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ULSTER RUGBY 2022/2023 - SEASON RUN IN

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the-goon2
LeinsterFan4life
formerly known as Sam
Welshmushroom
clivemcl
carpet baboon
Maine man
RiscaGame
neilthom7
Unclear
Pot Hale
Kingshu
mikey_dragon
Pete330v2
geoff999rugby
Oakdene
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Post by Oakdene Wed Jan 11 2023, 10:58

First topic message reminder :

Christ on a bike you lot are downbeat for a side that are currently in the top 4 of the league!!

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon Apr 03 2023, 09:53

clivemcl wrote:I haven't yet watched the match back on tv, so I'm reluctant to comment too much.

My initial thoughts are - game turned on the Gibson-Park tray which is unfortunate really because it came about from a Leinster mistake. That said, I do think the attempted tackle on him shot up too fast and was easily side stepped. Not sure who that was.

Other critical moments were Ulster losing our line outs in key areas where we often score from. What the hell was going on? Not acceptable in a quarter final.

Last comment for now - I don't see ,much wrong with the Hume turnover attempt. I think the ref said he was the tackler and didn't release. I don't think he was the tackler - he may have had a hand on the player as he was tackled - but is that really the same thing?
I think Ulster were lucky to avoid an earlier yellow, and I think Leinster players were pressuring the ref to pull out a card, and it worked.

On the whole, I'm happy we gave them a bit of a battle.

Hume did absolutely nothing wrong, it was a legal poach and should have been an Ulster penalty.
Soon after of course came the JGP try due to , as you said Clive, a Leinster error which included a knock on by Byrne just before JGP got the ball.

Still, as you said, we gave them a decent battle. We put in as good a fight as France or Scotland did against them....them being Ireland and all. So if we're on the level of France or Scotland I'll take that.
Forced optimism/delusion or what Smile

The conditions shouldn't have allowed such a good game so for both teams to give us such an entertaining spectacle can only be admired. Ulster can take a lot from that, I usually hate that being said after a defeat but they really can. We can kick on now and focus on the playoffs.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon Apr 03 2023, 15:30

Stockdale shot up, but in fairness to him he was going after the loose ball, if it had bounced a different direction he could of been going the length of the pitch.

Agree Humes yellow was harsh but we probably could have had one sooner
And I think Stockdale had his best game in a long while

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Post by carpet baboon Mon Apr 03 2023, 19:05

Jordie Murphy retiring at the end of the season.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:20

As has been confirmed, and I mentioned months ago, Jordi Murphy has retires

EOS gets a 1 year deal, O'Brien gets a two year deal, Jones gets a 1 year deal.
I am fine with the first two but Jones is, like Matty Rea, a reward for mediocrity

One idiot on the UAFC says EOS should not get a contract
So he wants us to go into next season with only Kitshoff, Warwick and Reid capable of playing LH
Always best to engage brain before posting

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:22

Injury update from someone who has direct contract with player rehabilitation

Henderson may well be risked if we make the SF of the URC.
Dublin not keen but he, and Ulster, want it and with no agreed Central Contract could well go for it.

Addison no chance this year.
The contact says he cant see any justification for a contract next year - he is made of glass

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:31

Worth reposting again

2023

LHP - Andrew Warwick,Callum Reid, Rory Sutherland
Hooker – John Andrew
THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrey Toomunga-Allen
Lock - Sam Carter, Iain Henderson, Frank Bradshaw
Backrow - David McCann,Duane Vermeulen, Sean Reffell
SH - John Cooney, David Shanahan, Michael McDonald
10 - Jake Flannery, Ian Madigan
Centre - Luke Marshall, Angus Curtis
Back 3 Player - Rob Lyttle, Jacob Stockdale, Aaron Sexton,  Will Addison,Ben Moxham, Craig Gilroy

2024

Hooker - Declan Moore
LH - Eric O'Sullivan
THP - Tom O’Toole, Marty Moore
Backrow - Matthew Rea, Greg Jones
10 – Billy Burns
Centre - James Hume

