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Ulster 2014/2015, Part 4

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Post by Notch Mon 09 Mar 2015, 1:55 pm

God we love the sound of our own voices.
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Post by clivemcl Mon 09 Mar 2015, 1:56 pm

I have to say, despite the cynicism for him over the season, I was very glad to see Paul Marshall come on - somebody who is always keen to play cocky rugby especially when brought on late in the game. I can't help but feel, at this stage in the season, having been kept on the bench - Paul Marshall might just inject the energy our team need.

I'd go for

Marshall
Pienaar
Allen
Stanley
Cave
Gilroy
Ludik

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Post by Guest Mon 09 Mar 2015, 2:02 pm

That's one real positive for Marshall. Although he has a knack of screwing up simple, he does give it his all. Unlike some.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 09 Mar 2015, 2:09 pm

I think there is a lack of leadership on and off the field. I'm not going to get into a Doak bashing session here but it does seem that there isn't the belief amongst the squad in our coaching setup and I think that's maybe where the frustration sets in for guys like Pienaar. 

Kiss clearly has the respect of the senior guys. Muller had it in spades. We need that. Ulster put up a video of a Doak interview in which he (rightly) pointed out the lack of energy from the team. It wasn't difficult for me to access the root of it though because I nearly nodded off listening to him.

There doesn't seem to be the passion or urgency emanating from the team and missing Best, Henry etc doesn't help. I remember in his first year when we beat bath at the rec when Nevin went over, Muller pulled every man into a huddle while the conversion was hit. Pulled them in me and basically laid down the law. No one is doing that at present or indeed has the presence to do it

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Post by Notch Mon 09 Mar 2015, 2:16 pm

Darren Cave was apparently the Captain. The forwards were coasting through the game but I didn't see him trade one word with anyone.
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Post by clivemcl Mon 09 Mar 2015, 2:22 pm

Have to give another mention to Rob Herring in fairness. He has been very very good in the absence of Rory. And a few very good carries yesterday. I could definitely see how he used to play backrow.

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon 09 Mar 2015, 2:47 pm

We are missing a raft of very influencial players who are leaders both on and off the pitch but even that doesn't excuse tht performance yesterday. There's no doubt the Dragons played much better than we expected but we never got out of first gear and nobody actually wanted to be bothered to up the gears. Cave's captaincy was one to forget. Pienaar must be carrying a hangover from his injury as he hasn't been anywhere near himself. It all has the look of individual players playing heads up rugby blindfolded. No guidance nor leadership let alone adequate coaching.
Luckily we're in the right place on the table which is nothing short of miraculous considering what we've seen all season.

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Post by neilthom7 Mon 09 Mar 2015, 3:22 pm

I think Pienaar has a bit of an issue too of just how much rugby he plays. I mean he plays Quad nations, Pro 12, Heineken Cup and November, SUmmer internationals as well. he is a constant in our side when not injured and always expected to be top of his game, he is a very top player but is there a chance that after his injury this year he is a little burnt out from playing so much.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 09 Mar 2015, 3:24 pm

Didn't think herring was great yesterday but I agree with your overall point Clive. We need a leader in the forwards. In fairness I would have expected VDM to offer more but maybe that's me being unfair and comparing him with his predecessor.

Wilson, Henry and Best are badly missed and I haven't always been Wilsons biggest fan. Speaking of Captains it why I was surprised to see Diack not start. Not that he is the answer but we have won some big enough games with him captaining

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 09 Mar 2015, 5:54 pm

Standulstermen wrote:I think there is a lack of leadership on and off the field. I'm not going to get into a Doak bashing session here but it does seem that there isn't the belief amongst the squad in our coaching setup and I think that's maybe where the frustration sets in for guys like Pienaar. 

Kiss clearly has the respect of the senior guys. Muller had it in spades. We need that. Ulster put up a video of a Doak interview in which he (rightly) pointed out the lack of energy from the team. It wasn't difficult for me to access the root of it though because I nearly nodded off listening to him.

