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Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November

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Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November - Page 4 Empty Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November

Post by George Carlin Tue 17 Nov 2015, 6:01 am

First topic message reminder :

Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November - Page 4 Ulster10       Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November - Page 4 Sarrie10 
Ulster Rugby
v Saracens
Friday 20 November 2015
KO: 19:45
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast

Live on BT Sport / beIN Sports

Referee Romain Poite (France)
Touch Judge 1 Cyril Lafon (France)
Touch Judge 2 Pierre Brousset (France)
Fourth Official Richard Kerr (Ireland)
TMO Eric Gauzins (France)

A. Head to Head

6 Played 6
1 Wins 5
5 Losses 1
0 Draws 0
98 Points 148

B. Recent Form

5 April 2014
Ulster 15-17 Saracens

6 April 2013
Saracens 27-16 Ulster

C. Teams

Ulster Rugby
Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November - Page 4 Christ10 
15. Louis Ludik
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Darren Cave
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Craig Gilroy
10. Paddy Jackson
09. Ruan Pienaar

01. Callum Black
02. Rory Best (c)
03. Wiehahn Herbst
04. Dan Tuohy
05. Franco Van Der Merwe
06. Iain Henderson
07. Chris Henry
08. Nick Williams

16. Rob Herring
17. Kyle McCall
18. Ricky Lutton
19. Robbie Diack
20. Roger Wilson
21. Paul Marshall
22. Ian Humphreys
23. Peter Nelson

Saracens
Champions Cup Pool 1: Ulster v Saracens, 20 November - Page 4 Keira10
15 Alex Goode
14 Chris Ashton
13 Duncan Taylor
12 Brad Barritt (c)
11 Chris Wyles
10 Owen Farrell
09 Richard Wigglesworth

01 Mako Vunipola
02 Schalk Brits
03 Petrus Du Plessis
04 George Kruis
05 Maro Itoje
06 Michael Rhodes
07 Jacques Burger
08 Billy Vunipola

16 Jamie George
17 Rhys Gill
18 Juan Figallo
19 Alistair Hargreaves
20 Jackson Wray
21 Neil De Kock
22 Charlie Hodgson
23 Marcelo Bosch


Last edited by George Carlin on Thu 19 Nov 2015, 12:12 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by LondonTiger Fri 20 Nov 2015, 9:54 pm

Wow, never heard Les Kiss interviewed before and he sounded suicidal.

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Post by nathan Fri 20 Nov 2015, 9:55 pm

Les kiss giving a quick kiss.

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Post by clivemcl Fri 20 Nov 2015, 9:56 pm

Ah well!

Not on here as much as some. Thought I recognised your name!

That said though... Sarries deserved the win. Of course.

But Chunky will assumed I had no chouse but to say that.

I don't think it would have changed the result. But still firmly believe the tackle in air should have been red.

May not have mattered for this game but bans can plat a part in further group games.

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Post by marty2086 Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:00 pm

clivemcl wrote:Ah well!

I don't think it would have changed the result. But still firmly believe the tackle in air should have been red.

The fact he got in under Trimbles leg made it a red for me, that made it dangerous


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Post by Artful_Dodger Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:01 pm

Guys, I'm taking a break from the board for the foreseeable future. I have him on foe list yet I can see everyone of his posts because people hit the quote button. Every single thread about Ulster rugby this bigot comes along and starts to stick the knives in. Its become an uphill battle to discuss Ulster rugby on here as a result. The mods have banned the likes of greyghost but refuse to take any action against a very thinly veiled racist. On the board for 4 and a half years, but every post about Ulster is absolutely sabotaged. Its become an utterly horrible experience on here for me when it comes to Ulster.

Well played Saracens tonight and goodbye.




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Post by LondonTiger Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:03 pm

marty2086 wrote:
clivemcl wrote:Ah well!

I don't think it would have changed the result. But still firmly believe the tackle in air should have been red.

The fact he got in under Trimbles leg made it a red for me, that made it dangerous


Would the fact Trimbles right leg was only about two inches off the ground at the point of impact have been a mitigating factor?

Guess we will find out what the citing office thinks shortly.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:04 pm

It is sad that it has got this far and I really do think the mods should at the very least ban him from the Ulster game threads. There is no need for him to be involved but he simply cannot help himself. We all know why he is here.

Moderators, what more does Chunky need to say? He came into this thread with an immediate snide remark about the Ulster crowd. If this is allowed to be a free-for-all, it is going to destroy the forum. It is already destroying it.

