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1/3 of the season review

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    1/3 of the season review

    In the rabo
    Munster have the best points difference of the provinces at 54 v. 38 for Ulster and 34 for Leinster and -60 for Connacht. We've scored more tries (16) than Leinster (15) or Ulster (13) or Connacht (8).

    We've only conceded 6 tries in 7 games, same as Ulster. Leinster have conceded 10 and Connacht have conceded 13.

    JJ Hanrahan has a 94.4% kicking rate in the rabo so far. By comparison, Madigan has an 87.5% success rate. Jackson doesn't even make the top ten. (Priestland with 80% is tenth). Sherry has one of the best throwing records in Europe (didn't miss a throw until the HEC started), Varley had only missed one throw by the first HEC game.

    Our discipline is still lousy though.

    In the HEC, Edinburgh really damaged our lineout and the loss to Edinburgh is the biggest draw-back of the season. It's still in our hands but we've made it hard for ourselves.

    I genuinely think if we could work out why we're going side-to-side in games we'd see that Munster rugby is in far greater health than it has been in several years. Penney deserves credit, imo.

    Hopefully Archer and Sherry can push consistently into the Irish 23, we could use them getting all the experience going.

    We should be annoyed by the Treviso and Edinburgh loss, both games we surrendered good leads late-ish in the game but we should also have the perspective to see how far we've come too.

    We've also beaten three of the other top four rabo sides (albeit two at home). We hadn't beaten the Ospreys since 2011 and our recent record against Leinster had been grim reading.
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    #2
    Poor crowds at thomond...

    Comment


      #3
      In seriousness though, cronin can be added to list of positives. V happy with him.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by wally fan View Post
        In seriousness though, cronin can be added to list of positives. V happy with him.
        I think the scrum in general has been good this year, Archer has come on a lot in the last 18 or so months too.
        It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

        Comment


          #5
          The one concern I'd have from the season so far is the opening hec game selection was riddled with out of form players being picked on reputation. Guys like JJ, Cronin, Stander, Murphy, DOC etc have been the real highlights of the season and if we're sticking to the chosen few rather than selecting on form we're not taking advantages of where the positives in our season are.
          In fairness to Penney it was a much better 2nd hec selection but the first one still worries and I'm concerned he might revert to that conservative selection again later in the season for a big match.
          Quite a few of our big names (POC, Murray, Zebo, Kilcoyne, Ryan) haven't performed to the required standards and it's testament to how others have stepped up that our season has gone so well even without the big players contributing. Hopefully they'll get their game together as the season progresses but if they don't Penney will have to make some difficult decisions and I hope he has the stones to make them.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wally fan View Post
            Poor crowds at thomond...
            that could be due to several reasons-cost/long GAA season for Munster inter county teams People can no longer afford to go to everything
            We still have on average some of the largest attendances in the Rabo
            I am not too bothered if we lose some sunshine supporters for H Cup

            Comment


              #7
              Forward (in tight) play - noticeable improvement on last year. Scrum no longer a weakness.
              Defence - mixed - started loosely but seems to be getting better based on last few games.
              Backs (attack play in general) still very poor and i can't see it being remedied without a change in coaching or emphasis.
              Discipline. - slight improvement on last season but still tendancy to give away silly penalties.
              Injuries - killing us as usual - come on s&c coaches get yer act together.

              Overall I think we're a top 4 rabbo side but probably not good enough to win it. Likwise HEC, a home qtr and a nice draw could see us in a semi again but as long as we remain as blunt in attack we'll struggle to beat the better sides regularly.
              Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
              Albert Einstein

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                #8
                The good:
                The rise of Cronin
                The return to form of Varley
                A fantastic career sunset from DOC
                Stander, vs Glasgow and Ospreys showing that he can be a complete No 8
                POM rapidly becoming as reliable and consistent as POC
                Murray - not 100% consistent but post-Lions showing that he's probably the best NH SH
                Hanrahan: in a year's time he'll be a star
                Earls
                Laulala: ever since Quins he's suddenly turned things around from
                Murphy - a year ago he was probably edging towards the exit door. Now on the bench at least with a full strength squad
                Competition for places in the front row - all three positions currently a toss-up
                Resilience: with a crumbling scrum against a dominant Glasgow, to come through a sin-binning without conceding points and then grab an away win against the league leaders, when we were the worse side, was one of the most pleasing outcomes in ages
                Winning when we're playing badly (Gloucester, Glasgow, Ospreys)
                Finishing (great moment from Cronin, Dineen, Hanrahan, Stander, Earls among others)

                The bad
                Jones. Hopeless. Being given repeated chances. Not taking them.
                Keatley - lack of consistency. Very good vs Leinster, but unacceptably poor in several other matches
                Kilcoyne - strangely quiet
                Coughlan - ditto. Hopefully not fading.
                Ronan
                Sherry's form. A confidence thing?
                Midfield penetration
                Discipline
                Injuries
                Giving away cheap losing bonus points

                The mixed/indifferent
                The scrum. Generally solid without being dominant. Looks stronger when Botha and Varley are playing. Worrying vs Glasgow.
                Butler
                Zebo
                Downey and Hurley (both fairly anonymous, but not disastrous)
                POC and Ryan
                Williams (much improved until he went back to his old tricks vs Ospreys) and Sheridan (doesn't seem to have progressed any further, but limited opportunities thus far)
                Dougall (excellent vs Glasgow; limited chances elsewhere)
                Last edited by eoghan; 5-November-2013, 09:18.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Positives: the pack is maturing and playing smarter rugby, scrum, player development, defense,
                  Negatives: Performance dips when playing inferior teams, back play getting worse as season goes on, the meltdowns against Treviso and Edinburgh.


