All the best Cooney.

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MightyRearranger
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by MightyRearranger » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:23 am

Cooney's form hasn't been playing as well as he has recently, though even at that that he's still one of our key players and well worth a place near the top of the Irish pecking order. He was incredibly unlucky with the timing of the Covid break to the last six nations, before the Italy and France matches were postponed he was expected to start in both, but didn't even make the next squad.

My suspicion is that his exclusion is part of a wider 'succession planning' type approach, with the IRFU not wanting both Murray and his next in line to be in their mid thirties at the time of the next world cup. Murray has been a shadow of his former self for years now, and if I was to given the choice of him or Cooney and a youngster I'd take the latter in a heartbeat, but obviously Farrell disagrees.

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Dave
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Dave » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:33 pm

Farrell views both Casey and JGP as better than Cooney. It's nothing to with the blooming world Cup. There are plenty of 30+ players in the squad. Cooney is 30 and JPG is 29 ffs. Sexton is 35 and is admitting he's not likely to play in the world Cup with only getting a one year deal. Keith Earls is 33. He should be dropped for a winger not starting for his club and half a cap.

Cooney is getting rode roughshod.
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by lovesthehardground » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:09 pm

Agreed. Age has little to do with his non selection. The reason is more likely to be that Sexton doesn't want to play outside him, a play maker who can make decisions himself and not be dictated to by the out half. If you compare Cooney and Murray you would say - Box kicking: more or less on a par with each other; Passing: not much in it, maybe Murray shades it?; Speed at breakdown: Cooney is quicker to get to the ruck and to get the ball away; Breaks: Again Cooney better at sniping; Tackling/Cover: Cooney shades this?; Support lines: Absolutely no contest, Cooney miles better; Goal kicking: Again Cooney for me is more reliable than Murray.
So head to head I feel Cooney wins hands down. But then I a bit biased but also believe that the best player should play now rather than build for the future by picking a goblin and a youngster who may well grow into a good player but isn't there yet.
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UlsterNo9
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by UlsterNo9 » Wed Jul 14, 2021 2:56 pm

https://www.the42.ie/john-cooney-irelan ... 3-Jul2021/
'The Six Nations, I kind of left without any answers' - Cooney opens up on Ireland frustration

JOHN COONEY LOGS in for a morning video call, a framed Leinster jersey hanging on the wall just over his right shoulder, with a Lionel Messi Barcelona shirt just out of sight to his left. The space between, he explains, saved for an Ulster shirt, “When we win something.”

He last wore an Ireland jersey in February of last year, 16 long months ago. He has no idea when, or if, he’ll wear one again.

Many observers see Cooney’s ongoing exclusion from international squads as one of the great puzzles in Irish rugby, and it’s been a while since the man himself offered his side of the story.

To recap, Cooney missed out on the initial squad for this year’s Six Nations but was drafted in as injury cover, before being released without seeing any action. Last October he offered the same service when Jamison Gibson-Park battled a tight hamstring. He also missed out on the squad for the recent summer Tests, but a neck injury made that decision before Ireland head coach Andy Farrell had to.

Sometimes selection calls don’t go your way – he accepts that much – but Cooney also explains that his most recent experience in the Ireland camp left him with more questions than answers. Last autumn he was still feeling his way back from a pre-season Achilles injury, but come the Six Nations, the scrum-half felt his strong form with Ulster warranted reward.

“I think I did have a really good season,” Cooney explains.

“I actually think my season last season (2020/21) was nearly better than the season before, in terms of (being) a team player.

“So I was very disappointed not to make the Six Nations squad. I thought I was playing well and I thought I deserved a chance.”

Cooney eventually came into the squad as cover and trained away for a while, before being sent home again.

“That was kind of the issue I left the last selection for the Six Nations with… I kind of left without any answers and that was difficult for me, because I didn’t know what I was meant to work on.

“The next week we had to go down and train against them with Ulster, so that was difficult. But I was given the option of doing it or not and I thought I would go down, hold my head high and train well against them.

