Ulster Rugby 2018-19

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 9:49 am

http://www.606v2.com/t68145-ulster-rugby-2017-2018-part-2


Last thread was at risk of self combusting, so started a new one for you. 


Bye.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 11:19 am

Never been his biggest fan but Clive Ross has been outstanding in the last couple of games.
All round the forwards were excellent.
Shanahan, with the exception of box kicking gave us an extra edge at the end.
Great to see Matty Rea back playing well
EOS is going to be an absolute star.
I come on here early in the season and stated I would not swap him for any LH at Munster or Dooley and Bryne at Leinster
Given where he is in his development I reiterate that and some
As for Marty Moore we have turned a useless lump at Wasps back into a quality TH

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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 12:53 pm

I never thought I would say this but thank goodness for Dave Shanahan, he brought an extra zip yesterday that Cooney was finding it impossible to inject. At least in Cooney's case we can say it's just a blip, lets hope Shanahan's discovery of form this season isn't. His box kicking isn't an asset but the rest of his game has vastly improved.

The Ulster of last year would have imploded when down to 13 players, I'm sure of that. Yesterday showed a maturity in game management that we've not been anywhere near in a number of years. To score the BP try with 2 players off the pitch showed the steeliness that McFarland has brought and the level heads the players have on their shoulders to manage the games on the hoof, very impressive. Even the elements were against them as the strong wind decided to reverse it's direction at half time yet still the job was done.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 1:36 pm

Shanahan has improved a lot.

Look up the stats, he either never started a game before this year, or only started one - not sure which.
He has responded to getting quality game time

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Post by Redman on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 4:49 pm

I think they're just better coached than they were previously. The forwards especially.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 5:07 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
As for Marty Moore we have turned a useless lump at Wasps back into a quality TH

Think it's harsh to call him a useless lump, when he got a run of games at Wasps he looked decent though not his old self. Think Wasps S&C staff had a lot to answer for there especially when you look at the fact they are constantly complaining about the number of injuries they have

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 04 Mar 2019, 5:54 pm

He was very poor largely because he wasn't fit - something he has said himself

Totally agree we are seeing the benefits of quality coaching instead of the shambles of last year

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Post by Standulstermen on Tue 05 Mar 2019, 10:51 pm

Shanahan has directly benefited from Peel. I remain to be 100% convinced by Peel but if he’s good enough for McFarland then fair enough. He’s also shown a degree of loyalty given he seems to have had offers so fair play to him

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 8:47 am

True Stand at least one Welsh regions wanted him.
Given the complete and utter shambles in Wales I am sure he is relieved at the choice he made

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Post by Redman on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 12:33 pm

Standulstermen wrote:Shanahan has directly benefited from Peel. I remain to be 100% convinced by Peel but if he’s good enough for McFarland then fair enough. He’s also shown a degree of loyalty given he seems to have had offers so fair play to him

100% agree with this.

I'm not convinced by our attack and still think we're too reliant on certain players for wonder tries.  

But it's no coincidence that both Cooney and Shanahan weren't rated elsewhere but have improved dramatically at Ulster, coinciding with Peel's arrival.

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Post by clivemcl on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:36 pm

Herring called up in place of Cronin. How cut throat is that?? Shocked

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Post by Redman on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:51 pm

From memory Cronin had an incident or two on the Australia tour last year. So the rumours go at least.

They said he's not the best of drunks and ended up smacking someone in the face (was it Henshaw?) on the flight home. I can't remember. Others can Google it but the feeling at the time was his Ireland career might be over.

On performance you could argue it's a bit harsh given it was a completely scratch Ireland lineout and he has been good off the bench in the past. Injects real pace, either chasing a game or putting the opposition to the sword.

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Post by rodders on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 5:01 pm

I think Cronin may have blown his RWC chances and Schmidt is looking at other options.
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Post by clivemcl on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 6:31 pm

If you were McGrath, looking for a starting place at a club in order to get back in the shop window would you
a) be concerned by how good O'Sullivan has been and
b) be waiting to check first if you will be getting european rugby before signing?

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Post by Redman on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 10:39 am

He should be worried about both.

