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Ulster Pre-Season

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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 11:43 am

Because we need a new thread to succeed the Ulster Signings one.

There was more encouragement for Ulster last weekend as they held a near full-strength Leicester Tigers to a draw in a sun-drenched Ravenhill. The team was considerably more callow than their opponents but they acquited themselves admirably; with the majority of Ulsters Irish internationals not expected to be involved until the third round of the Pro12, Mark Anscombe is happy to give the same group of players a run again in the final pre-season game against Newcastle. The only changes to the team that started against Leicester are the additions of Mike McComish at openside, Craig Gilroy on the wing, Paddy Jackson at outhalf and Rob Herring at hooker.

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/news/10710.php

Ulster (15-9):J Payne, M Allen, C Farrell, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, M Heaney (1-8): C Black, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (c), L Stevenson, R Diack, M McComish, N Williams;
Replacements: N Annett, N Brady, R Lutton, J Afoa, A Macklin, N McComb, A Birch, S Doyle, B McIlroy, N O’Connor, P Nelson, C Cochrane

Match report from Bayonne;

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/rugby/10692.php

Match report from Leicester;

http://www.ulsterrugby.com/rugby/10701.php


Last edited by Notch on Thu 23 Aug 2012, 11:44 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 11:46 am

As I said earlier that's a cracking backline if you add in the likes of Bowe, Pienaar and maybe Paddy Wallace ( I think Farrell could be very good) then you have some great talent available. I'm scared of Ulster to be honest....

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 11:50 am

In the other thread Thomand referred to how we were 'trying' Payne at 13. Is it not true that Payne played more 13 than 15 in his last season for Blues? So i don't think playing him there is an experiment. Perhaps they just wanted to give Nelson gametime (rightfully so), and needed experience in the backline somewhere.

I think when it come to 6 nations etc, we should def have Payne at 13 if cave is called up. But in general, I had hoped we (and Ireland) might have steered Bowe towards 13.

Looking forward to hearing how Doyle and Diack get on.

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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 11:51 am

Trying may have been the wrong word but he is a utility back so no problem with im going aroudn the different spots.

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 11:59 am

Surely there's not a possibility of Payne at 13 and Bowe at 15 is there?
The thing about a new overseas coach is you really don't know what he's thinking. He could do something drastic positionally, or he could just put out teams very similar to what we've grown to expect.


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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:13 pm

Clive he will have been listening to the coaches I'm sure. He will almost certainly have had a chat with BMcL. Payne will always be an option at 13 and he will have remembered that from NZ. I wouldn't expect to see him start at 13, any more than I would expect to see Bowe anywhere other than 14.
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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:16 pm

Rav, he could start at 13 if Cave is away with Ireland, but unless he blows anyone away while playing there I wouldn't exepct to see him feature there often I agree. OK guinness

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Post by rodders Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:28 pm

I think the exciting thing about having a new coach is that he will bring fresh ideas, if he was going to just pick the same team as BM then there isn't much point bringing him in. That may mean picking different players in different positions than we've been used to.

I'd say he'll be a bit constrained by the IRFU to pick certain players but beyond that it will be interesting to see who is selected where in the backline especially.

Personally I would be keen to see Bowe tried in the centre and Trimble and Gilroy on the wings but we shall see how things pan out.
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Post by toml Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:28 pm

clivemcl wrote:Surely there's not a possibility of Payne at 13 and Bowe at 15 is there?


I would have thought if someone needs to go to 13 for some reason it would be Bowe with Trimby 14 Gilroy 11

Loads of options

1 Court McAllister Black
2 Best Annett Herring Brady
3 Afoa Fitzpatrick Macklin
4 Muller Stevenson McComb
5 Tuohy Henderson
6 Ferris McComish
7 Henry Birch Doyle
8 Wilson Diack Williams
9 Pienaar Marshall McIlroy Heaney
10 Jackson O'Connor
11 Gilroy Cochrane
12 Wallace Marshall Farrell
13 Cave Spence
14 Bowe Trimble
15 Payne D'Arcy Nelson

Finally starting to get some experienced depth IMO. Still a way to go to get a 2nd string like Leinster though

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:40 pm

I think some of the signings have been very clever. I think till now, the backups in each position have been fairly straighforward, but bringing in the likes of Williams, Doyle, Herring as well as the emergence of younger players has created more competition for the honour of being the 'go-to man'.

