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 The Great Aukster on Sat 29 Sep 2018, 9:51 pm

Ulster can't be too disappointed with that - they weren't nilled! Henderson was the only one in that squad with any chance of going to Japan and that could be very debatable. At least it couldn't be clearer to McFarland that he must keep his best players for the Pro14 and use Europe as a training tool.
Connacht must be already ordering the champagne to be delivered to the away dressing room at the Kingspan next Friday.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Artful_Dodger on Sat 29 Sep 2018, 10:37 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Ulster can't be too disappointed with that - they weren't nilled! Henderson was the only one in that squad with any chance of going to Japan and that could be very debatable. At least it couldn't be clearer to McFarland that he must keep his best players for the Pro14 and use Europe as a training tool.
Connacht must be already ordering the champagne to be delivered to the away dressing room at the Kingspan next Friday.

Should still play the best team available in CC home games. Away games definitely a lost cause though, as is any remote possibility of getting out of the pool.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 1:51 am

clivemcl wrote:
A top class team wouldn’t have been signing One of Carbery or Burns, they have been signing both.

Why would they do that when one of the objectives is to bring through guys like McPhillips and Lowry?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 7:04 am

Agree Marty. Ulster have to use this season to be bringing through every scrap of talent they have. There was no succession planning for years, so the most important thing this season is to make up lost ground by seeing if the academy players can step up.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by carpet baboon on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 8:38 am

Well a bit worse than I hoped . But for a small fella Curtis hits hard. Kernohan played well. The front row put it a shift carrying.
Nelson and cave ,well Nelson was worse than I had ever seen him, and cave was , well was he on the pitch for the full 80? He seemed to be completely invisible for most of the match

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 3:09 pm

marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:
A top class team wouldn’t have been signing One of Carbery or Burns, they have been signing both.

Why would they do that when one of the objectives is to bring through guys like McPhillips and Lowry?

Bringing through players isn’t the objective as far as IRFU is concerned. Having the best tens evenly shared across the provinces is the objective. Mcphilips and Lowry are below the standard of the 2nd/3rd choices at other provinces.

IQ is IQ. People talk about home grown like it’s somehow more valid than a project or an Irish granny. Half our academy aren’t even from Ulster. All that matters is we have the best players we can get who are eligible internationally.

We’ve got Ludik and Addison, where’s the up in arms complaining Nelson fans?

If I had my way, I’d have been signing iQ frontline players and IQ backup players if we could.

Would anyone turn their nose up at signing another IQ 9 about now??

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by neilthom7 on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 5:20 pm

clivemcl wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:
A top class team wouldn’t have been signing One of Carbery or Burns, they have been signing both.

Why would they do that when one of the objectives is to bring through guys like McPhillips and Lowry?

Bringing through players isn’t the objective as far as IRFU is concerned. Having the best tens evenly shared across the provinces is the objective. Mcphilips and Lowry are below the standard of the 2nd/3rd choices at other provinces.

IQ is IQ. People talk about home grown like it’s somehow more valid than a project or an Irish granny. Half our academy aren’t even from Ulster. All that matters is we have the best players we can get who are eligible internationally.

We’ve got Ludik and Addison, where’s the up in arms complaining Nelson fans?

If I had my way, I’d have been signing iQ frontline players and IQ backup players if we could.

Would anyone turn their nose up at signing another IQ 9 about now??

If I remember correctly Carbery didn't want to come here so I don't think we just chose the option to sign Burns instead

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 8:04 pm

No, I didn’t not mean Carbery specifically, I’m talking more about the shrinking squad. We probably needed to sign 4/5 more players over the summer. Not to be first teamers necessarily but just to make us less awful when our big guns are unavailable.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Sun 30 Sep 2018, 9:22 pm

clivemcl wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:
A top class team wouldn’t have been signing One of Carbery or Burns, they have been signing both.

Why would they do that when one of the objectives is to bring through guys like McPhillips and Lowry?

Bringing through players isn’t the objective as far as IRFU is concerned. Having the best tens evenly shared across the provinces is the objective. Mcphilips and Lowry are below the standard of the 2nd/3rd choices at other provinces.

IQ is IQ. People talk about home grown like it’s somehow more valid than a project or an Irish granny. Half our academy aren’t even from Ulster. All that matters is we have the best players we can get who are eligible internationally.

We’ve got Ludik and Addison, where’s the up in arms complaining Nelson fans?