But realistically he'll only be focused about b).

In his mind he's got what it takes to get back in the Ireland team if he gets 1st team rugby. O'Sullivan, as good as he's been, isn't punching at that level yet.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:05 am

I don't think either will play a significant part in his decision.

I think O'Sullivan is close to the national side.
His work rate around the park is exceptional - often our highest tackler
I except him to be in the squad for the 2020 6Ns

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Post by Standulstermen on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 10:29 pm

It’s a competitive area Geoff but I suppose his age will stand to him. He will be competing against Byrne and Dooley I suppose. Continuing on the Loosehead theme Reid got the winning try for the U20s tonight and looked to stabilise the scrum when he came home (albeit the guy he replaced was excellent too)

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Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 8:46 am

Bryne 9/9/93 - 6th Season
Dooley 4/8/94 - 5th Season
O'Sullivan 30/11/95 - 1st Season

He has come late to the party but given his age and level of experience the other two have I wouldn't swap him for anyone
He is a decent scrummager but I've told some of the tracking stats
He is simply unbelievable around the park for distance covered and tackles made, often outstripping one or more backrowers for distance and regularly being our top tackler
I am totally convinced he will be in the full Ireland set up this time next year

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Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 1:00 pm

Best has said that the World Cup is looking like the end of his career

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Post by Standulstermen on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 1:07 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Bryne 9/9/93 - 6th Season
Dooley 4/8/94 - 5th Season
O'Sullivan 30/11/95 - 1st Season

He has come late to the party but given his age and level of experience the other two have I wouldn't swap him for anyone
He is a decent scrummager but I've told some of the tracking stats
He is simply unbelievable around the park for distance covered and tackles made, often outstripping one or more backrowers for distance and regularly being our top tackler
I am totally convinced he will be in the full Ireland set up this time next year

Certainly wouldn’t swap him but I was talking about his rivals who are of a similar age. Kilcoyne is old enough isn’t he? Cronin I haven’t heard mention of in a while

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Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 09 Mar 2019, 4:42 pm

Kilcoyne is roughly Healys age and Cronin is roughly McGraths age.

For me O'Sullivan is already a better player than Bryne or Cronin.
This time next year I expect him to be ahead of Kilcoyne and Dooley
I think he has that much potential.
In addition it is not going to his head, perfect attitude

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Post by Brendan on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 11:15 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Kilcoyne is roughly Healys age and Cronin is roughly McGraths age.

For me O'Sullivan is already a better player than Bryne or Cronin.
This time next year I expect him to be ahead of Kilcoyne and Dooley
I think he has that much potential.
In addition it is not going to his head, perfect attitude

As long as he starts for Ulster and doing all the other stuff around the park he will.get a go. Munster's problem is they have two frontrows who are equal so only play half the time, means they have less time to impress.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 10:30 am

They have not played equal time
Kilcoyne 11+6
Cronin     5+4

At Leinster
Bryne 4+11 - only starts against Kings and Dragons
Dooley 4+8

What that tells me is Leinster have already decided Bryne is no more than injury cover - I agree with that assessment

To be blunt Bryne and Cronin simply are not good enough for International rugby
Healy will be 32 at the end of the World Cup

The guys making up the squad, when he leaves the scene, are likely to be McGrath, Kilcoyne, Dooley and O'Sullivan - two of them could be at Ulster.
I don't believe there is a Connacht man in contention - unless Farrell decides Buckley is suddenly good enough at 29.
He has not played 1 second for Ireland and Farrell has been part of the set up for some time so I seriously doubt it

It also explains why O'Sullivan is going past Bryne and Cronin and up there with Dooley - the others are not getting the game time to progress their game as much

O'Sullivan stats are 12+9


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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 10:35 am

If you want exciting young prop talent then look no further than Callum Reid.
Only 20 and outstanding potential

Him and Aaron Sexton will be two of the best prospects to join our Academy, next year, as we have had

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 10:48 am

Chris Henry taking over the head coaching role at Malone, great to see and they are still in contention for promotion this season to 1A

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/rugby/club-rugby/chris-henry-excited-to-take-the-main-job-at-malone-37907380.html

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 2:40 pm

Excellent news

The sort of knowledgable coach at our best Clubs we need

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 3:19 pm

He was already coaching there for a few years, just taken the step up. Three Ulster sides competing for promotion too including Willie Faloons Armagh side who seems to be turning into a decent coach going by RSA and CoAs progression over the last few years.