2025

Hooker - Rob Herring
Lock - Alan O'Connor
Backrow - Nick Timoney, Marcus Rea, David Ewers
Centre – Stuart McCloskey, Stewart Moore
Back 3 Player – Ethan McIlroy, Robert Baloucoune, Shea O'Brien
10/15 - Michael Lowry

2026

Hooker - Tom Stewart
LHP - Kitshoff
Lock - Cormac Izuchukwu, Kieran Treadwell
SH – Nathan Doak
Centre - Jude Postlewaite


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:44; edited 1 time in total

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:35

Updated below


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Wed Apr 05 2023, 17:22; edited 4 times in total

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 11:43

What does that leave?
A number of places where I suspect it is one of two
TH - Toomunga-Allen or Milasinovich. Ulster have to dig there heels in one this one big time
Scrum half - Cooney or McDonald. Fingers crossed Cooney stays, McDonald is no better than leading AIB scrum halves
Centre - Marshall or Curtis. No brainer

So that leaves:
Henderson - stay in Ireland and finish his career here or take a big cheque elsewhere. I think he will stay but not certain
Reffell - gives everything but too small. Not convinced myself, need more than honest triers (then again mediocrity in the backrow is no bar to a contract at Ulster - see above)
Flannery - not been given a fair chance, if I was him I'd go back to Munster and it would be Ulsters lost and Ulsters fault
Lyttle - Another player who could leave because he has not been given a fair crack of the whip
Sexton - hasn't got what it takes
Addison - whats the point

That makes 35 definites and, at most 6 possibles.
Of the 6 my guess is, at best 4

A squad of less that 40 - that is a huge drop but seems to be occurring at many teams

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Post by Maine man Tue Apr 04 2023, 13:44

Has Lyttle done something to pi$$ of the Ulster hierarchy that we don't know of? Everytime I have seen him, he's been pretty good. He offers a lot more than some other wingers at the club.
I assume Jones got a contract as a squad filler. Quite frankly I'd have him arrested for stealing a living as a rugby player.

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Post by Pete330v2 Tue Apr 04 2023, 14:29

Hendy, as I've said can stay or go, neither would upset me. He's been good but his fitness seems to save itself for the green shirt, a shirt that's no surety with the Leinster genetically modified players.
Reffell hasn't shown any reason to be retained IMO but perhaps he and Jones hold tackle bags really well. I'd rather be proven wrong but unless he's forcing himself onto the side perhaps ejection is best.
Flannery has looked sound when given the chance but never gets the chance. They'd rather play Billy until he breaks it seems. I mean if Doak is being seen as better 10 cover then I wish Flannery well on his Munster return but Doak is IMO not even good enough in his chosen position at the minute. He showed the promise but his mediocre performances will be the early death of our season.
Lyttle is an enigma. He's a really good winger but perhaps he pI$hed in Dans cow pie.
Addison - please press eject. Bench options are great but not physio benches.

What's with the O'Brien 2 year contract? I know nowt about the lad despite the fact I'm from Armagh but is he that good that he gets a deal without having shown his hand for Ulster as yet? Someone please enlighten me because me and the Armagh RFC ended our relationship years ago.

If the hashtag part time army were able to get rid of Paddy and Stu do you think a few of us could storm the gates and get JTA signed up? At the moment I'd try anything, he'd be a signing to be excited about because so far I am rather underwhelmed.

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Post by Unclear Tue Apr 04 2023, 14:50

Thanks for the update Geoff, and I couldn't disagree about any of it, except perhaps Reffell and that's through my ignorance. We need to keep Lyttle as he is a great club player if not international class, Sexton isn't up to it, and Addison needs a new career (unfortunately).

I fear we will regret the handling of Flannery for many a year. It has always been an uphill struggle to get players to change provinces, doubly so in getting them to come to Ulster. If there is the perception that the organisation won't develop young players, then we will get even fewer even considering making the move.

