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Ulster 2016/2017

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Don Alfonso
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Post by marty2086 Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:43 am

First topic message reminder :

And it's been confirmed

Ulster Rugby has today announced that Jono Gibbes will join the Province as Head Coach ahead of the 2017/18 season, having signed a two-year contract.

  The former New Zealand player is currently Forwards Coach at French giants ASM Clermont Auvergne and he previously held a similar position at Leinster Rugby.

Gibbes joined Leinster in 2008, helping the squad to win three Heineken Cup titles during a six-year spell in Dublin. The first of those successes came under the stewardship of Michael Cheika in 2009, before he assisted Joe Schmidt in the 2011 and 2012 triumphs.

He moved to France in 2014 and was part of a coaching set-up that guided Clermont to the Top 14 and Champions Cup finals in his debut season.

In addition to his expertise in forward play, the 40-year-old has also gained valuable experience in coaching other aspects of the game, such as attack, during his stints at Leinster and Clermont.

Gibbes said that there were many contributing factors in his move back to Ireland:

"The respect that I have for Les (Kiss), as a coach and as a person, was one of my main reasons for making this decision. He really sold his vision of where he wants to take Ulster over the next few years.

"Ulster is a team that I know well, having come up against them on a number of occasions. The Clermont-Ulster games this season gave me an insight into the strengths of the squad and it's exciting to think that I'll be part of that environment from next season.

"With 6 years at Leinster and 3 years at Clermont in the Top 14, I've been afforded many different experiences, working with some very talented coaches and players. I hope to apply what I've learned to the role at Ulster and my family and I are looking forward to integrating into a strong community in Belfast."

Welcoming the news, Director of Rugby Les Kiss, added:

"Jono's CV speaks for itself and I know that he's looking forward to joining Ulster and working with the team. Jono has vast experience on both the playing and coaching fronts, having worked in many different environments such as Super Rugby, PRO12, the French Top 14 and European competitions.

"Since his retirement from playing, Jono has had an integral role in the coaching teams of two of European rugby's most successful sides. He was a key part of the Leinster set-up that won three Heineken Cups in four years and he has continued to be hugely successful during his time in France.

"Jono's expertise as a Forwards Coach is obvious, however his wealth of knowledge in other areas of the game will be really important for us."

"A review of the coaching structure is ongoing ahead of next season and the appointment of Jono as Head Coach is the first part of that process. A further announcement will be made in the coming weeks, which will focus on getting the right balance in our coaching team."

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:14 am

There not - our best hopes are Cooney and the youngsters Stewart and O'Donnell

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:20 am

There are times when Pienaar hasn't been good enough, because the quality of the ball they've been getting has been rubbish. Until Ulster get the pack and particularly the backrow sorted, the scrum half is going to struggle.

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Post by clivemcl Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:54 am

The Great Aukster wrote:There are times when Pienaar hasn't been good enough, because the quality of the ball they've been getting has been rubbish. Until Ulster get the pack and particularly the backrow sorted, the scrum half is going to struggle.

And to be fair - the backrow has been a problem for us for seasons. I feel Pienaar had the quality to still look good in spite of it, but Marshall, had he been behind a good pack would have looked a much better scrum half than he is.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:22 am

clivemcl wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:There are times when Pienaar hasn't been good enough, because the quality of the ball they've been getting has been rubbish. Until Ulster get the pack and particularly the backrow sorted, the scrum half is going to struggle.

And to be fair - the backrow has been a problem for us for seasons. I feel Pienaar had the quality to still look good in spite of it, but Marshall, had he been behind a good pack would have looked a much better scrum half than he is.

