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Heineken Cup Final: Ulster vs. Leinster - 19/05/2012

Mrs. Peter Quinn

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Can't fault the standard of rugby out there yesterday. As sickening as it is to see Leinster so dominant in Europe, they deserve every success that comes to them, such a fantastic team
Meanwhile Ulster are an odd bunch. Capable of brilliant results and they have the beating of most sides out there, but at the same time I can think of very few other top teams out there who would have lost by so much, even against an in-form Leinster.

No.10(what's his name?) had an absolute shocker. I remember about four touches from him - A kick out on the full, a screwed drop goal, taking the ball into contact despite Trimble on the overlap, and one pretty decent clearance kick. here's hoping his confidence isn't hit too hard by it.

Why is Sean O'Brien so much better at 7 for Leinster than Ireland? He was always there. Not that he's the quickest 'jackal' type in the position, more like when he get's in there he stays there and usually comes out with the ball or a penalty. That it works for Leinster but not Ireland must be a balance issue. Thinking of the England tour to Seth Efrica I'd be more then happy for Haskell to play that sort of game for us at 7 - Strong, excellent impact clearing out, and a pain in the arse around the breakdown - In sum, a proper 6.5!
 

Feicarsinn

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Can't fault the standard of rugby out there yesterday. As sickening as it is to see Leinster so dominant in Europe, they deserve every success that comes to them, such a fantastic team
Meanwhile Ulster are an odd bunch. Capable of brilliant results and they have the beating of most sides out there, but at the same time I can think of very few other top teams out there who would have lost by so much, even against an in-form Leinster.

No.10(what's his name?) had an absolute shocker. I remember about four touches from him - A kick out on the full, a screwed drop goal, taking the ball into contact despite Trimble on the overlap, and one pretty decent clearance kick. here's hoping his confidence isn't hit too hard by it.

Why is Sean O'Brien so much better at 7 for Leinster than Ireland? He was always there. Not that he's the quickest 'jackal' type in the position, more like when he get's in there he stays there and usually comes out with the ball or a penalty. That it works for Leinster but not Ireland must be a balance issue. Thinking of the England tour to Seth Efrica I'd be more then happy for Haskell to play that sort of game for us at 7 - Strong, excellent impact clearing out, and a pain in the arse around the breakdown - In sum, a proper 6.5!
A question you could ask of Healy, O'Brien, Reddan, Sexton, D'arcy and a good few others. At this stage, even the notoriously chummy Irish media are coming round to the inevitable conclusion:

 

lucky number 7

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Lads , I ****ing love Seanie.


I really do.

Commiserations to Ulster they were unlucky in some regards.

But **** me Leinster are a cracking outfit.

3 in a row in the Aviva is finally a possibility.
 

big ginger 8

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Can't fault the standard of rugby out there yesterday. As sickening as it is to see Leinster so dominant in Europe, they deserve every success that comes to them, such a fantastic team
Meanwhile Ulster are an odd bunch. Capable of brilliant results and they have the beating of most sides out there, but at the same time I can think of very few other top teams out there who would have lost by so much, even against an in-form Leinster.

No.10(what's his name?) had an absolute shocker. I remember about four touches from him - A kick out on the full, a screwed drop goal, taking the ball into contact despite Trimble on the overlap, and one pretty decent clearance kick. here's hoping his confidence isn't hit too hard by it.

Why is Sean O'Brien so much better at 7 for Leinster than Ireland? He was always there. Not that he's the quickest 'jackal' type in the position, more like when he get's in there he stays there and usually comes out with the ball or a penalty. That it works for Leinster but not Ireland must be a balance issue. Thinking of the England tour to Seth Efrica I'd be more then happy for Haskell to play that sort of game for us at 7 - Strong, excellent impact clearing out, and a pain in the arse around the breakdown - In sum, a proper 6.5!
Some will say Kidney but I think it's just the pactice he's got as he's improved there so much since the 6N.
 

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Fair play Leinster on great win. Really earned reputation as best team ever in Heineken Cup. Must say though I thought Christ Henry had great game for Ulster and well hope Paddy Jackson can eventually bounce back because that display yesterday will be a learning curve but will set him back a bit. It's been said in a few articles it was worst performance by a 10 ever in a HEC final
 

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Fair play Leinster on great win. Really earned reputation as best team ever in Heineken Cup. Must say though I thought Christ Henry had great game for Ulster and well hope Paddy Jackson can eventually bounce back because that display yesterday will be a learning curve but will set him back a bit. It's been said in a few articles it was worst performance by a 10 ever in a HEC final
He was good, but I don't know if he was that good ;)
 

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Well, that was the gamble on throwing in a 20 year old with about 10 professional starts to play a HEC final. However, he was far from the only person out there who lost it, and at least he has the excuse of inexperience. I'm not sure I'll be able to rewatch it, but I remember being reasonably happy with both his defence and his running of the game ball in hand after a shaky beginning.