At a time when squads are reducing in size we need to looking at possible opportunities from other provinces. Particularly in areas where we are weak and they are stronger and so may be releasing a player who could improve our depth. Any negative perceptions would jeopardise such a strategy.

And do we have a strategy or are we just reacting to circumstances? Some careful thought will be needed for the 2024 renewals particularly at TH and 10. I'm not as down on Burns as many others, but he can't get a renewal just because there are no alternatives.

I've only seen the highlights of the Leinster game, and would feel very hard done by on the Hume yellow card based on the 10 seconds of that particular phase, but am happy to take everyone's word that it was probably evening up the accumulation of penalties from earlier in the game. Karma and all that ....

The take-away from that and the discussion above is that I can't see our position changing for the better next year. Where's a glass half empty emoji when you need it?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 04 2023, 16:18

Warwick, Moxham and McCann all get 2 years.

Not confirmed but seems Gilroy and Lyttle away

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Post by jimbopip Tue Apr 04 2023, 16:28

geoff999rugby wrote:Warwick, Moxham and McCann all get 2 years.

Not confirmed but seems Gilroy and Lyttle away

Changed days indeed! There was a time when if three Ulster players got two years there would have no end of people arguing about strict sentencing and/or overly lenient judges. drumroll

Too soon?

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Post by Unclear Tue Apr 04 2023, 19:29

geoff999rugby wrote:Warwick, Moxham and McCann all get 2 years.

Not confirmed but seems Gilroy and Lyttle away

Surprised at Moxham getting that length of extension, but I suppose it does reflect a significant improvement in performance recently. Warwick has been playing well so definitely deserves it.

Will be very disappointed to lose Lyttle. He has been very dependable and is a great finisher, but I suppose his injury history isn't great. Not at Addison standards, but not great. Gilroy's form seems to have dropped off considerably, so I'm not so concerned about him moving on.

Also all the best for the future to Jordi Murphy, he was key player for a number of seasons and was one of the very few to take on the risk of changing provinces.

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Post by Unclear Tue Apr 04 2023, 19:33

jimbopip wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Warwick, Moxham and McCann all get 2 years.

Not confirmed but seems Gilroy and Lyttle away

Changed days indeed! There was a time when if three Ulster players got two years there would have no end of people arguing about strict sentencing and/or overly lenient judges. drumroll

Too soon?

"And after a period of peace and reconciliation the Irish troubles were re-ignited by a dodgy Scotsman living in Essex ..." - a future history website (books are so 20th century) near you soon.

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Post by Kingshu Wed Apr 05 2023, 16:21

John Andrew, callum Reid and Arron Sexton get new 2 year deals

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed Apr 05 2023, 17:22

Update on the below

LHP -  Rory Sutherland
THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrey Toomunga-Allen
Lock - Sam Carter, Iain Henderson, Frank Bradshaw
Backrow - Duane Vermeulen, Sean Reffell
SH - John Cooney, David Shanahan, Michael McDonald
10 - Jake Flannery, Ian Madigan
Centre - Luke Marshall, Angus Curtis
Back 3 Player - Rob Lyttle, Jacob Stockdale, Will Addison, Craig Gilroy

Those in Red certain to stay, those in blue certain to leave
Those in Green rumoured to leave


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Wed Apr 05 2023, 17:44; edited 1 time in total

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed Apr 05 2023, 17:24

Rumoured Toomunga-Allen and Milasinovich away - reflected in the above list of outstanding contracts

Means Warwick will have to transfer to TH next year and even then we have no propect of any 4th TH.
Guaranteed we will need a further injury cover.