He would look better because every scrum half looks better behind a better pack doesn't mean he is good enough

Botha and Coetzee with Jones and O'Connor arriving as backups will give us a much better backrow than this year.
Although Coetzee now remains a doubt but the point still stands

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Post by marty2086 Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:03 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
Botha and Coetzee with Jones and O'Connor arriving as backups will give us a much better backrow than this year.
Although Coetzee now remains a doubt but the point still stands

I wonder if Hendersons full time move to Ulsters second row next season will be delayed, the combination below would be the answer as it wouldn't be a bad setup

 Treadwell  AOC             
Henderson    Henry/Reidy
             Botha


Last edited by marty2086 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:17 pm

If we aren't slowed to sign a medical joker, I think it's a reasonable compromise. Maybe Deysel could come for the start of next season after he's done in Munster.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:22 pm

Munster sign veteran Springbok lock to cover Foley and Kleyn absences

http://www.the42.ie/munster-sign-jean-deysel-3291157-Mar2017/

Thats 8 NIQ until the end of the season,

Ulster with 6, will Ulster be allowed a NIQ joker for Coetzee this time?

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Post by marty2086 Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:33 pm

So Munster now have 3 NIQ locks? Erm Headscratch

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Post by Guest Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:15 pm

Maine man wrote:IMO. They both aren't good enough

I think Shanahan might be good enough for PRO12, and will take over from Marshall at some point, next season. Hopefully one of the young prospects get some game time, but doubt any will be taking the bench spot ahead of Shanahan/Marshall, next season. Hopefully I'm proven wrong.

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Post by Redman Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Well done Inst today.

I only caught bits and pieces of the game. Any superstars in the making?

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Post by The Great Aukster Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Just watched the next crop of Ulster academy entrants from Inst and Methody. Shocked

If that's the level of coaching 70K buys it's little wonder Ulster have a dearth of players coming through. Methody with a gale at their backs think its a good idea to run (repeatedly) from their goal line, and play like they need a try bonus rather than kick a couple of easy penalties that would have won the game. Neither side know how to straighten the line or see overlaps - have Wells and Soper been attending seminars held by Clarke and Doak?

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:40 am

If I had my way I would ignore the top 3/4 schools for a couple of years.
Force them to go and play for a club first before being considered.

Would force the scouts to go further a field and probably unearth far more natural talent

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Post by marty2086 Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:47 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:If I had my way I would ignore the top 3/4 schools for a couple of years.
Force them to go and play for a club first before being considered.

Would force the scouts to go further a field and probably unearth far more natural talent

Or maybe if the big schools had to play as many games as the other schools it would force them to do things differently and improve the standards

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Post by MrsP Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:35 pm

Clarke joining the Os next season!!

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Post by Redman Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:43 pm

Was just about to post about that.

He's done well. In theory at least, they are ahead of us.


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Post by Redman Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:47 pm

I suppose the thing about Clarke is, stats wise he'll look good on paper.

Ulster have fantastic lineout stats. Have done for years now. The scrum as well holds up well when you look at the stats. Sky often talk that up, that Ulster are top of a lot of Opta rankings.

What Clarke isn't good at are things that aren't immediately apparent. Man management, talent spotting, restarts, the breakdown, tactics ......... and the list goes on.

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Post by wayne Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:06 pm

Redman wrote:I suppose the thing about Clarke is, stats wise he'll look good on paper.  

Ulster have fantastic lineout stats.  Have done for years now.  The scrum as well holds up well when you look at the stats.  Sky often talk that up, that Ulster are top of a lot of Opta rankings.  

What Clarke isn't good at are things that aren't immediately apparent.  Man management, talent spotting, restarts, the breakdown, tactics ......... and the list goes on.  

So really you are pleased that he's moving on then, are there any other Ulster supporters on here that have a different view to Redman?

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Post by Don Alfonso Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:13 pm

Doubt it, Wayne. We regularly lose two or three restarts a game and our forwards have gone backwards since Johann Muller left.

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Post by marty2086 Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:16 pm

wayne wrote:
Redman wrote:I suppose the thing about Clarke is, stats wise he'll look good on paper.  

Ulster have fantastic lineout stats.  Have done for years now.  The scrum as well holds up well when you look at the stats.  Sky often talk that up, that Ulster are top of a lot of Opta rankings.  

