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There is no two ways about it, Ulster Rugby are in a state. Never has it looked so bleak since my time as a supporter but what’s even stranger is that we are second in the PRO12 after one of the most inept performances on Sunday that anyone can remember. A simple case of rolling over against the Dragons, the players bar a few looked lazy and disinterested and the rumour mill from many is now suggesting disharmony in the dressing room.
I’m far from one to stir the pot and bring up old news (but that's exactly what I’m about to do) however we must look at the end of last season and the departures from Ravenhill. Mark Anscombe being relieved from duty was shocking to say the least and although he didn't emulate Brian McLaughlin’s feat of taking Ulster to a European final, his league record was highly impressive not to mention the win over Leinster at the RDS for the first time in donkey’s years. Mark’s rugby playing son (now of the Cardiff Blues) was less than impressed with his father’s exit from Ravenhill summed up in a very angry tweet after the news had broke. From sources that I wont divulge, I’ve been told by many that the players were not fond of Anscombe’s methods and things were tense and the mood low. David Humphreys move to Gloucester was even worse, a sideways move if ever there was one and what does that suggest? Had he too lost the faith in Ulster Rugby?
Neil Doak is out of his depth in my opinion, call me harsh if you will. I’m not blaming him at all, Ulster didn't prepare for the season ahead by appointing a full time coach and while I’m delighted Les Kiss will be taking the reigns after the Rugby World Cup at the end of the year, I’m annoyed by the fact this season already looks a total write off. I seriously doubt we’ll make the final of the PRO12 which is even more disappointing as it would be on home soil, but the European Champions Cup campaign was another disaster I haven't mentioned yet and despite the pool being incredibly tough, we hardly looked bothered at times.
You could see from the social media posts following the weekend that the fans aren't happy. I’ve never really been that critical of the club or the players, but it’s high time somebody steps up to the mark and the behind the scenes drama is ended before Ulster end up in a even deeper mess than they are now. And the real question? How can we Stand up for the Ulstermen if they cant even do it for themselves?
Kristian. 20. Geordie. Fond of Wasps, Falcons and Ulster. @Kristian7Ross
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