There doesn't seem to be the passion or urgency emanating from the team and missing Best, Henry etc doesn't help. I remember in his first year when we beat bath at the rec when Nevin went over, Muller pulled every man into a huddle while the conversion was hit. Pulled them in me and basically laid down the law. No one is doing that at present or indeed has the presence to do it

What makes you think "there isn't the belief amongst the squad in our coaching setup"? I haven't heard any player say this either publicly or privately about Neil Doak. He may appear calm in front of the camera but he is known for being the opposite in the dressing room. OTOH Kiss is known as being far more phlegmatic.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 09 Mar 2015, 6:09 pm

Standulstermen wrote:Didn't think herring was great yesterday but I agree with your overall point Clive. We need a leader in the forwards. In fairness I would have expected VDM to offer more but maybe that's me being unfair and comparing him with his predecessor.

Wilson, Henry and Best are badly missed and I haven't always been Wilsons biggest fan. Speaking of Captains it why I was surprised to see Diack not start. Not that he is the answer but we have won some big enough games with him captaining

Leadership has been Ulster's main problem all season. It shouldn't be restricted to the Captain though, and while I've defended Doak on other fronts, the delegation of authority is one where he has been lacking. Every time something doesn't work, someone on the pitch should have the responsibility to understand why and communicate to the others in their sub-team. This isn't happening. Even if something is working it should be the responsibility of the sub-team leaders to point that out too and encourage others with some positive feedback. The team is far too silent with each other.

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Post by Standulstermen Tue 10 Mar 2015, 4:00 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:I think there is a lack of leadership on and off the field. I'm not going to get into a Doak bashing session here but it does seem that there isn't the belief amongst the squad in our coaching setup and I think that's maybe where the frustration sets in for guys like Pienaar. 

Kiss clearly has the respect of the senior guys. Muller had it in spades. We need that. Ulster put up a video of a Doak interview in which he (rightly) pointed out the lack of energy from the team. It wasn't difficult for me to access the root of it though because I nearly nodded off listening to him.

There doesn't seem to be the passion or urgency emanating from the team and missing Best, Henry etc doesn't help. I remember in his first year when we beat bath at the rec when Nevin went over, Muller pulled every man into a huddle while the conversion was hit. Pulled them in me and basically laid down the law. No one is doing that at present or indeed has the presence to do it

What makes you think "there isn't the belief amongst the squad in our coaching setup"? I haven't heard any player say this either publicly or privately about Neil Doak. He may appear calm in front of the camera but he is known for being the opposite in the dressing room. OTOH Kiss is known as being far more phlegmatic.

It's not anything that I have heard the players say Aukster, it's purely my opinion and it's based on what the senior guys came out with when Kiss was appointed. There was a lot of enthusiasm there and I haven't heard anything on the same level with Doak. Of course you may be right about him being different in front of the camera and in the changing rooms (and I know some disliked him for his choice language on the touch line) but I would like to see a little of that fire in his interviews. I can only imagine what Anscombe would have come out with and in fairness to the kiwi, I liked that honesty to the public. Doak came out after Scarlets or Edinburgh (I believe it was the former) and said we played well in the first half. 

I think the general feeling I get with a Doak interview is ' who is he trying to kid?'

I've gone a bit harsher than I intended there in an effort to explain myself but in fairness to him the pack is the major worry after Sunday which is Clarkes responsibility.

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Post by The Great Aukster Tue 10 Mar 2015, 1:04 pm

Kiss and Doak were appointed at the same time so was the enthusiasm just for Kiss or the coaching ticket? I've never had any time for Clarke because of the way he treated certain players, but as mentioned above the shortcoming in the team is leadership and that probably falls under Doak's remit.

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Post by marty2086 Tue 10 Mar 2015, 1:19 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Kiss and Doak were appointed at the same time so was the enthusiasm just for Kiss or the coaching ticket? I've never had any time for Clarke because of the way he treated certain players, but as mentioned above the shortcoming in the team is leadership and that probably falls under Doak's remit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/29508145

Rory Bests reaction to Doaks appointment

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Post by clivemcl Tue 10 Mar 2015, 1:57 pm

I don't think it was ever meant to appear like a team. More like - Les is our man. Doak is filling the gap till we get him. Am I correct in saying at this point in time Doak doesn't have a contract next season with us?

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Post by marty2086 Tue 10 Mar 2015, 2:35 pm

clivemcl wrote:I don't think it was ever meant to appear like a team. More like - Les is our man. Doak is filling the gap till we get him. Am I correct in saying at this point in time Doak doesn't have a contract next season with us?

