Joe Schmidt

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OTT
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Joe Schmidt

Post by OTT »

I got sent this earlier today by a friend who had in turn got sent it off one of his friends. There is nothing in it that is breaking a confidence and there is nothing in it which reveals anything tactically or otherwise, Joe Schmidt is far to clever an operator for anything like that. It is just a refreshing read which reinforces a lot of the reasons why it is easy to get behind a team which is coached by this man. If you have a couple of minutes I think it would be worth a read. Some of you may have already read it and apologies if it is up here somewhere already (I believe the talk was at some club night that he was guest speaker).





Said he has no tolerance for people not working as hard as they can
He places a big emphasis on KPIs (key performance indicators)

He referred to the New Zealand game and that the head of refs confirmed to him that Owens made an error over the last NZ penalty, but said that even after that we made 7 system errors (for example wrong body shape in the tackle) and that really frustrated him as it can be the difference between turning the ball over or at least stopping the yards being gained.

He says he likes/needs to keep the lads entertained, and one of the odder games they've had was not celebrating for scoring trys. Rationale being that they're paid to score trys, and a postman doesn't celebrate when he delivers a letter! Initially brought it into training and then quickly extended into matches. But the lads had great fun when a lad celebrated scoring a try as he'd be doing laps for the rest of the training match while everyone else got on with playing the game.
He also mentioned that any chat at all to him when he was reffing a training game (e.g. "that was a knock-on", or "he celebrated") resulted in immediate removal from the game for the offender and the starting of laps! Discipline absolutely key. And his motto was if you can't be disciplined in training how could you expect to be disciplined on the field of play.

Schmidt did say that the one time he overlooked the try celebrations was when Mike Ross scored his one and only try. "He never even scored a try as a kid, so I was happy to let that one pass"!

He mentioned that he was very proud of the fact that Leinster won the fair play award 2 out of 3 years he was there. And it was an after-match citing and ban for one player late in the season (the third season I think he said, but not 100% sure) that cost the 3/3.

They have a system of internal fines/penalties for misdemeanours, where the players impose penalties on each other for indiscretions, however small. Once a week they all gather to dish out the punishments. Reddin is the administrator and calls out all the offenders. They roll a massive dice, and whatever number they roll decides the punishment. He says the players think the worst one is a €250 fine, and they go crazy with excitement whenever someone gets this - shows they're really a bunch of big kids. The other one they hate getting is "Suits for 2 weeks", i.e. every day for training they have to arrive in a suit/shirt/tie, and after training they have to put the suit/shirt/tie back on
He was asked does he feel under massive pressure for the team to perform well in the 6 Nations. He said not really as that's his job, but the one thing maybe they do fear is the victimisation that can sometimes happen after a poor performance /result.

He said that coming up to a game, regardless of what went on the previous weekend or during the early part of the week, everything he says to the players on a Thursday and Friday is positive.

He mentioned one instance where they'd suffered a defeat, put in a poor performance and got a hammering in the press, and had another big game the following weekend, and morale was as low as he'd seen it. He said Leo came up with an idea, or basically an order, where every player was assigned a player they had to send a text too. It had to be a positive text, about something the recipient does really well. Schmidt said he was unsure about the idea, but that it worked wonders. The following day morale was back to high, and they put in a powerhouse performance that weekend.

He said after a Saturday game, the players would come in on Sunday morning at about 10am for any medical treatments, massages, general loosening up, etc. Usually 2 or 3 of them would take it in come into his office for a chat about a particular incident in the game, and he feels its one of his jobs to know exactly what they are talking about, no matter when the incident happened during the game. He said between the end of the game and the Sunday morning chats, he will have spent 6 hours reviewing the video of the game, going though every incident in fine detail. So a player knows that he can have a proper conversation with him about any incident and he'll be able to answer it. (Typically it'd be a player asking did he make the right decision with that kick or pass or similar).
He says he doesn't pay much attention to what is said in the media and respects everyone's right to have an opinion, and their right to have the completely wrong opinion! He said one that sticks out was Hook's comments after his fourth match in charge of Leinster, when they'd lost for the 3rd time. Hook said he'd clearly lost the dressing room and that basically he should pack it in. "This despite the fact that not only was he never in the dressing room, but he hadnt even spoken to one individual in the dressing room". He said the following morning, Dric and Leo came in together to see him in his office. They said to completely ignore Hook or any other criticism, that they had 100% faith in what he was trying to do and that all the lads felt the same. They told him not to change anything regarding his approach and that they truly believed it would all come together. He said that while the pressure was on, he'd never felt as good. He was still a newbie with the team, but having these two giants of men on his side he knew it would come right. That weekend they played Munster, and Drico scored a late try to win the match, and the team never looked back.