If I had my way, I’d have been signing iQ frontline players and IQ backup players if we could.

Would anyone turn their nose up at signing another IQ 9 about now??

Except it's exactly what the IRFUs objectives are, they need players coming through for the national squad. They need as many of the provinces bringing through as many players as they can all the time.

The Ludiks of this world are to supplement squads not to fill them with those kind of players

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 10:55 am

Well to be honest I didn't fancy our chances but that was a horror show.

I do think that is a reality check after a flattering start to the season, where we've rode our luck a bit getting some tight results.

What has been hilighted again are a number of things -

Our defense continues to be appalling. Is Jared Payne up to the job? It's hard to say but our defence in the middle and out wide has been exposed again. Another try conceded from the Maul.

In attack we basically have 2 tactics, the short ball to McCloskey, where he trucks it up and looks to offload, or the ball out the back where McCloskey is used as the dummy runner. Neither tactic works particularly well without McCloskey if at all.

There is not one single danger man in our side and a good defense can just line us up it is so obvious.

On paper our squad is very weak. So much so I'd take half the Connacht team ahead of ours. Never mind Leinster a lot of Munster's second string is better than our 1st team. The fact that Cave is still getting game time says it all, 5 seasons ago he was average now he is a liability.

The injury list was mentioned a lot

On the plus side Shanahan wasn't bad and O'Connor gave his all. And we've a home game now to bounce back. Surely that is rock bottom now and we can build on that.





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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 11:42 am

rodders wrote: The fact that Cave is still getting game time says it all, 5 seasons ago he was average now he is a liability.

Sorry while he was poor on Saturday, his 'tackle' for the first try was embarrassing but he has played well this season prior to Saturday. He even looks to have found half a yard of pace he didn't seem to have last season

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 12:32 pm

Agreed, Cave has been surprisingly good until the weekend there. But this is the thing - Cave isn't the only player who in terms of individual performance had a sudden drop off on form. There has to be a limit to how much you can blame it on not having other seasoned pro's around you.

The reality is, Cooney and Hendy weren't having great games prior to their departure anyway.

I do have to wonder if Ulster as a squad have a poor mentality, and when a team is selected that is under power, too many of the experienced players psychologically don't treat it the same way.

Back to Burns. How much more time do we all think he needs? Right about now I'd like to see the McPhillips performances that finished last season...

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 1:03 pm

I wouldn't mind seeing McPhillips get a run out at 10 either clive.

I don't think Cooney has been great this season outside his kicking and his passing seems slow, Shanahans pass seems to have more zip to it at the minute.

Our attack just seems to get stifled by quick line speed, one thing I have been impressed by is Warwick has stepped up as a all carrier, while not getting huge gains he's getting a few offloads away and it's an asset. We just need a few others to step up and do the same. Treadwell was visible in his efforts on Saturday but as commentators said, it was predictable and it sums up too much of Ulsters attack


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 1:54 pm

marty2086 wrote:
rodders wrote: The fact that Cave is still getting game time says it all, 5 seasons ago he was average now he is a liability.

Sorry while he was poor on Saturday, his 'tackle' for the first try was embarrassing but he has played well this season prior to Saturday. He even looks to have found half a yard of pace he didn't seem to have last season

Aside from averaging 2-3 unforced handling errors per game, he's a defensive liability (not just the woeful attempt on O'Donnell) and can't pass off either hand.

He has an eye for the gap and try line, as he always has done, but the rest of his game is substandard and wouldn't get a game for any other province.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 2:02 pm

clivemcl wrote:
Back to Burns. How much more time do we all think he needs? Right about now I'd like to see the McPhillips performances that finished last season...

Been saying the same, apart for an extra goal kicking option he adds very little.

The fact that Mcphillip's hasn't got a second of game time so far, tells you everything about Ulster rugby.

Contrast Munster who've had Carbury, Keatley and Hanaran on the pitch this season. Carbury might be clear first choice but it looks like there is a contest, whereas for Ulster, Burn;s leg would have to fall off for McPhillips to get on.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by profitius on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 5:11 pm

I thought Burns has looked fine from what I've seen. He isn't spectacular but he seems to be a decent player and possibly 3rd choice for Ireland in the AIs. Btw it was my first time seeing Lowry. Very quick!!


O'Toole will probably be an Ireland squad contender in a year or two.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 6:14 pm

Burns will get better when he gets more familiar with the team, and it's difficult for all half-backs playing behind the gain line.

