to force us to put all the pressure and responsibility on McPhillips.

Even if they did initially, they would surely have to allow us an NIQ injury cover if anything happened to him over the season.

Personally I can't see IRFU not allowing us special exemption if they cannot deliver on bolstering our squad with another IQ 10.

It doesn't help any of our other potential Irish international backs to not have a good 10 all season long.

McPhillips might flourish and become an international standard 10... or... he could struggle and be sub par, and as a result out IQ centres and and back three don't have the platform to improve their own standards and become better international options.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Fri 25 May 2018, 1:05 pm

Standulstermen wrote:
I am not asking for a Sam Whitelock and Elton Jantjes and a Joe Moody here. I am merely saying that losing an entire international backline (Marshall, Jackson, Bowe, Olding, Payne, Trimble, Piutau) and replacing it with Will Addison is imo unacceptable and contradictory with how the IRFU has looked at other provinces  but it isnt necessarily special treatment. This season Munster had Cloete, Kleyn, Marshall, Grobler and Taute with Botha en route to replace Grobler next year. This season we had VDM, Deysel, Coetzee and Piutau. Next season we currently have the three aforementioned with no replacement for Piutau. We are down to three and we have had a 10 blocked. Why? Carbery isnt coming and though I would welcome Keatley it would only be under the proviso that we have funds for a lock or a LH. I understand that the IRFU want us to develop our academy and I agree, in fact it is one of the only reasons I renewed. I want to see meaningful gametime for O'Toole, Dalton, O'Hagan, Hall, Timoney, Rea, McPhillips, Curtis, Agnew etc. In fact I would almost adhere to an unwritten rule that states Coetzee and Deysel do not start in the same backrow.


That said I want Ulster to be competitive and I want these youngsters to be in the best possible situation each and every time they take the field. An experienced lock in the tight five plus one of Coetzee or Deysel in the backrow isnt too much to ask for, especially if we are blooding McPhillips or using Keatley at 10 in a fully Irish qualified backline. Thats one more NIQ I am asking for with reduced gametime for a current one and you can do away with VDM for all I care. If  im Cunningham I dont think thats unreasonable, especially when you consider the wages going out the door.

Stand I'm pretty much in agreement, see previous post re the fly half situation though. Other than this I don't see the IRFU as the obstacle.

I mean honestly how attractive is Ulster to an NIE right now. No prospect of silverware, reduced value of the pound means it is not as financially attractive for Kiwis and South Africans and have sacked the last 3 coaches.

I think we have plenty of challenges but don't agree the IRFU are the issue.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 25 May 2018, 1:25 pm

You could also argue that you are coming in at a low ebb and there is only one direction for the club to travel. We would still be offering enough $$$ to make it tempting but at the same time insist on utilising our young guys to the point any player will not be flogged. Its all hypothetical though. Personally i'd rather see us back McPhillips/Lowry/Curtis but give them the pieces around them to sink or swim or take Keatley with a new tight five player coming in. 3 NIQS (realistically two counting VDM) is unnecessarily hindering a province imo especially one in which the last investment yielded a significant return

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 2:14 pm

rodders wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:A lot of what you say is true Rodders but I would be asking are we only being allowed 2 NIE players for next year or are we going to be allowed to sign 2 more ?

Well I'm going to play devils advocate here and say it depends what 2 NIE's and in what position.

I would say they won't allow a fly half as they will want at least 3 starting 10's  at the provinces. If Bleyendaal was fit potentially you could have just 1 start Irish 10 next season.

Nor a scrum half with Gibson Park there. Fardy and Kleyn floating around may make the reluctant to allow any more locks but other than that I don't see any issues.

I do expect we will eventually get 1 from Byrne, Carbury or Keatley so sort our fly half problem but they have limited powers to force people to move and can't provide any financial incentive.

I really do hope that we are allowed a high quality NIE in the outside back though to replace Piatau and all the backs we are losing, I just don't think we have enough depth or quality.  


I would suggest a 10 may come but only if they cannot persuade no IQ to come north
Scrum half agreed but not because of Gibson Park. Ireland are not short of good 9s, the reason would be Pienaer and it would be criminal to dislodge Cooney.
A decent squad player with Irish parentage is all it will be, if at all
A Lock may be necessary and certainly Bryn alluded to a Lock being a priority - we are seriously short in that area and Ireland have 4 good locks, and a few useful ones so not short
As for Fardy is he a Lock or a 6 ? - inspite of the official line he plays a lot of games at 6 - to be honest Leinster have pulled a fast one there
The one must have is a LH - we have 2 LHs with any 1st XV experience on the books

If allowed I think it will be a LH and a Lock or a back - the injuries to Marshall and Ludik may have swayed that equation to the latter - previously I could not see it happening.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 25 May 2018, 2:21 pm

Could it be plus a back though geoff given that injuries are the reason for the need and negotiations for other positions may be on going or completed

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Fri 25 May 2018, 3:00 pm

I have to agree with stand.
I think Ulster have been hard done by the IRFU. The season before this one Munster had 10 NIQ/E players at one point and their budget includes owning the IRFU a lot of money, but they got special treatment.

