A whiff of Cordite

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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby fourthirtythree » November 23rd, 2018, 12:22 pm

Never one to spare any horror I offer this (though it doesn't bother me atall):

Plenty at stake for Ireland's supporting cast in USA clash

The most important player on the pitch is often not the best player; elite sport brings its vagaries that require balance in units and teams.

Take Jack Conan; in any other environment his football playing skills, use of space and more importantly his creation of space for others to thrive would be craved. But he can't make the 'Test' side; he does so tomorrow. Other things are prioritised.

Whereas last weekend's Irish backrow were immense, ridiculous at it sounds, they can improve. For one, the best ball carrier in the pack (possibly the team) is a prop, Tadhg Furlong. The reason; obviously he has the full array of abilities when on the ball but crucial to Joe Schmidt's triangle and diamond formation is that he looks and acts and sells the full array to the defence. There is little value in making a pass in the diamond formation if you don't look like you are selling the carry first; whilst all around are simultaneously selling their roles.

As noted on Monday, 47 minutes of foundation tricked Dane Coles and his team-mates as Johnny Sexton and All Black contact co-terminated. He had a complete triangle to choose from as Coles hunted off the tail of the lineout to smash Sexton who was selling several options two of which were Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander; both running hard to sell.

Ultimate option
Sexton's greatest asset (possibly) is the ability to select the best option just as Coles arrives. Yes, that ultimate option to Aki and a rewind was their preferred choice but never discount Sexton keeping the others open to the last safe moment.

This ability separates Sexton and Joey Carbery from the rest in that they thrive in congestion. Only on Coles' hit did Sexton execute the pullback pass to Bundee Aki for the Jacob Stockdale try; van der Flier and Stander were still selling. Kieran Read, at his best, is Furlong, O'Mahony and Stander rolled into one with their full array of skills and physicality.

It's unlikely Stockdale will catch the All Blacks "MIA" in defence again, but England did the previous week when Chris Ashton rewound down the right-hand side to expose Damian McKenzie.

Can tomorrow's Irish team replicate similarly against the USA where the greatest window into a team's culture is when the second-string step in to mimic the stars. As tomorrow's game unfolds who can manage the triangle and diamond shape akin to last Saturday or, better still, who can sell it before selecting the best option. Carbery can, but who else?

All the other building blocks, aerial duals, breakdown, setpiece, etc, are important but the diamond is key.

I noted last Friday last week's Irish bench would have gained more had Tadhg Beirne and Ian Henderson been there. Henderson came on but what an impact Beirne would have made both in general play and the lineout that subsequently struggled. He is too good to leave out of the 23 especially when last week's starting backrow have the flexibility to all play any number. When O'Mahony and Devin Toner departed the lineout options dipped where Beirne would have lifted same.

I think of Wallaby (and former Leinster) Owen Finegan's substitute impact in the 1999 RWC final. Scrumhalf George Gregan carries infield off an Australian lineout to backdoor pass to Finegan who receives 32 metres out from the French line and makes it! Beirne's ball carrying can easily impact thus, not to mention his lineout and jackal ability.

Of tomorrow's selection, Niall Scannell is a significant threat to Rory Best in that Scannell's basics are always there and his ball-carrying ability in heavy traffic has been magnificent all season; more than capable of surviving the first wave of high line US defence with his deft feet placement; adding value to the ball, offload or placement. This may jump him over Seán Cronin who is still the best impact hooker and may unfortunately remain so. Beside Scannell is Munster team-mate, David Kilcoyne, who has changed his game significantly this season. He's far more involved both with and without the ball. His big fringe defence has evolved making him most comfortable out wider.

Massive match Likewise, he is carrying far more (no stat to support this but my eyes!) where he's not satisfied with simply bashing as he's added a swivel of the head when riding contact, hunting for an offload - all of which must have been encouraged and practised under Johann van Graan.
Both Ireland wingers, Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam, are extremely hungry for action. Even world class players such as George North allow games to pass by but not these two. Expect them to hunt for opportunities and the ball where they'll pop up, blind, off centre field rucks to expose fatiguing fatties.

As for the scrumhalf berth there is a genuine opportunity for John Cooney and Luke McGrath with McGrath slightly edging Kieran Marmion in general terms into the number two slot.

It is a massive match for Will Addison at fullback but even more so for Stuart McCloskey. The Ulster monster in many ways is in an impossible bind; a marauding ball carrying performance is expected and should provide ample opportunities for his outside backs but can he convince Schmidt he's the real prototype?
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Peg Leg » November 23rd, 2018, 12:43 pm

hugonaut wrote:I don't have anything in particular against Toland, but there's a lot to object to in this dreadful article!

