Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

RichardP wrote:
January 3rd, 2021, 10:21 pm
munster#1 wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 1:24 pm
dropkick wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 10:45 am



Or Leinster (depleted squad) skipping the game last week to avoid defeat with the bonus that munster would be fresher for the match against ulster.
I think we might be on to something here.....

In all seriousness, I can not fathom this squad selection.
That selection would be good enough for most teams in the league, but not for the undefeated conference A leaders.

Selecting just one player from the Clermont game removes all momentum.

Saying all that, Munster have amassed a good lead in Conference B, and can afford to lose a few points, but I would rather that they retain their unbeaten status and all of the psychological benefits that come with that.

I predict Ulster to score 4 tries and win by 12.
Well you were half right!
I would have loved to have been completely wrong.

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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

2 massive games this weekend in terms of the league.
If Ulster beat Leinster then they could move 14-15 points clear at the top with 2 games in hand.

If Connacht can beat Munster, then they can move to within 3-4 points of Munster, meaning that Munster would have a very low margin of error for the remaining season, which includes at least 1 game against Leinster.

I really hope that Munster do not live to regret their team selection for the Ulster game.

Looking at this weekends game, I imagine that Munster will be very close to full strength, with HC games to be played during each of the following 2 weekends.
Meaning that our first choice players have had a game under their belts before taking on Clermont in a season defining game.

The next 3 weeks will define Munster’s season.
I really hope that we end up with 3 wins from 3 which would put Munster firmly on top of Conference B in the league, and most likely through to the knockout stages of the HC.

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dropkick
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by dropkick »

Just rewatched the match in full. It was a decent performance and nobody played badly but a few errors spread around the team killed momentum. That and getting turned over consistently which meant the attack couldn't get going.


Healy had a solid game, one error aside but I thought he was very safe with some of his early kicks. He didn't really go for too much distance like he can do and if he did and got more length then ulster might not have scored their first try. Don't get me wrong, they were not bad kicks but he looked like he played it too safe. Maybe he was told to do that.


You can see JOS is a talent but he needs to cut out the little mistakes. He's yet to have a big performance like Hodnett but if he cuts out the mistakes then he will kick on.


Daly was very good in tough circumstances because the back 3 hardly got any ball to attack with.


The subs made the impact you would have hoped for. Bringing on a load of ball carriers made a difference but it was a bit too late. Ahern unlucky after a good run from Salanoa.


There were some questionable decisions when to kick for 3 points. They turned down easy 3 points in the first half but went for a tougher kick late on when they would need two more scores. It's easy to question it after the event but I would prefer to see teams take points on offer unless they have a clear maul advantage. Ulster are a good mauling side.


Timoney was impressive for ulster.

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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Very strong Munster team named for tomorrow’s game.
Interesting that Killer and Ryan are not in the squad given their lack of gametime over the last while.
I wonder if this means that Josh W will be retained for the upcoming HC games??

Also Haley at fullback over Daly is interesting, and perhaps a hint of what we might see over the coming months.

When you put out a squad like this it becomes even more a must win game. A loss would put a very sizeable dent in confidence.

My buddy Earls is just 3 tries off of Zebo, so hopefully he can close the gap this weekend and add to that over the next 3 weeks.

Really looking forward to this game.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (c), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Josh Wycherley, Keynan Knox, Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland, Nick McCarthy, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.

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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Connacht side is also very strong, with 3 players included who are very familiar with Munster.

Wooten will be eager to put his best foot forward in an effort to show that he is worth a return to Munster.
Connacht: John Porch; Ben O’Donnell, Sammy Arnold, Tom Daly; Alex Wooton; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux capt, Sean O’Brien, Conor Oliver, Sean Masterson.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, Paul Boyle, Kieran Marmion, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Peter Sullivan.

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munster#1
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

This forum has gone very quiet of late.
I hope you are all keeping well.

Munster grind out another victory, which was almost a loss only for Connacht ineptitude at the end.
Connacht with 15 against 13 should have worked the ball out the backs and search for the inevitable gaps.