This IMO is very evident in what we've heard about Diack in training.

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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:49 pm

rodders wrote:Nice one Rava, good to see you back sir! guinness Smile

Cheers Rodders. I haven't been too far away but have not been that interested in the Olympics TBH so there was little for me to say on here.

So looking forward to the new season. Asbo is coming in for the Glasgow game and Stag is due up from Limerick for the Munster game. Pints will be consumed I think Wink
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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:51 pm

I have to say, I’m saddened that we have a new thread for this. I would have liked to have seen the Ulster Squad Additions one rumble on forever, flying in the face of logic and titular relevance.

As for the game tonight, any idea what time kick off is? I read on The Other Forum that some UR staff will be updating on Twitter.

I suspect Notch is right - Payne is at 13 to allow Peter Nelson a run at 15. Also, it gets someone with experience into the midfield. It really is the kids featuring. All second string, more-or-less known quantities are absent (Spence, D’Arcy, Brady) or on the bench (Stevenson). This is where Anscombe starts getting the measure of our fringe players, hopefully. Beyond that, I’d read nothing into the selections.

Why is everyone so obsessed about finding a 13? Cave is an excellent HEC level player, and with more game time, I think Spence could be just as good, albeit with a different skill-set. I’d like to see us using them in a more horses-for-courses manner.

Chris Farrell I thought was poor in the U20 JWC, barring the last game. I’d like to actually see positive things to go with what I’ve heard.

We need Geoff back for some insider info…

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Post by rodders Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:52 pm

Rava it was looking like I'd be away in September but now looks like I'll be here so I'll be trying to get to the Munster game..... you know where to find me if you and Stag want to buy me a guinness Smile .... Whistle
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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:56 pm

There aren't enough Munster fans to warrent a thread but Munster's first pre-season game. (we're still important even in our own minds) http://www.munsterrugby.ie/news/10658.php


Dougie's back! Yahoo

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 09 Aug 2012, 12:57 pm

I'll be interested to see how the Munster backlien pans out this season... second seaosn syndrome for Zebo, Earls as centre, etc.

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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 1:01 pm

I think Zebo will improve his overall game but try socring might come down a bit, having an experienced guys like Dougie beside him will be be great. Earls well I think he will see a lot of gametime at centre but will appear in other areas. Musnter have a potentially groin grabbingly good backline.

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 1:03 pm

KO is at 7pm Don.

As for Cave. He has been great, but is off the mark internationally (according to popular opinion). The desire for Bowe at 13 is more for Irelands sake than Ulsters.

Also, I believe Gilroy and Trimble are of a higher quality (just) than cave and so if anyone was to miss out of the backline it should be Cave.

It is a very marginal though, and Trimble is arguably less consistent that Cave.

How many tries did our wingers get last season out of interest? Is it my imagination, or were we below average? (I know that doesn't directly imply the wingers werent good) But an interesting point all the same.
EDIT: Just checked stats and don't think my feeling was true. Trimble and Gilroy both got 6 tries which seems pretty standard (unless you compare it with Zebos 12)

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Post by rodders Thu 09 Aug 2012, 1:36 pm

Do you have evidence that either Ireland or Ulster want Bowe at 13?

Otherwise I would suggest that is pure speculation. Bowe has indicated that he sees his future in the centre beyond that there is nothing to suggest either party see Bowe as a centre.

Bowe and Trimble will start that is all I am certain of.

Neither particularly like the left wing and prefer to drift in from the right and pass off their right hand. By contrast Gilroy plays regularly on the left so the back 3 dynamics will be interesting.
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Post by Kingshu Thu 09 Aug 2012, 1:49 pm

I don't see the move Bowe to 13 thing, How many Lions clas wingers shouuld move to centre, rather keep them where they play best, Horgan didn't move to centre as he got a bit slower

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 1:51 pm

I have evidence that BOD is getting older and that nobody else is stepping up to the required standard.

Are you saying you dont think Bowe at 13 for Ireland is likely? I can't see how the IRFU won't consider it.

We have Bowe, Trimble, Gilroy, Zebo, Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Earls for potential wing spots.

Name those who are in the mix for 13.

