Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Twist » January 6th, 2020, 2:17 pm

Anyone know when the 6N squad is announced?

On our lack of depth in the second row; I think we'll be seeing Kleyn there again. He's one of the few Munster players to have put in really big performances since the RWC, and with Beirne (who I still think is a 6) being injured there's even less competition than usual.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » January 6th, 2020, 2:30 pm

That reminds me that one area of Dev's game that was underrated was his ability to stand at first or second receiver and throw a pass out the back. I'm not saying he's Carlos Spencer or anything but it did add a bit of subtlety that we lacked in recent months and we could do with a couple of forwards stepping up to that role. Kelleher, Doris, and Deegan all look like they might be capable of it.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby cormac » January 6th, 2020, 4:12 pm

Twist wrote:Anyone know when the 6N squad is announced?

On our lack of depth in the second row; I think we'll be seeing Kleyn there again. He's one of the few Munster players to have put in really big performances since the RWC, and with Beirne (who I still think is a 6) being injured there's even less competition than usual.


Don't know when the squad will be announced but the Ireland team will now be named on the Tuesday before the match.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Oldschool » January 6th, 2020, 10:14 pm

As of now.
Byrne, Carty and Burns are the only OH standing.
Even if Sexton made a miraculous recovery there's no need to rush him back for the Scotland game.
So Byrne to start however it's a tight call for the bench spot.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Oldschool » January 6th, 2020, 10:15 pm

cormac wrote:
Twist wrote:Anyone know when the 6N squad is announced?

On our lack of depth in the second row; I think we'll be seeing Kleyn there again. He's one of the few Munster players to have put in really big performances since the RWC, and with Beirne (who I still think is a 6) being injured there's even less competition than usual.


Don't know when the squad will be announced but the Ireland team will now be named on the Tuesday before the match.

Not taking chances on 50/50 fitness calls.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby ronk » January 6th, 2020, 11:16 pm

Surgery for Carbery gives Farrell a headache.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » January 6th, 2020, 11:50 pm

Oldschool wrote:As of now.
Byrne, Carty and Burns are the only OH standing.
Even if Sexton made a miraculous recovery there's no need to rush him back for the Scotland game.
So Byrne to start however it's a tight call for the bench spot.


Plus C Frawley & H Byrne
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby hugonaut » January 7th, 2020, 8:24 am

ronk wrote:Surgery for Carbery gives Farrell a headache.


I don't think so Ronk.

One of the clearest lessons from the World Cup was that the head coach should rely more on form than reputation. You always take both into consideration, because selection is an art and not a science, but I think it was pretty evident that there is more of a downside to rewarding reputation than rewarding form.

Carbery has no form. He has done nothing this season to get into the Irish team [or squad], ergo he shouldn't be in there.

He played 50 mins in one of the most meaningless, uncompetitive and mistake-ridden tests we have played in the last decade, that useless first warm-up game against Italy. I was at that; it was a waste of everyone's time. He got injured, had surgery, didn't play until the World Cup, and then he was poor throughout the World Cup – really poor against Japan, harmless enough against Samoa in a game that was well in the bag and dreadful against NZ. Then he came back, had another surgery – suggesting that he had never really recovered from his first injury – missed more games, then had an innocuous appearance off the bench in a home loss, and then a poor performance and another injury in a bad loss on the road.

So in the last five months he has started two games, a low quality friendly [vs Italy] in which he played well but got injured, and a mid-quality provincial derby [vs Ulster] in which he played poorly and got injured. Beyond that, he made four sub appearances, in three of which he was poor [Japan, NZ and Leinster]. That's it. That shouldn't get you anywhere near the Irish team.

On a related note, the idea that it's close between Conor Murray or John Cooney starting is farcical. It's not close. It shouldn't even be a debate. It's an incredibly easy decision to make – Cooney is the form player in the entire country in any position, and Murray has been in a slump for well over a year. If Murray was playing close to his best, it'd be a difficult call.

But Cooney has been in good form for two and a half seasons, has picked up loads of individual awards and has led his team around by the nose ... and he's in the best form of his career at the moment. Murray hasn't shown any form over a run of games since the Australia tour in June 2018, 19 months ago. This is not the difficult call people are making it out to be; it's not a difficult call at all.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » January 7th, 2020, 8:46 am

Discussion about shortcomings at 2nd row are overlooking a couple of in-form players. Ultane Dillane's contributions to Connacht performances have been more and more noteworthy. He has developed real 'man-strength' alongside his natural marauding style and is a real international at this stage.

Dev has provided a very strong response to being ommited from RWC19 and he has fitness, appetite and his unique skill-set.

Henderson and Ryan are the front-line but there are certainly others in the supply chain. Roux is injured short term but in very good form.

