A whiff of Cordite

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Ruckedtobits
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Ruckedtobits »

backrower8 wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 8:52 pm
Dave Cahill wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 11:21 am
We have a tendancy in Ireland to judge player development progress by only looking at the players with double digits on their backs - but if you look at guys like Furlong, Porter, O'Sullivan, O'Toole, Baird, Ryan, Coombes, O'Connor, vd Flier, Doris - as soon as they demonstrated any kind of form at provincial level they were in Carton House. Even at that, look at Ringrose, Henshaw, Carbury, Stockdale, Larmour - all promoted to the national side in their very early 20s.
Add to that Leavy and Kelleher in recent years and Dillane, Henderson, Rob K, Luke Fitz, Darce, Drico, Murray and Earls...in their time

It points to the fact that a total bottle-neck at half-back has developed, caused by blind loyalty (Murray) and also fear (Sexton) in the last 3 seasons, despite shocking losses of form and injury (Murray) and general ageing affecting performance and athleticism (Sexton) .

The fact that one player is the greatest (Murray) and the other arguably the greatest in their positions for Ireland ever, and also world-class until recently, probably affected the managements' mind-sets.

In addition, there is a drop-off to the next level of players in both positions - but you don't close it by persisting with fading greats.

At 9, the treatment of Cooney has been simply ridiculous by both Joe and Farrell. The fact that Sexton probably would not like a Petit General (other than Murray) inside him probably also did for Cooney, so far.

At 10 we have had the different Jackson and Carbery issues, but right across 2020 (admittedly a disrupted, unconventional year) we had chances to mix things up more, to roll the dice, since RWC ended with Carbery banjaxed, Carty jettisoned and Sexton 34 and 1/2 yo, but Farrell wasn't strong enough either to take the Captaincy off Johnny or move him, aged 35!, to the finisher role as #22. Leo was also wrong to leave the Leinster captaincy with Johnny this season.

Farrell and Leo are supposed to be strong characters, but they both looked the other way on Johnny's Captaincy, no coincidence. Farrell also hasn't been taken to our hearts yet so he would be careful as an Englishman as regards demoting an Irish sporting icon.

What is it that led to Johnny holding all the cards aged 35? I have no doubt that Johnny's legendary stubborn nature has become toxic as he resists the fading of the light while also setting his sites on the Lions Tour #3,100 Irish Caps (he now needs to tour with Ireland in the Summer or play in the AIs to get there), more Silverware & his legacy. If he had been demoted and/or dropped, he would stink the place out.

How else do we explain where we are with 35 yo King Johnny as Captain of everything and messrs Burns and Byrne (15 caps between them, mainly as benchers) hoping to paper over the cracks on Sunday with 6 caps combined in our pair of 9s?

We are in a similar pickle at loosehead and hooker. In fairness at loosehead, nobody saw Jack Mc's decline coming so quickly or Killer's injuries, but why are we back to Ed Byrne over Eric O'Sullivan already? At hooker we held on to Best for far too long and we have backed off Ronan Kelleher far too quickly. We need to get Dan Sheehan through at Leinster asap so he can join the Irish ranks.

Sexton and Murray have lots to offer for another year (Sexton) or two (Murray) as finishers in the #21 and #22 shirts for club and country, based on match-by-match form. If either of them can't fill that role gracefully then they should be permanently retired.

Sexton sucking up all the Tier 1 starting minutes and Captaincy roles also stunts other players, future-Captains and squads from their natural and necessary development. Our playing style cannot evolve while he is the starter and, because of his domineering nature, neither squad's culture can evolve properly while Johnny reigns.

This has been a slow car crash that's now in it's 3rd season. A number of people, also his admirers over the years, have said to me that they would now just prefer if Sexton retired at the end of the season. I agree.

Again, I have great regard and memories for 2 of the all-time Irish greats, both world class in their day. But the needs of the team that represents this island supersedes those of individual players and the longer we delay the longer the rebuild will be.
A thoughful piece, maybe not popular but a realistic assessment, in retrospect.

riocard911
Isa Nacewa
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by riocard911 »

I have to agree.

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blockhead
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by blockhead »

wixfjord wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 9:29 pm
backrower8 wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 8:52 pm


How else do we explain where we are with 35 yo King Johnny as Captain of everything and messrs Burns and Byrne (15 caps between them, mainly as benchers) hoping to paper over the cracks on Sunday

Because even at 35 and rapidly declining, Sexton is still far more likely than Burns or Byrne to lead us to a win over a tier 1 side.