Does no one have the common sense to see the logical solution is keep Toomunga-Allen steam

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed Apr 05 2023, 17:43

If my maths is right and the following transpires we have a 37 man squad next year - you have got to be kidding me

Stay/Get Full contract  - Shreridan, Henderson, Reffell, Cooney, Marshall, Shanahan, Stockdale
Leave - Sutherland, Carter, Moore (Declan), Vermuelen, McDonald, Flannery, Curtis, Addison,

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Apr 06 2023, 10:13

I've been loosely following the contract signings etc and underwhelmed would be an understatement.
Sexton being payed to pretend to be a rugby player for another 2 years while Lyttle is let go says it all and if that's a sign of Ulster's ambitions then I fear for next season. Dan can waffle on about demographics and the difficulties of competing against Leinster but does the retention of players of Sexton's standard mean he's thrown in the towel? Is that the kind of head coach we want or need?

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Post by carpet baboon Thu Apr 06 2023, 11:46

I get a feeling that Dan will see out this season then leave.
To be honest I wouldn't be opposed to an entire new coaching team coming in.
Things seem to have gone a bit stale.
Some new voices are needed.
Think ROG would be interested?

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Post by Kingshu Thu Apr 06 2023, 14:05

2 years for Curtis and 3 years for Flannery

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Post by carpet baboon Thu Apr 06 2023, 15:52

Well let's hope flannery gets a lot more game time

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Post by Kingshu Thu Apr 06 2023, 18:48

Pendergast rumoured to being offered a senior contract to move to Ulster?

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Post by Kingshu Thu Apr 06 2023, 19:02

Just some thoughts, untill Geoff mentioned it I never realised Reffell was so small, about size of average centre, I do think he has a future in his few Ulster apperances has already git the Ulster tackle record, and hilds it for Scarcens as well. High tackle success rate too at about 95%, think he could be a horses for courses type player.

On Flannery reason he hasn't got much gametime is that he hasn't really shone in the games he has got, he hasn't done badly, but hasn't done great either. For most games Ulster have gone with Doak/Lowry covering OH and an extra back (sometimes forward) on the bench. He really need to prove that he can cover OH at a higher level where its better for Ulster to have a specialist OH on the bench rather than Doak/Lowry and an extra back.

Pandagast I think is one of those rumours that will come to nothing, would make sense considering he will have 2xByrne, Frawley and tector ahead of him, starting as 2nd/3rd choice on a senior deal would be more appealing than being 5th choice academy deal.

Between them they may make a case that a speacialist OH on the bench is better.

Sexton getting two years is a surprise, didn't thinkbhe would get extended and if did would be one year. Has to show a huge improvement in the basics of the game. For Lyttle I'd rate him as 3rd best wing at Ulster, shame to see him go, would hope that another province comes in for him as he is too good to lose to rugby. But can understand his decision and ulsters.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu Apr 06 2023, 20:22

Kingshu wrote:Just some thoughts, untill Geoff mentioned it I never realised Reffell was so small, about size of average centre, I do think he has a future in his few Ulster apperances has already git the Ulster tackle record, and hilds it for Scarcens as well. High tackle success rate too at about 95%, think he could be a horses for courses type player.

On Flannery reason he hasn't got much gametime is that he hasn't really shone in the games he has got, he hasn't done badly, but hasn't done great either. For most games Ulster have gone with Doak/Lowry covering OH and an extra back (sometimes forward) on the bench. He really need to prove that he can cover OH at a higher level where its better for Ulster to have a specialist OH on the bench rather than Doak/Lowry and an extra back.

Pandagast I think is one of those rumours that will come to nothing, would make sense considering he will have 2xByrne, Frawley and tector ahead of him, starting as 2nd/3rd choice on a senior deal would be more appealing than being 5th choice academy deal.

Between them they may make a case that a speacialist OH on the bench is better.

Sexton getting two years is a surprise, didn't thinkbhe would get extended and if did would be one year. Has to show a huge improvement in the basics of the game. For Lyttle I'd rate him as 3rd best wing at Ulster, shame to see him go, would hope that another province comes in for him as he is too good to lose to rugby. But can understand his decision and ulsters.
Leo clearly doesn't see Frawley as an out and out 10, he's a utility player and he's always played his best stuff at 12. Harry Byrne has had his injury issues and is quite unreliable in that regard. I don't think anyone sees Tector ahead of Prendergast, Tector is a lot more likely to leave imo. So he isn't as far away as it might look

There's rumours of Prendergast going straight onto some sort of senior deal with Leinster and he's expected to get his debut in SA at some stage over the next couple of weeks. He's also already turned down a senior deal from Connacht, which would have been an attractive offer given his brother is there.