The backs look toothless in attack because the opposition defence have ages to organise. The defence looks poor because they haven't enough time to organise. The backs are being criticised but up front Ulster were man for man worse than Munster. O'Mahony got away with murder at times but he was way too cute for Ulster and that was the foundation of the rout, he was excellent and my MOTM.

Darren Cave never had the pace to be a top 13, but made up for it in nous especially when he had pace around him. He seems to have reached a point in his career where he cannot sustain his performances for more that a few games and Ulster need to manage him better. Would Hume have been any worse starting the game?

When Stockdale gets fit it is probably time to play him at 13, as he might be the best Ulster have until Marshall gets back.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Redman on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 10:25 pm

Didn't watch the game, obviously glad I didn't.

If it helps, we're probably not as bad as the score suggests. We raised this before the Cheetah's game but we're trying to win games endlessly we're going to come unstuck at some point. And this feels like that moment. Our squad was either on their 5th game straight or brought in for their 1st/2nd professional game. Either tired or inexperienced. We lost our 2 best/better players in Henderson and Cooney early and were up again a top team who were rebounding from an awful Cardiff result. A good team would have struggled, a poor team were on for a hiding. We got a hiding.

Our squad is paperthin and we've flogged certain players. Others we haven't used.

And that's what is disappointing. We know we're thread bare at 9 and 10. We need to build experience there and ............. then flogged Cooney and Burns were available. We seem totally unable to reward performance. McPhillips was really very good for us at the tail end of last season. He's had much less experience and performed much better than Burns so far.

What do we do? We pick off reputation and internal politics. We persist with players that for years have demonstrated aren't upto it. Nelson isn't a professional rugby player. Yes he was mucked around as a kid and had some terrible injuries but he's nowhere close to where we need him to be. Get anyone else in. Neither is Shanahan regardless of whether he has the odd ok game. That sort of stupid sentimentality is what got us Paul Marshall playing a few hundred games for us.

We do this time and time again. Sure I remember Gilroy, hearing through the grapevine that "he'd never make it as a professional rugby player". Low and behold. And he only got his chance through pure happenstance. A ridiculous string of backline injuries 8 odd years ago. Politics and ineptitude. I can only hope they don't do the same for McPhillips like they've done for some of our previous youngsters.

Our young players look good when we we're forced to pick them but we have Clive Ross on the bench ......... why?

I don't want to have too much of a go at McFarland. Points-wise he's well ahead of where I thought we'd be at this stage of the season. He's new to Ulster. New to the Head Coach position. But by God he needs to appreciate that the same limp d*ck selection policy needs to change.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 9:53 am

Redman wrote:
If it helps, we're probably not as bad as the score suggests.

We were definitely as bad as it suggested. It was a total capitulation and if had of gone on another 15 minutes Munster, who've been poor so far this season, would have put 100 points on us.

Apart from O'Conner and Timoney who kept plugging away the rest of the side had given up by half time.

It's lucky for us we have Connaght next and not Leinster but on that performance they could add more misery.
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:03 am

Redman, the suggestion seems to be that McPhillips and some of the young lads are better getting 80 mins for the As than 5 mins for the first team, hence why he wasn't in the squad and why Clive Ross made the bench

It can't help players mentality when you go into a game having the coaches writing it off

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:18 am

I get the feeling the As feel a lot better than the senior squad after the weekend, McPhillips will be happy enough.

I'm not a fan of coaches writing off games by selecting squads like we saw on Saturday. If it were even a 2ndXV we'd have fared better but sending out a mixture of 2ndXV players with a few academy prospects and fringe players was always going to be a recipe for disaster.
I couldn't see any positions where we could gain the upper hand against Munster and reckoned that a 20 point loss would have been acceptable. The end result and the manner in which we were taken apart was worse than I dreaded. However, I return to the point that the squad wasn't even our 2ndXV and that's where I'll find my only vestige of solace from the farce.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:27 am

Forgot to ask, did anyone see the clip of Sextons second try at the weekend for the As? Can't be sure but looked like Curtis Jr to set it up, he seemed to have some pace to him

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 12:28 pm

In fairness I think McFarland is trying to give his squad a good run to find out about them. I thought bringing Nelson off at HT was telling. I suspect we wont see much of him going forward. At least I hope thats the case and we use other options.

