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    Originally posted by overthehillprop View Post
    For me Munster have two major player developments to make to meet the general metrics of teams that have won the HEC. They need to increase the number of internationals but also the downstream impact of that happening is that some/most of the players who do make that step up are likely to be in the "really good non international" category and we will have to back fill those spots. I think we have the players in the squad but one of the significant problems we face is that with so few internationals away and needing to be rested we aren't forced to spread gametime more towards alternatives.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk

    Fair points and agree about those downstream effects. The backrow is a good example of the issue you are describing. If O'Donoghue and O'Donnell had featured in more Ireland camps, you'd imagine the likes Gavin Coombes would have way more than 1 start this season.

    Comment


      Originally posted by Mumhain View Post
      There have been a number of really articulate posts/articles by BB and OTHP and I don’t disagree that there is a certain amount of quality players required, just not sure that international starter is a good barometer, given the amount of variables that go into making a guy an international starter. For example, I think that the current version of John Ryan would have been a nailed-on starter for Ireland 6 years ago, when Ireland were crying out for a reliable scrum. Mike Ross was one of Leinster’s Ireland starters, but wouldn’t have been at the same level as most of the top European tightheads. In that same Irish team, Jared Payne was a solid defensive 13, but there’s an argument to be made that Chris Farrell could have been a starter ahead of him. Currently, Kilcoyne would be an international starter for 4 ( Wales, Scotland, Italy, France) of the six nations countries, in my opinion.

      I think we could be guilty of confusing cause vs correlation when it comes to estimating a number of international starters required to win the champions cup. In 2018, Racing lost the champions cup final by 3 points to Leinster and arguably deserved to win. Their team featured 5 regular International starters at the time (Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Henry Chavancy, Wenceslas Lauret and Leone Nakarawa) and quite a few average players:



      Yeah - I think it works as a ball park figure. Across that 8 you'll have a couple nailed on, a couple getting lucky etc. Jennings for Leinster in 09 is a solid example. Kelly for us in 06 at centre. Barry Murphy 08 would have been starting ahead of any 13 bar the very one he was behind for Ireland.

      And of course those 8 have another 15 players alongside them on match day that will arguably ultimately decide the outcome.

      "Test quality" is a hard thing to pin down, but it means something in this context. Rob Kearney has 95 Ireland caps. If Jason Robinson and Liam Williams had been Irish, that number would have been very different.
      "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


        Originally posted by Mumhain View Post


        The only time I thought Scannell looked underpowered in the collisions was against Saracens in the Heniken cup semi-final. In that match Stander and Kilcoyne also looked underpowered, though, so I think that was more to do with how Munster’s attack was structured. If you are outnumbered 3-to-1 in the tackle situation, I don’t think it matters how good you are at ball-carrying, you will lose the vast majority of collisions you enter. Saracens also made Ryan and Healy look underpowered in last year’s Champions cup final by effectively over-crowding the collision.




        He's 28 now, sure injuries have had an impact (like all players). He'd kinda want to be moving to the next level now in the prime of his career. Fingers crossed he does so
        I am the million man.

        Comment


          Originally posted by overthehillprop View Post
          For me Munster have two major player developments to make to meet the general metrics of teams that have won the HEC. They need to increase the number of internationals but also the downstream impact of that happening is that some/most of the players who do make that step up are likely to be in the "really good non international" category and we will have to back fill those spots. I think we have the players in the squad but one of the significant problems we face is that with so few internationals away and needing to be rested we aren't forced to spread gametime more towards alternatives.

          Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk
          I would argue that players can be rested and younger players given game time even if the senior players aren't in international camps.

          Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

          Comment


            Originally posted by In Joe we trust View Post
            I would argue that players can be rested and younger players given game time even if the senior players aren't in international camps.

            Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
            They can but it's a lot harder. When you have guys as established Ireland first teamers you get the budget to have experienced players around to help the youngsters develop. If you don't have the budget or the internationals then the experienced players you want to help guide the youngsters through are likely to be the guys at that level just below international. You also want to be fair to the guys pushing for a place in international camp and let them play in case there are call ups.
            I'm not saying it can't be done but I think there are more barriers and it's likely to be done in smaller numbers.

            Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk

            \"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

            Comment


              Originally posted by overthehillprop View Post
              They can but it's a lot harder. When you have guys as established Ireland first teamers you get the budget to have experienced players around to help the youngsters develop. If you don't have the budget or the internationals then the experienced players you want to help guide the youngsters through are likely to be the guys at that level just below international. You also want to be fair to the guys pushing for a place in international camp and let them play in case there are call ups.
              I'm not saying it can't be done but I think there are more barriers and it's likely to be done in smaller numbers.

              Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk
              And I think we're in a particular bind on that front.

              In the front row, we have a couple of situations. You've a guy like Killer, going up towards the last world cup on an upward trajectory and looking to break into the Ireland 23 as a fixture. And Ryan, either in or just dropped out of the international framework and needing to cement his place.

              In the second row you had Kleyn and Beirne both looking to stake a claim, both on the fringes of the 23.

              At 9 you have Murray after a long lay off working hard to play his way into form.

              At 10 you have Carbery who only seems to get to play in bursts between injuries and JJ who last year was finally establishing himself as a week in week out fly half option.

              In the midfield we've had Farrell in and out with injury, Scannell trying to kick on, Goggin and Arnold trying to establish themselves.



              Compare that to 2008. You could have ROG away and play Warwick, who was basically our first choice league 10 that year. You could bench Quinny or Leamy and know that either would come back the next week all guns blazing etc etc.


              I think in a way it's easier to rotate fit and in form internationals. We've had an awful lot of senior players who for one reason or another really, really need to play.
              "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


                Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                We need a Fla level player, and right now nobody is even close imo


                I agree but we don’t have a POC for him to throw to, or a Hayes to do the lifting and, I would add, lock out the scrum to compensate for Fla’s lack of size/ power in that area, something that is an issue for KOB and Marshall, imho.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post



                  I agree but we don’t have a POC for him to throw to, or a Hayes to do the lifting and, I would add, lock out the scrum to compensate for Fla’s lack of size/ power in that area, something that is an issue for KOB and Marshall, imho.
                  Or kick frenchmen, put tacklers back on their holes, call Steve Thompson a fat ugly ****. Generally pop up in games with big plays.

                  Would love to see a bit of box office from the current lads. Motms, big plays, tries and insanity.
                  I am the million man.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



                    Yeah - I think it works as a ball park figure. Across that 8 you'll have a couple nailed on, a couple getting lucky etc. Jennings for Leinster in 09 is a solid example. Kelly for us in 06 at centre. Barry Murphy 08 would have been starting ahead of any 13 bar the very one he was behind for Ireland.

                    And of course those 8 have another 15 players alongside them on match day that will arguably ultimately decide the outcome.

                    "Test quality" is a hard thing to pin down, but it means something in this context. Rob Kearney has 95 Ireland caps. If Jason Robinson and Liam Williams had been Irish, that number would have been very different.
                    Valid points and I think “Test quality” or top-3 in Europe in his positions is a better metric. Being top-3 in your position in Europe is relative to the opposition you are coming up against. The quality attached to being an international starter is relative only to an arbitrary level of depth in a country, in a position.

                    My issue is when coaches attempt to use the number of international starters as justification for poor attacking structures or underperformance. Not saying this is the case with Van Graan, as I think he has generally overachieved with the squad he has had available and I think he has acknowledged the issues in attack structure by bringing in Stephen Larkham.


                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                      He's 28 now, sure injuries have had an impact (like all players). He'd kinda want to be moving to the next level now in the prime of his career. Fingers crossed he does so
                      Agreed, it’s a massive season for him. For whatever reason, Munster hookers have been tormented by injuries in the past 4 years. Mike Sherry, Duncan Casey, Niall Scannell and Rhys Marshall all looked like being international starters at one time.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                        Agreed, it’s a massive season for him. For whatever reason, Munster hookers have been tormented by injuries in the past 4 years. Mike Sherry, Duncan Casey, Niall Scannell and Rhys Marshall all looked like being international starters at one time.
                        Outstanding players dont always get all the international caps they deserve. David Wallace (with 72) being an obvious example.

                        Scannell has shown that he has the power and ability at HEC and International level but for whatever reason hasnt shown it often enough. Yes, he's 28 (quite a few good or even best years left in him) and whilst he probably wont be telling anybody - he must me bitter as hell about not getting the caps he will feel he has deserved.