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri Apr 07 2023, 10:11

If it's true that Ulster were talking to him then I'm impressed. Why wouldn't they give it at least a shot. I doubt that young lad's going to be so far down the pecking order at Leinster for long though. He'll see himself as having tools to fight for top spot. I think he has them in bucket loads.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Apr 07 2023, 11:55

Brought up to date

2023

THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrey Toomunga-Allen
Lock - Iain Henderson
Backrow - Sean Reffell
SH - John Cooney, Michael McDonald
Back 3 Player - Jacob Stockdale, Will Addison

2024

Hooker - Declan Moore
LH - Eric O'Sullivan
THP - Tom O’Toole, Marty Moore
Backrow - Matthew Rea, Greg Jones
SH - David Shanahan
10 – Billy Burns
Centre - James Hume

2025

LH - Andrew Warwick, Callum Reid
Hooker - Rob Herring, John Andrew
Lock - Alan O'Connor
Backrow - Nick Timoney, Marcus Rea, David Ewers, David McCann
Centre – Stuart McCloskey, Stewart Moore, Angus Curtis, Luke Marshall
Back 3 Player – Ethan McIlroy, Robert Baloucoune, Shea O'Brien, Ben Moxham, Aaron Sexton
10/15 - Michael Lowry

2026

Hooker - Tom Stewart
LHP - Kitshoff
Lock - Cormac Izuchukwu, Kieran Treadwell
SH – Nathan Doak
10 - Jake Flannery
Centre - Jude Postlewaite

Not official but leaving

LHP - Rory Sutherland
Lock - Sam Carter, Frank Bradshaw
Backrow - Duane Vermeulen
10 - Ian Madigan
Back 3 Player - Rob Lyttle, Craig Gilroy

One correction Shanahan is 2024 not 2023 as previously mentioned

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Apr 07 2023, 12:03

So outstanding we have

The TH situation/mess - rumours both Toomunga-Allen and Miliasinovich leaving - if so we surely must sign a TH.
Otherwise during the World Cup it will be
LH: O'Sullivan - bench Reid
TH: Moore - bench Warwick
with only kids available below that at LH and no one at TH

The situation at SH - is Cooney staying?
The ex Central Contracts - Stockdale for certain, Henderson maybe
Addison
and then two of last years signings McDonald and Reffell

There was some rumours we made a cheeky offer to Prendergast  at Leinster.
Was it turned down and that is why their has been a change of mind regarding Flannery and him being given 3 years?
He definitely was considering a return to Munster, then again there may be some pursue string tightening their as well - conjectural to be sure


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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Apr 07 2023, 12:12

Lyttle is leaving the game to return to the family farm.
He is leaving because he was offered a considerably reduced contract, understand this may well be the case for Madigan and Gilroy.
It would appear that the salary budget will be much reduced next year - definitely under £6 million, and possibly under £5.5 million
Tough times ahead

I would be pretty confident that most if not all of the following were offered reduced contract and were faced with a take it or leave it option.
Hence the flurry of contracts
Curtis, Marshall, O'Sullivan, Jones, Warwick, Moxom, Andrew

I do not include - O'Shea, Sexton, McCann, Reid, Flannery - they were lower and have probably stayed roughly where they were.

No one yet has got a new contract of any significant substance , except the NIQ signing of Ewers and Kitshoff.
Will Cooney, Henderson and Stockdale break the trend?

I cant believe they won't give Sheridan a 3 or 4 year contract like they did with Doak and Postlewaite - if they don't they have lost the plot

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri Apr 07 2023, 13:06

Cooney and Stockdale signed until 2025....Get Innnnn!

