What's gone wrong with Munster?

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro12' started by snoopy snoopy dog dog, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Simple question. Eight games into the season and they've won just four. Are they over the hill, poorly coached or are there other reasons behind their loss in form? Is it a temporary blip or a sign of things to come for an ageing squad?
     
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  3. Simple answer. Ronan O'Gara.
     
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DuncTheDoodle @ Oct 25 2009, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Add O'Connell, Quinlan, JDV & Mafi to those reasons.
     
  5. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    They're obviously still a team with great talent. The likes of JdV will perform once he get's settled in, if that'll be alongside Mafi is another matter. The same goes for the forwards, although some of them may be slightly over the hill. As for O'Gara, I honestly think he might be finished, his confidence just seems shot. The biggest thing to have gone though is their winning habbit. They're not quite a team that's packed with superstars like the Ospreys or Stade, who can pull a win from anywhere. They've usually won most of their games because they're used to winning, with their forwards especially never loosing hope. That confidence seems to have gone. That's effected the way they play and just as importantly the way other teams view them.

    They are still a good team, but they're now just an a level playign field with everyone else, and unfortunately they come up short in a number of crucial positions.
     
  6. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    I see it as a loss in general form, whether due to an ageing squad or poor form of returning Lions I don't know. I don't see them being as good as they were a season or two ago for a while, but I imagine they'll still win their European pool; the bonus point they acquired at the Garden will go a long way for them.
     
  7. Gavin

    Gavin Guest

    Munster are just in bad form. O'Gara playing complete crap really does not help matters, and the forwards not fronting up is also a problem. It could just be a hangover from the Lions Tour, I hope it is. Luckily things can only get better.
     
  8. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    Funny how O'Gara's poor form coincides with the Munster pack turning into a bunch of ladies. Leinster absolutely hammered them up front. The saints did the same. Treviso did for a half, and Edinburgh, despite being smaller and lighter actually got parity. Their pack is playing pish poor and the kids arent freshening it up too much. Great prospects they may be, but they havent delivered yet. Any team without a pack will struggle. the fact they they got the BP away to saints was a massive bonus.

    O'Gara is playing total an utter shite. Even the most died in the wool munster man is calling for him to be dropped. I agree.

    DeVilliers and Mafi arent combining, but they are playing outside of o'Gara so that could be half the problem. Personally i always thought deVilliers was a bit overrated as an offensive threat so I'm not too sure what the Munster fans expect of him.

    Coaching has to be stale. its the same regime for years and a new coach trying to put his own name to it. Personally i think a team like Munster should be coached by McGeechan or Pat Howard, not Tony "I was promoted" McGahan. (Incidently i dont want an internal promotion when Cheika goes either.) These are top quality players they should be coached by the best.
     
  9. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Guest

    It's a little bit of f***ing everything to be honest. Laurie Fisher as forwards coach has to take a lot of slack, as does O'Gara. Our players lack gametime and form, we don't have a player capable of throwing to the back of the lineout, we don't have a scrum, we have a f***ing awful attitude.

    Hopefully It's just a blip, but it's f***ing worrying.

    I know the centrally contracted system has it's advantages, but if we were a french club O'Gara would be cleaning Warwick's boots and asking him for tips, we would have our pack playing big games from early on in the season, and not being thrown into big games and be expected to pull some form out of thin f***ing air.

    The international break can't come quickly enough.
     
  10. shtove

    shtove Guest

    What's gone wrong with Munster?

    Lots. But all will be fixed when it matters.

    They have HEC bonus points in their bones. Northampton don't. And Thomond will cover any risk of not getting out of the pool.

    After that Munster will grow in strength.

    It looks like the top Frenchies have greater strength. Same old story.

    Premiership teams have been disappointing after a good HEC start, and England is going to demand too much of the players for the AIs/6N.

    Leinster and Ulster will be there or thereabouts. Not sure about the Welsh.

    Therefore, Munster will be champions again. Place your bets!
     
  11. durbutter

    durbutter Guest

    " And if anybody asks me, is it easy to forget, I'll say its easily done, you just pick anyone and act as if they never have met"
     
  12. <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ Oct 25 2009, 07:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I agree with almost everything you've posted here.

    The pack have changed the way they've played since early last year. In the first 6 months of McGahan's reigh, the forwards were running from deep as first receiver and smashing over the gainline. They barged their way through rucks with reckless abandon freeing space for their backs to operate out wide. I doubt John Hayes ever carried as much ball as he did before Christmas last season. This year, Marcus Horan and Denis Leamy in particular have gotten back into old habits of waiting statically on the wing and between the centres respectively. The results is slow ball and a cluttered midflield neutering the backline.

    O'Gara's total loss of form is a massive issue. It'll be interesting to see who Declan Kidney picks next month. For the last 5 or so years he's been the only viable international option at 10 thus the IRFU would never allow Munster replace him. If Sexton and/or Humphreys show they've up to it at international level over the next 6 weeks, it might afford Munster the opportunity to drop ROG. Right now, Paul Warwick is a better option to run that backline. Hell, even the eternally average Jeremy Manning played better early this season.

