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    #46
    Originally posted by Dowlinz View Post
    I'm hoping we see a philosophy change towards empowering players more to make their own decisions rather than following scripted gameplans regardless of what's happening in front of players. Joe always claimed that players had license to alter things as they saw though Zebo's comments suggested players were fearful to use their instincts as they were singled out and humiliated in video sessions if it didn't work. That sort of environment needs to change.

    In terms of a succession plan we need to look to all successful teams and aim to build a winning culture rather than fixate on a target 4 years from now while thinking short term punishment is somehow contributing to long term success.
    All teams play to a fixed gameplan, even the All Blacks. There is simply too many moving parts in a rugby team to just send out 15 good players and tell them to play it as they see it. That approach would get us knocked out in the pool stages and finish in the bottom three of the 6N. Some people cite Japan as an example of a team playing off the cuff but it is not off the cuff, it is a well practiced well understood and rigidly applied gameplan. The Boks identified it and nullified it with quick linespeed and relentless tackling.

    I think what you are really asking for is a more expansive gameplan that is more entertaining to watch and has more potential to ask questions of the very top teams (NZ, SA, etc.). I think that there is a false narrative that we don't play wide. In the GS season and the tour to Australia we played good rugby, against the All Blacks in Chicago we played good rugby and against the All Blacks in 2018 we played good rugby (the narrative judges the game on the score board but we cut them open 5 or 6 times which is very rare to see). I'd be very happy to see Ireland get back to those kinds of performances with a mix of hard running in the tight and quick switches to the blindside and in midfield. This year's failures were not about the gameplan as much as they were about terrible accuracy in everything we did. I can buy the argument that this was driven by Schmidt instilling a fear of failure, but I can also buy the argument that individually and collectively the players were off by 5% and at the level they are operating being off by that much is not possible.

    I'd agree with you 100% about a winning culture. Forget about France 23, win games, expand the ways the team can play, expand the depth of the squad. Look after your pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

    Comment


      #47
      I think Schmidt's total control led to the collapse.


      Every team has an attacking structure of a variety of them. Hansen has said that after one or two phases he doesn't know what his players are going to do next. Nobody does because the players have license to do what they want and are expected to do something positive.


      Schmidt likes to control every move. It's like having a variety of lineout calls. The players are expected to learn them all off and if they don't follow them, Schmidt will get rid of those players. So you have to follow the instructions. Ireland can go through multiple rucks in order to set up a move from the playbook.


      This year it has looked like every team has gotten hold of that playbook and new what to expect. Since the team were not allowed to be creative, the moves stopped working and because a massive liability.


      Schmidt couldn't make the changes because of time. He usually have players in camp a year before they're capped in big games. That's because they have to learn all the complex moves. The whole thing went into a downward spiral after that. Players lost confidence, form went, belief drained etc.


      I don't know what Catt will do but Italy do play some good rugby. They've usually multiple attacking options and offload the ball a good bit. Against SA they were causing the Boks trouble and made a few line breaks before the red card. It's about as good as you could have got Italy to play given their shortcomings.


      Catt himself was a bit of a maverick as a player. We need a bit of that now.


      Hopefully Farrell can bring in a fresh attitude. Bring in a bit more bite like Gatland has done for Wales but also more freedom to make mistakes and less information overload. If he can't do hat then he won't last long.


      It's a great position for Farrell to be in. The team can only get better and he's under no pressure to follow Schmidt's style. Hiring Catt might have been the first hint of a change of direction.
      ​​​

      Comment


        #48
        If you look at what NZ do/have done and compare it to what we do in Ireland especially up front -

        For a start they teach every player from a young age how to pass off either hand, accurately to a player on the move and this skill is of particular emphasis to the game of touch which so many players play from a young age which means there skill levels tend to be far higher than Irish players - case in point when Joe came to Leinster (who had Sexton/Darcy/Driscoll etc and pretty brutally highlighted how poor their passing skills were).

        In the NZ front row they've primarily picked front row forwards more for their ability with the ball in hand and mobility rather than with such emphasis on the set-piece. At the scrum they don't use it to win penalties but rather to get in and out asap to create room for their backs. At hooker they pick Taylor/Coles who are not the most accurate throwers (they've the worst lineout stats of any team in teh qtr-finals) but who are dynamite with the ball in open play. We don't pick Cronin who offers the same threat.

        In the 2nd row they pick big men who are both capable of carrying, making high tackle numbers and are good passers of the ball.

        In the back row they pick a traditional 6 (big hitting, hard carrying), a traditional 7 (who attacks the breakdown, opposition flyhalf and links play) and a traditional 8 (who can jump in lineout, carry out wide and in tight if required) who are all comfortable in open field play.