He was asked about the difference between the performance v the Aussies and the All Blacks. He said the difference wasn't as big as it might have looked. A lot of the KPIs were better in the Aussie game and they actually made less system errors, but there were 4 incidents which completely changed the game. In the first half we were in a really strong position until Sexton's injury. The timing of it ruined a great attacking opportunity. He also said he hobbled off in the wrong direction which cost us (can't say I understood that). He also mentioned a Healy incident in the 1st half that was a turning point. But even after that we were well in the game at half time. Then in the 2nd half two poor errors were made and capitalised on by the Aussies and it was game over. He said any of the positive stuff from the Aussie game seemed to be completely ignored in the media. He mentioned Fergus McFadden had a superb game on the wing and made 5 clean line breaks, which is rare in top level international rugby.

He did say the players were gutted afterwards and there was a monumental effort to make sure no stone was unturned in their efforts to beat the All Blacks.
Moved on again to talking about his perfectionism, and that if he sees an error in training, he will always stop to make sure the player understands what went wrong. He lets nothing go. Training is usually televised and he does look over the tapes and if he sees something that was missed at the time, he will call the players out about it. (Interestingly, afterwards there was a lot of talk from those supposedly in the know that some of the Munster guys, and O'Connell in particular, are struggling a bit to get used to his methods, in how pedantic he is about pulling people up over even seemingly minor errors).

A question came from the audience by a chap who said he was from Tipp and a big Munster fan, and that when he played it was often left to him to give the pre-match talk and it was usually kicking tables and swearing, so how did Joe manage to keep his pre match chats different/interesting and not just repeating what he said last week. Joe started off by saying unlike in Munster, we don't actually swear in Leinster. "But now that I've a few Munster lads I'm coaching I've had to learn the swear words so they can understand me!"

He said he usually leaves the pre match teamtalks to the players. All his work will have been done by then, though he may issue a few reminders to players on an individual basis.

He said everyone knows about Sexton's half time speech in the Northampton Heineken Cup final, but Heaslip also made a very impassioned short speech. He said it was 20 or 22 or 24 words long. Can't remember exactly what was said but knows it was an even number of words, because every second word was the same!

Someone else asked whether he thinks great leaders like Drico are born or made, nature or nurture. He said he's pretty sure most of it is developed / learned through experience. He said from what he's heard about Drico from before his time, that there was a wild side to him and he wasn't the best leader. But he matured, got his priorities right and turned himself into a great leader.
He mentioned that one of the small things he copied from his Clermont days is shaking hands when you meet someone for the first time that day. He said its something the players really took to. He said Jamie in particular is a big fan, and goes out of his way to shake hand with young academy lads he sees which gives them a huge lift. Schmidt said that when he's had chats with the young lads, a good few of them have said to him how a Jamie hand shake really gives them a huge boost and gives them such a strong feeling of belonging to the group - so little things can have a big impact.

Someone then asked a question about New Zealanders being so mentally tough, they seem to be born that way, when critical moments arrive in matches they always step up to the plate, always mentally strong, always make the right decisions. How the day before the Ireland-NZ game, in the rugby league world cup semi the Kiwis got a last gasp win against England, and then of course the last gasp win by the All Blacks against us. And did Joe agree that New Zealanders just have that mental edge over everyone else?

Joe replied that he thought that was a load of rubbish! England made a horrendous mistake at the end of their match. Sure, the Kiwis took advantage, but without that error the Kiwis were beaten.