I would love Cave to prove himself at 13 internationally, but he did himself no favours v baabaas.

I still believe Deccie didnt give him adequate opportunity during the tour.

I'm not writing him off yet.

If Gilroy loses out to Trimble on a consistant basis, it will be a crying shame. Gilroy is one of the few players in Ireland who looks like a star at a young age, and we are going to put him behind Trimble who has never quite showed what was once promised?

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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:22 pm

clivemcl wrote:I have evidence that BOD is getting older and that nobody else is stepping up to the required standard.

Are you saying you dont think Bowe at 13 for Ireland is likely? I can't see how the IRFU won't consider it.

We have Bowe, Trimble, Gilroy, Zebo, Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Earls for potential wing spots.

Name those who are in the mix for 13.

I would love Cave to prove himself at 13 internationally, but he did himself no favours v baabaas.

I still believe Deccie didnt give him adequate opportunity during the tour.

I'm not writing him off yet.

If Gilroy loses out to Trimble on a consistant basis, it will be a crying shame. Gilroy is one of the few players in Ireland who looks like a star at a young age, and we are going to put him behind Trimble who has never quite showed what was once promised?

Sorry Clive, but 12 months ago or thereabouts Trimble was possibly the best winger in NH rugby. Ahead of the world cup he played all three friendlies and everyone thought he should have started the world cup. He is still a better player than Gilroy in my opinion. I think Gilroy will have to earn the shirt.
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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:26 pm

NH rugby, may be a bit OTT but in Ireland he certainl was, lost a bit of form around 6N time but he will bounce back some battle for the winger spots in Ulster. Great to see.

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:44 pm

Rava wrote:
clivemcl wrote:I have evidence that BOD is getting older and that nobody else is stepping up to the required standard.

Are you saying you dont think Bowe at 13 for Ireland is likely? I can't see how the IRFU won't consider it.

We have Bowe, Trimble, Gilroy, Zebo, Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Earls for potential wing spots.

Name those who are in the mix for 13.

I would love Cave to prove himself at 13 internationally, but he did himself no favours v baabaas.

I still believe Deccie didnt give him adequate opportunity during the tour.

I'm not writing him off yet.

If Gilroy loses out to Trimble on a consistant basis, it will be a crying shame. Gilroy is one of the few players in Ireland who looks like a star at a young age, and we are going to put him behind Trimble who has never quite showed what was once promised?

Sorry Clive, but 12 months ago or thereabouts Trimble was possibly the best winger in NH rugby. Ahead of the world cup he played all three friendlies and everyone thought he should have started the world cup. He is still a better player than Gilroy in my opinion. I think Gilroy will have to earn the shirt.

I do remember Rava, but in terms of career, that was a rare and fleeting period of time where his rivals struggled with form and he was deemed by most to be in the drivers seat. But lets not forget, The Irish Management still didn't believe he was the best. hence dropping him for the first World Cup match.

I love the way on here, saying one player has more potential than another gets translated as a criticism of the player! I think that for too long, we have held our youngsters back. Gilroy could be fantastic for Ireland some day, but it will not help him if he only plays a third (or less) of games in a season when he could potentially be knocking on the international door.

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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:47 pm

Thaty's like me with my Zebo/Gilroy comments Whistle

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Post by rodders Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:49 pm

People have short memories Trimble has been one of our best players for the last few seasons and was in superb form up until the 6N. He didn't have a great end to the season but the criticism has been way over board.

By contrast Gilroy only found top form from the Heino QF onwards.
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:55 pm

rodders wrote:People have short memories Trimble has been one of our best players for the last few seasons and was in superb form up until the 6N. He didn't have a great end to the season but the criticism has been way over board.

By contrast Gilroy only found top form from the Heino QF onwards.

Exactly Rodders guinness

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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:55 pm

rodders wrote:People have short memories Trimble has been one of our best players for the last few seasons and was in superb form up until the 6N. He didn't have a great end to the season but the criticism has been way over board.

By contrast Gilroy only found top form from the Heino QF onwards.

Rodders, can you show me the criticism?

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Post by Thomond Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:58 pm

I think a lot of people see Trimble not starting for Ulster in the big games as if it's a forgone conclusion. Is that criticism? Yes and I think it is unjust, he is well in that mix.