What Clarke isn't good at are things that aren't immediately apparent.  Man management, talent spotting, restarts, the breakdown, tactics ......... and the list goes on.  

So really you are pleased that he's moving on then, are there any other Ulster supporters on here that have a different view to Redman?

I don't think many will be sad to see him go, he has lost us a number of young players like Bealham, Carey etc who have gone on to do well elsewhere.

Our set piece I think has been helped by having a quality spine in the forwards. Guys like Best and Herring at hooker are solid throwers and good scrummagers, vDM, Henderson etc are good in the lineout but good players have went backwards under his coaching, the amount of time it took for Herbst to get his feet sorted after teams figured him out was truly shocking and should have been spotted and sorted before it got to that point.

Our biggest weakness has been at the breakdown, our backrow has been AWOL there for long periods and has cost us more than enough games

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Post by Redman Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:24 pm

The restarts kill me. We've been dreadful at them for the better part of a decade and no one has done anything about it.

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Post by wayne Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:29 pm

Thanks for the responses boys, Gibbes has made us into a more cohesive force at the breakdown and vastly improved our lineout, but then again he's had a good stock in which to do it with, he's also vastly improved both our maul attack and defence, what has gone backwards is our scrummaging prowess, unless our top front 5 are playing. So going by what you're saying we're not going to improve that facet of our play anytime soon.

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Post by wayne Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:34 pm

Redman wrote:The restarts kill me.  We've been dreadful at them for the better part of a decade and no one has done anything about it.  

Is that really the job of a forward coach? We brought in a defence coach last season, and he's talked about developing attacks as being part of his job, from the defence. This forward coach IMO (Brad Davis) is the main difference to our transformation from last season to this, with help from the backs coach our exits have significantly improved.

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Post by Redman Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:39 pm

Our scrum is ok.  The Herbst thing aside I think it's one of Clarke's stronger suits.  It might be fairer to say Clarke is intractable.  Won't or is slow to change.  

If you luck into it being a good fit then he might be fine for you.  If it's a bad fit, expect it to stay bad.  General feeling here is that he's become a bad fit for us, and has been for quite some time.  Very happy to see him off.

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Post by Guest Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:09 pm

The general feeling is that Clarke had become toxic to Ulster Rugby - poor man management - poor relationship with other coaching staff. On top of that our pack have been under-performing for some time now, tactically as well as in attitude. The finger of blame is also being pointed at Clarke for the failure to bring through home-grown forwards, even though there are promising home-grown forwards available.

Clarke may well thrive in a new environment though, and might be a perfect fit for Ospreys. It's also possible that he's learned a valuable lesson in being ousted from Ulster. Sometimes a coach spends to long at one team, and it's best for all that he moves on.

Genuinely wish him the best, and hope he proves a great signing for Ospreys.

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Post by JmD Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:17 am

Regarding Clarke, what I will say is that I have heard many, many stories about his man management from people close to Ulster rugby and not a single one has ever been positive.

However I would agree with Munchkin that he could prove useful in a new environment.

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Post by Pete330v2 Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:32 am

All I know about Clarke the man is that he's an all round arrogant, horrible hole in the butt. Someone who's people skills are simply absent.
His coaching IMO has plateaued in what he can achieve with any squad of forwards so what we've seen this season from Ulster is what you get. We need to make steps forwards and upwards and never could have under Clarke. Perhaps a new environment where he didn't get one of the jobs for the boys will remove some of his feeling of entitlement and get him down to some decent coaching. Maybe he'll learn and improve. I would never be sorry to see him go, he's been toxic to Ulster. I just hope he doesn't continue that at the O's.

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Post by marty2086 Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:47 am

Pete330v2 wrote: Perhaps a new environment where he didn't get one of the jobs for the boys will remove some of his feeling of entitlement and get him down to some decent coaching. Maybe he'll learn and improve. I would never be sorry to see him go, he's been toxic to Ulster. I just hope he doesn't continue that at the O's.

