Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

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munster#1
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

RichardP wrote:
January 3rd, 2021, 9:21 pm
munster#1 wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 12:24 pm
dropkick wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 9:45 am



Or Leinster (depleted squad) skipping the game last week to avoid defeat with the bonus that munster would be fresher for the match against ulster.
I think we might be on to something here.....

In all seriousness, I can not fathom this squad selection.
That selection would be good enough for most teams in the league, but not for the undefeated conference A leaders.

Selecting just one player from the Clermont game removes all momentum.

Saying all that, Munster have amassed a good lead in Conference B, and can afford to lose a few points, but I would rather that they retain their unbeaten status and all of the psychological benefits that come with that.

I predict Ulster to score 4 tries and win by 12.
Well you were half right!
I would have loved to have been completely wrong.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

2 massive games this weekend in terms of the league.
If Ulster beat Leinster then they could move 14-15 points clear at the top with 2 games in hand.

If Connacht can beat Munster, then they can move to within 3-4 points of Munster, meaning that Munster would have a very low margin of error for the remaining season, which includes at least 1 game against Leinster.

I really hope that Munster do not live to regret their team selection for the Ulster game.

Looking at this weekends game, I imagine that Munster will be very close to full strength, with HC games to be played during each of the following 2 weekends.
Meaning that our first choice players have had a game under their belts before taking on Clermont in a season defining game.

The next 3 weeks will define Munster’s season.
I really hope that we end up with 3 wins from 3 which would put Munster firmly on top of Conference B in the league, and most likely through to the knockout stages of the HC.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by dropkick »

Just rewatched the match in full. It was a decent performance and nobody played badly but a few errors spread around the team killed momentum. That and getting turned over consistently which meant the attack couldn't get going.


Healy had a solid game, one error aside but I thought he was very safe with some of his early kicks. He didn't really go for too much distance like he can do and if he did and got more length then ulster might not have scored their first try. Don't get me wrong, they were not bad kicks but he looked like he played it too safe. Maybe he was told to do that.


You can see JOS is a talent but he needs to cut out the little mistakes. He's yet to have a big performance like Hodnett but if he cuts out the mistakes then he will kick on.


Daly was very good in tough circumstances because the back 3 hardly got any ball to attack with.


The subs made the impact you would have hoped for. Bringing on a load of ball carriers made a difference but it was a bit too late. Ahern unlucky after a good run from Salanoa.


There were some questionable decisions when to kick for 3 points. They turned down easy 3 points in the first half but went for a tougher kick late on when they would need two more scores. It's easy to question it after the event but I would prefer to see teams take points on offer unless they have a clear maul advantage. Ulster are a good mauling side.


Timoney was impressive for ulster.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Very strong Munster team named for tomorrow’s game.
Interesting that Killer and Ryan are not in the squad given their lack of gametime over the last while.
I wonder if this means that Josh W will be retained for the upcoming HC games??

Also Haley at fullback over Daly is interesting, and perhaps a hint of what we might see over the coming months.

When you put out a squad like this it becomes even more a must win game. A loss would put a very sizeable dent in confidence.

My buddy Earls is just 3 tries off of Zebo, so hopefully he can close the gap this weekend and add to that over the next 3 weeks.

Really looking forward to this game.

Munster: Mike Haley; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (c), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Josh Wycherley, Keynan Knox, Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland, Nick McCarthy, Ben Healy, Rory Scannell.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Connacht side is also very strong, with 3 players included who are very familiar with Munster.

Wooten will be eager to put his best foot forward in an effort to show that he is worth a return to Munster.
Connacht: John Porch; Ben O’Donnell, Sammy Arnold, Tom Daly; Alex Wooton; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux capt, Sean O’Brien, Conor Oliver, Sean Masterson.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, Paul Boyle, Kieran Marmion, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Peter Sullivan.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

This forum has gone very quiet of late.
I hope you are all keeping well.

Munster grind out another victory, which was almost a loss only for Connacht ineptitude at the end.
Connacht with 15 against 13 should have worked the ball out the backs and search for the inevitable gaps.

The game was never going to be a classic, as Murphy looked like a lad who got a new whistle for Christmas, and he was mad to use it at every opportunity.

The constant blowing of said whistle meant that neither team would be able to build momentum.

Munster were content to allow Connacht have the ball for much of the game, and work on their defence.
With Connacht having something like 66% possession.

Munster will be angry at how they finished that game, and IMO should have been much further ahead by that stage anyway, but made a few silly errors.

