Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Sat 02 Jun 2018, 2:14 am

First topic message reminder :

Carberry is 22, McPhillips is 21. Is this talk about sticking with McPhillips and hoping he turns out to be a gem maybe a tad naive? Carberry at a year older is being talked about as though he was the second coming and all this despite Sexton and Byrne and a whole backline of stellar players potentially blocking him. By contrast, it's almost as if we only know the name of McPhillips because we had no choice. A year ago the thinking was Jackson and Nelson. We then were saying Cooney can play 10 a bit. Then we signed Lealifano. Surely if McPhillips was the hot prospect, the coaches would have featured him more before Lealifano left.
In fact during Leanlifano's time here wasn't Nelson the preferred bench 10, and indeed started 3 games at 10 before Christmas, but then got injured?

Not meaning to be super negative, I hope I'm wrong. Cooney is a perfect example of a player suddenly shining from nowhere. I guess Ulster coaches know better than me if he's a real prospect worth thrusting into the limelight or not.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 12:55 pm

we have some highly talented youngsters but there are a lot of questions raised about them after the JRWC. It'll be an interesting season I agree with Geoff but unless I see some improvements I think my patience will finally have gone.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 12:56 pm

I'm hearing he is one of the two names in the frame, so you may well be right

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 1:02 pm

Standulstermen wrote:we have some highly talented youngsters but there are a lot of questions raised about them after the JRWC. It'll be an interesting season I agree with Geoff but unless I see some improvements I think my patience will finally have gone.

Lot of question over all but not of the Ulster boys.
Ireland were weak in the front row, poor at half back, useless in the back three.

Stewart was the only Ulster player in any of those positions.
O'Toole didn't go because of injury.
The players 4 to 8 were fine, indeed the Ulster backrowers were excellent.
Hume got a game on the wing he is a 12, Lowry was asked to play 15 for the first time in his life (and was the best back on the team that day)

So whilst Ireland overall were weak, and the coaching has to be seriously questioned, I don't think the Ulster players came up short in any way.

What you will see next year, hopefully, is significant player development, which can then be enhanced by the signing of 3 or 4 NIQ post WC to help them to the next level
If you expect improved results then I suspect you will be disappointed - we are not strong enough, or experienced enough, for that.

We have got rid of a lot of deadwood this year - I expect a further cull of 6/7 players who fit that description next year.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 2:53 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I was told be a colleague who seems to have solid contacts that it was Constable. If it's true he'll have to give up any conflicting interests/hobbies Smile

Jonathan Bradley basically confirmed on the BT podcast a few weeks back and said whoever was coming in had loose ends to tie up before he can step in

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 5:52 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:we have some highly talented youngsters but there are a lot of questions raised about them after the JRWC. It'll be an interesting season I agree with Geoff but unless I see some improvements I think my patience will finally have gone.

Lot of question over all but not of the Ulster boys.
Ireland were weak in the front row, poor at half back, useless in the back three.

Stewart was the only Ulster player in any of those positions.
O'Toole didn't go because of injury.
The players 4 to 8 were fine, indeed the Ulster backrowers were excellent.
Hume got a game on the wing he is a 12, Lowry was asked to play 15 for the first time in his life (and was the best back on the team that day)

So whilst Ireland overall were weak, and the coaching has to be seriously questioned, I don't think the Ulster players came up short in any way.

What you will see next year, hopefully, is significant player development, which can then be enhanced by the signing of 3 or 4 NIQ post WC to help them to the next level
If you expect improved results then I suspect you will be disappointed - we are not strong enough, or experienced enough, for that.

We have got rid of a lot of deadwood this year - I expect a further cull of 6/7 players who fit that description next year.

Hume had a dreadful tournament. He did play at centre (against Georgia I believe) and threw two intercepts. I dont think our backrowers were excellent but I thought they were the best of the pack especially Agnew and they were hamstrung by a weak tight five. I've yet to be impressed by Dalton in white or green in truth and his stats are poor. Lowry I wasn't including in that summation for the reasons you say. Stewart frustrates me as he can show some lovely touches and then look totally braindead in the next instant. I would need improved results to renew again Geoff in fairness. I make no secret of that. I dont expect silverware but I think a similar season to this one and I would look to find a better use for my money. I am thoroughly frustrated at the lack of signings for next season and the general acceptance of it (or so it seems because we hear nothing of any import from Ulster) by Ulster

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 9:06 pm

Didn't watch the Georgia game - I was away.
Still reckon I have seen enough to suggest he shows promise.

