Thanks for your analysis of Welsh counter play against ROG which when you think about it is what actually happens but Leinster also counter him in a different way but equally effective. So then do you think ROG cannot amend his defence and style of play to the Penney way so that he is finished under the new regime. I am surprised that Mannix/Penney are using him the same way as Mc Gahan did and cannot see from the videos what the problem is !! Maybe it is ROG that cannot adapt ?? Maybe Foley thinks that Forwards are good enough to protect him ??
Lets have a look at that Ragusa. We have a few options about how Rog can play:
Play deep and pass the ball to the 12 early: Space is eaten up by the pass, and it's so far away from the gainline the opposition defence has plenty of time to drift across and close down the 12. In this regard it's almost 14 attackers against 15 defenders. It puts way more pressure on the 12 who is now against 2 defenders, so someone like Downey who is very effective now has a far harder job.
Play flat and break himself: Rog has no pace or strength. Even if he makes a break you can easily double back and scrag him, or if it's a move off a scrum the defending openside, 8 or scrum half will be able to bring him down and get a turnover. It's very easy to open a gap for him with the hope he'll go through it and into a blind alley. Alternatively have a look at who's running support lines and be safe in the knowledge that Rog'll offload to them and you've a 1 on 1 tackle to make. Difficult at the minute with the munster backrows being younger, and less far along in conditioning than most of who they're playing against.
Kick the ball: Rog has been a great kicker for yonks and save for a well placed grubber through or a dink over the top his line kicks are being defended more easily by the opposition wings and full back. A smart scrum half is looking for his shorter range kickes between the centres and the back 3.
Simple - just run at him. If another backrow or second row has to stay nearby to support him, that's space somewhere else. Run a big player at him and you'll either burst the line, or if a supporting flanker is covering him too, that's a gap for a support player to exploit. Again 14 v 15 situation.
The main issue as I see it is that while he offers a lot in kicking, he also takes away the advantages you SHOULD have now.
By his lack of break, he makes downey more telegraphed and easier to defend. With keatley having his own break, you can't drift off and double team downey, and downey is too powerful to take down 1 on 1. Same again with the flankers, why should one of them have to alter their natural game and be less effective in the loose defensively because you've to cling to your 10? It seems in attack or defence you're automatically changing the situation to 14 v 15, and at the minute while the young guys are still a little bit off the level power wise, it's not a luxury you really have.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
Leinster have started to defend a little narrower in the backs leaving space on the outside (the winger pushed back to cover the touchline with the full back). They essentially are challenging the opposition to get the ball wide quicker than the defence can push up or drift wide to cover the touchline. Off set pieces early on Munster looked to go wide early and looked like Leinster weren't fully expecting it and we made decent ground at times. Leinster adapted knowing that ROG offered nothing more than pass the ball on or a chip over the top. They crowded the midfield with Jennings and Munster tried to offload out of the tackle with Lualala.
I think if we had Keatley keeping the back row a bit more honest and Downey helping to suck defenders in we could have made more of the space out wide for Zebo especially to exploit. Maybe ROG can adapt and I'm completely wrong but at the moment I haven't seen anything myself to suggest that he is the right starting 10 to suit Penneys new style.
\"God gave me the talent but the forwards gave me the ball\" - Jannie De Beer
\"I hesitate to use words like spiritual or religious, but to see what rugby means to Munster people is very moving\" Shaun Payne
I look back on 2008 at the Millennium Stadium as the highlight of my career because, although being capped by New Zealand and playing for the All Blacks was fantastic, this was special. - Doug Howlett
I don't think this has been posted. Its a good read.
Vincent Hogan: Vintage class still has legs
By Vincent Hogan
Monday October 08 2012
The prejudice of time begins to press down on some of Munster's most decorated officers, yet heads keep turning for a restorative glimpse of one of their most battle-scarred
Paul O'Connell's name is invoked by media, almost on reflex now, as Rob Penney tries to work the positives from a project that lacks accuracy, but little else. The paradox can't be lost on the New Zealander. Just as Donncha O'Callaghan and Ronan O'Gara come under what has the distinct feel of ageist scrutiny, the tribunals pine for O'Connell's venerable influence.
