Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2

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Post by Cyril on Sat 20 Oct 2018, 8:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

Part 2

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 16 Nov 2018, 7:37 pm

Who's running Ulster...?

Ulster wanted to keep Pienaar - the IRFU wouldn't allow it.
Ulster couldn't attract players to cross the border - now they come in busloads
Ulster didn't want Olding and Jackson to leave - the IRFU insisted
Ulster didn't want GG and JD to go - the IRFU insisted (and allegedly some other expensive senior players)

Ulster have no CEO - the IRFU are telling Bryn what to do. Why would Ulster want to raise the whole issue of "Rugby on trial", when that is the last thing they would want to do?

From the BBC wrote:Ulster players already receive training on topics like consent, alcohol and social media use in classes run by the IRFU and Rugby Players Ireland (RPI).

Professional and academy players from Munster, Leinster and Connaught also take part in the IRFU and RPI classes.

New modules have been developed by the IRFU and RPI and added to an existing programme of classes on aspects of player welfare.

They have been drawn up in consultation with an English company which specialises in preventing what it calls "harmful sexual behaviour".

Do you believe that Women's Aid Federation NI know more than the companies already supplying this councelling mentioned above? If so why aren't the IRFU immediately scrapping those contracts and adopting WAFNI as their supplier of choice for all four provinces?
Do Ulster really need to keep raking up bad publicity? The most obvious explanation is that they've been told to as the IRFU are the only rugby organisation to come out of that article in credit.

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Post by marty2086 on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 12:23 pm

Aukster you sums don't add up, does that mean the IRFU set ticket prices? Decide who cleans the toilets? To what level is this control going on?

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Post by Don Alfonso on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:00 pm

Honestly - the wailing and gnashing of teeth on here... Good on Ulster. They have for years traded on their reputation as a sports organisation that are family-friendly and community-based. That reputation obviously took a hit, and they're going an extra mile to repair it.

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Post by clivemcl on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:07 pm

It’s awful PR. Who is honestly reading that BBC article and saying ‘finally! Now I can reconsider supporting this sports team or attending a match!’

Quite the opposite I suspect. It continues to show the club as potential bad boys.

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Post by marty2086 on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 1:33 pm

clive I doubt it's a case of we'll talk about this and it'll all be good, this is a long term solution to deal with any potential situations. It's not just about Olding and Jackson, its about Herron, Wilson, Ferris, Kyriakou and other incidents that were publicised that reflected poorly on the organisation not to mention the other incidents that weren't reported on or the situations that could have gone badly.

There has been a cultural issue at Ulster and this will address it hopefully

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Post by clivemcl on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 10:01 pm

So they go public about it because it’s likely to be leaked if they simply do it on the QT.

My point still stands. Telling the public UR players and staff ‘require’ extra guidance, does not give the message that the club is where families should flick too. Despite it being evidence that UR are trying to be better, it’s a far cry from encouraging dissechantised fans back. You know that as well as I do Marty.

Therefore, the PR is negative since it reinforces the idea that UR is full of bad boys who need to learn how to be better.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 8:38 am

marty2086 wrote:Aukster you sums don't add up, does that mean the IRFU set ticket prices? Decide who cleans the toilets? To what level is this control going on?

The IRFU have probably ordered Bryn to sort that out - gives him something to do.

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Post by Don Alfonso on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 12:44 pm

Rodney Ah You away

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 12:51 pm

The IRFU are trimming the player budget nicely

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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 1:15 pm

Could they not have offered Newcastle the BOGOF special and offloaded Schalk too ?? Smile

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 1:35 pm

Shouldn't that be BOG-OFF!

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 1:57 pm

Rory Scholes has left Connacht and joined Brive, lucky Ulster don't need back three players Rolling Eyes

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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 2:02 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Shouldn't that be BOG-OFF!

It would be more fitting Smile

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Post by Redman on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 2:32 pm

marty2086 wrote:Rory Scholes has left Connacht and joined Brive, lucky Ulster don't need back three players Rolling Eyes

Goes to show you, you never can tell how things would work out.

He showed some good form for us. Pro14 level certainly, but feared being behind Bowe, Trimble, Gilroy, Payne, Nelson, Ludik and others. If he'd stayed and maintained that level of form he'd be 3rd choice winger behind Stockdale and Gilroy (assuming Stockdale would have even emerged?).