The reality is the Ulster branch are not currently running Ulster, the IRFU are in the form of Nucifora are, because they lost all faith in the old regime.
In truth it was a shambles.
They are not going to let us sign expensive imports until the new set up has shown it is half competent.
We need to prove we can develop decent players from 1 to 10 to the Irish set up.
In the last 7/8 there have been the 2 lads from North Belfast and after that nothing.
That is not acceptable

This happened under Logans watch - I understand there are some senior non rugby staff who are on their last chance.
One in particular
The man is a disgrace and our committees put him forward to the IRFU, no wonder they don't trust us.
Having said that the IRFU are partly to blame - they saw us as a place to ship Kiss out to, after Schmidt didn't want him.
He was forced on us, but even then only because one of our own, Humphreys, left us up the proverbial without a paddle and LOogan running around like a headless chicken because he had lost his crutch.

Stand if you want improved result I suggest you don't buy a ST next year.
However I would say two things - there are at last genuine green shoots of recovery emerging.
In addition were actual results that bad last year - only 2 home defeats in all competitions; which has been our norm for a few years now.
4 wins in Europe, including all 3 home game
It would be unrealistic to expect more given the strength of the squad

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 12:37 am

I've already renewed next season Geoff. In fairness up until the last week or two I would have classed myself as fairly optimistic. Whatever the evidence of the JRWC the simple truth is these young lads like Hume will get a chance because Ulster have no other option. Im certainly not for binning them at this juncture. I have no issue with any part of your post apart from the last line.

'given the strength of the squad'

We have known for a good bit that Bowe and Trimble were going, ditto Jared, same goes for Piutau. We've known for a good while that after Cooney we were looking at Shanahan and Stewart which is unacceptable imo. We have been shafted a little by the Carbery situation but I dont mind that so much (though it does leave us with 1 senior 10 on the books) and we have had an inkling that Marshall and Ludiks seasons will already be seriously curtailed by injury. And our solution is...….sign no one. Im not looking for Julia Savea here, but two or three decent pros to fill holes which no pro-sports team should have. I dont know is that Bryns fault or Nucifora's or the IRFU in general but I find that unacceptable. After the meeting with Bryn the implication was that while the culling would begin in earnest they were also looking at areas of weakness in the squad they could strengthen. It doesnt take a blind man on a galloping horse to point out where they are.

In terms of what I expect I dont think Europe comes into it. Its the league I would look at. I may feel differently when the season starts and in fact with a couple of decent signings I may feel differently but I feel short changed at the minute by the squad going into next season. Its wafer thin (moreso in the backs) and I think the players and coaches themselves should feel short changed by it. Every man has his breaking point and for me I think another year of a continued slump would be a year too far.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:31 am

It does our good players no good to be surrounded by under par team mates. Mcphilips forcexample could do ok with Cooney, but would struggle to progress if Cooney gets injured. Similarly Cooney’s progression is dependent on the back row that is available. Etc etc.

I agree with Stand. If there are no signings, it seems more like somebody messed up rather than a strategic decision. Baffling otherwise.

Have we got post WC signings promised to us already a la Piutau? And our difficulty was we could only offer one year contracts this summer?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 8:59 am

Ware not getting NIE's, we only have 2 slots available, because the IRFU/Nucifora don't trust the Ulster set up.
Also the year before a WC is the worst year trying to sign a quality NIQ.
We are on notice - show we know how to a rugby club and the funds will come the following year when we will have 4 NIE and 1 Project slot available.
There is anger in Dublin at the incompetence at Ulster under Logans watch, I can understand that.
That is why the whole set up is being torn down and we are starting from scratch.

The attempt to sign Janties is not a good sign we have learnt anything.
Trying to pay big money for a totally overrated 10 and be lumbered with him for a further 1 or 2 years.
Better to let the 3 young lads fight it out and then the best of them learns from a top player coming in next year.

If the coaching set up works I am looking forward to this season more than any of the previous 3
It is very satisfying watching youngsters develop and in the long run Ulster rugby will be stronger for it.
As Bryn said for 2 years we will not be competitive - that is just being realistic.
Between to get the foundation right than go for quick fixes, like Janties, which will mask the problem and lead to further failure

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:39 am

I agree with Stand on this one, the incompetence in the preparation for this coming season is bordering on comical. Our lack of any signings despite the voids is not acceptable. Cooney cannot carry the 9 jersey all season, Shanahan shouldn't be near a pro setup and Stewart isn't much better. Our lack of outhalf options looks even more threadbare and beyond McPhillips what's the plans? At the moment Keatley would be welcomed with open arms but even he won't make the move north despite the fact he's going to see even less of the 10 shirt than ever this season. Additionally of course we are without our head coach for preseason and beyond yet again, another farce brought upon us by the ineptitude both of the Ulster branch and the IRFU. The list goes on as does the silence from Ulster Rugby.
This is why we're in for a difficult season but at least we're fully expecting it this year.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:41 am

It's good to get all the pessimism out of the system nice and early

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:48 am

marty2086 wrote:It's good to get all the pessimism out of the system nice and early

I'd love to squeeze some optimism out of all this but blood from a stone comes to mind.

