Season review-positives and negatives

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bazzaj

Season review-positives and negatives

Post by bazzaj » Sun May 24, 2015 10:13 am

My chance to pick the bones out of what has been a season of a lot of lows but a few highs.

Positives

We secured top level European rugby for next season and made the playoffs in what seems to be our transitional period.
To be honest at the start of the year with all the upheaval those were our most realistic targets and they have been achieved

The Saffer signings-I had my reservations but all 3 were readily available and seemed extremely committed to the cause which has been something lacking in some of our previous signings. May well be a South African thing and I don`t think they know any other way. Herbst in particular looks a smashing investment for the future and is made of granite.Its a lot down to these men that stability was achieved after the upheaval of last season.

The youngsters blossoming- A year in which Gilroy, Jackson,Herring, Henderson and McCloskey in particular really came into their own and have established themselves as players the side can be built around over the next decade or so.

Roger Wilson- Outstanding season of a consist level of performance and one I never thought he was capable of delivering at his ripe old age.

Chris Henrys recovery- Unbelievable considering the nature of his injury that he could get back to his best after that lay off.He is a machine.

The front 5- An area of concern that UR has addressed in terms of SID. O`Conner, Warwick, Herring, Lutton and Stevenson all stepped up admirably when called upon whilst our front liners rarely took a backward step throughout the season.

The fortress- May have changed its name but the Kingspan stadium is still a tough place to come and get a result.The Leinster game was a high point even if they were tired from their outstanding European effort in Toulon.


Negatives

Managerial merry-go-round -We get rid of one coach then sign one who leaves then get a temporary one. Just when we yearned for stability. Only at UR.The less said about the Docs departure the better

Discipline- Absolutely shocking giving away needless cards and penalties, it killed our season. Needs addressing urgently.

Non Saffer signings- Awful at best. Must do better or just give the academy lads a go if we are going to sign dross.We need a good back up 7 for Henry. Stop gaps aren`t good enough for a position of such importance. We should know that by now.

Tactics- Very negative at times trying to hoof our way out of trouble rather than play our way.Thankfully we seemed to twig on towards the end of the season that it wasn`t working but in all fairness it was Chads return that allowed us to play with more continuity. His playoff try against Glasgow was a thing of beauty and exemplifies the way we all want to see Ulster play.

Losing the big matches- This isn`t coincidence now- its a mindset.The same can be said of our away performances which have been awful and a hark back to the bad old days when we couldn`t play away from the hill. Brian and MA stopped that rot but its returned. Possibly need to recruit staff on the the playing and management side who have won things as a habit to help over come that mental hurdle.There aren`t many in our set up who have won much at club level.

Selection- We continually messed about with the centres and back 3, didn`t rotate the squad properly and didn`t rest players sufficiently which lead in my opinion to a lot of the injury problems we seem to always get. Injuries is not a separate heading as a negative as I believe it is entirely interlinked with our poor squad management.We need to stop using fringe players as break glass options and get them more involved instead of parachuting them in from the cold and expecting them to perform at the drop of a hat when a front liner is injured or unavailable.

Europe- Realistically it was a bit of non starter with the group we drew and the star losses to our squad.Despite the Leicester home game when it was all done and dusted it was all a bit of a no show.

The frustrating thing about UR for me is we know the things are doing wrong yet continually make the same mistakes. I don`t mind the mistakes but its the lack of learning I find most infuriating as we aren`t that far away with the talent we have at our disposal.
We know what needs addressing now we just need people at the helm who know that too. Doaky to his credit has learnt some lessons particularly on the tactical side but we need a man at the helm who has been there and done that to take us to the next level. Whether its Kiss or not only time will tell but he showed enough tactical know how especially against Glasgow at home to demonstrate he has at least the potential.

What I still know however is that I love my Ulster rugby for better or worse. :fleg:

Bart S
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Bart S » Sun May 24, 2015 10:32 am

Bazza

After waking up yesterday morning and seeing the other thread you had started i was dreading seeing what kind of rant you were going to go off on this morning! However, i think you've come up with a pretty fair assessment of the season. I'd add discipline to the negatives and still think we lack leadership, but maybe that's something Franco can give us more of next season now that he will know the players and command their respect. With the rwc coming up anyway, i'd make him captain next season, as rory is going to be away a lot.

With the rwc as well there will be opportunities for players to come through and make a name for themselves next season. What we need to see is players taking that chance and then not disappearing back to wherever once the big names are back. I'd like to think that in the pack in particular as well as the back 3' we are looking for players to break through and that UR would have some kind of measurable target regarding players coming through for next season (don't know what that target/objective would be right now though!).

RWC aside, we also need players like PJ, Hendo and Olding to really kick on next season and stamp their oresence on the big games for us.

Finally, Nick Williams. If he is going to stay with us for another season, then we have to work out how to get the best out of him. Particularly during the rwc we'll need that back row depth and experience and he could certainly give us some useful go forward ball which we'll be lacking.

bazzaj

Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by bazzaj » Sun May 24, 2015 10:44 am

I have toned down to simply seething this morning Bart but I 100% agree with you about VDM for skip and made that point half way through the season.
I thought he was a rock for us.

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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Lurgan Lad » Sun May 24, 2015 10:54 am

Bazzaj you half alluded to one of the bigger issues I have, that namely when we don't have our big players we are crap, and not just poor but such crappy rugby to watch it was unbelievable. Kick after kick after kick, with so little pressure on the opposition it looked amateurish. We need a squad of players that can all play the same way and for whatever reason we aren't developing that.

bazzaj

Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by bazzaj » Sun May 24, 2015 11:05 am

Of course we aren't going to be as good without our front liners LL and some our back up can be dodgy at best.
However I think we could do a lot better to integrate the squad to create an environment for the fringe players to be comfortable in.

