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


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Mon 21 May 2018, 12:12 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 4:00 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:What an absolute farce. How on earth World Rugby can allow this merry-go-round of player swapping between teams owned by the same owners is just incredible.
Of course never move between Welsh teams or French teams, or Scottish teams, or etc etc

What a completely irrelevant post
The fact Carbery hasn't moved to Ulster and that Murphy is the first EVER first XV player to move between Ulster and Leinster, at least in the professional era, makes a nonsense of your post

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Thu 31 May 2018, 4:36 pm

Or super rugby teams, no New Zealander has ever moved to another NZ team.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Thu 31 May 2018, 4:37 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
The fact Carbery hasn't moved to Ulster and that Murphy is the first EVER first XV player to move between Ulster and Leinster, at least in the professional era, makes a nonsense of your post

In fairness poor old Jordi was well outside the 23 when he signed the contract... Heaslip, Ruddock, VDF, Conan, O'Brien, Leavy and Deegan all ahead at the time.... Ulster could well have got the deal of the century if he brings his current form North...
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Redman on Thu 31 May 2018, 4:47 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Rory out of the Oz tour with a hamstring injury.

Doesn't he have access to a physio??????

That's really no bad thing. He needs the rest. Form is fine but he needs managed till the World Cup.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 4:56 pm

Rumour is Daniel Soper has joined our coaching set up

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Brendan on Thu 31 May 2018, 5:56 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:What an absolute farce. How on earth World Rugby can allow this merry-go-round of player swapping between teams owned by the same owners is just incredible.

So we have gone from "its so unfair that Leinster have many international and are basically the Ireland national team, The IRFU shouldn't be allowed to do it and should have to spread them around" to "oh one of those internationals is going to another team, it's so unfair the IRFU make Leinster not be able to afford all these players and give them to other teams"

I think Keatley moving North would be good for him and Ulster.  He has never been taken to the heart of Munster fans because he isn't an internally developed player and wasn't ROG.  Better than he gets credit for and most of the time is a great Pro14 player.
After the 6N he was praised for being good at mimicking the other nations No. 10s so can play different styles and has rarely let Ireland down either.  Maybe they could off him 2 years and then a coaching role for when he retires.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Don Alfonso on Thu 31 May 2018, 5:59 pm

I've seen posters on a couple of other fora posting that we have some really good news to announce on the coaching front.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Redman on Thu 31 May 2018, 6:03 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:I've seen posters on a couple of other fora posting that we have some really good news to announce on the coaching front.

Is our Saint returning to us or have we just bought out the rest of McFarland's contract?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 6:05 pm

See my post above yours re coaching good news

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 6:07 pm

Brendan wrote:  Maybe they could off him 2 years and then a coaching role for when he retires.

That wont be happening - Payne now (defence) and Pienaer later (attack) is close as to certain as you can get.
I don't think Keatley would be a good call as forwards coach Laugh

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Redman on Thu 31 May 2018, 6:11 pm

Brendan wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:What an absolute farce. How on earth World Rugby can allow this merry-go-round of player swapping between teams owned by the same owners is just incredible.

So we have gone from "its so unfair that Leinster have many international and are basically the Ireland national team, The IRFU shouldn't be allowed to do it and should have to spread them around" to "oh one of those internationals is going to another team, it's so unfair the IRFU make Leinster not be able to afford all these players and give them to other teams"

I think Keatley moving North would be good for him and Ulster.  He has never been taken to the heart of Munster fans because he isn't an internally developed player and wasn't ROG.  Better than he gets credit for and most of the time is a great Pro14 player.
After the 6N he was praised for being good at mimicking the other nations No. 10s so can play different styles and has rarely let Ireland down either.  Maybe they could off him 2 years and then a coaching role for when he retires.

I wouldn't mind him arriving as cover, but I'd be fairly annoyed if he was brought in ahead of McPhillips.

He's 31, and probably only got another 2-3 years left at Pro14 level. That's fine if he's covering for injuries or when we need him at 15 but he's not a long term option. Nor will McPhillips, or Lowry be long term options if we don't invest in them. That means game time. That means starting them in big games and taking the rough with the smooth.

So fine for cover, but if the IRFU start dictating that he is guaranteed a starting place just to get him off Munster's wage bill because they have too many 10s .......... well that I can't abide.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 6:18 pm

It wont be that - to be honest I don't think Joe Schmidt is at all bothered where Keatley plays as long as it is not at 10 for Munster in front of Carbery. If Keatley comes it is because Ulster want him and considering our choices at 15 are Nelson, Busby and Owens (if he stays) we could do with him.