As for the heaviness of the defeat - we made too many loose mistakes, and kept looking for something after the sinbinning rather than shutting up shop. Take off those two late tries and the scoreline reads 28-14, which I feel is a more reasonable representation of things. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I remember thinking for a lot of it we stood toe to toe with them and gave nearly as good as we got, but it was interspersed with mistakes so suicidal we'd have struggled to beat Aironi.

A lot of this is in the brain, and I simply have to hope Ulster emerge stronger and smarter for it.
 

Feicarsinn

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Well, that was the gamble on throwing in a 20 year old with about 10 professional starts to play a HEC final. However, he was far from the only person out there who lost it, and at least he has the excuse of inexperience. I'm not sure I'll be able to rewatch it, but I remember being reasonably happy with both his defence and his running of the game ball in hand after a shaky beginning.

As for the heaviness of the defeat - we made too many loose mistakes, and kept looking for something after the sinbinning rather than shutting up shop. Take off those two late tries and the scoreline reads 28-14, which I feel is a more reasonable representation of things. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I remember thinking for a lot of it we stood toe to toe with them and gave nearly as good as we got, but it was interspersed with mistakes so suicidal we'd have struggled to beat Aironi.

A lot of this is in the brain, and I simply have to hope Ulster emerge stronger and smarter for it.
Tbf it was our defence that won us the game. Ulster had lots of the ball, but couldn't seem to make a significant break through until Henry's try. No shame in that though, lots of teams have had very much the same problem.

Ulster needed to be closer at half time imo. They didn't have the bench to be able to turn the game on it's head with 20 minutes left so they had to be within a reasonable striking distance so that adrenalin could drive them on for the remainder of the match. Much easier when you're 5 points behind, as opposed to 10+.

In any case, Ulster have a cracking team that will be featuring in more big games, no doubt. Bowe and Payne will help the back line next season, while Wilson will be an adaquate replacement for Wannenberg. Hopefully Marshall and Jackson will continue to kick on and they get their hands on a decent replacement hooker and back row. Henderson should be good enough cover for the second row. They're not the complete package by any means, but they're certainly moving in the right direction.

Cave really put his hand up as the successor for the 13 spot in the national team yesterday by the way, excellent performance.
 

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The only thing I can argue with there Feic is that it wasn't Henry who scored that - Tuohy got on the end of that.

Well, that and Leinster are just a far more ruthless lot than most teams. Give them an inch and they'll take a yard. If something went wrong, Leinster would make a line break. Even if you haul them down - and I thought Ulster's scrambling defence was good - you're still at the wrong end of the pitch. Plus Leinster's support runners make me green with envy - if Darren Cave had been in blue, that early break of his would have been finished off.
 

lucky number 7

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I don't mean to sound a bit dickish but I don't think Ferris was really firing that well for Ulster yesterday from what I saw.
 

Feicarsinn

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The only thing I can argue with there Feic is that it wasn't Henry who scored that - Tuohy got on the end of that.

Well, that and Leinster are just a far more ruthless lot than most teams. Give them an inch and they'll take a yard. If something went wrong, Leinster would make a line break. Even if you haul them down - and I thought Ulster's scrambling defence was good - you're still at the wrong end of the pitch. Plus Leinster's support runners make me green with envy - if Darren Cave had been in blue, that early break of his would have been finished off.
Sorry, brainfart. I don't know why I said Henry :/
 

big ginger 8

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I don't mean to sound a bit dickish but I don't think Ferris was really firing that well for Ulster yesterday from what I saw.
Nah he wasn't at his best somehow still managed to make a bucketload of covering tackles. We double teamed him and it worked very well thankfully, there were a few times where if he'd gotten the pass he's have had room to run but the pass was never good enough.
 
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Really happy with that. I loved the ruthlessness of Leinster. Even with the game won at 30-14, they kept going for Ulster's jugular. It was as though they were trying to set the bar for other teams to try and reach. Brian O'Driscoll basically confirmed this when he talked about trying to create a Leinster dynasty. The attitude of Jonny Sexton and Rob Kearney after the game that they're very focused on winning the Pro 12 was encouraging too. I think the Ospreys will be a far tougher test.

