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    #16
    Best of luck Arno back in SA ,many thanks for your time and effort for Munster.
    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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      #17
      Key point imo and has been mentioned by a few good posters here is that Munster should not sign Non Irish eligible players who don’t start in Europe. Reason being that only a very limited number are permitted so makes sense to make the absolute most of them - sign players in areas we need it most like second row last 4 years (Sorted now it seems), tight head and open side. I think o Sullivan and Coombes should of played much more often in the past two seasons - although o Sullivan got a bad injury. Botha extension for the extra year was risk averse and a decision not to trust youth . Coombes in particular was definitely developed enough physically two seasons ago to play more often.

      Van graan and other coaches need to trust in youth more often in selection as Coombes and Daly for example have been brought in too slowly! Looks like this may change this coming season

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

        Fair points- I think it reflects a bit of risk- aversiveness, after all, filling a problem with a capped Bok must have seemed a safer choice than relying on young tyros, and besides he might have really added quality to the squad - the Jed thing was sheer short term pragmatism, and he didn’t play much. I realise that people could see that as an opportunity, rather than a need for a short term solution, but that doesn’t seem to be how we look at it. Generally I think we’ve been good at giving guys a taste of the first team, but not an extended run. Whether that is because of a desperate need to get results- after all we haven’t won anything for ages, but then that very obviously hasn’t worked. Im not sure what Gallagher has to offer above what we have, but our new SA recruits certainly do.
        Completely agree with this (highlighted) and not entirely convinced it's the right approach. I remember watching Caelan Doris's first few games for Leinster and thinking he looked 3/4 years off the level. Despite looking average enough, Leinster stuck by him and kept giving him game time, because of his underage pedigree. Less than two years after his Leinster debut, he made his Ireland debut. In comparison, bar one decent run of substitute appearances in January, Coombes' game time for Munster has been far more sporadic, since his debut.

        Also agree about the two South African signings. They definitely improve the first team and the Munster academy isn’t producing a massive amount of tighthead locks or inside centres. I’ll reserve judgement on the Gallagher signing, as a I haven’t seen much of him. If he is better than Mike Haley then I’ve no real issue with the signing. If he is being signed as a back-up full-back, I don’t see the point in the signing. There are a number of back three players in the academy that could potentially improve the starting XV, if given enough game time.
        Last edited by Mumhain; 16-May-2020, 23:16.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Tipplad View Post
          Key point imo and has been mentioned by a few good posters here is that Munster should not sign Non Irish eligible players who don’t start in Europe. Reason being that only a very limited number are permitted so makes sense to make the absolute most of them - sign players in areas we need it most like second row last 4 years (Sorted now it seems), tight head and open side. I think o Sullivan and Coombes should of played much more often in the past two seasons - although o Sullivan got a bad injury. Botha extension for the extra year was risk averse and a decision not to trust youth . Coombes in particular was definitely developed enough physically two seasons ago to play more often.

          Van graan and other coaches need to trust in youth more often in selection as Coombes and Daly for example have been brought in too slowly! Looks like this may change this coming season
          If we adopted that policy we wouldn’t have signed Alby, for one.

          These days, to compete in Europe, you need top class back ups in key positions.

          We were in a situation where, if we lost CJ to injury for a big game, we were short a quality ball carrier in the back row. Coombes and co weren’t there yet, and we had some injuries too. Now we have more options.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by Tipplad View Post
            Key point imo and has been mentioned by a few good posters here is that Munster should not sign Non Irish eligible players who don’t start in Europe. Reason being that only a very limited number are permitted so makes sense to make the absolute most of them - sign players in areas we need it most like second row last 4 years (Sorted now it seems), tight head and open side. I think o Sullivan and Coombes should of played much more often in the past two seasons - although o Sullivan got a bad injury. Botha extension for the extra year was risk averse and a decision not to trust youth . Coombes in particular was definitely developed enough physically two seasons ago to play more often.

            Van graan and other coaches need to trust in youth more often in selection as Coombes and Daly for example have been brought in too slowly! Looks like this may change this coming season
            Whilst I agree with you, I wonder whether the extra time it takes the Irish lads to bulk up means they can’t see quite as much game time, when they are young, as we would wish to see. Thanks to Arno and all the best for the future, but I didn’t think he had very good hands.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by Tipplad View Post
              Key point imo and has been mentioned by a few good posters here is that Munster should not sign Non Irish eligible players who don’t start in Europe. Reason being that only a very limited number are permitted so makes sense to make the absolute most of them - sign players in areas we need it most like second row last 4 years (Sorted now it seems), tight head and open side. I think o Sullivan and Coombes should of played much more often in the past two seasons - although o Sullivan got a bad injury. Botha extension for the extra year was risk averse and a decision not to trust youth . Coombes in particular was definitely developed enough physically two seasons ago to play more often.

