Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

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Bart S
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Bart S » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:27 pm

NOC is a decent young prospect who COULD end up being a good player for Ulster and who knows; even Ireland. However (and I've said this before last night) we're either a) taking a huge risk by having him as our no. 1 outhalf with no real quality back up next season or b)accepting that next season is going to consist of trying to beat the lower ML teams and try and at least compete against some of the better ones when their players are away on international duty. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, given the well documented problems of having to replace a number of players who are leaving and therefore spread the limited money pot around, but that would be the reality.

NOC's better performances this season have made me think that he's shown some promise, but is far from the finished article. If Paddy or Hump had put in these performances we wouldn't be raving about them. Of course he's young and is hopefully still learning, but the reality is that it's a hell of a lot of pressure on him if we're to rely on him as out no.1 next season. From his performances for Ireland A, I think he still looks well off that level and also H Cup level.

Poor/medicore teams can sometimes win games they might not otherwise have won if they have a decent outhalf and right now this is what Ulster need. An experienced 10 would at least take some of the pressure of NOC, yet still allow him to get some decent game time next season.

On another note I've been disappointed by the lack of game time young Mark McCrea has been given. He has looked a pretty decent player who I think has improved over the season as he's got a bit of confidence and I'd really like to see more of him in an Ulster shirt. With Tommy leaving, surely he and Danielli (when fit) should be our 1st choice wingers?

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by GerryO' » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:29 pm

O'Connor is on a steep learning curve and doing well. He had a tough evening playing against the Lions flyhalf for '09. If he continues to progress at the same speed he'll be a goodun sooner rather than later.
Still think we could use a Dan Parks type player for next seasons HEC
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Rooster » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:46 pm

The past 2 games he has been up against possibly the best 2 sides in the Magners league, Ospreys league position does not show it mostly because they lose most of their team during internationals, in fact if you look at this years HEC teams I doubt if there are 10's any better than ROG and Hook.
The Ospreys are playing in much the same style as Wales at the breakdown, which is understandable, but once someone works out how to handle that plus the blocking runners they will be on a hiding to nowhere as new game types like that get cracked with time and then they totally fall apart.
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by ding dong2u » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:41 pm

Agree that they are two good sides but that was well short of the O's full team last night and we still got crapped on. The two things that annoy most are our inability to take the cjances created and the abject attempts at tackling ..... bloody disgrace for pro rugby players :roll:
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by bogboy » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:19 pm

To be in that match only 15- 7 down with 10 minutes to go - against the bulk of the Welsh International side and a couple ABs was a hell of defensive performance and this was despite a ref who was well off the pace of the game and the ploys The Os have developed over the last 2 seasons eg crossing and blocking and the wide pass out and then a frequently forward pass back infield

Boss was Boss and did what was necessary to take the pressure off N'oC in the second half deep in side our 20 metre line

O Connor missed a couple of Kicks from the floor ( as did Hook ) missed or overkicked a couple of line kicks which might lead me to think the wind was unpredictable and/or the pressure might have been getting to him hence the Boss take the pressure off

Matt was at his best in the lineout but got caught flat/ wrong footed due to the pace and ploys of the Os midfield which can happen to the Best of players

Harrison looked what Harrison is an over 30 lineout specialist with savvy( but little else)

Front row and forwards generally( came up to the mark) excluding Harrison

The problem in assessing the game and comparing it to the Munster Match is that The Os and Munster have little in common
Munster used their Second row Backrow as attackers round the fringes the Os rely on their backplay with a quick recycle of the ball and the use ploys and ruses to create the gaps in midfield

The whole game plan from Ulster to my mind appeared to be play to come home with a bonus point against a free flowing attacking backline -- ie K I S S approach game --that they nearly succeeded will I think please Matt

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by rosetintedgoggles » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:47 pm

Don't want to enter the Boss debate but.......at least he is willing and able to tackle, unlike some of his rather larger team mates! +VE

Dear, dear , dear what has happened to Andrew Trimble over the course of this season? He was simply awful last night. On this form can he seriously be considered a certainty for the Connacht match? -VE

Thanks be that Connacht are so p**s poor! +VE

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by ulster_heroes » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:49 pm