He has Sexton playing 10 for Leinster whenever he wants
He has Bryne playing 10 for Leinster on numerous occasions
He has Carbery, hopefully, Munster first choice 10

They are the guys earmarked for the WC - Keatley, JJ, Bleydaal and the rest are not significant

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 7:00 pm

Slightly surprise no response re coaching rumour, which now seems a done deal.
Maybe people aren't aware of him - don't follow the club game closely enough ?

Malone is, I assume, on his way out as well after this

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by JmD on Thu 31 May 2018, 7:09 pm

I know Banbridge had a good run this year geoff, but I've never heard anything about Dan Soper himself. What type of role would he be taking up?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 31 May 2018, 7:10 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Slightly surprise no response re coaching rumour, which now seems a done deal.
Maybe people aren't aware of him - don't follow the club game closely enough ?

Malone is, I assume, on his way out as well after this

I'd heard of him being mentioned fot a coaching role a month or 2 ago but it was just a vague rumour then. He's very highly thought of and has a lot of success in his past so now is the time for him to step up and bring that to Pro14 level. What position will he in? Assistant coach?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 7:36 pm

I think he would be Assistant/Skills coach hence my assuming Malone is also out the door.

Of the 1st XV coaching staff that would be everyone gone

McFarland, Soper, Payne, Peel would be a strong set up in my opinion
Soper has taken Banbridge from 52nd in Ireland to 11th in Ireland in 8 years
Knows the schools game inside out as well
Just a rumour at the moment but for me would be the perfect accompaniment to the 3 outsiders alongside him

We are definitely getting a new skills coach - here is the best of all curve balls for you
Some on the other site implying it could be ROG

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 31 May 2018, 7:58 pm

On the face of it a decent appointment Geoff but it isnt Ruan coming home which is what we were hoping for a week ago. Not Sopers fault obviously and he has done wonders with Banbridge and will know a lot of the younger guys like Hume and O'Toole. Definitely an upgrade there.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:07 pm

I think Stand Pienaar is next year. Maybe he will have to coach ravens (specialist halfbacks coach) when he arrives and build up experience while attending courses?

Just looking is our conference next year, is it the same as this years one expect we have swapped Leinster for Munster?

If so that is great news, get shot of the best team in the league, and keep Dragons and Southern Kings the two worst?

Maybe next year could be good?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:09 pm

My take on Ruan is he definitely will end up as a coach at Ulster
I am equally convinced it wont be for season 18-19
Peel keeping the seat warm probably

19-20: McFarland, Soper, Payne, ROG, Pienaer....................please don't wake me from this lovely dream
Two quality coaches with 3 World Class players...............perfect

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:15 pm

Kingshu wrote:
Just looking is our conference next year, is it the same as this years one expect we have swapped Leinster for Munster?


I believe this is a common misconception.
Southern Kings were in our Conference because they were ranked above the Cheetahs.
O)n that basis I expect the Cheetahs and the Kings to swap as well.
Our conference gets the best Saffers team

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:16 pm

Standulstermen wrote:On the face of it a decent appointment Geoff but it isnt Ruan coming home which is what we were hoping for a week ago. Not Sopers fault obviously and he has done wonders with Banbridge and will know a lot of the younger guys like Hume and O'Toole. Definitely an upgrade there.

Absolutely - if we are expected to develop the younger provincial players who better than the coach who knows them better than anybody

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:36 pm

Just to clear I am only joking about ROG but I am deadly serious about Dan Soper

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Thu 31 May 2018, 8:53 pm

Honestly didnt know much about Dan Soper but if he's got Geoff this excited he must have something about him. Geoff doesnt just pop his cork for anyone.
I hope he is as good as you say and its hard not to get caught up in your excitement

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 31 May 2018, 9:51 pm

All I know is that he outperformed McLaughlin this year in 1B including I believe 3 wins over Hinch (it might have been two) and McLaughlin did great stuff and has started something special in Armagh not to mention his Ulster days. I would probably like to see Pienaar cut his teeth with the A's , working with Anderson maybe. Imagine being a young lad on the cusp of the senior team and having someone of Pienaars standing to guide you.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 31 May 2018, 10:13 pm

Dan Soper has been, by some distance, the best local coach in the last decade.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 9:28 am

Were you not slating Antipodeans last week geoff? Whistle

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Don Alfonso on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 10:25 am



Some promising stats there...

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 11:04 am

Indeed - Willie Anderson in particular is doing a great job

Only those who come here solely for the money Marty
Those who buy into to the place, like Andy Ward, Payne and Soper are fine.
Will have to check but Soper has lived here a long time

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 11:26 am

I think Soper has been here something like 15 years, there were a few articles on him prior to the Schools Cup final. He had a spell in Italy in the middle of it all.