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... -1.3707342
Wow that is a pretty meandering piece trying sell itself on nuance, but reading like the sub editor deleted every sentence containing a military reference before publishing, ergo about 20% of it.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby blockhead » November 23rd, 2018, 12:45 pm

No "fully locked and loaded" or "the corridor of power"? Good man Liam.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby FLIP » November 23rd, 2018, 1:07 pm

Reads like it's been through google translate a few times.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Ruckedtobits » November 23rd, 2018, 5:33 pm

It reads like "sure, I can throw 1.200 words together tomorrow night and get it into them at Wednesday lunchtime". When Toland doesn't have to solve a 'problem' for every rugby fan in Munster, he cannot focus an article. His standard of analysis has fallen in direct contrast with how Murray Kinsella's has risen.

Writing coherently about sports is not easy and requires focus and discipline. Not convinced either are evident in that piece.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Oldschool » November 23rd, 2018, 6:52 pm

FLIP wrote:Reads like it's been through google translate a few times.

Didn't know Toland spoke the Gaelic or that Google translates it, you live and learn.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby wixfjord » November 23rd, 2018, 9:18 pm

Wrong thread!
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby johng » November 25th, 2018, 11:44 pm

Thought Eddie was very good on the heino rugby podcast this week. :)
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby scrum25 » December 1st, 2018, 7:17 pm

Cumiskey should be banned from Leinster press conferences like the guy from CNN. Come on Leo where is your inner Donald Trump

Leinster retaining Doris suggests new pecking order in backrow
Dragons coach Jackman will have identified opportunity to catch champions
GAVIN CUMMISKEY
Leinster being an extension of Ireland, Leo Cullen’s team selection constantly captivates the imagination.

Retaining Caelan Doris at number eight suggests a newly-formed pecking order as Jack Conan (currently injured) and Max Deegan (currently slumped to third choice) must witness the rise of another special talent. Deegan will get his chance here, but Doris has the jersey.

Scott Penny’s bicep-bulging debut against the Ospreys last week should cause anxiety for Seán O’Brien, Josh van der Flier and Dan Leavy. Of course it will have no such impact on these established Ireland opensides. David Nucifora, on the other hand, may need to intervene and spread Leinster’s backrow wealth to other provinces.

At scrumhalf such logic is already occurring as the Munster-bound Nick McCarthy does his career a favour by moving to Limerick before Paddy Patterson formally arrives. The 20-year-old Blackrock prodigy will relieve Jamison Gibson-Park on Saturday to earn cap number one.

Ross Byrne needs a convincing performance at outhalf – and not just the usual kick passing clinic – to keep Ciarán Frawley at bay.

Loosehead prop is another area where Leinster exude power, with Nucifora surely keen to unburden them of Ed Byrne. And his benched twin Bryan. The Carlow RFC brothers are already 25; both would be established starters in any other Pro 14 squad.

Ed Byrne, a player with enormous potential, only makes his 30th appearance in blue because of historically immovable objects called Jack McGrath and Cian Healy.

Ireland wingers
The same narrative extends to Ireland wingers Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney, whose careers have stalled due to form and fitness, but both seek to light up Rodney Parade.

“It’s an opportunity to show what you can do,” says Byrne. “Hopefully push a way into the match 23 against Bath.”

Among this Leinster offering we also find the next wave of Academy graduates. Jimmy O’Brien reappears from Sevens to perhaps transfer the footballing gifts that were so impressive at under age for Newbridge to the main stage.

The same goes for Hugo Keenan and less so Conor O’Brien, as the inside centre has already revealed serious physical prowess.

Scott Fardy leads the side. If the 39 times capped Wallaby builds upon his performance at the RDS last weekend, Michael Cheika, or whoever runs Australia next year, will have to recall the 34-year-old.

Despite so many ominous warnings, Dragons coach Bernard Jackman will have identified a real and rare opportunity to catch the champions. This moment only presents itself when Johnny Sexton and his lieutenants are being held for European battles.

“When we played them in Round Three we played 25 minutes with 14 men and it was difficult,” said Jackman of September’s sobering 52-10 defeat when Ross Moriarty walked for bumping Johnny Sexton off the ball. The Lions flanker is back in the fold, although Jackman keeps him on the bench.

“Our discipline has to be spot on, and the improvement with our defence needs to continue. It will be tested under the most extreme circumstances, and we have to be ready.”

Strong indications point towards a Leinster victory, with the killer scores accumulated either side of the interval, but all 80 minutes are worthwhile to track the development of Joey O’Brien, Penny and Doris.

And observe the Byrne twins before making Cullen’s case to keep them so far down the Leinster roster while other provinces could oil the Irish system by exposing them to Champions Cup action.