              Van graan and other coaches need to trust in youth more often in selection as Coombes and Daly, for example, have been brought in too slowly! Looks like this may change this coming season
              People are so keen to just throw young players in there and think they’ll be right as rain. They need to progress these players slowly, when they’re ready they’ll play them. It seems really frustrating and maybe sometimes they may seem extra cautious but I just think they’re being really careful so don’t burn them out and wreck their confidence. If they’re not ready and they’re exposed to it too soon it could really set them back. It’s not just about being ready physically, you hear players talk about how the game is mentally draining. Decisions need to be made immediately in the heat of the moment and if something goes wrong and they make a mistake they need to be able to forget about it. That can be difficult for senior players at times.

              Craig Casey for example, anytime there was an opportunity for Casey to start or bench and he didn’t people were disappointed, but they handled his game time really well. They could have flogged him and setting him back a bit. Instead, now he’s in the position to really push Murray for that 9 shirt next season. Just like Mathewson with Casey, those young lads like Coombes would really have benefited from learning from Botha.
              I can’t see how you can view Botha as anything other than a fantastic signing. He was a big go-to guy when the internationals were away. He was our top try scorer and had the most carries this season, and most importantly in those really awkward, tricky games, he brought experience. Would Coombes have brought that? Maybe, maybe not but we have to win games as well. Botha as our leading try scorer and ball carrier this season was a big part of why we won so many, especially without international players. He was a fantastic option off the bench in big games and with injuries etc. he wasn’t a gamble. The younger lads, in those big games weren’t ready and would have been a big gamble.
              Last edited by Stringer9; 17-May-2020, 00:06.
              The Maul is Back!! LONG LIVE THE MAUL!!

              Stringer is bigger even than his own immense shadow. Pound for pound, he is the best tackler in the world. If you put him into bag of cats he\'d come out without a scratch. He was hit very late for Murphy\'s try. And when he got up, as we knew he would, the crowd cried his name as if he had just fixed the economy.Billy Keane-After Munster\'s famous loss to the AB\'s.

              The Bull-Truly irreplaceable, a mountain of a man. 100 caps!!

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Tipplad View Post
                Key point imo and has been mentioned by a few good posters here is that Munster should not sign Non Irish eligible players who don’t start in Europe. Reason being that only a very limited number are permitted so makes sense to make the absolute most of them - sign players in areas we need it most like second row last 4 years (Sorted now it seems), tight head and open side. I think o Sullivan and Coombes should of played much more often in the past two seasons - although o Sullivan got a bad injury. Botha extension for the extra year was risk averse and a decision not to trust youth . Coombes in particular was definitely developed enough physically two seasons ago to play more often.

                Van graan and other coaches need to trust in youth more often in selection as Coombes and Daly for example have been brought in too slowly! Looks like this may change this coming season
                Maximizing the amount of starters from our NIQ slots would be my preference, too. I can somewhat understand obtaining a second choice NIQ player, when there is a clear lack of depth in a position, but back row definitely wasn’t one of those positions. I would also understand it a little bit more, if we thought the first team was good enough or close to being good enough to beat a Leinster or a Saracens. Over the past two seasons, I think it’s pretty clear our first XV wasn’t at the level of a Leinster or a Saracens, so investing in NIQ slots for second choice players didn't make a lot of sense to me.

                Don’t think it’s realistic to be investing in back-ups for players, based solely on the incumbent player’s individual skills. I mean we could equally extend this logic to the loosehead position and a whole host of other positions. If Kilcoyne got injured, we would have lost a main carrier in the front-row. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should have invested in another bally carrying loosehead as cover, though. We have plenty of loosheads, who offer skills other than ball carrying. We can’t account for every eventuality, at least not with our resources. Jack O’Donoghue was named in the match day squads for each of Munster’s champions cup knock-out matches in 2019 and 2018. If we are saying that he is good enough to be an Irish international, then he is good enough to be our second choice 8 for the champions cup and big matches.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Stringer9 View Post

                  People are so keen to just throw young players in there and think they’ll be right as rain. They need to progress these players slowly, when they’re ready they’ll play them. It seems really frustrating and maybe sometimes they may seem extra cautious but I just think they’re being really careful so don’t burn them out and wreck their confidence. If they’re not ready and they’re exposed to it too soon it could really set them back. It’s not just about being ready physically, you hear players talk about how the game is mentally draining. Decisions need to be made immediately in the heat of the moment and if something goes wrong and they make a mistake they need to be able to forget about it. That can be difficult for senior players at times.