And then there are the 5/6 players who could fill the national bench spot from which Beirne will be missing. Leinster can offer Ruddock and Josh Murphy whilst Mattie Rea has put his hand up also.

As for the out-half cover, as @hugonaut has clearly illustrated, there is no rational reason why Carbery should have been anywhere near selection in the 6Ns based on his current form. On the other hand, Bryne, Bryne and Frawley have offered compelling evidence for an opportunity to prove 'if you're good enough, you're old enough'.

Most other nations in the 6Ns would take your arm off for a list reading Sexton, Carty, R Byrne, Frawley, H Byrne, Healy.

Cooney, McGrath & Blade are the form men at scrum-half and Farrell has decent selection options from among those three with Murray in the background with Marmion not far off a return. Once again, fairly strong hand.

If Farrell takes the smart path and picks exclusively on form, he will get a high content of Leinster & Ulster with a sprinkling of Munster & Connacht. Such a selection pattern will contribute confidence and competition to the Irish performance and that will suit the line-up of games.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Ruckedtobits » January 7th, 2020, 9:21 am

Just considering the current form line, it looks something like this in each position at present:

1. Healy, Buckley, McAllister, Kilcoyne
2. Herring, Kelleher, Heffernan, Cronin, Scannell
3. Porter, Moore, Furlong, O'Toole, Bealham
4. Henderson, Dillane
5. Ryan, Toner, O'Connor
6. Ruddock, Stander, Josh Murphy, Rea
7. JVdF, Connors, Reidy, Jordi Murphy, PO'M
8. Doris, O'Donoghue, Deegan,
9. Cooney, McGrath, Blade
10. Sexton, R Byrne, Hanrahan, Frawley, H Byrne
11. Stockdale, D Kearney, C Kelleher
12. McCloskey, Henshaw, Farrell
13. Ringrose, Aki, Marshall
14. Conway, McFadden, Earls
15. Addison, Larmour, R Kearney, Haley.

Not exactly a detailed depth chart, but one view on current form which suggests that Farrell has options everywhere but only 23 spots available. There are a couple included without form at present but all have shown flashes over the past two months.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby ronk » January 7th, 2020, 9:59 am

hugonaut wrote:
ronk wrote:Surgery for Carbery gives Farrell a headache.


I don't think so Ronk.

One of the clearest lessons from the World Cup was that the head coach should rely more on form than reputation. You always take both into consideration, because selection is an art and not a science, but I think it was pretty evident that there is more of a downside to rewarding reputation than rewarding form.

Carbery has no form. He has done nothing this season to get into the Irish team [or squad], ergo he shouldn't be in there.

He played 50 mins in one of the most meaningless, uncompetitive and mistake-ridden tests we have played in the last decade, that useless first warm-up game against Italy. I was at that; it was a waste of everyone's time. He got injured, had surgery, didn't play until the World Cup, and then he was poor throughout the World Cup – really poor against Japan, harmless enough against Samoa in a game that was well in the bag and dreadful against NZ. Then he came back, had another surgery – suggesting that he had never really recovered from his first injury – missed more games, then had an innocuous appearance off the bench in a home loss, and then a poor performance and another injury in a bad loss on the road.

So in the last five months he has started two games, a low quality friendly [vs Italy] in which he played well but got injured, and a mid-quality provincial derby [vs Ulster] in which he played poorly and got injured. Beyond that, he made four sub appearances, in three of which he was poor [Japan, NZ and Leinster]. That's it. That shouldn't get you anywhere near the Irish team.

On a related note, the idea that it's close between Conor Murray or John Cooney starting is farcical. It's not close. It shouldn't even be a debate. It's an incredibly easy decision to make – Cooney is the form player in the entire country in any position, and Murray has been in a slump for well over a year. If Murray was playing close to his best, it'd be a difficult call.

But Cooney has been in good form for two and a half seasons, has picked up loads of individual awards and has led his team around by the nose ... and he's in the best form of his career at the moment. Murray hasn't shown any form over a run of games since the Australia tour in June 2018, 19 months ago. This is not the difficult call people are making it out to be; it's not a difficult call at all.


It's difficult because it's sticking your neck out. We've seen the same things and have similar enough conclusions, but its swimming against the tide of punditry/opinion.

I hear a lot that Carbery has improved massively since his move to Munster. It's accepted without question. Media are pushing Nuciforan infallibility. Dropping Murray and Carbery bursts that reality distortion field and immediately makes Farrell an enemy of a large section of Munster support.

He might need that in the bank.

Cooney didn't go to the RWC. Nothing has changed since then except Farrell. He can't pick Cooney to start without saying that Joe was wrong and looking disloyal.

