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Ireland summer review

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:25 am

OK so between the North American and the Lions tours what did we learn about Ireland this summer? Here's my thoughts prior to Joe Schmidt taking up the reigns:
 
Fullback
 
Kearney had a frustrating Lions tour with injury and Felix jones didn't do much to allay concerns that he's a spent force.
 
Henshaw isn't ready yet but maybe Zebo can add some depth here. 
 
Wings
 
Bowe had a mixed Lions tour, made the test side again and was solid in defence but we didn't see enough of him to see if he is back to his best. Needs more games to get fit but is still a class act and a top footballer.
 
Zebo impressed in his brief Lions display after a poor game against the USA.
 
McFadden scored a hatrick against Canada, where Trimble also stood out as with Gilroy to come back the wings should be very competitive in the Autumn. Bowe and Zebo look like a cut above though.
 
Centres.
 
O'Driscoll despite being dropped for the 3rd Lions test, showed he's still a test quality player if not the force he was in 09 in attack. The body stood up to the tour which is a good sign and he'll be keen to go out on a high.
 
Cave, Olding and Downey all had reasonable summers but probably haven't done enough to leapfrog the injured Earls, Marshall and D'arcy.
 
One of Schmidts biggest challenges is to find a combination that functions in attack and provide some potency with the ball. This won't be easy looking at the options available and BOD is still key which is worrying so close to the RWC.
 
Fly Halfs.
 
Sexton was a key man in the Lions series win and confirmed his status as Europes premier 10. Concerns remain about his goal kicking though were he was deemed surplus to requirements.
 
Madigan impressed over the summer and leapfrogged Jackson as second choice who has time on his side to surpass the other two.
 
Despite ROG's retirement fly half looks a real area of strength although place kicking may be a concern in big games.
 
Scrum half
 
Murray thrived under the Welsh power game but I think will still struggle for Ireland and munster without the big carriers to run off him. Remains first choice though.
 
Boss looked good in America and fits Schmidts tactics well. Not much time for Marshall but looks to be easing into the picture although the aging Reddan will come back into the occaision when fit and Marmion is coming through as well.
 
Although there are question Marks over all the options individually I think we look in decent nick here.
 
Schmidt likes the scrum half to play a smart heads up game and deliver quick ball, in contrast to the quasi backrower favoured by Kidney, so whoever can fit the mould best and adapt to Schmidts style will have the advantage.  
 
Back row.
 
SOB was probably the standout backrow for the Lions despite only playing 1 test, and was excellent at both 6 and 7
 
Heaslip played some of his best rugby in years to start 2 tests before eventually being usurped by the excellent Faletau.
 
O'Mahoney impressed with his leadership for Ireland but the backrow struggled againt the physicality of the Eagles. TOD did well against Canada but Henry and McLaughlin didn't have the best ends to the season, nor did Henderson but given its his first full season that is understandable.
 
Ferris is badly missed with his carrying and power, with only Henderson looking capably of filling the void from the big man.
 
Finding the right balance will be a challenge and getting the best out of SOB is key to getting the best from Ireland.  
 
Lock
 
O'Connell showed he's still the man, when fit, but suffered yet another injury which is worrying.
 
No Ryan but Toner had a decent tour and his partnership with the powerful Touhy looks quite balanced. McCarthy didn't have a great summer to back up his much hyped AI performances.
 
Still an area of relative weakness with some fairly average options, by international standards, behind POC and Ryan.  
 
Prop.
 
Loosehead looks okish. Healy had a bit of a nightmare tour but would have been a test contender if fit. Kilcoyne has some way to go but is a reasonable backup as is Court.
 
TH is a big worry though - Ross looks totally shot and none of the other options look up to much.
 
Hooker.
 
Another area of concern. Best didn't have a great Lions tour and still looks short of confidence and top form. Strauss looks totally out of sorts and his bench place must be under serious pressure from Cronin.
 
Conclusion
 
Overall a mixed bag. The Lions tour showed that we still have a handful of top quality players,albeit some aging ones - Bowe, Heaslip, BOD, O'Connell, Healy, SOB, Sexton - with Zebo and Murray enhancing their reputations too.
 