Saying all of that, games like these are very valuable, it teaches teams to be awake for 80 mins, they give players great experience of being under pressure, and affords them the belief that even with 13 men they can win a game.

Hopefully the league use the next 2 weeks to get some additional fixtures added, as I will crack up without rugby to look forward to.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Knox out for a while after sustaining a knee injury during the Connacht game.

Makes it even more damning that Connacht didn’t attack Munster’s 7 man scrum.
Knox is an inexperienced TH, but he was also injured going into the last scrum, granted Connacht may not have known that.

Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.
This now opens the door to Salanoa to gain a fair few minutes.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by dropkick »

Out of contract players.

Marshall
N Scannell
J Cronin

Holland
F Wycherley

Coombes
TOD
JOD
POM
Stander

Casey
N Cronin
McCarthy

Hanrahan

McHenry
R Scannell

L Coombes
S Daly
Earls
Haley
Nash
Sweetnam

3rd year of academy this season
Eoghan Clarke
J Wycherley
J French
Ahern
J Daly
Healy
S French
Wren


The loose head situation is interesting. Loughman and Liam O'connor have another year to run, Kilcoyne 2 years. James Cronin is out of contract and Josh Wycherley is in year 3 so he needs to be promoted. There's also James French who looks very promising but hasn't featured yet due to injury and time is running out.

I think one of N Scannell and Marshall will be let go. Possibly Clarke too but he might get a development deal for a season.

Holland will likely be cut. Ahern to get promoted.

TOD likely to go too. Cloete got a 3 year deal a few years ago. Don't know why as they usually only offer 2 year contracts. He has another year left on his. The others will be offered contracts but wouldn't surprise me to see one of JOD, POM or Stander leave. Think Jack Daly might be promoted.

The 3 scrum halves will be kept on I'd say. McCarthy hasn't set the league alight be he is a solid backup as is Cronin.

Hanrahan will probably be kept on but hes one who they can afford to lose so he might not get a great contract offer i.e a greater reduction than most of the players. Healy promoted.

R Scannell is in the same boat as Hanrahan. I'd say McHenry will be kept on.

The outside backs are interesting. It's hard to call what will happen here. Earls will be 34 next season which is very old for a winger but they'll want to keep him on as he is still performing very well. Shane Daly is the one they will want to keep. Haley is obviously one of JVGs favourites but I think he might be tempted back to England. Liam Coombes is big and supposedly the fastest player in the squad so I reckon Nash might be one to leave too but it's just a guess. Think Wren might be left go as we have not seen him yet. Think Sean French will be kept on as he has great potential even if some areas of his game need work on.


So, completely guessing and taking into account the financial situation we might see something like the following.
OUT: Marshall, Holland, TOD, Haley, Nash. One or two big names (ie Stander), one or two players leaving mid contract (ie Loughman to Connacht) and one or two will be unhappy with their contract offer and leave (ie Hanrahan).
IN: Nobody.
ACADEMY PROMOTION: Clarke, J Wycherley, Ahern, J Daly, Healy, S French.


Keep in mind too that the new contracts given out will be greatly reduced. It all depends on covid.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Peg Leg »

That's the tough reality laid bare. I can't see POM & Earls being kept on at Munsters expense, but could see Stander staying.
This will be the first year we see every players looking for one year deals in the hope of the game being in a better place next year, the IRFU will be trying where possible to re-negotiate with players on existing contracts also. I think they will be pushing for a squad limit of 40 + academy too.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by dropkick »

According to Thornley. Think he has the munster numbers wrong but anyway..


Central funding by the Union to the provinces has been reduced by 10 per cent, in addition to their own losses. Leinster, Munster and Ulster all have their budgets in place for the 2021-22 season, which is not to start until late September, and while their estimates are understood to be slightly reduced due to the effects of the pandemic, they are also based on the premise that supporters will be able to return in limited capacity to games in the first few months of next season. Connacht’s budget is due to be finalised with the Union next week.


Active market
All provinces are keeping close to the same squad strength – for example Munster are being reduced from 46 to 45 players – and similarly a mixture of only one- and two-year deals have been on the table.

Some players have already agreed new deals, some are less than happy and others are in between. Ulster appear to have been particularly quick out of the blocks, while there have been mixed signals as to whether there are Covid-related clauses, under which two-year contracts can be renewed after one year. But this may be waived
.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

dropkick wrote:
January 17th, 2021, 12:56 pm
According to Thornley. Think he has the munster numbers wrong but anyway..