Optimistically speaking may we will uncover a few absolute gems from the young guns who are capable of making the step up. Maybe if Marcel can last a season and Marty and Jordi add a bit of grunt to the pack we'll give our backline the platform they need to show what they can do. Maybe Rodney will be a revelation at LH.

That's all I can do for now Marty Wink

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 10:04 am

I agree with Geoff regarding the youngsters but again its when they are played is important. I suppose that will be the key. I actually think we can put out two reasonable packs

O'Hagan, Best, Moore, Hendo, Dalton, Rea, Agnew, Coetzee
Warwick, Herring, O'Toole, Treadwell, AoC, Deysel, Reidy, Timoney

Thats not too shabby imo albeit how and who you bloody new guys with is going to be key. The backs though....

Cooney, McPhillips, Gilroy, McCloskey, Cave, Stockdale, Addison. after that we have Nelson, Hume and Lyttle and then im struggling for outside backs. Thats appalling and if the IRFU are complicit in this its unacceptable. They had no issue backing Munster to the hilt after years of financial mismanagement (with NIE after NIE) and the simple truth is if they dont trust the current set up they should have got rid of everyone and started again. As it is it seems they have got their coach and are tying one hand behind his back with a lop sided squad, hideously weak in key positions. Like I say, they dont have to big name NIQs but someone to add some semblance of depth. If they dont like what they see this season will they withhold money/approval for signings next year too? It will be an interesting season for certain and like Geoff I do look forward to seeing more youth given a go. My worry is they will be surrounded by dross in which case, how do you tell If they are any good

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 10:12 am

We are a couple of injuries away from not having a backline, I said on another thread I'm surprised Brendan Macken hasn't been someone Ulster have tried to sign. He's not a world beating player but he is a guy capable of adding something to the team and given us a bit more depth plus is IQ

Players will pick up injuries and we need cover, even if it's just a few versatile guys or players who can free up the players we have with versatility

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 1:25 pm

Remember season before last Munster were allowed 10 NIQ/E players at one point. They were all in the squad at one time (Du Toit, Marshall, Kleyn, Toma, Bleyendaal, Saili, Taute, Chisholm, Deysel and Griesel)

Most were not great, and on short term contracts as medical jokers, being teated etc.

Will the IRFU allow us up to 7 additional NIQ/E players on short deals, to cover for squad shortages this year.

Even same positions would be nice as they haven't been a problem before
LH - van der Merwe
hooker
lock
backrow - Coetzee
backrow - Deysel
SH
OH,
Center
Center
and Griese (can't find anything about Griese anymore).

Fill those spot with one year deals and we will have depth
I wonder will they allow us the same? Doubt it though we are not Munster,.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 2:12 pm

It's strange overall, Munster are in debt and the IRFU restructure payments while letting them spend big money on NIQ players and maintain a large squad

Connacht are dysfunctional so they exclude them from the NIQ rules to allow them to become competitive

Ulster are performing well financially but not on the pitch so they cut budgets and limit the NIQ signings Headscratch

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 2:42 pm

It's very odd and inconsistent to say the least. When a province has struggled in the past, for whatever reason, they've been supported in order to get them back on track. Ulster struggles and are offered only punishment and told they made the mess so they'll have to take it on the chin.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Sin é on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 2:48 pm

marty2086 wrote:It's strange overall, Munster are in debt and the IRFU restructure payments while letting them spend big money on NIQ players and maintain a large squad

Connacht are dysfunctional so they exclude them from the NIQ rules to allow them to become competitive

Ulster are performing well financially but not on the pitch so they cut budgets and limit the NIQ signings Headscratch

Munster were not lucky enough to get a redeveloped stadium handed to them. They had to borrow 15m and are in the process of paying it back now (approx. 7 million owed). In the meantime, for its 7m investment, the IRFU has a 50% stake in Thomond Park Stadium which they are getting interest payments on). Munster have had to raise the cash to upgrade Musgrave Park (which they did two years ago). A new artificial pitch is being put in there at the moment.

