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    #31
    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

    Not sure about the "starting again from scratch". Assuming it takes 4 years for 3/4 of the academy guys to become starting internationals, more than half of our starting team will still be around.

    Mike Haley will be 29.
    Chris Farrell will be 30.
    Rory Scannell will be 30.
    Joey Carbery will be 28.

    Niall Scannell will be 31.
    Tadhg Beirne will be 32.
    Jean Kleyn will be 30.
    Jack O'Donoghue will be 29.

    Yes, we will lose some of our big leaders, but I don't see any reason why an O'Donoghue or a Carbery or a Farrell wouldn't be able to step up and become the new leaders. If they don't, there would nothing stopping us from copying the Leinster model and signing a Scott Fardy-type player, to build our team around.




    But with the possible exception of Farrell, none of the guys you’ve listed are starting internationals. So, again assuming that Fla’s measure is a reasonable one, we’re no closer to the 10/12 required at that point than we are now.

    That’s why I’m talking about a window of 2-3 years - improvement has to be seen while we still have the truly top class players we have. Otherwise it’s just turnover, not strengthening.

    If Haley, both Scannells, Kleyn, O'Donaghue, Beirne were at the level we need them to be, we'd be contenders already. That's why I was arguing above that a major focus of the coaches has to be about getting exactly these players operating in a higher gear. Without that, new academy talent is just water into a barrel of sand.
    Last edited by Balla Boy; 20th-January-2020, 05:45.
    "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


      #32
      I think Munster are a bit off yet unfortunately. Great to see some of the new generation get a run yesterday and hopefully they will make the step up. However, we are just not clinical enough when it comes to scoring tries in big games. Farrell being held up in Paris is a good example. Even yesterday in a dead rubber we butchered a handful of try scoring chances through not getting the ball down, stripped on the line or not giving the right pass. Small margins could have seen us qualify for the QF.

      We also need more ball carrying forwards. Stander is being asked to carry 20 times a game. Killer is the only other strong ball carrying forward. That is not enough and it makes us easier to defend against. It also slows down our ball and contributes to the over reliance on box kicking. Ideally, a quality second row and openside signing would be nice.

      A bit of luck and momentum can take a team a long way in the competition. A good end of season run and pre season with the new coaches could bring about some optimism again.

      Comment


        #33
        Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



        But with the possible exception of Farrell, none of the guys you’ve listed are starting internationals. So, again assuming that Fla’s measure is a reasonable one, we’re no closer to the 10/12 required at that point than we are now.

        That’s why I’m talking about a window of 2-3 years - improvement has to be seen while we still have the truly top class players we have. Otherwise it’s just turnover, not strengthening.

        If Haley, both Scannells, Kleyn, O'Donaghue, Beirne were at the level we need them to be, we'd be contenders already. That's why I was arguing above that a major focus of the coaches has to be about getting exactly these players operating in a higher gear. Without that, new academy talent is just water into a barrel of sand.
        This is the simplest summation of things.

        Have we 12 starting internationals? No

        Do we look like we've 12 starting internationals in the pipeline? No



        We are a ways off.
        I am the million man.

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
          This is the simplest summation of things.

          Have we 12 starting internationals? No

          Do we look like we've 12 starting internationals in the pipeline? No



          We are a ways off.


          That does sum it up.

          However, I'd say we have 4/5:

          Murray
          Earls
          POM
          Stander

          We're allegedly Acquiring two.

          Let's be optimistic and say we can bring through an additional 3 (Casey overtaking Murray, for instance, doesn't add to our number - they have to come through where we have gaps).

          That leaves 3-4 of our current crop needing to step up and hit the mark. Jack is moving in the right direction. Conway is there. We need Ryan and Scannell to hit their straps in the front row, Carbery to get and stay fit.

          That's assuming the two saffers arrive.