    The signing of Jean De Villiers was great on paper but may have upset the balance of the team. Both he and Lifeimi Mafi operate best as 12s. Perhaps Munster may be better off picking one or the other (likely De Villiers for big games) inside Keith Earls. Mafi would make one hell of an impact offthe bench.

    I've no issue with Tony McGahan as head coach and think he's done a terrific job. He recognised that he was inexperienced so he brought in a head coach (Laurie Fisher) as assistant to help him along. He got David Wallace, Alan Quinlan and Tomas O'Leary playing the best rugby of their careers. He gave Keith Earls a chance when Declan Kidney wouldn't. He cleared out a lot of dead wood from the squad and recruited very well - Brugnaut, Morland, Jones, De Villiers and Varley all look like good additions. He's actively trying to improve the academy from it's previously inadequate level. I think he's failing in one major area though.

    In an almost Eddie O'Sullivanesque manner, McGahan is taking too much work upon himself. When he took the job as head coach, he was the backs coach and defense coach. Neither role has been adequately replaced. As backs coach he put in a video analyst without any experience, Jason Holland. I suspect McGahan is still very much in charge of this area. They still haven't brought in a defense coach. Paul McCarthy wasn't a great scrum coach but he hasn't been replaced. Fisher doesn't seem capable of fixing the lineout problems yet he hasn't gotten any outside help in that area.

    In short, Munster will improve when they fix their problem at 10 and their coach delegates responsibility a bit more. Longer term, they need to find some players to replace Hayes, O'Connell, Wallace, Quinlan and O'Gara. They have some talent in their academy but I doubt any are as good as the players they've going to replace over the next 2 or 3 seasons.
     
  13. monkeypigeon

    monkeypigeon Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (snoopy snoopy dog dog @ Oct 26 2009, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I agree with almost everything you've posted here.

    The pack have changed the way they've played since early last year. In the first 6 months of McGahan's reigh, the forwards were running from deep as first receiver and smashing over the gainline. They barged their way through rucks with reckless abandon freeing space for their backs to operate out wide. I doubt John Hayes ever carried as much ball as he did before Christmas last season. This year, Marcus Horan and Denis Leamy in particular have gotten back into old habits of waiting statically on the wing and between the centres respectively. The results is slow ball and a cluttered midflield neutering the backline.

    O'Gara's total loss of form is a massive issue. It'll be interesting to see who Declan Kidney picks next month. For the last 5 or so years he's been the only viable international option at 10 thus the IRFU would never allow Munster replace him. If Sexton and/or Humphreys show they've up to it at international level over the next 6 weeks, it might afford Munster the opportunity to drop ROG. Right now, Paul Warwick is a better option to run that backline. Hell, even the eternally average Jeremy Manning played better early this season.

    The signing of Jean De Villiers was great on paper but may have upset the balance of the team. Both he and Lifeimi Mafi operate best as 12s. Perhaps Munster may be better off picking one or the other (likely De Villiers for big games) inside Keith Earls. Mafi would make one hell of an impact offthe bench.

    I've no issue with Tony McGahan as head coach and think he's done a terrific job. He recognised that he was inexperienced so he brought in a head coach (Laurie Fisher) as assistant to help him along. He got David Wallace, Alan Quinlan and Tomas O'Leary playing the best rugby of their careers. He gave Keith Earls a chance when Declan Kidney wouldn't. He cleared out a lot of dead wood from the squad and recruited very well - Brugnaut, Morland, Jones, De Villiers and Varley all look like good additions. He's actively trying to improve the academy from it's previously inadequate level. I think he's failing in one major area though.

    In an almost Eddie O'Sullivanesque manner, McGahan is taking too much work upon himself. When he took the job as head coach, he was the backs coach and defense coach. Neither role has been adequately replaced. As backs coach he put in a video analyst without any experience, Jason Holland. I suspect McGahan is still very much in charge of this area. They still haven't brought in a defense coach. Paul McCarthy wasn't a great scrum coach but he hasn't been replaced. Fisher doesn't seem capable of fixing the lineout problems yet he hasn't gotten any outside help in that area.

    In short, Munster will improve when they fix their problem at 10 and their coach delegates responsibility a bit more. Longer term, they need to find some players to replace Hayes, O'Connell, Wallace, Quinlan and O'Gara. They have some talent in their academy but I doubt any are as good as the players they've going to replace over the next 2 or 3 seasons.
    [/b][/quote]

    Their pack is playing pish poor and the kids arent freshening it up too much. Great prospects they may be, but they havent delivered yet.

    I agree with almost all of that none of the youngsters have really been given a chance to deliver. Darragh Hurley has only got a game and a half, just back from injury because nearly the entire front row was out. Donnocha Ryan has played well enough but only gets time off the bench which really isn't enough.

