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02-04-2012, 11:50   #7306
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Not so much blamed for as highlighted a weakness. Is it worth persisting with reddan given his age wrt to younger guys like Murray and Marshall? Not really, imo. He doesn't have their potential.
Of the two, Marshall has a better chance currently because he's more suited to playing the game Sexton plays than Murray. Reddan can't last the pace of his own game and was clearly knackered by the time he was subbed off in TP.

Which is why I'm advocating more time for Murray and Keatley to start together. Keatley played with Frank Murphy in Connacht who (putting his other deficiencies aside) can not be accused of being slow. Playing with Keatley would help to up Murrauy's tempo, but the decidion rests with the current Munster management and they've not shown any desire to do this.

Munster badly need a new coach who'll put more emphasis on back play and get more out of the half backs. Munster have some very good backs, but they're not getting anything near the best out of them.

Somebody who's not afraid to shake things up and make the tough decisions that need to be made.
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02-04-2012, 11:59   #7307
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Of the two, Marshall has a better chance currently because he's more suited to playing the game Sexton plays than Murray. Reddan can't last the pace of his own game and was clearly knackered by the time he was subbed off in TP.

Which is why I'm advocating more time for Murray and Keatley to start together. Keatley played with Frank Murphy in Connacht who (putting his other deficiencies aside) can not be accused of being slow. Playing with Keatley would help to up Murrauy's tempo, but the decidion rests with the current Munster management and they've not shown any desire to do this.

Munster badly need a new coach who'll put more emphasis on back play and get more out of the half backs. Munster have some very good backs, but they're not getting anything near the best out of them.

Somebody who's not afraid to shake things up and make the tough decisions that need to be made.
No scrumhalf could fix our 10/12 problem. I think Murray has the rugby brain that Marshall lacks. I don't think Keatley is so good that we should drop both O'Gara and Mafi for him, which is what we'd have to do. I wish he'd make a case for himself that he is.
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02-04-2012, 12:05   #7308
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No scrumhalf could fix our 10/12 problem. I think Murray has the rugby brain that Marshall lacks. I don't think Keatley is so good that we should drop both O'Gara and Mafi for him, which is what we'd have to do. I wish he'd make a case for himself that he is.
woah.

Just woah.

Marshall is erratic because that's what he's supposed to be. I don't think anyone could say he doesn't have a rugby brain. Would you say the same of Quade-Cooper? He tries things that don't always come off, but he's an incredibly "clever" player.
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02-04-2012, 12:11   #7309
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woah.

Just woah.

Marshall is erratic because that's what he's supposed to be. I don't think anyone could say he doesn't have a rugby brain. Would you say the same of Quade-Cooper? He tries things that don't always come off, but he's an incredibly "clever" player.
You think it's intentional? I have my doubts but i've no problem with seeing Marshall play for Ireland to see if he what he bring to the table works at that level.

And Quade Cooper is a strange comparison, imo, he's a deeply flawed player albeit exciting to watch. Most fans would rather have Carter as their outhalf, imo.
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02-04-2012, 12:18   #7310
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You think it's intentional? I have my doubts but i've no problem with seeing Marshall play for Ireland to see if he what he bring to the table works at that level.

And Quade Cooper is a strange comparison, imo, he's a deeply flawed player albeit exciting to watch. Most fans would rather have Carter as their outhalf, imo.
How is it a strange comparison? I reckon it's pretty much spot on.
QC does plenty right, and a feature of his game is that to do so, he has to also do plenty wrong. Marshall is remarkably similar. In playing the way he does, he makes plenty of frustrating decisions, does things that aren't "ideal" but in the main, it has been working.

It's not conservative, but it's not "bad" or "brainless". His willingness to try things is a trait, not a weakness.

QC makes mistakes, but he's a fantastic reader of the game, knows how to find exploits, and does so. He breaks plenty of eggs making the omelette, but that can be outweighed by his output.

Marshall isn't a complete player by any stretch of the imagination, but I think he's a remarkably clever player to be honest.
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02-04-2012, 12:23   #7311
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We're not disagreeing here

I've stated elsewhere that Keatley should be getting starts with Murray. TOL is far too slow for Keatley's style of play. The examples I gave above are ones where this kind of rotation happens. Unfortunately for Keatley he's been done no favours by the Munster management, Murray also would benefit from that pairing because ROG doesn't require quick ball, so Murray doesn't have to deliver it. You could see he was trying to speed up to match Sexton's demands in the 6N, but he couldn't maintain the pace.
Murray has only started 3 Rabo games this season and in fairness to Murray, the 6Ns games were his first to start with Sexton (another 3 games).

Keatley needs to sort out his kicking. I wouldn't worry about o'gara too much, he has hardly played in the last 2 months, so must be fairly rusty (and when he was playing, sexton was taking the kicks).

Warwick didn't get off the bench for munster for his first season, so i wouldn't worry too much about keatley just yet, but he could work a bit harder on his kicking from the tee.
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02-04-2012, 12:28   #7312
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How is it a strange comparison? I reckon it's pretty much spot on.
QC does plenty right, and a feature of his game is that to do so, he has to also do plenty wrong. Marshall is remarkably similar. In playing the way he does, he makes plenty of frustrating decisions, does things that aren't "ideal" but in the main, it has been working.

It's not conservative, but it's not "bad" or "brainless". His willingness to try things is a trait, not a weakness.

