Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

So what happens next?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    So what happens next?


    The Joe Show is at an end. The most successful coach in Irish rugby history topped out at the same level as most of the others, but his teams gave us some great days for the bulk of his tenure. What I'm wondering now is where he leaves us, and what happens from here?

    We have a Head Coach now coming into a very unusual and difficult situation. In any other circumstances, there'd be strong calls for Schmidt and his whole team to go. We've been battered by a slew of teams in the last year, and the overall curve is nowhere but down, despite the occasional ray of hope against Scotland, or the Welsh warm up games.

    Presumably appointed by a Union looking to continue the momentum of the set up that had just beaten New Zealand for the second time, Farrell now finds himself promoted into a situation of immediate pressure. Let's be honest - if his signature wasn't already on the contract, there's no way he'd be getting the job at this point. He won't get the honeymoon/benefit of the doubt period that coaches coming in to make changes do. His tenure now depends on it turning out that he's had a bunch of solutions up his sleeve and not been able to get Joe to implement them. He's got no time to work anything out, imo.

    What does he have to work with? It will get repetitive to keep saying it, so lets take it as read that just about all of the current set up have an issue with form, and assume that great players don't become poor ones overnight. That turnaround is the first task.

    Our front row options remain strong. With Furlong, Healy, McGrath, Ryan, Killer and Porter there's competition, and that's before we start to look at guys like Cronin who might still come in. He has a challenge in getting a first choice test hooker up to pace. None of the possibles have made themselves a probable. Whatever anyone says about conservative selection, none of them has put in a single test performance that asserted their right to the shirt.

    Second row pool is also good, imo. Ryan, Henderson, Beirne, Kleyn, Dillane...there's plenty there to work with. All of them bar maybe Ryan need to be pushing to make a step up though in my view. There's a rake of talent there, but there isn't the physicality that England and NZ deliver.

    Back row is an issue, I think. POM remains relentless, and I think the criticisms of Stander are excessive. I like VDF, but getting Leavy back, fit and in form is probably the biggest priority. We've dropped off a cliff in his absence I think. SOB is gone, which is overdue really. He's been Banquo's Ghost in discussions of the Irish back row for a good four years now. After that I have concerns. I don't think Conan is all he's made out to be when he steps up to test level. We've a clutch of promising youngsters coming through, but I look at Underhill and Curry and I don't think we've anyone who's going to come into the set up near that level. Whether it's conditioning, rest, psychology or game plan, we need a significant step up from what looks like being a largely unchanged group of players. A lot rests on Leavy.


    Murray remains the best of our 9 options and will for a while. But some back up and succession is needed. I honestly don't think we have an heir apparent at the level we'd want, but hope springs eternal.

    10 is an issue. I don't know if Sexton will continue, and much as there's talk of Carty, Carbery and Byrne, none of them imo have consistently shown the form needed. One of them needs to take a big step forward for their Province this year

    Centres are a conundrum. We've spent the last year making a variety of units that are less than the sum of their parts. I'm a big fan of Catt, and have to hope that with Henderson, Aki, Farrell, Ringrose and the likes of Addison and (hopefully) Scannell pushing on he can fashion something that functions as a midfield.

    The back three gives cause for optimism I think. We've a year before the availability of Lowe makes the Dublin media reverse their passionate stance against imports, but Earls, Stockdale, Addison, Conway, Larmour should have a ton of running in them if we can get the rest right. Formulating ways of getting these guys into space is what Catt is there for, I hope.


    There's been an awful lot of talk about Schmidt being too conservative, but the reality is that I don't think we're looking at a massive changing of the guard here. We don't have a rake of players beyond this group who are going to come in and shake things up.

    So even more falls to a coaching ticket that is starting out without much credit in the bank. You have to hope that with Farrell, Catt, Easterby in a system that also contains Larkham Rowntree, Lancaster et al that there's enough nous at Provincial and National level to both evolve the game plan and develop the player pool.