Central funding by the Union to the provinces has been reduced by 10 per cent, in addition to their own losses. Leinster, Munster and Ulster all have their budgets in place for the 2021-22 season, which is not to start until late September, and while their estimates are understood to be slightly reduced due to the effects of the pandemic, they are also based on the premise that supporters will be able to return in limited capacity to games in the first few months of next season. Connacht’s budget is due to be finalised with the Union next week.


Active market
All provinces are keeping close to the same squad strength – for example Munster are being reduced from 46 to 45 players – and similarly a mixture of only one- and two-year deals have been on the table.

Some players have already agreed new deals, some are less than happy and others are in between. Ulster appear to have been particularly quick out of the blocks, while there have been mixed signals as to whether there are Covid-related clauses, under which two-year contracts can be renewed after one year. But this may be waived
.
I wonder if it is a typo, and he means Leinster?

Going off of the Munster website Munster have 43 senior players on their books, perhaps raised to 44 if you include Wooten?

Regardless, a reduction of only one player would be a very good outcome.
Would mean probably 4 or 5 senior players moving on and 3 or 4 academy players moving to senior contracts.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by ronk »

Or maybe they are expanding the squad by 2 but selling it as a haircut

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Well after yet another disappointing defeat Munster must evaluate how they can push on to the next level.

In beating Clermont away and being the first team this season to not only keep Leinster to one try, but to not allow them to score 4 or more shows that we can mix it with the best.

One massive positive is that the Munster defence is as strong as it has been for a while.

Munster need to evaluate how they can breakdown a strong defence. How can they turn possession into score on a more regular basis.

One change that I would like to see is Healy being given every opportunity to become first choice and Crowley to get more gametime either at OH or centre.

By no means am I throwing JJ under the bus, I just believe that both Healy and Crowley have a higher ceiling.

Likewise it would be great to see J Wycherley and Salanoa start a few games over the next few weeks.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Peg Leg »

munster#1 wrote:
January 25th, 2021, 2:55 pm
Well after yet another disappointing defeat Munster must evaluate how they can push on to the next level.

In beating Clermont away and being the first team this season to not only keep Leinster to one try, but to not allow them to score 4 or more shows that we can mix it with the best.

One massive positive is that the Munster defence is as strong as it has been for a while.

Munster need to evaluate how they can breakdown a strong defence. How can they turn possession into score on a more regular basis.

One change that I would like to see is Healy being given every opportunity to become first choice and Crowley to get more gametime either at OH or centre.

By no means am I throwing JJ under the bus, I just believe that both Healy and Crowley have a higher ceiling.

Likewise it would be great to see J Wycherley and Salanoa start a few games over the next few weeks.
If I was in your shoes I would be distraught about the result at the weekend (no matter what the press and our board colleagues here say- JJ cost Munster the game). It was a frustrating match as a Leinster fan because so many of the gains Munster made were forced from individuals making mistakes. However Munster chose a kicking game (made sense given the template set by Sarries) and won that particular battle by exploiting a weakness in Larmour's game.
Listening to Toland on co-comms talking about running down the clock with 20 mins to go, struck me as odd and yet he was right. Munster didn't want the ball even though this is when they looked most dangerous- especially out wide with POM making meters. I think Munster have the talent, drive and all the building blocks (the pipeline of good players coming through helps) to win in either pot (maybe not both) but are missing the top 2 inches to make the necessary adjustments to close out/push on in these tight matches. e.g. Craig Casey was sent on with instructions to do his best Conor Murray impersonation, that takes away the advantage he brings to the team- pace and snappy passes to runners/decoys running off him and worse again his box kicking was woeful and just played into Leinsters defensive set up. I'm not one to call for a coach that isn't named Matt O'Connor to consider his position, but I think JVG must be feeling the pressure now.
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Peg Leg wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 10:28 am
munster#1 wrote:
January 25th, 2021, 2:55 pm
Well after yet another disappointing defeat Munster must evaluate how they can push on to the next level.

In beating Clermont away and being the first team this season to not only keep Leinster to one try, but to not allow them to score 4 or more shows that we can mix it with the best.

One massive positive is that the Munster defence is as strong as it has been for a while.

Munster need to evaluate how they can breakdown a strong defence. How can they turn possession into score on a more regular basis.

One change that I would like to see is Healy being given every opportunity to become first choice and Crowley to get more gametime either at OH or centre.

By no means am I throwing JJ under the bus, I just believe that both Healy and Crowley have a higher ceiling.

