Ulster Backline Attack

Talk about the men in white, and everything Ulster!!

Moderators: The Fonz, Moderators

Dharper
Initiate
Posts: 525
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:30 pm

Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Dharper » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:34 pm

Have we regressed?.....I think yes, although there are mitigating factors.

I’ve a few thoughts in no particular order.

We are operating off 1 playmaker - Burns at 10.....we need 2. Cooneys sublime form a yr/18mths ago is over - still playing well but not the ridiculous level he was at. Perhaps group deficiencies were covered by individual performance.....not anymore.

Injuries have hurt us badly Stockdale Balacoune Marshall, to a lesser extent but still important Lyttle Curtis.

We really are missing a “Darren Cave” (Marshall maybe) to glue everything together.

.....Addison is a massive massive miss to the backline. All the skills to bring others into the game, while being a dangerous player in his own right. IF we get him on the field the backline potentcy goes up 20%.

Is the current pairing of SMcC & Hume the best from an attacking sense? Could Moore operate as a more skill rounded 13 in the short term?

Lowery is clearly developing well at 15 by all accounts, is this with a view at 10, or are we considering him at 15 long term? If so, is he playmaking from 15 bringing others into the game, or just individually breaking the gainline? (Developing his own game).

Although there is a PJ sized hole at 10 without doubt, Without Addison .....we miss a “baller”.....ie Stu Olding at 13/15 badly.

My hopes going forward:

Re fixtures: Gloucester at home is not a dead fixture - we turn them over, big time. A home loss for me would be unacceptable.

We continue to give maximum exposure to the pups - we are lacking experience in the backs as a unit. This “season” is a total bollix, such is the lack of quality in league we should be able to do so without a gamble. I fully expect further covid disruption. The benefits will be next season with others returning from injury.

Last nights BP loss was disappointing, a big performance at Ravenhill is required in the return. My concern is that as a squad we end up with a psychological block when it comes to Leinster - I genuinely hope the pups Don’t develop this.

User avatar
HammerTime
Squire
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by HammerTime » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:23 pm

No creativity in midfield just bish bash bosh and they can’t even do that in the big games. Hume and Mcloskey are too similar. Let’s see a bit of mcloskey with Moore outside him. Kicking away possession at every opportunity in the hope that it forces Leinster into mistakes was just beyond belief as they rarely make mistakes. Their basics are sh!t hot. In saying that a grubber kick or two would help keep their backs in check a bit as they teeter offside at every single ruck to choke us out going wide. Just a very frustrating evening all round. Still miles off Leinster with no end in sight. Truly thought when we should have beat them in the Aviva a couple of years ago that that was a turning point. That the usual Ulster ‘fear’ of playing Leinster was over. How wrong. The faces on the Ulstermen last night said it all they were like rabbits caught in the headlights yet again v Leinster.

Bangors
Novice
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:35 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Bangors » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:32 pm

Lowery is talented BUT unfortunately is too small

jean valjean
Warrior Chief
Posts: 1637
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:03 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by jean valjean » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:56 pm

Mclroy is showing the best promise of them all at the minute and deserves a starting position for the rest of the season. Gilroy has been a good servant but he has been overtaken by lyttle, balacoune and Mclroy in my opinion. I see Moore as the longer term 13 with hume at 12 to rotate with stu. A backline id like to see next season with back up is:
9. Cooney / Alby
10. Burns / madigan
11. Stockdale / mclroy
12. McCloskey / hume
13. Moore / marshall
14. Balacoune / lyttle
15. Addison / lowry


Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk


User avatar
kingofthehill
Red Hand Ambassador
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:43 am

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by kingofthehill » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:06 am

Bangors wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:32 pm
Lowery is talented BUT unfortunately is too small
It’s LOWRY.

Does it hold him back? Personally don’t think it does.

His running metres are through the roof.
He rarely misses tackles.
Good in the air.
Can kick the ball long.
Generally always beats first man.
Does well in contact mainly due to footwork.
His decision making is top notch.
Reads the game well.
What impresses me most about him is his body position at ruck time when he arrives first to ruck. Next time you watch him play look out of it. He would put his head where players wouldn’t put their feet.

Maybe I’m just tired of hearing it and if I’m tired of hearing it I’m sure he is.
The King is dead. Long live the King.

User avatar
pip14
Red Hand Ambassador
Posts: 2141
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:41 am
Location: Belfast

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by pip14 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:14 am

Any news on Addison KOTH. The backline runs so much better when he’s involved
You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late.

User avatar
kingofthehill
Red Hand Ambassador
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:43 am

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by kingofthehill » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:17 am

pip14 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:14 am
Any news on Addison KOTH. The backline runs so much better when he’s involved
Feb
The King is dead. Long live the King.

User avatar
Dave
Rí­ na Cúige Uladh
Posts: 20950
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Dave » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:25 am

Leinster don't have some kind of hoodoo over us. Don't over think it. They're just significantly better. Very few teams win at their DS. Not many sides in Europe could beat them at all. I think we have great young talent coming through. That's what we are all here for. Seeing the nippers get their chance is the thing I love to see. With Dan at the helm I think we are going places.

I have my own tv channel, what have you got?

User avatar
pip14
Red Hand Ambassador
Posts: 2141
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:41 am
Location: Belfast

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by pip14 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:31 am

Good to hear.

Our best backline IMO
9 Cooney
10 Burns
11 Stockdale
12 McCloskey
13 Marshall
14 Balacoune
15 Addison

Backup

9 Mathewson
10 Madigan
11 Mcilroy
12 Hume
13 Moore
14 Lyttle
15 Lowry

Agree re Lowry. Puts his body on the line for every tackle
You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late.