    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

    #2
    Great post- and an very sober, and sobering assessment of the situation.

    Back row is certainly a problem, POM is a favourite here, of course, and was one of the better players yesterday- but I am not sure how much longer he can or should be nailed on for. There is too much hanging on Leavy. I hope for his sake he comes back better than ever- but that’s far from inevitable, and competition is critical for player development. I really want to see a JOD - Fineen etc get to the level where he’s demanding to be considered.

    One thing that comes across loud and clear is how many of the ‘back up’ players really haven’t done enough to demand the jersey. In part, perhaps, it is lack of opportunity, but in most cases that isn’t the whole story- not even the half of it.

    Comment


      #3
      Agree with most of that BB. We can’t and shouldn’t ditch half the squad. A few should and will go but elsewhere it’s about gradually phasing out some while giving others opportunities to step up.

      The pack will be fine. Some real quality already there and plenty coming through. Likewise back three.

      The big issues are: halfbacks, centres and playing style.

      Catt is absolutely key. He needs to evolve our attack as a whole and especially our the way our midfield uses the ball, and select and enable players to play that way.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post
        Great post- and an very sober, and sobering assessment of the situation.

        Back row is certainly a problem, POM is a favourite here, of course, and was one of the better players yesterday- but I am not sure how much longer he can or should be nailed on for. There is too much hanging on Leavy. I hope for his sake he comes back better than ever- but that’s far from inevitable, and competition is critical for player development. I really want to see a JOD - Fineen etc get to the level where he’s demanding to be considered.

        One thing that comes across loud and clear is how many of the ‘back up’ players really haven’t done enough to demand the jersey. In part, perhaps, it is lack of opportunity, but in most cases that isn’t the whole story- not even the half of it.
        I think a lot of calls have been very optimistic demands that player X be given a run of test matches to become a test player. But I don't think that stacks up.

        I can remember a few major successions over the last decade or more. I remember when Horan was stuck behind Corrigan. When DOC couldn't seem to shift O'Kelly. When Easterby was still holding off Leamy. When Flannery was behind Byrne. When Sexton was overtaking ROG. When Ross was pushing the Bull.

        All of those guys were making the case week to week with their province that they were already at the level needed. Sexton was still tussling with ROG when he led the comeback against Saints that won the HEC.

        I don't see anyone outside of the current team, bar those stuck behind Kearney, making a similar case.
        "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

        "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


        "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post
          Great post- and an very sober, and sobering assessment of the situation.

          Back row is certainly a problem, POM is a favourite here, of course, and was one of the better players yesterday- but I am not sure how much longer he can or should be nailed on for. There is too much hanging on Leavy. I hope for his sake he comes back better than ever- but that’s far from inevitable, and competition is critical for player development. I really want to see a JOD - Fineen etc get to the level where he’s demanding to be considered.

          One thing that comes across loud and clear is how many of the ‘back up’ players really haven’t done enough to demand the jersey. In part, perhaps, it is lack of opportunity, but in most cases that isn’t the whole story- not even the half of it.
          I think our back row will be grand.

          CJ and POM aren’t done yet. Deegan, Doris, JOD and more are emerging. Ruddock and Conan my not be quite top class but can still do a job.

          Leavy was a big loss but will be back and VdF is a good player, Scott Penny looks promising too, and I’m sure we’ll see some more emerge.

          For me the key is opportunity and experimentation. These lads should be getting opportunities in different combinations, and not just in the AIs. We need to mix it up a bit in the 6Ns too. We’re far too obsessed in this country with the concept of a first XV.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

            I think our back row will be grand.

            CJ and POM aren’t done yet. Deegan, Doris, JOD and more are emerging. Ruddock and Conan my not be quite top class but can still do a job.

            Leavy was a big loss but will be back and VdF is a good player, Scott Penny looks promising too, and I’m sure we’ll see some more emerge.