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Post by TJ Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:11 pm

Artful_Dodger wrote:Guys, I'm taking a break from the board for the foreseeable future.  I have him on foe list yet I can see everyone of his posts because people hit the quote button.  Every single thread about Ulster rugby this bigot comes along and starts to stick the knives in.  Its become an uphill battle to discuss Ulster rugby on here as a result.  The mods have banned the likes of greyghost but refuse to take any action against a very thinly veiled racist.  On the board for 4 and a half years, but every post about Ulster is absolutely sabotaged.  Its become an utterly horrible experience on here for me when it comes to Ulster.

Well played Saracens tonight and goodbye.




Don't let him drive you away - report his racist trolling instead. I have him b;locked as well and I agree its very irritating that folk quote his racist trolling

MODS - PLEASE BAN CHUNKY - HE IS TROLL he spoils these boards with his constant trolling. If you don't take action you will continue to lose members. I visit less than I did and join discussions much less than I did because of him

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Post by yappysnap Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:12 pm

I don't get why he hates Ulster any way, great team and great fans. Always an experience to hear their singing

Artful if you take break then you're letting the troll win

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:14 pm

It might be difficult because he tries to be subtle about it. Unfortunately a few bobbleheads can't quite seem to grasp it.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:15 pm

yappysnap wrote:I don't get why he hates Ulster any way, great team and great fans. Always an experience to hear their singing

Artful if you take break then you're letting the troll win

To be honest, what choice does he have at this point? It is genuinely every single thread involving Ulster that he seeks to antagonise and destroy. I am not even being dramatic either. If nobody is going to do anything about it he will just keep going.

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Post by clivemcl Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:16 pm

Guys there's worse things than to leave this forum like Auster has. We all likely have family, friends, jobs, love and satisfaction. We will get by.

Others are obviously trying to fill a void... find a purpose. Probably because something is lacking in their life. The energy they put in on here especially in relation to ulster and Ireland tell me they must not have much else in life to drive them.

I say leave the boards to people like him. Its his life seemingly. He probably needs this more than you do.

Those who have non internet sources of joy. I suggest invest more time there and less here.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:22 pm

Well, there is another thread ruined anyway.

So who do people think the standout players in this game were? I think that Henderson really stood out in the second half for Ulster and Rory Best is the epitome of a warrior. He just throws his body on the line from start to finish. Legend.

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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:26 pm

Well, we were in it for the first 25 minutes. After that it was all Sarries. Pains me to say it, but they are a very good side. We are not, but it's early days with kiss at the helm, and I harbour hopes of a much brighter future.
Thought the first yellow was the right call. Trimble didn't land on his head, but willing to be proven wrong if there was something I missed. The second yellow was harsh, but the ref called it on the viewing angle he was given. Made no difference anyway....
I wait with interest to see who, if any, gets cited.
Williams made a couple of errors, but he had another good game. We need more of that manic aggression.

Anyway, beaten by Sarries again. Think I will take it out on the pillows mad

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Post by The Great Aukster Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:27 pm

Well played Saracens - fully deserved the win.

Well played too to Andrew Trimble who didn't make a meal of the tackle to get Rhodes a red - it's refreshing that sportsmanship still exists in the sport.

thumbsup

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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:31 pm

Penalty only – Fair challenge with wrong timing - No pulling down
Yellow card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player is pulled down landing on his back or side
Red card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player lands on his head, neck or shoulder


Of the three options yellow is the most appropriate imo. Although personally I'd like to see tackles like that receive a red card.

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Post by clivemcl Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:33 pm

Not a whole lot done wrong by individuals tonight so you have to say it's a mixture of Saracens being very good and poor game plan. Have to say defensive systems were lacking at times.

Standouts were Hendon, Best and McCloskey.

We weren't too interested in using our backs much tonight. Feel like Trimble barely had ball in hand.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:35 pm

Best's line-out throwing was a bit wonky though. For Sarries I thought Kruis was excellent, particularly at the line-out where he made a mess of Sarries's ball. George made a difference when he came on, added some grunt. Farrell was wonky from the tee but distributed well. From an England perspective it was good to see Mako Vunipola play 75 minutes and being strong to the end, getting the upper hand in the scrums too.

Ulster were disappointing for me. Even when they were ahead they never looked like threatening the Sarries line, while Sarries had much more cutting edge in attack. Sarries have actually impressed me with their rugby this year, seem to be more expansive. I think they'll be strong contenders for the overall thing.