I doubt very much if Munster is spending big money on NIQs. All players would have come in well under the radar. The sudden influx probably has more to do with the changing of the qualification period from 3 to 5 years.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 2:57 pm

Sin é wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It's strange overall, Munster are in debt and the IRFU restructure payments while letting them spend big money on NIQ players and maintain a large squad

Connacht are dysfunctional so they exclude them from the NIQ rules to allow them to become competitive

Ulster are performing well financially but not on the pitch so they cut budgets and limit the NIQ signings Headscratch

Munster were not lucky enough to get a redeveloped stadium handed to them. They had to borrow 15m and are in the process of paying it back now (approx. 7 million owed). In the meantime, for its 7m investment, the IRFU has a 50% stake in Thomond Park Stadium which they are getting interest payments on). Munster have had to raise the cash to upgrade Musgrave Park (which they did two years ago). A new artificial pitch is being put in there at the moment.

I doubt very much if Munster is spending big money on NIQs. All players would have come in well under the radar. The sudden influx probably has more to do with the changing of the qualification period from 3 to 5 years.

You mean like the loans Ulster got from the IRFU in 2009 to redevelop the stadium? Rolling Eyes

Nice of you point out how Munster continue to spend money while unable to repay their debts

I doubt 10 NIQ players were cheap to have on contract


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 3:00 pm

Ravenhill belongs to the IRFU not Ulster Sin so its all relative. The people of NI paid for the stadium also. All the more reason to cut us some slack with regards to signings. I dont begrudge Munster any of the help they got. Limerick and its environs were certainly badly hit by the downturn and its only right to help bring munster back to previous levels. I wish the same was extended to Ulster (with the caveat I dont know the particulars with Ulster.)



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 3:03 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:It's very odd and inconsistent to say the least. When a province has struggled in the past, for whatever reason, they've been supported in order to get them back on track. Ulster struggles and are offered only punishment and told they made the mess so they'll have to take it on the chin.

Ulster need fixing but the IRFU didn't want to compromise Munsters competitiveness yet are happy to do that with Ulster Rolling Eyes

Personally I think a lot more needs doing on the ground to grow rugby, too much lip service has been paid to it and too much reliance on the success of Ulster drawing people in. More work needs doing to bring the game to schools and areas that don't usually embrace the game

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 3:45 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:I was told be a colleague who seems to have solid contacts that it was Constable. If it's true he'll have to give up any conflicting interests/hobbies Smile

Oh gee, the Cornerflag takeover continues... Darren Cave will be director of rugby next...
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:27 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Didn't watch the Georgia game - I was away.
Still reckon I have seen enough to suggest he shows promise.

The reality is the Ulster branch are not currently running Ulster, the IRFU are in the form of Nucifora are, because they lost all faith in the old regime.
In truth it was a shambles.
They are not going to let us sign expensive imports until the new set up has shown it is half competent.
We need to prove we can develop decent players from 1 to 10 to the Irish set up.
In the last 7/8 there have been the 2 lads from North Belfast and after that nothing.
That is not acceptable

This happened under Logans watch - I understand there are some senior non rugby staff who are on their last chance.
One in particular
The man is a disgrace and our committees put him forward to the IRFU, no wonder they don't trust us.
Having said that the IRFU are partly to blame - they saw us as a place to ship Kiss out to, after Schmidt didn't want him.
He was forced on us, but even then only because one of our own, Humphreys, left us up the proverbial without a paddle and LOogan running around like a headless chicken because he had lost his crutch.

Stand if you want improved result I suggest you don't buy a ST next year.
However I would say two things - there are at last genuine green shoots of recovery emerging.
In addition were actual results that bad last year - only 2 home defeats in all competitions; which has been our norm for a few years now.
4 wins in Europe, including all 3 home game
It would be unrealistic to expect more given the strength of the squad

Ulster's rugby woes may have "happened under Logans watch", but how much did he know about them? He deserved to go for his spineless disappearance during the trial, and subsequent economy with the truth, but Ulster's current slide clearly began with Humphrey's departure. No one since has been either strong or savvy enough to deal with Nucifora / IRFU in Dublin and the committee men at home.

Before Humphreys departure, there was no question about where the responsibility lay for the coaches and the team. After he left no-one has managed the off-field responsibility to change rugby in the province. It was obviously hoped that Kiss could effect change by working closely with the IRFU and win hearts and minds in Belfast, but when that didn't happen he had to go.