If he was fit this weekend he would be starting, and rightly so.
Exactly.
There isn't a 10 out there within an ass's roar of international standard (apart from Jackson). A casual fan could tell you that R.Byrne, Burns, Carty an so on will never be international standard no matter how much game time they are given.
The idea that Johnny Sexton is holding these guys back is just plain stupid.
You know I'm going to lose,
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riocard911
Isa Nacewa
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by riocard911 »

February 20, 2021: Clermont 73-3 Bayonne

Why aren't we reading "Too many cr@p teams in the Top 14", "Top 14 not fit for purpose" etc., etc, etc...... ad nauseam?

Imagine if Leinster put a score like that on Zebre, we'd never ****in* hear the end of it from the Cummiskeys of this world.

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Serb
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Serb »

We beat them 63-8 only a few months ago, and put 70 on them in Jan 2017. Don't remember much of a fuss being made of either result at the time.

Clermont may have won big this week, but they’ve been beaten fairly often this season (6 times, 4 at home). And they’ve generally fielded a pretty strong team.

The main criticism leveraged against the Pro14 is that teams like Leinster can field second string or academy sides and rarely be in danger of coming away with less than 5 points. It took us fielding practically a third choice side to finally lose a game after a couple of years in the league.

I think that’s reasonable grounds for criticism of the league.

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blockhead
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by blockhead »

It's the age old Irish Inferiority complex.
Leinster win the Pro14 three years in a row.....Just proves that the league is sh!te.
The same naysayers were saying the same thing a few years back when there of 4 different successive winners.
How about a positive spin for a change...... Leinster are really good, really, really good.
We beat Munster down in TP 3 times in our last 4 visits, usually resting some first choicers while at it.
Now does that mean Munster are sh!ite? Well nobody else has beaten them in TP in nearly 4 years, including Europe's elite clubs, and they are regular Heino semi-finalists. So maybe, just maybe, Leinster are a really good team enjoying an extended period of dominance. Just like say Saracens did up to recently. And Saracens were the only english club, for the best part of a decade, to feature strongly in Europe. The english didn't dismiss their league as weak, quite the opposite.
We love winning, but we don't trust it.
You know I'm going to lose,
And gambling's for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby, I don't want to live FOREVER!

riocard911
Isa Nacewa
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by riocard911 »

blockhead wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 9:34 pm
It's the age old Irish Inferiority complex.
Leinster win the Pro14 three years in a row.....Just proves that the league is sh!te.
The same naysayers were saying the same thing a few years back when there of 4 different successive winners.
How about a positive spin for a change...... Leinster are really good, really, really good.
We beat Munster down in TP 3 times in our last 4 visits, usually resting some first choicers while at it.
Now does that mean Munster are sh!ite? Well nobody else has beaten them in TP in nearly 4 years, including Europe's elite clubs, and they are regular Heino semi-finalists. So maybe, just maybe, Leinster are a really good team enjoying an extended period of dominance. Just like say Saracens did up to recently. And Saracens were the only english club, for the best part of a decade, to feature strongly in Europe. The english didn't dismiss their league as weak, quite the opposite.
We love winning, but we don't trust it.
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Oldschool
Cian Healy
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Oldschool »

blockhead wrote:
February 13th, 2021, 10:07 pm
wixfjord wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 9:29 pm
backrower8 wrote:
February 12th, 2021, 8:52 pm


How else do we explain where we are with 35 yo King Johnny as Captain of everything and messrs Burns and Byrne (15 caps between them, mainly as benchers) hoping to paper over the cracks on Sunday

Because even at 35 and rapidly declining, Sexton is still far more likely than Burns or Byrne to lead us to a win over a tier 1 side.

If he was fit this weekend he would be starting, and rightly so.
Exactly.
There isn't a 10 out there within an ass's roar of international standard (apart from Jackson). A casual fan could tell you that R.Byrne, Burns, Carty an so on will never be international standard no matter how much game time they are given.
The idea that Johnny Sexton is holding these guys back is just plain stupid.
Sexton isn't as good as RB, Carty or Madigan at this stage of his career. It's time to move on and give the pretenders a decent, proper chance in the ten jersey and not the itsy bitsy piecemeal chopping and changing whenever Sexton isn't available.
Denial is the problem here because we can't even count on Sexton's availablity even.
Stupidity is exactly the problem.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.

