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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Stephen Ferris scores a powerful try against the Scarlets

Stephen Ferris scored two tries as Ulster beat Scarlets 24-17 at Ravenhill in the RaboDirect PRO12 over the weekend. His first was well taken, but the second was a thing of beauty as he showed the kind of pace and power that we've come to expect.

It was just a few week's back that we were singing the praises of the man as a big hit on Lee Byrne was featured here on the site. Today was look at the other side of his game as this Man of the Match performance included a wonderful try out wide.

Ulster needed to get their season back on track with the next round of the Heineken Cup coming up, and this win over Scarlets will give them heaps of confidence, especially considering the form of the Welsh side of late - eight successive wins in all competitions.

In didn't start well for them as Sean Lamont scored early and then they were ten points down, but a yellow card for the visitors allowed Ulster to get going and Ferris scrossed for his first try, with the home side trailing by two points going into the break.

In poor conditions Ian Humphreys managed to score 14 points with the boot, while Ferris' second try included a dummy, bump off of a hapless Rhodri Williams, and a clinical sidestep of the cover.

If you spotted anything else you'd like featured from the RaboDirect PRO12, or anywhere else, please make sure you get in touch with match and incident details via our contact page.

Posted at 5:25 pm | 30 comments

Stephen Ferris crunches Lee Byrne in the Heineken Cup

Julien Dupuy attacks the eyes of Stephen Ferris

Posted in Great Tries

Viewing 30 comments

Guest December 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Looks like schoolboy rugby when you start rumours that the opposition's No.8 is actually 23 - "no u14 should be that strong and fast"

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Stubby December 06, 2011 9:01 pm

I notice know the lack of immature initial comments now that people are no longer anonymous trolls. Good job RD.

big man can move

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Juggernauter December 06, 2011 11:25 pm

I'll take that as a compliment

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mise December 06, 2011 9:15 pm

immaturity finds many ways stubby, but there's always hope!

Well taken score, great to see that mobility and strength - bad ball to start with!

Pity both himself and Sean O Brien cover 6 eh?

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Huh!! the 3rd December 07, 2011 2:14 am

Personally mise, I think O'Brien should be playing 8.

While Heaslip hasn't done a thing for Ireland for 18 months he won't be dropped, so the solution should be 6 Ferris, 7 Heaslip and O'Brien 8.

Heaslip probably is the closest to a 7 out of the 3 anyway. Now Ire have a better scrum, a more explosive 8 is needed. Heaslip doesn't seem to know what to do in this circumstance.

Great try by the way. I think Ferris' thoughts were, "oh look, as I go for a leisurely jog, a fly landed on my shoulder, I shall remove him....".

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coops December 07, 2011 10:35 am

The only problem with that is that you have a pretty one-dimensional back row - they are all exceptional ball carriers (with Ferris and O'Brien ahead of Heaslip) but the Welsh back row showed it up with their carrier, grafter and scavenger combo.

I worry for Ireland that the question will become how to fit O'Brien and Ferris into the same team unless, as has been mentioned, one starts playing 8.

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rugby08 December 06, 2011 9:16 pm

What an effing monster cant see many backs that would have stopped him there.

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Askelkana December 07, 2011 11:46 am

Well, yes and no. Everyone has ankles do they not?

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Pipo December 07, 2011 12:18 am

Great try. It's a bit to fast to see properly, but the tackle wasn't exactly good, right? Is he even using his shoulder or going low? Great step to beat the wing/fullback, don't know what he is, I have found myself in that situation so many times... don't now how to train against it.

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stroudos December 07, 2011 4:19 pm

Before I start, there is absolutely no way I'd have stopped Ferris without seriously injuring myself so take this with a large shovel of salt:

I find the best thing to do if you're the last man in defence is get yourself on the balls of your feet so you're able to quickly respond to any change of direction and as the bastard approaches start to take tiny backward steps. This helps keep your centre of gravity forward so you'll be able to make a solid hit and, more importantly, buys you a little bit of time and space. Side-steps are so effective because you're forcing the defender to commit himself; if you're defending and can make the attacker commit first at least you can get your bodyweight into the tackle in the right direction. Oh and watch the movement of his eyes and hips - the eyes can be a giveaway but he can also trick you by looking one way and running the other; the hips cannot lie and they dictate which direction the body ultimately moves.

