Ulster sign Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro12' started by Gavin, May 27, 2010.

  1. Gavin

    Gavin Senior Member

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/ulster/8709257.stm



    Where will he play? Scrum-half or fly-half? Maybe even full-back?
     
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  3. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    An absolutely brilliant signing. Ulster have essentially swapped Isaac Boss and Ed O'Donoghue for Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller. David Humphreys is being slated repeatedly on Ulster's fans forum but he's pulled off a couple of real coups here.

    15. Jamie Smith
    14. Simon Danielli
    13. Darren Cave
    12. Paddy Wallace
    11. Andrew Trimble
    10. Ian Humphreys
    9. Ruan Pienaar
    1. Tom Court
    2. Rory Best
    3. BJ Botha
    4. Dan Tuohy
    5. Johann Muller
    6. Stephen Ferris
    7. Chris Henry
    8. Robbie Diack

    Ulster have a potentially excellent starting XV if they keep everybody fit.
     
  4. Gavin

    Gavin Senior Member

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    Personally I think Ruan Pienaar is more effective as a fly-half instead of a scrum-half.
     
  5. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    F***.................
     
  6. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    I also believe he's a better flyhalf than scrumhalf but Ulster need him more at 9. A combination of Humphreys/Pienaar is better than one of Pienaar/Marshall. Signing Pienaar gives ulster more flexibility on the bench too. No longer will they have to pick Niall O'Connor as flyhalf cover - now they can select Nevin Spence or Ian Whitten, both of whom will provide more impact with 20 minutes to go.

    I think he'd walk into the team at fullback too.
     
  7. Steve-o

    Steve-o Senior Member

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    He ain't going all the way to Ireland to play flyhalf, I can guarantee you that. He could of done that in SA.

    BTW from watching Pienaar for years now scrum-half is definitely his best position, on form he is number 2 in SA after Du Preez. The problem comes in if there is a decent back-up scrum-half when injury strikes in other positions, coaches get tempted to move him there to cover because he is so good everywhere.
     
  8. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Senior Member

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    :D Wooooo

    Pienaar is now Ulster's best 9,10 and 15. His best position = 9, His preferred position = 9. Question of where they need him most? It's still 9, goalkicking too I'd say.

    A new 10 and a 15 and that team looks savage, even say Glen Jackson and Felix Jones, not expensive players and that is a HEC QF team minimum IMO. May lack depth though.

    Ulster are the Irish Saffacens, now Have Botha, Muller, Diack and Pienaar in their first XV? South Africa is a Kolpak country but will the IRFU allow them to start 4 NIQ players? Diack to start on the bench I'd say.
     
  9. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    I agree with this. A fullback is their most pressing need. Jamie Smith has done okay since he was drafted into the team, attacking with real purpose but he's not great when dealing with high balls and his positional play is a little off. They were linked with David Kearney last season (Matt Williams tried to sign both him and Felix Jones). He could provide competition for Smith. Alternatively they can use their extra NIQ spot (now that Rush won't sign) on trying to import a proven 15 of international standard.

    They can cope with Ian Humphreys at 10. With him in the starting lineup, Ulster win roughly 60% of the time. With Niall O'Connor that figure drops to around 20%. If Humphreys is surrounded with enough talent, he'll do a good job but he can be improved upon. I don't think they'll recruit a new 10 as Paddy Wallace, Ruan Pienaar, Niall O'Connor and Ireland u20 international James McKinney can all cover that spot.

    Depth is an issue as you say. They've adequate cover in the pack and among the backs but are opponents going to be scared seeing the likes of Declan Fitzpatrick, David Pollock, Paul Marshall and Ian Whitten coming off the bench? Probably not. In my opinion Ulster have a limited budget (hence they had to cut starting players Isaac Boss, Clinton Schifcofske, Timoci Nagusa and Ed O'Donoghue to make these additions) and and will concentrate on getting their first XV right for Heineken Cup games and hoping their top backups can keep them in contention for a Magners League top 4 spot. It's a big ask but could bear fruit down the line.
     
  10. coonor

    coonor Senior Member

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    This is a great signing espcially that he can play SH and FH. I agree Ulster do need more strengh in depth but that will come in time as the time improves lets just make sure we have a decent player for each position before signing other players.
     
  11. Conal

    Conal Senior Member

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    quality signing allows humpherys to concetrate on his game without added pressure of goal kicks
    hope rush doest move could use the money to help pay for the others
    also we are forgetting bryn cunningham will be back next season as will willis (full bak and scrum half respectivly) this allows half back cover without nial o'connor and an experinced full back
    also wallace might end up full back i think to try and get whitten into the starting team great potential player in whitten
     
  12. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Senior Member

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    Cunningham is past it at this stage.

    Whitten will get to play plenty If Wallace is in the Irish squad and player management scheme thing. Looks a good prospect alright, we need a decent 12 coming through for sure!
     
  13. Conal

    Conal Senior Member

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    i reckon after the world cup the emmergance of a whitten mc fadden for rieland centers
    suppose cunningham is rather old now but still a bit of competition for jamie smith better than nothing as long as he can be magners standard for one more season
     
  14. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    Cunningham was a great player for Ulster; similar to Girvan Dempsey in that he never let his team down. He's injury prone and long in the tooth now though. Ulster need a 15 who can propel them forward. Any chance they could make a move for Luke Rooney since he probably won't be joining a relegated Worcester?
     
  15. Conal

    Conal Senior Member

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    probaly not
    we have resinged a hundfull of run out contracts
    signed tim barker again
    johan muller
    pienarr
    and rush (still to be decided)
    also he is a niq and im not sure we want anymore niq's
    it might just have to be a problem position for us as the academy full back is jamie smith however he has shown decent potential
    mabey simon danielli full back mc crea on the wing or is that a death wish?
     
  16. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    Suggesting Rooney isn't based on an inside knowledge, it's just a hunch that he'd improve the team. He is NIQ but with Xavier Rush remaining in Wales, Ulster have a free spot.

    Danielli is a good winger but he's not a fullback. I think it's unfair on him when he's asked to play there (as it is on Paddy Wallace when he's selected at 15). Smith has shown potential but they need somebody a bit more secure at the back - if they could somehow marry Cunningham's defence with Smith's attacking instincts, Ulster would have a great player.

    Rush won't join Ulster. What appears to be happening is that Ulster will keep hold of him until they've secured a replacement - UTV say that they've a big name in the pipeline.
     
  17. Conal

    Conal Senior Member

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    suppose it is unfair mc crea used to play full back at my old school wonder if he is capable of pkaying it now
    hopefully jmith improves to be a good stable full back im not expecting an international grade but hopefully becomes as good as cunningham was
    wonder who they have lined up hopefully a full back then hopefull irish qualified as well
     
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