Well to summarise the discussion we had at the start of the previous thread (just under a year ago). It consisted of the following talking points.
1: Was Rhys Ruddock going to remain at second row. (Most people said no, and they were correct, until two weeks ago).
2: The kids were playing well, the internationals were playing poorly.
3: We weren't very clinical.
4: Crosbie, McCarthy and James Ryan were to be involved this season.
5: Reddan was iffy, and there was no one putting pressure on him.
6: Marty Moore had been annoucned as leaving and there was some panic.
A decent starting point would be asking how management have come on since and how our expectations have changed in a year.
The second row situation was obviously problematic a year ago if Ruddock was starting there, and is still problematic a year later if Ruddock is subbing there. We still have a lot of decent second rows, and only one quality second row. If Dev got injured, Leinster could struggle.
The U23 segment of the Leinster team is performing even better than it was last year, so many of them weren't even on the radar. Rol, Daly, Carbery for me emerged out of obscurity. Byrne, Byrne, Porter etc were slightly more well known coming through. The guys who made their breakthroughs this time last year are now virtually undroppable, (Ringrose and VDF). The other half of this discussion was that our internationals weren't playing well, but I think they've been pretty brilliant at times this year.
We are much more clinical when we need to be than we were last year, however we can still sometimes take the foot off the gas when we get the four tries early.
Crosbie, McCarthy and (J) Ryan have either moved on, got badly injured or not been able to force their way into the squad this season.
Reddan is gone, in his place are two options that are quite comparable to him, if a little less experienced. I am content with the situation at scrum half. By that I mean, I am not happy, but I am willing to give them time to grow.
Marty Moore has gone to Wasps, and slipped somewhat into obscurity, Ross has been injured. (Hyperbole alert) Out of their shadow has stepped a man who might have been a bolter for the lions - only he bolted so fast that with 6 months to go I think it's his jersey to lose. Furlong is quality.
I am very happy with Lancaster, Leo and Girv going forward. When a grizzled veteran of 4 different New Zealand based Super Rugby franchises says that Leinster is the best club he has ever played for, you know something is right about the culture.
Our positions of strength are the front row, the back row and 10-13. We have promising youngsters (Daly, Byrne, Rol, Dardis) in the back three / 13, and hopefully one or two will come good. So happy that things are humming nicely.
I'd be interested to see if any Leinster posters have a foreign signing they would like to see. Personally I think anyone coming in at this stage would have to be world class to make a difference. Another Zane Kircherner is unnecessary, we seem to be producing them annually, but another Brad Thorn would be a boost?
No one is really needed for me, but a strong signing in the engine room would be nice. Anyway, haven't felt this good about Leinster in a while. Onwards for another thread and another year.
Excellent summary. After our horrific European campaign nobody could have imagined we'd be in this position a year later. We have genuine pace in the backs to play a wide game and a squad of forwards who can play the tight game as well as any, but also with the skills to play a looser, faster style if the game plan calls for it. One of the main positives of last season was Cullen and Dempsey giving the young players the opportunity they didn't get under MoC and it's paying dividends this season.
I agree with you on the situation with the outside backs. Leinster have enough young talent coming through that there's no point bringing in decent at best foreign talent. No more Andrew Goodman's (even if he was a dependable player) or Matt Berquist's.
This thread will be locked and another started before Leinster win a fourth star. Thread name has jinxed us.
If we make the final I vote we close this one early.
Just on James Ryan, there was talk of Franno and how irresponsible his article was etc.
Apparently Ryan did not suffer that catastrophic hamstring torn off the bone injury. He suffered a very bad tear but that's it.
When did Franno ever let facts get in the way of his articles?
I don't think we need anyone, but it would be a great help.
On the assumption that McCarthy will retire and Triggs will move on, a second-row would be good - but with Kleyn at Munster and Ulster probably needing one more urgently, I'm not sure it's likely.
We could use more cover in the outside backs. With Nacewa & Kirchner likely gone, the Kearneys either injured or on national duty and McFadden always being injured, this is our biggest gap.
I vote we let Munster do all the ground work with Ben Smith*, then we swoop in with a higher offer, gazump their asses and march on to our fifth star.
*if only there was any truth in it
I'd be disappointed if we signed a 2nd row. Fair enough we're losing Macca and Triggs but we have Toner, Moloney, Kearney, Nagle and Ryan there for next season.
Agree about the outside backs though. Could do with an NIQ there to replace Kirchner
Doubt we'll be signing another NIQ lock.
Think Leinster need a lock and a back three player of high quality. Someone better than Kirchner.
Leister definitely need a lock imo. The rest are so ordinary if Toner is off with Ireland or god forbid injured.
Perhaps after a lions tour and the world cup 2 years away someone like Sam whitelock could be persuaded to move away for a year which would be a great learning experience for the likes of ryan but maybe that's dreaming.
There has been a bit of talk of Munster signing Taute in place of Saili. If he was to become available and was interested then I think Leinster should jump at the chance. If both centres go on the lions tour, cover of that class would be invaluable. Again he might fancy going back home for 2018 depending on form
Woah, Woah, wait hang on a minute, now just slow things down. Are you saying that respected journalist, Neil Francis, who won won an award for journalist of the year at well respected and widely regarded as the highest quality paper in Ireland the Irish Independent may not have been entirely 100% accurate in an article that he spent months planning, writing, rewriting and writing again?!?!?!
I for one am 100% shocked by this. Surely this must be the biggest scandal and story of 2016