                  Some players are just not performing and they're mainly in the backs. Only Hanrahan, Murray, Lualala and Earls have played well. They're persisting with Jones and Downey even though they're offered very little in attack. Rory Scannell and Sweetnam should be promoted to development contracts next season. Scannell offers a kicking/passing option from 12 and is a backup 10 and Sweetnam can add some class that Munster lack.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by dropkick View Post
                    Scannell offers a kicking/passing option from 12 and is a backup 10 and Sweetnam can add some class that Munster lack.
                    Completely agree about Scannell, would love to see him progressed quickly, looked a very good player at 12 for the U20's, ran really good hard lines in midfield during the 6 nations.
                    Have they managed to bulk Sweetnam up any bit since last season, his try in the U20 world cup was savage but as you'd expect he looked a bit light compared to the other lads who who'd been focusing on rugby for longer.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Positives: Scrum, (Cronin, POM, CJ, Varley, DOC especially for me). Archer overall looks good too. Earlsie going great guns until injured. Johne best season so far. Casey playing well too, most creative back for us - we now need to get others to predict what he is doing and support him. JJ a positive for me despite Embra and especially how he bounced back. Being top of the league after opening 7 games is a big positive, 10 points up on this time last year. 10 points more would not have placed us in the top 4 at the end of last season (just above Ospreys) so we need to keep up the focus and pressure

                      OKs: Downey, Killa, Hurley, BJ (but it's early still for him due to injury and Archer starting), POC, Murray (again less game time than others). Sherry was good until he seemed to lose his confidence in Embra game (when Kong hexed him!!). ROM started the season well and good to see him get senior game time

                      Negatives: overall backs play has been stodgy and predictable overall. Embra and Trevisio games were most disappointing games as we could/should have won both. TOD out is a big negative for me, really wanted to see him kick on from last year
                      "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

                      Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

                      Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by déiseman View Post
                        Completely agree about Scannell, would love to see him progressed quickly, looked a very good player at 12 for the U20's, ran really good hard lines in midfield during the 6 nations.
                        Have they managed to bulk Sweetnam up any bit since last season, his try in the U20 world cup was savage but as you'd expect he looked a bit light compared to the other lads who who'd been focusing on rugby for longer.

                        Sweetnam has bulked up a good bit since he joined the academy a year ago. In an article a few weeks back he said he needs to add some more weight.
                        Scannell is the same height and weight as Luke Marshall and as you say, he played well for Ireland u20 team at 12 and seems to make plenty of line breaks.

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                          #13
                          What exactly does Mannix do with the backs as they look devoid of ideas or backline moves!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The biggest positive for me is that we look better than every team we have played so far, bar none, particularly up front.

                            The big negative is we have lost a couple, and could have lost more, by failing to apply the killer blow to inferior teams. We have got to learn to finish teams off rather than trying to shut out narrow leads.

                            Our back line still resort to the wide wide game when midfields press up against us so we need more responsibility taken at 10. We must vary the plan more. Better running lines needed from 15, blindside winger and backrow to give the centres better options.

                            One further positive, remember we have hardly seen our Loins contingent yet, Ryan and TOD will be back and Van Der Man will add a bit of heat to our back 3.

                            I don't think we are a top 5 European team, but we are not that far away if we can get our best 23 fit and the squad is deepening all the time.

                            We have made huge progress from this time last year, particularly when you consider the players we have lost. We are not quite there yet though!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by HurlerOnDeDitch View Post
                              The biggest positive for me is that we look better than every team we have played so far, bar none, particularly up front.

                              The big negative is we have lost a couple, and could have lost more, by failing to apply the killer blow to inferior teams. We have got to learn to finish teams off rather than trying to shut out narrow leads.

                              Our back line still resort to the wide wide game when midfields press up against us so we need more responsibility taken at 10. We must vary the plan more. Better running lines needed from 15, blindside winger and backrow to give the centres better options.

                              One further positive, remember we have hardly seen our Loins contingent yet, Ryan and TOD will be back and Van Der Man will add a bit of heat to our back 3.

                              I don't think we are a top 5 European team, but we are not that far away if we can get our best 23 fit and the squad is deepening all the time.

                              We have made huge progress from this time last year, particularly when you consider the players we have lost. We are not quite there yet though!
                              What did Axel have to say in that speech from the old stand in Thomond Park?
                              Eternally relevant words imho.
                              Gwan Joe!!

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