Without wishing to come across as anti-Irish, I've watched Leinster last week and Ulster this week, and neither side seemed to have much of an idea of how to score tries. They play a lot of one pass rugby which doesn't always seem to go very far. Given the RWC showing us that scoring tries is the way forward, and criticisms of the Ireland national team's lack of inventiveness at times under Schmidt (particularly in recent times), is this a real concern? Or am I over-analysing? Plain wrong? Not trying to WUM, just asking questions.

On the tackle in the air thing, correct decision according to the letter of the law was made. Player landed on his upper body, so yellow, whereas Goode landed on his head, so red. Contest the law if you wish (though it's always tricky to make laws a matter of "intent"), but you cannot claim that Poite made the wrong call. I thought it was about right TBH, his timing wasn't really off by much (he hits him a split second before he lands).

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Post by yappysnap Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:35 pm

Sarries are a very tough team to beat.

End of the day Ulster didn't pressure then enough, kicked too hastily too badly and didn't make the most of their man advantage.

Saying that I don't think there is a better team currently playing that can win tight games in these conditions. I'd back Saracens against any club side/region/franchise in the world in the wet windy cold in a tight game. Doubly so with a French breakdown blasé ref.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:35 pm

Fuzzy Dunlop wrote:Penalty only – Fair challenge with wrong timing - No pulling down
Yellow card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player is pulled down landing on his back or side
Red card – Not a fair challenge, there is no contest and the player lands on his head, neck or shoulder


Of the three options yellow is the most appropriate imo. Although personally I'd like to see tackles like that receive a red card.

Say a player was taken in the air and actually managed to flip right over the horizontal and onto his back - which has happened before - would it still only be a yellow because he landed "safely"?

The landing cannot be the only factor when deciding the severity of the outcome. I think that the tackle on Trimble was much more dangerous than any other challenge I have seen recently. Rhodes is rather lucky that Trimble didn't land as badly as he could have.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:36 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Well played too to Andrew Trimble who didn't make a meal of the tackle to get Rhodes a red - it's refreshing that sportsmanship still exists in the sport.

Agree with this, I actually mentioned it to the mates I was watching with at the time. Was good to see...

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Post by The Great Aukster Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:37 pm

Munchkin wrote:Well, we were in it for the first 25 minutes. After that it was all Sarries. Pains me to say it, but they are a very good side. We are not, but it's early days with kiss at the helm, and I harbour hopes of a much brighter future.
Thought the first yellow was the right call. Trimble didn't land on his head, but willing to be proven wrong if there was something I missed. The second yellow was harsh, but the ref called it on the viewing angle he was given. Made no difference anyway....
I wait with interest to see who, if any, gets cited.
Williams made a couple of errors, but he had another good game. We need more of that manic aggression.

Anyway, beaten by Sarries again. Think I will take it out on the pillows mad

+1 Munchkin.

Rhodes yellow was right (just because Payne's red was wrong doesn't mean that should have any bearing).

Ulster have too many passengers, and guys like Tuohy, VdM, and Cave were seriously exposed in comparison to their opposition.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:40 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Best's line-out throwing was a bit wonky though. For Sarries I thought Kruis was excellent, particularly at the line-out where he made a mess of Sarries's ball. George made a difference when he came on, added some grunt. Farrell was wonky from the tee but distributed well. From an England perspective it was good to see Mako Vunipola play 75 minutes and being strong to the end, getting the upper hand in the scrums too.

Ulster were disappointing for me. Even when they were ahead they never looked like threatening the Sarries line, while Sarries had much more cutting edge in attack. Sarries have actually impressed me with their rugby this year, seem to be more expansive. I think they'll be strong contenders for the overall thing.

Without wishing to come across as anti-Irish, I've watched Leinster last week and Ulster this week, and neither side seemed to have much of an idea of how to score tries. They play a lot of one pass rugby which doesn't always seem to go very far. Given the RWC showing us that scoring tries is the way forward, and criticisms of the Ireland national team's lack of inventiveness at times under Schmidt (particularly in recent times), is this a real concern? Or am I over-analysing? Plain wrong? Not trying to WUM, just asking questions.

On the tackle in the air thing, correct decision according to the letter of the law was made. Player landed on his upper body, so yellow, whereas Goode landed on his head, so red. Contest the law if you wish (though it's always tricky to make laws a matter of "intent"), but you cannot claim that Poite made the wrong call. I thought it was about right TBH, his timing wasn't really off by much (he hits him a split second before he lands).