Ulster Rugby now need a leader with a rugby brain to address the crumbling club and schools structures that are unfit for purpose. That will require someone who can get the respect of the Committee men. It will also require someone who can argue the case with Nucifora and the IRFU. Until that happens and a supply of homegrown players starts to emerge Ulster will inevitably continue on the downward slide.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:18 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It's good to get all the pessimism out of the system nice and early

I'd love to squeeze some optimism out of all this but blood from a stone comes to mind.

Optimistically speaking may we will uncover a few absolute gems from the young guns who are capable of making the step up. Maybe if Marcel can last a season and Marty and Jordi add a bit of grunt to the pack we'll give our backline the platform they need to show what they can do. Maybe Rodney will be a revelation at LH.

That's all I can do for now Marty Wink

The backline that is 2/3 injuries away from requiring the academy novices???


EDIT: APologies, I now see this has been well covererd!

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 11:17 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Ulster's rugby woes may have "happened under Logans watch", but how much did he know about them?

If he didn't know he wasn't doing his job - the buck stops with the CEO
The Great Aukster wrote:

Ulster Rugby now need a leader with a rugby brain to address the crumbling club and schools structures that are unfit for purpose. That will require someone who can get the respect of the Committee men. It will also require someone who can argue the case with Nucifora and the IRFU.

Thats why the next CEO, whoever it is, will be someone who has played the game at he top level
The Great Aukster wrote:

Until that happens and a supply of homegrown players starts to emerge Ulster will inevitably continue on the downward slide.

We have he best Academy squad in, at least, a decade. We know need to turn that promise into results

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 11:31 pm

Regarding the backs we have, including players likely to be in the Academy next year

SH                     Cooney, Shanahan, Stewart, O'Donnell, Curtis jnr
FH                     McPhillips, Lowry, Curtis  snr
Centre               McCloskey, Addison, Cave, Hume, Butler
Backthree          Stockdale, Gilroy, Lyttle, Nelson, Busby, Owens, Hughes, Finnegan, Kernohan, Sexton

Left out Marshall and Ludik completely because of injury
23 players of whom 9 have never played a 1st XV game
I'm guessing Owens and Busby will be retained because of numbers

Put it another way I reckon our backup are - Stewart, Lowry, Lyttle, Curtis, Cave, Busby, Owens

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 11:54 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:

Put it another way I reckon our backup are - Stewart, Lowry, Lyttle, Curtis, Cave, Busby, Owens

Sad

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 8:39 am

on reflection I say the starters would be

Cooney, McPhillips, Gilroy, McCloskey, Cave, Stockdale, Addison

backup

Stewart, Lowry, Lyttle, Curtis, Hume, Busby, Nelson

but you get the point


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 9:30 am

Connacht wouldnt even be asked to go into a season with a squad like that

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:02 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
Ulster Rugby now need a leader with a rugby brain to address the crumbling club and schools structures that are unfit for purpose. That will require someone who can get the respect of the Committee men. It will also require someone who can argue the case with Nucifora and the IRFU. Until that happens and a supply of homegrown players starts to emerge Ulster will inevitably continue on the downward slide.

I don't understand this comment. It is Nucifera that is trying to restructure the schools and underage systems into something fit for purpose - it is Ulster that are refusing to do it.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Sin é on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:04 am

[quote="marty2086"]
Sin é wrote:
marty2086 wrote:It's strange overall, Munster are in debt and the IRFU restructure payments while letting them spend big money on NIQ players and maintain a large squad

Connacht are dysfunctional so they exclude them from the NIQ rules to allow them to become competitive

Ulster are performing well financially but not on the pitch so they cut budgets and limit the NIQ signings Headscratch

Munster were not lucky enough to get a redeveloped stadium handed to them. They had to borrow 15m and are in the process of paying it back now (approx. 7 million owed). In the meantime, for its 7m investment, the IRFU has a 50% stake in Thomond Park Stadium which they are getting interest payments on). Munster have had to raise the cash to upgrade Musgrave Park (which they did two years ago). A new artificial pitch is being put in there at the moment.

I doubt very much if Munster is spending big money on NIQs. All players would have come in well under the radar. The sudden influx probably has more to do with the changing of the qualification period from 3 to 5 years.

You mean like the loans Ulster got from the IRFU in 2009 to redevelop the stadium? Rolling Eyes

How much and how long did it take to pay it back?

Nice of you point out how Munster continue to spend money while unable to repay their debts

Unable to pay its debts? Since when?

I doubt 10 NIQ players were cheap to have on contract

Munster lost a few players as well in that time that needed to be replaced (Paddy Butler, Dave Foley, James Coughlan, DOC, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan - and POM to a season ending injury in that period). Both POC and DOC got out of their contracts early.