Doaks signed up until 2017, Clarke is the one who's signed just for this season and with the recent news about the Academy might he be moving on?

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Post by Standulstermen Tue 10 Mar 2015, 6:07 pm

Doak is head coach
Kiss is DoR but not like humph 
Barakat is ????

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Post by neilthom7 Tue 10 Mar 2015, 7:29 pm

Standulstermen wrote:Doak is head coach
Kiss is DoR but not like humph 
Barakat is ????

An arabic word meaning Blessing according to google although I'm not sure that's what you were asking now I look again lol

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Post by The Great Aukster Tue 10 Mar 2015, 9:39 pm

Standulstermen wrote:Doak is head coach
Kiss is DoR but not like humph 
Barakat is ????

... the term used by the FBI to know where their President is at all times.

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Post by clivemcl Tue 10 Mar 2015, 9:46 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:Doak is head coach
Kiss is DoR but not like humph 
Barakat is ????

... the term used by the FBI to know where their President is at all times.

clap

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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Tue 10 Mar 2015, 11:51 pm

Standulstermen wrote:Doak is head coach
Kiss is DoR but not like humph 
Barakat is ????
What you do when a kat is causing trouble in your pub?

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Post by rodders Wed 11 Mar 2015, 5:54 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Standulstermen wrote:Didn't think herring was great yesterday but I agree with your overall point Clive. We need a leader in the forwards. In fairness I would have expected VDM to offer more but maybe that's me being unfair and comparing him with his predecessor.

Wilson, Henry and Best are badly missed and I haven't always been Wilsons biggest fan. Speaking of Captains it why I was surprised to see Diack not start. Not that he is the answer but we have won some big enough games with him captaining

Leadership has been Ulster's main problem all season.

I'd say its been a problem for most of the pro era post 1999. Its been temporarily plugged a few times by signing NIEs like Muller and .... er Justin Harrison but we just don't seem to be producing many onfield leaders like O'Connell, Leo Cullen, BOD, Sexton etc. the way the other provinces are. Apart from Rory, whos more a senior leutenant than captain thats it....Trimble maybe..
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Post by Notch Wed 11 Mar 2015, 8:02 pm

I worry about the culture at Ulster. Sometimes it seems like players just expect things to happen, like they turn up at Dragons and Zebre and they just expect it to be easy, and because of that it isn't. And the same with Ireland representation; for some players is there an expectation that they will get selected?

I'd look at Darren Cave who was frustrated before the Autumn Internationals and worried his face didn't fit. Now I'm a fan of Darren, I'm very happy that he is staying at Ulster and he is exactly the kind of player we need to hold onto (ironically because he is unlikely to be involved with Ireland very much). But the weekend was the prime opportunity for him to demonstrate that he has the extra 1% needed to be a test-quality centre. The intangible thing about test players is the character they have to compliment the ability and that's what allows them to realise their potential in pressure situations. I think it's fair to say that he didn't show anything in terms of character or leadership to give the people around him that push to up their game, whether by word or deed he simply doesn't have it. I don't think he has ever reacted well enough to his disappointment with not getting selected to force his way in either- you don't get picked, it hurts. But then the really test class players respond to that hurt by pushing on to a level that they've never achieved before and making the coach reverse their decision. Thats what Tommy Bowe, Chris Henry and Andrew Trimble have done at various points in their careers- but there isn't enough of that within the squad for my liking. I think Paddy Jackson has it, and I think Best does and Dan Tuohy probably does as well. But too few of our players have the grit and determination to really push themselves beyond where they are now, so it's no wonder we haven't been able to transition from runners-up to champions. Compared to the other squads in the Pro12 I think we can go toe to toe with anyone in terms of talent, but mentally...

I'm also, on a separate note concerned with Henderson. He has had two-Caldwell esque brainfarts in his last two games. Against Edinburgh he got a stupid penalty against him for holding a guy on the floor and then a pointless shoulder charge in the Dragons game. We need him, despite his young age, to be a cool head and someone who can galvanise the pack in the right way. Given our discipline problem the last thing we want is this hardman act referees have zero time for.
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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 11 Mar 2015, 8:35 pm

Notch wrote:I'm also, on a separate note concerned with Henderson. He has had two-Caldwell esque brainfarts in his last two games. Against Edinburgh he got a stupid penalty against him for holding a guy on the floor and then a pointless shoulder charge in the Dragons game. We need him, despite his young age, to be a cool head and someone who can galvanise the pack in the right way. Given our discipline problem the last thing we want is this hardman act referees have zero time for.