The game was never going to be a classic, as Murphy looked like a lad who got a new whistle for Christmas, and he was mad to use it at every opportunity.

The constant blowing of said whistle meant that neither team would be able to build momentum.

Munster were content to allow Connacht have the ball for much of the game, and work on their defence.
With Connacht having something like 66% possession.

Munster will be angry at how they finished that game, and IMO should have been much further ahead by that stage anyway, but made a few silly errors.

Saying all of that, games like these are very valuable, it teaches teams to be awake for 80 mins, they give players great experience of being under pressure, and affords them the belief that even with 13 men they can win a game.

Hopefully the league use the next 2 weeks to get some additional fixtures added, as I will crack up without rugby to look forward to.

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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Knox out for a while after sustaining a knee injury during the Connacht game.

Makes it even more damning that Connacht didn’t attack Munster’s 7 man scrum.
Knox is an inexperienced TH, but he was also injured going into the last scrum, granted Connacht may not have known that.

Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.
This now opens the door to Salanoa to gain a fair few minutes.

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dropkick
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by dropkick »

Out of contract players.

Marshall
N Scannell
J Cronin

Holland
F Wycherley

Coombes
TOD
JOD
POM
Stander

Casey
N Cronin
McCarthy

Hanrahan

McHenry
R Scannell

L Coombes
S Daly
Earls
Haley
Nash
Sweetnam

3rd year of academy this season
Eoghan Clarke
J Wycherley
J French
Ahern
J Daly
Healy
S French
Wren


The loose head situation is interesting. Loughman and Liam O'connor have another year to run, Kilcoyne 2 years. James Cronin is out of contract and Josh Wycherley is in year 3 so he needs to be promoted. There's also James French who looks very promising but hasn't featured yet due to injury and time is running out.

I think one of N Scannell and Marshall will be let go. Possibly Clarke too but he might get a development deal for a season.

Holland will likely be cut. Ahern to get promoted.

TOD likely to go too. Cloete got a 3 year deal a few years ago. Don't know why as they usually only offer 2 year contracts. He has another year left on his. The others will be offered contracts but wouldn't surprise me to see one of JOD, POM or Stander leave. Think Jack Daly might be promoted.

The 3 scrum halves will be kept on I'd say. McCarthy hasn't set the league alight be he is a solid backup as is Cronin.

Hanrahan will probably be kept on but hes one who they can afford to lose so he might not get a great contract offer i.e a greater reduction than most of the players. Healy promoted.

R Scannell is in the same boat as Hanrahan. I'd say McHenry will be kept on.

The outside backs are interesting. It's hard to call what will happen here. Earls will be 34 next season which is very old for a winger but they'll want to keep him on as he is still performing very well. Shane Daly is the one they will want to keep. Haley is obviously one of JVGs favourites but I think he might be tempted back to England. Liam Coombes is big and supposedly the fastest player in the squad so I reckon Nash might be one to leave too but it's just a guess. Think Wren might be left go as we have not seen him yet. Think Sean French will be kept on as he has great potential even if some areas of his game need work on.


So, completely guessing and taking into account the financial situation we might see something like the following.
OUT: Marshall, Holland, TOD, Haley, Nash. One or two big names (ie Stander), one or two players leaving mid contract (ie Loughman to Connacht) and one or two will be unhappy with their contract offer and leave (ie Hanrahan).
IN: Nobody.
ACADEMY PROMOTION: Clarke, J Wycherley, Ahern, J Daly, Healy, S French.


Keep in mind too that the new contracts given out will be greatly reduced. It all depends on covid.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Peg Leg »

That's the tough reality laid bare. I can't see POM & Earls being kept on at Munsters expense, but could see Stander staying.
This will be the first year we see every players looking for one year deals in the hope of the game being in a better place next year, the IRFU will be trying where possible to re-negotiate with players on existing contracts also. I think they will be pushing for a squad limit of 40 + academy too.
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