            For me the key is opportunity and experimentation. These lads should be getting opportunities in different combinations, and not just in the AIs. We need to mix it up a bit in the 6Ns too. We’re far too obsessed in this country with the concept of a first XV.
            There's something amiss across our pack in terms of power levels. They've dropped off, and I've not seen a good explanation as to why. Furlong and Healy were running through walls a year ago.

            POM and Stander need to be back at that level physically.
            "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

            "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


            "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post

              There's something amiss across our pack in terms of power levels. They've dropped off, and I've not seen a good explanation as to why. Furlong and Healy were running through walls a year ago.

              POM and Stander need to be back at that level physically.
              Iain Henderson
              I am the million man.

              Comment


                #8
                Over-analysed, over trained (Portugal finished us before England friendly). Too many systems. Players looked nervous - like they were afraid of the headmaster. Looked tense, and definitely not enjoying their rugby. And not enough new blood in the team. Upwards and onwards.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think the first thing to do is decide what sort of game style we are looking to play and then pick the players that suit that gamestyle - eg if you want a fast moving game style you pick Marmian/JGP/Carberry/Carthy as half backs - if you want a more structured game style you pick Murray/McGrath or Cooney/ Byrne etc.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
                    I think the first thing to do is decide what sort of game style we are looking to play and then pick the players that suit that gamestyle - eg if you want a fast moving game style you pick Marmian/JGP/Carberry/Carthy as half backs - if you want a more structured game style you pick Murray/McGrath or Cooney/ Byrne etc.
                    Murray is the best 9 available to Ireland by a country mile, whatever the game plan. He's at an entirely different level to any of the back ups.
                    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post

                      Murray is the best 9 available to Ireland by a country mile, whatever the game plan. He's at an entirely different level to any of the back ups.
                      Another hope is he is told to get back to playing fast rugby like he used to.
                      I am the million man.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cowboy View Post

                        Another hope is he is told to get back to playing fast rugby like he used to.

                        Yep. The contortions in the discussion of him over the last year have been amazing. Murray is clearly playing to Joe's game plan, despite the insistence of many that Murray's desire to play the game at a slower pace is somehow blocking Schmidt's ability to get things done.
                        "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                        "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                        "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post

                          I think a lot of calls have been very optimistic demands that player X be given a run of test matches to become a test player. But I don't think that stacks up.

                          I can remember a few major successions over the last decade or more. I remember when Horan was stuck behind Corrigan. When DOC couldn't seem to shift O'Kelly. When Easterby was still holding off Leamy. When Flannery was behind Byrne. When Sexton was overtaking ROG. When Ross was pushing the Bull.

                          All of those guys were making the case week to week with their province that they were already at the level needed. Sexton was still tussling with ROG when he led the comeback against Saints that won the HEC.

                          I don't see anyone outside of the current team, bar those stuck behind Kearney, making a similar case.
                          I wasn’t suggesting a run of test matches- but a run at club/province where the record is compelling- and I agree that no one outside is really making a compelling case - indeed even at 9/10 for Munster- we see the same thing.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

                            I wasn’t suggesting a run of test matches- but a run at club/province where the record is compelling- and I agree that no one outside is really making a compelling case - indeed even at 9/10 for Munster- we see the same thing.
                            Oh I know - I didn't mean yourself, but some of the comments more generally here and on social media. Especially in relation to hookers, I think, who've all had ample opportunity to stake a claim. Though I've seen some in relation to Dillane too and the Kleyn/Import discussion. As if a guy with 11 test caps and 80 provincial appearances, and three seasons in the Irish set up, is just lacking some game time.
                            "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                            "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                            "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post


                              Yep. The contortions in the discussion of him over the last year have been amazing. Murray is clearly playing to Joe's game plan, despite the insistence of many that Murray's desire to play the game at a slower pace is somehow blocking Schmidt's ability to get things done.
                              But we haven't seen him play at a fast pace for Munster either in the last couple of years though.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X