        Comment


          #49
          Originally posted by dropkick View Post

          Catt himself was a bit of a maverick as a player. We need a bit of that now.


          Hopefully Farrell can bring in a fresh attitude. Bring in a bit more bite like Gatland has done for Wales but also more freedom to make mistakes and less information overload. If he can't do hat then he won't last long.


          It's a great position for Farrell to be in. The team can only get better and he's under no pressure to follow Schmidt's style. Hiring Catt might have been the first hint of a change of direction.
          ​​​
          As AFH said above inaccuracy was a major problem this year, and I think he makes a good point. If we had been dull and perfectly accurate we might have gone further, but we were dull and (in our poor games) were woeful in terms of handling, over running moves and falling off/missing tackles. If the cost of someone with Catt's attacking approach is some errors, that's not necessarily, even in itself, a disimprovement. At the end of Joe's term, very good players looked inept. I really hope we have left that behind.

          Comment


            #50
            Originally posted by Tipplad View Post

            So are all centrally contracts are up in 2019? And who is up in 2020. Earls is 2021 and Kearney is up in June 2019 I think
            Some - like Kearney, Earls and Murray - have already renewed. But all the recent negotiations have come because the bulk of the central contracts were due to expire post world cup.
            "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


              #51


              Re: Catt, I'd look to the rugby that England were playing under Lancaster before he got frit in the run up to the World Cup, retreated to bosh and tried to turn Sam Burgess into Sonny Bill.

              They were eternally second, but in 2015 when we somehow nicked it on points difference they scored 18 tries to our 8. That Burrell, Joseph, Watson, May, Brown back line was ferocious with ball in hand.
              "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


                #52
                If we pick a squad along the following lines for the 6 Nations -

                Healy, Killer, McGrath, Marshall, Scannell, Herring, Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Ryan, Henderson, Dillane, Beirne, Kleyn, POM, Ruddock, VDF, CJ, Deegan/Doris, Penny, Murray, JGP, Marmian, Carberry, Carthy, Byrne, Henshaw, Aki, Farrell, Ringrose, McCloskey, Stockdale, Earls, Larmour, Conway, Addison, with Whcyerly, Kelleher, Daly, Lowry, Laird training alongside them

                and a team like -

                Killer, Scannell, Furlong, Ryan, Dillane, Beirne, VDF, CJ, Murray, Carberry, Stockdale, Farrell, Ringrose, Conway, Larmour - Healy, Herring, Porter, Ruddock, POM, JGP, Byrne, Addison for the Scotland game I'd be happy

                Comment


                  #53
                  Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
                  If we pick a squad along the following lines for the 6 Nations -

                  Healy, Killer, McGrath, Marshall, Scannell, Herring, Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Ryan, Henderson, Dillane, Beirne, Kleyn, POM, Ruddock, VDF, CJ, Deegan/Doris, Penny, Murray, JGP, Marmian, Carberry, Carthy, Byrne, Henshaw, Aki, Farrell, Ringrose, McCloskey, Stockdale, Earls, Larmour, Conway, Addison, with Whcyerly, Kelleher, Daly, Lowry, Laird training alongside them

                  and a team like -

                  Killer, Scannell, Furlong, Ryan, Dillane, Beirne, VDF, CJ, Murray, Carberry, Stockdale, Farrell, Ringrose, Conway, Larmour - Healy, Herring, Porter, Ruddock, POM, JGP, Byrne, Addison for the Scotland game I'd be happy
                  You'll give Spiffy a nervous breakdown.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by AwayFromHome View Post

                    All teams play to a fixed gameplan, even the All Blacks. There is simply too many moving parts in a rugby team to just send out 15 good players and tell them to play it as they see it. That approach would get us knocked out in the pool stages and finish in the bottom three of the 6N. Some people cite Japan as an example of a team playing off the cuff but it is not off the cuff, it is a well practiced well understood and rigidly applied gameplan. The Boks identified it and nullified it with quick linespeed and relentless tackling.

                    I think what you are really asking for is a more expansive gameplan that is more entertaining to watch and has more potential to ask questions of the very top teams (NZ, SA, etc.). I think that there is a false narrative that we don't play wide. In the GS season and the tour to Australia we played good rugby, against the All Blacks in Chicago we played good rugby and against the All Blacks in 2018 we played good rugby (the narrative judges the game on the score board but we cut them open 5 or 6 times which is very rare to see). I'd be very happy to see Ireland get back to those kinds of performances with a mix of hard running in the tight and quick switches to the blindside and in midfield. This year's failures were not about the gameplan as much as they were about terrible accuracy in everything we did. I can buy the argument that this was driven by Schmidt instilling a fear of failure, but I can also buy the argument that individually and collectively the players were off by 5% and at the level they are operating being off by that much is not possible.