Likewise it would be great to see J Wycherley and Salanoa start a few games over the next few weeks.
If I was in your shoes I would be distraught about the result at the weekend (no matter what the press and our board colleagues here say- JJ cost Munster the game). It was a frustrating match as a Leinster fan because so many of the gains Munster made were forced from individuals making mistakes. However Munster chose a kicking game (made sense given the template set by Sarries) and won that particular battle by exploiting a weakness in Larmour's game.
Listening to Toland on co-comms talking about running down the clock with 20 mins to go, struck me as odd and yet he was right. Munster didn't want the ball even though this is when they looked most dangerous- especially out wide with POM making meters. I think Munster have the talent, drive and all the building blocks (the pipeline of good players coming through helps) to win in either pot (maybe not both) but are missing the top 2 inches to make the necessary adjustments to close out/push on in these tight matches. e.g. Craig Casey was sent on with instructions to do his best Conor Murray impersonation, that takes away the advantage he brings to the team- pace and snappy passes to runners/decoys running off him and worse again his box kicking was woeful and just played into Leinsters defensive set up. I'm not one to call for a coach that isn't named Matt O'Connor to consider his position, but I think JVG must be feeling the pressure now.
I totally disagree with your sentiments about JVG.
There is a perception on here that Munster have made such gains in spite of having JVG as head coach.
That is a strange thing to believe.

Since taking over JVG has continuously strengthened the Munster squad, all while letting go a large number of senior and academy players.
You don’t get the likes of DDA and RG stating that their decisions to sign for Munster were influenced by their experiences with JVG if they didn’t hold him in high esteem.

Munster have made great gains under JVG and IMO he should be given the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour.

On the game, yes it was immensely disappointing, and I could go in to great detail on this but as it would result in many personal insults and attacks I am not going to share my opinion on here.

On JJ, I really feel for him. He clearly has the ability to be a top class player, he has won the golden boot a couple of times, but he struggles to remain consistent.
Unfortunately I don’t think that he is the player to take Munster to the next level.

With Healy, Crowley and Joey to return, Munster have a very enviable crop of 10s, but they need to be backed.
With Larkham on board, Munster are in a great position to get the best out of these 10s and hopefully in the next season or 2 one of them kicks in and not only becomes first choice for Munster, but for Ireland too.

To make those top 2 inches that you speak of, Munster needs the likes of RG back, they need Salanoa or Knox to fulfil their potential and DDA and Farrell to really click.

I personally can’t see silverware this season, but Munster look likely to be in the Pro14 final and are in the HC playoffs, so they are not a million miles away from wheee they need to be.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Peg Leg »

munster#1 wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 12:08 pm
Peg Leg wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 10:28 am
munster#1 wrote:
January 25th, 2021, 2:55 pm
Well after yet another disappointing defeat Munster must evaluate how they can push on to the next level.

In beating Clermont away and being the first team this season to not only keep Leinster to one try, but to not allow them to score 4 or more shows that we can mix it with the best.

One massive positive is that the Munster defence is as strong as it has been for a while.

Munster need to evaluate how they can breakdown a strong defence. How can they turn possession into score on a more regular basis.

One change that I would like to see is Healy being given every opportunity to become first choice and Crowley to get more gametime either at OH or centre.

By no means am I throwing JJ under the bus, I just believe that both Healy and Crowley have a higher ceiling.

Likewise it would be great to see J Wycherley and Salanoa start a few games over the next few weeks.
If I was in your shoes I would be distraught about the result at the weekend (no matter what the press and our board colleagues here say- JJ cost Munster the game). It was a frustrating match as a Leinster fan because so many of the gains Munster made were forced from individuals making mistakes. However Munster chose a kicking game (made sense given the template set by Sarries) and won that particular battle by exploiting a weakness in Larmour's game.
Listening to Toland on co-comms talking about running down the clock with 20 mins to go, struck me as odd and yet he was right. Munster didn't want the ball even though this is when they looked most dangerous- especially out wide with POM making meters. I think Munster have the talent, drive and all the building blocks (the pipeline of good players coming through helps) to win in either pot (maybe not both) but are missing the top 2 inches to make the necessary adjustments to close out/push on in these tight matches. e.g. Craig Casey was sent on with instructions to do his best Conor Murray impersonation, that takes away the advantage he brings to the team- pace and snappy passes to runners/decoys running off him and worse again his box kicking was woeful and just played into Leinsters defensive set up. I'm not one to call for a coach that isn't named Matt O'Connor to consider his position, but I think JVG must be feeling the pressure now.
I totally disagree with your sentiments about JVG.
There is a perception on here that Munster have made such gains in spite of having JVG as head coach.
That is a strange thing to believe.