It doesn't come across anti-Irish or as a WUM in the slightest; this is a genuine concern shown by many and has been thoroughly discussed (and argued) by the Irish fans. I do not think the provinces have impressed anyone at all this season and there is a real lack of cutting edge. I think we are missing a real bright spark in attack, and those that do deliver for the provinces aren't Irish. Stander and Teo for Munster and Leinster respectively immediately spring to mind.

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Post by Guest Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:44 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:

Say a player was taken in the air and actually managed to flip right over the horizontal and onto his back - which has happened before - would it still only be a yellow because he landed "safely"?

The landing cannot be the only factor when deciding the severity of the outcome. I think that the tackle on Trimble was much more dangerous than any other challenge I have seen recently. Rhodes is rather lucky that Trimble didn't land as badly as he could have.

I agree, but they are the rules. If you look at the official video guideline for the law (here) there are a couple of yellow card tackles just as bad as this.

I really don't like that the amount of damaged caused affects the punishment given. Last season Jamie Gibson was punched square in the jaw and the citing panel felt no punishment was necessary because Gibson wasn't put on his arse.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:44 pm

Connacht are doing well aren't they?

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Post by nathan Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:46 pm

yappysnap wrote:I don't get why he hates Ulster any way, great team and great fans. Always an experience to hear their singing

Artful if you take break then you're letting the troll win
They are, there noisey buggers too. A lot in common with us tigers fans

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:50 pm

yappysnap wrote:Connacht are doing well aren't they?

They are indeed, and again part of their good attacking play is down to a certain Bundee Aki. However we have high hopes for Robbie Henshaw who is one of the few real bright sparks in the Irish squad. For Leinster I really hope to see Garry Ringrose and Cian Kelleher prove the hype to be true. For Ulster the real player to watch on his return from injury would be Stuart Olding.

Nobody really cares about Munster.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Fri 20 Nov 2015, 10:53 pm

thanks Rory.

Which I guess leads to the question: why aren't the provinces/Ireland capable of producing something more expansive? Guys like Sexton/Madigan are exciting enough in attack when at their best. Henshaw is a terrific prospect, Zebo, etc. The exciting players seem to be there...

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:43 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:thanks Rory.

Which I guess leads to the question: why aren't the provinces/Ireland capable of producing something more expansive? Guys like Sexton/Madigan are exciting enough in attack when at their best. Henshaw is a terrific prospect, Zebo, etc. The exciting players seem to be there...

I think each of the provinces have a different reason for not being able to play expansive rugby. The main factor would be that we have a few exciting players but mostly mediocre journeymen. Another would be that we seem incapable of creating adequate space for the outside backs to use, and even then we do not have the players to capitalise on that. I guess that Zebo and Gilroy would be the most dangerous players there, but Gilroy needs to seriously tighten up his defensive game if he wants to prove himself at the highest level.

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Post by Heaf Sat 21 Nov 2015, 12:45 am

yappysnap wrote:So a kick that is caught and becomes a maul always goes to the carrying team, I didn't know that.

Yep - if the catcher is immediately wrapped up so hasn't had a chance to move the ball away the defending team gets the put in ...

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:01 am

Well what many of us feared came to past

The reality is we no longer belong at the top table - Kiss has his work cut out big time.

I honestly don't think one player had a good game - Best and Hendo were not as good as some here think and some were totally absent.
Actually not his greatest fan but I think Williams showed up well - he caused them problems
Henry only played one half the first, Henderson only played one half the second - that isn't good enough.
Were de Merwe or Black even on the pitch?
Cave struggled defensively and non of the backs were great - Ludik sadly was shown up for what he is a safe 15 who doesn't threaten the opposition.

I know the guidelines have changed but Rhodes tackle was far far worse than Payne.

On non playing matters the minutes silence from the fans, for Paris and Lomu, was brilliant, but how bloody stupid was it to have the stadium music droning away in the background - some idiot should be sacked for that.
Also who was the clown reading out the team names - not being able to pronounce Vunipola and Herbst (did he get Tuohy wrong as well?) is unacceptable and insulting to the players themselves. His first game lets hope it is his last - if he cant be arsed to learn the names beforehand he has no right being an announcer.