Like Jackman tonight, next week pits a former Leinster man, Bath attack coach Girvan Dempsey, against his boyhood team. Another fascinating line-up, including Doris but surely not Penny, is promised.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby sunshiner1 » December 3rd, 2018, 10:30 am

Loosehead prop is another area where Leinster exude power, with Nucifora surely keen to unburden them of Ed Byrne. And his benched twin Bryan. The Carlow RFC brothers are already 25; both would be established starters in any other Pro 14 squad.


He's not wrong there. Ulster desperately need a good Loose Head prop and Connacht fans have being casting envious eyes towards him. You'd imagaine that either him or Dooley will be encouraged to leave. Honestly I was pleasantly suprised that we held on to both of them last time round.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby mildlyinterested » December 3rd, 2018, 10:35 am

sunshiner1 wrote:
Loosehead prop is another area where Leinster exude power, with Nucifora surely keen to unburden them of Ed Byrne. And his benched twin Bryan. The Carlow RFC brothers are already 25; both would be established starters in any other Pro 14 squad.


He's not wrong there. Ulster desperately need a good Loose Head prop and Connacht fans have being casting envious eyes towards him. You'd imagaine that either him or Dooley will be encouraged to leave. Honestly I was pleasantly suprised that we held on to both of them last time round.


heaven forbid those provinces developed their own players at that position.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby cylerwhaa » December 5th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Good'ish interview with Scott Fardy on this weeks Brian Moore's Full Contact podcast, starts 28 minutes in.
As expected comes across well, didn't know he was caught up in the last Japanese earthquake, was offered evacuation by Australian embassy but stuck around helping load\unload relief trucks.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby betty swallocks » December 5th, 2018, 1:41 pm

Denis Buckley!!
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Ruckedtobits » December 7th, 2018, 9:39 am

Listening to playback of OTB interview and consequent media coverage of BO'D talking about availability of painkillers or other medication during his playing career, is a clear demonstration of how the treatment of, and behaviour around, celebrites differs from that around 'Joe Ordinary'.

Everyone around BO'D, coaches, S&C, physios and fitness personnel were always trying to ensure he had anything he needed or wanted. He trained incredibly hard and abrasively and picked up the sort of injuries and bangs more akin to a forward than most backs. He needed minding from his own competitiveness.

However, to infer, or suggest, that pills were handed out like smarties, or popped in handfulls, is nonsence and exaggeration for the vast majority of players and an indictment of all the medics around Leinster & Irish rugby. Yes, you could get something if you needed it but, for the vast majority, it was only strictly when needed and almost every player carried some pain from inflammation and bruising without taking pills.

BO'D was a case apart and treated like one. Leo is far more accurate in his commentary of the reality of medication back in the day. There is even more care exercised today.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Laighin Break » December 7th, 2018, 10:08 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:Listening to playback of OTB interview and consequent media coverage of BO'D talking about availability of painkillers or other medication during his playing career, is a clear demonstration of how the treatment of, and behaviour around, celebrites differs from that around 'Joe Ordinary'.

Everyone around BO'D, coaches, S&C, physios and fitness personnel were always trying to ensure he had anything he needed or wanted. He trained incredibly hard and abrasively and picked up the sort of injuries and bangs more akin to a forward than most backs. He needed minding from his own competitiveness.

However, to infer, or suggest, that pills were handed out like smarties, or popped in handfulls, is nonsence and exaggeration for the vast majority of players and an indictment of all the medics around Leinster & Irish rugby. Yes, you could get something if you needed it but, for the vast majority, it was only strictly when needed and almost every player carried some pain from inflammation and bruising without taking pills.

BO'D was a case apart and treated like one. Leo is far more accurate in his commentary of the reality of medication back in the day. There is even more care exercised today.


Yeah they're blowing this out of proportion. They had an ex-soccer player talk about his painkillers (he had a dodgy knee that swelled up loads. Surely most people would take ibuprofen for that) and then had ex-GAA player talking about it too. Some people take painkillers when in pain, some don't. Some take more than others. Some people pick up more injuries than others. Nothing new here.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby Lar » December 7th, 2018, 12:31 pm

I never came near being a professional sportsperson, but I did my ACL in my twenties. The knee works fine since I had the replacement (many years post injury because technology was not as advanced when I first did it) but it swells up fairly routinely. I take both ibuprofen and difene when it does depending on the severity and about every 18 months or so I need to get an injection into it. I do this as someone who likes to take exercise, and because taking exercise is better for me than not doing so. Having to take medication to manage my knee is a routine matter that enables me to continue to take exercise relatively pain free. This is a non-story.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby curates_egg » December 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm

Lar wrote:IThis is a non-story.


That's your view and you are entitled to it.

Another view is that sporting organisations have a duty of care to their employees. Taking medication to mask pain/swelling, so that their employees can play through an injury is problematic for a few reasons. Two prominent problems are: (a) the long-term side effects of using that medication, which may be unknown or known (I can't use either of the two products you name because they give me the scutters - I can only imagine what regular use would do to some, and Lewis Moody has given a clear indication); (b) playing through an injury exacerbates the injury and may cause greater long-term damage.