Unless we are playing them then you hope he royally screws them up Whistle

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Post by marty2086 Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Luckless Ulster flanker Marcell Coetzee could be set for another agonising spell on the sidelines as he goes under the surgeon's knife again today.

The big-name addition to the squad last summer has managed just four games for the side after arriving with a serious cruciate ligament problem and re-injured the same knee against Zebre two weeks ago. The province now fear he could be out until December.

"It's exploratory surgery," explained Director of Rugby Les Kiss.

"The word from the surgeon is that we'll find out the true extent after that. There's cartilage damage but worst case scenario it's the ligament which would be six to nine months depending on the severity.

"There's obviously some damage there."


Fingers Crossed

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Post by clivemcl Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:41 pm

So what backrowers are there that aren't currently playing in Europe or Super Rugby?
Keegan Daniels still in Japan?
Bring back Tim Boys! Run

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:25 am

Out for four months. Back for pre-season. Next season has been uncancelled

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:52 am

Just heard that, it's as good a piece of news as we could have hoped for really. This season has been a disaster for the guy so fingers crossed they can fix him fully for next.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:56 am

Any chance of us getting a medical joker for the rest of the season?

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Post by marty2086 Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:14 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Any chance of us getting a medical joker for the rest of the season?

Apparently if we change our name to Munster or Leinster we can have one Whistle

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Post by Kingshu Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:19 pm

marty2086 wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Any chance of us getting a medical joker for the rest of the season?

Apparently if we change our name to Munster or Leinster we can have one Whistle

If we put the application in on Munster Rugby headed paper I'd say we certainly will. Failing that, since it appears we were not allowed one when he was first injured it prob unlikely.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:21 pm

Your probably right.

Is see Olding is starting at 10 again this week. Paddy on the bench. Did he come back injured?

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Post by clivemcl Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:36 pm

Medical Jokers are tricky to find. It has to be somebody who either hasn't made the cut for a Super Rugby squad like Tim Boys, or somebody just finished picking up their big retirement salary in Japan like... Wycliff Palu...

But most of us agree - the medical joker has to be somebody top drawer, and if none are available - whats the point in bringing in a mediocre player to block our youngsters yet again.


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Post by SecretFly Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:43 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Your probably right.

Is see Olding is starting at 10 again this week. Paddy on the bench. Did he come back injured?

I thought Ireland players got a few days off?

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:50 pm

Ulster team & replacements to play Newport Gwent Dragons, Guinness PRO12, Friday 24th March, Rodney Parade (7.35pm kick-off, live on BBC2 NI):

(15-9): J Payne, C Gilroy, L Marshall, D Cave, C Piutau, S Olding, R Pienaar;

(1-8): A Warwick, R Herring (C), W Herbst, K Treadwell, A O'Connor, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, R Ah You, R Diack, C Ross, P Marshall, P Jackson, J Stockdale.

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:50 pm

The best ever medical joker was Ronald Raaymakers - maybe Bryn didn't realise the term didn't actually mean someone who was medically a joke? As for anyone else Ulster now have a policy of no job for Boys.

Paddy is coming back as a shadow of his former self having had his stuffing knocked out by Joe - he doesn't even take up any space on the seat.

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Post by marty2086 Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:08 pm

SecretFly wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Your probably right.

Is see Olding is starting at 10 again this week. Paddy on the bench. Did he come back injured?

I thought Ireland players got a few days off?  

He not an Ireland player though hes just a benchwarmer

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Post by Guest Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:58 pm

Don Alfonso wrote:Out for four months. Back for pre-season. Next season has been uncancelled

Very good news, although there will be a concern of further injury once he returns. We had the same concerns about Olding though, and his knees seem to be coping with the demands (touch wood), so maybe the surgical/rehab care provided here will help ensure against a recurrence of injury.