Or he can say that Munster had a post RWC hangover and Murray deserves a shot to show what he can do. Make other adjustments more quietly without slaughtering sacred cows.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Dave Cahill » January 7th, 2020, 10:23 am

ronk wrote:Nothing has changed since then except Farrell. He can't pick Cooney to start without saying that Joe was wrong and looking disloyal.



Considering how they threw Joe under the bus once he was out the door, I don't think thats an issue.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » January 7th, 2020, 12:12 pm

ronk wrote:Surgery for Carbery gives Farrell a headache.


That must be a helluva surgery!
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Oldschool » January 7th, 2020, 12:13 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:
ronk wrote:Nothing has changed since then except Farrell. He can't pick Cooney to start without saying that Joe was wrong and looking disloyal.



Considering how they threw Joe under the bus once he was out the door, I don't think that's an issue.

+1
If it is an issue we're fupped and so is Farrell. The future is now for Farrell.
On top of which Cooney has upped it another gear this season just to make Farrell's decision that bit easier.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » January 7th, 2020, 12:20 pm

hugonaut wrote:Carbery has no form. He has done nothing this season to get into the Irish team [or squad], ergo he shouldn't be in there.

He played 50 mins in one of the most meaningless, uncompetitive and mistake-ridden tests we have played in the last decade, that useless first warm-up game against Italy. I was at that; it was a waste of everyone's time. He got injured, had surgery, didn't play until the World Cup, and then he was poor throughout the World Cup – really poor against Japan, harmless enough against Samoa in a game that was well in the bag and dreadful against NZ. Then he came back, had another surgery – suggesting that he had never really recovered from his first injury – missed more games, then had an innocuous appearance off the bench in a home loss, and then a poor performance and another injury in a bad loss on the road.

So in the last five months he has started two games, a low quality friendly [vs Italy] in which he played well but got injured, and a mid-quality provincial derby [vs Ulster] in which he played poorly and got injured. Beyond that, he made four sub appearances, in three of which he was poor [Japan, NZ and Leinster]. That's it. That shouldn't get you anywhere near the Irish team.



I've been going on about this far too much but it's even worse than that, Hugo.

He also picked up that injury at the start of the 6N and then had an aborted comeback in the Champions Cup QF (think that was the game, it was around then anyway). So he's barely played in the last year, and when he has he's been working his way back from injury or carrying something. I vaguely remember another injury before that too but am too lazy to look it up.

So for all the talk of him not developing/going backwards at Munster or just not being an outhalf, I think people are ignoring his injury record when they say that. He really hasn't had a proper run at it. Now I think Munster are badly coached but his injuries have been the big problem since he moved. I haven't heard a time frame for his return this time but assuming it's a couple of months he will have missed the guts of two seasons through injury.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » January 7th, 2020, 12:29 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Discussion about shortcomings at 2nd row are overlooking a couple of in-form players. Ultane Dillane's contributions to Connacht performances have been more and more noteworthy. He has developed real 'man-strength' alongside his natural marauding style and is a real international at this stage.

Dev has provided a very strong response to being ommited from RWC19 and he has fitness, appetite and his unique skill-set.

Henderson and Ryan are the front-line but there are certainly others in the supply chain. Roux is injured short term but in very good form.



It was me saying it.

Henderson, Ryan, and Dev were an extremely strong group two years ago, partly because Dev's excellent form meant that we got more out of Henderson as a sub or through rotation. But Dev has declined somewhat, and not only has nobody stepped up to replace him, that detracts from Henderson's game too. As talented as Henderson is, he's just not consistent at the top level. I'm a big fan of his but called it before the World Cup that himself and Ryan would be shagged by the time the QF came around and I think I was right.

We also had Tadhg Beirne as arguably the form forward in Europe and he was going to be joining Munster and Ireland shortly after the Grand Slam. That hasn't worked out as hoped and now he's injured anyway.

I agree on Dillane being back in good form, but still don't see him as being as explosive as he was in 2016 and a bit short of that form. So overall I think we have regressed a bit. Look, starting Henderson and Ryan is hardly a weakness and the way the fixtures fall in the 6N gives us a chance to keep them in good nick until the last weekend, but I can't see how anyone could argue that we haven't regressed in that area, and we're hugely reliant on those guys staying fit and playing well.

It's just a short term thing, I'd be hopeful that if we can get through the 6N and summer tour with the players we've got now then we can bolster things significantly from next season with Baird, Dunne, and Ryan.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Xanthippe » January 7th, 2020, 2:16 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
hugonaut wrote:Carbery has no form. He has done nothing this season to get into the Irish team [or squad], ergo he shouldn't be in there.