In the backs, Keith Earls had a lot of injury (he missed two six nations), Tyler has really only had 1 decent season in 4, Felix Jones had to retire, JJ left for Northampton and now Zebo is gone. Cover had to be brought in for all of those and I'd guess with both Stander and POM fixtures in the Ireland backrow, decent cover is needed for them.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:26 am

Sin é wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
You mean like the loans Ulster got from the IRFU in 2009 to redevelop the stadium? Rolling Eyes

How much and how long did it take to pay it back?

They paid it back in a few years

Sin é wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Nice of you point out how Munster continue to spend money while unable to repay their debts

Unable to pay its debts? Since when?

Since they defaulted on payments, had to give the IRFU ownership rights in Thomond and had to renegotiate the repayment terms

Sin é wrote:
I doubt 10 NIQ players were cheap to have on contract

Munster lost a few players as well in that time that needed to be replaced (Paddy Butler, Dave Foley, James Coughlan, DOC, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan - and POM to a season ending injury in that period). Both POC and DOC got out of their contracts early.

In the backs, Keith Earls had a lot of injury (he missed two six nations), Tyler has really only had 1 decent season in 4, Felix Jones had to retire, JJ left for Northampton and now Zebo is gone. Cover had to be brought in for all of those and I'd guess with both Stander and POM fixtures in the Ireland backrow, decent cover is needed for them.
[/quote]

POC and Ryan were all central contracts so made no impact on Munsters budget, Ulster have lost Trimble, Bowe, Piutau, Payne, Olding, Jackson, Paul Marshall plus Ludik and Luke Marshall are long term injuries so nice of you to highlight yet again the disparity in how the provinces are treated thumbsup

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:41 am

In other news, Chris Henry will be the first Ulster player to get a testimonial year


Exciting news…

I am launching my Testimonial year to celebrate my career at Ulster and Irish Rugby and fundraise for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke. The charity is close to my heart as I suffered a mini stroke back in 2014.

I am delighted to be the first Ulster Rugby Official player to have a Testimonial at the Kingspan Stadium. The first event kicks off at Kingspan Stadium as Ulster take on Gloucester in a pre-season friendly on Saturday 18th August. Other highlights across the year will include a Testimonial dinner at Belfast City Hall, a golf day, comedy night and a trek with Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe to Mount Toubkal, Morocco.

For more information on The Chris Henry Testimonial Year please contact Sinead Lynch, Corporate Partnerships Manager, 028 9032 0184 / slynch@nichs.org.uk.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 11:05 am

Sin é wrote: Munster lost a few players as well in that time that needed to be replaced (Paddy Butler, Dave Foley, James Coughlan, DOC, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan - and POM to a season ending injury in that period). Both POC and DOC got out of their contracts early.

In the backs, Keith Earls had a lot of injury (he missed two six nations), Tyler has really only had 1 decent season in 4, Felix Jones had to retire, JJ left for Northampton and now Zebo is gone. Cover had to be brought in for all of those and I'd guess with both Stander and POM fixtures in the Ireland backrow, decent cover is needed for them.


So they got 10 NIQ to cover

Ulster have lost Bowe, Trimble, Payne, Jackson, Olding, P.Marshall and now, effectively L.Marshall and Ludik for all or part of the year.
But we get no one who is NIQ and we can be certain is a starter.
VdeMerwe is utterly useless and signed by Kiss, who was forced upon us.
Deysel has been a crushing disappointment and likewise pushed in our direction.
That leaves Coetzee who has played 4 games in two years
Hardly equitable

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 6:32 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Sin é wrote: Munster lost a few players as well in that time that needed to be replaced (Paddy Butler, Dave Foley, James Coughlan, DOC, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan - and POM to a season ending injury in that period). Both POC and DOC got out of their contracts early.

In the backs, Keith Earls had a lot of injury (he missed two six nations), Tyler has really only had 1 decent season in 4, Felix Jones had to retire, JJ left for Northampton and now Zebo is gone. Cover had to be brought in for all of those and I'd guess with both Stander and POM fixtures in the Ireland backrow, decent cover is needed for them.


So they got 10 NIQ to cover

Ulster have lost Bowe, Trimble, Payne, Jackson, Olding, P.Marshall and now, effectively L.Marshall and Ludik for all or part of the year.
But we get no one who is NIQ and we can be certain is a starter.
VdeMerwe is utterly useless and signed by Kiss, who was forced upon us.
Deysel has been a crushing disappointment and likewise pushed in our direction.
That leaves Coetzee who has played 4 games in two years
Hardly equitable

Just to call out a few things, it was the 16-17 seasonMunster had the 10 NIQ/E
Munster may have lost the like of Coghlan but they had replacements and started the season with 5 NIQ/E like anyone else, over the course of the season they were allowed 5 more.The loss of players durning the transfer window isn't a reason to add more NIQ, they had a squad they were happy with at the start of the season.