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Hans Indaruck
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Hans Indaruck » Sun May 24, 2015 11:05 am

Baz,

A fair summary - we do have a lot to look forward to. We have had to swallow some gristle this season (Zebre, Dragons, Weegies), but when we look back to 6 or 7 years ago and how we performed then - this would have been an outstanding season!
Our Saffa signings have provided some bedrock to the side - but I would like to see more faith being put into our indigenous emerging talent. Hopefully we will see this over the RWC period etc. If we don't then our SID is doomed!
There has been a bit too much retrospection - its time to look forward to a new season with anticipation and hope for continuous improvement. 'Keep our face to the sunshine and you won't see the shadows'!!
Hope is not a strategy.

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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by BaggyTrousers » Sun May 24, 2015 11:43 am

Fair enough assessment Jizzer, I would just embellish you point about the back up cast, Rocket and the parish Lutton for example (I'm struggling to understand how he thought his stupidity was so funny).

I've been suggesting for quite some time that in our home games we almost exclusively pick our best available team when we have a league so utterly divided into utter dross and better dross. Against the utter dross we should be playing three possibly four of the lesser lights in an otherwise strong team. That is the only way we understand if they are good enough and the only way they will learn where they need to develop.

What we actually do is send them in a large group to Italy resulting this year in a catastrophic loss to Zebre and at Treviso we got away by the skin of our teeth.

As some wiseacre said, you don't learn by repeating the same behaviours time after time. It should be blatantly obvious from this season that you need your best players away from home, not just to try to put on a spectacular for the home fans.

It seems commercially driven to me for the truth of the matter is incredibly obvious. And why do they apparently think we need to see slaughters at home? Do anyone but children get highly excited by a sixth try against Treviso or Cardiff at Spanners ?

It is the one very obvious change of tactic that we can put in place straight away and get obvious results from. It is the difference in finishing 1st and 4th

Glasgow made short work of the bottom six away from home, they finished top of the league by sending teams to win those matches, not their numpties and wallapers.
Support the team and coaching staff. Forget the rest,BUT NEVER MOVE ON.

FIRFU - FU'CK YOU ONE AND ALL, CAVING IN TO SPONSORS, SACKING THE INNOCENT FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, SHAMEFUL BASTA'RDS. YOU'VE LOST MY SUPPORT & I HOPE MORE ULSTERMEN & WOMEN

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TheElephantMan
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by TheElephantMan » Sun May 24, 2015 1:33 pm

We are not just good enough,we are the nearly men.....Every season we are getting there just not good enough guys. we need to think hard over where we are going.

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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Kofi Annan » Sun May 24, 2015 1:43 pm

TheElephantMan wrote:We are not just good enough,we are the nearly men.....Every season we are getting there just not good enough guys. we need to think hard over where we are going.

Half empty stadium , when the band wagoners, yummy mummies who just want to socialise at the event and bîtch about other mummies, the crap band, all leave as they will be back to watching ice hockey. GIANTS GO GIAAAAAAANTS,
“For the liespotter who knows how to listen well, the random words, sounds, and phrases in a person's speech are never as random as they seem. They offer a clear sightline into the liar's psyche.”

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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by AlGhurair » Sun May 24, 2015 2:13 pm

Sad to say, but we were served up with a 'do rightly' season. We brought in 'do rightly' players, appointed a 'do rightly' coach, played 'do rightly' rugby... and ended up doing rightly.

'Sure, boys, we'll throw in a band, a few promo videos, loud music, photo ops, and the Cavan Male Voice Choir... no one will notice the rugby anyway...'

Do rightly - the Ulster Way.

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Snipe Watson
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Snipe Watson » Sun May 24, 2015 2:56 pm

AlGhurair wrote:Sad to say, but we were served up with a 'do rightly' season. We brought in 'do rightly' players, appointed a 'do rightly' coach, played 'do rightly' rugby... and ended up doing rightly.

'Sure, boys, we'll throw in a band, a few promo videos, loud music, photo ops, and the Cavan Male Voice Choir... no one will notice the rugby anyway...'

Do rightly - the Ulster Way.
Quality posting >appl >appl
I don't agree about the do rightly players, but otherwise, you've done rightly. >EW

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Russ
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Russ » Sun May 24, 2015 3:53 pm

The Cavan Male voice choir was the only decent thing the PR team did all season

Anyone else recently have members of the PR team check out their linkedin?

Mustn't be happy with critiscism

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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by AlGhurair » Sun May 24, 2015 4:26 pm

I secretly quite liked the choir as well.... reminded me of the 'old days' when some band from Ballyclare (the 'Friendly Band'????) used to parade the pitch at half time... they were engagingly bad... especially when the bandmaster did his jig.....

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shamalicious
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by shamalicious » Sun May 24, 2015 5:08 pm

AlGhurair wrote:Sad to say, but we were served up with a 'do rightly' season. We brought in 'do rightly' players, appointed a 'do rightly' coach, played 'do rightly' rugby... and ended up doing rightly.

'Sure, boys, we'll throw in a band, a few promo videos, loud music, photo ops, and the Cavan Male Voice Choir... no one will notice the rugby anyway...'

Do rightly - the Ulster Way.
:salut:
Nevin Spence 26 April 1990 – 15 September 2012 gone but never forgotten

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Jackie Brown
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Re: Season review-positives and negatives

Post by Jackie Brown » Sun May 24, 2015 6:24 pm

Any chance of a match clock or score board for next season?
Gonna Party Like It's 1999

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