Hopefully Banbridge aren't hindered by him moving on and they can push for promotion again next season

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 12:06 pm

They are losing a lot of their players next year in so far as they will be getting more game time for Ulster 1st or Ulster 'A's
so they could struggle a bit.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 12:48 pm

That's a shame for them and rugby in Ulster, them and Hinch kicking on from this season and getting promotion could have been huge

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 3:38 pm

I should correct myself a little - I don't think they are in relegation danger - although losing Soper will be a huge blow.
However if I was a betting man I predict 3rd to 5th in the league.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 4:09 pm

Be hard for someone new to come in and keep up the standards if they are losing some players too, given how far he's taken them

5 Ulster teams in 1B next season though, you'd like to think one might get a promotion


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 7:37 pm

According to Joe Schmidt, there was a lot less pressure put on Joey to Ulster than made out.

He said Ulster had been looking at foreign 10s.

He simply asked Joey if there was any interest in heading to Ulster.

He said Ulster needed to know by midday the next day.

He said at that time, Joey showed some interest.


So.... it would appear that a foreign 10 was lined up, and maybe it wasn't so much IRFU flat out blocking it, but the fact that Carberry had indicated there was some interest.

How much it was Ulster's gamble versus IRFU demand, we won't know. But it certainly does appear as though we missed out on a foreign 10 because Joey kept us hanging.


1min 45sec

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 8:07 pm

Joe is being creative with the truth.
We were blocked signing a NIQ 10, at least until the IRFU were certain no IQ 10 would come here.
He also stated he played no part in Carbery going to Munster.....where is that mountain of salt I need a pinch or 10.............

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 8:15 pm

Fair enough Geoff, but the key takeaway for me is 'Ulster needed to know by midday the next day'. So, from the horses mouth we know Ulster were ready to seal a deal with a 10 and the IRFU/Carberry nonsense led to us not signing that particular 10, and now not getting Carberry either.

Thanks lads.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 10:26 pm

clivemcl wrote:Fair enough Geoff, but the key takeaway for me is 'Ulster needed to know by midday the next day'. So, from the horses mouth we know Ulster were ready to seal a deal with a 10 and the IRFU/Carberry nonsense led to us not signing that particular 10, and now not getting Carberry either.

Thanks lads.

Thats where I get a bit annoyed in this mess Clive. Its not over a month down the line and we have no NIQs nor am I certain we know where we can use them given the Keatley rumour is still about. If Keatley is keen then sign him up and do it bloody quickly. To my mind its a kick in the stones for him given he took Munster to two semis last season. Bring him in to play 10 and cover 15 and focus on a LH or a lock. It seems Reid may be joining the academy or sub academy next season which is great news on the LH front

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 10:45 pm

As Schmidt and Nucifora now have their top 3 10s catered for such as they are not all at the same province I suggest that a NIQ 10 may well arrive.
They are not that bothered where Keatley plays - it is the 3 Leinster boys who interest them the most.
That is a rumour doing the rounds
Keatley could easily stay - is Bleydaal ever going to be fit, Johnston has hardly started and JJ could be a 12 option.
5 could become 2/3 very quickly.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 10:48 pm

If thats the case Geoff then I hope now that Bryn and MCFarland are aware and are 100% on track with finding someone. Thats all you can ask.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Fri 01 Jun 2018, 11:40 pm

It's all very well saying 'now we can get back to the search', but that assumes we can find an NIQ 10 of a decent standard easily. The midday deadline thing obviously suggests we missed the boat on somebody. What if that was the only person available, keen and above average in ability?

Time will tell. I'd take Keatley, if only because I feel our squad is now light and he can play full back too. But I'd prefer to be signing an NIQ of a better standard (on the assumption the IRFU give us an extra NIQ spot which would be fair I think - for a year at least).

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by neilthom7 on Sat 02 Jun 2018, 12:59 am

I assume there is only 3 ways our 10 situation can now go for next year.
A. No one comes in, McPhillips and Lowry are our 10's, it gives them both good game time and maybe we get a local star, if one of them gets injured we have no other options and they could flop.

B. We get a NIQ 10, likely a very average ten, most players will be signed up for next year and any top quality tens will want to maximize their chance of going to the world cup. Likely only leaves us with a very average 10 who McPhillips may well be better than and a wasted NIQ spot.

C. We get Keatley or alike, this would be my preferred option, McPhillips can still start the vast majority of matches at ten, Keatley can cover various backline positions in which we are short and for games where we need extra control or McPhillips is injured he can start at 10 plus we save an NIQ for use elsewhere. He may also feel he has a point to prove.

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