                  Craig Casey for example, anytime there was an opportunity for Casey to start or bench and he didn’t people were disappointed, but they handled his game time really well. They could have flogged him and setting him back a bit. Instead, now he’s in the position to really push Murray for that 9 shirt next season. Just like Mathewson with Casey, those young lads like Coombes would really have benefited from learning from Botha.
                  I can’t see how you can view Botha as anything other than a fantastic signing. He was a big go-to guy when the internationals were away. He was our top try scorer and had the most carries this season, and most importantly in those really awkward, tricky games, he brought experience. Would Coombes have brought that? Maybe, maybe not but we have to win games as well. Botha as our leading try scorer and ball carrier this season was a big part of why we won so many, especially without international players. He was a fantastic option off the bench in big games and with injuries etc. he wasn’t a gamble. The younger lads, in those big games weren’t ready and would have been a big gamble.
                  I think this is a bit of a straw man, to be honest. Don’t see too many people arguing Casey or Coombes should be starting every game. There is a middle ground between flogging a player and giving a young guy more than just one start (which is what Coombes got this season).

                  I agree with you on how the game can be mentally draining for youngsters. I don’t think giving a guy one chance to impress and then not giving him any game time for a number of months again is particularly good for preparing him mentally either, though. For me, this just piles the pressure on young guys on the few starts they have.

                  Jack O’Donoghue was fit for every one of Munster’s knock-out games in Europe during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was and is more than good and experienced enough to deputize for Stander. If we wanted a big, go-forward ball carrying forward, then why didn’t we get a guy in one of the positions where we don’t have a massive amount of academy guys coming through? There were no highly rated academy tighthead locks or tighthead props at the time.
                  Last edited by Mumhain; 17-May-2020, 03:24.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                    I think this is a bit of a straw man, to be honest. Don’t see too many people arguing Casey or Coombes should be starting every game. There is a middle ground between flogging a player and giving a young guy more than just one start (which is what Coombes got this season).

                    I agree with you on how the game can be mentally draining for youngsters. I don’t think giving a guy one chance to impress and then not giving him any game time for a number of months again is particularly good for preparing him mentally either, though. For me, this just piles the pressure on young guys on the few starts they have.

                    Jack O’Donoghue was fit for every one of Munster’s knock-out games in Europe during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was and is more than good and experienced enough to deputize for Stander. If we wanted a big, go-forward ball carrying forward, then why didn’t we get a guy in one of the positions where we don’t have a massive amount of academy guys coming through? There were no highly rated academy tighthead locks or tighthead props at the time.
                    Agree with all of that- It’s not about throwing guys in a the deep end, seeing if they swim and then assuming they’ll swim the channel. It’s about an taster or two, then a run of three four games where it’s understood you’re part of the match day squad, and then likely to be out for a while, with a further run identified later in the season. I would add that it’s much easier to give a untried players a run of games when you have a side that is winning comfortably consistently. We simply haven’t been in that situation, in the way Leinster have. We also had VG both trying to shore up a very difficult situation, with Rassie going and Axel dying, both needing to get results to establish his own credibility, and trying to develop a squad who could do so consistently. Last season I think we began to see that solidity begin to emerge. Without it I think a player had to reassure the coaching staff that they really could hack it over the longer term, and some did- JOD being a good example, he came back from injuries and was readily there or there abouts starting or benching. Dinesen, was beginning to- thought with Snyman and Kleyn installed he’s likely to be benching (good for us because he can cover second and back row, if not for him). If Kleyn consolidates his green shirt that may change, but I’d hope to see Ahern get some decent exposure. Bringing on young players in a side that is scraping through or unsure of how it wants to play is very difficult- and it would always be too tempting to get in a guy you knew could do the job. I agree we’ve had more of this than we’d want, but I think it was the right /pragmatic thing to do in the circumstances. It’s also not a way you are likely to win anything- and I hope we really are now entering that era.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                      [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Maximizing the amount of starters from our NIQ slots would be my preference, too. I can somewhat understand obtaining a second choice NIQ player, when there is a clear lack of depth in a position, but back row definitely wasn’t one of those positions.
                      You have a short memory. TOD and JOD suffered fairly serious injuries in the last couple of seasons, and Coombes, JOS and Hodnett weren’t at the level they’re just getting to now.