I agree with most of what you said until the last bit. Every team is coached to hold onto players on the ground to stop them getting back into play - sometimes it's seen and sometimes it's not. Players are also coached to appear as though they're being held if they think they can force a penalty. Quinlan did that sort of thing all the time and he often was penalised for it too. I thought it was VdM anyway and the commentators called it wrong?

Neither do I agree that Henderson did anything more than a push with his hand, it was nowhere near a "shoulder charge" and that much is clear from the footage - what warranted the penalty was that he was just too late. Seeing a player follow through with a tackle after the ball is kicked or passed happens all the time now, because it ensures the numbers are even with the defender already being committed. So his timing was marginally off and nowhere near Caldwell's league (where he would be told to leave the ball twice and still lift it).

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Post by Notch Wed 11 Mar 2015, 8:47 pm

Fair enough, but given the way we're being pinged out of games you have to think that the message about being careful about these things is circulating.

As for holding the player on the ground, I think you might have the wrong incident. He wasn't sneakily holding the player in the ruck to stop him from getting up. The ruck was over here and Henderson was yards away standing over the guy pinning him to the ground directly in the referees line of sight.
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Post by Guest Wed 11 Mar 2015, 10:57 pm

I think it was the player on the ground that was holding Henderson, Notch. I haven't looked at it again, but I'm fairly sure that's what happened. That's why Henderson was miffed at the ref.

Henderson never really showed up for the Dragons game either though. Probably saving himself for the Ireland game...

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Post by Standulstermen Wed 11 Mar 2015, 11:17 pm

Agreed munchkin but not showing up for the dragons game is a luxury a benching international can't have. The fact remains Henderson did nothing in the games between internationals to suggest he could challenge toner or POC

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 12 Mar 2015, 10:01 am

Standulstermen wrote:Agreed munchkin but not showing up for the dragons game is a luxury a benching international can't have. The fact remains Henderson did nothing in the games between internationals to suggest he could challenge toner or POC

Agreed. Hendo could - and should - have had a field day. Especially if he's as keen to play at blindisde as he appears - what better opprtunity to stake a claim?

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 12 Mar 2015, 5:06 pm

Well if that were the case then Schmidt will not be impressed. Remember Zebo during the Lions tour? He won't accept that sort of attitude.

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Post by rodders Thu 12 Mar 2015, 5:16 pm

Really disappointed with henderson the other night - didn't look motivated at all....he wouldn't be the first player to struggle when shipped back to his province/club from international camp so wouldn't be too harsh.
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Post by Standulstermen Fri 13 Mar 2015, 3:08 am

I saw a list of our backs when browsing Planet Rugby. They had

Payne/Olding
Bowe/Scholes
Cave/Arnold
McCloskey/Marshall
Trimble/Gilroy
Jackson/O'Hagan

and not listed are stockdale, owens, ihumph, Nelson and Allen. Bearing in mind Farrell has moved on and we lost Nevin (RIP) that is some list of IQ backs. I know there is still ???? over a good few and some of those are very young but why oh why where we in the market for a 15 when you see the young back three players. Not that im disappointed in Ludik. I think he has been very good. Solid is the word. I only bring it up as more than once we have hopefully hypothesized about Williams being off a year early. Would it not be possible to do the same to ludik?

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 13 Mar 2015, 10:53 am

I have to say, I thought Arnold looked very good in his short cameo. He was beating defenders with ease, he looks like he could be another big talent to come into the back-line. I wonder when he will get another opportunity like that though?

Our midfield is going to be a fierce fight for the shirts. I still think Olding is best at 12, I would put him there rather than at fullback.

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Post by marty2086 Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:19 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:I have to say, I thought Arnold looked very good in his short cameo. He was beating defenders with ease, he looks like he could be another big talent to come into the back-line. I wonder when he will get another opportunity like that though?

Our midfield is going to be a fierce fight for the shirts. I still think Olding is best at 12, I would put him there rather than at fullback.

