Anyone seen any of this? Whole thing is on Setanta as far as I know but I’ve missed it due to Euro 2008 and various other shitty little tasks that occupy my evenings these days.
Awful performances from Ireland though it seems to follow on from a very poor 6 Nations. Getting beaten by Argentina in the first game was a big loss. They’re obviously an improving team at all levels but the hope would have been that it would be ages before they overtook us in terms of youth development. That’s evidently not the case.
Then last night NZ put 60+ points on us.
As I’ve said here hundreds of times before this will continue to happen while we adopt such a narrow minded attitude to developing young rugby players. Putting all our eggs in the schools basket will backfire big time. It works in the US where schools are the main outlet for sports for all different pursuits. But it’s not based on exclusivity.
We’ve got this ridiculous private school sports culture in Ireland that means you’ve fuck all chance of playing youth rugby for your country if you don’t go to a fee paying school. And that’s narrowing the field something else. It all filters through to the top where we’ve a very small playing base. A combination of circumstances allowed us to create a very good senior team for the past 6 years or so but we’ve done nothing to build on that outside of traditional rugby bases - it’s actually unreal when you consider the IRFU tried to shut Connacht down at one stage. Too many pricks at the top looking after their old school ties and doing nothing for rugby in outlying areas except sending some toff out to Tallaght once a year with a few mini rugby balls to prove they’re expansive.
men against boys, simple as that really.
Funny you mentioned tallaght rocko, one of the success stories apparently. I think they had the scrum half on the U19 team last year.
I will give you an article on this very topic by end of week Rocko.
Did ye see the game last night lads? Ireladn tried v v gamely and cannot be faulted for effort, normally any team at end of 60 points means they dropped the heads, not the case last night and they deserve a lot of credit for that. A more even match would have been NZ U-20s vs Ireland A to be honest.
Difference in skill levels was unreal, Kiwis had three fellas playing who started the S14 final FFS, Eoin O Malley was the only player for Ireland who I can def say played for a province this year (and that was mag Lge). The Kiwi 10, if he doesnt make it I give up, Trent Renata, massive boot, great hands, good goal kicker. Ireland should break the bank and offer him a massive contract to come over here and get him qualified, at the end of the day 12 of those guys will probably never make the All Blacks. Frightening.
Look for some positives the irish scrum more than held there own.
Watched some of this (it was this or Greece v Sweden). The pure ferocious power of the Kiwi’s was astonishing, they’re just pheomenal athletes in comparison to our lads, who tried gamely, but just couldnt help getting turned over in the tackles when the ball went out wide.
It’s not that the NZ structures are ideal either Dan because as you say loads of those lads won’t become All Blacks. But they are producing talent and they do have enough teams between the NPC and the S14 to keep a serious amount of talent in NZ. It’s the guys who are caught in between S14 and the All Blacks and NPC and S14 that go abroad.
I know Tallaght is supposed to be a success but really producing one guy from there tells you everything you need to know. The place is huge but there’s absolutely no rugby culture whatsoever. There’s no interest in the game, nobody watches it, nobody plays it. There’s been token gestures made to improve the game there but I think they’re just tokens.
One thing that annoys me is when you get a big name signing for Leinster for example like Le Roux. And he’s arbitrarily assigned to a club in Leinster so Lansdowne and Blackrock fight it out for the right to have him prop up a barstool there once every 2 or 3 months. He should be given to Carlow or Naas or Suttonians or Skerries and told that’s his club - he’s not expected to play for them but he is expected to coach a small bit. That’s a way of expanding rugby out from its heartland but nobody’s interested in doing that.
But as I said above it’s the competition structure that needs changing more than anything. You’ll get the odd improvement like Casteltroy or whatever but for the most part these are closed shop competitions run by old men for weirdos who want to go watch their school playing 15 years after they’ve left it. Compare that to the minor scene in GAA or underage soccer and you’ll see that rugby has all the hype and all the trappings of success (big crowds, tv coverage etc) but there’s fuck all people taking part.