Did we only have 4 last year and Christian being a temporary 5th?
Not exactly fair, where was the injury signing for Coetzee?
How different could the season have gone if we had been allowed 10 NIQ?



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 3:05 pm

I am sorry but I am going to bang on about this - I keep reading here we need a Lock, we need a 9, we need a 10, we need a centre, we need a winger

A LH is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any of them.
Prop positions cannot be filled by other players - in this day and age turning a TH into a LH and vv is not a good idea either (ask Tom Court)

So what exactly do people expect us to do if McCall or Warwick pick up a serious injury ?
Who are our Loose Heads ?
You need a minimum of 4 props both sides with 1st XV at the start of the season.
We have 2 (forget VdeMerwe he is only good for the knackers yard)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 3:07 pm

In terms of NIQ players I don't think we can seriously complain except in one respect

If Munster decide they need a injury cover player all they have to do is whistle

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 25 May 2018, 3:09 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:I am sorry but I am going to bang on about this - I keep reading here we need a Lock, we need a 9, we need a 10, we need a centre, we need a winger

A LH is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any of them.
Prop positions cannot be filled by other players - in this day and age turning a TH into a LH and vv is not a good idea either (ask Tom Court)

So what exactly do people expect us to do if McCall or Warwick pick up a serious injury ?
Who are our Loose Heads ?
You need a minimum of 4 props both sides with 1st XV at the start of the season.
We have 2 (forget VdeMerwe he is only good for the knackers yard)

I dunno, Andrew Porter makes a pretty good tight head since transitioning from loose head.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 3:28 pm

Exception to the rule

We don't have any TH to whom that applies

Rodney has played LH but if we are depending on him we are screwed, also he in often injured cant play because he has eaten too many pork pies

Fact remains to go into a season with only two recognised LH with 1st XV experience is a complete and utter joke

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Fri 25 May 2018, 5:28 pm

I'm hopeing that VDMs contact is paid off and we can sign a good NIQ LH its a waste of a NIQ spot. Also would like PMcA to return that should make it better.

I actually think that the IRFU should be granting us an extra NIQ spot due to making us lose PJ and SO.
We can use it on a NIQ 10, as it wasnt something we were planning for.
The other 5 spots can be used as planned.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Fri 25 May 2018, 8:22 pm

VDM should take a deal to go IMO. He will struggle to sign anywhere half decent after another season of hardly any game-time.
Yea he's maybe enjoying the salary for little work, but if he wants his career to continueit might be best to sign for a lower standard team before his value plummets any further.
It really is a shocking signing. Is it as bad as Rhuiri Murphy yet do you think? We have a bit of a history of signing poor props it would seem.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 25 May 2018, 8:27 pm

With the extension to 5 year residency the NIQ  slot, as opposed to to the 4 NIE slots is effectively dead in the water, as Bryn made clear.
As such VdeMerwe is irrelevant to the NIEs we sign.
He is useless but he is not blocking any NIE signings, if he was he would have been kicked out months ago

Prior to losing the 2 players Bryn made it clear our priorities were LH, Lock, Backrower in that order.
As we only have 2 slots to fill I took that to mean he thinks we need a LH and a Lock - if we have to sign a NIE 10 we will not get a Lock
It also seem clear they don't plan on renewing the Deysel contract after next summer.

In the end though, for the coming year EVERYTHING else takes back stage to the WC effort
If that means some Provinces suffer - tough
Nothing will be approved that compromises the training, playing time and conditioning of any player who may be of some use to the World Cup squad

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Fri 25 May 2018, 10:18 pm

So Nucifora turned up in monday and sacked GG and Johnny Davis. I mean WTF?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 25 May 2018, 11:50 pm

Its a funny one Pete. reading t'other forum this is the purge that will claim Logan (and I think bump ST sales). I dont know if the review has taken place or not or indeed what findings where but am I giving Nucifora to much credit by saying that perhaps the sheer volume of injuries has led to this point whereby the S&D and rehabbing are called into question?

Im not for a second questioning eithers commitment but is it time for a fresh approach in the above sections that could benefit the team? I honestly dont know but I certainly hope he didnt sack them for funsies or just because he can.