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Post by Guest Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:02 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Ulster team & replacements to play Newport Gwent Dragons, Guinness PRO12, Friday 24th March, Rodney Parade (7.35pm kick-off, live on BBC2 NI):

(15-9): J Payne, C Gilroy, L Marshall, D Cave, C Piutau, S Olding, R Pienaar;

(1-8): A Warwick, R Herring (C), W Herbst, K Treadwell, A O'Connor, I Henderson, C Henry, S Reidy;

Replacements (16-23): J Andrew, C Black, R Ah You, R Diack, C Ross, P Marshall, P Jackson, J Stockdale.

Strong side, and hopefully enough to get us the win with a bonus point. We really need to win the next two games, hopefully with bonus points, as well as win one of the following 3 games against really tough opposition. Our run in is tougher than the Scarlets, and we can be easily caught.

With Coetzee predicted to return for the start of next season, I doubt very much that we will be allowed a medical joker, not that we would have anyway, and so really hope that the predicted 4 months isn't a best case scenario (spin), but a conservative, realistic, prediction.

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Post by rodders Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:38 am

Glad to see us persevering with Olding at 10. I think that is were his future lies and he could have a big one there with his skill set. The 3/4's has not worked out for him with his lack of size and durability, they've tried artificially bulking him up and it has backfired I think with all the injuries.

I would like to have seen Stockdale get another start at 13 with Marshall switch back to 12.

With Ringrose more established for Ireland I wonder if the IRFU will be happier to see Payne switch back to 15? If so that is good for Ulster as we are stacked with options in midfield.

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Post by clivemcl Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:09 am

SOo is Olding destined to be the next Paddy Wallace? Destined to be our utility backup player - slotted in wherever necessary depending on injuries. Is he not too good for that? Would that not damage his international prospects? Or is the modern game leaning more towards versatile players anyway?

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Post by marty2086 Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:27 am

clivemcl wrote:SOo is Olding destined to be the next Paddy Wallace? Destined to be our utility backup player - slotted in wherever necessary depending on injuries. Is he not too good for that? Would that not damage his international prospects? Or is the modern game leaning more towards versatile players anyway?

I think his international prospects may be helped by his versatility, it makes him a valuable member of a squad and a good option for any Joe bench though could even be harmful to Jacksons

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Post by rodders Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:42 am

clivemcl wrote:SOo is Olding destined to be the next Paddy Wallace? Destined to be our utility backup player - slotted in wherever necessary depending on injuries. Is he not too good for that? Would that not damage his international prospects? Or is the modern game leaning more towards versatile players anyway?

No, yes and yes.
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Post by clivemcl Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:50 am

rodders wrote:
clivemcl wrote:SOo is Olding destined to be the next Paddy Wallace? Destined to be our utility backup player - slotted in wherever necessary depending on injuries. Is he not too good for that? Would that not damage his international prospects? Or is the modern game leaning more towards versatile players anyway?

No, yes and yes.
There were 4 questions Rodders, so now I'm just confused!! Erm


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Post by rapidsnowman Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:04 am

Last question was 'maybe'

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:24 pm

Olding is absolutely a 12 as opposed to a 10. Ireland lack an extra playmaker and Olding has the pace, power and guile to fill that role. If anyone thinks he lacks the physicality - watch the SA test again where he lifts the 6 foot 6, 18 stone figure of Steph du Toit and dumps him on his back.

Injuries haven't been kind, but he is actually a very robust figure. The knee injuries were freak incidents.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:43 pm

rodders wrote:Glad to see us persevering with Olding at 10. I think that is were his future lies and he could have a big one there with his skill set. The 3/4's has not worked out for him with his lack of size and durability, they've tried artificially bulking him up and it has backfired I think with all the injuries.

I would like to have seen Stockdale get another start at 13 with Marshall switch back to 12.

With Ringrose more established for Ireland I wonder if the IRFU will be happier to see Payne switch back to 15? If so that is good for Ulster as we are stacked with options in midfield.


I'm not sure Ringrose is established at all yet.
Would Piutau not be the more attacking option to Payne to place at fullback? It's electric any time he gets the ball, it feels like that gets limited when he is shoved towards a wing slot.

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