“I didn’t really get many answers. I’ve always put a big emphasis on just looking after myself and playing the way I want to play. Things that I probably didn’t do as well the season before, I think I did really well last year.

“I think it’s probably the best I’ve defended since I’ve had these three shoulder surgeries, so I was really happy with the leadership I showed in terms of our defence, I organised a lot of it, so it’s definitely something that I could have been told to work on that I think I have.

“I try to be self-aware in realising the things I need to get better at.”

Cooney has had contact with Farrell since, but still feels unclear on what the Irish coaches want to see from him.

“It probably was just more clarity (that I wanted). We talked on the phone recently and I felt I didn’t really get it again, so maybe we’re not on as good terms as we would have been a year ago.

I’m the type of guy that I can accept if he’s going to be honest with me, and I would prefer him just to tell me what I need to do. I’ve had these discussions with Dan (McFarland), and I’d prefer to have it out with a coach rather than tip-toeing around, because that’s something that I probably did early in my career with Matt O’Connor, and I realise that sometimes you have to have those hard conversations and get that feedback that you need.

“When Ulster trained against Ireland (during the Six Nations), I remember Richie Murphy rang me after and gave me a little bit of feedback. But I took everything he told me on board, and I did all of the things he told me to do, so like I said, I don’t know whether I was going to be in the squad this summer or not but I feel I did everything that was asked of me.

“In that way I can hold my head high. Everything that I have been asked to do the last couple of years, I’ve done it, so I’m proud of that.”

Cooney, 31, has had to get used to dealing with selection setbacks over the years, but admits it never gets any easier to accept.

“I’ve probably actually gotten worse with it to be honest, because I feel like I deserve it even more and more each time,” he explains. “I feel like I leave knowing that I should be there and it probably brings out the stubbornness or the anger within me.”

Those experiences have also made Cooney, an ambassador for the Tackle Your Feelings, appreciate the support structures he has around him.

“I had three shoulder surgeries and a broken jaw in a couple of the first years of my career, and the things you learn is that if you make it just about yourself and your own perspective, it’s very difficult to keep going.

“The whole thing that got me through that was my family, my girlfriend, the people close to me. I’ve learned that you can’t really do much without those people, and that infrastructure and support network you have around you is important because times were tough this year with lockdown.”

Cooney makes a conscious effort to look after his mental health, but the challenges of lockdown still proved testing.

“I’ve realised how much rugby takes of our time and our mental energy,” he says.

“The lows were really low and the highs were pretty low as well because after big games you were just at home watching TV. You didn’t get to enjoy anything. There were no crowds, no kind of community, you don’t see your family after games.

I found that quite difficult at the start, but through everything you learn. Through failure there’s opportunity and I think I learned a lot about looking after myself and realising that it’s all up to me and taking control of myself, taking control of the mental side of it as well. That’s something I put a big onus on and now in reflection, I’m really proud of how I reacted. I finished the season really well and I’m proud of that.”

The neck injury that kept Cooney out of the Ireland squad this month traces back three months to his concussion during Ulster’s Challenge Cup game with Leicester. His workload is still quite limited at the moment but he’s hoping to get involved in pre-season training in the coming weeks.

From there it will be a case of reset, regather and go again, with making that Ireland squad still the driving motivation.

“I’m a big lover of Kobe Bryant. He talks about there always being another level, and that’s something I always try to do each season – what can I do a little bit better?

“I’m sure I’m going to sit down with my book in a couple of days before I start pre-season on Monday, and try highlight the things I can do better.

“There definitely are (things I can improve on), there always is. You can always be better and I want to be world class. I want to be as good as I can.”
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Dave
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Dave » Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:01 pm

The disrespect shown by Andeh Farrell is enormous. Cooney has had no answers because there aren't any. There is no logical reason to drop a top performer for an uncapped player.
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by volvo » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:13 pm

Totally agree Dave, Cooney was the in form 9 ,has to be " Face dont fit" or maybe who he plays for? so blatant and total disregard for the lads feelings. :twisted:

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by solidarity » Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:38 pm

Really hard to see why Cooney doesn't get another run for Ireland. How would things have gone if he hadn't been injured? Surely he would have started.