                    I'd agree with you 100% about a winning culture. Forget about France 23, win games, expand the ways the team can play, expand the depth of the squad. Look after your pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
                    Your first sentence is key. All teams play to a gameplan, but it is not fixed.
                    Good teams will change the gameplan on pitch and play what is in front of them, if the plan is failing.
                    This kind of flexibility typifies the ABs, since thay have the talent to play several types of game and the rugby brains/leadership to adapt their approach.
                    Ireland does not have that flexibility, and the players have not been encouraged to develop it.The result is that we now have a group of players with poor decision making, limited self confidence and highly automated responses, who lack speed of thought (and often of foot.)
                    You can't fix this overnight, so we should be prepared for a significant transition period where many of our players will need to be re-educated.
                    In some cases they will be found wanting in skills, brain and speed.
                    Erse end of nowhere

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by Spiffy View Post

                      Your first sentence is key. All teams play to a gameplan, but it is not fixed.
                      Good teams will change the gameplan on pitch and play what is in front of them, if the plan is failing.
                      This kind of flexibility typifies the ABs, since thay have the talent to play several types of game and the rugby brains/leadership to adapt their approach.
                      Ireland does not have that flexibility, and the players have not been encouraged to develop it.The result is that we now have a group of players with poor decision making, limited self confidence and highly automated responses, who lack speed of thought (and often of foot.)
                      You can't fix this overnight, so we should be prepared for a significant transition period where many of our players will need to be re-educated.
                      In some cases they will be found wanting in skills, brain and speed.
                      Completely agree. Mike Tyson's "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" applies here to. New Zealand vs South Africa was a good example of this. New Zealand clearly started with a game plan of looking to run with width as much as was possible, from as far out as was possible. At around the 25 minute mark, they completely changed their game plan to counter South Africa's line speed. They spotted that South Africa had an extra man in the defensive line and started kicking more. When this happened, South Africa couldn't respond, until New Zealand had already won the game.

                      Playing "off the cuff" doesn't just mean playing a wide-wide expansive game. In fact, playing solely expansive, wide-wide rugby, is just as predictable as playing 10-man rugby. Defenses are getting far smarter. It's not enough to say "kick it when in position y" or "run it every time in position x." This is why England, in my opinion, have the best attack in world rugby(as much as it hurts me to say it.) They have massive ball carriers, but they are not looking to enforce their physicality on you. If anything they are standing off to analyze the defensive patterns of their opposition. Against Ireland(in both matches), they were constantly mixing up their game plan. Ireland were worried about England's physicality so they defended very narrow and tried to have extra numbers around the tackle area. England had expected Ireland to defend narrow, so they used a number of pull-back passes to expose the lack of Irish numbers out in the wider channels. It took a long time for Ireland to cop-on to England's tactics and when they did, England reacted almost immediately. Ireland had to bring up an extra man to the defensive line, so England started kicking and running the ball with more numbers and more aggressively. They were always one step ahead of both our attack and defense.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

                        Disagree. An in form Murray would start in most teams in Europe, for whatever reason we have recently only seen glimpses of this, but I think he had a good World Cup (compare his performance with McGrath), and look forward to his coming back. That said, in such a pivotal position, we need to have guys pushing him and ready to step up- both for Munster and Ireland.
                        Murray on top form, would definitely be in most teams in Europe, but when was the last time we saw him in consistently good form? Nothing personal against him, but he has been very poor in the majority of Ireland and Munster's big games, over the last 12 months. There was hope that he was getting back to his best against Scotland in the rain, where the conditions suited his game, but he has since followed that up with two subpar performances. He just hasn't looked the same since his injury and for me, international rugby shouldn't be the place where guys try to get their form back.

                        Also, I'm not sure that depth at scrum-half is that big an issue, right now. It will be in the future, as there are no real 22/23 year old superstars starting at scrum-half for their provinces, but we have fairly healthy stock now. John Cooney has been named in the pro14 team of the year for two years running and has also performed well in europe. This is despite playing behind one of the smaller and weaker packs in europe.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                          Completely agree. Mike Tyson's "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" applies here to. New Zealand vs South Africa was a good example of this. New Zealand clearly started with a game plan of looking to run with width as much as was possible, from as far out as was possible. At around the 25 minute mark, they completely changed their game plan to counter South Africa's line speed. They spotted that South Africa had an extra man in the defensive line and started kicking more. When this happened, South Africa couldn't respond, until New Zealand had already won the game.

