Fire and Guts

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Flash Gordon
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Fire and Guts

Post by Flash Gordon »

There's been a lot written in the media about the temperament of our team over the last couple of days. There were also a couple of (unrepresentative) stupid comments on Sunday night that I encountered.

The reality of the situation is that this team does not have a mental issue. For those of us who've watched Leinster all season will know this - evidence includes:

1. Toulouse - you don't go to France and win if you have a temperament problem
2. Bourgoin - lost this game but clawed back from a situation that would have seen Leinster lose by 30 or 40 points just two years ago
3. Bath away - Leinster were the first team to beat Bath at the Rec in the European Cup
4. Bath at home - a game we lost, but the team continued to perform throughout the the campaign. They never gave up
5. Gringo's away - A packed Ravenhill is a very intimidating place. The boys put it up to them and showed know fear playing excellent rugby.
6. Glasgow away - under constant pressure but kept playing running rugby.

And Sunday. Nothing worked, Leinster just couldn't catch a break - If Den had kept is feet in touch, if Girv had been able to offload his brilliant kick and chip, If Den had kept Horgan down, if and exhausted Reg hadn't dropped the ball with numbers out wide, if any of Felipe's chips had worked….or his kick not hit the post. As Kidney said, we were in a position to challenge through the first 60 minutes. Leinster never gave up - you can see that in the way they kept the Munster maul out 3 or 4 times in the bottom left hand corner in the second half.

We were in contention all the way through against a Munster team that probably played the best I've seen them play - they executed their game plan absolutely flawlessly.

It was just one of those days. We play exciting but sometimes risky rugby. Unfortunately, Sunday just didn't click. Those who call this team gutless are, frankly clueless and lazy. And that goes for a shed load of jouro's who should know better.
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Re: Fire and Guts

Post by Duff Paddy »

Flash Gordon wrote:We were in contention all the way through against a Munster team that probably played the best I've seen them play - they executed their game plan absolutely flawlessly.



That's it for me. I don't believe we choked. They played their game to perfection and we couldn't get a break. There are obvious weaknesses in the current Leinster squad that need to be addressed if we are to make a serious attempt at winning the whole thing.

The CL is still winnable and that's a damn good return from a season in my book. At the start of the season, if I'd have been offered a H Cup semi and to be top of the CL at this stage then I'd have taken it.

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Post by Avenger »

Excellent post Flash.
Well said.
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Post by McCloud »

Anybody who says ye choked is a fool.
From the game 2 points stick out for me when I started getting worried that you might turn the game around.

1. The five or so minutes Munster spent in the corner on your try line in the second half. You turned the ball over and Munster came away with nothing. Not many teams can do that against the Munster pack. It worried me that we could not get any points.

2. When PUC was sent off, I really think if FC had managed to convert the penalty Munster would have been in real trouble.

From the time of Leamy's try to ROG's Munster spent 60 minutes going no were. Chokers your not.

BTW that 60 minutes with no try for all our grip on the ball really worries me looking towards Cardiff.

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Post by sewa »

There was no choking involved. If you had been a bit more organised on lineouts and restarts it would have been a very close game. Still cant understand why we kept going up unopposed on lineouts.
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Post by Duff Paddy »

sewa wrote: Still cant understand why we kept going up unopposed on lineouts.


You're not the only one. Mal was at sea for some of them - he really had a bad game in my view.

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Post by Mauler »

If Felipe had kicked landed the three penalties he missed, we would have been one point behind with 10 minutes to go. We probably only had 30% position of the ball during the game. To be in with a shout, after playing so poorly (or not being allowed to play I should say), showed a lot of guts, pride and passion by our team. After the game in Toulouse, we have not played anything near to that level in our next three matches against Borders, Llanelli and Munster this will have to radically addressed next season.

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Post by daveirl »

I have to agree I don't think that Leinster choked at all. It wasn't like other times, this time Leinster were simply beaten.

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Post by chillers »

The lineouts were a shambles alright. Mal and Blaney seemed to have a hell of a time settling on calls on our own throw -- every lineout took ages to set.

It's been confirmed that Bryce played most of the game with a broken hand.

Cameron looked shattered when he went off. Maybe he and Bryce were a bit overwhelmed by the atmosphere. I here there's nothing like that in the Southern Hemisphere. (There's probably nothing like it anywhere!)