Penney politely batted away questioning about the fitness of the 2009 Lions captain on Saturday night, articulating patience on the matter that may require repeat readings over the coming weeks.
Munster go to Paris next weekend for an opening Heineken Cup engagement that their opponents, Racing Metro, palpably hope will fill Stade de France. They do so on the back of their eighth defeat to Leinster from the last 10 meetings and, if Penney is new to that predicament, Saturday provided a pocket education on the salty juices flowing between these sides.
For the game came roller-coasting out of a perfect, windless October evening with a sound and urgency not exactly commonplace in Pro12 combat.
O'Callaghan's wonderful take of Jonny Sexton's kick-off prefaced 54 seconds of perfectly stitched, albeit lateral, passing from the Munster men. But then a turnover and, after Brian O'Driscoll's grubber kick forced the concession of a five-metre scrum, Leinster laid waste on the Lansdowne Road end.
They were rewarded with Richardt Strauss' backstroke stretch under the posts but, no sooner had the din abated than Mike Sherry and Simon Zebo were working an opening for Peter O'Mahony to power over in the left corner. Seven minutes in and, already, haymakers safely landed on both chins.
Penney wants Munster to embrace a wider, continuity-based game than has been their custom, but it's a tricky strategy against a team possessing so much broken-field menace.
So, for all the gears they ran through on Saturday, there was a perpetual sense of trapeze artists performing without the security of a net. The tiniest equivocation seemed coded into Munster's back play, with only Keith Earls truly running like a man with dynamite caps in his shoes.
O'Gara had an efficient, tidy game at No 10 that lasted an hour and, if Ian Keatley was bright and energetic on his introduction, the efforts to pitch the latter's impact as proof of the former's decline seemed a mite opportunistic, if not downright unfair.
Penney rightly recoiled from the suggestion that he had now activated the 'shepherd's hook' in successive games against O'Gara.
"I wouldn't be using that word," he explained. "It's more the rest period that Ronan's had coming in. He's had limited preparation time with the group, whereas Ian's been here the whole time."
Munster are, essentially, learning new tricks on the run here, endlessly adjusting, calibrating and revising in the midst of fixtures that, suddenly, carry heavy implications.
Ian Madigan cut brilliantly inside Casey Laulala for Leinster's second try and, when O'Driscoll's masterful corner-flag finish allowed them ease 30-14 clear after 53 minutes, Damien Varley's sin-binning seemed likely to preface a collapse.
O'Callaghan had, somewhat surprisingly, been replaced four minutes earlier and -- reduced to a seven-man scrum -- Munster's pack now had the life expectancy of a bleeding swimmer trying to make it from Cuba to Key West.
But they didn't roll over and -- apart from John Cooney's charge up the East-stand touchline, terminated by a treacherous bounce -- Munster actually spent the final quarter asking awkward questions of the European champions.
For their players, it felt like a performance deserving -- at least -- of a bonus point.
James Downey, a 64th-minute replacement for Zebo, explained: "We're not far off. It's a lot of different combinations, a lot of young lads and everyone's got to gel together and get used to it. I think everyone backs the way Rob wants us to play.
"At the start of the game, you saw that when we do push it wide, we can get the gains. All we need is one or two more phases, I think, and we can open teams up, as we've shown before."
A splendid 67th-minute Keatley kick pushed them deep into the Leinster '22' and, from a five-metre scrum, Conor Murray dived through an unguarded door on the short side. Keatley's touchline conversion was sublime and, when Laulala charged over with just six minutes remaining, referee Leighton Hodges was forced to rule a forward pass on site rather than go upstairs because the alleged offence came outside the remit of the TMO.
That late surge came as little surprise to the men in blue.
"Well you'd expect nothing less," suggested second-row Damian Browne. "These games are always a step up, just because of the history and the rivalry in them. There were times in the first half when it was through the roof.
