Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by Amiga500, Sep 10, 2018.
I reckon Kearney and McGrath will be the only unforced changes.
I'd like to see more but I wouldn't be surprised if it's only Kearney. I'd leave our looseheads as they are though. Healy is well clear, and it'd be unfair on Kilcoyne to drop him simply based off the fact we lost. He wasn't alright off the bench.
O'Mahony didn't have a good game, but in my mind it's going to take a lot more than tonight's performance to consider dropping him. He's rightfully the first back row on the team sheet. He's one of the most valuable players on the field in most games, and the logical option to succeed Best as captain. I had come around on Best remaining as captain through the World Cup over the last couple of months as he's had some top performances in an Ulster shirt lately, but maybe he's not quite international standard at this point. He doesn't seem to make a huge amount of meaningful contributions around the park these days.
I'd probably bring in O'Brien for Stander and put Jordi Murphy on the bench as he can cover more of the back-row. Maybe we could try O'Brien for JvdF instead and put Conan at 8, but I'm somewhat skeptical about O'Brien's injury profile after the last few years. If he gets a string of games at 7 he'd probably be the best option there again, but Leavy and JvdF have been doing a great job with Leinster and Ireland and it would feel harsh to default back to O'Brien before he's had a run of provincial games.
The back three is a tough call for next week. If Schmidt thinks Henshaw really can do a job at 15 and this week was just a blip, then he might want to give him another run there, but if Earls is dropped due to injury he'll want more experience in his back three. In which case, the right call would probably be Kearney at 15 and Conway or Larmour on the wing in place of Earls. Given there's a couple of players who might not be at full fitness in the back three, we probably shouldn't read too much into the selection there against Scotland anyway.
Really I thought Healy was very good and Killer did nothing wrong.
Kearney may come in at 15. But who goes?
Earls I think will be fit and to be honest I put both wingers worst performance in 2 years down to Henshaw no managing the back field.
Up front CJ will obviously be done unless adrenalin is still pumping. Van Der Flier is a superb tackler but do we need a different style 7.
Biggest worry is if Toner is out as set piece is effected then
There's no one of even nearly equivalent standard to replace Toner. Even taking the set piece out of the equation he'd be a massive loss.
I'd disagree on O'Brien, he got a decent run of games earlier this year where he was decent without ever really hitting top form before picking up a freak injury in the Argentina game that had nothing to do with his injury record and could have happened to anyone. That might have been a good thing in the long run though because instead of trying to fix a recurring injury to get back as soon as possible he got a chance to sort everything out injury wise and then returning at probably the closest to fully fit he's been in years.
Leavy and Vdf are great and they've been doing a brilliant job in blue and green but there's no comparison if we get SOB fit and on form. Even at 80% of his best I'd say he's our best option in all three backrow positions. I don't think it's an exagerration to say he's our best backrow ever or to say that he'd comfortably hit that level by 2012 or so. He showed enough against Wasps and England to make me think he deserves to start against the Scots. Equally I think that could be a game made for him because they don't have anything like the power to compete with him. If he has a good game there it could give his future career a huge boost.
After I say all this he's definitely not going last five minutes against Scotland.
I almost agree with the idea that someone (I think it was you) floated in another thread about bringing in Donnacha Ryan in the second row if that's an option. Because I think that would maybe be the sensible option in a World Cup if we were to lose three of James Ryan, Devin Toner, Ian Henderson and Tadhg Beirne. There's a marked drop off in quality after that point.
I think Schmidt will revert to type with McGrath and Kearney having had another week's training. I don't think we need massive changes or to panic before an away game to Scotland.
Agree on the panic bit. Just noting that the 2 lads at LHP didn't or don't deserve to be dropped. But he may revert to type but had McGrath been there last Saturday nothing would change.
On Kearney I agree his organisation was missed. Issue is this. If Henshaw is seen as a 15 going forward he needs to be retained there. But RK is needed and well it a crossroads. I'd go RK route myself
If we're serious about Henshaw at 15 he should be retained, Russell doesn't have the kicking game to expose him the way Farrell did. I'd much prefer Kearney with Larmour as backup though.