Im ok with LH Geoff in fairness. My hope is that O'Hagan comes through but I fully see your argument about LH being a weak position.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 26 May 2018, 8:35 am

As I said 4 players minimum - I see that as Warwick, McCall, O'Hagan and one other

Regarding GG and Johnny Davis - to be honest been there forever and maybe time for fresh ideas.
I don't have a problem with them going
IRFU treating us as a failed province which needs a complete clear out - to be honest we have been a shambles since the
departure of David Humphreys and Johann Muller in 2014.
I would be shocked if the blood letting has stopped, more to follow - I doubt any of Malone (Mr Teflon in the coaching set up), Peel or Dundon are safe either.
Of course then there is the big one - Logan.

Increasingly looks to me like the remit is get rid of the lot and start again.
Is it Cunningham role to manage this before getting his reward with some sort of IRFU job ? - would not surprise me

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Sat 26 May 2018, 8:45 am

Rumour in SA Pienaar is coming back to coach.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 26 May 2018, 9:37 am

Can't see the IRFU allowing another NIQ loosehead signing. Ulster signed van der Merwe without due diligence in a panic to beat the introduction of the 5 year residency rule. Even a cursory inspection of his playing record on the Web shows he hardly plays and then moves on, so there is probably little sympathy for Ulster from HQ.

Tommy O'Hagan may be a prospect but Brendan Fanning summed it up nicely:
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/ulster-rugby/brendan-fanning-ulster-need-squad-overhaul-and-offfield-revamp-36666360.html
Brendan Fanning wrote:With no clubs in the top division of that competition, how can Ulster's academy players learn their trade at a decent level? Tommy O'Hagan for example - a very promising prop forward - should be battling in Division 1A and not three rungs down, where he spends his Saturdays with Rainey Old Boys.

The front row has to have at least four players for each position, so Ulster undoubtedly need at least one LH to replace Black from somewhere. However Jackson and Olding will have been expensive write-offs, and Dan McFarland will be costly to get in for pre-season, so maybe Ulster will just have to suck it up and hope Dundon can turn van de Merwe into a rugby player.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Sat 26 May 2018, 9:49 am

And the person who signed VDM has paid for it with his job. There is no point in pressing reset unless you are prepared. Unless they view O'Sullivan in the academy as being ready for some gametime. Getting O'Hagan a move to 1B should be a priority. The payoffs for Jackson and Olding will be partly paid by not paying them full wage for a season and the sheer number of established internationals leaving means the pot should certainly not be empty.

If the set up was as toxic (or unprofessional) as we potentially think then the buck doesnt just stop with Logan. The IRFU are the overseers of the game so why it has taken a catastrophic season for this to happen when the warning signs were there is a question that could be asked of them. Either way as I mentioned above in response to Rodders I believe another good quality NIQ and a total of 3 in any squad with 2 starting is just rewards for the IRFU and its desire to see IQ players

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:11 am

I don't see why the IRFU wouldn't stop a LH coming

1 - The guys responsible for signing him have gone - it is now clear it was a Clarke suggestion which Kiss approved
2 - NIQ , as opposed to NIE, are now irrelevant
3 - You are allowed 4 NIE - we have 2
4 - Our salary bill is down a lot - Gibbes, Trimble, Bowe, Piatau and many more
5 - Without an adequate player we will be in a position of being unable to contest scrums, even from the start - we will be fined and points deducted for that
6 - Ireland are ok re LH - McGrath, Healy, Dooley, Buckley, Kilcoyne, Cronin. A NIE will not impact on Irelands WC campaign

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:13 am

The IRFU thought Logan was a safe pair of hands - the penny has dropped at last.

Yes I agree the IRFU need to take some blame but they wont.
Nucifora is another Teflon man.
They, and he, dumped Kiss on us (ignore all this Logan worldwide search Love sacks) and for that alone they deserve criticism.
Schmidt knew he was not up to it and got rid as soon as possible

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:18 am

Twittersphere

My understanding is when Rassie contacted him he confirmed he was not available as he is to take up a coaching role with Ulster next year & would sign off as a player this season with @MHR_officiel But I agree with @jacq_west he is still best SA No9

Has he got a get out clause re taking up a coaching only job at Ulster ?
Is he so unhappy there he wants to come 'home' ?
Should Peel be packing his bags ?
Is it a load of nonsense ?

We live in fascinating times

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:25 am

geoff999rugby wrote:As I said 4 players minimum - I see that as Warwick, McCall, O'Hagan and one other

Regarding GG and Johnny Davis - to be honest been there forever and maybe time for fresh ideas.
I don't have a problem with them going
IRFU treating us as a failed province which needs a complete clear out - to be honest we have been a shambles since the
departure of David Humphreys and Johann Muller in 2014.
I would be shocked if the blood letting has stopped, more to follow - I doubt any of Malone (Mr Teflon in the coaching set up), Peel or Dundon are safe either.
Of course then there is the big one - Logan.

