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Ulster 2023/2024 Season

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Collapse2005
Don Alfonso
demosthenes
jimbopip
clivemcl
Pot Hale
Kingshu
geoff999rugby
Maine man
Pete330v2
Welshmushroom
Unclear
LeinsterFan4life
carpet baboon
neilthom7
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Post by neilthom7 Mon 16 Oct 2023, 9:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

For the good, the bad and the ugly of Ulster rugby this season. Lets hope mostly good.

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Post by Unclear Mon 01 Apr 2024, 2:43 pm

Carpet those first 2 sentences imply a sense of logic and sequential thought that I'm not confident exists within the Ulster set up at present. It would be just typical if Murphy Sr was told his services were not wanted long term alongside an offer being made to Murphy Jr.

As you say the young fella looked pretty good for the U20s, but it is a big step up to a pro side. Still there is really only an upside to such an offer and as discussed our 10 options aren't great.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 01 Apr 2024, 3:29 pm

Also we have apparently offered Wilhelm De Klerk the U20s centre a contract

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon 01 Apr 2024, 4:36 pm

Would also make sense with Curtis away, Marshall probably retiring and Addison probably leaving.
I also have realised that Ben Carson seems to have totally fallen off the radar.
Cant say I'm surprised - he was never quite good enough.

As per my breakdown above that only leaves us with three centres and no one coming through.

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 01 Apr 2024, 9:07 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Report in SA Newspaper
https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/kitshoff-set-early-stormers-return/


Note this sentence

It is reportedly customary for high-profile players like Kitshoff to have clauses in their contracts that allow them to leave if the head coach departs.


If so he is definitely away

I also read that Werner Kok will join Ulster, could be a goid signing.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 9:50 am

Hume, McCloskey, Postlewaite, Balacoune, Stockdale, Moore are the only ones
who come anywhere near good enough.

6 players for 4 positions is way too light
Hence the signing of Kok and the interest in DeKlerk

Other than backrow and hooker our squad next year will be very light

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 10:04 am

Speculating on what we are hearing, the crystal ball is slowly revealing its secrets.
What do people think of the following?
My view is numbers wise its about right (as in what we will actually see) - except we surely need another prop.
Toomunga-Allen would have been perfect.
That way O'Toole and Warwick could be full time on the LH side and Toomunga-Allen
would allow Wilson not to be overplayed. I'm not convinced M Moore is up to lightening the load  

Hooker       Andrew, Herring, McCormick, Stewart
LH              Reid, Saunderson
Dual Prop    Warwick, O'Toole                                  
TH              M.Moore, Wilson                                                  
Lock           Henderson, Izzy, Treadwell, Hopes (D)                                    
Back row     Crothers, McCann, Matty Rea, Marcus Rea, Reffell, Sheridan,
                 Timoney, McLoughlin (D), James McNabney (D)                                                
SH              Cooney,McDonald, McKee                                        
FH              Doak, Flannery                                                            
Centre        Hume, McCloskey, Postlewaite                                    
Wing           Balacoune, Stockdale                              
Utility Back  Lowry, McIlroy, S. Moore, Moxham, Kok    

35 Full Professional, 3 Development contracts

As an aside I not sure how far back you have to go to see so few non Irish born players in an Ulster squad
Only Kok, DeKlerk (residence), Treadwell (parent), Herring (g-parent) fit that description and only Kok not IQ


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Tue 02 Apr 2024, 12:12 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 02 Apr 2024, 10:37 am

Wasnt expecting De Klerk to go to Ulster as he has been living in Dublin for ten years since he was 9 and goes to UCD or plays for them anyway. He looked a pretty good player in this years six nations.

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 11:32 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Wasnt expecting De Klerk to go to Ulster as he has been living in Dublin for ten years since he was 9 and goes to UCD or plays for them anyway. He looked a pretty good player in this years six nations.

Don't know if he is coming up north, but it's rumoured that we have offered him a contract

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 11:38 am

Posted on the other site that our new academy intake will be
Bryn Ward (Backrow)
James McKillop (Lock/Backrow)
Jack Murphy (Flyhalf)
Sam Berman (Centre)
Wilhelm de Klerk (Flyhalf/Centre)

So that's Murphy Berman and de Klerk coming from Leinster.

Which only strengthens my opinion that Murphy has got the job full time.

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 11:40 am

On that intake I'm a big fan of Ward, looks like an excellent 7

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 12:07 pm

I am a big fan of just all that intake - McKillop is the one I know the least about.