Since taking over JVG has continuously strengthened the Munster squad, all while letting go a large number of senior and academy players.
You don’t get the likes of DDA and RG stating that their decisions to sign for Munster were influenced by their experiences with JVG if they didn’t hold him in high esteem.

Munster have made great gains under JVG and IMO he should be given the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour.

On the game, yes it was immensely disappointing, and I could go in to great detail on this but as it would result in many personal insults and attacks I am not going to share my opinion on here.

On JJ, I really feel for him. He clearly has the ability to be a top class player, he has won the golden boot a couple of times, but he struggles to remain consistent.
Unfortunately I don’t think that he is the player to take Munster to the next level.

With Healy, Crowley and Joey to return, Munster have a very enviable crop of 10s, but they need to be backed.
With Larkham on board, Munster are in a great position to get the best out of these 10s and hopefully in the next season or 2 one of them kicks in and not only becomes first choice for Munster, but for Ireland too.

To make those top 2 inches that you speak of, Munster needs the likes of RG back, they need Salanoa or Knox to fulfil their potential and DDA and Farrell to really click.

I personally can’t see silverware this season, but Munster look likely to be in the Pro14 final and are in the HC playoffs, so they are not a million miles away from wheee they need to be.
Specifically wrt younger players who, to my eyes, are there as a quid pro quo for RG & DDA. JVG did everything to block the Scrum half development with Hart (Complete waste of money) McCarthy & Matheson, he signed a load of squad fat, barely played them but they took the bench spot over younger academy players. He's changed his tune this season, but as I said I think that's a quid pro quo for the big signings and perhaps also a reason they only added 3-4 players to the academy last season. He has changed somewhat this season, but his hand has been forced for the most part.

Hugo says it much better:
"Re: Munster, The Money Pit Province 2019/2020
Post by hugonaut » May 18th, 2020, 9:33 pm

Cian Tracy suggesting that van Graan will be letting a high number of players go at the end of this season, much as he did at the end of last season [link: https://twitter.com/CianTracey1/status/ ... 1040607240 ].

Last season it was
- Stephen Fitzgerald,
- James Hart,
- Ian Keatley,
- Bill Johnston,
- Dave O'Callaghan,
- Ronan O'Mahony,
- Mike Sherry,
- Jaco Taute and
- Duncan Williams [9], a couple of whom were retirees.

This season, Tracy lists
- Arno Botha [9+7/794 mins in 2019-20 | 14+13/1313 mins in 2018-19],
- Sam Arnold [6+3/480 mins in 2019-20 | 8+8/702 mins in 2018-19],
- Darren O'Shea [5+3/328 mins in 2019-20 | 5+7/452 mins in 2018-19],
- Conor Oliver [0+2/37 mins in 2019-20 | 3+1/194 mins in 2018-19],
- Sean O'Connor [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+2/41 mins in 2018-19],
- Ciaran Parker [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+9/106 mins in 2018-19],
- Brian Scott [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+3/31 mins in 2018-19] and
- Jack Stafford [academy, 0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+0/0 mins in 2018-19].

There is a significant difference between the two years in that van Graan was initially clearing out players he had inherited, and now he is clearing out players he signed himself. He gave all of these lads contracts and, in quite a few instances, hardly played them.

Obviously Botha and Arnold are exceptions. Botha was a really reliable player for Munster and is making way because de Allende and Snyman are coming in. Arnold is a pro who has already moved provinces once and is mature beyond his years. He knows that selection has swung against him and from his statement turned down a contract offer with Munster to move to Connacht. Stafford doesn't count if he's not offered a deal.

Tracy wrote that Parker made nine appearances off the bench this season, but they were actually in the 2018-19 season; ditto Brian Scott. Injuries play a part , but with the two props, Oliver and O'Connor, you're looking at guys who were not even fringe players. Between four players they made a total of three starts [all of them Oliver's] in a season and a half of rugby. So why did van Graan contract them?

There was never a role for Sean O'Connor, which was blindingly obvious. He plays the same position [lock/blindside] as two players younger than him who were promoted ahead of him, Wycherly and Coombes. In O'Connor's last season in the Munster Academy [2018-19], he played 41 mins in the Pro14. The same season Coombes played 241 mins and Wycherly played 889 mins. The gametime was never there for O'Connor and it made no sense to give him a contract.