Both go head to head next Saturday at Gibson Park prior to the Kings match, could be a decent double header to do

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Post by Standulstermen on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 12:42 pm

marty2086 wrote:He was already coaching there for a few years, just taken the step up. Three Ulster sides competing for promotion too including Willie Faloons Armagh side who seems to be turning into a decent coach going by RSA and CoAs progression over the last few years.

Both go head to head next Saturday at Gibson Park prior to the Kings match, could be a decent double header to do

In fairness everyone bar ballymena are competing for promotion. Banbridge were top a few weeks back, lost two games and were 9th. Faloon does seem to be doing a great job. I had a mate who played there when McLaughlin took them and when he left I’m not sure many expected to progress but they got another promotion and are up there competing in 1B.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:26 pm

Indo reporting that Sean Dougall will be leaving Pau and returning to Ireland, for Ulster apparently.

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Post by Redman on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:48 pm

Our backrow prospects have all disappeared.  I know a good few are injured but considering how we've blooded youth in some positions it's odd that the most heavily hyped at the end of last year haven't emerged.  

Is the Dougall signing an indication that now McFarland has come in he doesn't agree with the hype?  Are we just trying to build depth or are we thinking we might lose a Reidy or a Clive Ross at the end of the year?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 1:49 pm

Armagh don't take Ulster Academy players through choice. Their rationale is that they'd rather have continuity than starlets who are often AWUL (absent with Ulster leave). Having won the first senior cup in their history last year, they have retained it this season and been challenging for promotion. Falloon is obviously doing a great job with his settled team approach, but whether he has enough quality to be as successful in a higher league is still a question mark?

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:03 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Indo reporting that Sean Dougall will be leaving Pau and returning to Ireland, for Ulster apparently.

Looked up the article, looks like a rehashed one from two years ago




Independent.ie Newsdesk  

March 27 2017 12:00 PM


Sean Dougall is on the verge of a move back to Ireland, according to reports in the French meda.


Midi Olimpique are reporting that the back rower, who left Munster for Pau in 2015, is returning home but will link up with Ulster rather than former side Munster.

The 27-year-old is a product of the Ulster academy and the Midi report that they are 'particularly interested' in his services.

He spent three years at Thomond Park before moving to the Top 14.

Dougall's 29

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Post by Redman on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:06 pm

Lol, that's pretty shameful. Good investigative work Marty.

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Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:12 pm

Jeez Marty that IS shameful, lazy journalism but hey that's what they do.
You on the other hand should immediately offered an investigative journalism role.

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:17 pm

Just to further enhance my credentials, apparently Pau have announced he and Paddy Butler won't be signing on again next season

Excuse the Google Translate copy and paste job

TOP 14 - Pau's president Bernard Pontneau announced Tuesday that his club will be separated from six players at the end of the season, including several international executives such as the 3rd line English Steffon Armitage and Australian Ben Mowen or his Irish.

End of contract in June, Armitage (33 years, 5 selections with the XV of the Rose) and Mowen (34 years, 15 selections with the Wallabies), will not be extended by the Section, currently 11th in the Top 14.

The same goes for the Irish Sean Dougall (29 years old, 2 caps) and Paddy Butler (28 years old, 5 caps), who arrived from Munster in 2015 in the luggage of New Zealand manager Simon Mannix, as well as for their countryman Dave Foley (30 years old, 8 caps), at the club for two seasons.

Finally, the New Zealand pillar Jamie Mackintosh (34 years, 3 selections with the All Blacks) will not be retained while the case of the New Zealand center Benson Stanley has not yet been decided.

In addition, the Bearn president said that New Zealand coach Paul Tito (40), a key specialist who arrived during the season, signed a new three-year contract.

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Post by Redman on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 2:24 pm

Steffon Armitage is an international executive these days. Good for him! May expand why Pau are struggling though.