Depth in key positions particularly in the front 5 and a lack of strike threat and power in midfield for me are the key concerns that Schmidt needs to address if we are to put in a decent 6N showing.
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:33 am

Although a long way down the list, Niall Morris scored a few tries in the development competition.

BOD is a tricky one. Personally I feel Ireland should move on and give a successor a decent chance for experience before RWC15.

from the outside, front row for now seems as if it may be a problem.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:40 am

BOD will play all the big games this coming season. My guess is alongside Marshall who despite injury has the ability to truck it up that Olding just doesn't offer. Will Schmidt want to see Jared Payne at 13 for Ulster or even shift Olding there or give Farrell game time? Will The Earls centre experiment continue?

BOD will bed in Marshall this year with a new 13 coming in next year.

Depth is looking better than ever with the exception of lock, tighthead and 9 .

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:42 am

Totally forgot about Jared Payne! I feel a lot better about things all of a sudden .....Cool 
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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:48 am

Front 5 has to be the worry for the next couple of years. If POC stays fit and firing, Ross rediscovers his mojo and the kidnapped Rory Best escapes from captivity and exposes the doppelganger who has stolen his shirt since the end of February, then the team can prosper up to the RWC, at which point new blood will hopefully have started to knock down the door.

A bit too many ifs for comfort, though. The depth IS there in other positions, but last Saturday underlined yet again that games are won and lost by the people with numbers between 1 and 5 on their backs.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:55 am

Depends on Schmidt.

If we throw Hendo in at lock ( and I'm not saying we will) then

Healy,best, Ross, Henderson, POC looks rather healthy. Similarly if Donncha Ryan has totally recovered from injury its a good tight 5. Best won't be as bad as he was on tour and Healy is top class. TH is the glaring bloody weakness.

We will have to take a bit of pain in the short term to bed in some youth but I fully expect Schmidt to keep us competitive. Whether it is enough to actually do serious damage I don't know.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:58 am

Hopefully Luke Fitz can come back and offer something to Leinster and Ireland.At hooker Sherry looks like the real deal,he has improved his throwing hugely.TH is a problem alright we need Archer and Moore to get plenty of gametime this year and hopefully kick on.

BoD is still the best 13 we have and with Marshall hopefully getting a run at 12 I'd like to see him stay in place until someone takes the shirt off him.

I expect a lot from the team next year as I think Schmidt will make a colossal difference in how we approach games.He is so adept at dissecting an opposing teams gameplan and finding areas of weakness that can be exploited.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 08 Jul 2013, 10:58 am

LondonTiger wrote:Although a long way down the list, Niall Morris scored a few tries in the development competition.


I was impressed by Niall Morris.  No so much the scoring of tries but the awareness of space.  Yes, it was only a development competition but yep, I did register him in my thoughts.  Another guy who has the maturity to step up even more immediately is Tom Daly who was having a great JWC until he got injured.

The net that is catching and thinking about Senior International suspects must be wider than at present.  We have to think outside the box and have a thought about wildcard options to blood potential players sooner.  We don't want developing a new mental list of indispensible players (like we've been all so ready to do in the past) or we won't have a strong enough squad to draw from come serious competitions.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 08 Jul 2013, 11:02 am

We dont want that fly but we at some point have to pick a young guy and give them the backing to say, 'here is the shirt. It's yours,now keep it'

Daly is exciting because he offers a kicking option other than at 10 that is such a rarity in Irish rugby. Hopefully he sees gametime at Leinster because we had a 12 of the same age starting for the senior team who potentially isn't going to be first choice to another young lad.

I'm not sure how we will get the best out of all the young centres coming through

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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 08 Jul 2013, 11:11 am

I'm honestly not that worried about numbers 10 to 13. Kidney did at least start to show some signs of thinking about the future in those positions (forced on him, I know) before he left. There will be competition for places there for a good while to come, augmented by the U-20s, which should stand the side in really good stead for the future.

My immediate concern is how much of the ball they're going to see in the big games. To speak only of the 6N, there are going to be some seriously high quality tight 5s on show - Jenkins, Hibbard, Jones, A-W J, Evans; Corbs, Youngs, Cole, Parling, Launchbury; Grant, Ford, Murray, Gray, Hamilton all look pretty accomplished. Fit and on form, Ireland can compete with them, but there is not the depth just now to cover any loss of form or injury.