Arnold was definitely impressive, I wouldn't mind seeing Olding get time at fullback and maybe even 13 for a number of reasons, it opens chances for him with Ireland and experience at test level will help him and Ulster, it gives the team more options and variety with their play. Plus with Olding, Marshall, McCloskey and possibly Arnold too coming through someones going to lose out so rather than letting one go down the line a positional move may prevent it.

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Post by Don Alfonso Fri 13 Mar 2015, 12:47 pm

I woudl dearly love to see what a really good attack coach could do with our backline.

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Post by The Great Aukster Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:36 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:I have to say, I thought Arnold looked very good in his short cameo. He was beating defenders with ease, he looks like he could be another big talent to come into the back-line. I wonder when he will get another opportunity like that though?

Our midfield is going to be a fierce fight for the shirts. I still think Olding is best at 12, I would put him there rather than at fullback.

Arnold was definitely impressive, I wouldn't mind seeing Olding get time at fullback and maybe even 13 for a number of reasons, it opens chances for him with Ireland and experience at test level will help him and Ulster, it gives the team more options and variety with their play. Plus with Olding, Marshall, McCloskey and possibly Arnold too coming through someones going to lose out so rather than letting one go down the line a positional move may prevent it.

Arnold was impressive apart from the stupid kick that went dead. It was a bad decision and exactly the reason why young guys like him need to get big game experience - still it will be interesting to see him again in action tonight. I thought Ross Adair had something about him too.

I don't understand why players have to be pigeonholed into any shirt, for example Olding has a skillset that can suit 10, 12 or 13 so if iHumph was starting 10, I'd have Olding taking the 10 channel in defense. If the plan was to run a play I'd have McCloskey at IC and Olding outside him, or equally if distribution was needed in midfield Olding could be at IC with runners around him.

Having settled positions builds up familiarity but the game has surely moved on further to require more flexibility. It shouldn't just be the 13's responsibility to organise the defence, because he won't play every game and even if he is playing he will be out of position or at the bottom of a ruck at times. Others need to be alert to their role in the game not just their role in some pre-conceived shirt number.

It's precisely because of guys like Olding, McCloskey and Marshall who can play more than one position that Arnold and Stockdale don't need to move somewhere else. If the first choice starters are positionally flexible then the young guys can be integrated into the team in their most comfortable position and so build up their confidence.

The same applies to the back three and why I no longer think Olding needs to be played at full back. Ulster have younger players in Gilroy, Nelson and Scholes who are all potential 15s as well as wings with Adair creeping onto the radar.

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Post by Standulstermen Fri 13 Mar 2015, 1:56 pm

Is the counter argument there Aukster that when we come round to the big games our guys don't have the level of familiarity/consistency in terms of gametime to really deliver in a specific position. 
 
I'm not saying I disagree with you. I'm not sure what the best way is in truth. Just playing devils advocate.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 13 Mar 2015, 3:12 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:I have to say, I thought Arnold looked very good in his short cameo. He was beating defenders with ease, he looks like he could be another big talent to come into the back-line. I wonder when he will get another opportunity like that though?

Our midfield is going to be a fierce fight for the shirts. I still think Olding is best at 12, I would put him there rather than at fullback.

Arnold was definitely impressive, I wouldn't mind seeing Olding get time at fullback and maybe even 13 for a number of reasons, it opens chances for him with Ireland and experience at test level will help him and Ulster, it gives the team more options and variety with their play. Plus with Olding, Marshall, McCloskey and possibly Arnold too coming through someones going to lose out so rather than letting one go down the line a positional move may prevent it.

Versatility is good, but most players are best in a certain position. As far as I can see, Olding is better suited to 12, and I think he operates very well outside Paddy Jackson. He creates a lot of space, and is very good with limited space himself. As far as I can see the 12 shirt is a battle between himself and McCloskey, and it depends very much on the sort of game Ulster want to play.

No amount of rejigging is going to fit all 3 into the team. In fact the likelihood is unless one of them moves to 13, only 1 will be starting. One centre is going to lose out and right now, it looks like it is going to be Luke Marshall.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 13 Mar 2015, 3:16 pm

Also, if I were the IRFU I would be looking at this and suggest a provincial move for one of the players, to a team that is looking rather weak at centre. These are not just Ulster squad members, these are potentially 3 test class players in the same position.