Understandable that the Irish guys aren't re-signing after there were made to travel in Simon Mannix's luggage when they came over from Munster. Must have been some customs scam.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 3:12 pm

Redman wrote:Our backrow prospects have all disappeared.  I know a good few are injured but considering how we've blooded youth in some positions it's odd that the most heavily hyped at the end of last year haven't emerged.  

Is the Dougall signing an indication that now McFarland has come in he doesn't agree with the hype?  Are we just trying to build depth or are we thinking we might lose a Reidy or a Clive Ross at the end of the year?

Sorry but I think that is utter nonsense.
Nobody has disappeared

Ignoring the 4 older heads - Coetzee Murphy, Reidy, Ross our backrowers fall into two broad categories

Those in the 22 to 25 age group
Timoney, Matty Rea, Jones and Montgomery
Timoney has established himself and will be an excellent asset
Matty Rea is doing fine and will improve (injured at an awkward time but he is back now)
Jones likewise (he for example is the same age as when Henry first played and to be honest it took Henry two years after that before he delivered)
Montgomery - to be honest I never thought of him as one the promising backrowers anyway

Then there are the 19 to 2 year olds. These guys were never going to be playing this year
Dunleavy
Agnew
Rea (Marcus)
Hall
Allison
McCann

Hall has been injured, Dunleavy needs to up his game but Agnew, Allison and McCann are all very exciting prospects
Of course a couple will not make up but to claim 'all our backrow prospects have disappeared' is utter rubbish.
Something I will say, is something I said before - this will take time.
You cannot turn raw young kids into professionals overnight - we all need to show patience.
Instants fixes are not the way to go - we are on the right track.

I would not dismiss Dougall coming even allowing for the lousy journalism


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Post by marty2086 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:56 pm

With the changes in Springboks selection policy, Murphy and Henderson likely going to the RWC Ulster will need some extra bodies added to the squad for next season and a bigger squad than they have this season

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 4:57 pm

Champions Cup squad has been updated to include Luke Marshall, Hume and O'Hagan

Will be great to see Marshall back

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 5:04 pm

Thought O'Hagan was supposed to be out for the rest of the season?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 5:16 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Something I will say, is something I said before - this will take time.
You cannot turn raw young kids into professionals overnight - we all need to show patience.
Instants fixes are not the way to go - we are on the right track.

What have you done with the real Geoff - you know the one from the Ulster thread before this one!

geoff999rugby wrote:Sorry to say it but Kernohan just hasn't got it

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 6:37 pm

No inconsistency

The post was in response to a claim that 'all backrow prospects had disappeared'
Timoney, Matty Rea, Jones, Dunleavy, Agnew, Rea (Marcus), Hall, Allison and McCann
All 9 sunk without trace.
6 of them are in the Academy with 1 senior appearance between them and he (Hall) has been injured.
The other 3 have played and done quite well

As to Kernohan - I think there is a very important difference4
Backs v Forwards
Backs who are going to make it at a higher level show something special early on, forwards need to develop so much more before there
potential comes fully to the fore. I would expect to see 'stardust' in a back. maybe as much as 5 years earlier than a forward.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 9:19 am

Luke Marshall keeps being a naughty boy in training
He is given a white non contact bid and then proceeds to take out other non contact players in tackles.
He is absolutely bursting to get back

No date on Addison or Gilroy returning
Henderson we will find out the week before Leinster but hopeful given his recovery powers

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 9:23 am

Gilroy was on with Trimble last week talking about his injury, he's back running in the anti gravity treadmill seemed optimistic about being back soon enough but they don't seem to be setting a date because of the set backs he had

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 12:50 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:No inconsistency

The post was in response to a claim that 'all backrow prospects had disappeared'
Timoney, Matty Rea, Jones, Dunleavy, Agnew, Rea (Marcus), Hall, Allison and McCann
All 9 sunk without trace.
6 of them are in the Academy with 1 senior appearance between them and he (Hall) has been injured.
The other 3 have played and done quite well

As to Kernohan - I think there is a very important difference4
Backs v Forwards
Backs who are going to make it at a higher level show something special early on, forwards need to develop so much more before there
potential comes fully to the fore. I would expect to see 'stardust' in a back. maybe as much as 5 years earlier than a forward.