          So next season, we have a team that looks like:

          Kilcoyne
          Scannell
          Ryan
          Snyman/Kleyn
          Beirne/Wycherly
          JOD
          POM
          Stander

          Murray/Casey
          Carbery/JJ

          De Allende
          Farrell

          Earls
          Daly
          Conway


          If the front row can step up the plate, the second row looks like a more promising unit. We need serious back row options for depth, and we need Carbery to deliver on his potential.


          I'm kinda talking myself around here :-)
          Last edited by Balla Boy; 20th-January-2020, 09:25.
          "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


            #35
            Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



            But with the possible exception of Farrell, none of the guys you’ve listed are starting internationals. So, again assuming that Fla’s measure is a reasonable one, we’re no closer to the 10/12 required at that point than we are now.

            That’s why I’m talking about a window of 2-3 years - improvement has to be seen while we still have the truly top class players we have. Otherwise it’s just turnover, not strengthening.

            If Haley, both Scannells, Kleyn, O'Donaghue, Beirne were at the level we need them to be, we'd be contenders already. That's why I was arguing above that a major focus of the coaches has to be about getting exactly these players operating in a higher gear. Without that, new academy talent is just water into a barrel of sand.
            International-quality players are needed for sure, but I have two issues with the argument by Flannery:

            (A) Given the subjective, divisive and sometimes political nature of national team selection, the amount of starting international can often be a misleading barometer.

            As you’ve highlighted yourself, Denis Leamy was often behind Ferris, but that doesn’t mean Leamy wasn’t a champions cup winning-standard flanker. We only have to look at the most recent Ireland squad to see an example of a very subjective and divisive call. Stuart McCloskey would probably be starting 12 for Ireland, if any of the other 5 six-nations head coaches, were coaching Ireland. He is most definitely international-starting standard.

            (B) Assuming there is some static number, what recent evidence is there to support his claim that 10/12 starting-internationals is the required number of starting-internationals to compete? I like Flannery, but as far as I can see, he just picked an arbitrary number and his entire argument is based off of conjecture.

            Looking back through the last few Heineken cup winning teams, there seems to be little evidence to support his 10/12 starting-internationals requirement. The Leinster team that won in 2018 had 8 starters ( Kearney, Ringrose, Henshaw, Sexton, Healy, Furlong, Ryan, Leavy ) in the 2018 Ireland grand-slam winning team. Saracens have a similar number, around 8 starting internationals ( George, M.Vunipola, Kruis, Itoje, B.Vunipola, Farrell, Williams, Maitland).

            The team that finished top of our pool — who most consider to be in the top-tier of European teams — have 3 players ( Vakatawa, Lauret and Le Roux) that started in France’s World Cup quarter final. They also had Finn Russell starting for Scotland and Tameifuna for Tonga, but they have nowhere near the 10/12 number of starting internationals. The bookies have Exeter as joint second-favourites to win the Heniken cup. They have 2 starting internationals in Hogg and Nowell. Even the famous Leinster team that won the 2009 Heineken cup, only had a single forward starting in the Ireland team that won the grand slam.


            With the injection of youth, there is every chance the squad will be strengthening. Currently we have 8 internationals in the Irish squad, with 4/5 more competing for places. Assuming the academy guys I mentioned, fulfil their potential, we should easily be doubling that number. This will hopefully mean that their is genuine competition for all positions, as opposed to the current, set-in-stone, ownership of certain jerseys.

            I agree that every effort should be made to improve the current players, but I would be very reluctant to say that it should be the main focus.
            By placing the majority of your focus on improving your senior current players/Irish Internationals — who in some cases have a limited ceiling — you can sometimes risk alienating current young players. Compare the amount of effort put into getting a Keatley or a Bleyendaal to reach a higher gear and the relative lack of game time given to a guy like Bill Johnston, as a result.
            Last edited by Mumhain; 20th-January-2020, 12:53.