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by allezlesverres » Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:00 am

There's a lot of chat on other forums and in some of the related press articles that Cooney won't play for Ireland while Sexton is there because they don't get on. I'm not sure quite what to make of that. You'd expect professionals to be able to get on with things but at the same time, 9/10 is such an important axis maybe the coach(es) have felt they needed happy families. It won't have helped that Sexton hasn't had meaningful competition for the 10 jersey since he took it from ROG.

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Jetstream » Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:13 pm

allezlesverres wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:00 am
There's a lot of chat on other forums and in some of the related press articles that Cooney won't play for Ireland while Sexton is there because they don't get on. I'm not sure quite what to make of that. You'd expect professionals to be able to get on with things but at the same time, 9/10 is such an important axis maybe the coach(es) have felt they needed happy families. It won't have helped that Sexton hasn't had meaningful competition for the 10 jersey since he took it from ROG.
Cooney has hinted that the relationship with Sexton was not great and that in the early days he had difficulty with how Sexton spoke to him.

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Hans Indaruck » Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:48 am

allezlesverres wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:00 am
There's a lot of chat on other forums and in some of the related press articles that Cooney won't play for Ireland while Sexton is there because they don't get on. I'm not sure quite what to make of that. You'd expect professionals to be able to get on with things but at the same time, 9/10 is such an important axis maybe the coach(es) have felt they needed happy families. It won't have helped that Sexton hasn't had meaningful competition for the 10 jersey since he took it from ROG.
I think that there is a lot to this and you make a salient point there Glasses. It does seem that for some time it has been ‘Sexton’s way or the highway’ to the extent that it has become toxic. I hope his ‘resting’ this summer (and the Lions snub) is the start of phasing him out. Of course he has been a terrific player for Ireland but there comes a time when a new approach is needed not least to accommodate up and coming talent across the team. However that requires a top class 10 to step in and wee Joey or Billy ain’t really it yet. It’s sad that Cooney (and others) have lost out to Sexton’s ego and influence along the way.
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by UlsterNo9 » Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:47 pm

Hans Indaruck wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:48 am
(and the Lions snub) is the start of phasing him out.
I wonder how much of Gatlands non selection of Sexton is down to what he has seen of him and his approach to others, from the outside looking in Sexton does come across as toxic.
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Snipe Watson » Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:01 pm

UlsterNo9 wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:47 pm
Hans Indaruck wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:48 am
(and the Lions snub) is the start of phasing him out.
I wonder how much of Gatlands non selection of Sexton is down to what he has seen of him and his approach to others, from the outside looking in Sexton does come across as toxic.
He's not toxic, IMHO he's reacting badly to the fading of the light.

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by jean valjean » Sat Jul 17, 2021 11:10 pm

Snipe Watson wrote:
UlsterNo9 wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:47 pm
Hans Indaruck wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:48 am
(and the Lions snub) is the start of phasing him out.
I wonder how much of Gatlands non selection of Sexton is down to what he has seen of him and his approach to others, from the outside looking in Sexton does come across as toxic.
He's not toxic, IMHO he's reacting badly to the fading of the light.
Sexton does well when he is the leading light and calls the shots. It works at leinster and did for ireland but put him in with the best of the 4 nations that attitude will grate. Especially when he no longer walks the walk.

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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by BR » Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:33 am

Jetstream wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:13 pm
allezlesverres wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:00 am
There's a lot of chat on other forums and in some of the related press articles that Cooney won't play for Ireland while Sexton is there because they don't get on. I'm not sure quite what to make of that. You'd expect professionals to be able to get on with things but at the same time, 9/10 is such an important axis maybe the coach(es) have felt they needed happy families. It won't have helped that Sexton hasn't had meaningful competition for the 10 jersey since he took it from ROG.
Cooney has hinted that the relationship with Sexton was not great and that in the early days he had difficulty with how Sexton spoke to him.

The corresponding article in the IT mentions his less favourable relationship with Sexton
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Re: All the best Cooney.

Post by Lurgan Lad » Sun Jul 18, 2021 4:55 pm


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