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Post by marty2086 Fri 13 Mar 2015, 3:37 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:I have to say, I thought Arnold looked very good in his short cameo. He was beating defenders with ease, he looks like he could be another big talent to come into the back-line. I wonder when he will get another opportunity like that though?

Our midfield is going to be a fierce fight for the shirts. I still think Olding is best at 12, I would put him there rather than at fullback.

Arnold was definitely impressive, I wouldn't mind seeing Olding get time at fullback and maybe even 13 for a number of reasons, it opens chances for him with Ireland and experience at test level will help him and Ulster, it gives the team more options and variety with their play. Plus with Olding, Marshall, McCloskey and possibly Arnold too coming through someones going to lose out so rather than letting one go down the line a positional move may prevent it.

Versatility is good, but most players are best in a certain position. As far as I can see, Olding is better suited to 12, and I think he operates very well outside Paddy Jackson. He creates a lot of space, and is very good with limited space himself. As far as I can see the 12 shirt is a battle between himself and McCloskey, and it depends very much on the sort of game Ulster want to play.

No amount of rejigging is going to fit all 3 into the team. In fact the likelihood is unless one of them moves to 13, only 1 will be starting. One centre is going to lose out and right now, it looks like it is going to be Luke Marshall.

I'm not saying it needs to be a regular thing but there are games were its possible to play him at 15 or even 13 and offer something different to others, if its a success it offers him a shot at at least a spot on the bench come international windows as Joe loves versatility on his bench and if McCloskey or Marshall are playing well too no reason they can't be there meaning more games for others. Its things like this that has allowed Munster and Leinster to develop young players who are getting game time when others are away, the likes of Murphy and Ruddock being on the bench or there abouts opens doors for guys like Conan.

A lot of ifs and buts yet its all possible

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 13 Mar 2015, 8:08 pm

I see that Arnold is playing at 12 for the U20s tonight.. is he primarily a 12 as well?

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Post by Kingshu Sat 14 Mar 2015, 10:18 am

Munster could have Henshaw and Luke Marshall at centre next year

Imagine the backs

15 Felix Jones
14 Johne Murphy
13 Henshaw
12 Marshall
11 Andrew Conway
10 Ian Keatley
9 Sheridan

Possible that they could send that team out, 0 Munster men in the backs, and only one Munster man in the under 20 team to play this weekend......

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Post by marty2086 Sat 14 Mar 2015, 11:32 am

Kingshu wrote:Munster could have Henshaw and Luke Marshall at centre next year

Imagine the backs

15 Felix Jones
14 Johne Murphy
13 Henshaw
12 Marshall
11 Andrew Conway
10 Ian Keatley
9 Sheridan

Possible that they could send that team out, 0 Munster men in the backs, and only one Munster man in the under 20 team to play this weekend......

Are both not contracted to their provinces until 2016? Meaning that getting one never mind two would be unlikely

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Post by The Great Aukster Sun 15 Mar 2015, 7:55 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Also, if I were the IRFU I would be looking at this and suggest a provincial move for one of the players, to a team that is looking rather weak at centre. These are not just Ulster squad members, these are potentially 3 test class players in the same position.

Ulster having ONLY three test class centres is hardly a position of strength especially as both Marshall and Olding can also play 10 and could be needed there.
Ulster have three test class wings for only two positions and I wouldn't be accepting any provincial move for one of them either.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sun 15 Mar 2015, 10:46 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:Also, if I were the IRFU I would be looking at this and suggest a provincial move for one of the players, to a team that is looking rather weak at centre. These are not just Ulster squad members, these are potentially 3 test class players in the same position.

Ulster having ONLY three test class centres is hardly a position of strength especially as both Marshall and Olding can also play 10 and could be needed there.
Ulster have three test class wings for only two positions and I wouldn't be accepting any provincial move for one of them either.

Two entirely different scenarios there. 3 test class wingers competing for two spots is a good thing. 3 players who all seem most suited at 12 is another kettle of fish, especially when they are all young players. They are all pushing for the same position and all deserve game time there. Cave/Payne will be the starting 13s, potentially with Arnold looking at more game time there also.

The reality is one of those players at 12 are going to be playing for the Ravens every week, if everyone is fit.