If players choose to do it, and don't inform the club about, then it is their own responsibility. To the extent that a sporting club facilitates or is aware that their employees are doing this, and allows it to happen, there is a problem - according to those who view this as 'a story' in any case.

Personally, it is the aspect of rugby that I am most uncomfortable with as a fan (along with how head injuries are managed). Much as I want us to win every game and trophy, I don't think the long-term health of some the players should be put in jeopardy to that end.

Taking prescription drugs as performance enablers also raises separate ethical questions, which are difficult to answer. Particularly, as some also have performance enhancing side effects. The fact that they are "legal" or not on the arbitrary list of banned substances does not, in the view of many people, mean that it is ethical to use them in pro sport, as it could create an unequal playing field.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » December 7th, 2018, 4:45 pm

I disagree to an extent.

I think Kimmage goes way overboard about this kind of stuff and twists everything to suit his anti doping agenda but I don't think he's entirely wrong about this being a concern. IMO he tried to uncover doping in rugby, failed to do so, but stumbled across that French guy talking about the use of painkillers, equated that to doping and ran with it. If you go to his twitter you'll see he retweeted loads of that shite on the back of what BOD said and basically said "I told you so" as if he'd uncovered some great conspiracy.

I think that's garbage but I can't say that I'm not worried about the use of painkillers and was a bit taken aback when I saw that Panadol (or whoever it was) were sponsoring the autumn internationals on RTE. I think his angle is wrong, but that doesn't mean there's no issue. My knee and my neck were wrecked from playing and I'd use a lot of painkillers to get through the week, either skip training or go but no do contact, then be okay again by the weekend and destroy myself again playing a game. I also tended to get headaches after games and would just take painkillers as a habit once I'd get home. I don't think that's right and that was just at a shitty junior level.

What I'm getting at is that I think there should be more focus on care and recovery. I think we see that with concussion now, people see the pros being stood down and aren't as afraid to say they have a problem and miss out on games for a while. I would love to know the number of players (at all levels) who played through injuries in their 20s and then were done and in bits by the time they were 30. I certainly know loads of people in that boat and reckon that the kind of culture Kimmage talks about does actually contribute to that.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby wixfjord » December 7th, 2018, 4:48 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
I think Kimmage goes way overboard about this kind of stuff and twists everything to suit his anti doping agenda but I don't think he's entirely wrong about this being a concern. IMO he tried to uncover doping in rugby, failed to do so, but stumbled across that French guy talking about the use of painkillers, equated that to doping and ran with it. If you go to his twitter you'll see he retweeted loads of that shite on the back of what BOD said and basically said "I told you so" as if he'd uncovered some great conspiracy.



This.
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Re: A whiff of Cordite

Postby curates_egg » December 7th, 2018, 4:58 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:I disagree to an extent.

I think Kimmage goes way overboard about this kind of stuff and twists everything to suit his anti doping agenda but I don't think he's entirely wrong about this being a concern. IMO he tried to uncover doping in rugby, failed to do so, but stumbled across that French guy talking about the use of painkillers, equated that to doping and ran with it. If you go to his twitter you'll see he retweeted loads of that shite on the back of what BOD said and basically said "I told you so" as if he'd uncovered some great conspiracy.

I think that's garbage but I can't say that I'm not worried about the use of painkillers and was a bit taken aback when I saw that Panadol (or whoever it was) were sponsoring the autumn internationals on RTE. I think his angle is wrong, but that doesn't mean there's no issue. My knee and my neck were wrecked from playing and I'd use a lot of painkillers to get through the week, either skip training or go but no do contact, then be okay again by the weekend and destroy myself again playing a game. I also tended to get headaches after games and would just take painkillers as a habit once I'd get home. I don't think that's right and that was just at a shitty junior level.

What I'm getting at is that I think there should be more focus on care and recovery. I think we see that with concussion now, people see the pros being stood down and aren't as afraid to say they have a problem and miss out on games for a while. I would love to know the number of players (at all levels) who played through injuries in their 20s and then were done and in bits by the time they were 30. I certainly know loads of people in that boat and reckon that the kind of culture Kimmage talks about does actually contribute to that.


I don't see anything you say that is at odds with my post, so I think we agree.

The only difference is that you don't mention the role of the professional club/organisation as an employer with a duty of care.

I guess the one thing I would disagree with you with is on Kimmage: I'm sure his motives are not entirely pure, but he has been pretty consistent about raising this problem, with precisely this angle. There is also a doping angle (steroid use in underage rugby), but he hasn't really looked into that properly (beyond being one of the various pundits to criticise signing Grobbler, as if Grobbler is the only player signed by Shelbyville who took steroids).
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