I will be raising both of the above matters with the club

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Post by RDW Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:03 am

A similar thing happened at Murrayfield during the remembrance day silence last year - everyone inside the stadium was silent but one of the bands playing in the outside concourse was still blaring away!

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Post by Pete330v2 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:12 am

You are right to be raising thos matters Geoff, it's utterly unprofessional, a little like our performance last night.
Also, on the subject of that troll who infects every Irish and moreover every Ulster thread, when will he be removed from this forum? It's really is ruining the enjoyment of the forum and needs stopped now or there will only be the trolls left.

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Post by RDW Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:14 am

Pete - rest assured we are dealing with the situation.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:44 am

The guy reading the names was Ibe Sesay a Q Radio DJ. It seems they are doing this a lot now because Stephen Clements did it at the last match I was at too. He was awful he completedly destroyed maybe 10-12 names and he missed Roger Wilson off the subs bench completely. Now I know Roger Wilson is pretty anonymous when he is on the field but thats no excuse lol
As for the game, I think the refereeing was pretty poor but the much much greater problem was that we showed so little in attack, we never really threatened their line even when they were down a man for 20 minutes. We didn't score a try and didn't score a single point in the 2nd half at all. Thats really not good enough we made Saracens look a lot better than they are and in the last 20 minutes they really started just falling off tackles with no line speed, I mean that try that they scored where Farrell dummied the drop goal that was ridiculous.
Les has a real job on his hands to get this team to where they need to go, hopefully for next year we will get a few changes in and Les will get some time with the team but this season I think the best we can hope for is just to make it back into the champions cup

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Post by Pete330v2 Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:54 am

Cheers RD.

Ulster are in disarray at the mooment and lets be honest, we could begin writing off any European glory and focus on our assault on the Pro12. It's not as if anyone but the Toulon's of this world are going to lift silverware in Europe anyway.
We have guys who have only just returned from Ireland duty and in the case of Payne, guys still not yet in the mix. We have only just had our DOR arrive and it will take time to erase the touch of Doak from this side. I think things will start coming together now all our ingredients are in place but it'll take time. If Kiss can get the very best out of these players we could be looking at playoff places so it's not all doom and gloom. We just can't live with the big boys in Europe right now.

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Post by The Great Aukster Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:58 am

Agree Neil.

Last year it was Toulon, but now it is fairly obvious that Ulster can't compete with these sides off the pitch, so they won't be able to compete with them on it. Coaching will arrest the fall but the gap is widening every year.

The IRFU may have some hard decisions to make in the near future regarding their allocation of funds.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 21 Nov 2015, 11:15 am

The IRFU need to give the Provinces more control - stop dictating which NIQ players they get that should be a Province choice by this I mean they should not have stop Moore going to Munster (as long as it meets the current 4+1 requirement)

The IRFU need to stop leaning on the Provinces to play the same way as Ireland. Coaches need the freedom to play to strengths of the players they have available

Otherwise we will reach a tipping point where crowds decline (starting to happen at Munster) and really top young players like Henderson, Murray, McGrath walk because they are fed up playing 2nd grade rugby.
They will take the gamble that they will be treated like Sexton, Bowe, Easterby and Murphy and make the team anyway.
Also players knocking on the door but not making the Irish team may come to the same conclusion e.g. Olding, McCloskey, Conan, Kilcoyne.

If they get this wrong a dam could burst

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sat 21 Nov 2015, 11:17 am

I sincerely hope Ulster do not throw in the towel as you seem to be insinuating.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat 21 Nov 2015, 11:31 am

We will put out a full team at home to Toulouse but if we lose that the reserve will be playing the away match.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Nov 2015, 12:01 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Well, we were in it for the first 25 minutes. After that it was all Sarries. Pains me to say it, but they are a very good side. We are not, but it's early days with kiss at the helm, and I harbour hopes of a much brighter future.
Thought the first yellow was the right call. Trimble didn't land on his head, but willing to be proven wrong if there was something I missed. The second yellow was harsh, but the ref called it on the viewing angle he was given. Made no difference anyway....
I wait with interest to see who, if any, gets cited.
Williams made a couple of errors, but he had another good game. We need more of that manic aggression.

Anyway, beaten by Sarries again. Think I will take it out on the pillows mad

+1 Munchkin.

Rhodes yellow was right (just because Payne's red was wrong doesn't mean that should have any bearing).

Ulster have too many passengers, and guys like Tuohy, VdM, and Cave were seriously exposed in comparison to their opposition.