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 11:20 am

Standulstermen wrote:
I'm not sure how we will get the best out of all the young centres coming through

The key to getting the best out of any centre is getting them on the front foot - that means having a strong set piece and powerful carriers.

The difference Roberts makes to Wales, and the Lions is remarkable. We need to find some balance to our side because the best footballers in the world can't play behind the gainline.

Even Australia had some big powerful men in the backs.

I really hope Joe can get the best out of Trimble. He's shown for Ulster how he can match up and even dominate the likes of Visser, North, Davies physically at times but he needs to produce that level for Ireland consistantly and cut out the errors.
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 08 Jul 2013, 11:36 am

rodders wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:
I'm not sure how we will get the best out of all the young centres coming through

The key to getting the best out of any centre is getting them on the front foot - that means having a strong set piece and powerful carriers.

The difference Roberts makes to Wales, and the Lions is remarkable. We need to find some balance to our side because the best footballers in the world can't play behind the gainline.

Even Australia had some big powerful men in the backs.

I really hope Joe can get the best out of Trimble. He's shown for Ulster how he can match up and even dominate the likes of Visser, North, Davies physically at times but he needs to produce that level for Ireland consistantly and cut out the errors.    

Schmidt knows the value of having big strong ball carriers in the backs.He worked with plenty of them at Clermont and he has shown an interest in developing that type of player by putting the former Ireland U20 backrower Jordan Coughlan at 12 for a lot of Leinsters A team games.
I think Bowe,Zebo,Trimble and Marshall will excel under Schmidt.

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Post by profitius Mon 08 Jul 2013, 11:37 am

There are a few problem positions like tighthead, centers and hooker but in those positions there are players who are coming through.


At tighthead all eyes will be on Martin Moore next season. I wouldn't expect him to set the world alight but maybe he can become a solid international player. He has the size and shape to be a tighthead anyway. The downside is Moores age and inexperience. Tightheads take years to mature. Archer had a great season last season and if he continues to improve then Ireland might have a genuine player to call on. He was written off too early though it remains to be seen if he does further improve. Archer would be better than Ross in open play. Declan Fitzpatrick is always injured so I'd say we can forget about him. As for Bent, I think he was written off far too early. He is probably ordinary but he needs time at this level. In Ulster McAllister is talking about moving over. That should be interesting but he is unproven so far.


The best Irish hooker last season was Mike Sherry. His darts are the nearest to Flannery we have seen and he is a good player in the loose. He should be in the mix. Best will be better when he gets his confidence back. Strauss looks alright but a little in the small side. Cronin is a great impact sub but his darts are poor.


The center is interesting. I'd say Chris Farrell might be the player to watch there this season. He is 6'5" so a big man but he can play too. Olding is a small man with big talent. I'd say he'll be around the squad too especially because he can cover so many positions. I don't really rate Brendan Macken. Griffin and McSharry in Connacht are also contenders but they need to be play well. Cian Bohane in Munster maybe one to watch too. I've never seen him play but heard good things. Luke Marshall is a quality player and looked comfortable playing international rugby. He would have been called up to the Lions squad if not for injury. Looking forward to seeing more of him.


I'd like a few players tried out at fullback too. Ireland looked more dangerous with Zebo there against Argentina. Although a good player, Kearney doesn't seem to have good attacking instinct. Felix Jones just lacks a bit of class at international level. There are loads of wingers so putting Zebo at fullback should be an option.


POM had a great summer tour. Like him or not he is the kind of in your face 100% player Ireland have lacked. We've always had too many nice guys. POM didn't struggle against the Americans' physicality. He made 57m carrying the ball. The other backrows Henderson and Henry made 2m and 1m. The rest of the pack each made 6m or less. I think it was because of the tactics or lack of tactics in that match. I'd like to see Jack Conan play next season and I think he can take Heaslips place in Leinster in the next 2 seasons. He is more of a traditional style, big ball carrying 8.


I think Henderson is a lock in the long term though its no harm being able to switch between the 2 positions. McCarthy, I'm not sure of. He'll do a job for us between now and the world cup.