Increasingly looks to me like the remit is get rid of the lot and start again.
Is it Cunningham role to manage this before getting his reward with some sort of IRFU job ? - would not surprise me

There is a fine balance between "fresh ideas" and throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Ulster seem at least as fit if not fitter than most of their opponents. They have some of the most advanced facilities in Europe and constantly implement fresh ideas in conjunction with sports science from UU. Neither do Ulster suffer more injuries pro rate than other sides. Tinkering with the backroom staff doesn't address the real problem - Ulster schools and clubs aren't producing the players and they aren't playing at high enough levels to make the step up.

Why should the IRFU exclude Cunningham from the clear-out, when he has a questionable track record and publicly criticised them? If he is just another D4 puppet overseeing the blood-letting, then surely his reward would be an IRFU job to stay at Ulster as their inside man.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:33 am

geoff999rugby wrote:I don't see why the IRFU wouldn't stop a LH coming

1 - The guys responsible for signing him have gone - it is now clear it was a Clarke suggestion which Kiss approved
2 - NIQ , as opposed to NIE, are now irrelevant
3 - You are allowed 4 NIE - we have 2
4 - Our salary bill is down a lot - Gibbes, Trimble, Bowe, Piatau and many more
5 - Without an adequate player we will be in a position of being unable to contest scrums, even from the start - we will be fined and points deducted for that
6 - Ireland are ok re LH - McGrath, Healy, Dooley, Buckley, Kilcoyne, Cronin. A NIE will not impact on Irelands WC campaign

At the very least Jackson and Olding will have got all the years of their contracts paid up front, and potentially an additional handshake. vdM signed for three years so that would be two years of his contract left to buy out.
I agree Ulster need a LH but am not at all sure whether the IRFU would sanction it. The fact that there are a lot of IE options while making it easier to sign NIE, may mean that Nucifora would be encouraging other Irish based players to move North.
Ulster and Munster are becoming repositories for Leinster rejects.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:38 am

In terms of Ulster youngsters not playing at a high enough level. O'Toole was in 2A this season and looks to the manor born. Dalton was in 2B and looks a very good prospect. I dont buy that they arent playing at high enough levels to make the step up. If they are goof enough they will adapt and adapt quickly. Hall came in and made 20 plus tackle v Treviso. Its about the environment which they are brought into and that has been the primary difference imo.

Dont get me wrong there is definitely work to be done in the areas highlighted but I dont buy the young guys cant step up, particularly now there will be this U23 league mooted.

On the LH front, if Ulster didnt go after Dooley they need slapped. alternatively if that guy is happy playing AIL at leinster instead of being first choice at a province then slap it up him. I do believe the latter is the case though and he wouldnt move

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:39 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Twittersphere

My understanding is when Rassie contacted him he confirmed he was not available as he is to take up a coaching role with Ulster next year & would sign off as a player this season with @MHR_officiel But I agree with @jacq_west he is still best SA No9

Has he got a get out clause re taking up a coaching only job at Ulster ?
Is he so unhappy there he wants to come 'home' ?
Should Peel be packing his bags ?
Is it a load of nonsense ?

We live in fascinating times

Montpellier would be a bit hypocritical if they tried stopping him walking out on a contract

Saying that though, under French law, if you retire your contract is null and void

His wife did just have another baby here, probably would rather be with them than continue playing away from them

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:42 am

Standulstermen wrote:In terms of Ulster youngsters not playing at a high enough level. O'Toole was in 2A this season and looks to the manor born. Dalton was in 2B and looks a very good prospect. I dont buy that they arent playing at high enough levels to make the step up. If they are goof enough they will adapt and adapt quickly. Hall came in and made 20 plus tackle v Treviso. Its about the environment which they are brought into and that has been the primary difference imo.

Dont get me wrong there is definitely work to be done in the areas highlighted but I dont buy the young guys cant step up, particularly now there will be this U23 league mooted.

On the LH front, if Ulster didnt go after Dooley they need slapped. alternatively if that guy is happy playing AIL at leinster instead of being first choice at a province then slap it up him. I do believe the latter is the case though and he wouldnt move

The problem though isn't if they are good enough, it's if the experience they get prepares them enough to step up. The transition for Leinsters youngsters is far easier because they experience at a higher level playing at the top level of the AIL and playing each other a lot of the time. That raises the bar, Ulster don't have that luxury

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 26 May 2018, 10:42 am

VdeMerwe is on a 2 year contract not 3 and his salary is not that high.

There was no additional handshake
Overall the wage bill has gone down a lot

We have already tried to get an IQ LH north - Dooley we were turned down
If you know of one who is good enough to play senior rugby please mention because I don't

The bottom line is if no player is prepared to move North, the IRFU will have to sanction a NIE and for the reasons
I have listed I cant see why they wouldnt

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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