It’s very frustrating being an Ulster fan. How many times have I had to say that over the years. Always the bridesmaid....etc etc. It’s clear out senior players in the team are getting frustrated at a lack of direction and discipline. Watch any interview with Rory Best and you get brutal honesty! Ulster are clearly the poorest team in the IRFU. How have we got here? I think Stephen Ferris has hit several nails on the head!
1. Not enough Ulster provincial talent. Our signings have been questionable. We are not getting our academy teams pushed into the first XV well. McPhillips may be the exception this season, but even he knows the departure of Lealifano and two ongoing court cases is the reason he’s there. John Cooney has been outstanding for Ulster and he clearly relishes his time. From the Leinster academy via Connacht.
2. The constant travel to South Africa to pick up fringe players haven’t helped. They are prone to long term injuries. Ruan Pienaar is currently on long term injury list from Montpellier and is resting nicely at home.....in Ulster!
3. The direction of the club has been to be the best in Europe then the world! Interesting to see how this can be achieved. Record breaking spending on stadium, facilities and coaching team. Yet we get knocked out of the group stages by a hit and miss Wasps side.
It’s time to release some older players, blood the youth. Show videos of Craig Gilroy smashing up Thomond park against Munster. Show Stephen Ferris last ever big hit versus Scarlets. Get Willie John McBride in to show what that jersey means, bring Dave Humphrey’s back as CEO! Make Kingspan the fortress it always was as Ravenhill. Start from scratch.
Until a fresh approach is taken I fear several seasons of mediocre rugby. As a province we are second to Leinster in crowd numbers but louder in every way! The average 15000 that go deserve more. When you play Ulster you should be playing the province of Ulster.