He played 50 mins in one of the most meaningless, uncompetitive and mistake-ridden tests we have played in the last decade, that useless first warm-up game against Italy. I was at that; it was a waste of everyone's time. He got injured, had surgery, didn't play until the World Cup, and then he was poor throughout the World Cup – really poor against Japan, harmless enough against Samoa in a game that was well in the bag and dreadful against NZ. Then he came back, had another surgery – suggesting that he had never really recovered from his first injury – missed more games, then had an innocuous appearance off the bench in a home loss, and then a poor performance and another injury in a bad loss on the road.

So in the last five months he has started two games, a low quality friendly [vs Italy] in which he played well but got injured, and a mid-quality provincial derby [vs Ulster] in which he played poorly and got injured. Beyond that, he made four sub appearances, in three of which he was poor [Japan, NZ and Leinster]. That's it. That shouldn't get you anywhere near the Irish team.



I've been going on about this far too much but it's even worse than that, Hugo.

He also picked up that injury at the start of the 6N and then had an aborted comeback in the Champions Cup QF (think that was the game, it was around then anyway). So he's barely played in the last year, and when he has he's been working his way back from injury or carrying something. I vaguely remember another injury before that too but am too lazy to look it up.

So for all the talk of him not developing/going backwards at Munster or just not being an outhalf, I think people are ignoring his injury record when they say that. He really hasn't had a proper run at it. Now I think Munster are badly coached but his injuries have been the big problem since he moved. I haven't heard a time frame for his return this time but assuming it's a couple of months he will have missed the guts of two seasons through injury.


In the calendar year 2019 our international outhalves played the following:

Sexton: P14 - 7 games, Ire - 10 games Total minutes: 1009

Carbery: P14 - 6 games, Ire - 6 games Total minutes: 540

Carty: P14 - 16 games, Ire - 10 games Total minutes: 1098

Byrne: P14 - 22 games, Ire - 1 game Total minutes: 1310
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby hugonaut » January 7th, 2020, 2:58 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
Ruckedtobits wrote:Discussion about shortcomings at 2nd row are overlooking a couple of in-form players. Ultane Dillane's contributions to Connacht performances have been more and more noteworthy. He has developed real 'man-strength' alongside his natural marauding style and is a real international at this stage.

Dev has provided a very strong response to being ommited from RWC19 and he has fitness, appetite and his unique skill-set.

Henderson and Ryan are the front-line but there are certainly others in the supply chain. Roux is injured short term but in very good form.



It was me saying it.

Henderson, Ryan, and Dev were an extremely strong group two years ago, partly because Dev's excellent form meant that we got more out of Henderson as a sub or through rotation. But Dev has declined somewhat, and not only has nobody stepped up to replace him, that detracts from Henderson's game too. As talented as Henderson is, he's just not consistent at the top level. I'm a big fan of his but called it before the World Cup that himself and Ryan would be shagged by the time the QF came around and I think I was right.

We also had Tadhg Beirne as arguably the form forward in Europe and he was going to be joining Munster and Ireland shortly after the Grand Slam. That hasn't worked out as hoped and now he's injured anyway.

I agree on Dillane being back in good form, but still don't see him as being as explosive as he was in 2016 and a bit short of that form. So overall I think we have regressed a bit. Look, starting Henderson and Ryan is hardly a weakness and the way the fixtures fall in the 6N gives us a chance to keep them in good nick until the last weekend, but I can't see how anyone could argue that we haven't regressed in that area, and we're hugely reliant on those guys staying fit and playing well.

It's just a short term thing, I'd be hopeful that if we can get through the 6N and summer tour with the players we've got now then we can bolster things significantly from next season with Baird, Dunne, and Ryan.


Dillane is sort of like O'Mahony in that he does certain things really well, but there are other pre-requisites of his position that he doesn't do well at all.

For example, his lineout play is only so-so, and he's a really poor scrummager. But he's really good on the ball – quick and explosive, a good tackler who puts in a lot of work and some really big hits. It seems to me like the stuff that's learning and drudge-work [scrummaging, lineout play], he's pretty poor on, but the stuff that other second rows find difficult comes easier to him, i.e. running.

For me, he's an impact sub in a really similar mould to Sean Cronin, i.e. a guy who has a particular set of skills that suits the end of a game, not the body of a game. But I think he's a guy who should be around the squad regularly in that role, because it's a real job and a role that he can do well, sort of like a Westie Courtney Lawes.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » January 7th, 2020, 3:08 pm

Thanks Xan, fairly shocking numbers for Joey.
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Re: Andy Farell's Reign of Terror

Postby Xanthippe » January 7th, 2020, 5:13 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:Thanks Xan, fairly shocking numbers for Joey.



Especially when you consider that in the same period Ciaran Frawley played 12 games for Leinster (total 506 minutes)
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