Outhalf is looking healthy and I think JJ Hanrahan can also push into the Ireland squad next season as a 10 or 12. Scrumhalf isn't looking great. Theres Murray and nobody else except Marmion. I've been impressed by Marmion from what I have seen. Luke McGrath is a few years off yet. Reddan and Boss are getting on now too. McGrath and Shanahan performed well for the U20s. Maybe we're finally starting to see quality 9s come through!!
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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 08 Jul 2013, 12:01 pm

Profitius, I don't know that I agree about tight-heads taking years to mature. I know that this is the perceived wisdom in the game, but when I think of the really great tight-heads from B&I rugby, men like Price, Cotton, Leonard, Milne, they made their debuts pretty young, were fully-formed and the cornerstone of their packs for the next decade or so. Adam Jones was in his early 20s when he played in a GS; Dan Cole is still what, just 24.

I'd like to see the contenders identified really early so that Ireland gets two RWC cycles with an immovable object at tight-head. These days, particularly, waiting until a candidate is 28 won't really do. Even props don't last much beyond about 32 now, and it should be possible to find the colts and U-20 players who are ready for the international game a little earlier.

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Post by Mickado Mon 08 Jul 2013, 12:32 pm

I haven't written off Michael Bent yet, he came to Ireland off the back of a long season and didn't really have much of a break. I'm not saying he's going to be the next keystone of our pack for a decade but he could provide Ireland with good cover while players like Moore and Archer get up to speed.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 08 Jul 2013, 12:44 pm

Is archer not about 25 already? To my mind next season will be big for him. He showed some improvement last season and if that continues he could be an option. If he regresses then we may be forced to look elsewhere. It will be interesting to see how hagan goes in the jeff

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 12:59 pm

I wouldn't write off Tomas O'Leary just yet, now that he has had his surgery.


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Post by SecretFly Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:05 pm

Sin é wrote:I wouldn't write off Tomas O'Leary just yet, now that he has had his surgery.



To speed his delivery?  Wink  Sorry Sin é, couldn't resist the morsel you placed in front of us.

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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:08 pm

A bridge way too far for me, Sin é, much as I admire your loyalty. Think even Kidney had decided about O'Leary's international future eventually.

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:14 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:A bridge way too far for me, Sin é, much as I admire your loyalty. Think even Kidney had decided about O'Leary's international future eventually.

You saying you wouldn't have the '09 version of O'Leary back (who would probably have been the starting SH for the Lions in SA)?

Is it he is from Cork (and you have a connection with Kerry) Wink


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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:18 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Sin é wrote:I wouldn't write off Tomas O'Leary just yet, now that he has had his surgery.



To speed his delivery?  Wink  Sorry Sin é, couldn't resist the morsel you placed in front of us.

O'Leary played when he clearly wasn't fit and now that he has spent the last year out getting the problem fixed, I personally would like to see him getting his form back.

Quick passes can be a bit over rated anyway - if that was the case, Peter Stringer would still be Munster and Ireland's starting outhalf. I suppose you were among those who thinks Murray has a slow pass?
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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:22 pm

I would havethe 09 version of O'Leary back like a shot, Sin é, but unfortunately the 09 version of Tomas hasn't been seen since...well, 09. He's been shockingly unlucky with injuries, agreed, but he's also near enough 30 now and unlikely to get back to what he was.

Think we need the future in mind now.

Comhar, Cabhair, Cairdeas is a perfectly good motto for the whole side, by the way. The fact that only God's county chose to adopt it is neither here nor there!

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:33 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:I would havethe 09 version of O'Leary back like a shot, Sin é, but unfortunately the 09 version of Tomas hasn't been seen since...well, 09. He's been shockingly unlucky with injuries, agreed, but he's also near enough 30 now and unlikely to get back to what he was.

Think we need the future in mind now.

Comhar, Cabhair, Cairdeas is a perfectly good motto for the whole side, by the way. The fact that only God's county chose to adopt it is neither here nor there!

Is it much of an issue what age he is considering that Conor Murray is 23 and all we are looking for is his back-up and which will give some time to Marmion/Luke McGrath to develop with their provinces before throwing them in at the deep end like Jackson?