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Apr 07 2023, 13:40

Thats a relief so only Henderson and the mess at TH to be resolved

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Post by Kingshu Thu Apr 13 2023, 10:38

↑Harry Sheridan, Conor McKee, James McCormick, Reuben Crothers and Ben Carson will all continue their development with Ulster Rugby.

https://ulster.rugby/content/ulster-sec ... -new-deals

Sheridan - Upgraded to development deal for 1 year and senior deal for 2nd year
Conor McKee - Upgraded to development deal for 1 year and senior deal for 2nd year
James McCormick - Upgraded to development deal for 1 year
Reuben Crothers - Upgraded to development deal for 1 year
Ben Carson - Upgraded to development deal for 1 year

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Apr 13 2023, 11:24

Sheridan bit surprised not a full contract straight away but locked in for three years that's the important thing.

The others could well be steady squad players but I dont see any Internationals in the making

Compared to Stewart, Izzy, McCann, Doak, Postlewaite Sheridan is the only one at that level  



In other news looks unlikely Toomunga-Allen will be allowed to stay,
Looks doubtful Marty Moore will be fit at the start of the season
O'Toole will be at the World Cup

The chocolate teapot is going to get a one year contract isn't he censored  
Then again rumours of another chocolate teapot joining - French (Munster reject)
Depressing steam

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Post by Kingshu Thu Apr 13 2023, 14:36

Didn't think we would be allowed to resign JTA, given he is NIQ and can't even make the arguement that he would be world cup cover as he'd be going as well.

I did notice on the other forum an intresting piece

There are 16 players in our squad who have played less than 200 minutes this season.

1. Will Addison: 0
2. Shea O'Brien*: 0
3. Declan Moore: 13
4. Michael McDonald: 18
5. Frank Bradshaw-Ryan: 27
6. Dave Shanahan: 40
7. Jude Postlethwaite: 50
8. Ian Madigan: 71
9. Angus Curtis*: 111
10. Cormac Izuchukwu: 127
11. Jake Flannery*: 128
12. Callum Reid*: 134
13. Gareth Milasinovich: 147
14. Sean Refell: 167
15. Greg Jones*: 174
16. Craig Gilroy: 187

*have contract extensions.

Some maybe could be cut, others should get more gametime, some injuried, and some prob are cheap emergency cover.

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Post by Maine man Thu Apr 13 2023, 16:29

Kingshu wrote:Didn't think we would be allowed to resign JTA, given he is NIQ and can't even make the arguement that he would be world cup cover as he'd be going as well.

I did notice on the other forum an intresting piece

There are 16 players in our squad who have played less than 200 minutes this season.

1. Will Addison: 0
2. Shea O'Brien*: 0
3. Declan Moore: 13
4. Michael McDonald: 18
5. Frank Bradshaw-Ryan: 27
6. Dave Shanahan: 40
7. Jude Postlethwaite: 50
8. Ian Madigan: 71
9. Angus Curtis*: 111
10. Cormac Izuchukwu: 127
11. Jake Flannery*: 128
12. Callum Reid*: 134
13. Gareth Milasinovich: 147
14. Sean Refell: 167
15. Greg Jones*: 174
16. Craig Gilroy: 187

*have contract extensions.

Some maybe could be cut, others should get more gametime, some injuried, and some prob are cheap emergency cover.

What's the news on Izzy? He was seen as the next big thing but is it all bluster?

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Apr 14 2023, 11:21

Izzy has a lackadaisical attitude which he needs to change.


The list of low minutes is a little unfair
On contracts - Shanahan, O'Brien, Moore, Postlewaite, Izzy already have contract extending into next year and beyond

O'Brien, Postlewaite, Izzy are players we should see more of
Madigan, Bradshaw-Ryan, Madigan, Gilroy all leaving/retiring
Rumours Moore is leaving

Moore, Shanahan, Flannery play in specialist positions where you need an extra player just in case

What does that leave who hasn't signed a contract - Addison, McDonald, Milasinovich
I'd ditch them all but the chocolate teapot may have to stay because he could be our only fit specialist TH during the World Cup
God help us !