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Dexter
Brian O'Driscoll
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Dexter »

blockhead wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 9:34 pm
It's the age old Irish Inferiority complex.
Leinster win the Pro14 three years in a row.....Just proves that the league is sh!te.
The same naysayers were saying the same thing a few years back when there of 4 different successive winners.
How about a positive spin for a change...... Leinster are really good, really, really good.
We beat Munster down in TP 3 times in our last 4 visits, usually resting some first choicers while at it.
Now does that mean Munster are sh!ite? Well nobody else has beaten them in TP in nearly 4 years, including Europe's elite clubs, and they are regular Heino semi-finalists. So maybe, just maybe, Leinster are a really good team enjoying an extended period of dominance. Just like say Saracens did up to recently. And Saracens were the only english club, for the best part of a decade, to feature strongly in Europe. The english didn't dismiss their league as weak, quite the opposite.
We love winning, but we don't trust it.
If an Irish team is consistently the best team in a competition, it's a cr@p competition
If an Irish team fails to do well in a competition, the Irish team is cr@p
A decent competition, tournament, league or cup does not exist in this world - except for the ones that Irish teams don't play in..!!
Dont Panic!

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CiaranIrl
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by CiaranIrl »

Dexter wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm
blockhead wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 9:34 pm
It's the age old Irish Inferiority complex.
Leinster win the Pro14 three years in a row.....Just proves that the league is sh!te.
The same naysayers were saying the same thing a few years back when there of 4 different successive winners.
How about a positive spin for a change...... Leinster are really good, really, really good.
We beat Munster down in TP 3 times in our last 4 visits, usually resting some first choicers while at it.
Now does that mean Munster are sh!ite? Well nobody else has beaten them in TP in nearly 4 years, including Europe's elite clubs, and they are regular Heino semi-finalists. So maybe, just maybe, Leinster are a really good team enjoying an extended period of dominance. Just like say Saracens did up to recently. And Saracens were the only english club, for the best part of a decade, to feature strongly in Europe. The english didn't dismiss their league as weak, quite the opposite.
We love winning, but we don't trust it.
If an Irish team is consistently the best team in a competition, it's a cr@p competition
If an Irish team fails to do well in a competition, the Irish team is cr@p
A decent competition, tournament, league or cup does not exist in this world - except for the ones that Irish teams don't play in..!!
I think it's fairly clear that nobody disparages the 6N or the European cup when we win those. Surely you can see a problem with the standard of the league on most weekends? Forget about results and whether or not first choice players start, the actual quality of the play is pretty sub par. It's fairly obvious.
“As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.”

wixfjord
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by wixfjord »

The only Irish side to have lost a game to a non Irish side this season is Connacht.

In the Top 14, the gap between the top six teams is 9 points.

In the Prem, the gap between the top five teams is 9 points.

In our league, the gap between the top three teams is 9 points.

The league is shite at the moment, and needs a renovation. It's nowhere near as competitive as the other two major European leagues, and this is something that multiple Irish players have said.

It's not good for us to be strolling through the season untested, and it's also a bit boring at times.

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Dexter
Brian O'Driscoll
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Dexter »

CiaranIrl wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 4:58 pm
Dexter wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 4:47 pm
blockhead wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 9:34 pm
It's the age old Irish Inferiority complex.
Leinster win the Pro14 three years in a row.....Just proves that the league is sh!te.
The same naysayers were saying the same thing a few years back when there of 4 different successive winners.
How about a positive spin for a change...... Leinster are really good, really, really good.
We beat Munster down in TP 3 times in our last 4 visits, usually resting some first choicers while at it.
Now does that mean Munster are sh!ite? Well nobody else has beaten them in TP in nearly 4 years, including Europe's elite clubs, and they are regular Heino semi-finalists. So maybe, just maybe, Leinster are a really good team enjoying an extended period of dominance. Just like say Saracens did up to recently. And Saracens were the only english club, for the best part of a decade, to feature strongly in Europe. The english didn't dismiss their league as weak, quite the opposite.
We love winning, but we don't trust it.
If an Irish team is consistently the best team in a competition, it's a cr@p competition
If an Irish team fails to do well in a competition, the Irish team is cr@p
A decent competition, tournament, league or cup does not exist in this world - except for the ones that Irish teams don't play in..!!
I think it's fairly clear that nobody disparages the 6N or the European cup when we win those. Surely you can see a problem with the standard of the league on most weekends? Forget about results and whether or not first choice players start, the actual quality of the play is pretty sub par. It's fairly obvious.
Yeah it's not strong. But even if it was, the irish media would use every possible opportunity to put the boot into it, they always have.
We're a nation of moaners....
Dont Panic!

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LeinsterLeader
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by LeinsterLeader »

wixfjord wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 5:27 pm
The only Irish side to have lost a game to a non Irish side this season is Connacht.

In the Top 14, the gap between the top six teams is 9 points.

In the Prem, the gap between the top five teams is 9 points.

In our league, the gap between the top three teams is 9 points.

The league is shite at the moment, and needs a renovation. It's nowhere near as competitive as the other two major European leagues, and this is something that multiple Irish players have said.