What's this Páidí Ó 'Sé said about the people of 'God's County' again? Smile
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Post by SecretFly Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:39 pm

Sin é wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Sin é wrote:I wouldn't write off Tomas O'Leary just yet, now that he has had his surgery.



To speed his delivery?  Wink  Sorry Sin é, couldn't resist the morsel you placed in front of us.

O'Leary played when he clearly wasn't fit and now that he has spent the last year out getting the problem fixed, I personally would like to see him getting his form back.

Quick passes can be a bit over rated anyway - if that was the case, Peter Stringer would still be Munster and Ireland's starting outhalf. I suppose you were among those who thinks Murray has a slow pass?

Slower than required at times, yep...I'm one of those, Sin. I never deny the truth, even when coaxed to to save face.

Murray is the player who has most impressed me during the Lions series. Most impressed me because he was losing me up til then after a promising beginning. he impressed me not because of his fast passing (and even you'll admit that at times it was sharper than he's been doing at Ireland in recent times) but simply because of his cool head in some hot head games. Thinking of his game all the way as others do the hero-making stuff. If he keeps it up now, and if he has a solid gameplan to work with (not something I'd ever blame him for in the past) then we can be hopeful into the future at scrumhalf level anyway. We still need a more zippy, Stringeresque player to offer a different style choice for certain games..or just to have a well formed squad.

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:44 pm

If O'Leary is playing well no reason why he shouldn't come back into the occasion. I'm not sure either he or Murray are good enough footballers to play Schmidtball but you never know.....
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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:44 pm

I think it might be good to play some more A internationals to try people out.

The trip to Georgia was helpful in seeing who stood out from the crowd.

Seeing players in one AI game, 1/2 A games in Feb isn't really enough.

I wonder if Eng Scot & Italy would be up for more games.  We could atleast then say player X looked good enough and promote them for the tour of Aus.

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:50 pm

rodders wrote:If O'Leary is playing well no reason why he shouldn't come back into the occasion. I'm not sure either he or Murray are good enough footballers to play Schmidtball but you never know.....  

Even Isaac Boss managed to play Schmidtball Very Happy 

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:52 pm

Sin é wrote:
rodders wrote:If O'Leary is playing well no reason why he shouldn't come back into the occasion. I'm not sure either he or Murray are good enough footballers to play Schmidtball but you never know.....  

Even Isaac Boss managed to play Schmidtball  Very Happy 


He is very under rated. Good player.

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 1:58 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Sin é wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Sin é wrote:I wouldn't write off Tomas O'Leary just yet, now that he has had his surgery.



To speed his delivery?  Wink  Sorry Sin é, couldn't resist the morsel you placed in front of us.

O'Leary played when he clearly wasn't fit and now that he has spent the last year out getting the problem fixed, I personally would like to see him getting his form back.

Quick passes can be a bit over rated anyway - if that was the case, Peter Stringer would still be Munster and Ireland's starting outhalf. I suppose you were among those who thinks Murray has a slow pass?

Slower than required at times, yep...I'm one of those, Sin.  I never deny the truth, even when coaxed to to save face.

Murray is the player who has most impressed me during the Lions series.  Most impressed me because he was losing me up til then after a promising beginning.  he impressed me not because of his fast passing (and even you'll admit that at times it was sharper than he's been doing at Ireland in recent times) but simply because of his cool head in some hot head games.  Thinking of his game all the way as others do the hero-making stuff.  If he keeps it up now, and if he has a solid gameplan to work with (not something I'd ever blame him for in the past) then we can be hopeful into the future at scrumhalf level anyway.  We still need a more zippy, Stringeresque player to offer a different style choice for certain games..or just to have a well formed squad.

Perhaps the difference in how quickly he passes the ball is down to the platform he is given by his pack. I thought he had a great 6Ns, bearing in mind he had a rookie outhalf. He also had a great season for Munster. ROG's determination and focus seems to have rubbed off on him.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:05 pm

Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:08 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
Sin é wrote:
rodders wrote:If O'Leary is playing well no reason why he shouldn't come back into the occasion. I'm not sure either he or Murray are good enough footballers to play Schmidtball but you never know.....  

Even Isaac Boss managed to play Schmidtball  Very Happy 


He is very under rated. Good player.