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Post by harryp »

Agreed, one bad game doesn't make you a bad side.

I was actually proud that the team and coaches stuck with the game plan for the full 80 mins, rather than try to play Munster at their own game. We defended valiantly, and on another day would have scored 2 or 3 tries. Unfortunately, thats the nature of the game we play, somedays nothing seems to work, and Sunday was one of them.

FC had a bad game, by his standards, but he was still our most potent attacking weopan, and when normal heads would have dropped, he dug in, kept making the line breaks and the chips and played the ball. He made a couple of bad decisions, but IMO he was still one of our better players on the day!
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Post by ckav »

I didn't read too much of the analysis on Monday. Too dispirited. I'd imagine this weekend's Sundays will be full of the tired old cliches about Leinster having no bottle blah blah BLAH. And from the usual suspects too.

For me, the main learning points are:
1. experience vs inexperience - Munster have been there, done that, more times than any other team in the competition. They've learned from their mistakes. We've come up a pretty steep learning curve in the past few months, and there's more to do. I would have hoped for more savvy use of our strengths on Sunday, (why did our ball continually go back into contact?!) and would have thought that we'd have Joel Jutge's eccentricities documented. There were no surprises from the opposition or the ref on Sunday last.

2. Need for composure - it was worrying to see Shaggy let rip at Felipe. When that happens, all you do is gee up the opposition. AGain, that's something that will come with experience of big occasions like that.

3. A harder nut in the lineout than Mal. Sorry - he's a great player and servant, but he doesn't have that fierce aggression. We could have done with Ben on Sunday.

We'll come back bigger and better. These experiences do stand to us. I had no complaints post match. Unlike the Biarritz and Leicester debacles in seasons past!

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Post by Duff Paddy »

What was also annoying is the way the Leinster tight 5 just didn't get stuck in. They hardly ever put down a marker - the maul was underused and when Munster were slowing down our ball (Easterby was also too slow and soft), they never gave them sweets. At no point did they try to upset the Munster pack a la NYE.

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Post by Flash Gordon »

Duff Paddy wrote:What was also annoying is the way the Leinster tight 5 just didn't get stuck in. They hardly ever put down a marker - the maul was underused and when Munster were slowing down our ball (Easterby was also too slow and soft), they never gave them sweets. At no point did they try to upset the Munster pack a la NYE.


Agree Duff. Guy was very slow on the pass.....

For those having a go at Mal, he made 11 tackles.......that sounds like he was having a pretty good go to me.....

Was surprised by the lineout, we didn't challenge all day, but there again, when Munster caught they didn't roll the maul - obviously the ploy was to get the player down straight away or to group to block the maul. And in fairness that worked.

Finally, WTF was Bryce doing playing with a broken hand??? Its no like we didn't have options, we could have moved Cletus to lock and brought on Eric at 6 - a move that probably would have actually helped us.
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Composure

Post by markc »

Think CKAV has hit the nail on the head there. Leinster certainly didn't choke but their composure (or lack of it) reflected their relative lack of experience at this level. BOD tried in fairness but it was very apparent that Contepomi wasn't listening to anyone. I would not be too harsh on Contepomi as a player in general but for much of the game on Sunday he was a liability. As others have said it does come down to how you wish to play the game but if Holwell was at 10 I think you would have seen a much closer contest and a much more composed performance. What I wouldn't give to have fc at Munster - at 12 of course - still his best position if you ask me.

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Re: Composure

Post by Flash Gordon »

markc wrote:Think CKAV has hit the nail on the head there. Leinster certainly didn't choke but their composure (or lack of it) reflected their relative lack of experience at this level. BOD tried in fairness but it was very apparent that Contepomi wasn't listening to anyone. I would not be too harsh on Contepomi as a player in general but for much of the game on Sunday he was a liability. As others have said it does come down to how you wish to play the game but if Holwell was at 10 I think you would have seen a much closer contest and a much more composed performance. What I wouldn't give to have fc at Munster - at 12 of course - still his best position if you ask me.


Felipe didn't have a good game. I think Holly would certainly have maintained his composure, he was the only player who emmerged with credit from last season (except maybe Shane Jennings... :cry: ). Either way, Holly is a totally different player - does all the basics brilliantly, but hardly mercurial. Felipe does game changing stuff - and for that reason I'd probably disagree that he's better at 12.....though he is a very good 12.....
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Post by TrueBlue »

The lineouts were a huge problem last Sunday-we infringed numerous times by taking out the front jumpers, and we didnt stop doing it after being called on it-somebody should have said right we are not getting away with this, lets stop it.