4 games in and looking positive for the most part. the main thing is that like the lineout against munster, we can improve this area the following weeks. with patience hopefully williams can revitalise the whole team and their play

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Rooster » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:58 pm

Positive :lol:
YM reckons Castre even worse than Ulster :shock:
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by againstthehead » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:49 pm

GerryO' wrote:O'Connor is on a steep learning curve and doing well. He had a tough evening playing against the Lions flyhalf for '09. If he continues to progress at the same speed he'll be a goodun sooner rather than later.
Still think we could use a Dan Parks type player for next seasons HEC
Absolutely, GerryO. NOC has ability and potential but we can't expect him to have the leadership qualities as well. Our backline has absolutely no leadership in attack or defence. They look clueless at times. We really need someone at 10 or 12 to take responsibility, make the calls etc etc. A quality 10 will be hard to come by but would be top of my shopping list this summer. Parks would be a realistic option if available. Dawson had a decent game last night but lacks a touch of pace for my liking. I'd love to see a quality openside alongside Ferris in the backrow.

Yes, we've had back to back matches away against 2 of the best sides in europe but hell were we absolutely smoked. Last night could have been a cricket score with or without the ref.

I have to say that I'm also slightly critical of MW. One minute he's selecting younsters, then he's selecting the golden oldies and 4 number 8's in his last extended squad. I'm not quite sure what he's up to but I hope he does... In addition, he has a tendany to make his replacements very late on. In addition, does he like the Ozzies: Harrison, Bart and Court all seem to getting plenty of gametime...
I'm being a bit harsh maybe.
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Chris G » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:35 pm

I think Nial O'Conner has a lot of potential, he has a great boot and I think given time will become a great player. One aspect that I did notice was he didn't seem to be talking a lot during the match, I know he is 20 and is playing with many players who have been there and done that, but that is the next step for him, he is in a key decision making position and needs to shout more at the players round him.

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Neil F » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:41 pm

Chris, I agree with you about a lack of communication. But... I think we here at Ulster have been spoiled by David Humphreys and his communication for a number of years now. Dare I say that it took O'Gara until Munster's HC winning season to begin properly communicating with those aroung him? Certainly, this was the case at international level. I think Niall's communication with those around him is something that will come with time (although, certainly, it's something that we should be wanting him to develop sooner, rather than later). That said, Niall is hugely confident, at least for someone who is 20 - his willingness to take on his first missed kick against the O's is testament to that - his head is clearly in the right place, even if his execution needs work. The guy has the makings of an excellent player - given a solid mentor to learn from (and given the change in NO'C's kicking style to the off-the-toe style we've seen so often from the Humph, I'd say it's clear that he's willing to learn from those with the experience to teach him) he could be something in a few years. I just hope Ulster don't ask too much from him too soon.

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by againstthehead » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:48 am

you sound as if ur coming around to my way of thinking! A new flyhalf required?
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by bigchiefally » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:59 am

againstthehead wrote:you sound as if ur coming around to my way of thinking! A new flyhalf required?
:stir:
Nah, unless we could get a real world class player, and I am not sure Parks/Patterson/Goode etc are that, I dont see the point in getting someone who is only a little better than a 20 year old Irish qualified player who is only going to improve with game time, not bench time.

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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by againstthehead » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:18 am

Will he improve if he's under continuous pressure to preform? Maybe, maybe not. Ideally, we'd be after someone who could play fly half and another position. That would allow NOC to get decent game time. I like Patterson but I realise a lot of you guys don't rate him as a 10. I reckon he could do a job, certainly in the Magners but given the choice I'd take Goode or Parks. Evans would be the dream ticket but realistically it's very very unlikely. :duck:
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Re: Positives and Negatives: Osprey's V Ulster

Post by Rooster » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:27 am

againstthehead wrote:Will he improve if he's under continuous pressure to preform? Maybe, maybe not. Ideally, we'd be after someone who could play fly half and another position. That would allow NOC to get decent game time. I like Patterson but I realise a lot of you guys don't rate him as a 10. I reckon he could do a job, certainly in the Magners but given the choice I'd take Goode or Parks. Evans would be the dream ticket but realistically it's very very unlikely. :duck:
Goode could play inside centre same as Contipomi for Leinster with Sexton.
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