Munster's academy production is very ordinary, but you've got to take into account van Graan as a selector. He is not just the most conservative selector of any of the provincial coaches [which I figured out about a year and a half ago on DM: https://dementedmole.com/2018/12/29/mai ... ean-squad/], but he might also be just the flat-out worst. He decided to contract all these guys and then not play them. These are players who he was coaching day-to-day, who he re-signed, and then did not play. You're talking multiple, cash-costing errors in judgment. There is no good way to see this. Either he lacks a key competency in evaluating players, or Munster's contracting system is totally dysfunctional and saddles a coach with players he doesn't want.

If Dropkick has heard right then Wooton is moving on too, and he very much fits the mould [2+0/120 mins in 2019-20 | 6+1/458 mins in 2018-19]. Again, another player with whom JvG had direct and extensive experience, signed to a contract and then did not play. I'd imagine that these guys [O'Shea, Oliver, O'Connor, Parker, Scott, Wooton] are all on pretty basic contracts, but it's still probably €200-250k p.a. going out of the organisation in terms of wages for f*ck-all return."
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munster#1
Shane Horgan
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by munster#1 »

Peg Leg wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 3:33 pm
munster#1 wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 12:08 pm
Peg Leg wrote:
January 26th, 2021, 10:28 am


If I was in your shoes I would be distraught about the result at the weekend (no matter what the press and our board colleagues here say- JJ cost Munster the game). It was a frustrating match as a Leinster fan because so many of the gains Munster made were forced from individuals making mistakes. However Munster chose a kicking game (made sense given the template set by Sarries) and won that particular battle by exploiting a weakness in Larmour's game.
Listening to Toland on co-comms talking about running down the clock with 20 mins to go, struck me as odd and yet he was right. Munster didn't want the ball even though this is when they looked most dangerous- especially out wide with POM making meters. I think Munster have the talent, drive and all the building blocks (the pipeline of good players coming through helps) to win in either pot (maybe not both) but are missing the top 2 inches to make the necessary adjustments to close out/push on in these tight matches. e.g. Craig Casey was sent on with instructions to do his best Conor Murray impersonation, that takes away the advantage he brings to the team- pace and snappy passes to runners/decoys running off him and worse again his box kicking was woeful and just played into Leinsters defensive set up. I'm not one to call for a coach that isn't named Matt O'Connor to consider his position, but I think JVG must be feeling the pressure now.
I totally disagree with your sentiments about JVG.
There is a perception on here that Munster have made such gains in spite of having JVG as head coach.
That is a strange thing to believe.

Since taking over JVG has continuously strengthened the Munster squad, all while letting go a large number of senior and academy players.
You don’t get the likes of DDA and RG stating that their decisions to sign for Munster were influenced by their experiences with JVG if they didn’t hold him in high esteem.

Munster have made great gains under JVG and IMO he should be given the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour.

On the game, yes it was immensely disappointing, and I could go in to great detail on this but as it would result in many personal insults and attacks I am not going to share my opinion on here.

On JJ, I really feel for him. He clearly has the ability to be a top class player, he has won the golden boot a couple of times, but he struggles to remain consistent.
Unfortunately I don’t think that he is the player to take Munster to the next level.

With Healy, Crowley and Joey to return, Munster have a very enviable crop of 10s, but they need to be backed.
With Larkham on board, Munster are in a great position to get the best out of these 10s and hopefully in the next season or 2 one of them kicks in and not only becomes first choice for Munster, but for Ireland too.

To make those top 2 inches that you speak of, Munster needs the likes of RG back, they need Salanoa or Knox to fulfil their potential and DDA and Farrell to really click.

I personally can’t see silverware this season, but Munster look likely to be in the Pro14 final and are in the HC playoffs, so they are not a million miles away from wheee they need to be.
Specifically wrt younger players who, to my eyes, are there as a quid pro quo for RG & DDA. JVG did everything to block the Scrum half development with Hart (Complete waste of money) McCarthy & Matheson, he signed a load of squad fat, barely played them but they took the bench spot over younger academy players. He's changed his tune this season, but as I said I think that's a quid pro quo for the big signings and perhaps also a reason they only added 3-4 players to the academy last season. He has changed somewhat this season, but his hand has been forced for the most part.

Hugo says it much better:
"Re: Munster, The Money Pit Province 2019/2020
Post by hugonaut » May 18th, 2020, 9:33 pm

Cian Tracy suggesting that van Graan will be letting a high number of players go at the end of this season, much as he did at the end of last season [link: https://twitter.com/CianTracey1/status/ ... 1040607240 ].