Anyway look forward to the article Dan.
As some of you might be aware, I don’t have much interest in rugby but I agree completely with Rocko’s points on this thread. I have absolutely zero tolerance or time for elitism in all parts of life, including sport, yet this is what the whole rugby culture (in Dublin anyway) appears to be based around. The Schools’ Cup phenomenon bemuses me more than anything, with 30 something year-old work colleagues on tenterhooks before taking a half-day to head down to watch Belvo and Michael’s.
That’s fair enough - it’s their own personal interest and they’re not harming anyone - but surely the governing rugby body in Ireland has a responsibility to develop a system whereby the local clubs all around the country are the focal point for nurturing youngsters rather than primarily through a few fee-paying schools in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. I deal with a lad in work who’s involved with coaching youngsters in a club in the greater Dublin area and he told me that the schools have first call on the players and any of his players involved in the Schools’ Cup simply don’t play for the club whilst the competition is in progress. That seems wrong to me but then the underage international squads seem to be selected based on Schools’ Cup performance as this competition is regarded as the standard bearer.
Correct me if I’m wrong by the way.
the limerick schools with possibly the exception of cresent comp. wouldnt be seen as elitest(not 100% but pretty sure ard scoil ris, munchens and castletroy college aren’t fee paying schools) but agree with your point, the under age competitions are put off in limerick while boys are playing for their schools and the schools have first preference…
bit of a joke alright especially when you think of the small pool of players we have to choose from…we are only narrowing the net for ourselves…
a cousin of mine through marriage played for the comp and and irish schools team that went to the under 19 world cup 3/4 years ago…he didnt tog once for his club that season…his school told him that it would be unnecessary and only an interferance to to his development…
With threads like this it is easy to see whay flano thinks the forum has gone to the dogs
Dan, anyone else: did ye notice any cracking players at this tournament for Ireland or anyone else.
Didn’t see any of it at all really - saw a small bit of the NZ - Eng final today. There was some difference between the sides. I know we’re smaller physically then these sides which explains some of the recent scorelines but the gulf between NZ and England was primarily about ball skills. The handling from the All Blacks was something else. Didn’t think much of their scrum half but a few loose balls went down around the 10-12-13 area and every single one was picked up without a fuss or a juggle and just passed on. Add to that the offloading in the tackle and they were light years ahead of their counterparts.
Having said all that nobody really stuck out for me. The right wing (Poki) took his try well but the guy I was most impressed with was Zac Guildford on the other wing. Not sure how fast he is but his angles of running and his handling were world class.
rocko I pro mised you an article on this topic along the lines of schools vs club for development, have started but just not finshed it, an area of keen interest of mine. It will come in time!!
Poki and Guildford played regulalry in the S14 this season for Crusaders and Hurricanes. Poki started the S14 final on the wing. Sean maitland was on the bench for the S14 final and only on the bench for the U20 WC final as well!!! Scary stuff. Nasi Manu the no 8 was on the bench in S14 final as well. Thats just from watching a few games dont know for sure bout too many more.
Best player they had for me was Trent Renata, jackhammer boot, great place kicker and savage hands. Played at 10 in both games I saw but was only accomodated at FB for the final. Said this on another thread but if he doesnt make it Im not sure who will. Braid the 7 was excellent throughout as well.
Size is a huge thing at this level and man for man they were bigger than every team they played.
For ireland no one really stood out to be honest, maybe the No 8 who played against NZ cant remember his name at all, he scored a try and really tried to take the game to them. In the backs they were just really outmuscled. it would be a worry I must say
Although the ireladn A performance in Churchill cup was v v encouraging. Il post about that in different thread though
That full back looked decent in the final from what I saw. They were down a winger for a while but he covered both sides of the park no bother at all to him. Didn’t think the out half (Kirkpatrick I think) was anything special but as I say I only saw 25 minutes or so.
That English pack was just as heavy apparently - just way less powerful and a million miles behind on ball skills. I know size makes a huge difference at that level but the skill levels were extraordinarily different too.