With our game he said obviously Jonny's miss was a big moment. He said Jonny was sure it was over as it left his boot, and the feeling a kicker has at that moment is right 95% of the time. This time it didnt go over, and these things happen. But if it had, it wouldnt have mattered how psychologically strong the All Blacks were, they were beaten. Not that he believes they are mentally stronger. He said late on Cruden hit a terrible kick from his own 22 that showed clear signs of panic. Handed possession right back to us and gave us the chance to kill the game. But then he talked about the crucial late penalty given to New Zealand. He said he had a good long chat with the referee assessor, and he agreed completely that there were two clear penalty infringements by New Zealand players in the moments before Ireland were penalised. If Owens had picked up either of those, as he should have, then Ireland had the game won, and nobody would have been talking about New Zealand's supposed amazing mental strength.

Joe then talked about stuff he read about the All Blacks in 2007 versus 2011. That in 2007 they were supposed to be the best team in the world but they let the pressure get to them once again in the World Cup and bottled it. But that in 2011, being at home and post the earthquake there was no way they were going to let this one go, and mentally/physically and every other way there was no way they would be beaten. "So the story goes" he said.
"But its utter ballix"! (the only swear word he used during his talk)

He said the main reason they lost v France in 2007 was Wayne Barnes. Far too young and inexperienced a ref to receive such a game, it was a disgraceful decision to give him the game and he gave a horrible performance. NZ had 70% possession and couldnt get a penalty. All the big decisions went France's way. And the crucial try had "a clear and obvious forward pass".

Again in the 2011 final it was the referee who decided the outcome of the game. He said Joubert is a super ref, probably the best around, but he had a very bad day. He said New Zealand cheated throughout the game and got clean away with it. He said he's talked to some of the players since then and they said they could hardly believe it as it was happening. Schmidt said in his opinion, the All Blacks completely bottled it in the 2nd half of the final, they were awful, but because of Joubert they got away with it.

At the end of the day he said, its the old story, "Whoever wins the war writes the history" regardless of what the actual facts are.

He briefly mentioned Seanie as it has just been announced he was signing for Leinster. He said nearly all the stuff in the papers was made up. Seanie's agent must have been applauding every paper. But as far as he was concerned he was never going to Toulon.

He finished up by saying his perception of the Irish lads is that they are mentally tough. He has no doubt they are a very resilient bunch. He said the one area he will admit to being behind the likes of New Zealand is quality of the bench. He listed off the guys who came on as sub against us and said they'd start for pretty much every other team in the world. He said where he wants to get to with Ireland is to have a squad of 30 to 35 players, where one can replace another seamlessly, without any weakness to the overall team.
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by outcast eddie »

The guy's a visionary and would excel in any area or organisation he cares to involve himself with. He's up there with Steve Jobs, if he was a public limited company I'd be mortgaging my house to buy shares in him.

It's an outstanding piece of good fortune that we had him in Leinster and to now have him guiding Ireland rugby.

Excellent post BTW. :clap:
Last edited by outcast eddie on February 11th, 2014, 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by fourthirtythree »

Thanks for that post. Really interesting.
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Lar
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by Lar »

A search shows that this seems to have surfaced first after being posted by 'Ireland's Call' on the Planet Rugby Forum last Friday. Seems to be taken from a seminar Joe gave a while back.

Aside from the training ground info which is interesting and reinforces a lot of what we have heard before the bit that gets me most is the mention of how poor refs can be. He effectively blames Joubert for NZ winning the World Cup in 2011, blames Barnes for them not winning (or at least getting past the quarters) in 2007 and Owens for us not beating NZ in November. I accept there are many other factors also and indeed he mentions 7 errors on the Ireland side even post Owens decision, but the fact is that not only did Owens make a mistake in giving NZ the penalty he awarded he suggests there were two infringements on the NZ side that went unpunished just before that.