3 players up from Leinster strongly suggests Murphy may well get the job full time

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Post by Unclear Tue 02 Apr 2024, 12:29 pm

If that intake is true, then glass may only be half empty. I'm worried about the prop and second row. Marty will need to stay fit and the youngsters on the LH side need to step up. Hendo is likely away with the international squad or being managed when not injured (no disrespect, just how it has felt recently), and the other three I would describe as "athletic" rather than old school bruisers. The 2 young Mcs in the back row from the academy and U20s will need to develop some ability to carry for the hard yards.

Feels like the old days of Niall (?) O'Connor or Peter Nelson (?) at fly half.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 12:43 pm

Unclear wrote:Hendo is likely away with the international squad and the other three I would describe as "athletic" rather than old school bruisers.  

The lack of genuine second row bruisers is a serious gap for us.

I also think we simply cant go into a season with
Three inexperienced props - Wilson, Reid, Saunderson
One with the Ireland squad - O'Toole
+ Marty Moore

that will never hold unless Warwick can play both sides at the same time.
Hard to believe he was very close to being dropped a few years back - around the time McCall retired.
We also got rid of Kane too quickly - not a world beater but an honest spud who gave it his best

By contrast it is 3 years since Sexton left the Academy and he is still rubbish - need to get rid

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 12:50 pm

We do need some bulk that is true. Maybe we send Hopes and Izzy on a pie eating diet

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Post by Unclear Tue 02 Apr 2024, 1:39 pm

or a good old fashioned Ulster fry for breakfast, champ with more champ for lunch, and a couple of fish suppers to round it off. Crisp sandwiches for snacks during the day ....

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 1:48 pm

Apparently Berman and de Klerk weren't offered contracts by Leinster. Which I'm sure made the choice easier

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 02 Apr 2024, 2:16 pm

Looks like Kitschoff could be ending his 3 year stay early. Stormers looking to bring him back out of his contract early. Backed by consortium money to make it happen.

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 4:25 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Looks like Kitschoff could be ending his 3 year stay early.  Stormers looking to bring him back out of his contract early.  Backed by consortium money to make it happen.

Honestly it wouldn't be a big loss. Hopefully his wages get reinvested on 2 decent pro14 level props

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 4:43 pm

carpet baboon wrote:

Honestly it wouldn't be a big loss. Hopefully his wages get reinvested on 2 decent pro14 level props

At least one, if not both, would have to be IQ

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 02 Apr 2024, 5:27 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:  

Honestly it wouldn't be a big loss. Hopefully his wages get reinvested on 2 decent pro14 level props

At least one, if not both, would have to be IQ

What is the rule on Overseas players in Ireland these days?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 7:00 pm

The only rule is whatever the IRFU decide is acceptable.
All sorts of version tried but in the end that’s what in amounts to.

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 02 Apr 2024, 7:42 pm

Loosely they hint that you can't have two NIQ players in the same position across the 4 provinces. But as Geoff says they kinda make it up depending on the day of the week.
You would hope they look at each province and make individual decisions.
But who knows

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 8:35 pm

They make decision solely on what is perceived to be in the best interest of Irish rugby, nothing else matters.

If one province wanted 4 NIQ props as they have none of any quality and the other 13 starters were top draw.
Provided the other three provinces all had excellent prop forwards it would be approved.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 02 Apr 2024, 8:37 pm

There seems to be some conjecture that Ulster will still be paying Kitshoff some money next year.

It is my understanding that is completely incorrect.

Any difference between the Stormers contract and his Ulster contract will be covered by the Stormers financial backers.

The contract is being torn up by mutual agreement.
Kitshoff is desperate to get back home

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Post by Unclear Tue 02 Apr 2024, 10:56 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:There seems to be some conjecture that Ulster will still be paying Kitshoff some money next year.


Kitshoff is desperate to get back home

I tell you, its the crisps ....

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 03 Apr 2024, 8:12 am

Does Ulster rugby have an identity and does having players and a coach come through from Leinster eat into that identity? Are the supporters made up of a certain demographic that in Ulster or are they a bit of everything these days?

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 03 Apr 2024, 9:42 am

Looking at departures - latest updated

According to Thornley (who usually gets it right)
O'Sullivan, Addison, Ewers, Kitshoff, Jones, Addison are all away.

Strong suspicion O'Connor is retiring, or has retired

I thing M. Moore must be staying (probably only for one year).
Also one of McDonald and Shanahan must be staying with the other going.
I would guess McDonald returning from Connacht.

That leaves Sexton and O'Brien on my list of doubtfuls.
I added them because they are both a complete waste of space and I see no point retaining.
O'Brien will be 25 this summer and has played 3 minutes rugby for the first XV in his entire life - what a farce.
Sexton as previously stated is not and never will be a top flight rugby player - are the coaching staff blind ?