Looking at the stats our carrying in the tight 5 was better than it has been for a good while and it seems to me the forwards are running better lines. That said the continuity isnt there and the handling errors and breakdown errors (as well as some fairly lenient refereeing) are just undermining what we are trying. Our ability to react and support of these breaks and half breaks isnt what it should be either but you have to hope that it will get better with repetition. McBurney looks to have something about him and O'Toole continues to look excellent. Statistically he is very impressive so if scrummaging improves he could even challenge for a green shirt. Lock is something that needs addressed badly and may only be solved with a top NIQ. Hall looked impressive for the A's so maybe he should be putting pressure on some of the more established backrowers


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 2:09 pm

If ever there was a game where the stats lied, that was it. The figures indicate that Ulster had most of the possession/territory and parity in most other categories except clean breaks (23-11) & turnovers conceded (13-18). So was 64-7 an unfair reflection on the game - nope.

The biggest difference in the teams wasn't even recorded in the statistics - Spirit. Munster have struggled for a brand of rugby with a succession of coaches trying to get them to play in new 'un-munsterlike' ways and drafted in outsiders to help them achieve that. They could now field a complete backline with no indigenous Munstermen in it, and that might have eroded some of the traditional obdurate cussedness that bound them so closely under Kidney. Maybe it took the loss to Cardiff to bring out some of those old traits, but they were together as a team, unlike Ulster who were acting as individuals.

With so few Ulster-born players now in contention for a start, has the province completely lost it's sense of identity? What is there to gel the mix of Leinster, overseas and English imports with the few Ulster-born players left?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 2:17 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
With so few Ulster-born players now in contention for a start, has the province completely lost it's sense of identity? What is there to gel the mix of Leinster, overseas and English imports with the few Ulster-born players left?

When was the last time Ulster had an identity? Under Anscombe there was maybe one you could possibly identify but it's not like with Munster or Leinster where a style almost defines them

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by rodders on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 2:51 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
With so few Ulster-born players now in contention for a start, has the province completely lost it's sense of identity? What is there to gel the mix of Leinster, overseas and English imports with the few Ulster-born players left?

This has occurred to me also. I do think we badly miss the likes of Trimble and Paul Marshall who wore their hearts on their sleeves but the underlying issue is the branches in ability to produce home grown players.

That said looking at the performances individually in recent times I certainly wouldn't single out the current local players as having more "spirit", for me that is coming from the likes of Cooney, Herring and O'Connor.


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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Artful_Dodger on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 3:22 pm

Darren Cave is out for eight weeks. Best, Stockdale and Reidy to return this weekend.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Standulstermen on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 3:46 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:If ever there was a game where the stats lied, that was it. The figures indicate that Ulster had most of the possession/territory and parity in most other categories except clean breaks (23-11) & turnovers conceded (13-18). So was 64-7 an unfair reflection on the game - nope.

The biggest difference in the teams wasn't even recorded in the statistics - Spirit. Munster have struggled for a brand of rugby with a succession of coaches trying to get them to play in new 'un-munsterlike' ways and drafted in outsiders to help them achieve that. They could now field a complete backline with no indigenous Munstermen in it, and that might have eroded some of the traditional obdurate cussedness that bound them so closely under Kidney. Maybe it took the loss to Cardiff to bring out some of those old traits, but they were together as a team, unlike Ulster who were acting as individuals.

With so few Ulster-born players now in contention for a start, has the province completely lost it's sense of identity? What is there to gel the mix of Leinster, overseas and English imports with the few Ulster-born players left?

Warwick, McBurney, Kane, Hendo, Rea, Cave, Gilroy, Kernohan, Nelson is more ulster born and bred players in the starting XV than I can recall in many a day. Add to that the guys that are academy guys but not necessarily Ulster and I dont think a lack of born and bred Ulstermen is the issue. The lack of accountability for performance for a good few years (really since Anscombe) is what is now costing us. If McFarland is starting to bring that back (see my previous comments regarding Nelson) then that's positive but it will be a work in progress. The carries dont lie. They weren't all late in the game during garbage time. There are some signs that we are trying to change things but it wont happen overnight and its difficult when there is little enough continuity of selection. Spirit i'm unsure about but certainly leadership was lacking. If results like this can galvanise the likes of McBurney and O'Toole (not to mention Curtis and Lowry) and embolden them a bit then I'll take it. THat remains to be seen though

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:05 pm

So often on here we like to differentiate our senior imports from our academy imports.
Should we really be any more impressed with our 'production' in the likes of Curtis, Timoney or O'Toole than say Burns or our projects like Herring and Ludik?

