Is it all over ?

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ceemec
Shane Jennings
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by ceemec »

Whilst the tight five has been patchy, I don't think their general play has been that bad outside the set piece (and the line out worked very well against Ulster). Clermont was the only side that beat us at the breakdown and only in one of the games. Clermont are a freakish side in so far as they have several backs that can ruck like flankers. Nalaga, Rougerie, Byrne and Sivivatu are all around or over 16 stone. Nalaga has even lined out at flanker.

We controlled the ruck area fairly well in Clermont and last weekend in Belfast. The backs got plenty of clean ball. Brendan Macken made more yards than anyone on the field for example and our centres got their hands on the ball more often than Ulster's and in good attacking positions too. We were let down by sloppy errors though such as Macken running into Darce or when he knocked on after taking crash ball at Nick Williams and Afoa or the horrible intercept.

I think we're a lot closer to playing well than many think. We've had a poor set piece and sloppy handling for a few weeks which is killing us and gifting opposition sides territory and scoring opportunities. The issue is that we need to sort it quickly because losing is a habit just as winning is.

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rooster
Brian O'Driscoll
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by rooster »

ceemec wrote:We controlled the ruck area fairly well in Clermont and last weekend in Belfast. The backs got plenty of clean ball. Brendan Macken made more yards than anyone on the field for example and our centres got their hands on the ball more often than Ulster's and in good attacking positions too. We were let down by sloppy errors though such as Macken running into Darce or when he knocked on after taking crash ball at Nick Williams and Afoa or the horrible intercept.

Ulster have played sides like that all season, not really competing at rucks away from the line, hitting players hard with the object of dislodging the ball then the vultures come in to grab it, as for the intercept Trimble is becoming a specialist in those with at least 1 a match, Pienaar goes for the chargedowns and gets a couple as well. Tackle stats for Ulster this year are crazy and we just then capitalise on other teams small errors most of which are brought on by pressure, Leinster have worked that game for a few years now and other sides such as Clermont and Ulster are catching up so I don't really think you can call your errors sloppy, they are more forced.

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ceemec
Shane Jennings
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by ceemec »

rooster wrote:
ceemec wrote:We controlled the ruck area fairly well in Clermont and last weekend in Belfast. The backs got plenty of clean ball. Brendan Macken made more yards than anyone on the field for example and our centres got their hands on the ball more often than Ulster's and in good attacking positions too. We were let down by sloppy errors though such as Macken running into Darce or when he knocked on after taking crash ball at Nick Williams and Afoa or the horrible intercept.

Ulster have played sides like that all season, not really competing at rucks away from the line, hitting players hard with the object of dislodging the ball then the vultures come in to grab it, as for the intercept Trimble is becoming a specialist in those with at least 1 a match, Pienaar goes for the chargedowns and gets a couple as well. Tackle stats for Ulster this year are crazy and we just then capitalise on other teams small errors most of which are brought on by pressure, Leinster have worked that game for a few years now and other sides such as Clermont and Ulster are catching up so I don't really think you can call your errors sloppy, they are more forced.


I think you're certainly right to an extent. There's definitely a pattern at work in relation to Trimble's intercepts, Pienaar's chargedowns and the incredible work rate in defence (Chris Henry in particular is off the scale). There were some errors though I'd still categorise as being sloppy and poor attacking play. Macken running directly into D'Arcy and then deciding to take crash ball into the two biggest players on the field were naive and cost us badly twice. Boss not hearing the referee calling him to use the ball at the base of the ruck in his own 22. Reid dropping the ball with nobody near him. All incidents that led to scrums which is the last thing we wanted and all of them pretty much unforced.

Credit to Ulster though. They took their opportunities with precision and had really done their homework at the scrum. I couldn't get over the power of the engage from them. The hit was so cohesive and precise. Watching the scrums again you can see Healy going backwards on impact every time. Just looking at their pack and there is some unreal power and bulk there. Afoa, Court, Best, Henderson, Williams, Diack, McComb, Muller, Stevenson.....the lightest of them is 110kg and most are significantly more. At Leinster, Heaslip, SOB, Cronin, Strauss, Jennings and McLaughlin are all under 110kg which amounts to a good chunk of the pack (Cronin and Strauss are only slightly over 100kg and Jennings not much more). The props like Healy and VDM comparatively light also at 112kg and 113kg respectively. It all adds up when the hit is so accurate.

Tox56
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by Tox56 »

Macken has probably started more games beside the Ulster 12 Luke Marshall than he has beside D'Arcy, so the lack of communication/understanding between the two of them is the most likely cause for some of those errors. I suppose you could say all errors in rugby are forced in some way, but I would say things like D'Arcy and Macken running into eachother, and D'Arcy throwing the ball to nobody in the last play of the game, are "unforced" errors. Reddan's sloppy delivery throughout the game was another infuriating unforced error.

Hornet
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by Hornet »

FFS! I leave the country for 36 hours and come back to read this! It looks like the bandwaggoners are looking for excuses to desert. Man up and support your team! No matter what game, whatever the competition, whatever position we are in, whatever the weather, I will be there, supporting the team win, lose or draw, both at home and as many of the away games that i can make. These are the times when we should really be getting behind the team. Lets see a full house on Saturday and the place in BLUE!
"The one thing we learn from History, is that we never learn from History".

Icarus
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by Icarus »

Hornet wrote:FFS! I leave the country for 36 hours and come back to read this! It looks like the bandwaggoners are looking for excuses to desert. Man up and support your team! No matter what game, whatever the competition, whatever position we are in, whatever the weather, I will be there, supporting the team win, lose or draw, both at home and as many of the away games that i can make. These are the times when we should really be getting behind the team. Lets see a full house on Saturday and the place in BLUE!


Amen.

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Xanthippe
Brian O'Driscoll
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Re: Is it all over ?

Post by Xanthippe »

ceemec wrote: Macken running directly into D'Arcy


A couple of people have mentioned this but I have to say that, from what I saw, it looked more like a very clever piece of play by Paddy Jackson rather than an error by Macken. I freely admit that my recollection could be off (especially as I haven't had a chance to watch the match back) but I really thought that Jackson targeted D'Arcy and, in effect, pushed him back into Macken's path rather than it being a case of Macken accidentally running into D'Arcy.
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