Most of the man you mention are irrelevant POC and DOC were from season before, Paddy Butler, Dave Foleyas well. Why mention Zebo leaving in 2018 as a reason to have 10 NIQ in 2016?

Sure Best may retire in 2020 can we have some extra NIQ's now?

That season Munster lost
Jordan Coghlan
Gearoid Lyons
Shane Buckley
Jack Cullen
BJ Botha
ohnny Holland
Denis Hurley
Gerhard van den Heever
John Andress
Steve Crosbie
Peter McCabe

but replaced them with
Sam Arnold
john Andress
Darren O'Shea
ean Kleyn
Jaco Taute
Collie O'Shea
Steve Crosbie
Rhys Marshall
Thomas du Toit
Jean Deysel

No point mentioning DOC POC etc, as these should have already been replaced the season before.
It is during the season the extra 5 NIQ/E that were allowed is the issue

As for Deysel, I think he has actually been pretty good, not amazing but good.
https://thefrontrowunion.com/2018/05/the-deysel-dilemma/

he is our top turnover man, something we really lack.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 8:45 pm

Deysel has shown up in a handful of games towards the end of the season, before that he was a big disappointment but
1 - has been very injury prone. How many 80 mins games has he played?
2 - Has not been close to the standard required of a NIQ player. Cunningham stated as much as that at the supporters meeting
3 - Unless we see a significant improvement he will be gone
He may have affected turnovers but his ball retention is poor and he is very slow on the turn in defence

Best will play he last game for Ulster next April/May
He will retire after the World Cup

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 9:34 pm

Is Rory's retirement guaranteed? I saw him talking prior to Australia saying because of what happened to his brother he'd play on for along as he can

As for Deysel, he's not been a world beater but better than some give him credit for. He played better in a red shirt, he does some things well and other things not so well like any player. He needs to be used right

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:54 pm

He needs to up his game if he wants a NIQ spot for 19-20.
Currently the view is he is not cutting it.

Rory is going after the WC, I am certain

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 12:44 am

I'm not arguing that Deysel has been fantastic or that he should be kept on, I think he has been OK and to label him a crushing disappointment is a bit unfair, unless you were expecting him to be McCaw.

Ok he only managed 740 mins which is about half what we would want but its a lot more than two other NIEs

He managed on average 2.2 turnovers a game, our next best was L Marshall with 1.4 (think this is a calc error) and then Henderson with 0.9.
I think that stat shows how important he can be effecting twice as many turnovers as our next best forward. It is something we have lacked this year and hopefully Murphy helps in this regard.

Only Nick Timoney (24) has beaten more defenders than Deysel (16) in the Ulster forward pack and that is with nearly twice the minutes on the pitch.

I'd agree with how Marty put it, 'he is better than some give him credit'.
He does have his strenghts and weaknesses but what tips it, for me, is that his strenghts are areas the Ulster forwards have been weak in.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 1:16 am

I think your stats are spot on Kings but he wont get a contract past next season. That is and should be the truth of the matter. I also dotn doubt Luke Marshalls turnover stats which is part of the reason I think he is unfairly maligned. Over on t'other forum they believe Cave is better which shows the intellect on there imo. marshall is for me a product of the  team he  is in. Back on topic and the one thing that gives me hope is that I believe we are stronger in the pack than before and I believe gibbes showed us a way to play then game that McFarland can build on. If im wrong we are are screwed but good luck to them

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 8:27 am

Kingshu no one used the term crushing
I believe the Luke Marshall stats - for me after Cooney he was the best back last year and should have been in the Ireland squad, which makes his injury particularly disappointing

On Deysel I would suggest we can agree:
- He was not as good for us as he was for Munster
- His total game time was disappointing
- He has the skills to be an asset to the team next year
- He has weaknesses we need to cover in defence
- If he was IQ he would get a contract in 19-20, because he is NIQ he wont

I honestly think that is a fair assessment

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 8:51 am

rodders wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Ulster Rugby now need a leader with a rugby brain to address the crumbling club and schools structures that are unfit for purpose. That will require someone who can get the respect of the Committee men. It will also require someone who can argue the case with Nucifora and the IRFU. Until that happens and a supply of homegrown players starts to emerge Ulster will inevitably continue on the downward slide.