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 09 Aug 2012, 2:59 pm

I woudl be lothe to write off Darren Cave off the back of a Baa-baas game and ten minutes' cameo when we're losing to the ABs.

Is it really so unthinkable to give the guy a whole game against Italy in the 6N to allow him a decent chance to prove himself? I think he's earned it.

On Trimble, I think he's he's currently still a starting Ulster winger. I don't know if he will be by the end of the season.

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Post by rodders Thu 09 Aug 2012, 3:16 pm

clivemcl wrote:
rodders wrote:People have short memories Trimble has been one of our best players for the last few seasons and was in superb form up until the 6N. He didn't have a great end to the season but the criticism has been way over board.

By contrast Gilroy only found top form from the Heino QF onwards.

Rodders, can you show me the criticism?

Claiming that a guy who has been almost ever present in the Ireland squad, when fit, and a consistant star performer for us for the past 6 seasons has never fulfilled their promise, and saying that it would be a shame if he starts, counts as criticism in my book.

Unless my memory deceives me he was motm against the Leicester Tigers in January and scored 3 tries for Ireland in the 6N. That isn't so long ago that I'd be writing him off as a big game starter just yet.
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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 3:36 pm

You can count it as criticism if you want Rodders, but if thats your definition, then coaches do a heck of a lot of criticising everytime a young prospect comes through and takes a starting team position.

Its as simple as making a judgement call. Can Gilroy reach a roof that is higher than Trimbles? And will he need gametime right now to improve his chances of reaching that roof?

I believe Gilroy could benefit from being trusted and getting gametime. I don't believe starting for two seasons only to drop down the pecking order will be helpful.

If you think that amounts to me thinking of Trimble as poor, you have got me wrong.

Don, I agree, Cave deserves more gametime in a green shirt.

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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 4:22 pm

clivemcl wrote:You can count it as criticism if you want Rodders, but if thats your definition, then coaches do a heck of a lot of criticising everytime a young prospect comes through and takes a starting team position.

Don, I agree, Cave deserves more gametime in a green shirt.

clivemcl wrote:KO is at 7pm Don.

As for Cave. He has been great, but is off the mark internationally (according to popular opinion). The desire for Bowe at 13 is more for Irelands sake than Ulsters.

Also, I believe Gilroy and Trimble are of a higher quality (just) than cave and so if anyone was to miss out of the backline it should be Cave.

It is a very marginal though, and Trimble is arguably less consistent that Cave.


Clive you say one thing in one post and then contradict it a few minutes later. You say Cave should miss out in Ulster's backline but should get more caps for Ireland.

Confused.com
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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 4:33 pm

Don, no need to be confused.com,

Just read what I say.

As for Cave. He has been great, but is off the mark internationally (according to popular opinion). The desire for Bowe at 13 is more for Irelands sake than Ulsters.

Besides, its one think for me to think someone is good, but what with the Irish management being professional coaches, I do consider that when they don't believe Cave is up to the standard, maybe theres something in that.

Also, believing Cave is bottom of this pile:
Trimble, Bowe, Gilroy, Cave
Does not necessarily mean he isn't international standard.

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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 4:38 pm

People do forget Trimble picked up those three tries in the 6N, not a bad haul. He's still very dangerous when he gets the ball in space.

The difference between him Six Nations and after and him in the run-up to the World Cup is the confidence to create something for himself when he doesn't have time and space. To get himself involved in games.

He's capable of being a key player for Ulster and Ireland this season. But he's not guaranteed a start for us now.
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 4:39 pm

I wasn't Don.

Whats with this popular opinion thing. I don't share it nor do a good many others. Where on earth have you got the idea that the Irish management don't believe Cave is up to standard? I haven't seen any reference to that. Maybe it's based on popular opinion again!
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 4:40 pm

Notch I think the big message that has come out of pre-season training is that no-one is guaranteed a start.
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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 5:26 pm

Which is great. Also, I think the days of us sending out under-wstrength teams and targeting games are over; we won't be seeing anything like the RDS game from last season.

Although to be fair, Anscombe will have slightly more depth than McLaughlin to work with now Henderson, Farrell, Nelson, Macklin etc. are a year older and we've signed a few backrowers, hookers etc. McLaughlin has left him a good legacy in exposing those guys to the first team environment last year.
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 09 Aug 2012, 6:14 pm

So I'm guessing this game won't be on TV?

