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    Form of Dowling



    I've been away from the site over Chrstmas so maybe this has been posted before. I dont want to put the curse on him but have been really impressed with his form in the last month. He has shown new hunger and his physical presence in the tackle and at the breakdown are vital. He may not have a side step and the swerve out of the tackle seems to have been left behind but he has developed a more rounded game. If he had shown this frm 2 months ago he would surely have got an A cap of some sort.I must admit i wasone of the ones worried about his weight at the start of the year and second season syndrome. [img]smileys/redface.gif[/img]


    On a seperate note too its great to see Halstead getting back towards where he left off last year aftter a slow start to the year.
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    #2


    I think the best possible compliment to him was actually Biarritz's decision not to try expose him during the Final. Any other young guy in his debut season would be percieved as a weakness to be tested but Biarritz realised they would get no change out of him.


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      #3
      He's got an A cap or two hasn't he? I think the best bit was the kick through he did (can't remember which game now), long distance low skidding kick that got us a lineout right up at the opposition line. Didn't realise his kicking game was that good, great under high ball, defensively much improved from a year ago, physically powerful, if he can just get a bit more ball in space within 35m or so of the line it'd be nice to see.

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        #4


        The ball in space thing though is down to our style of play rather than any individual back. We use the big forwards a lot in midfield which limits the oppurtunities. They have been trying to play a bit more lately though.








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        What's the difference anyway
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          #5

          Originally posted by Evil Omer
          He's got an A cap or two hasn't he? I think the best bit was the kick through he did (can't remember which game now), long distance low skidding kick that got us a lineout right up at the opposition line. Didn't realise his kicking game was that good, great under high ball, defensively much improved from a year ago, physically powerful, if he can just get a bit more ball in space within 35m or so of the line it'd be nice to see.
          That was the Osprey's game IIRC. His form in the last 6 weeks has been good and much better than earlier in the season. Payne is still telling him where to stand though and he tends to drift off a bit (Steinmetz v Ulster and latterly Cjekaj versus Cardiff). On the whole he's a fine player but occasionally needs a boot to get his head out of the clouds
          Is minic a bhris béal duine a shróin

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            #6
            <DIV>
            Originally posted by Sarsfield
            occasionally needs a boot to get his head out of the clouds
            </DIV>
            <DIV>Maybe that's what BO'D and Jackman were up to then.</DIV>
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            </a>

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              #7
              All last season he stood out as a very good upcoming player. His strength to stay on his feet is similar to Gordan Darcy. He rarely loses ball in the breakdown and apart from getting caught wrong footed against Hickey in Leinster match (not 100% sure of this, was at match), he has has decent defence.

              I've also heard people, even on this forum say he's not the quickest. I remember watching him last year at Thomond, think it was against Edinburgh where he kicked and chased and he looked really quick. Havn't seen that extreme pace since though.

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                #8


                Agree he can drift off a bit but considering how little good ball he gets that's a risk we take - it's the same when we decided to try to convert Staunton into a FB when he had a reputation for drifting off a bit as well. Back 3 are positions where loss of concentration is a common problem.


                I think we need to start using him like we do Kelly, coming through off the IC into the midfield on an angled crash ball. He has more pace and power than any of our other back 3 players at the moment and if he does it half as well as JK we really could carve open defences with it.

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                  #9


                  Originally posted by stunmer
                  I've also heard people, even on this forum say he's not the quickest. I remember watching him last year at Thomond, think it was against Edinburgh where he kicked and chased and he looked really quick. Havn't seen that extreme pace since though.

                  It's interesting how many people say he's nowhere near quick enough. Personally I think the issue is that people here haven't seen him in space enough to know. I've only seen him have a chance to really go for it a couple of times and he's looked very sharp. I keep quoting the try (may have been against Edinburgh) where he fielded a poor pass off the floor out wide and really shot off, the covering players didn't get within a mile of him. I think also he's smart enough now to not go flying off when he sees a break, like JK and Payne he seems to play the team game and maybe on occasion stay within himself sometimes to make sure he doesn't get isolated. He doesn't seem to have too much trouble keeping up with Maafi and Murphy and I don't think anyone could question them for pace.

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                    #10


                    Dowling is shaping up to be a very good player ... he is seriously tough nut as well, would easily fit in with the back-row guys for strength in contact. He's setup rolling mauls as well as all the regular backs stuff.


                    As has been said his positioning/concentration would appear to be the weaknesses in his game, and tonights game will be the test of this as he wont have ROG/champer/kelly anywhere nearby to yell him back into position.


                    The funny thing about that kick was he wasn't intending for it to go into touch, if you saw his face when he arrived up to the touchline he wasn't happy. He was aiming to gather it himself to go for the try. As thing turned out the kick he made was probably the better result as he wasn't going to beat his opposite number to the ball.
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                      #11


                      Ok,against the grain of the thread, but I dont think he has been great this year....Feel he has been slow getting up to speed on the season,and looks over weight for a winger...IMO...and I dont think he has played anywhere near to the level yet this year,as he did last.....


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                        #12


                        Originally posted by Ruck
                        <div>
                        Originally posted by Sarsfield
                        occasionally needs a boot to get his head out of the clouds
                        </div>
                        <div>Maybe that's what BO'D and Jackman were up to then.</div>
                        BOD and Jackman in public service shocka [img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]
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                          #13


                          Im notcompletey soldon him, although he clearly he has earned his place and isan important part of the team.If he got injured Id be worried.


                          I dont know if its a perception thing but looks lik he's a bit shortof pace for his positionbut not to the point where he cant be effective. A smart player who reads the situation well.


                          Its the centres Id be more concerned with to be honest.

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                            #14
                            I'm happy enough with out first choice centres and still think JK is a good make weight there. I think Maafi's pace and style of play would be well suited to wing and TOL has shown he'd be a good back 3 option for us. I do think we'd struggle if both Halstead and Murphy were out though. Since Gavin Duffy doesn't seem to be up to much at Quins these days would now be the time to approach him (again) and how long has Matthews got left at Connacht?

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                              #15
                              I'm not sure I'd like to see Duffy here to be honest, his career has
                              really hit the skids and he seems to have completely lost form. He
                              should have jumped ship from Quins the second they were relegated.
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