But mentality shouldn't be on if Russell will expose him. Russell is having superb season with Racing too. Issue is if Henshaw is being seen as a 15 he should be there for Leinster too. It's too hard a position to only play there part time. It isn't as bad if he's a back 3 player but 12 and 15 are 2 different worlds
I hope someone pulls the management up on that, even if it is behind the scenes, because I can't understand the decision at all. I agree with the respect for Stander, but he should never have been put in that position. Even ignoring that Stander struggled afterwards, surely in a high contact sport there was a massive risk of him making the injury worse in another collision. In the era of player welfare the decision is just baffling.
Was he checked at all? Can't blame management if he hid it.
Lads I'm a physio and can tell you nobody not even CJ knew at time. The andrenaline would've been pumping. Even when he was taken off it was just as a bang on leg. It's just when he stopped and blood settled the face swelled. Management I'm sure acted 100% responsible as did medical team. No chance would be taken. As ye pointed out ge wasn't having a stormer so management had no reason to risk him.
I think that's the biggest issue here. There's no chance of him getting enough gametime there at Leinster. He plays very few Pro14 games for us and there'd be a fair few guys ahead of him. Kearney is first choice and then Larmour has established himself as the backup. After that Henshaw could come into play but realistically only on an ingame cover basis. To be honest I think we'd have guys like Dave Kearney ahead of him as well. We rely on Rob a lot less than Ireland defensively I think I when he's out Cullen seems to favour more attacking options there.
And as you say 12 and 15 are miles apart and 12 is realistically the only position he's likely to play for Leinster.
Fair enough then, I'll take it back.
Can't agree regarding Russell and you have Hogg as well getting terrific distance, sometimes all the Scots have is their Kick and chase.
Have we got a number 8 who can return kicks by running them back.
Well, I think the big lesson for me from Saturday is that playing RB, POM and JVDF in the one team against a pack as heavy as England's is going to spell trouble when they are on it. Losing the options of Henderson and/or Beirne also restricted us.
There needs to be a serious conversation about POM's spot being untouchable. He's brilliant in the line out, and is very mobile. But he isn't a great carrier, isn't a great tackler and if the referee isn't letting him away with hands on the ground, he's largely void at the breakdown. In a game like Saturday, his mobility is largely negated as the opposition keep it tight. Is offering one thing (lineout) enough to justify selection?
Given our 2nd row options, SOB could have started 6 at the weekend. Or if the others were fit, maybe look at Beirne at 6. Or Henderson/Beirne instead of Toner in the row so you've another heavy carrier.
Cronin should also get a chance against someone other than Italy to stake his claim.
Is Leavy fit?
As I said in the other thread, a pack of Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Ryan, Henderson/Beirne, SOB, Leavy and Stander is not gonna get dominated in the tackle like we were at the weekend.
Horses for courses.
Amiga that team sounds all well and good but it would be 100% at the cost of lineout. Leavy is injured but while that yeam may not get dominated in the tackle it is at a sacrifice of set piece. And that isn't jyst on POM but Toner too. Like in that team there is no real lineout man.
I genuinely think that pack could match or beat England up front. Healy, Furlong, Ryan and POM can definitely get the better of their opposite man on the right day, Stander has contained Vunipola before, VDF and Toner would look as good as Curry or Kruis did Saturday with the right platform.
Best is the big question mark, he's had a few games where he's had a completely negative impact over the past few years, it's more common for him than any other player. If he's at his best he's the best we have but it's few and far between these days.
Saying all that my ideal pack would be the following:
Healy, Best, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, POM, Leave/SOB, Stander/SOB
Cronin, McGarth, Porter, Henderson, SOB/Beirne/Murphy.
Change the backrow depending on the opposition and their strengths/weaknesses, although I'm not sure how!
Separate names with a comma.