Of those who have signed a renewal - Curtis and Jones.
You have to question those two contracts but so far they are the only dubious ones

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat Apr 15 2023, 09:00

Decent performance but physically poor opponents who to fair did tryand play some rugby and caused us problems in open play.

When Toomunga-Allen came most scrums were brutal and Dragons thoroughly mashed.

Stewart was not man of the match an award given to the obvious player by someone with little understanding of rugby.
Maul tries are a collective team effort not a one man show.

For me McCann and Stockdale were the stand outs, other than Toomunga-Allen.
McCann has come on a bundle in the last few weeks.
MCann, Timoney, Sheridan and Ewers make for a good looking backrow next year.

On the negative side both O'Sullivan and Marcus Rea guilty of very poor tackling leading directly to a Dragons try.
Wont get away with it against better sides.
Will they be on the naughty step next week?
Not Rea's first offense.

A prediction - if Stockdale continues like this I reckon he will be on the plane to France.

Vermuelen will be joining Stormers next year - you heard it here first

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Post by Unclear Sat Apr 15 2023, 14:31

Stockdale was the player of the match for me. He seemed solid defensively and was constantly looking for work (in a way that Baloucoune rarely does). I'll be bitterly disappointed if (as seems likely) we lose Toomunga-Allen. He has been great, and the way he always seems to have a smile as he plays is refreshing to see.

Agree Rea's tackling seemed poor, and it was obvious why Gilroy won't be getting a contract.

For Dan to say the defence needs to be twice as good against Edinburgh is an understatement. We'll have to be way better than that to get past a quarter final, even at home.

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon Apr 17 2023, 10:27

Agreed re: above in that McCann and Stockdale stood out but the MOTM was awarded very lazily to Stewart without actually thinking about what happened in the game.
Stockdale has clearly changed things up a bit with the amount of roaming work he does. He knows full well that's what Farrell wants and has acted accordingly and to very good effect. His defense has improved a lot too so that ticket to France could be on it's way.

It wasn't a performance that would beat most of the other URC teams so it's just as well it was the Dragons. An improved evening out is required for next week's game if we're to keep a hold of the No.2 spot which on it's own wouldn't be a bad plaudit for this campaign. Silverware isn't the be all, end all for a campaign IMO, it would be nice obviously but for me it's still a league and to come 2nd to a side like Leinster is nothing to be sniffed at.

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon Apr 17 2023, 11:28

Cooney signed his contract a month ago - he has no idea why its announcement was delayed.
Henderson has had two offers one to stay in Ireland one to leave.

Henderson apart will any of those yet to sign get a contract?

THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrey Toomunga-Allen
Backrow - Sean Reffell
SH - Michael McDonald
Back 3 Player - Will Addison

If not we may have zero fit TH's for the start of the season
Of those in the Academy
George Saunderson is a LH
Scott Wilson is a TH but currently in his first year
Something has to give

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon Apr 17 2023, 13:12

geoff999rugby wrote:Cooney signed his contract a month ago - he has no idea why its announcement was delayed.
Henderson has had two offers one to stay in Ireland one to leave.

Henderson apart will any of those yet to sign get a contract?

THP - Gareth Milasinovich, Jeffrey Toomunga-Allen
Backrow - Sean Reffell
SH - Michael McDonald
Back 3 Player - Will Addison

If not we may have zero fit TH's for the start of the season
Of those in the Academy
George Saunderson is a LH
Scott Wilson is a TH but currently in his first year
Something has to give  

Surely there's ample reason to allow us to sign a THP on a short term contract for cover, the kind of cover that's parachuted in should Munster ask, the kind of cover we currently have playing at and loving being at Ulster Rugby.

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Post by Kingshu Mon Apr 17 2023, 13:51

Man of the Match, I don't really think if really given out fairly, 99% of the time it will be given to a player on the winning team, and only really is a player on the losing team, when its already given out and they lose to a last minute try/pen.