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 03 Apr 2024, 1:30 pm

McNabney, Wilson and McLoughlin all get extended development contract.
McNabney 3 years, the other two 2 years.
That’s a departures, typically it has been one year on a development contract.

I suspect that is a combination of financial constraints and getting burnt giving players a full contract after one year on a development contract.
See Sexton and O’Brien above

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 03 Apr 2024, 1:34 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Does Ulster rugby have an identity and does having players and a coach come through from Leinster eat into that identity? Are the supporters made up of a certain demographic that in Ulster or are they a bit of everything these days?

I don’t thing identity, or lack of, is our issue.
It simply comes down to incompetence over many years.
Do the right thing and an team identity will develop.

It is no surprise change is happening now Humphrey’s is the main man.
Ulster are, effectively, being run from Dublin and that easier to do
with an Ulsterman in charge.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 04 Apr 2024, 9:50 am

Direct rule from Dublin is what's needed, there's more than coaching that's been poisonous at Ulster and now with Humps where he is there will hopefully be more of a spotlight on what really ails us. How Cunningham is still in post is utterly shocking, he's been part of a cumulative problem for some time. I'd like to think his days are well and truly numbered.
What kind of salary was Kitshoff on? I'd read 670k somewhere which would sort out the deficit.

Regardless, the IRFU has to keep Ulster afloat, Munster could have sunk when they found themselves in financial difficulties but were offered a life raft and now look at them with savvy signings and current champs. If that's the precedent then it's time to offer Ulster Rugby a similar chance.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 04 Apr 2024, 10:22 am

Pete330v2 wrote:Direct rule from Dublin is what's needed, there's more than coaching that's been poisonous at Ulster and now with Humps where he is there will hopefully be more of a spotlight on what really ails us. How Cunningham is still in post is utterly shocking, he's been part of a cumulative problem for some time. I'd like to think his days are well and truly numbered.
What kind of salary was Kitshoff on? I'd read 670k somewhere which would sort out the deficit.

Regardless, the IRFU has to keep Ulster afloat, Munster could have sunk when they found themselves in financial difficulties but were offered a life raft and now look at them with savvy signings and current champs. If that's the precedent then it's time to offer Ulster Rugby a similar chance.

The £670K is someone bad at maths.

The Ulster salary was 50% higher than the Stormers offer.
The Stormers offer was £380K - that makes £570K not £670K
Maybe someone confused Euros and £ ?

As to Cunningham I suspect, and hope, he is the last man standing and we we need someone to deal with the day to day.
Once the new people are in place we will be in a position to tell him to sling his hook.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 04 Apr 2024, 11:55 am

Need to check out the prospects of the Year 1 Academy players
It was, for us, a unusually large intake

Forwards:

Cameron Doak (Prop)
Jack Boal (Prop)
Jacob Boyd (Prop)
Zac Solomon (Hooker)
Henry Walker (Hooker)
Charlie Irvine (Second row)
Josh Stevens (Back rower)
Tom Brigg (Back rower)

Backs:

Ethan Graham (Winger/Full-back)
Lukas Kenny (Winger/Full-back)
Ben McFarlane (Winger/Full-back)

We continue to struggle at Lock, 10 and Centres from within the Ulster based intake

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 04 Apr 2024, 1:16 pm

The Ulster salary was 50% higher than the Stormers offer.
The Stormers offer was £380K - that makes £570K not £670K
Maybe someone confused Euros and £ ?


That's probably what it was, it could have been an Irish journo I was reading, can't remember. Still a significant saving.

As Jackman has suggested AJ McGinty is out of contract this year and although 34 could be a good player who's experience etc would assist our young 10s along and wouldn't cost the earth. That being said I'd much prefer a certain 32 year old but that's never happening.
Within that saving there must surely be a half decent prop floating about. What's big Toomaga Allen up to? Smile

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Post by clivemcl Thu 04 Apr 2024, 2:10 pm

The lack of backs coming into the academy hopefully further supports the rumours of Jack Murphy, Sam Berman, and Wilhelm de Klerk.

Well, I shouldn't say 'hopefully'. Most ideal, we would produce these players ourselves, but given we struggle, and that these fellas are well thought of, it would be great if it were true.


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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 04 Apr 2024, 2:22 pm

I doubt McGinty is on the radar

The only players older than Stockdale next year could easily be

M.Moore, Herring, Warwick, Henderson, Cooney, Stockdale

youth seems to be the order of the day

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Post by Kingshu Thu 04 Apr 2024, 3:12 pm

AJ McGinty is a 34yo NIQ player. Would be better having Madigan back at least hes IQ. If getting a NIQ 10 there are far better out there, even for the same money.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 04 Apr 2024, 3:30 pm

I don't think any province is going to be allowed a NIQ 10 until there are at least 2, of the required standard, readily available.