He doesn't immediately spring to mind as being a good footballer though. He is a good club player.
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Post by profitius Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:11 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.


Murrays passing is his main strength. Its his speed at getting the ball away from rucks thats been the problem.
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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:12 pm

I think that Connacht being in the HC again will help the younger players to continue developing.

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:12 pm

Brendan wrote:I think it might be good to play some more A internationals to try people out.

Bollix to A Internationals, we should scrap them in favour of playing 4 AIs and an additional summer test. Thats what Wales have done to harden up the players.

The only way you find out if guys are test class is let them play real tests. None of this Irish select xv nonsence either....
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Post by GunsGerms Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:15 pm

Sin é wrote:
He doesn't immediately spring to mind as being a good footballer though. He is a good club player.

Good thing he doesnt play football then. he is a good rugby player which is a happy considence because he plays rugby. Just messing Sin é I know what you meant but that phrase irks me.

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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:19 pm

GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.

His pass is excellent. None of those loopy Mike Phillips passes from him - fast and sharp and good

As a matter of interest whose passing should he try and emulate?
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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:19 pm

profitius wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.


Murrays passing is his main strength. Its his speed at getting the ball away from rucks thats been the problem.

Schmidtball requires a scrum half who can keep shifting the ball left and right to his backrow and then quickly releasing when its on and putting the ball in front of Sexton to run on to.

Gatland ball involves shifting the ball blindside until you hit the touchline and then moving open. Once the space comes and the line is broken you need a scrum half then who can take on the defence before offloading to his big ball carrying 3/4s or throwing the dummy. Its a bit more like a hooker in RL.

Totally different skill sets hence Murray excelled for the Lions in a Mike Phillips type role.
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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:21 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
Sin é wrote:
He doesn't immediately spring to mind as being a good footballer though. He is a good club player.

Good thing he doesnt play football then. he is a good rugby player which is a happy considence because he plays rugby. Just messing Sin é I know what you meant but that phrase irks me.

It irks me as well - Rodders posted that players needed to be good footballers to play Schmidtball.
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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:23 pm

rodders wrote:
profitius wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.


Murrays passing is his main strength. Its his speed at getting the ball away from rucks thats been the problem.

Schmidtball requires a scrum half who can keep shifting the ball left and right to his backrow and then quickly releasing when its on and putting the ball in front of Sexton to run on to.

Gatland ball involves shifting the ball blindside until you hit the touchline and then moving open. Once the space comes and the line is broken you need a scrum half then who can take on the defence before offloading to his big ball carrying 3/4s or throwing the dummy. Its a bit more like a hooker in RL.

Totally different skill sets hence Murray excelled for the Lions in a Mike Phillips type role.  

Have you analysed what Penneyball/Mannix ball requires of its scrumhalf?

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Post by GunsGerms Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:23 pm

Sin é wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.

His pass is excellent. None of those loopy Mike Phillips passes from him - fast and sharp and good

As a matter of interest whose passing should he try and emulate?

Is this some kinda trap? Like a good chess player I think you might be thinking a couple of moves ahead here.

Who do you want me to say? Eoin Reddan?

I think Peter Stringer was the best passing SH ever.


Last edited by GunsGerms on Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by rodders Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:26 pm

Sin é wrote:
rodders wrote:
profitius wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.


Murrays passing is his main strength. Its his speed at getting the ball away from rucks thats been the problem.

Schmidtball requires a scrum half who can keep shifting the ball left and right to his backrow and then quickly releasing when its on and putting the ball in front of Sexton to run on to.

Gatland ball involves shifting the ball blindside until you hit the touchline and then moving open. Once the space comes and the line is broken you need a scrum half then who can take on the defence before offloading to his big ball carrying 3/4s or throwing the dummy. Its a bit more like a hooker in RL.

Totally different skill sets hence Murray excelled for the Lions in a Mike Phillips type role.  

Have you analysed what Penneyball/Mannix ball requires of its scrumhalf?


Yeah he needs a kiwi accent thumbsup
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Post by profitius Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:31 pm

Sin é wrote:
rodders wrote:
profitius wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.


Murrays passing is his main strength. Its his speed at getting the ball away from rucks thats been the problem.

