REPORT: ULSTER MATCH REPORT FEST

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REPORT: ULSTER MATCH REPORT FEST

by OxonRob on Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:24 pm

Our victory over Ulster this afternoon demands prompt and unusual action to mark the day for posterity. I am not sure that it has ever been attempted before, but here goes.

This week for one week only YOU have a chance to be a Match Reporter!

The idea is this.

Each and every one of us writes a Match Report, which you then place on this thread. Thus there will be loads and loads of Match Reports all in one place. Oh, it will be so, won't it?

It'd be nice if we kept the usual MB banter for an entirely different thread altogether, but as Reports Monitor my heart isn't into being harsh and punitive, so it'll stay there where you posted it!

Definition of a Match Report.

The scores and who scored them (as far as you know)

Any facts about the game that you can recall, in roughly the correct order.

Anecdotes. Who spilled whose drink in the stand. Who said or did whatever out of sight of the cameras and the Ref. Really anything at all, provided there is an obvious link to what happened today!

The great triumph of reporting is when you recall more than you forget! It happens but only rarely, so mind the memory carefuly.

I'll do my report later, and will add it to this thread when it is ready.

Yours? Oh go on! Share your memories of today.
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by PaulHP on Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:54 pm

Steffon was superb.

Is that enough for you Rob?
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by Hillbilly on Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:21 pm

We have a new awesome and he's called Steffan - my man of the match by a country mile and given that they all played well that is pretty good going.
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by JonnyC on Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:34 pm

The only good thing about Ulster were their supporters.
How could Irish expect to win when reduced to 13 men just before "oranges".
Ulster never looked like winning the game even with numerical superiority and gave it up to Irish; who in the first quarter of the match made seasonal mincemeat out of their opponents. Argentinian beef bumped over for the first touchdown, then Irish/South African/English guile popped over for the second.
Joel (I will not dispense Christmas Cheer) Jutge then made the match a winner for the "Stand Up" supporters by sin-binning two Irish players in pretty short order. But hey ho the defence was Magnifique and Irish survived to gain a bonus point with Fann "Huge Guy" Rautenbach acting as scrum half for Irish's fourth try.
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by PaulHP on Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:01 pm

Oh dear, looks like Dawson's got a new nickname now that Steffon's nicked his old one:




Anonymous


http://www.ulsterrugby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3826
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by OxonRob on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:17 am

Paul, it might have been more fitting had yer man suggested "Awful". They are a hard bunch, these Ulstermen. Dawson didn't have his finest game ever, it's true, but few of their guys did.

Now, fellers not one of the above qualifies as a Match Report. You can do better and must stay in after the last class. Get cracking!
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by gabriel on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:18 am

There was an air of tension around before the match with seasoned supporters refusing to predict an outcome. It was clear however that the match would be special one way or another.

Early attention was paid to the display 'flags and emblems' issue. Should LI fans display the usual tricolour or not? Certainly there were fewer in evidence. Would Ulster fans be waving Ulster or Northern Ireland flags? The answer was a mixture. There were a lot more NI flags than Ulster flags and a few tutorials were held on the significance of the difference. It was patiently explained by various émigrés amongst the LI support that the yellow jobs were Ulster flags and the white ones with the crown were NI flags. The Mammy was engaged for many minutes explaining the rather bloody legend of the red hand.

Tutorials over, the match commenced with Irish showing a lot of promise. First blood went to Ulster from the boot of LI old boy David Humphries. As ever, questions were raised as to why he couldn't play as well for us when he was with us as when he went to Ulster. The tone was set when it was clear that whilst Ulster could score penalties, LI could score tries. Leguizamon was the first to touch down followed by 'the General' Catt who did a lovely bit of ball control to hack on, gather and score under the posts.

The Ulster tactic of kicking away possession was working beautifully ... for Irish. The young lad Geraghty showed that those who believed in him were on the right track as he showed again and again his true skills. The quality of his line kicking brought gasps of surprise in Peter's Patch (Peter himself being in the South Stand with the LI Minis) from those ho associated him with rather direct lobs into touch.

Two yellow cards threaten to ruin the Irish party but stunningly good defence and an unimaginative Ulster attack saved the day. Going in only one point ahead was a disappointment but the sense of purpose amongst Irish players and fans was palpable. Dropping only seven points whilst being two players down was heroic but more was needed.