I fully accept refs are only human and they will make mistakes but how can a coach not get incredibly frustrated with a game where referees have such a marked outcome on whether a game is won or lost. Ignoring Owens in the Ireland NZ game the two other examples he gives are not just a referee making one or two errors in a game but making error upon error regularly such that it caused the outcome of the game to be different to what it should have been. And these were not relatively meaningless Autumn International matches (when is a potential win v NZ ever meaningless mind you) but a World Cup quarter final and and a World Cup final!

In another thread recently we also talked about our record v Wales since Gatland took over and even though Ireland have only lost three times to them in nine games two of those losses were also at least partially down to refereeing errors (the Phillips try in Cardiff and the inconsistency of decision making re Davies and Ferris in Dublin a year later - the latter allowing Wales a chance at the Grand Slam).

I am not sure what can be done about this. I don't really like the excessive use of the TMO that we are increasingly seeing but maybe the game could consider a challenge system of some sort? NFL has them, Tennis has them, Cricket has them. A limited number so as not to slow the game down completely but something to make the referees' mistakes a little more reversible than they presently are?
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by Made Of Ale »

It's annoying to read that that ridiculous Hook comment got to him, albeit transiently. Just goes to show his idiotic ramblings aren't as harmless as you might think.

Otherwise great read, thanks for that.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by ronk »

Lar wrote:A search shows that this seems to have surfaced first after being posted by 'Ireland's Call' on the Planet Rugby Forum last Friday. Seems to be taken from a seminar Joe gave a while back.

Aside from the training ground info which is interesting and reinforces a lot of what we have heard before the bit that gets me most is the mention of how poor refs can be. He effectively blames Joubert for NZ winning the World Cup in 2011, blames Barnes for them not winning (or at least getting past the quarters) in 2007 and Owens for us not beating NZ in November. I accept there are many other factors also and indeed he mentions 7 errors on the Ireland side even post Owens decision, but the fact is that not only did Owens make a mistake in giving NZ the penalty he awarded he suggests there were two infringements on the NZ side that went unpunished just before that.

I fully accept refs are only human and they will make mistakes but how can a coach not get incredibly frustrated with a game where referees have such a marked outcome on whether a game is won or lost. Ignoring Owens in the Ireland NZ game the two other examples he gives are not just a referee making one or two errors in a game but making error upon error regularly such that it caused the outcome of the game to be different to what it should have been. And these were not relatively meaningless Autumn International matches (when is a potential win v NZ ever meaningless mind you) but a World Cup quarter final and and a World Cup final!

In another thread recently we also talked about our record v Wales since Gatland took over and even though Ireland have only lost three times to them in nine games two of those losses were also at least partially down to refereeing errors (the Phillips try in Cardiff and the inconsistency of decision making re Davies and Ferris in Dublin a year later - the latter allowing Wales a chance at the Grand Slam).

I am not sure what can be done about this. I don't really like the excessive use of the TMO that we are increasingly seeing but maybe the game could consider a challenge system of some sort? NFL has them, Tennis has them, Cricket has them. A limited number so as not to slow the game down completely but something to make the referees' mistakes a little more reversible than they presently are?
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by fourthirtythree »

What I took from that was that he sought to decouple myth from reality: that NZ bottled it in '07 but didn't in '11 by saying you could also say it the other way around. And the mental toughness that saw them beat us also involved luck for them and bad play by us.
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by ronk »

He has borrowed significantly from American football coaching (not sure if directly), especially Bill Walsh (similarities are uncanny).

He appears keen to dispel notions that he's doing anything particularly special, just good management. This has directed attention away from some of the things that he's doing most effectively.

He doesn't really trust the chest-banging passion, which is why he's working so move the team away from that. He's a details person, so his entire plan rests on drawing attention to the importance of the details, rather than the emotion which so many people assign to it.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by JB1973 »

The guy is a great coach, he understands the game, he understands people, plus he recruits very well (gibbes and plumtree are proof of this) your very luckty to have him

. As for the reffing decisions in previous games, no doubt Ireland got the wrong end re phillips try and davies not being sent off, But in the grand slam game Mark Jones calls for a mark the ref doesn't give it and Ireland get the field position for their first try and I dare say that win meant a lot more in the grand scheme of things than the two you lost. These things happen refs like players, like coaches and like us fans will always make mistakes.