Not sure it'd be wise to take him back though. Growth has not only stunted but he must have gone backwards if he can't get a single game for Connacht. He's only played 132 minutes for the Westies in the last 2 years. Again with an IRFU hat on would you be happy with a player moving and potentially blocking Kernohan, Sexton and others?

With Brive does he have some sort of connection to Olding? Or a case of them being extremely happy with Olding and thinking they can pick up a bunch of Ulster players on the cheap?

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 2:38 pm

He's only signed with Brive until the end of the season, with Speight going home soon and Sexton not likely to play a competitive game for Ulster this season, Lyttle and Busby are injured plus the likes of Stockdale and Addison are likely to be away come Jan/Feb/March time with Ireland so that extra body would be useful to have especially as he covers 15 and wing. I'm not saying maybe him a starter but with a lack of depth he could be a useful signing.

I'm guessing Jeremy Davidson has some connections that helped him make the signing

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Post by Pot Hale on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 7:37 pm

Only 12 Kiwi-born players left in Irish rugby now after Ah You's departure.
13 from SA and England, and 4 born in Oz.
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Post by marty2086 on Tue 20 Nov 2018, 9:20 am

Pot Hale wrote:Only 12 Kiwi-born players left in Irish rugby now after Ah You's departure.
13 from SA and England, and 4 born in Oz.

You forgot the 1 Canadian born, 1 Spanish born, 1 Georgian born, 1 US born, 1 French born, 1 Nigerian born

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Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 12:46 pm

Back to business folks:

Scarlets:
J McNicholl; T Prydie, K Fonotia, P Asquith, I Nicholas; D Jones, K Hardy; P Price, M Jones, W Kruger; S Cummins, D Bulbring; E Kennedy, W Boyde (c), U Cassiem.
Subs:
D Hughes, D Evans, S Gardiner, L Rawlins, D Davis, S H-Clyne, C Blommetjies, M Williams.

Ulster:
M Lowry; R Baloucoune, L Ludik, J Hume, H Speight; B Burns, D Shanahan; E O’Sullivan, A McBurney, M Moore; A O’Connor (c), K Treadwell; M Coetzee, S Reidy, N Timoney.
Subs:
J Andrew, A Warwick, T O’Toole, I Nagle, G Jones, J Stewart, D Cave, A Kernohan.


That's a decent enough Ulster side but where's Gilroy? Still injured?
I heard Curtis won't be returning for some time Sad

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 1:38 pm

That's a decent Scarlets team too, wonder how fit Cave is they seemed to think it was next week he'd be fit

I worry about the scrum though, can see Scarlets really doing a number there

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Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 2:01 pm

I have to shamefully admit I don't know most of the Scarlets pack but that backline looks mighty and could also do a number. I won't expect much from this but a half decent performance would be nice.

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 4:45 pm

Kreuger has always looked solid when I've seen him, as has Price though I only saw him when he was at Dragons. Given how EOS has looked it could be a tough outing for him, could come down to the mood Marty Moore is in

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 5:41 pm

The average age of the Scarlets squad is 26 with an average of 30 appearances each, compared to Ulster with an average age of 23 yet with the same average of 30 appearances (excluding Cave who is aged 31 and has 215 appearances).

Probably just shows how Ulster have got rid of all their expensive senior players and been forced to give the youngsters experience.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 8:29 pm

Ulster will threaten the Munster debacle at this rate. A mediocre Scarlets will put 50 on Ulster in the second half with Fonotia motm?

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Post by Redman on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 8:36 pm

Probably the kiss of death ... but the ref has had a good game so far. Need a long time over the ball to get the penalty, but it's the same for both sides.

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Post by Redman on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 8:38 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Ulster will threaten the Munster debacle at this rate. A mediocre Scarlets will put 50 on Ulster in the second half with Fonotia motm?

It'll definitely hit 40.

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Post by Redman on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 8:49 pm

Our maul defence is great. Our fringe defence is awful.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 9:31 pm

Great resilience from the youngsters, they should learn a lot from that game. That was the best McFarland could have hoped for - so job done. Scarlets are a different class to Ulster so a deserved win but they won't have learned a lot. Their blow-ins Fonotia, McNicholas, Cassim, Kreuger etc. all showed why they're worth the money - well deserved.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 9:43 pm

Got knocked back in the tackle too easy in the first half especially when Kruger was carrying. There were a few occasions Coetzee seemed more interested in holding up the ball carrier and just seemed to give up yards rather than driving them back. The overall discipline was shocking though, basic error just compounding basic error and maybe lucky to escape a yellow

Saying that though, Ulster could have ended up with a TBP and maybe a LBP too if a few decisions or bits of luck went their way

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 8:48 am

Yes I was convinced that after Immelman had said 'next one's a card' that the next one would have indeed been a card. OTOH Scarlets got more than their fair share of the decisions so don't think they can complain.
Ulster's kicking was woeful missing touch with both penalties and clearance kicks, in field too long or straight to the back three. McPhillips is badly missed - is he injured?