Schmidtball requires a scrum half who can keep shifting the ball left and right to his backrow and then quickly releasing when its on and putting the ball in front of Sexton to run on to.

Gatland ball involves shifting the ball blindside until you hit the touchline and then moving open. Once the space comes and the line is broken you need a scrum half then who can take on the defence before offloading to his big ball carrying 3/4s or throwing the dummy. Its a bit more like a hooker in RL.

Totally different skill sets hence Murray excelled for the Lions in a Mike Phillips type role.  

Have you analysed what Penneyball/Mannix ball requires of its scrumhalf?

Go from touchline to touchline (quicker that Gatlandball) to the pods and when the defensive line is stretched start punching up the middle. That kind of gameplan makes it hard for the scrumhalf to keep up!
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Post by profitius Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:32 pm

Actually I don't think Genia is a great passer of the ball. His all round game is top notch though.
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Post by Sin é Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:37 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
Sin é wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.

His pass is excellent. None of those loopy Mike Phillips passes from him - fast and sharp and good

As a matter of interest whose passing should he try and emulate?

Is this some kinda trap? Like a good chess player I think you might be thinking a couple of moves ahead here.

Who do you want me to say? Eoin Reddan?

I think Peter Stringer was the best passing SH ever.

Its not a trap - Do you think players like Parra, Genia, Weepu, Kelleher (any international SHs) have/had were exceptional passers or are you just comparing him to Peter Stringer who did have an exceptional pass?
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Post by wolfball Mon 08 Jul 2013, 2:57 pm

I was very impressed with Murray, both with his skill and his temperament in the last Lions test- he is a big game animal, no doubt. Tight-head and lock are our weaknesses as ever, with POC despite his aura and brilliance when he plays being completely undependable injury-wise. I cannot wait to play wales and (hopefully) beat them playing Schmidt-ball

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Jul 2013, 3:02 pm

Sin é wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
Sin é wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:Murray did do well. Credit to him he has improved though his pass still needs a lot of work. Part of his sucess on the Lions tour it should be noted is down to the other two scrum halves being dreadful by comparison.

His pass is excellent. None of those loopy Mike Phillips passes from him - fast and sharp and good

As a matter of interest whose passing should he try and emulate?

Is this some kinda trap? Like a good chess player I think you might be thinking a couple of moves ahead here.

Who do you want me to say? Eoin Reddan?

I think Peter Stringer was the best passing SH ever.

Its not a trap - Do you think players like Parra, Genia, Weepu, Kelleher (any international SHs) have/had were exceptional passers or are you just comparing him to Peter Stringer who did have an exceptional pass?

I think what makes them great is they know what to do and when to try things and when to keep it basic. People like philips just do the same thing over and over again

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Post by profitius Tue 09 Jul 2013, 8:06 pm

Any potential bolters for the squad next season??
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Post by Notch Tue 09 Jul 2013, 9:23 pm

profitius wrote:Any potential bolters for the squad next season??

Stuart Olding? Jamie Hagan? Mike Sherry?
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Post by pete (buachaill on eirne) Sat 13 Jul 2013, 6:36 pm

Odd summer for the Irish I think loads of pro's and cons.

Props: Kilcoyne and Court are looking pretty good but not in the same league as Healy yet. Disappointed we didn't see more of Archer and Hagan in America as Ross is only going to be playing for so long and we need to see what others can do. Archer is gonna get more first choice rugby this year and hopefully so will Hagan so perhaps in 12 months time we will be a little peachier in this area.

[b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"]Hookers:[/b][/b][/b] The new Irish weakness? Probably not. Best really needs to get back to his pre-January ways because with his throwing success rate at Ireland, Ulster and the Lions teams, he simply can not start for us. Strauss has gone completely off the boil since his injury and hopefully can improve with some pre-season. Sherry is the only one throwing well and deserves more credit I think and Cronin would be outstanding if he sorted out his darts.

Locks: Great to see POC playing some serious rugby again and looks more athletic than he did pre-injury. However he seems to play a maximum of 6-8 games before he gets injured again, worrying. Ryan is a class act and hopefully has recovered well enough. Tuohy impressed me against Canada and is one of my favourite players, I think we could do with a lock who can "play" as well shift things, he is better in the lineout than given credit for. Toner looked good too and while he is underpowered I believe his dynamism is pretty impressive and when it comes to taking contact he has started to find ways to make yards or release others around his frame. When he hits the ball at pace he looks good too. McCarthy had a poor enough season after Xmas.