Rugby is such a subjective sport I guess we will just have to accept these things will happen and some will go for our team and some will go against our team

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by ronk »

JB1973 wrote:The guy is a great coach, he understands the game, he understands people, plus he recruits very well (gibbes and plumtree are proof of this) your very luckty to have him

. As for the reffing decisions in previous games, no doubt Ireland got the wrong end re phillips try and davies not being sent off, But in the grand slam game Mark Jones calls for a mark the ref doesn't give it and Ireland get the field position for the winning drop goal and I dare say that win meant a lot more in the grand scheme of things than the two you lost. These things happen refs like players, like coaches and like us fans will always make mistakes.

Rugby is such a subjective sport I guess we will just have to accept these things will happen and some will go for our team and some will go against our team
Two things, Gibbes was there for a year before Schmidt (which makes his record all the more impressive), Schmidt didn't recruit him.

Schmidt wasn't especially trying to complain about refs, he was measured in pointing to instances where NZ gained and lost. He was trying to debunk psychic explanations for results, instead the focus is on standards.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by fourthirtythree »

JB1973 wrote:The guy is a great coach, he understands the game, he understands people, plus he recruits very well (gibbes and plumtree are proof of this) your very luckty to have him

. As for the reffing decisions in previous games, no doubt Ireland got the wrong end re phillips try and davies not being sent off, But in the grand slam game Mark Jones calls for a mark the ref doesn't give it and Ireland get the field position for their first try and I dare say that win meant a lot more in the grand scheme of things than the two you lost. These things happen refs like players, like coaches and like us fans will always make mistakes.

Rugby is such a subjective sport I guess we will just have to accept these things will happen and some will go for our team and some will go against our team
I think he does, and that was the point. Not that he was complaining about NZ. We try to as supporters as it's useless, but coaches even more so need to focus ion what you can control. Ireland missed a couple of 6n championships by centimetres. Conventional thinking is that we bottled it and that the next coach instilled belief. We bottled it big time in '09. Against England Scotland and Wales. I didn't feel mcGrath's penalty was correct at the time. But NZ should not have been allowed score anyway. That said it was a peach and Joe undersells it via the system errors. Being there without the ball was the biggest system error.

I felt, as I said in the match thread, that we had some rather dubious breakdown decisions in our favour in the Wales match. And against us. But the ones in our favour really changed momentum.

You just have to keep putting yourself in the position to win. Sometimes it won't happen, the best team doesn't always win in reality, but they do most of the time. You need to repeat the experiment as often as possible,
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by AwayTheWell »

OTT wrote:
He says he likes/needs to keep the lads entertained, and one of the odder games they've had was not celebrating for scoring trys. Rationale being that they're paid to score trys, and a postman doesn't celebrate when he delivers a letter! Initially brought it into training and then quickly extended into matches. But the lads had great fun when a lad celebrated scoring a try as he'd be doing laps for the rest of the training match while everyone else got on with playing the game.
This is the bit that struck out at me and there is one player who didn't make the squad for the first two games who instantly pops into the mind. If Joe is indeed firm about this view, there were little signs of that particular player changing their ways after last weekend's Rabo games.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by domhnallj »

AwayTheWell wrote:
OTT wrote:
He says he likes/needs to keep the lads entertained, and one of the odder games they've had was not celebrating for scoring trys. Rationale being that they're paid to score trys, and a postman doesn't celebrate when he delivers a letter! Initially brought it into training and then quickly extended into matches. But the lads had great fun when a lad celebrated scoring a try as he'd be doing laps for the rest of the training match while everyone else got on with playing the game.
This is the bit that struck out at me and there is one player who didn't make the squad for the first two games who instantly pops into the mind. If Joe is indeed firm about this view, there were little signs of that particular player changing their ways after last weekend's Rabo games.
Thought that too; also the stunt on the Lions tour probably didn't help.