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Post by Maine man on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 12:09 pm

I for one am totally underwhelmed by burns. If he was any good I think Gloucester would have done more to keep him. I know they signed Cipriana but in this day and age you need a decent back up and Gloucester didn't see him as that. Don't get me wrong, I hope he comes good but at the moment, I honestly believe that mcphillips is a better player.

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Post by Redman on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 2:18 pm

The only demonstrable feature Burns has, which McPhillips doesn't, is a fairly solid defence.

In terms of everything else, in the limited exposure we've seen of both players, McPhillips appears to be as good or superior,

He's also 3 years younger.

The sad reality though is McPhillips has never been rated within our management structures. Not by the current team, nor the previous.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 3:41 pm

From what little we have seen of McP his defence isn't appreciably worse than Burns'.

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Post by marty2086 on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 4:41 pm

Maine man wrote:I for one am totally underwhelmed by burns. If he was any good I think Gloucester would have done more to keep him. I know they signed Cipriana but in this day and age you need a decent back up and Gloucester didn't see him as that. Don't get me wrong, I hope he comes good but at the moment, I honestly believe that mcphillips is a better player.

Letting him go isn't a sign of him not being good enough it's the realities of the salary cap, they made a splash signing Cipriani and needed to offload a 10. The plan seemed to be for Owain Williams to move back to Wales with the Dragons being linked with him since Burns was ahead of him in the pecking order last season, he couldn't agree on money with Dragons though

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Post by clivemcl on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 7:21 pm

McPhillips May indeed be better, but in reality, both are of the standard you would hope for in your squad rotation player, your pro14 capable player. Neither look likely to be the 10 Ulster will need if they are to return to higher end competitive rugby.

I’d be happy with either as squad players, but do feel we still need to be looking a 10 post World Cup. At least Burns doesn’t take up an NIQ spot.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 25 Nov 2018, 10:56 am

Think that's a bit unfair. McPhillips did as well in the second half of last season as Leali'ifano had done in the first. That's what a run of games does - build confidence.
This season Cooney, Curtis and Lowry have all played 10 as well as Burns and McPhillips, so there is little continuity or confidence being shown in any of them.

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Post by clivemcl on Sun 25 Nov 2018, 6:54 pm

I hadn't realised McPhilips was still so young, so there is certainly time for him to develop I guess. That said, Jackson was debuting for Ireland at same age. Big shoes to fill, and no option coming close.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 8:49 am

clivemcl wrote:I hadn't realised McPhilips was still so young, so there is certainly time for him to develop I guess. That said, Jackson was debuting for Ireland at same age. Big shoes to fill, and no option coming close.

McPhillips made his Ulster debut later than Jackson and not exactly through any fault of his own. Johnston at Munster with his injuries had made his Munster debut before McPhillips had made his Ulster debut

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Post by rodders on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 10:44 am

Maine man wrote:I for one am totally underwhelmed by burns. If he was any good I think Gloucester would have done more to keep him. I know they signed Cipriana but in this day and age you need a decent back up and Gloucester didn't see him as that. Don't get me wrong, I hope he comes good but at the moment, I honestly believe that mcphillips is a better player.

Been saying the same for a while. McPhillip's did really well last season in difficult circumstances and I have seen nothing to suggest Burns is as good in any area, let alone superior.

I guess we have to justify Burns wages otherwise I'm bewildered at how little opportunity McPhillip's is getting to show what he can do.
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Post by Redman on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 11:21 am

rodders wrote:
Maine man wrote:I for one am totally underwhelmed by burns. If he was any good I think Gloucester would have done more to keep him. I know they signed Cipriana but in this day and age you need a decent back up and Gloucester didn't see him as that. Don't get me wrong, I hope he comes good but at the moment, I honestly believe that mcphillips is a better player.

Been saying the same for a while. McPhillip's did really well last season in difficult circumstances and I have seen nothing to suggest Burns is as good in any area, let alone superior.

