dropkick wrote:hugonaut wrote:
Just as a last note, take a look at the minutes played for our sub-tighthead props [Marty Moore and Nathan White] in the last three Six Nations prior to this one:
Marty Moore: http://www.irishrugby.ie/rugby/fixtures ... ef=dynamic [average 21.7 mins/sub appearance]
Nathan White: http://www.irishrugby.ie/rugby/fixtures ... ef=dynamic [average 21.6 mins/sub appearance]
My reading of that [in comparison to the limited gametime given to John Ryan in the last couple of games – 1 min against Wales, 6 mins against France], is that – as the original poster and some others have written – Schmidt doesn't really have confidence in Ryan. He's got to pick a sub-tighthead though, and at the moment Ryan is the next cab off the rank.
Moore and White played under Schmidt for years. Schmidt doesn't have confidence in any player that hasn't studied his methods for a year.
The best scrum of the match from an Ireland point of view was the very last one with the subs on. The Welsh were in reverse. Leaving the scrum aside, Ryan is fairly mobile around the pitch and Furlong had put in a big shift so why not throw on the fresh legs earlier.
The bench should be used as a weapon not a bandage. We've the deepest squad of players we ever had and yet he is afraid to use the bench. The team is crippled from being afraid to make mistakes.
They weren't afraid to make mistakes on Friday – they made loads of them!
I think you can use the bench as a weapon when you have weapons on the bench – we had some weapons and some bandages, to use your terms.
You can say that we have the 'deepest squad of players we've ever had' but I'm looking at a bench with Niall Scannell [24 years old, 1+3], John Ryan [28 years old, 0+5 caps] and Kieran Marmion [25 years old, 1+11] and it doesn't fill me with confidence. That's a matter of opinion obviously, and I respect your right to hold a different one. People see different things in different players.
Nobody wants to sh*t on Tommy Bowe because he is a hell of a guy and has been both a genuinely world class player and a totem for us, but having him on the bench always seemed a very iffy call from JS. He's had a horrifically bad run with injuries over the last four years, he's 33 and he's not the player he was. That's not his fault, it just happens – injuries and age have caught up with him.
My perspective on the bench is that we had one poor selection in a good impact position [Bowe], some real weapons [Healy, Henderson and O'Mahony], and some guys who are sort of 'bandages' in that they're not really pushing the starters for their positions at this stage [Scannell, Jackson, Marmion and Ryan]. Best is a 100-capper, Sexton is a victorious Lions test outhalf and a recent IPOTY nominee, Murray is one of the three or four best players in his position in the world and Furlong looks like he's close to that level. From where I'm sitting there's a noticeable gap in both ability and experience between the starters and the subs in those positions.