Also, I think it is fairly premature to say Cave isn't international standard, no? A bad games against the Barbarians (he has played against much better teams obviously) and 10 minutes against NZ isn't really much to go by. I have said before I am not so sure about his pace, but Conrad Smith isn't exactly known for his pace either. Whistle

Not to mention the fact he has Spence right behind him. So this talk about moving players like Payne to 13 is a bit strange, when we have (IMO) the two best young 13s in any of the provinces.

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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 6:20 pm

I think Anscombe might look at it as a stop gap.

Start of the season Wallace and Cave are both unavailable, Pienaar is unavailable too. And Marshall is just going to be back on time, maybe.

So we may well have;

9. McIlroy, Heaney
10. Jackson, NOC
12. Marshall, Farrell
13. Spence

If we have Payne at 13, we have some experience there. He'll get his hands on the ball more often and communicate with the players around him.

This is the role in our midfield that Wallace is so important. But with him injured, Pienaar away and Humphreys gone we are very green in midfield. We may well have experience in the back three with Payne and Bowe but they need the men inside them to function to influence the game. I think Payne to 13 is a good idea for the start of the season- but 15 is his long term position.
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 6:38 pm

Notch wrote:I think Anscombe might look at it as a stop gap.

Start of the season Wallace and Cave are both unavailable, Pienaar is unavailable too. And Marshall is just going to be back on time, maybe.

So we may well have;

9. McIlroy, Heaney
10. Jackson, NOC
12. Marshall, Farrell
13. Spence

If we have Payne at 13, we have some experience there. He'll get his hands on the ball more often and communicate with the players around him.

This is the role in our midfield that Wallace is so important. But with him injured, Pienaar away and Humphreys gone we are very green in midfield. We may well have experience in the back three with Payne and Bowe but they need the men inside them to function to influence the game. I think Payne to 13 is a good idea for the start of the season- but 15 is his long term position.

It's not healthy agreeing with you all the time but you are quite correct and have been all day Shocked

Laugh Laugh
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Post by clivemcl Thu 09 Aug 2012, 6:46 pm

Rava, at end of the day I think

11 Gilroy
12 Wallace
13 Bowe
14 Trimble
15 Payne

would be better than

11 Trimble
12 Wallace
13 Cave
14 Bowe
15 Payne


and since we have no way of proving that right now, any chance you could just leave your comments at 'i disagree' rather than relentlessly picking holes?

And I have not contracdicted myself. My official stance is Cave has not been given substantial opportunity internationally, and i believe he could do a job there, apart from IF they decided to change Bowe to a 13.

People seem to hear what they want, saying things like 'righting Cave off' because i think Bowe could be the better 13. Are you then writing Gilroy off if you believe Trimble and Bowe to be better?

Some people need to learn that people just have different opinions, and you dont need to make it your pet project to collapse their argument like you are in an episode of Boston legal...


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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:12 pm

Anyway, does anyone know the Twitter feed with the updates?

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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:13 pm

Laugh

I must be getting old then Rava Erm

Game has kicked off in Bayonne. I'll be watching the athletics tonight and keeping an eye on https://twitter.com/UlsterRugby for updates.
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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:24 pm

Ulster 3-0 up, Jackson penalty. Sounds like a good start. Not expecting much tonight given they are further ahead in their pre-season so this is good.
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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:36 pm

Bayonne go ahead 7-3, attacking from their scrum.
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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:49 pm

7-3 down and Macklin is in the sin-bin. Sounds like a tough night for the scrum as expected. Will be a good learning curve for our third choice front row essentially!
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Post by Notch Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:52 pm

12-3 down at half-time.
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 8:03 pm



2nd half team (1-15) Black, Herring, Afoa, Stevenson, McComb, McCormish, Doyle, Diack, Heaney, O'Connor, Andrew,Marshall,Allen,Gilroy,Nelson
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 8:09 pm

Spoiler:

A reasonable crowd by the look of it.
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Post by Rava Thu 09 Aug 2012, 8:18 pm

Try Ulster!!! Heaney scoots in under the post, O'Connor conversion 10-12 50mins
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