Theres no reason that the best player on the pitch isnt on the losing side around 20-30% of the time.

I think im a recent game it was Ferris said so and so would be his player of the match if they went on to win. I dont see why the result features in the decision making, they are either the best player on the pitch or they aren't. Maybe its commercial so they can get an interview with a player from the winning team, but it does undermine what its really is then, its best player from the winning team.

On JTA, I doubt we will be allowed to keep him, as NIQ spots are filled. In years past I think Munster would have been given the extra leeway to resign him. I always put this down to Munster being a team more likily to progress in HCup and a little leeway makes that and the extra money it bring appealing to the IRFU, as well as the success helps keep fans coming though the turnstiles keeping Munster more viable.

Now Ulster are clearly in that position and I don't think we will get the same leeway, and Munster only got the leeway so they could remain viable to pay back the loan.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon Apr 17 2023, 15:11

We'll I have to say fair play to Ulster. I'll be honest 6 games into the league I really thought they might even top the league this year. Then we all know what happened but I have to say they have moved themselves back into the 2nd spot after some really great wins considering they suffered from a loss of confidence. Getting that home semi will be critical I think and could make the difference of making that Final.

I wonder if there are some surprise results on the way in the Qtr Finals though. How do Ulster fans feel about potentially having Bulls at home in the Qtrs?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 18 2023, 09:52

Bulls bring them on - prefer them to the Sharks or Munster
The worry we have is we are one injury away from having no credible TH

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Post by carpet baboon Tue Apr 18 2023, 18:18

What's confusing me is I think we can all agree we have not been at our best this season, yet.....
We are second in the league with the second best points difference.
And even with these two facts I'm not confident at all for the knockouts

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 18 2023, 19:01

Its the brusing impact of two games at home against Saffers that worry me.

Get through and then totally stuffed by Leinster.

Happen in 2012 in Europe
Won a fantastic match in Thomond Park but never physically recovered.
Got passed Edinburgh because, quite frankly, they were not very good but
nothing in the tank to face Leinster.

Plus we had to play a very young Jackson a year early because our 10 at the time was the revolving door known as Ian Humphreys

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Post by carpet baboon Tue Apr 18 2023, 19:13

To be fair to Humphreys I remember one season where he slowed them down enough so someone else could tackle them. He was good with ball in hand though.

Yeah two big horrible SA teams in a row could leave us out of gas.

Have to say Stockdale is starting to look good again, and he seems to be popping up more and more in the backline which I like.
I really wish McIlroy had a bit more top end pace as the rest of his game is very good.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed Apr 19 2023, 10:27

On the other board the following posted

2023 / Unknown List
Gareth Milasinovich - renewed, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen - gone, Sam Carter - gone, Iain Henderson - Japan, Duane Vermeulen - retired, Sean Reffell - no clue but hope he stays, Michael McDonald - see ya, Ian Madigan - see ya , Will Addison - pay as you play deal at best


KOTH said not a bad guess but a big one wrong
Fits what I have heard.
Increasing confidence the wrong 'un is Henderson and he is staying.
Troubles is somebody with the initial DV told me Vermuelen was going to Storms and he is pretty big.
Addison pay if you play would be an interesting one.

Cross your fingers re Hendo.
Also understand the season does not start till the 3rd Oct (World Cup SF day I think)
That late start date is key to Marty Moore he may now make it.
Looking like Marty Moore at 3, Milasinovich on the bench and Andy Warwick as emergency backup until Tom O'Toole returns

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu Apr 20 2023, 12:10

Squad's UP

Ulster side to face Edinburgh, Round 18 BKT United Rugby Championship, Friday 21 March at Kingspan Stadium (KO 7 35pm), live on ViaPlay and URC.tv.

(15-9): Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Alan O’Connor (Captain), Kieran Treadwell, David McCann, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Sam Carter, Harry Sheridan, Nathan Doak, Luke Marshall, and Craig Gilroy.

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