Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by ThebigARena, Dec 7, 2018.
European Rugby Champions Cup
Credit to Ulster and deserved In the end. We are far too predictable in attack Ulster had a brilliant defensive game tonight and all we needed was a chip over the top, Patchell failed to spot that tonight . standouts JD and jonny mchnicholl the 2 real impact players that created a half gap and off load , credit steff for finishing the 2 tries. We are not a bad side but you can tell we are in disarray, I think with pivac moving on its affecting the mojo somewhat.
How big a loss has Tadhg Beirne been?
MASSIVE to replace him and barkley was always a monumental task
Baffles me why he is not a starter for the Irish team although the strength in-depth is high in that position, he'd be in my top 15 of the last 3 years for sure.
I think given that the nicest word to describe Best's throwing is inconsistent, we need Toner in there to keep the lineout working and then James Ryan is just better than all if them. Give it time though and it could easily change.
Scarlets have just lost a bit too much in the pack I think. Europe isn't going particularly well for them and then obviously they're 15 points behind already in their Conference. That all said there's obviously the quality there especially in the backs where they're really dangerous. They could easily turn it around and be really in the running by the end of the season. They'll want to send Pivac off on a high as well.
Well that was disappointing. And the hoary old excuses of injuries and player transfers just won't wash - every team has them!
As a relative neutral (I do always support the Irish sides and the underdogs and Ulster were both) this was a great game to watch. Lots of errors on both sides, probably down to the conditions, but some great rugby too. High comedy and high drama; can't ask for much more than that.
Also worth saying that while Best and Henderson didn't have the best Autumn it's always really obvious when they play for Ulster why they're the guys in that pack who play for Ireland. Guys like Murphy and Moore are really helping as well obviously though along with Coetzee at 8 who's turning into a brilliant signing now that he's finally fit.
Anyone else have thoughts on whether or not Moore can get further up the Ireland TH order than fifth between now and the WC? Joe never really liked him that much tbh but he's still a talented player even if there are questions over his mentality and work rate (not the tag you want to get tbh when Schmidt is picking the team)
Disregard the lineout and I still think he goes with Toner. Himself and Best are in that squad to hit offensive rucks ro allow the rest conserve their energy a bit for carrying. (Ryan excluded because he doesn't fatigue) We wouldn't be able to play the possession game we do with Beirne in in Toners stead.
It's not just injuries and departures, there's a number of key players who are playing well below their standards of the last 2 year's.
McNicholl and Steff Evans are dangerous ball in hand, but both are flaky as hell atm, turning ball over at an alarming rate. Parkes is way below his best, as was Patchell yesterday. Gareth Davies started the season brightly, but he's been poor in the AI's and was shocking yesterday imo, amazed he was on the pitch for so long with his wayward passing and box kicking, and very little of his sniping game and support running which usually compensates for his deficiencies.
JD2 was even shown up defensively, not often that happens!
They're also making an alarming number of mistakes and giving away endless needless penalties. Never going to win like that.
I'm not too concerned about Pivac and Stephen Jones abilities yet, I don't think there's much they can do when players are making poor decisions and passes are going to ground. But they do need to turn it around and really target finishing on a high in the Pro 14.
If Ulster can back that up and win next week it's the most significant thing they'll have done in Europe for yonks. If they escape from the group being the worst qualifier they can definitely claim to be going in the right direction.
Don't get me wrong, Toner's work around the park is criminally underrated and he'd probably start even if he wasn't 6'11, I just think that the lineout is what makes him more an automatic selection (or closer to one).
Precisely my point. On paper that was a good Scarlets team but they weren't performing to their full capabilities.
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