Secondly, I have never been a fan of playing Bryce Williams with Mal-they are too similar, and i agree BigBen would have been great to bring on in the second half. With a player like Felipe, you get brilliance, and the odd time you get awful....Sunday was an off-day, but i dont question his commitment, nor his desire. Eric brought a bit of desire to the park when he came on, as did ROnnie, who i hope gets a good run next year.

I dont think this side lacks passion....is BOD a good on-field captain??? Is he vocal enough on the field to rise players when we are down? is there anybody in the pack who can do this? I think this is the serious question.
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Post by epaddy »

TrueBlue wrote:The lineouts were a huge problem last Sunday-we infringed numerous times by taking out the front jumpers, and we didnt stop doing it after being called on it-somebody should have said right we are not getting away with this, lets stop it.

Secondly, I have never been a fan of playing Bryce Williams with Mal-they are too similar, and i agree BigBen would have been great to bring on in the second half. With a player like Felipe, you get brilliance, and the odd time you get awful....Sunday was an off-day, but i dont question his commitment, nor his desire. Eric brought a bit of desire to the park when he came on, as did ROnnie, who i hope gets a good run next year.

I dont think this side lacks passion....is BOD a good on-field captain??? Is he vocal enough on the field to rise players when we are down? is there anybody in the pack who can do this? I think this is the serious question.


I have been very impressed with RMC when he has come on lately, hasnt let his side of the scrum down and given it everything around the park. Ive never seen BOD as vocal as this season. Cant fault his leadership. I havent been a fan of Williams at all this season, I dont think he is a particularly good player.

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Post by TrueBlue »

epaddy wrote:
TrueBlue wrote:The lineouts were a huge problem last Sunday-we infringed numerous times by taking out the front jumpers, and we didnt stop doing it after being called on it-somebody should have said right we are not getting away with this, lets stop it.

Secondly, I have never been a fan of playing Bryce Williams with Mal-they are too similar, and i agree BigBen would have been great to bring on in the second half. With a player like Felipe, you get brilliance, and the odd time you get awful....Sunday was an off-day, but i dont question his commitment, nor his desire. Eric brought a bit of desire to the park when he came on, as did ROnnie, who i hope gets a good run next year.

I dont think this side lacks passion....is BOD a good on-field captain??? Is he vocal enough on the field to rise players when we are down? is there anybody in the pack who can do this? I think this is the serious question.


I have been very impressed with RMC when he has come on lately, hasnt let his side of the scrum down and given it everything around the park. Ive never seen BOD as vocal as this season. Cant fault his leadership. I havent been a fan of Williams at all this season, I dont think he is a particularly good player.


Ok, so BOD has been very vocal this season...what about the pack?.....any vocal players there.Gleese is very vocal, but it seems the front 5 are quiet...is this a problem when we are loosing up front? BOD is hardly the person to gee up the pack when we are losing....
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Post by Flash Gordon »

Bod actually needs to calm down a bit, he's getting too passionate - he's going to get carded/sent off soon if he's not careful.

Gleeso is the natural talker in the pack. But there should be leaders there too - Reg was our captain last year. Also Guy is close in and he's not affeared to talk a bit......

Not everybody is a natural leader, but you can train being vocal and talking to each other.
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Post by TrueBlue »

Flash Gordon wrote:Bod actually needs to calm down a bit, he's getting too passionate - he's going to get carded/sent off soon if he's not careful.

Gleeso is the natural talker in the pack. But there should be leaders there too - Reg was our captain last year. Also Guy is close in and he's not affeared to talk a bit......

Not everybody is a natural leader, but you can train being vocal and talking to each other.


I have been worried by BOD's onfield behaviour recently...i think he sees himself in a sort of POC mode in that he can stamp unwillingly, and scrap with people coz he feels they wont touch him because of who he is.....and eventually he will get binned/sent off.

Gleese is very vocal onfield, not too sure about Reggie...Jamie Heaslip should be groomed as a future captain....Hopefully Trevor Hogan will bring a bit of bite into the pack
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