Talk about the men in white, and everything Ulster!!
Agree not always a defence but in Leo's case he is certainly not a sectarian bigot, knowing the family he is one decent spud out of rugby but a hard case within it who would do or say anything to get his side fired up, on the pitch he was a tough fecker off it he is a big teddy bear.big mervyn wrote:That's not necessarily a defence.Dublin4 wrote:Fact: Leo Cullen's mother is an Ulster Presbyterian who happened to marry a Wicklow farmer. I really doubt if Leo is the sectarian bigot that it suits some here to paint him as being.
Some of the biggest sectarian ballixes in the North have come from mixed marriages, in fact it seens to give some of them an extra edge to their b!gotry.
“That made me feel very special and underlined to me that Ulster is more than a team, it is a community and a rugby family"
What were you saying about the effectiveness of a concise statement?rumncoke wrote:Baggy in his review, as have others touched upon the prospects for next year, looking at the changes to the squad , but Ulster's prospects don't just rely on the changes to the Ulster squad but the changes which happen within other squads.And wether they are in decline or improving .
Within Irish rugby I consider Connaught to be a province with an improving squad .
leinster have had the benefit of playing a mix, experience and inexperience, which has achieved results but several key players like Sexton ,Toner SoB ( who is Leaving ) Kearney , and lesser lights such as McFadden and Kearney Jr are also close to the P45 with possibly their best days behind them. During the World Cup the bulk of the pack will be in Japan and the ability to achieve the mix of experience and inexperience in the pack may not exist. Thus Leinster may struggle during the World Cup but those games may be a pointer as to how the province may play when the those Key players retire.
Munster are in, or, look to be in the place where Ulster was last year -- a coaching team in disarray , a non existent effective attacking backline ,and squad morale asunder . But within the squad they have some Munster men --who are MUNSTER men and with a sound front row and back row in the pack, but like Leinster the pack is maturing and some players may be less effective than in previous years.
The Welsh will always have one effective team and a type of rugby which makes them dangerous opponents -- consistency of performance is usually their problem.
Both Glasgow and Edinburgh are improving with Hastings being in my view the find of this season an out half willing to involve and absorbing the opposing back row without trying to evade them ,frequently, still a few raw edges to his game and thus mistake prone but not disastrously .
The Italians are also improving and like the Welsh the their major failing is consistency of performance.
The South Africans have still to get their act together,if they do they could disrupt the status quo. ( being Glasgow leinster and Irish dominance )
So where does that leave Ulster -- until a reliable 10 is found---- marking time I am afraid. BB cannot take on a back row and Lowry definitely won't absorb a back row , attempt to evade them yes, but only when a back row has been distracted and absorbed is possible get the ball beyond the cover defence. ( see Hastings above )