I guess we have to justify Burns wages otherwise I'm bewildered at how little opportunity McPhillip's is getting to show what he can do.

That's the worry isn't it.

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Post by Redman on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 12:29 pm

I suppose you could justify it as saying they wanted Burns times to settle and build up a relationship with his 9 and 12.  

The problem is he's not making mistakes.  The relationship doesn't seem broken, Burns just seems ..... slow and functional.  

If we saw flashes of brilliance mixed with s*** then I'd understand.  Maine man has it right, underwhelmed.


Last edited by Redman on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Post by rodders on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 1:37 pm

Good summary, he hasn't done much wrong, just nothing particularly well.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 1:37 pm

Burns is a strange one, he can switch his game up but seems to need to be told to do it in certain games. When McPhillips has come into a game for Burns he offers more variety. I found myself screaming at the tv on Friday night for him to take the ball into contact, he seems so terrified of being hit. I think the only time he was tackled was when he was caught out by the line speed of the defender outside him and hesitated and then freaked out because he had a defender in his face who then got hold of him, he's like an old boxer who has taken too many punches and is afraid to get hit again

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Post by Redman on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 3:11 pm

marty2086 wrote:Burns is a strange one, he can switch his game up but seems to need to be told to do it in certain games. When McPhillips has come into a game for Burns he offers more variety. I found myself screaming at the tv on Friday night for him to take the ball into contact, he seems so terrified of being hit. I think the only time he was tackled was when he was caught out by the line speed of the defender outside him and hesitated and then freaked out because he had a defender in his face who then got hold of him, he's like an old boxer who has taken too many punches and is afraid to get hit again

A worrying analogy given he's 24.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 5:11 pm

Redman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Burns is a strange one, he can switch his game up but seems to need to be told to do it in certain games. When McPhillips has come into a game for Burns he offers more variety. I found myself screaming at the tv on Friday night for him to take the ball into contact, he seems so terrified of being hit. I think the only time he was tackled was when he was caught out by the line speed of the defender outside him and hesitated and then freaked out because he had a defender in his face who then got hold of him, he's like an old boxer who has taken too many punches and is afraid to get hit again

A worrying analogy given he's 24.  

Given his seeming value and importance to the team given the lack of options it could be he's wrapped in cotton wool and being told to avoid contact

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 1:33 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Redman wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Burns is a strange one, he can switch his game up but seems to need to be told to do it in certain games. When McPhillips has come into a game for Burns he offers more variety. I found myself screaming at the tv on Friday night for him to take the ball into contact, he seems so terrified of being hit. I think the only time he was tackled was when he was caught out by the line speed of the defender outside him and hesitated and then freaked out because he had a defender in his face who then got hold of him, he's like an old boxer who has taken too many punches and is afraid to get hit again

A worrying analogy given he's 24.  

Given his seeming value and importance to the team given the lack of options it could be he's wrapped in cotton wool and being told to avoid contact

In a contact sport like rugby, it's questionable how important a player is to the team if he's being told to avoid contact. Burns has yet to show his value to Ulster and that will be made many times more difficult if he has been instructed to dodge the physical stuff. Perhaps McFarland should give him the number 30 on his shirt - not to show he's three times the standing of any other stand-off, but to remind him of his contactless brief and show the crowd the limit of his 'playments'?

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 11:55 am

Ulster team to play Cardiff Blues, Guinness PRO14 Round 10, Saturday 1st December, Kingspan Stadium (3.00pm):
(15-9): M Lowry; H Speight; J Hume, S McCloskey, L Ludik; B Burns, J Cooney;
(1-8): A Warwick, R Herring, M Moore, A O’Connor (captain), K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;
Replacements (16-23): R Best, E O’Sullivan, R Kane, I Nagle, N Timoney, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, J Stockdale.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 12:44 pm

Must be the biggest impact bench Ulster have named in a while?

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 12:58 pm

Ulster Rugby 2017-2018 Part 2  - Page 4 47280810

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Post by Redman on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 4:43 pm

The subtext of that selection is "we don't trust our starters to definitely be beating Cardiff at home after 60 minutes so we've kept a few big guns on the bench just in case."

Either it makes sense to rest Best and Stockdale or play them to get ready for Scarlets next week.

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Post by Redman on Sat 01 Dec 2018, 3:44 pm

Lowry's kicking from hand needs serious improvement. Like another 33% distance to even be passable.

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