I don't understand this comment. It is Nucifera that is trying to restructure the schools and underage systems into something fit for purpose  - it is Ulster that are refusing to do it.

How is Nucifora "trying to restructure the schools and underage systems into something fit for purpose"? All he is doing is blocking Ulster from recruiting NIEs, to force the issue.

I agree that the Branch are refusing to do anything presumably because they can't actually see what's wrong in the first place and therefore have zero chance of fixing it. Ulster will have to slip a lot further before positive change can start.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 8:59 am

The Great Aukster wrote: All he is doing is blocking Ulster from recruiting NIEs, to force the issue.

I agree that the Branch are refusing to do anything presumably because they can't actually see what's wrong in the first place and therefore have zero chance of fixing it. Ulster will have to slip a lot further before positive change can start.

Nucifora is far more involved in the restructure of Ulster rugby than blocking NIEs
He could not care less about our schools and clubs structure he just wants to see results in terms if IQ players being developed to the required standard.

There is no desire to change in the committees at the moment given our current Academy is the best its been for year.
I get the feeling that they believe the change of personnel i.e bringing in Willie Anderson has solved the problem.
Their wrong - it has been a big help but it hasn't solved the problem

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 10:03 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Kingshu no one used the term crushing
I believe the Luke Marshall stats - for me after Cooney he was the best back last year and should have been in the Ireland squad, which makes his injury particularly disappointing

On Deysel I would suggest we can agree:
- He was not as good for us as he was for Munster
- His total game time was disappointing
- He has the skills to be an asset to the team next year
- He has weaknesses we need to cover in defence
- If he was IQ he would get a contract in 19-20, because he is NIQ he wont

I honestly think that is a fair assessment

Bit awkward but you did on your reply early to Sine,
"Kiss, who was forced upon us.
Deysel has been a crushing disappointment "

I agree with your assessment and don't want him kept on either.

Did Brendan Macken get a club after being released by Wasps? He would add depth at least? One year deal offer?

Apart from that I think we are kinda done this year i think we are hopeing 5 NIQ next year and the young players will put us in good position however I can see us trying to get
IQ players in.
Whitten signed a 3 year deal there so we can forget his return.
Farrell signed a 2 year deal with Munster could we be chasing his return next summer.



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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 10:40 am

Mea culpa and no problem - I looked back and saw Big Disappointment but not the other post - fair enough thumbsup

Ian Whitten intends is to see his time out at Exeter; he is loving it there, same for Steenson I reckon.
Farrell is an interesting one will come down, as much as anything, to where he wants to live.
Macken is a good call and would make sense
We will get IQs if possible but we are in a unique position of having no NIQ players contracted for 19-20
The one thing to remember is with 5 year residency now the Project will be a promising youngster not an established star
so effectively we are talking 4 players

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 10:44 am

I cant believe we weren't in for scholes last season. He was barely used by Connacht and the last time he looked a player was at Ulster

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 12:00 pm

He did rather throw his toys out the pram when he left - didn't leave a great impression
Also as you mention done nothing for 2 years - we have a player on the books who was signed with a similar past and that hasn't worked out well

VdeMerwe

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 1:21 pm

[quote="Kingshu"]
geoff999rugby wrote:Kingshu no one used the term crushing .

Did Brendan Macken get a club after being released by Wasps? He would add depth at least? One year deal offer?


Whitten signed a 3 year deal there so we can forget his return.


Macken reportedly has offers from Bristol and Tigers both will probably be two year deals on squad player money. A one year deal back in Ireland with no chance of international action probably isn't going to fly. He's what 27/28 so a three year deal and then he'd probably be more interested, as he's now EQ he is an appealing option to AP clubs looking to add depth.

Exeter very rarely lose out on players they want to keep. If they want theyn they tend to only leave for retirement. Beautiful part of the world, team is competitive, supportive fans and close knit team off the field as well as on it. Baxter has created a fantastic culture down there.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 1:39 pm

Last year I sat behind Ian Whittens dad and uncle
The impression they gave me was he not only intends to see out his playing days there - he will probably continue to live there after retirement.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by geoff999rugby on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 8:28 am

So it appears that if we get a 10 it will be an Irishman not playing in Ireland and it wont be Madigan.
To be honest I don't believe anyone any better than McPhillips is out there who fits that description.

Whilst Farrell has come up for a few coaching sessions it appears it will be Simon Easterby holding the reins until McFarland arrives, in terms of the forwards.
The players are speaking very very highly of Payne as a coach.
Looks to me Payne is taking the backs and Peel is overseeing everything, as much as an coordinator as anything.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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