Kernohan is a teenager who has done well enough in his appearances for the senior team. Others at his age whom Ulster have let go such as Chris Farrell, Sammy Arnold and Tommy Seymour seem to have developed 'stardust' that wasn't especially evident when they left. Players (especially backs) stand out if they have a selfish streak, and yet Schmidt has shown that his backs must follow his 'boring' diktat rather than show-off their own thang. Guys like Cooney, Addison and Conway weren't stars at 19 - yet they have acquired enough stardust for Schmidt to trust them at Test level. Perhaps Angus Kernohan is more of a team player than an individual?

It will be interesting to see how Conor Rankin gets on in the Schools Cup on Monday as there are plenty talking about the amount of potential that he has. It is also interesting that his predecessor in the 2011 final also had his advocates, yet now at age 25 Rory Scholes seems to have misplaced his stardust.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 9:02 pm

Grand Slam win for the U20s - Kernohan didn't look too bad for someone who 'hasn't got it'!

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Post by Standulstermen on Fri 15 Mar 2019, 9:23 pm

Needs to develop a bit more consistency but that’s true of 99% of U20s. He has a JRWC to look forward too

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Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 16 Mar 2019, 2:52 pm

Ok I get it we have a different opinion as to Kernohan potential (stardust if you like)
Lets be more nuanced and break this down.
At some level any kid coming through the ranks will have a ceiling as to what they can achieve.
For me this would breakdown roughly as follows (listing people who can play backrow as examples)
World Class - Ferris
International Class - Henderson
Top Provincial player - Henry
Useful Provincial player - Reidy
Squad filler - Ross (although his last couple of games have been better than that)
Not good enough - too numerous to mention

When I Say 'hasn't got it' to be clear for me it is the ability to be Reidy standard or above
For me I think that is unlikely and Squad Filler is probable, like Nelson
I would not put any credence in U20 rugby - the step up is so big.
What a player does when they make the 1st XV is what counts.
Also next year he will struggle for game time - I would envisage Stockdale, Gilroy, Faddes (if he comes), Baloucoune and Lyttle will all be above him in the pecking order and by Christmas you can probably add Sexton to that list. Being 6th/7th choice will be tough

Others at his age whom Ulster have let go such as Chris Farrell, Sammy Arnold and Tommy Seymour seem to have developed 'stardust' that wasn't especially evident when they left.

If you are saying to me that previous management have mad bad decisions in the past I would agree.
Even with those three players there are points worth making though.
Seymour left for one reason and one reason only - his decision to commit to Scotland rather than Ireland.
We were never going to use up a NIQ slot for a joint 4th choice winger - behind Bowe, Trimble, Gilroy and on a par with Cochrane (remember him?)

Farrell was given a chance at Ulster and did not take it, He wanted out to rebuild his form and confidence.
He left during the whole Humphreys, Anscombe, Kiss shambles.
The farce that was our organizational set up probably didn't register a player low on confidence drifting away.

Arnold when he left was 6th choice centre (McCloskey, Marshall, Olding, Payne, Cave ahead of him).
His is skill set is poor and the likes of Hume and Moore have far more potential.
I think he is the most overated centre in Irish rugby - not good enough to start for any province
I would not take him back as a player or as a person (read into that what you will)

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 16 Mar 2019, 5:29 pm

That's fine Geoff - I just found it strange that you're prepared to give a forward 5 years to develop but only 5 games for a back.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 9:22 am

No problem - good to have ones opinions questions.
Just a couple of additionals

Any player I pass an opinion on is based a fair bit on 'A' games as well as first XV games so not just 5 games.
It just my contention a back shows there potential fairly early, but forwards can be slow burns with Henry as an example

Secondly if Kernohan becomes as good as, say, Gilroy I will be delighted to come on here and eat humble pie

On Gilroy good news is they appear to have got to the bottom of it and no long term problem envisaged.
I doubt he will play again this year but no reason he will not be 100% at the start of next

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