Last season it was
- Stephen Fitzgerald,
- James Hart,
- Ian Keatley,
- Bill Johnston,
- Dave O'Callaghan,
- Ronan O'Mahony,
- Mike Sherry,
- Jaco Taute and
- Duncan Williams [9], a couple of whom were retirees.

This season, Tracy lists
- Arno Botha [9+7/794 mins in 2019-20 | 14+13/1313 mins in 2018-19],
- Sam Arnold [6+3/480 mins in 2019-20 | 8+8/702 mins in 2018-19],
- Darren O'Shea [5+3/328 mins in 2019-20 | 5+7/452 mins in 2018-19],
- Conor Oliver [0+2/37 mins in 2019-20 | 3+1/194 mins in 2018-19],
- Sean O'Connor [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+2/41 mins in 2018-19],
- Ciaran Parker [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+9/106 mins in 2018-19],
- Brian Scott [0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+3/31 mins in 2018-19] and
- Jack Stafford [academy, 0+0/0 mins in 2019-20 | 0+0/0 mins in 2018-19].

There is a significant difference between the two years in that van Graan was initially clearing out players he had inherited, and now he is clearing out players he signed himself. He gave all of these lads contracts and, in quite a few instances, hardly played them.

Obviously Botha and Arnold are exceptions. Botha was a really reliable player for Munster and is making way because de Allende and Snyman are coming in. Arnold is a pro who has already moved provinces once and is mature beyond his years. He knows that selection has swung against him and from his statement turned down a contract offer with Munster to move to Connacht. Stafford doesn't count if he's not offered a deal.

Tracy wrote that Parker made nine appearances off the bench this season, but they were actually in the 2018-19 season; ditto Brian Scott. Injuries play a part , but with the two props, Oliver and O'Connor, you're looking at guys who were not even fringe players. Between four players they made a total of three starts [all of them Oliver's] in a season and a half of rugby. So why did van Graan contract them?

There was never a role for Sean O'Connor, which was blindingly obvious. He plays the same position [lock/blindside] as two players younger than him who were promoted ahead of him, Wycherly and Coombes. In O'Connor's last season in the Munster Academy [2018-19], he played 41 mins in the Pro14. The same season Coombes played 241 mins and Wycherly played 889 mins. The gametime was never there for O'Connor and it made no sense to give him a contract.

Munster's academy production is very ordinary, but you've got to take into account van Graan as a selector. He is not just the most conservative selector of any of the provincial coaches [which I figured out about a year and a half ago on DM: https://dementedmole.com/2018/12/29/mai ... ean-squad/], but he might also be just the flat-out worst. He decided to contract all these guys and then not play them. These are players who he was coaching day-to-day, who he re-signed, and then did not play. You're talking multiple, cash-costing errors in judgment. There is no good way to see this. Either he lacks a key competency in evaluating players, or Munster's contracting system is totally dysfunctional and saddles a coach with players he doesn't want.

If Dropkick has heard right then Wooton is moving on too, and he very much fits the mould [2+0/120 mins in 2019-20 | 6+1/458 mins in 2018-19]. Again, another player with whom JvG had direct and extensive experience, signed to a contract and then did not play. I'd imagine that these guys [O'Shea, Oliver, O'Connor, Parker, Scott, Wooton] are all on pretty basic contracts, but it's still probably €200-250k p.a. going out of the organisation in terms of wages for f*ck-all return."
Firstly I respect your opinion, and like that you did a bit of research to help form this opinion.

What your numbers do not show you is that many of these players had very poor injury profiles, which does show why most of these players didn’t gain large number of appearances.

What is also worth nothing is that no coach can clear all of those listed players in one go, otherwise you would be forced to sign a very large number of players to backfill or have a severely depleted squad.

The squad is considerably stronger now than it has been for a many seasons, and that doesn’t happen by accident.
When the academy let a number of players go with the view of have quality rather than quantity, many thought that JVG was mad, since then we have seen a number of quality players make the breakthrough.

In that time JVG also integrated the academy with the senior squad, this meant that rather than training on their own, the academy players were running lineouts, scrums, mauls etc. against professional players rather than fellow amateurs.

I have a feeling that this is something that we could discuss until the cows come home and never agree on, so I think we will have to agree to disagree.

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hugonaut
Shane Jennings
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by hugonaut »

munster#1 wrote:
January 25th, 2021, 2:55 pm
Well after yet another disappointing defeat Munster must evaluate how they can push on to the next level.