"Then it got a bit stop-start with quite a few penalties and scrums dropping. The last 25-35 minutes of the game was a bit all over the shop. But you have to be happy when you dig in and hold a team out like that, especially when they're within a sniff of a bonus point and maybe more."
Penney bemoaned the absence of pragmatism that probably cost Munster that minimal reward, a kickable late penalty rejected in favour of a line-out. Heading to Paris now with a largely callow team, he knows that calm on-field leadership will be essential.
Hence, those inevitable questions about O'Connell.
"As we keep saying week in, week out, Paulie's going to be ready when he's ready," said Penney. "If we put a timeline on it and he's not ready, all of a sudden he's under immense pressure. 'Why is he not ready?' So we're not putting a timeline on it. As we said last week, he's getting close. He's doing a lot of good work.
"The thing with Paulie obviously is he's got so much to offer. He's still in the prime of his career. He's had such a battering through his young age that he's just taking time to recover from what has been a pretty bruising career to date. And, if we can put the miles in now, hopefully the whole rugby community can enjoy him playing more regularly at each level that he wants to."
Penney acknowledged that O'Connell's presence could have "a great influence on everybody". But you have to suspect his immediate challenge is to work without the Limerick man, yet strike a balance between street-wisdom and hope in Paris. That's why, logically, O'Gara and O'Callaghan will surely start.
The old side of Munster's dressing-room may house its share of war wounds, but it's no wax museum.
- Vincent Hogan
8 out of our last 10meetings with the Laydeez. Groan
Otaga Daily Times 2/5/2012
Taz-Where did you get that information as I have seen nowhere that he(Penney) was ruled out?
Editor - The writer stands by the Penney information.
Otaga Daily Times 3/5/2012
Editor-- This article originally said Rob Penney had missed out on the Munster coaching job. That information was incorrect.
\"Only Pienaar, Botha and Ferris would be in contention for a place on our first 15. That\'s a fact.\" - Tickettout\'s take on Ulster April 2011.
Well forward but quick passes are harder to spot.
Touch judge should have spotted it but was probably focussing on BOD staying in play.
The forward pass gave BOD that extra yard to get in the corner.
Last edited by MrsMcGahan; 10th-October-2012 at 09:07.
Sour grapes. He just doesn't like Dublin people, pure and simple. The attitude is if we can't beat them on the field, we can claim moral superiority over their fans. Ladyboy sh#te talk is wearing thin. This guy is no different to the infantile fans we have who goad Munster fans when we score. You can all go and f*ck off and follow some foreign soccer team, that's more your level and sporting ethos. Leave the rugby to the grown ups. Personally I had a nice few pints after the game with some Young Munster fans, top men.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Last edited by i_like_cake; 10th-October-2012 at 15:51.
He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
I'm really looking forward to the reverse fixture in Thomond, when we will have a few injured talismen back, Keatley OH, and hopefully Stander will come good as we are all hoping he will. I'd like to see you guys with a full strength side too so that there will and can be no excuse from either side. It really could be a spectacle of rugby when we are fully up to speed with Penney's gameplan and you guys have shaken off your below par form from the opening few games.
I'm certainly not bitter about our loss to you, and I think we will have learned a lot from it. Wasn't at the game so can't comment on either set of fans, but you can get clowns on both sides that can ruin it for a small few that have to put up with them. There are true, die-hard and respectful fans on both sides, and it's good to hear Leinsterdan have a good laugh with some of ours, cos at the end of the day that's what it is all about. Enemies leading up to and during the game, but afterwards, what makes rugby different to other sports is that everyone can share a drink and some friendly banter.
Nice one Sketchy. Yeah you're right its just a few clowns thinking they're big men. We all know there will always be banter between Leinster and Munster fans but there is a line that should not be crossed and some respect shown. We had some 14 year old idiots behind us who were shouting when ROG was taking his kicks, that's embarrassing to say the least. There was a lot of teenagers, dolly birds and general day trippers giving it the "let it out" every five seconds. That's the downside of the Aviva but still its just not what we need. But yeah great to have a good few pints afterwards with the Munster lads, talking club rugby and having a laugh. Look forward to heading down to Limerick for the away game.