                        The fact fact he's not in the irish team may well be Munster's gain. With the improvment in Munster's pack in the coming season and his desire to prove his critics wrong we can expect serious agression to be the order of the day/season ahead.

                        And with 3 games against the new boy wonder at Leinster possibly coming up soon - it will be very interesting to see how he goes.
                        ​​​​​​#GiveLeinsterTheHCupNow

                        Originally Posted by mr chips
                        AG gets the responses he does because he is a journalist..

                        Comment


                          I wouldnt even single out Niall Scans alone either. Jacko wants to kick on? give us a bit of top end Leamy, big plays, and moments

                          The one guy who has a bit of that stuff right now is Fineen

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                          This is the stuff that lifts the whole setup and demands more from players around him. Its not about being violent, its about being noticable and leading from the front. We need to see more of that raw, aggressive, relentless mindset from 1 to 45
                          I am the million man.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by overthehillprop View Post
                            Front Row - overall its good but we lack the right balance. Currently Killer is the only one out of all our front rows that could be considered an effective/dynamic heavy ball carrier.

                            Loosehead - We have a rake of looseheads capable of playing to european standards behind him but none have pushed on to show they can step up to international level so far. Loughman is a baller and good in open play. Cronin seems to have reached a ceiling he can't push through and Boomer hasn't had a run of games injury free yet. Wycherley looks to be the one based on his u20's play that could come through and pass a good few of them out.

                            Hooker - Scannell is great at the basics but lacks the explosiveness with ball in hand. O'Byrne is a baller in open play and his lineout is spot on but i think there remains some questions on his scrummaging against bigger sides. Marshall seem to be somewhere in the middle of the two skills wise but along with TH its the position we don't have any effective/dynamic heavy carriers.

                            Tight Head - Ryan and Archer are again very solid up to European level but neither has pushed on to be an international starter. Knox is the great white hope and he looks like he will be a monster for years to come if he can stay injury free. I want to see more of him carrying this season to see how effective he can be at this level. Salanoa looks to have all the raw attributes and Rowntree could well be the man to harness them. Salanoa seems to be a direct addition to boost our front row ball carrying.

                            Second row - Its hard to see beyond Snyman and Kleyn being the first choice pairing for the big games. It offers so much in terms of grunt and big ball carriers. Holland will continue to offer experience and leadership for Pro14 games and hopefully Ahern starts to see some gametime and learn from Snyman. I think Wycherley will see more gametime as this new style of second row/blind side flanker comes back into vogue.

                            Backrow - I think if we go with a front five of Killer, Scannell, Ryan, Kleyn and Snyman and a centre pairing of Farrell and De Allende then we have some leeway in how the backrow is structured. POM and CJ are the two nailed on starters in our backrow but the third position is very much up for grabs. Beirne, Wycherley, Coombes, TOD, JOD and JOS all have genuine shouts to push on for that spot. Beirne would be an alternative at 6 but it does leave CJ as the only heavy ball carrier in the back row with this combo. Wycherley could fill the 6 jersey in a similar mould to how England have looked to use Courtney Lawes. Both Wycherley and Beirne at 6 cause POM to shift to openside. I don't think that matters too much as Beirne acts like an openside at the breakdown and picking Wycherley would likely be a specific set up for a specific opponent. Coombes and JOS are both longer shots as they primarily fill the 8 jersey and act as ball carriers with Coombes in particular looking to have the frame to do damage. JOD and TOD could both play seven with CJ and POM in the back row and this along with Beirne look to be the more likely combinations at least at the start of the season. Cloete offers the traditional openside role but i think in some ways POM and Beirne if used in tandem could easily fill that role without giving away the silly pens. Cloete is likely to be under pressure from Hodnett this season for the Pro14 gametime.