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Post by Sin é Sun 15 Mar 2015, 10:49 pm

Kingshu wrote:Munster could have Henshaw and Luke Marshall at centre next year

Imagine the backs

15 Felix Jones
14 Johne Murphy
13 Henshaw
12 Marshall
11 Andrew Conway
10 Ian Keatley
9 Sheridan

Possible that they could send that team out, 0 Munster men in the backs, and only one Munster man in the under 20 team to play this weekend......

Where are  Earls, Hurley, Zebo, O'Mahony, Luke O'Dea, Ivan Dineen, Rory Scannell, Cian Bohane & Darren Sweetnam going to be?

Earls, Hurley, Rory Scannell, Ivan Dineen & Cian Bohane are all centres.

edit: and Sheridan (is more likely going to Connacht having come through the Munster Academy) - and with Tomas O'Leary coming back, we have 3 Munster born scrumhalfs.
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Post by toml Mon 16 Mar 2015, 11:41 am

Was just thinking if Ulster had a fully fit squad at the moment who I would play...
This is what i came up with

Black
Best
Herbst
VDM
Tuohy
Henderson
Henry
Wilson
Pienaar
Jackson
Bowe
Olding
Payne
Trimble
Gilroy

Payne is finally growing at 13 for Ireland, and is worth a shot there for us now.
Gilroy has been picking good lines and is evasive, he could be an excellent FB.
Olding over McCloskey who is on the bench for impact.
The rest pretty much picks itself - harsh on Robbie D.

Who would you guys go for?

I'd pick Les Kiss to coach too!

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 16 Mar 2015, 12:55 pm

I like that team but Payne to 15 for me. Probably cave at 13 albeit my preference for the start if the season was Marshall and Olding in the centre. Gilroy benches for me

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 16 Mar 2015, 1:20 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:Also, if I were the IRFU I would be looking at this and suggest a provincial move for one of the players, to a team that is looking rather weak at centre. These are not just Ulster squad members, these are potentially 3 test class players in the same position.

Ulster having ONLY three test class centres is hardly a position of strength especially as both Marshall and Olding can also play 10 and could be needed there.
Ulster have three test class wings for only two positions and I wouldn't be accepting any provincial move for one of them either.

Two entirely different scenarios there. 3 test class wingers competing for two spots is a good thing. 3 players who all seem most suited at 12 is another kettle of fish, especially when they are all young players. They are all pushing for the same position and all deserve game time there. Cave/Payne will be the starting 13s, potentially with Arnold looking at more game time there also.

The reality is one of those players at 12 are going to be playing for the Ravens every week, if everyone is fit.

Cave isn't test class (he is a squad player for me) and Payne should be at 15 which is by far his best position. So one way or another Ulster need to unearth a genuine test quality contender at 13, and the great thing is they have three tremendous prospects. They shouldn't be letting any of them go until they have been properly tested at outside centre, and Les Kiss will undoubtedly want to do that before having to resort to recruiting a 13 from outside.

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Post by rodders Mon 16 Mar 2015, 1:27 pm

toml wrote:Was just thinking if Ulster had a fully fit squad at the moment who I would play...
This is what i came up with

Black
Best
Herbst
VDM
Tuohy
Henderson
Henry
Wilson
Pienaar
Jackson
Bowe
Olding
Payne
Trimble
Gilroy

Payne is finally growing at 13 for Ireland, and is worth a shot there for us now.
Gilroy has been picking good lines and is evasive, he could be an excellent FB.
Olding over McCloskey who is on the bench for impact.
The rest pretty much picks itself - harsh on Robbie D.

Who would you guys go for?

I'd pick Les Kiss to coach too!

Yup I'd go with that although I think McCloskey and Olding in midfield with Payne at 15 would be tempting too.

Ludik is a bit unlucky but probably doesn't offer enough in attack for me at times.
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Post by Notch Mon 16 Mar 2015, 1:34 pm

This Six Nations has changed my mind on Payne at 13. He's proven that he can play there in a well-coached back line that knows what they're doing. He's shown good hands and the ability to make significant yards in contact, as well as great defensive positioning and good tackling both head-on and when scrambling.

His earlier performances for Ulster at 13 where he was forcing the play and throwing offloads when they were not really on must now be looked at in a different light- a light which reflects very poorly on how Doak is coaching this back line.
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