I was struck by the handshaking - are they practicing for future roles in Fianna Fail?
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by Edna Kenny »

With regards refereeing you could apply Joe's same logic about the Oz game to a ref's performance. Often a good performance is overlooked by the couple of mistakes. It's rare that any player or ref has a perfect game, mistakes are part of it. The only thing they can do is learn from the mistakes and improve. It can lead to some heartache for teams but it is an extremely difficult job.

I like the way his coaching seems to be process driven. It's about learning what your job is and practicing until you are completely comfortable with executing it. If everyone does their job then the team will win. Empowering the players to make thier own decisions within his parameters means the team take on the responsibility. I think all of the Irish provinces are very self-motivated so they buy into his ethos.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by enby »

The departing Penney has a thinly veiled go at Joe in today's Indo:

"While Penney admits that Zebo's trademark celebration is not to his particular taste, he says that he believes the winger should be allowed to express himself.


"I think individuals should be allowed to express themselves. I've always said that and I think as soon as you start curbing an instinct that's very pleasurable then you take away something special about the individual. I'd just hate to see that happen," he said.

"We call it the 'tall poppy syndrome' in New Zealand, where if someone sticks their head up they get it chopped off and I just think it's so wrong for young men, it's a tough enough life as it is, so if you've got someone out there embracing life and showing what life's really about – for living – and Zeebs is doing what he does on the field then that should be embraced. I hate people being criticised for that sort of thing.

CONSERVATIVE

"I'd be more conservative in nature myself but it's not for me to tell everybody else how to live their lives and I'm not going to judge him on what he does. In fact I do see why he does it, form his own inspirational perspective.

"There's a group of people at Thomond Park and there's a group of people at Kingsholm and a group of people at Perpignan and they all love it. And there's a group of people hate it. It polarises people but it doesn't mean it's wrong.

"If he's getting advice that he should restrict that and it would enhance his international selection then he should heed that advice, but that's up to him and the person who's giving him that advice."


I wonder who is Penney referring to in the final sentence? Might it be a coach who has 2 Heinekens, an Amlin and a Rabo to show for his 3 years coaching an Irish province?

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by simonno6 »

First time I've seen this forum as the source for online content..

http://balls.ie/rugby/fascinating-insig ... al-quirks/

My brother was at his talk in UCD and gave me a similar run down of interesting facts. I would love to go to one of his talks, he seems refreshingly honest and open about most things. It's the way forward - fair play.
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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by suisse »

And the view from The Red Army...

http://www.munsterfans.com/threads/34611-Joe-Schmidt

Does anyone remember when sewa used to post here? :lol: Good to see he's still a bitter little w&%ker after all these years.

You'd really hope a successful national team would help to heal some of the provincial wounds . Guess it'll take a while longer yet.

In fairness, it is interesting to read their take on Zebo. If only the mods over there did their job and rooted out the tw@ts.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

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suisse wrote:If only the mods over there did their job and rooted out the tw@ts.

The Mods on that site are the biggest bunch of slack jawed yokles I have ever come across.

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by Stuka »

[/quote]Thought that too; also the stunt on the Lions tour probably didn't help.quote]


That was fairly unbelieveable alright. I was amazed that some people thought that was funny?!

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Re: Joe Schmidt

Post by fourthirtythree »

suisse wrote:And the view from The Red Army...

http://www.munsterfans.com/threads/34611-Joe-Schmidt

Does anyone remember when sewa used to post here? :lol: Good to see he's still a bitter little w&%ker after all these years.

You'd really hope a successful national team would help to heal some of the provincial wounds . Guess it'll take a while longer yet.

In fairness, it is interesting to read their take on Zebo. If only the mods over there did their job and rooted out the tw@ts.
Most of them seem to get it and not be offended. Sewer is an idiot, when he used to post here he kept on offering to meet me for a fight! Tickettout (who sometimes trolls here) is also an idiot. Other than that it's fairly reasonable stuff. There was content in the post which could be taken up badly (the cursing thing which was obviously tongue in cheek given the nature of Heaslip's impassioned speech).

Obviously though for the slack jawed idiot crew down there Penney just needs to start throwing insults in Heaslip's direction (he always gets dragged in by the most idiotic down there) to fully cement his legend status...
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
What the thunder said to Brian Lenihan

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