The realisation of how little Ulster is left in Ulster just makes the whole Jackson/Olding saga even more depressing.

Have we played a game yet with no Ulster born in the starting XV?

There's a fun challenge, if not a depressing one.

Somebody more knowledgeable than me, see if you can come up with an Ulster XV not born in Ulster.
I'm sure it can be done.

Backs anyway:

9 Cooney/Shanahan
10 Burns/McPhilips
11 Speight
12 Curtis
13 Addison
14
15 Ludik


Forwards, I'm not so good with positions but we have

Herbst
Ah You
VDM
Moore
O'Hagan
O'Toole
Herring
Reidy
Jones
Murphy
Timoney
Treadwell
O'Connor
Deysel
Coetzee
Alex Thompson
Clive Ross
Pete Browne
Jack Regan
Eric O'Sullivan


Shocked

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:33 pm

Thompson is Ulster born is he not?

Saying that though, guys like O'Hagan and O'Sullivan I think too grew up in Ulster didn't they? Would they be any different to Murphy and Heaslip who weren't born in Leinster?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:38 pm

All I could find was he played for Teranure. Maybe I was wrong to make assumption because of that.

Not sure where half of them grew up, or what ages they arrived or if they played Ulster schools level etc...

But where do we draw the line in terms of 'successfully' producing our own? Is it simply products of academy? Or should we be more concerned with the input into the academy.

I don't personally see much difference in the validity of Curtis or Timoney over Burns. I'm not sure if any of those listed above made it to Ireland or Lions that I'd be a proud Ulsterman supporting them. Not in the same way as I'd be proud of Best or Henderson, or would have been about Jackson.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Artful_Dodger on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:50 pm

Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter. On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior? It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game. You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?" Take from that what you will.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:50 pm

He spent a year at Teranure, he was in the academy previously.

I guess it all comes down to individual perception, NI more than most places knows a bit about national and cultural identity. Someone should maybe make a documentary on it Whistle

When Payne made the Lions I was as happy for him as Best and Henderson

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:55 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Artful_Dodger on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 5:07 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million. That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential. They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 5:22 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million.  That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential.  They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

That's why I said playing population ie the numbers playing the game. We need more playing the game, to increase the numbers coming through. If 10% of those populations are playing rugby that's still 250k more in Leinster, I'd wager there is a higher percentage playing in Leinster than Ulster though

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Artful_Dodger on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 5:24 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million.  That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential.  They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

That's why I said playing population ie the numbers playing the game. We need more playing the game, to increase the numbers coming through. If 10% of those populations are playing rugby that's still 250k more in Leinster, I'd wager there is a higher percentage playing in Leinster than Ulster though

I agree and we haven't sufficiently remedied the reasons behind the low take up on rugby in Ulster.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 5:50 pm

And so one of our few ulster born and bred products has signed a contract extension with Brive.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/45724969

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 8:20 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million.  That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential.  They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

That's why I said playing population ie the numbers playing the game. We need more playing the game, to increase the numbers coming through. If 10% of those populations are playing rugby that's still 250k more in Leinster, I'd wager there is a higher percentage playing in Leinster than Ulster though

I agree and we haven't sufficiently remedied the reasons behind the low take up on rugby in Ulster.

If we ever get a new CEO, maybe they'll put something in place for this

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Kingshu on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 8:39 pm

With all the injuries is Diack still in Belfast should he be offered a one year deal. Unlike Trimble and Bowe his time was called so he would still have more to give, he was olthe one I thought foolish to let go, hes solid and covers lock/backrow to a decent standard.
Im happy to give the young players gamerime but they do need some experience around them.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 10:15 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million.  That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential.  They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

That's why I said playing population ie the numbers playing the game. We need more playing the game, to increase the numbers coming through. If 10% of those populations are playing rugby that's still 250k more in Leinster, I'd wager there is a higher percentage playing in Leinster than Ulster though

I don't disagree with your idea but 10 per cent of 2 million is 200k and 10 per cent of 2.5 million is 250k so the difference is 50k more in Leinster with those numbers.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by neilthom7 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 10:27 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Artful_Dodger wrote:Leinster's academy is producing so much that they've become a major exporter.  On what basis is the Ulster academy so inferior?  It's the answer to that question that is at the heart of the issue and for my money it's the school game.  You are talking a tiny number of schools that are producing Ulster academy players, in fact in one particular year I think 4 schools made up over 90%, though I can't provide a source off hand.