                            If i was picking a starting pack for Europe right now it would be
                            Killer, Scannell, Ryan, Kleyn, Snyman, Beirne, POM, CJ
                            Subs - O'Byrne, Loughman, Archer Wycherley, JOD

                            From a tactical point of view that allows dynamic carriers in Killer, Snyman and CJ in the pack along with De Allende and Farrell in midfield. Scannell, Ryan and Kleyn can carry in the tight and POM and Beirne offer wider threats with ball in hand.
                            If Munster continue with the 2-3-2-1 i would expect to see something like Kleyn and Ryan as the first 2, Synman, Killer and Scannell in the 3, POM/Beirne and CJ in the two and Beirne/POM as the wider man.
                            The set piece should be very solid with Kleyn and Snyman in the engine room and at lineout we effectively have four first choice jumpers from 4 - 7 with CJ more than capable from touch as well.
                            Backs

                            The new attacking style that we have seen so far from Larkham requires very different things from our half backs compared to the requirements from Rassie and Joe. Larkham wants quick ball, quick movement and the decision making to be moved somewhat away from the 9. Under Joe and Rassie this was Murrays strength. He would boss the pack, read the game, do the tactical kicking and safety first waiting until everything was in place, don't lose the ball was the primary directive. Murray needs to adapt to the new gameplan and hopefully recover fully from his injuries to get back to his top form. Casey is waiting in the shadows and has to now push on and claim the reserve scrum half jersey as his own. He possess all the attributes and skills but given his age and size I think they will try to ease him somewhat. Its up to Casey to prove them wrong and just take it. Behind those two we have two different styles of scrum half. Cronin is like Murray, he seems to prefer time and organisation and his tactical kicking is good. However a few times i think his wind up before passing is impacting the pace we play at. McCarthy on the other hand is a slinger, he just wants to hear the call of the first receiver and he will send it out. His tactical kicking doesn't appear to be as good as Cronin's.

                            Out Half: its a little strange but i think our out half selection depends on what we do in the centres. For the past few years we have had a 10 plus Rory Scannell but because of our lack of big dynamic carriers especially in the front five have led us down the road of looking at two huge centres in Farrell and De Allende as our first choice. If we do go with that pairing then we need to replace Scannells kicking and passing game in midfield. De Allende is a very under rated passer but I don't think he is a first receiver and tactical kicker in Scannells mould. For me if we do pick Farrell and De Allende I think we need to change our full back and perhaps look at Joey and JJ playing in the starting lineup together and alternating between 10 and 15 during the game. Sides were able to read us due to a lack of big dynamic carriers and i fear if we don't have the option of two first receivers we may also be too easy to read and defend against. By playing this style it would also mean that the younger players like Healy and Flannery could be brought into the team in a somewhat controlled manner and play with the likes of JJ or Joey in the starting lineout and ease their way in.

                            Centres: Go big or go home. Farrell and De Allende are one of the biggest and potentially best centre pairings in Europe. While they do bring the bosh they also are both underrated as skillful passing centres. I expect to help out when needed in the trenches, trucking up slow ball to tie in defenders but don't underestimate their ability to release the back three. Goggin also fits that style of play and then as back up you have Scannell. Scannell may well move from first choice 12 to 4th choice centre but i think he could also fill a role as a back up ten going forward and depending on injuries and Ireland call ups assist the younger guys coming through.

                            Back Three. We lack out and out full backs. Haley was our only one last year. Gallagher may give us more depth but as i said above I think we will see more 10's on the field this year and for me that is a great thing because I think Jake Flannery has a huge future ahead of him in this structure. Our wings have been our most potent threat with Earls and Conway leading the way, but our problem has been trying to engineer the play to get them the ball in space or in a one on one. We have plenty of back up with the likes of Nash and Daly but realistically it would take injuries for either to push ahead this season.
                            \"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

                            Comment


                              F’cking hell I miss rugby!!!

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                                We need a Fla level player, and right now nobody is even close imo
                                I remember watching the away Sale match in 2005 when Frankie went off injured and Fla came on (I think it must have been his HEC debut as he was just back from Connacht that season IIRC). Nobody was filled with confidence that this was finally going to be our year and that Fla would have a major role in it - but history books aren't written in advance, they are written by those who grab the ****in' pen (commeth the hour commeth the man).

                                That's also why people like ScrummieMan (Bayern, IRUA or whatever name he's using today) telling us what 16 year old will or won't make it as a pro bores the tits off me, Great players aren't born, they are made. Munster has slipped back because too many of the places they used to be made (Coonagh, the Killing Field and Dorradoyle) have been neglected in favour of an over reliance sterile academies.

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