A rousing chorus of 'I'd rather be a Paddy than a Paddy' early in the second half reflected the tightness of the game. Ulster changed tactics and stopped kicking the ball away. The Irish forwards gradually cranked up their dominance everywhere but the lineout. Stefan Armitage was the new Kieran Dawson even whilst the old one was still on the pitch. Justin Fitzpatrick added to the LI old boys quotient with only Kieran Campbell left warming the bench for Ulster.

The LI defence was at its most superb. Time and time again Ulster attacks ran into the dust. A lovely darting try from Geraghty added to by a Barry Everitt penalty seemed to conclude matters. Unsatisfactorily, as far as the Mammy was concerned. She greatly disliked the decision to go for goal with the penalty and was even more frustrated when an attempt was made to change the decision but the referee insisted that the goal attempt should go ahead since that was what had been indicated first. The thinking (if there was any) was probably about denying Ulster rather than getting LI a bonus point. But the fourth try came with the last move of the match. A wet, windy Friday night at Ravenhill was the last thing on anyone’s mind as the celebrations commenced.

This reviewer has not seen happier LI fans since the Cup Final at Twickenham.
Last edited by gabriel on Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by PaulHP on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:31 am

Which cup final at Wembley was that Gabriel?

The penalty that Barry had to kick was Big Bob's fault, he told the ref that we would go for the 3 points, then Baz pointed out we only needed 1 more try for a bonus point but Bob's French wasn't all that good and the ref wouldn't let them change their choice.
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by gabriel on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:45 am

Wembley? Have you been celebrating or have I been editing?
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by OxonRob on Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:08 am

Three gold stars to Gabriel for a proper Match Report. Thanks, mate.

In the meanwhile, I have been heartily amused by part of the quote from the Ulster MB, because it achieves almost word for word what I had posted on OUR Offy Site MB.

There, I wrote

"No one can say that Ulster lost.
No one that the Ref was bent and blind.
No one can say that the less poor of two poor sides snuck a result.
Everyone can say that won and we deserved to do so."


So, what does our Welsh friend do? Take a look...

"Ulster were awful today against a poor LI.
Wallace and Hupmh were shown up defensively.
Ulster's tactical kicking was very poor, esp. first half.
Kieran Dawson was anonomous.
Bowe and Trimble looked very rusty."


Almost word for word. Oh my, but people are so predictable when we win!
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by OxonRob on Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:15 am

Is this a Press Report, or simply a Match Report?

I think it's the latter for we all know where it appears, don't we? Here is how Paddy Lennon saw the game.

http://www.london-irish.com/newspage.in ... tchid=7651
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by dom_pedro on Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:45 pm

Here's my match report .... I wish I'd been there. :cry:
Fantastic result though!
This cruel country has driven me down, teased me and lied.
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died.
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by MrDean on Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:35 pm

Home win in dead rubber.

London Irish finally got their Heinken Cup campaign going by defeating Ulster in Reading, but with defeats in October to Llanelli and Toulouse they have little chance of progressing further. A glimmer of mathematical hope was raised by the 4th try in injury time from Sailosi Tagicakibau which gained a bonus point. Ulster left empty handed and will hope for a more committed team performance next week in front of their home fans, in the wind, rain and mud of Ravenhill. London Irish would need an away win to keep alive their hopes, but after this thorough drubbing of Ulster this week who is to say what could be acheived ? The only thing consistent about the Sunbury based side has been their inconsistency. A comprehensive win over Northampton was followed by an embarrassingly poor display in Cardiff. It's hard to predict which team will turn up.
There were 5 changes from the Cardiff side, and most significant was the return of Mike Catt who must give Shane Geraghty the confidence to shimmy and dummy, to run to the game line and throw his flat fast pass. Seilala Mapusua was instrumental in spotting his man when defending and putting in some crunching hits, and his replacement Teisi did the same. The vision so clearly lacking the previous week showed the team had eliminated those faults exposed by the Welsh.
After early "I'm Three" from Mr Humphries, the home side scored 2 quick tries and played confidently, threatening to score more until let down by the final pass. But the game seemed to change in the final minutes of the first half when Delon Armitage was sin binned for a high tackle, and Justin Bishop followed him a minute later. Ulster kicked a penalty, then a try as the defence was spread wide. From 14-3 to 14-13 in the blink of an eye, and the half-time talk was of the game changing.
As it turned out the greater experience that London Irish have gained in playing with one hand tied behind their backs showed itself again. The defence held out, aided by some over eager handling from the attackers, and the rested players returned. Another Irish try following a patient and confident buildup put the score to 21-13 and Ulster found themselves in nowhere land looking for Mr Humphries to gain them a losing bonus point. Once again he missed a kickable penalty, before Tagicakibau twisted the knife with his injury time try.
At the final whistle there were scenes of unbridled joy which I haven't seen before at Reading. It may have no impact on our European chances, but in isolation it was
= Our best all round performance of the season
= Our biggest crowd of the season
= Our first win for 6 years in front of cameras at home
and probably several other quite meaningless milestones were reached.