Our coaching has to take some of that heat as well. We were a shambles in defence, and completely clueless in attack. The irony of last nights game is the only player to really stand out was a man we want to see, and is, being replaced in Williams. Earlier on in this thread someone accused us of being a niggly team. I only wish that were true...
I can only hope that Kiss can turn this team around. We are not going to get out of the group now, and hopefully the main focus of Kiss will be to ensure a top 6 finish, and building a team for next season.

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Post by Cyril Sat 21 Nov 2015, 12:31 pm

Well done Sarries Smile

Utterly dominant in the second half.

While they were beaten by a much better side it's clear that Ulster are also on a downwards slide. Could be a long way back.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Sat 21 Nov 2015, 12:35 pm

Regarding Henderson and his anonymity in the first half - I noticed he was standing with the outside backs an awful lot. Similar to how Ireland seem to use Peter O'Mahony as a link-man in attack and cover tackler in defence. The problem is that he was barely even involved at the ruck area for large portions of the game. He is absolutely at his best when playing as close to the fringes as possible, with the odd cameo in open field. I would much prefer to see him at lock if it means he is used for the donkey work and hard yards more often.

This seems to be a tactic with the Irish forwards that I have alluded to in the past. Yes, we have some very dynamic and explosive runners in the pack but I would much prefer to see the likes of Henderson bullying the opposition forwards and let the backs do their thing.


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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 21 Nov 2015, 3:22 pm

Certainly a result I wasn't expecting. Saracens are looking good this year!

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Post by VinceWLB Sat 21 Nov 2015, 10:35 pm

I think IRFU has made Connacht stronger and are paying the price for it with the other 3 provinces.

I mean if it was still 2010 the likes of Nathan White, Henshaw, Poolman would be at Leinster, Buckley, Heenan would be at Ulster, Marmion, Ah You and Bundee Aki would be at Munster.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 22 Nov 2015, 12:36 am

Leinster and Ulster have the players, it seems they just didn't perform. The way it's going, each four of these will be in the premier European competition next season - and that was surely a priority for the IRFU.

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Post by rodders Mon 23 Nov 2015, 9:01 am

Well to be honest I wasn't confident going into this - I think the Franglos have got stronger season on season and all the Irish provinces (bar Connacht) have slipped backwards.

That said to concede 4 tries and not even get a bonus point at Ravenhill is pretty shocking and a shambles really.

Conceding the try at the end of the first half was poor but we didn't seem to come out in the second half - there seemed to be a panic when we went behind and we played into Sarries hands by chasing the game.  

Very poor - hopefully we can get the season back on track against Toulouse. Fair play to Saracens they look serious contenders along with Wasps, Clermont and Racing - can't see any Irish team in the QF this year.
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Post by Pete330v2 Mon 23 Nov 2015, 9:52 am

Our NIQ rules and salary cap are taking effect now. We can't expect to sit at the top table of European rugby any more with those millstones around our necks. The provinces will be negatively effected, as will the players themselves and ultimately, surely the national side.
It's time to allow us some kind of level playing field where Europe's concerned.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 23 Nov 2015, 10:04 am

rodders wrote:Well to be honest I wasn't confident going into this - I think the Franglos have got stronger season on season and all the Irish provinces (bar Connacht) have slipped backwards.

Though it should perhaps be remembered that Sarries did no significant recruitment in the off-season.

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Post by rodders Mon 23 Nov 2015, 10:14 am

LondonTiger wrote:
rodders wrote:Well to be honest I wasn't confident going into this - I think the Franglos have got stronger season on season and all the Irish provinces (bar Connacht) have slipped backwards.

Though it should perhaps be remembered that Sarries did no significant recruitment in the off-season.

Sarries have been a very good side for a number of years - improvement isn't just down to financial aspects and recruitment. Generally I'm impressed with the quality of rugby in the AP, its a lot quicker than it was and the English teams in particular seem to be really targeting this new competition, maybe the format suits them or just coincidence.

Munster, Ulster and Leinster aren't as strong as they were a few years ago. High quality retirees and players/coaches leaving haven't be replaced with the same quality and now they are paying the price.

The IRFU have tightened up on overseas recruitment, so its not just down to money - Stephen Moore was blocked from joining Munster apparently.

Its too early to judge Kiss but the squad doesn't look great so not sure how much scope there is for improvement. Olding, Payne and Bowe will add a bit (and Piatau if he comes) but the pack is the issue for me.
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