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Ireland Under 20s

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Morgannwg
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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:25 pm

Didn't get to see much of them at all this season. Can anyone tell me about any players that stood out and look like they can go further in the game?

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Post by eirebilly Fri 23 Mar 2012, 1:35 pm

I could only get dodgy radio streams on their performances this year so i cant help you.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:00 pm

I only saw the game against England and that looked like you were putting out a team of U16 against U20s.

The English guys were just so much bigger and more developed (with the exception of Ford).

There was plenty of talent there which was shown occasionally, but they really do need to beef up to be able to complete at senior level. If they are the next generation, Ireland are going to be waiting a few years before they are ready to compete at the next level.
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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:02 pm

Munsty - Luke McGrath and JJ Hanrahan did quite well from what I saw.
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Post by Knowsit17 Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:10 pm

Only saw the Wales fixture, both sides looked quite poor in that. Ireland were more determined, maintained possession more effectively and learned more from their mistakes throughout the game but other than that it was an eyesore.

I know they're kids but when you see the Baby Blacks in comparison it's really little wonder they're so far ahead of everyone else at all levels.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:21 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I only saw the game against England and that looked like you were putting out a team of U16 against U20s.

The English guys were just so much bigger and more developed (with the exception of Ford).

There was plenty of talent there which was shown occasionally, but they really do need to beef up to be able to complete at senior level. If they are the next generation, Ireland are going to be waiting a few years before they are ready to compete at the next level.

That's the player pool issue again. England have the numbers to have multiple sides (in any gender!). England's players aren't so much bulked up, they just happen to be able to select boys who have matured faster (boys who are to all intents and purposes fully fledge men). Every population has them but of course England will have more of a supply than most.

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Post by MBTGOG Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:25 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I only saw the game against England and that looked like you were putting out a team of U16 against U20s.

The English guys were just so much bigger and more developed (with the exception of Ford).

There was plenty of talent there which was shown occasionally, but they really do need to beef up to be able to complete at senior level. If they are the next generation, Ireland are going to be waiting a few years before they are ready to compete at the next level.

If I had a choice between players being upskilled or bulked up at that age, I'd always go with the former.


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Post by Don Alfonso Fri 23 Mar 2012, 3:19 pm

I only saw about three matches, but Iain Henderson was the stand-out performer from those games. Powerful ball carrier, excellent tackler, great work ethic and seemed to have a bit of ferocity that few current Ulster forwards possess.

Layden the fullback looked very handy, Jackson showed some lovely touches and distribution, but was terrible kicking for points. JJ was good – really sharp. McGrath could catch a ball on the hoof and conjure a drop-goal out of nothing, but wasn’t actually great at, y’know – passing the ball from the base of a ruck. None of the wings was particularly great, and I thought our back-rowers were, for the most part, over-hyped.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 23 Mar 2012, 3:30 pm

I only saw the game against England and that looked like you were putting out a team of U16 against U20s.

The English guys were just so much bigger and more developed (with the exception of Ford).

I saw the England vs Ireland under 20s game this year. Ford didn't play. Heathcote the Bath 10 played at fly half as Ford was playing for Tigers the following day in the LV Cup.

I'm not sure there was that much difference in terms of actual size but the English team were far more physical in terms of their tackling and attitude. That is probably down to a good chunk of them having experience with their respective first teams (the likes of Kvesic, Robson, Heathcote, Yarde, Watson etc). The English team won as 15 individuals rather than as a team, pulling together as a unit Ireland were as good. England only really worked together in defence and that showed with a couple of butchered opportunities in attack.

I only saw the one game but the Irish no 20 who came off the bench seemed lively and a strong carrier, Jackson seemed to be a decent fly half with a reliable boot but I was unimpressed by the much hyped 12 (JJ O'Hanrahan sp?). He got YC'd pretty cheapily and got stepped a couple of times in defence and didn't really offer much support to the 10 Jackson in attack. That was only the one game though.