QC makes mistakes, but he's a fantastic reader of the game, knows how to find exploits, and does so. He breaks plenty of eggs making the omelette, but that can be outweighed by his output.

Marshall isn't a complete player by any stretch of the imagination, but I think he's a remarkably clever player to be honest.
Really? I wouldn't class Marshall as clever, I think like you said, it's a trait, it's a natural thing but it's not necessarily a good thing. A scrumhalf has to be solid, first and foremost, and Marshall isn't. but I'm willing to be proved wrong, if he tours to NZ or has a blinder on Sunday I'll be happy enough to praise him for it. I don't like rugby by numbers (in general) but were I an Ulster fan I think i'd prefer consistency from the starting scrumhalf.
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02-04-2012, 12:41   #7313
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Murray has only started 3 Rabo games this season and in fairness to Murray, the 6Ns games were his first to start with Sexton (another 3 games).
That's my point exactly. Of those three starts, none of them were with Keatley.
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02-04-2012, 12:57   #7314
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That's my point exactly. Of those three starts, none of them were with Keatley.
1st was against Aironi (first game back after the world cup). Nov
2nd was against Leinster (week before Heineken Cup). Nov
3rd was against treviso when it seems that the world cup players had been given christmas off. early january.

I dont think you can blame the munster management for not giving them gametime together. both murray & keatley are really only in their first full season's with munster and with the world cup, murray has just not been available.
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02-04-2012, 13:10   #7315
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1st was against Aironi (first game back after the world cup). Nov
2nd was against Leinster (week before Heineken Cup). Nov
3rd was against treviso when it seems that the world cup players had been given christmas off. early january.

I dont think you can blame the munster management for not giving them gametime together. both murray & keatley are really only in their first full season's with munster and with the world cup, murray has just not been available.
Reddan also went to the RWC and played in the 6N and has had 5 starts in the Rabo, almost double what Murray has had.

My point is that Keatley is getting a lot of stick from Munster fans but has started almost all his games for Munster with TOL, who's universally been described as off form and is now leaving.

Madigan is being hailed as the best thing since sliced bread, but the criticisms bring levelled at Keatley could equally apply to Madigan: not kicking from the tee in Madigan's case because Ferg is better (is this not the same thing?) and only starting clutch games when the incumbent is injured (or not at all in Keatley's case).

When Keatley has played well, it's not been with TOL, so the point still stands that he should be given a shot with Murray and it's probably too late for that to happen this season.
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02-04-2012, 13:44   #7316
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Reddan also went to the RWC and played in the 6N and has had 5 starts in the Rabo, almost double what Murray has had.
I think you're stretching the point a bit there. Murray would have started on Saturday had he been fit, and you'd be talking about 5 starts v 4 starts (bearing in mind that Reddan's extra start was against the Scarlets in February when Murray was with Ireland).

You could easily argue they have both started the same amount of games when they have both been available.
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02-04-2012, 13:57   #7317
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Reddan also went to the RWC and played in the 6N and has had 5 starts in the Rabo, almost double what Murray has had.

My point is that Keatley is getting a lot of stick from Munster fans but has started almost all his games for Munster with TOL, who's universally been described as off form and is now leaving.

Madigan is being hailed as the best thing since sliced bread, but the criticisms bring levelled at Keatley could equally apply to Madigan: not kicking from the tee in Madigan's case because Ferg is better (is this not the same thing?) and only starting clutch games when the incumbent is injured (or not at all in Keatley's case).

When Keatley has played well, it's not been with TOL, so the point still stands that he should be given a shot with Murray and it's probably too late for that to happen this season.

Well TOL is off and Murray will hopefully be around for a full season next season so we'll see. Fact remains, Keatley could have done more, regardless of who he was paired with.
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02-04-2012, 13:59   #7318
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Reddan also went to the RWC and played in the 6N and has had 5 starts in the Rabo, almost double what Murray has had.
But Reddan only started 3 out of 6 HC games.
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02-04-2012, 14:31   #7319
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But Reddan only started 3 out of 6 HC games.
You're selectively quoting me and removing any semblance of context.

The point is Murray not starting with Keatley, Reddan and Boss are rotated in Leinster, so there's relative equality in how and who they play with.

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I think you're stretching the point a bit there. Murray would have started on Saturday had he been fit, and you'd be talking about 5 starts v 4 starts (bearing in mind that Reddan's extra start was against the Scarlets in February when Murray was with Ireland).

You could easily argue they have both started the same amount of games when they have both been available.
And he would have started with O'Gara, not with Keatley and Keatley never even got a look in. Reddan isn't the point I only brought him up to point out that there were opportunities for Ireland players to play more Rabo games.
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02-04-2012, 14:33   #7320
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No Concerns Over Earls
2 April 2012, 12:18 pmBy The EditorKeith Earls who was forced to retire in the 67th minute of Saturday's game at Thomond Park Stadium is reported to be fit and well ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter final visit of Ulster.

Good news also with regard to the injured trio Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan and Conor Murray who missed that game.
Ryan engaged in light training last Thursday while O'Connell and Murray visited a specialist in Dublin where they received the all-clear to resume training this week.

All three will be present when the squad assembles in Limerick for the first of two sessions on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ian Costello will bring his British & Irish squad together this afternoon in Cork to begin final preparations for their semi-final tilt at Leinster on Good Friday in the RDS.
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