                      We had nobody close to Botha’s power and we were facing teams like Sarries in Europe.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                        You have a short memory. TOD and JOD suffered fairly serious injuries in the last couple of seasons, and Coombes, JOS and Hodnett weren’t at the level they’re just getting to now.

                        We had nobody close to Botha’s power and we were facing teams like Sarries in Europe.
                        Where did I state otherwise? Jack O’Donoghue had one serious injury, but was available for selection in each of Munster’s knock-out games in Europe, over the past two/three seasons. For the season that O’Donnell was out injured, we also had O’Callaghan who could have played at 8.

                        Using your own logic, we have nobody close to Kilcoyne’s ball-carrying power in the front-row, if he gets injured. Does this mean we invest in another loosehead, despite having Loughman, Cronin, O’Connor, Wycherley and French?

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

                          Where did I state otherwise? Jack O’Donoghue had one serious injury, but was available for selection in each of Munster’s knock-out games in Europe, over the past two/three seasons. For the season that O’Donnell was out injured, we also had O’Callaghan who could have played at 8.

                          Using your own logic, we have nobody close to Kilcoyne’s ball-carrying power in the front-row, if he gets injured. Does this mean we invest in another loosehead, despite having Loughman, Cronin, O’Connor, Wycherley and French?
                          You’re comparing apples and oranges.

                          As a LH, Kilcoyne’s primary job is to scrummage. If he gets injured, we have quality back-ups in that specific position, who are strong scrummagers, and both are decent carriers too btw.

                          CJ is an 8 and his primary role is to be our big carrier and get us over the gain line. None of the potential replacements you mention could do that. JOD, DOC, TOD and the rest primarily play 6 or 7 because they don’t really have that level of power. Also, DOC, like the other two, was also out injured for a long period.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I think if Cronin manages to stay injury free he can be equally as good as Killer in the scrum and in the loose. He does seem to be very injury prone unfortunately.
                            When things go wrong, blame McGahan

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                              You’re comparing apples and oranges.

                              As a LH, Kilcoyne’s primary job is to scrummage. If he gets injured, we have quality back-ups in that specific position, who are strong scrummagers, and both are decent carriers too btw.

                              CJ is an 8 and his primary role is to be our big carrier and get us over the gain line. None of the potential replacements you mention could do that. JOD, DOC, TOD and the rest primarily play 6 or 7 because they don’t really have that level of power. Also, DOC, like the other two, was also out injured for a long period.
                              This is bizarre logic. Jack O’Donoghue is an Irish international and arguably produced his best performance of the season against Leinster in Thomond Park, at number 8. He has a slightly different skill set to Stander, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t effective in the loose or a good replacement for Stander at 8. The idea that you can only replace Stander with a player with his exact same skillset, in his same position, is ludicrous, imo.

                              You are allowed to select eight forwards in a game of rugby and we are long past the time, where a number 8 is solely responsible for ball-carrying. It’s not a case of comparing apples and oranges when it comes to comparing Kilcoyne’s importance to Munster’s go-forward ball and Stander’s. In open play, Kilcoyne and Stander are the first phase ball carrier in the pack. They are the most important ball-carriers, in their respective units.

                              You could take a look at any position and as say if one the starters is out injured, the replacement isn’t going to be able to fulfil the role with the exact same skills. Should we have used up another NIQ slot on getting a replacement 13, who is as powerful and as good at defending the outside channel as Chris Farrell (which is arguably the primary role of a 13)?

                              Assuming ball carrying is the primary role of a number 8 and exerting power in the scrum and tight is the primary role of the tighthead lock. No other second rower in the squad is anywhere near as powerful a scrummager as Jean Kleyn. Should we have used another NIQ slot to get a back-up tighthead lock for Jean Kleyn two years ago?

                              We’re not Toulon, it’s not realistic to have like-for-like replacements for players in the starting team. We are talking about maximizing a squad’s resources for a team with a set of constraints. One of those constraints is that we are only allowed four/five NIQ players. For me, it’s not a smart use of those resources, to use one of those NIQ slots on a back-up eight, when we already have a very good 26-year old number 8, who is pushing hard for involvement in the Irish squad.

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