Anecdotally, I recall every person I told about someone I knew being in the Ulster academy would without fail ask the question "what school did he go to?"  Take from that what you will.

You have to factor in the playing population in Leinster, they have bigger numbers playing from a younger age and that filters through to schools and the academy. I've said it here before, Ulster need to be growing the game. I'd be interested to see the numbers from across Ireland, the number of players per province at all levels, the number of clubs and the number of schools with teams. The unique history of the province has factored in to all of that and I don't think enough has been done to rectify it

Leinster's population is 2.5m, Ulster's is 2 million.  That doesn't come close to accounting for the differential.  They have on a structural and cultural level made the game accessible to more people in a way that we have not.

That's why I said playing population ie the numbers playing the game. We need more playing the game, to increase the numbers coming through. If 10% of those populations are playing rugby that's still 250k more in Leinster, I'd wager there is a higher percentage playing in Leinster than Ulster though

I agree and we haven't sufficiently remedied the reasons behind the low take up on rugby in Ulster.

I think access is a big issue, not the only one but certainly a contributing factor to the uptake. I give you this example, I am sure we woulkd agree if we want player to play then we need to start them at youth level.
I grew up outside Cookstown, there were no club youth teams in Cookstown and only our school had a schools team, just 1 schools team at u-16 level and none further than that. The last census in Cookstown in 2011 had rough 23k people in the area and we could manage only 1 school youth team.
The nearest youth team to my house was Rainey Old Boys in Magherafelt, to put that in perspective, along the road to the Rainey I would have directly passed 4 GAA clubs, a hockey club and at least 1 football team.
Thats only what I would have directly passed, there was probably 20-30 GAA clubs closer to me than the Rainey.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by profitius on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:37 pm

Just picking up on a few points.

- There are more GAA clubs in county cork than rugby clubs in the whole of Ireland.

- Leinster's population is similar to Ulster's but Leinster's is more concentrated around Dublin. Those schools are in wealthy south Dublin and have the money for facilities and numbers to supply Leinster.

- Part of Ulster's problem is keeping hold of their own talent for various reasons and not necessarily their fault. Off the top of my head, there's the likes of Jackson, Olding, Chris Farrell, Stevenson and Whitten in Exeter.

- The Ulster fans are fairly brutal if their forum is anything to go by. McLaughlin got them to a Heineken cup final, playing good rugby but got replaced. Mark McCall was also under pressure from what I remember and wasn't he the last coach to win something?
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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:23 am

neilthom7 wrote:
I think access is a big issue, not the only one but certainly a contributing factor to the uptake.  I give you this example, I am sure we woulkd agree if we want player to play then we need to start them at youth level.
I grew up outside Cookstown, there were no club youth teams in Cookstown and only our school had a schools team, just 1 schools team at u-16 level and none further than that.  The last census in Cookstown in 2011 had rough 23k people in the area and we could manage only 1 school youth team.
The nearest youth team to my house was Rainey Old Boys in Magherafelt, to put that in perspective, along the road to the Rainey I would have directly passed 4 GAA clubs, a hockey club and at least 1 football team.
Thats only what I would have directly passed, there was probably 20-30 GAA clubs closer to me than the Rainey.

In some areas of Belfast it's exactly the same, only there is no mention of rugby in schools in some areas and no sign of any engagement from Ulster to change that.

Ulster opened a gym 3 years ago in Colin Glen in West Belfast, it was nothing more than a PR stunt that offered no platform for kids in the area to engage with the game.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:54 am

There's only one primary school in Armagh that I can think of that offers the option of mini rugby to kids so certainly exposure at an early here is limited to Armagh RFC (which is very popular). Of all the Secondary schools only the Royal can consider itself a rugby school, I'm not sure if any of the others even offer the option but I can't think of any.
If this is indicative of the level of exposure around the province it's no wonder Ulster Rugby find academy prospects difficult to come by.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by clivemcl on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 1:04 pm

Do the schools bring rugby to more people though, the limited number who do offer it?
I reckon sports and some other activities should be done outside of schools, but have some kind of national merit associated to them to encourage youngsters to do it. Something similar to how Duke of Ed' looks good on your CV.