            Comment


              #36
              It's very hard to see Munster winning any time soon, nothing to do with us ourselves just more the gulf between Leinster, Racing and formerly Saracens, is too big. After that you have the likes of Munster, Toulouse, Exeter, Clermont, who on their days are capable of beating anyone else but just not at the very top table. With the two SA's coming in you'd really only see tighthead and maybe another back three player (Daly hopefully may push the three incumbents) as the areas where Munster could really improve drastically.

              No need to throw the baby out with the bath water and make a host of changes elsewhere (having said that I would like to see Casey push Murray soon). We're right up there in the top 5/6 teams just unfortunately not at the very top yet and its looking a big jump.

              Comment


                #37

                It's splitting hairs, and maybe Fla is being overly literal, but I'd say of that Leinster team in 2018 that Kearney, Larmour, Ringrose, Henshaw, Nacewa, Sexton, Leavy, Ryan, Toner, Furlong and Healy are at the level he's trying to describe, leaving McGrath, Murphy, Cronin, Fardy just out of the bracket.

                I'd say we currently have 4 players in that first pot (Earls, Murray, POM, CJ), 6 in the second (Conway, Killer, Ryan, Farrell, Kleyn, hopefully JOD), and 5 (2 x Scannell, Holland, JJ, Haley) who would need to push to make an Ireland tournament squad.


                I'm not sure his definition of the level is 100% forensically accurate, but I think the thrust of what he's said is pretty much there.

                We need people moving up between those three levels, and young players coming into the top 2.

                Last edited by Balla Boy; 20th-January-2020, 10:10.
                "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


                  #38
                  Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                  Hayes has 105 test caps and was a Lion. Horan has 67 Ireland caps. Sheehan had 29. And not saying it was his fault, but Sheehan never won a Heineken Cup. We didn't win one until Flannery, then arguably the best hooker in the world, was in place.

                  9 forwards started our two final wins. Horan, Hayes, Flannery, O'Connell, O'Callaghan, Leamy, Quinlan, Wallace, Foley. Every one of them top class, most of them with massive international careers, Lions tours etc.


                  All true when you look at it in the rear view mirror. But it took six years to forge that team from hard luck losers into winners in 2006, years of playing above themselves and near misses. It was 2009 before that pack won a Grand Slam.

                  Changing coaches and coaching philosophy every other season or so hasn't helped us. We need stability more than we need anything else to give our young talent time to develop in an environment that won't see them fall out of favour this season for doing what they were told to do the season before.




                  Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2020.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post



                    So next season, we have a team that looks like:

                    Kilcoyne
                    Scannell
                    Ryan
                    Snyman/Kleyn
                    Beirne/Wycherly
                    JOD
                    POM
                    Stander

                    Murray/Casey
                    Carbery/JJ

                    De Allende
                    Farrell

                    Earls
                    Daly
                    Conway


                    If the front row can step up the plate, the second row looks like a more promising unit. We need serious back row options for depth, and we need Carbery to deliver on his potential.


                    I'm kinda talking myself around here :-)
                    I like the look of the team but the likes of Coombes, JOS maybe even Hodnett need to be getting more game time. Munster need to create competition for places if they want to see players improving.
                    He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Andy Farrell picked 4 'development players' in his squad and we didn't even get one in there either. Who is the next academy product who looks like he could win 30 caps for Ireland? Who was the last one?

                      Its the classic players or coaching conundrum, I dont mind who gets a root in the arse as long as Munster 12 months from now are not playing the pool games with no sub lock worth his salt on the bench again. We need to look like we are getting better, and I honestly do not think thats happening - treading water IMO.

                      Margins are small, it all might click over the next 7 or 8 months too, its not all doom and gloom but I do have concerns there are certain positions where military medium players not only own the starting jersey but the sub jersey too.
                      I am the million man.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Originally posted by rathbaner View Post

                        All true when you look at it in the rear view mirror. But it took six years to forge that team from hard luck losers into winners in 2006, years of playing above themselves and near misses. It was 2009 before that pack won a Grand Slam.