User avatar
Dave
Rí­ na Cúige Uladh
Posts: 20950
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Dave » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:59 am

Bangors wrote:Lowery is talented BUT unfortunately is too small
For what?

Michael Lowry: Height 1.70 m, Weight 79 kg
Cheslin Kolbe: Height 1.71 m, Weight 80 kg
Keelan Giles: Height 1.73 m, Weight 76 kg
Matthew Morgan: Height 1.73 m, Weight 78 kg
Shane Williams: Height 1.70 m, Weight 80 kg


Attachments
Screenshot_20210109-235145_Google.jpg
Screenshot_20210109-235145_Google.jpg (63.53 KiB) Viewed 837 times
I have my own tv channel, what have you got?

User avatar
big mervyn
Rí­ na Cúige Uladh
Posts: 12549
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Location: Overlooking the pitch (til they built the old new stand)

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by big mervyn » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:52 am

5'5 (I'm no bendy banana wielding Daily Heil reading Metric Martyr but new money just doesn't work for height - unless yer 6'7 and yer given name is Peter!)

https://youtu.be/SGLn5UF3SxU
Volunteer at an animal sanctuary; it will fill you with joy , despair, but most of all love, unconditional love of the animals.
Big Neville Southall

Lurgan Lad
Warrior
Posts: 1240
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 7:27 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Lurgan Lad » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:00 pm

9 The biggest elephant in the room, will Cooney be with us next year? Doak is clearly the future from all I've heard and should be getting a good bit of game time next year.
10 After the match on Friday I was wondering do we function better with Madigan than Burns? Certainly in a limited cameo Mads was very good, and his kicking from tee is top notch. Interesting question with possible Ireland implications, out of the two I would probably go for Mads.
11 & 14 Wingers we now have an abundance of them, I don't see Gilroy's contract being renewed whenever it expires as there is too much competition, and I would guess cheaper competition. Wingers don't generally win matches but at the minute we appear to have some fantastic prospects, Balacoune and McIlroy could easily represent Ireland in coming years never mind what Stockdale offers.
12 & 13 For me I agree with Pip, McCloskey and Marshall are our established and probably currently best centre partnership, neither have the distribution and timing of Cave but very solid partnership. Hume and Moore I have high hopes for both from what I've seen.
15 Addison clearly makes us hugely better, I can't see him being healthy long term though. Lowry with Stockdale and Lyttle deputising we have very good depth there.

Probably the biggest question is are our backs achieving what is expected and is there a clear way of playing to enable us to beat teams. The feeling I have is that we do, but just like a lot of teams once you get past 4 or 5 phases and the defensive line is set it isn't easy for the backs to gain a lot of yards. This 13 man defensive line is as boring to watch as anything now, don't compete at rucks and just fan out, all teams do it but surely world rugby are seeing it is an awful spectacle. One area that might address this is allowing mauls to develop more tying forwards in?

rumncoke
Lord Chancellor
Posts: 7027
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:39 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by rumncoke » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:06 pm

Defensively the biggest loss at the moment is Marshall --Last year Marshall organised the defence outside on the centre /wing by shepherding the opposition wide -- Hume doesn't seem to have that ability yet -- gets to far forward with space outside and gets the hand off in the face.

Neither Feddes or Mclroy are the strongest tacklers available on the wing. McIroy gutsy and fine ball in hand but 2 years short of experience, outside a player 2 years short of experience -- it is a defensive hole.

Burns had a reasonable first half on friday and disappeared in the second -- because for the the first 15 minutes of that half Ulster were in possession of the ball for about a 1/2 minute . And Leinster changed tactics in the second half running the ball rather than Kicking it because they were playing the game in the Ulster half.

McCloskey is not a play maker he is a line breaker 12 -- hence a flat backline ,taking early ball and early tackles . and slow recycle, and the ball seldom does beyond 12/13 in hand to the wings -- the wings are basically waiting for the cross field tap from Burns to get the ball in hand. ( When was the last you saw the ball go 10 -12 -13 -- (11-14 ) ) -- in the days when I had a season ticket which ceased about the time PJ and SO got the OKF (Order of the Kick in the Face) from the IRFU and Logan. ( Ulster andUlster backline the would benefit greatly from the presence of both at the moment not to mention Ireland ) Because the Irish backline suffers from exactly the same problem far too predictable because AKI is exactly the same type of player as McCloskey without the same power of penetration and ability to absorb defenders and the wings are staved of service.

Burns doesn't have the strength of pass to go 10-- 13 skipping 12 which PJ could do to give the Wings the ball early in space and stretching the cover defence.

Thus the Ulster attack at the moment is too too predicable .

Lowry is doing fine at 15 but would be targeted at 10 by any oversized forward and invite too many late hits to be be fair for his own good. ( referees can't stop the late hit they can only penalise after the event )

At 15 he has more control over when and who can tackle him basically he can wrong foot "a chaser" or slide into a would be tackle at 15 ( he has more control over when or how he will be tackled) at 10 similar options are less frequent and the position as player maker invites the late hit.

Personally I like and prefer him at 15 rather than Stockdale his positioning and reading the game is better and thus he seldom seems to be under pressure and handles the ball better .Stockdale seems to under pressure at full back due his positioning and timing.
Within this carapace of skepticism there lives an optimist

User avatar
Dave
Rí­ na Cúige Uladh
Posts: 20950
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by Dave » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:19 pm

*Baloucoune
I have my own tv channel, what have you got?

justinr73
Chancellor to the King
Posts: 3098
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Ulster Backline Attack

Post by justinr73 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:15 pm

Has there been any official word on the extent of Luke’s knee injury?

Great news that Addison should be back next month. He’s an option at 13.

Bobby B is supposed to be back running so could be involved in the next Pro 14 game?

Post Reply