To take rugby away from schools an only available through clubs would see a massive reduction in how many kids ever even touch a rugby ball.
But when it's only certain schools that offer it, you severely limit the 'who'. You make your pool of players based on class or academic ability.

In Coleraine, if you don't go to Coleraine Grammar (Coleraine Inst) you are most likely never going to try Rugby.

In my day Coleraine Inst had 800/900 pupils, all of the pupils played rugby as standard in first 3 years (i think).
Compare that to how many passed through Coleraine Club Minis.

The vast majority of people in Coleraine if they ever played a single game of rugby, it was because of Coleraine Inst.
And if you never went to Inst you were very unlikely to ever have touched a rugby ball.

I reckon it should be an option in more schools, but I personally believe in senior school level, the talent should be directed towards local clubs.

I've said before I think schools rugby should be condensed into pre-Christmas and U18/U16 club leagues operated after Christmas.

Also, like I say, some sort of incentive to do non-school activities would be good too like Duke of Ed.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 1:27 pm

Prominent Northern Ireland businessman Dr David Dobbin is the new man in charge of Ulster Rugby, it can be revealed.

But the current chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners has insisted he will not be taking up the demanding position on a long term basis.

Dr Dobbin has replaced Shane Logan, who stepped down as chief executive in August following a turbulent year for Ulster Rugby, with indifferent performances on the pitch and a high-profile r*** trial featuring two of the club's main players.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Dr Dobbin, a former chairman of the Northern Ireland Dairy Council, said he would be helping Ulster out on a part-time basis while they seek to recruit a permanent CEO.

"It's going to take a few months to finalise the appointment and all I'm doing is stepping in until that happens," said Dr Dobbin, who enjoyed a seven-year stint as chairman of Ulster Rugby and is a popular figure at the Kingspan Stadium.

He added: "I've been involved since last month to make sure there's someone at the helm just to keep the show on the road."

Dr Dobbin, who received a CBE in 2005 for his services to the agrifood and packaging industries, is no longer actively involved in the dairy sector, finishing his term in office as chairman of Dairy UK last September, and ending his two-year term as chairman of the NI Dairy Council last spring.

Two years ago he also stepped down from his post as chief executive of Dale Farm owner United Dairy Farmers after 16 years at the helm. He accepted a special award for Outstanding Contribution to the Progressive Development of Business in Northern Ireland at the 2016 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

It is understood a number of impressive applicants came forward for the top job at Ulster Rugby, which is to be filled in the coming months via an open competition.

Mr Logan vacated the chief operating officer's role two months ago, after an eight-year stint.

In the past 12 months the club have had to contend with the fallout from the lengthy r*** trial involving Irish internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. The pair were unanimously acquitted of all charges but had their contracts revoked following an IRFU internal review.

Ulster fans have also seen under-par performances and the departure of two head coaches, Les Kiss and Jono Gibbes.

When Mr Logan, who didn't reveal the reason for his departure, took over at Ulster in 2010 he immediately declared that he wanted them to become one of the best rugby clubs in the world under his direction.

He had come under intense scrutiny over the past year from fans and pundits, and was criticised for the decision to ban news journalists from press conferences following the sackings of Jackson and Olding, who are now playing for clubs in France.

"There have been some significant challenges in recent years. I hope that the unity with which everyone in Ulster faced these will endure for generations," Logan said in the statement announcing his departure.

Paul Terrington, chair of the Ulster Rugby Management Committee, said Mr Logan played a vital role in establishing the club's financial stability and making it a more inclusive organisation.

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 2:05 pm

clivemcl wrote:And so one of our few ulster born and bred products has signed a contract extension with Brive.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/45724969

"He is a good example to follow." Simon Gillham - (Brive President)

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 2:08 pm

Kingshu wrote:With all the injuries is Diack still in Belfast should he be offered a one year deal. Unlike Trimble and Bowe his time was called so he would still have more to give, he was olthe one I thought foolish to let go, hes solid and covers lock/backrow to a decent standard.
Im happy to give the young players gamerime but they do need some experience around them.

Don't think Ulster could afford a one year deal with Robbie - isn't that why he went?

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

Post by marty2086 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 2:12 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
clivemcl wrote:And so one of our few ulster born and bred products has signed a contract extension with Brive.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/45724969

"He is a good example to follow." Simon Gillham - (Brive President)

A prophet is not without honour save in his own country.

On that subject, a photo to brighten everyones day up, Ulster reunion in Perpignan

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Re: Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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