                        Changing coaches and coaching philosophy every other season or so hasn't helped us. We need stability more than we need anything else to give our young talent time to develop in an environment that won't see them fall out of favour this season for doing what they were told to do the season before.



                        It did. And they were all internationals for most of it, getting edged in finals by great sides. I think the most distorting thing about the whole Munster narrative is that we were ever the plucky underdogs we told ourselves we were, punching above our weight against the "big boys" in England and France.

                        8 of our 2008 squad were selected for the Lions. We had an outrageous amount of top class international talent in one team.


                        And I'm all for continuity. But the trouble is that continuity only serves its purpose if you give it to the right people. Giving time to the wrong coach doesn't make them the right coach. So for me, JVG still needs to show enough to prove that he's worth that investment.
                        "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


                          #42
                          Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                          Andy Farrell picked 4 'development players' in his squad and we didn't even get one in there either. Who is the next academy product who looks like he could win 30 caps for Ireland? Who was the last one?

                          Its the classic players or coaching conundrum, I dont mind who gets a root in the arse as long as Munster 12 months from now are not playing the pool games with no sub lock worth his salt on the bench again. We need to look like we are getting better, and I honestly do not think thats happening - treading water IMO.

                          Margins are small, it all might click over the next 7 or 8 months too, its not all doom and gloom but I do have concerns there are certain positions where military medium players not only own the starting jersey but the sub jersey too.
                          Unfortunately, the last ones are the guys currently in our first team not getting into 6 nations squads. They all looked capable of that coming out of the academy, imo.
                          "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


                            #43
                            Originally posted by redherring View Post

                            I like the look of the team but the likes of Coombes, JOS maybe even Hodnett need to be getting more game time. Munster need to create competition for places if they want to see players improving.
                            I'd agree. I'm thinking first team for a HEC QF or SF in looking at that line up.
                            "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


                              #44
                              Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                              Andy Farrell picked 4 'development players' in his squad and we didn't even get one in there either. Who is the next academy product who looks like he could win 30 caps for Ireland? Who was the last one?

                              Its the classic players or coaching conundrum, I dont mind who gets a root in the arse as long as Munster 12 months from now are not playing the pool games with no sub lock worth his salt on the bench again. We need to look like we are getting better, and I honestly do not think thats happening - treading water IMO.

                              Margins are small, it all might click over the next 7 or 8 months too, its not all doom and gloom but I do have concerns there are certain positions where military medium players not only own the starting jersey but the sub jersey too.
                              In my view, Flannery, Daly, Nash, Casey, JOS, Hodnett, J Wycherley all look like they have what it takes to be 30 cap internationals. The last ones were probably Bill J, Sweets and JOD and Niall Scannell. None of those 3 have made it there yet (but its not too late for any of them). Before that Zebo, Murray, POM, D Ryan, JJ and Earls and before that was the glory days. So I think the quality that has just come out of or just about to come out of the academy is better than it has been for a decade.

                              On top of that we have players who look capable of holding their own at international level though maybe not 30 cap level (Goggin, F Wycherly, Coombes X 2, Sean French, Wren Healy).

                              On the main question of how far away we are: I think we have probably taken a step back to take two steps forward and that's no bad thing. I don't think we were going to make the leap from semi finalists to winners with Billy in the 2nd row or Rory at 12, as much as I would love to see them pick up a winners medal for all they has given in the shirt (I'd add Haley, Botha and Cloete to that list of players who are good servants but aren't starters in ERC winners). If we sign Synman and de Allende and bring through 4-5 of the players above then we will be contenders over the next 2-3 seasons. I'm 50/50 on whether JvG has what it takes to forge a single identity out of the mix of players and coaches that he now has at his disposal. The next few months of Pro14 will tell a huge amount.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                For context, I would classify Will Connors as a good indicator of a potential 30 cap international (if not more). A guy at Andrew Porters level would be another.
                                I am the million man.

                                Comment

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