    Besides that Ian Nagle and Stephen Archer who played well in pre-season haven't even seen the bench since. Peter O'Mahony, Last years Ireland U-20 World Cup captain didn't even get pre-season game time. And the 2 best prospects (in my oppinion), the Brians Hayes and O'Hara are in the 'sub-academy' even though there's space in the full academy. Which strikes me as a tad retarded.

    Meanwhile, in the backs Danny Barnes and Scott Deasy also had brilliant preseasons and haven't been since since either. If this were Leinster (or Wales) they'd have seen some sort of action by now.

    Also, Damien Varley is a better player than Fogarty and has seen F All match time.

    So the comparrisons to an Eddie O'Sullivan reime are ringing true it seems - Once you have a plan you stick with it even if it isn't working (JDV - Mafi).

    Oh, yes, Tommy O'Donnell has played as well as whoever he's replaced every time he comes off the bench. Dunno why we don't see more of him.
     
  14. <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Monkeypigeon @ Oct 30 2009, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Looking at all the players you've mentioned......

    Hurley is out injured again! Munster are having all sorts of problems in the front row. Dave Ryan, Marcus Horan, Darragh Hurley and Tony Buckley are all injured while Hayes is deservedly suspended. In fact there have been some rumours that Marcus Horan's injury troubles could be very serious - potentially career threatening. I suppose the upside of this is that Stephen Archer is going to get an opportunity to show what he can do.

    Donnacha Ryan is in a tricky spot. Declan Kidney clearly rates him but he won't advance without game time. Dislodging POC and DOC (even MOD) is a difficult task but the less action he sees, the more the likes of Ian Nagle, Dave Foley and Brian Hayes creep up behind him. Ryan may have to consider leaving Munster to get the match practice he needs.

    I'd have no issue with Nagle failing to make the bench given Munster's abundance of talent in the second row.

    Peter O'Mahony is a curious case. He's a very skillful backrower who has a big future ahead of him. I view him as more of a 6 than an 8 due to his athleticism and see him as Alan Quinlan's long term replacement. I don't blame McGahan for not picking him since O'Mahony is only just breaking through for Cork Con who are picking him at 7. Should he play well for Con and Munster A over the next 4 or 5 months, he could force his way into a couple of Munster squads by the end of the season.

    The decision not to have Hayes and O'Hara in the full academy baffles me. I know that Munster already have a couple of 2nd rows in the academy but Hayes is a serious talent who's already making a mark for Cork Con in AIL 1A despite only being a couple of months out of school. If Munster aren't careful, it wouldn't shock me to see him snapped up by another academy, be it in Ireland or the UK, since he clearly has the talent to push on.

    Barnes and Deasy would be viewed as options in the centre however they've a lot of traffic in front of them. Are either good enough to displace Mafi, De Villiers, Earls or Murphy. I'd view them as better talents than Tom Gleeson but given the options in front of them, they'll struggle for games this year.

    Varley has been very impressive when he's played. I agree, right now he should be ahead of Fogarty but McGahan obviously rates Fogarty's ball carrying above Varley's defensive work at the moment.

    I wouldn't write off the De Villiers - Mafi partnership just yet but if they aren't firing come the back to back games against Perpignan, McGahan certainly must rethink his options. De Villiers has looked okay thus far but Mafi is out of sorts.

    Tommy O'Donnell is a superb talent. He really should be vying with Niall Ronan (who's lack of physicality has been exposed this year) as the 4th choice backrow player. He's a far better player than either Nick Williams or Billy Holland.

    In my opinion, four of O'Donnell, O'Mahony, O'Hara, Hayes, Nagle, Foley and Ryan are more than good enough to replace Quinlan, Wallace, O'Driscoll and O'Callaghan for years to come. In the backline, Barnes, Hurley and Jones can come in for Howlett, Dowling and Warwick without too much difficulty given another year's development. Keith Earls should develop into a magnificent centre. Against that, I don't think there are any ready made replacements for O'Gara, Hayes, O'Connell or Horan. While O'Connell has quite a few years left in the tank, the other three more than likely don't. That must be very worrying for Tony McGahan.
     
  15. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    It's not like they don't have the depth either...
    The Munster v All Blacks match proved that their reserves are talented and play until the whistle. Those are the same boys who are stepping up to fill in. It's the spirit, the heart of Munster Rugby that seems to be lacking. They had it 1 and 2 seasons ago. Maybe the full on red strip took some pride away from the boys...ha ha :D
     
  16. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    I doubt it's as simple as a lack of heart to be honest. They let alot of players go at the end of last season and weren't replaced so that depth you're talking about isn't there to the same degree as in the past. Add that to the facts that the centres can't seem to click and Rog is playing **** with the coaching panel seemingly unable to drop him and you can see where the mess is coming from. It's been stated earlier in the thread that the coaching ethos has moved away from the manic aggression that Munster used to built about and toward a more skills orientated game which doesn't seem to being the job either. Lastly bear in mind that alot of these guys( Wally, POC, DOC etc.) have been playing non-stop for that last 12 months. That takes a huge mental and physical toll. I'm sure the hear is there but maybe they just can't translate it into performance.
     
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