In beating Clermont away and being the first team this season to not only keep Leinster to one try, but to not allow them to score 4 or more shows that we can mix it with the best.

One massive positive is that the Munster defence is as strong as it has been for a while.

Munster need to evaluate how they can breakdown a strong defence. How can they turn possession into score on a more regular basis.

One change that I would like to see is Healy being given every opportunity to become first choice and Crowley to get more gametime either at OH or centre.

By no means am I throwing JJ under the bus, I just believe that both Healy and Crowley have a higher ceiling.

Likewise it would be great to see J Wycherley and Salanoa start a few games over the next few weeks.
They're not far off.

I was surprised that Munster didn't attack the Leinster lineout more, and also that their own throw was so iffy. Going into the game they had the best lineout in the league, but we stole and/or spoiled a lot of ball. Our lineout hasn't been good, and not competing on Leinster ball meant that outstanding touch-finders from Haley [x2] and Daly went unrewarded.

I agree with you on Hanrahan. I've been a fan of J.J. since his great campaign for the Irish U20s, but there is a stress fracture there. Munster have lost to Leinster in pretty tight games three times in the last six months and he has missed important place-kicks in all of them, including some absolute sitters. In the first game back the kick he missed [to bring the game to a 27-27 draw] was difficult ... but he had kicked more or less the same kick earlier in the game and the last kick was the only one he missed in the game. It was the biggest pressure kick of the match and he couldn't make it.

He missed two very easy ones in the semi-final – one of which you could have thrown over with your bad hand – and he had another shocking miss in the game just gone. I wouldn't be too harsh on the one that hit the post, that's not a bad kick, just unfortunate. The one from inside the 22 was a dreadful miss though.

Now, he's the same fella who kicked 9/9 against Clermont. It's just one of those things that is difficult to reconcile.

There's no way of saying this without sounding very negative, but I think that too many Munster fans [some of those I've talked to and many more whom I've heard or read] are holding very high expectations of Carbery, which he may struggle to meet. There has always been a lot of talk about him being 'the missing piece of the puzzle'.

He has missed a massive amount of time with an injury, the details of which have never been released. Obviously it's his business if he doesn't want to release that information; there may be very good reasons behind that decision. But logically speaking it has to be a complex injury: lots of people injure ankle ligaments, very few of them spend 60+ weeks out of action with that injury. I don't think he'll be able to just pick up the form he showed against Gloucester over in Kingsholm more than two years ago [and he has only played in five games for Munster since then], but that is how I would imagine a number of Munster fans remember him.

My worries for him would be that his ankle will not allow him the balance and agility that made him such a good runner in the past and, even more pragmatically, that people might think that now he's made it back, that he'll somehow not pick up any more injuries – the sort of belief that he's had a sufficiently dreadful time with this injury that he has used up all his bad luck. Unfortunately that's unlikely. Carbery is a guy who has shipped a lot of injuries in his short career. I wish him the best of fortune, but I've been playing and watching rugby long enough to know that it can be a tough and unforgiving game.

I think Crowley is a huge talent and has the highest ceiling of them all, including Carbery. I would have been pushing him ahead of Healy, but in fairness to Healy he has done everything you could ask of him.

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ronk
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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by ronk »

JJ was hyped, and it didn’t do much for his development. Healy is getting a lot of game time but taking on all the big games would be a lot more pressure and expose him more.

I think JvG has the right pace of development there and I’ve criticised him plenty when I thought he was wrong.

Like lineouts and scrums, we sometimes remember only the kicks that miss. In the tightest games there are many moments that swing the game. He made 2 kicks and hit the post with a long kick. It was pretty poor from Munster that a rebound keep in the 22 was converted into a Leinster score with the clock dead.

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Re: Munster Rugby - Semi Conscious, the Series Finale??? - 2020/21

Post by Xanthippe »

ronk wrote:
January 27th, 2021, 2:39 am
JJ was hyped, and it didn’t do much for his development. Healy is getting a lot of game time but taking on all the big games would be a lot more pressure and expose him more.

I think JvG has the right pace of development there and I’ve criticised him plenty when I thought he was wrong.

Like lineouts and scrums, we sometimes remember only the kicks that miss. In the tightest games there are many moments that swing the game. He made 2 kicks and hit the post with a long kick. It was pretty poor from Munster that a rebound keep in the 22 was converted into a Leinster score with the clock dead.
Exactly

I can't believe there's been so much focus on two missed kicks by JJ and little or no focus on how the contribution, or lack thereof, of the other 22 players affected the result.
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