For Ulster, sometimes you learn more in defeat than in victory and they can take a lot of lessons from yesterday's game. Darren Cave was outstanding and is now miles clear of Nevin Spence in the pecking order. I've spoken before about doubting Paddy Jackson and this performance backs me up. He may be only 20 so deserves some slack but he was shocking. Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Wallace took all decision making responsibility from him. When he had to make decisions himself, he blew a try scoring opportunity and badly missed a drop goal attempt. Even going for the drop goal was a poor choice since Ulster had Leinster under the cosh and there were players to his right. Pedrie Wannenburg is no loss; looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. Chris Henry was overhyped; he's a good club player but isn't international or top level club standard in my opinion. Stephen Ferris played on one leg and should be given 6 months off to get himself right. Lord Kidney will no doubt flog him for 240 minutes in three tests in New Zealand though.

Next season Ulster should be a more complete side. Jared Payne is better than Stefan Terblanche. Tommy Bowe adds a lot of class to the backline. Roger Wilson is an upgrade on Pedrie Wannenburg. Chris Henry gets a chance to grow into the 7 role more. Declan Fitzpatrick (if injury free) and Paddy McAllister (developing strongly) give Ulster good depth at prop. The only question marks, and they're big ones, are how Mark Anscombe settles into the job and whether or not Paddy Jackson can become the type of flyhalf his hype machine suggests he will be. If I was David Humphreys, I'd try to get in a good, experienced flyhalf as a matter of urgency.
 

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If I was David Humphreys, I'd try to get in a good, experienced flyhalf as a matter of urgency.
Won't be happening, and I'm not sure it'd even be possible. He'll be (is) better than iHumph, so we'll go from there.
 

lucky number 7

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Won't be happening, and I'm not sure it'd even be possible. He'll be (is) better than iHumph, so we'll go from there.
You could take a shneaky look around England , Steenson seems a solid option and very reliable .
 

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If there was any sense Ireland would leave both O'Connell and Ferris at home. They're both absolutely in tatters having played through injuries all season (practically a whole career in the case of Ferris). It'll be a good oppertunity to see how Toner, Tuohy, O'Mahony and Henry are progressing, but of course, not a snowball's chance in hell of it happening.
 

big ginger 8

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If there was any sense Ireland would leave both O'Connell and Ferris at home. They're both absolutely in tatters having played through injuries all season (practically a whole career in the case of Ferris). It'll be a good oppertunity to see how Toner, Tuohy, O'Mahony and Henry are progressing, but of course, not a snowball's chance in hell of it happening.
No of course there isn't because of Kidney, the I.R.F.U. and the players themselves. Do you really think Fez and PO'C are the sort of people to take it easy over the summer and turn down a crack at the All Blacks? Anyway the doctors may well decide for PO'C.
 

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You could take a shneaky look around England , Steenson seems a solid option and very reliable .
Meh, you gain bugger all from Steenson. Good goal kicker, but Pienaar already has that covered. His defence is as poor as Humphreys' and his attacking game is far inferior. Wouldn't be a great signing imo.

How many NIQ slots do Ulster have open to them next year? I know Wannenberg and Terblanche are off, but I think Terblanche was only on a short term deal so was excluded.
 

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You could take a shneaky look around England , Steenson seems a solid option and very reliable .
Steenson is under contract to a side that have no particular reason to let go of him, what Mieres' Argentina commitment, and as such is presumably not an option.

BG8: Sometimes you tell a player not to do something for his own sodding good. If Ireland want a donkey's chance of getting to use Ferris at the next World Cup, they'll think very hard about not bringing him along this Summer.

Feic: You are correct Terblanche doesn't count. You forget about Simon Danielli, who's retiring, but as the number of NIQs goes down from 6 to 5 we are left with Afoa, Muller, Mystery Back-Rower (who we really need), Pienaar and Payne. So, even if we wanted to, we can't really. Not without praying constantly for Ferris' fitness.
 
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lucky number 7

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Meh, you gain bugger all from Steenson. Good goal kicker, but Pienaar already has that covered. His defence is as poor as Humphreys' and his attacking game is far inferior. Wouldn't be a great signing imo.
.
Humphreys is off though is he not ?

I'd reckon he wouldn't be the worst either to settle a game if Jackson goes wonky.
 
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