The match itself was great, but the rest was shambolic. The crowd of almost 15,000 caused a huge queue for buses and taxis at the train station before the match. Turnstile failures meant that many were still queueing outside the ground as the game kicked off. The hotel bar become full. The Jazz Cafe was quickly filled and the Cowshed had queues for entry. There was also a huge queue for the bus back to town. Thank goodness it wasn't raining.
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by gabriel on Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:03 pm

On the final paragraph. I continue to be astounded by the incompetent way in which travel and entry is arranged. Either organise the buses so that tickets are sold on the pavement and the buses can be boarded speedily or else make them free. It would be greatly in the club's interest to pay for a free shuttle service. At the very minimum have a fare that doesn't require change.
I do dispair of the private sector these days. You can get a hernia operation quicker on the NHS than on a bus yesterday!
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by Hillbilly on Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:34 pm

Not sure I'd be all that keen on having a hernia operation on a bus even if they could manage it.
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by Loobs on Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:38 pm

Gabriel, that analogy doesn't work. The NHS is still slower.

With the band finishing in a huff die to the verbals, we started ripping out, only to be asked if we could get them back on (we couldn't without about a half hours work) as the queues were so bad. I knew that the whole thing was doomed when I heard on Reading 107 on the way there that the park and Rides all round Reading were free, then came reports of huge problems getting to the ground, which were then repeated in reverse at the end of the game.

You are correct in the fact that the bus fare shouldn't require change, although people do seem to be stupid enough to wait until they are on the bus before digging ther money out. Would mobile ticket sellers selling to the queue work better??? I seem to recall this being suggested when I used to go by train/bus over 4 years ago!!

Seems Paddy L is reading the sites today: http://www.london-irish.com/newspage.in ... tchid=7651
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by Jon_R43 on Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:24 pm

LKR spent the afternoon on this!! but not got her own log in!

London Irish 29 – Ulster 13

This match report is done with the benefit of watching the match again on TV. Without this ‘cheat’ it would have been a list of scorers and some overall feelings – some pessimism, increasing hope, disappointment, hope returning and elation.

We arrive to a Christmassy feeling Madstad, waiting outside the shop with Son 1 and Son 2, whilst spouse was in the shop buying items which I can’t mention in case the sons read this, except to say we now have 5 LI calendars!!

We got into the stadium to see the warm up and get a couple more autographs. Whilst the LI team looked great, the Ulster starting line up had only one non-international player. I must admit to some pessimism, thinking perhaps that Son 2’s thrashing of Ulster by LI on the computer this morning might be the only LI win of the day. The atmosphere was great too with 14 500+ supporters.