We have 1 at best - Crowley.
All the Leinstermen, Carty, Burns and definitely all Ulster players come up short.
Probably have to wait till Prendergast is cutting it at the highest level before you will see a NIQ 10.

The fact McGinty is 34 and NIQ means there is not a chance in hell

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 05 Apr 2024, 12:28 pm

(15-9) Stewart Moore, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Nathan Doak, John Cooney;

(1-8) Steven Kitshoff, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (C), Matty Rea, David McCann, Nick Timoney.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Andy Warwick, Scott Wilson, Harry Sheridan, Cormac Izuchukwu, Jake Flannery, Jacob Stockdale, Dave Ewers.


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Post by carpet baboon Fri 05 Apr 2024, 12:45 pm

Al O'Connor and Matty starting wouldn't have been my choice. But Wilson, Izzy, Sheridan and ewers can make a decent impact off the bench.
Have Montpellier gone full strength?

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Post by Pete330v2 Fri 05 Apr 2024, 1:21 pm

Montpelier squad for what it's worth, I don't know anything about them apart from Willemse, Simmonds and Camara who's on the bench. Is Foursans their starting 10? Dunno

1. Fichten
2. Tolofua
3. Williams
4. Verhaeghe
5. Willemse
6. Becognee
7. Doumenc
8. Simmonds
9. Eymeri
10. Foursans
11. Lam
12. Cadot
13. Bridge
14. Ngandebe
15. De Nardi

16. Karkadse - 17. Erdocio - 18. Macharashvili - 19. Duguid - 20. Camara - 21. Carbonel - 22. Dakuwaqa - 23. Lucas

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 05 Apr 2024, 1:28 pm

O’Connor and Marty Rea starting because Treadwell injured and
wanting to give Izzy and Sheridan a rest.

You have wonder about Marcus Rea’s long term future - hardly gets a look in these days.
His starts have gone down from 16 to 9 to 4 in the last three seasons.
MC Cann and Sheridan have past him by.
How long before one, or more, of Crothers, Mc Laughlin and McNabney do the same thing ?

Montpellier are a long way from being full strength.
We might win this.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 05 Apr 2024, 3:01 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:O’Connor and Marty Rea starting because Treadwell injured and
wanting to give Izzy and Sheridan a rest.

You have wonder about Marcus Rea’s long term future - hardly gets a look in these days.
His starts have gone down from 16 to 9 to 4 in the last three seasons.
MC Cann and Sheridan have past him by.
How long before one, or more, of Crothers, Mc Laughlin and McNabney do the same thing ?

Montpellier are a long way from being full strength.
We might win this.

Don't give me hope. I'm all prepared mentally for a heroic loss

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 05 Apr 2024, 3:04 pm

Apparently it's the first start of the season for the Montpellier 9 and 10. Use this information however you please

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Fri 05 Apr 2024, 5:26 pm

Reason to win?

If we win and Cheetahs beat Clermont, Pienaer will be playing
at Ravenhill in the QF.
He is retiring this summer so it would be his last ever game in Europe (provided Ulster beat the Cheetahs).


No bigger reason than that for Ulster and Cheetahs to run through brick walls
to make it happen, against a couple of French sides distracted with fighting for their survival in the Top14.

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by neilthom7 Fri 05 Apr 2024, 5:51 pm

Confirmed by Ulster that Kitschoff is leaving in the summer

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Fri 05 Apr 2024, 6:47 pm

To confirm the uncertainty about players leaving it has occurred to me that I've not seen any confirmation about the status of

Ben Griffin
Ben Carson

who were on Development contracts and have not been mentioned for ages

Also the same for
James French who was on a full contract which is up this summer.

I think the only other player who has not been rumoured to be leaving who is yet to sign a contract is Matty Rea

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Fri 05 Apr 2024, 8:42 pm

Just checked Ben Griffin been playing for Clontarf so he definitely has been released

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Sun 07 Apr 2024, 11:33 am

.


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Sun 07 Apr 2024, 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Sun 07 Apr 2024, 12:17 pm

So it’s Moore on the wing, Addison at 15, Shanners on the bench.

Basically anyone but Sexton - wise move

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

Post by geoff999rugby Sun 07 Apr 2024, 12:37 pm

Jim Neilly and Ian Humphries describing Addison leaving as a done deal.

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Ulster 2023/2024 Season - Page 11 Empty Re: Ulster 2023/2024 Season

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