                          Playing "off the cuff" doesn't just mean playing a wide-wide expansive game. In fact, playing solely expansive, wide-wide rugby, is just as predictable as playing 10-man rugby. Defenses are getting far smarter. It's not enough to say "kick it when in position y" or "run it every time in position x." This is why England, in my opinion, have the best attack in world rugby(as much as it hurts me to say it.) They have massive ball carriers, but they are not looking to enforce their physicality on you. If anything they are standing off to analyze the defensive patterns of their opposition. Against Ireland(in both matches), they were constantly mixing up their game plan. Ireland were worried about England's physicality so they defended very narrow and tried to have extra numbers around the tackle area. England had expected Ireland to defend narrow, so they used a number of pull-back passes to expose the lack of Irish numbers out in the wider channels. It took a long time for Ireland to cop-on to England's tactics and when they did, England reacted almost immediately. Ireland had to bring up an extra man to the defensive line, so England started kicking and running the ball with more numbers and more aggressively. They were always one step ahead of both our attack and defense.
                          So true. NZ suss out their opposition and then do what's needed to exploit the any weakness exposed. We fail to adapt this way in game and suffer hugely for it.

                          Comment


                            #58
                            Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                            Murray on top form, would definitely be in most teams in Europe, but when was the last time we saw him in consistently good form? Nothing personal against him, but he has been very poor in the majority of Ireland and Munster's big games, over the last 12 months. There was hope that he was getting back to his best against Scotland in the rain, where the conditions suited his game, but he has since followed that up with two subpar performances. He just hasn't looked the same since his injury and for me, international rugby shouldn't be the place where guys try to get their form back.

                            Also, I'm not sure that depth at scrum-half is that big an issue, right now. It will be in the future, as there are no real 22/23 year old superstars starting at scrum-half for their provinces, but we have fairly healthy stock now. John Cooney has been named in the pro14 team of the year for two years running and has also performed well in europe. This is despite playing behind one of the smaller and weaker packs in europe.
                            Careful now, you don't want to be accused of trolling by offering fair and objective criticism.

                            Could really do with somebody coming through one of the provinces indeed. Not sure Nick McCarthy or Hugh O'Sullivan are the answer.

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by Mr Snrub View Post

                              So true. NZ suss out their opposition and then do what's needed to exploit the any weakness exposed. We fail to adapt this way in game and suffer hugely for it.
                              What NZ, and the current England side, have is the all round talent and ability to play whatever way they want.

                              Defending narrow? Ok, we’ll get it wide quickly and exploit the space.
                              Defending wide? We’ll use our carriers or strike runners to go through the middle and around the fringes, offloading like a bunch of Fijians.
                              Coming up hard and fast? We’ll put it into the corners and turn you around.

                              Ireland could go through some teams with relentless carrying around the fringes, they couldn’t go through the middle, they couldn’t go around anybody, and their kicking strategy relied on box kicks that everybody learned to deal with by shepherding the chasers. Far too one dimensional.

                              Not placing the blame for that all on Sexton but he had his limitations, particularly in his kicking game. We definitely need a 10 who can vary our game more, plus a better centre pairing/fullback to give him options.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                                Murray on top form, would definitely be in most teams in Europe, but when was the last time we saw him in consistently good form? Nothing personal against him, but he has been very poor in the majority of Ireland and Munster's big games, over the last 12 months. There was hope that he was getting back to his best against Scotland in the rain, where the conditions suited his game, but he has since followed that up with two subpar performances. He just hasn't looked the same since his injury and for me, international rugby shouldn't be the place where guys try to get their form back.

                                Also, I'm not sure that depth at scrum-half is that big an issue, right now. It will be in the future, as there are no real 22/23 year old superstars starting at scrum-half for their provinces, but we have fairly healthy stock now. John Cooney has been named in the pro14 team of the year for two years running and has also performed well in europe. This is despite playing behind one of the smaller and weaker packs in europe.
                                I agree about Murray which was why I worded it as I did. I think WC against Samoa was good also, made at least two tries with fast passing- but I really do think we need to see more from him, in red and in green, if he is to remain our go to starter. While there are exceptions, SH play better with some OH than others- and I wonder whether the constant chopping and changing has affected his game.

                                In terms of depth, it’s interesting that not even in Joe etc defends the choice of Mc grath as back up scrum half. I would have sent cooney or marmion before him, but I’m. It sure either has anything like the prospects Murray had. Will be interesting to see how JGP at Leinster gets on, and our own Craig Casey- I’m not sure I can see any others in the horizon that have as much to offer.

                                Comment

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