[b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"]Backrow:[/b][/b][/b] Heaslip and SOB are both on fire in my eyes but should start 8 and 6 IMO and I believe a real "workhorse" is what is needed at 7, someone who does all the nasty stuff, not that Heaslip and SOB don't do some. POM had a good tour of America overall and despite being a hot-head and in my opinion not really captain material (yet!!!) he is an excellent player. Can he fit in to a backrow of SOB and Heaslip though? Not sure that would work. Henderson doesn't look like a great option at 6 based on the summer games but long first season etc etc, personally I think he should be a lock. McL is a Joe favourite and may get in. Henry has been quiet enough in the latter rounds for Ulster and in the summer games but would be an ideal candidate for that "worker role". TOD also looked impressive enough. Ruddock, Ryan and co have work to do big time. Would have loved to have seen more of Roger Wilson too.

Scrumhalf: Murray had a great Lions tour and Warren's game plan suited him down to the ground. He showed good skills and completely outplayed Philips. Murray's kicking and decision making improved hugely. I completely disagree that he is a good passer of the ball, for a 9 he is ok. In comparison to Philips he is excellent but too often the ball is not chest height in front of the 10, just look at the 6Nations for this, albeit playing with new guys so this must be taken in to account. Boss is good but not really international standard, Joe loves him though. Reddan I believe is underrated, can't wait to have him back in blue. Not playing Marmion was the single biggest mistake made by Kiss so far, as Marmion looks electric and has every skill under the sun. Luke McGrath also looks good.

[b style="text-decoration: underline;"][u]Flyhalf:[/u][/b] Rog retires but the options at 10 have never looked better. Sexton playing excellently, Madigan impressed in America even when under massive pressure against the USA. Jackson is still learning and is a massive talent. Then we have Keatley and JJ coming up too.

Centre: Probably Kidney's achillies heel, in that he couldn't get Ireland over the advantage line in an effective manner. Joe will have more creative ways of doing it and enforce more clinical finishing of the chances that will come our way. In my opinion Marshall starts at 12 and BOD at 13. That give Marshall a year to grow and learn the trade under the best 13 to wear the shirt. Beyond that Bowe who looked good there for some of a Lions game this summer is an option, Payne will be an option and is a serious player as we all know, see his highlights reel, mainly at 13. Earls is an option but I can't see Schmidt even remotely putting up with his decision making and core skills if they don't improve. Olding could possibly do a good job at 13 and looks to have excellent all round abilities. Daly is another option and a big hefty one at that. Then you have McSharry who looks decidedly better than Eoin Griffin. Cave is an option but probably not a long term one and finally there is Luke Fitzgerald who could come in to the centre equation too although this takes a massive leap of faith in reality.


[b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"][b style="font-weight: bold;"]Back 3:[/b][/b][/b] Zebo looks to be simply on fire. I would be very tempted to play him at 15 myself as he has attacking instincts that Kearney just doesn't. Jones is not a very impressive player anymore and Henshaw still needs more time IMO. Bowe if not at 13 is an obviously very good option. McFadden has looked pretty damn good whenever he has played on the wing. Trimble had an ok tour but a good season for Ulster and hopefully Joe can use him the way others never have for Ireland. Gilroy is a good player but I believe has work to do regarding his defense and kicking game. Luke Fitzgerald is another player but then we have to see how he comes back don't we? Earls is an exceptional talent and when on the wing his try scoring rate is very impressive.


Thinking ahead, (very far ahead) my team for the AI:

Healy-Best-Ross
Ryan-POC
SOB-Heaslip-Henry
Murray-Sexton
Marshall-BOD
McFadden-Zebo-Bowe

Strauss-Kilcoyne-Archer/Hagan-Henderson-POM-Marmion-Madigan-Fitzgerald/Earls

Captain?

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sat 13 Jul 2013, 7:23 pm

Has McSharry played at 13 before? I have only seen him at 12, though he looks very good there I have to say. Great line breaking ability.

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