It's not good for us to be strolling through the season untested, and it's also a bit boring at times.
In fairness the Ulster, Munster and Connacht squads have been barely touched by the Internationals this season, where as most of the teams they've faced have. Look at the backline Munster put out against Ed. If you swapped out Casey for Murray (and possibly Earls for Daly) that backline could easily start for them in a European semi-final. Ulster pretty much the same with only one or two players missing to the Internationals.

I'm not having a go at the provinces either, I'm sure they'd love to have more players involved in the 6N but I think the reality is that at the moment we are providing more international quality players (perhaps not high enough quality but that's a different argument) in the provinces then other teams in the Pro 14/16/18 can match.

mildlyinterested
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by mildlyinterested »

LeinsterLeader wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 7:19 pm
wixfjord wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 5:27 pm
The only Irish side to have lost a game to a non Irish side this season is Connacht.

In the Top 14, the gap between the top six teams is 9 points.

In the Prem, the gap between the top five teams is 9 points.

In our league, the gap between the top three teams is 9 points.

The league is shite at the moment, and needs a renovation. It's nowhere near as competitive as the other two major European leagues, and this is something that multiple Irish players have said.

It's not good for us to be strolling through the season untested, and it's also a bit boring at times.
In fairness the Ulster, Munster and Connacht squads have been barely touched by the Internationals this season, where as most of the teams they've faced have. Look at the backline Munster put out against Ed. If you swapped out Casey for Murray (and possibly Earls for Daly) that backline could easily start for them in a European semi-final. Ulster pretty much the same with only one or two players missing to the Internationals.

I'm not having a go at the provinces either, I'm sure they'd love to have more players involved in the 6N but I think the reality is that at the moment we are providing more international quality players (perhaps not high enough quality but that's a different argument) in the provinces then other teams in the Pro 14/16/18 can match.
Yeah Leinster have developed what? One?(Ringrose), top level international back in the past 5 years? Hell probably even longer..

plenty of good pro 14 levels backs and a few better than that but that true top level quality has been lacking.

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hugonaut
Shane Jennings
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by hugonaut »

wixfjord wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 5:27 pm
The only Irish side to have lost a game to a non Irish side this season is Connacht.

In the Top 14, the gap between the top six teams is 9 points.

In the Prem, the gap between the top five teams is 9 points.

In our league, the gap between the top three teams is 9 points.

The league is shite at the moment, and needs a renovation. It's nowhere near as competitive as the other two major European leagues, and this is something that multiple Irish players have said.

It's not good for us to be strolling through the season untested, and it's also a bit boring at times.
No question that the standard of the league has dropped this year.

The biggest factors for me are that i] Edinburgh have fallen flat after having been a really competitive outfit last season; ii] Glasgow have lost key players to England having been a serious team who gave us all we could handle in the 2018-19 final; and iii] that Treviso have completely collapsed after winning 11 games in each of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The Welsh sides have repatriated a number of big names in recent years [Liam Williams to the Scarlets, George North and Rhys Webb to the Ospreys, Josh Adams to Cardiff] but it seems like their general player production has fallen into a trough spell.

Obviously this has been an unusual season: it didn't start until October, and there were carryover Six Nations games/warm-up internationals taking place in the last two weeks of the month. Then the Autumn Nations Cup took place from mid-November to the first week of December, then European fixtures in mid-December and then a short series of Pro14 games with players generally available in late December through to January.

This is a really weird year for the league, and it is especially difficult given it's multinational nature, with games taking place across five countries - Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy - who have different statuses with regards to the pandemic.

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ronk
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by ronk »

The top Irish provinces have great setups with large S&C teams, loads of coaches, resources for a big squad and a good tradition of personal discipline (nutrition, recovery etc.).

That’s a nice advantage generally, but in such disruptive circumstances it’s bigger than ever.

No crowds, pay cuts, health worries, job insecurity, disrupted training etc. Half the league is more or less phoning it in.

I’m glad it’s not worse.

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Dexter
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Post by Dexter »

ronk wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 10:56 pm
The top Irish provinces have great setups with large S&C teams, loads of coaches, resources for a big squad and a good tradition of personal discipline (nutrition, recovery etc.).

That’s a nice advantage generally, but in such disruptive circumstances it’s bigger than ever.

No crowds, pay cuts, health worries, job insecurity, disrupted training etc. Half the league is more or less phoning it in.

I’m glad it’s not worse.
Yeah I'd hold off trashing the Pro14 and trying to compare leagues and teams within leagues until some semblance of normality returns to the world.
Especially with the SA teams due to join. We may then find out that it's totally rubbish comparitively but my impression was that it held up fairly well in Euro competition in normal times.
Dont Panic!

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