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Post by Notch Fri 23 Mar 2012, 4:18 pm

Iain Henderson, Luke McGrath, JJ Hanrahan and Shane Layden were the star performers really. Paddy Jackson and Chris Farrell also look good. We had a very good midfield axis at 10-12-13 but Jackson needs to work on his placekicking.
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Post by red_stag Fri 23 Mar 2012, 4:35 pm

We will surely see Hanrahan get more gametime as he recently was upgraded from an academy contract to a development contract at Munster.
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Post by eirebilly Fri 23 Mar 2012, 5:01 pm

Hanrahan is a huge talent. He will do well at Munster Very Happy
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Post by hugo124 Fri 23 Mar 2012, 5:14 pm

I expect McGrath and Hanrahan to play for Ireland in the future.

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Post by eirebilly Fri 23 Mar 2012, 5:22 pm

Its looking that way Hugo, Ireland will have strength in depth soon Very Happy
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Post by Notch Fri 23 Mar 2012, 7:37 pm

It's all about the props. The U20s fielded another Ulster loosehead at tighthead against England actually. Even if Kyle McCall fared better than Tom Court, our scrummaging isn't really great at any level.

I fee like almost every year now there are a few lads in the 20s I'm exceptionally excited to see develop- but not enough of the standout players are tight five players, and we're especially short on props.

From an Ulster POV, it's great to see Iain Henderson coming through even if it'll be a few years before he's physically ready to step up. He has a great mentor in Johann Muller, hope Ulster use that. One to one coaching.
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Post by Morgannwg Fri 23 Mar 2012, 8:49 pm

There were a few standout individuals and they have been named, bearing in mind I only saw one game though. I felt Paddy Jackson was really overhyped by your contrymen, didn't see anything to suggest he will make the step-up and neither did the English on this forum. As for size, France looked the biggest because of the Pacific Islanders they had. Their back-row was sublime though. I think Wales had a big pack that were let down by the backs. Agree with Fly, England have a massive junior place so are likely to pick the biggest guys. However their physicality, defence and skill made them show some of the best U20 play I have seen.
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Post by ME-109 Fri 23 Mar 2012, 9:43 pm

At times they looked good, and at times they looked clueless. A typical Mike Ruddock coached team. JJ Hanrahan stood put for me..class

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Post by profitius Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:01 pm

Henderson, Hanrahan, McCall, Layden and Farrell stood out for me.

It was a strange tournament for Ireland though. Ireland had plenty of possession in the games I watched but the wingers hardly touched the ball and when they did they were not great.

Ruddock insisted in playing Jackson at 10 but should have given Marsh and/or Hanrahan a go there.
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Post by The Great Aukster Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:52 pm

MBTGOG - I'll restrict my comments to those players I was specifically looking out for - i.e. Ulster players, McGrath and Hanrahan.

Kyle McCall got mashed against England in the early scrums but what was really encouraging was that he got better as the game wore on. He was moved over in most games as well so obviously Ruddock saw him as a mainstay.

Ian Henderson was impressive with his work rate and ability to make ground. Needs to grow a bit to step up a level as a lock and maybe the backrow beckons.

Luke McGrath is a sniping scrummie who plays with his head up and took a great DG against Wales. I really liked the way he and Jackson changed their game plan against England after about 15 minutes to keep the lid on a match that looked in danger of being a massacre. His biggest issue is that he's tiny and sometimes got blown off the ball.

Paddy Jackson had a nightmare off the tee against Wales but still made a good DG against them and kicked pressure points in the rest of the games some of which he was obviously straining for distance from long range. His general play was very sound and he looked the player from this team most ready to step up to PRO12. Thought he handled himself well as a captain too with the media.

JJ Hanrahan was a bit disappointing for me. As a senior player in the side there were too many periods he went missing and had a poor game against England. He is obviously a very proficient place kicker but doesn't have the size/power to step up as a centre yet. He has an eye for a gap but looks to me to be far more suited to fly half?

Chris Farrell is a big guy running straight who wouldn't be out of place in a Welsh shirt! I don't get the hype around him at all, he needs to add a lot to his game to make it as a pro.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sat 24 Mar 2012, 12:10 am

Not sure why Henderson would need to grow - he is bigger than the irish international second rows! At 6 foot 6 and 18 stone. Agree about Farrell, disagree about Hanrahan who to me looks like the perfect 12. He is only 19, has plenty of time to bulk up a little, and get used to the physicality with game time for Munster.

One player who hasn't been mentioned is Conan - I think he looks a real prospect. One of the few players to make ground against England and he has a huge workrate. Big, ball-carrying, athletic number 8. Something Ireland could do with coming through the ranks.

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