The match got underway with pressure on by LI from the first couple of minutes. It was not until the 11th minute that Ulster really got down our end. We conceded a penalty in the 12th minute and David Humphreys successfully kicked it from 45-50m out. Score 0-3. However, we got back into it straight away and got a penalty about 50m out in front of the posts. It looked like Delon wanted to go for the posts himself but we let Shane go for touch instead! It was a few minutes later that a pass from Catt to Mapusua to JML led to our first try, which Shane successfully converted. Score 7-3 (and we were never behind again). It was only about three minutes later that Shane chipped the ball ahead which Catt kicked, collected and scored with. Another successful conversion by Shane took the score to 14-3. We continued to apply the pressure and JML would have scored again if only the 6 yard box line (not well painted out) had been the try line. He did smile when he realised his mistake which was good –can you blame him though, I’m sure one line looks like another when you are 6 inches above them with a crowd of players around you. At 32 minutes there was a penalty for Ulster which Humphreys took successfully. Score 14-6. Five minutes later there was a break by Ulster. Delon stopped it but unfortunately used a high tackle to do so and was duly sin-binned. Humphreys missed the resulting penalty (the Ulster supporters were singing too loudly perhaps!). Ulster were now starting to apply some pressure near our try line and Bishop ended up being sin-binned only a few minutes later for tripping up a player. He certainly looked like he thought it was an accident but the yellow card was shown nonetheless. Within two minutes, the numerical advantage paid off and Steinmetz scored and Humphreys added the conversion. Score at half time whistle was 14-13. There were a few tears near me and I certainly felt like we could well have thrown the game away but we hadn’t reckoned on the determination and skill of LI.

LI began the second half well despite the numerical disadvantage and showed some great defence. Seven minutes later Delon came back (it was good to see him tackle well soon after that) and Coetzee and Collins came on for Russell and Hatley. Ulster were awarded a penalty not long after but Humphreys could not oblige and then Bishop returned. We were back on equal terms numerically although determination wise we hadn’t seemed lacking anyway. The ball seemed to move up and down the pitch more and we got to see Mapusua practise his drop goal technique (after play had been stopped for a knock on). At this point Murphy came on for Roche, with JML moving to number 6. We made a good break and were very close a couple of times and even got over the try line but the referee went for a 5m scrum without consulting the TMO (maybe he was worried about using the TMO after the try controversy in the England v. NZ game where his TMO said a try was not scored when it seemed that it had been). At 60 minutes, it was great to see the return of Faan (coming on for Tonga). We were still close to the try line and in the end Shane went through under the posts himself. He then converted his own try. Score 21-13 and chants from next to me of ‘one more for the bonus point’. There was then a period of pressure from Ulster, for some of which JML was on the ground receiving treatment but it seems LI don’t need 15 men and defended successfully. At 73 minutes Barry and Tiesi came on for Shane and Catt, and a few minutes later Hudson came on for Kennedy. At 78 minutes, we were awarded a penalty. There seemed to be some debate between Bob, Barry and the ref about whether the kick should be for the posts or for touch. The first call of the posts was the one the ref went with and Barry duly got the points. Score 24-13. As the match went into injury time, Ulster were down our end. Not having a countdown clock reminded me of the ECC semi-final at Newcastle but fortunately for the number of grey hairs, the scoreline was not as close. We kept Ulster out and then counter attacked, with Tagicakibau scoring the fourth try. Barry didn’t get the conversion but it didn’t matter, the final whistle went and LI had won 29-13. Now was the feeling of elation and it was added to by seeing just how happy the team were (and rightly so).

We stayed to watch the last players leave the field. I was hoping the staff at work had Sky so they saw the brilliant performance (there are some LI converts since Philippos came to do rugby coaching at our school). For us, it was another match we will keep to watch again and again, like Wasps last season. Well done to the whole team and thank you for a great afternoon.
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by OxonRob on Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:40 pm

Better watch out, LKR. That really is super. Many many thanks. I hope we'll persuade you to do another one for us, without the safety net of 2,000 others!
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by Shawshank on Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:30 am

Mr Deano - being ultra pedantic, but it was our first live home win on Sky for 6 years.

Our win v Cardiff in November 2005 was on BBC Wales. :wink:
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by MrDean on Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:50 am

It's nice to know that someone diligently reads the crapola I pen. I was going to try to work in some more Grace Brothers references, like "Are you being served " Guinness at £3.75 in the hotel bar ?
But it would have soon degenerated to Mike Catt and Mrs Slocombe's pussy, and the show went off-air long ago.
However, if I were young Mr Grace, I'd tell the team "You're all doing very..well"
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by dom_pedro on Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:48 pm

Great to read a variety of reports.

Here are Alec's pics to go with them:

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Driving maul

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Aerial ballet

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Irish attack
This cruel country has driven me down, teased me and lied.
I've only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams have withered and died.
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