All of that sage advice of course is fairly useless if you're tasked with stopping a fucking great lump like Ferris running at full tilt 5m out from the try line and having the audacity to bloody side-step you.

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UlsterJoey December 07, 2011 12:29 am

Amazing pace from the big man, Ravenhill is such a dark, muddy fortress, tries like that are hard. Would love to see a round up of Paul Marshall that night, had a stormer of a match!

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modeselektor December 07, 2011 2:17 am

Great to watch. When BOD finally gets put out to stud, sure just stick Ferris at 13 for Ireland and let him do some of this

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LND December 07, 2011 12:31 pm

:D why not!
Great to see pro 12 higlights on the site!

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Jeroz December 07, 2011 7:03 am

intelligence, strength and agility all in one movement

this try is really fine

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coops December 07, 2011 10:36 am

Absolute sit down on the covering defender - the man is a bison!

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mdunlop9 December 07, 2011 12:41 pm

YES RUGBYDUMP! Thank you! I posted this all over the facebook page this week, haha, "Train without a station" immense player!

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Irish_ape December 07, 2011 1:21 pm

Absolute animal, and a joy to watch! Great to see him in such good form, hope he keeps it up......

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AlanDownunder December 07, 2011 1:27 pm

A shame the defender had no intention of defending. Not even a turnstile.

A gimme, but impressively taken all the same.

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marcher87 December 07, 2011 3:02 pm

I think he should be moved into the second row, and become an enforcer type figure in the Irish pack. A lot of journalists in Ireland (as well as Conor O'Shea, head coach at harlequins) have called for this to be done. At 6 foot 4, he wouldn't be the tallest second row going, but it has been proven before that certain types of bulky, 6'3" plus powerful backrowers can become world class second row forwards. I think he would be a very similar player to Brad Thorn, but better! Therefore, we can have O'Brien at 6, Heaslip at 8, and a fetcher at 7, such as munster's Peter O'Mahony, or maybe Shane Jennings? also, If Leinster's Dominic Ryan is given game time at Leinster this year, I think he could become a serious operator at 7, has all the attributes of a Warburton type player, and still very young

My Irish Pack

1. Healy
2. Best
3. Ross
4. Ferris
5. O'Connell
6 O'Brien
7. O'Mahon
8. Heaslip

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BestHookerTown December 07, 2011 9:52 pm

That seems like a good idea but i think the real problem in Ireland is our reluctancy to being in new and younger players. I mean realistically, with the second row partnership of DOC and POC, our only replacement is the useless lump of Leo Cullen. What Ireland and the clubs really need to do is start bleeding in some new and younger players.

But yes in the circumstances this lad would be a train in the scrum and would to an already impressive scrum. But tbh if i had my way I'd bring Heaslip off and play O'Brein at no.8. Mabye start playing some young second rows with POC to gain experience while we still have the chance.

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marcher87 December 07, 2011 11:19 pm

Yeah there's no doubt we have a bit of a crisis at second row, we over rely on O'Callaghan and O'Connell, and Cullen does not have the athleticism required for international rugby. Heaslip seems to be coming back to is best, he can be an incredibly intelligent layer on the ball when on form. whether or not heaslip is kept, we need to develop an out and out young 7, and blood new young second rows. O'Connell is still the man, but we rely on him a fierce amount!

I think the Ferris idea works because it moves O'Brien away from 7 (he's not a 7 at all!) gives us a much needed athelticism in the front 5, and allows for a more balanced back row with the introduction of a natural openside (like Wales have)

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stroudos December 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Well I suppose it shows the versatility and all-round talent of the player that we have someone on here calling for him to be played in the second row and another calling for him to play at outside centre!!!

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modeselektor December 07, 2011 4:24 pm

There is also a strong argument circling for his inclusion as a Mike Phillips style 9!

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Eoghan December 07, 2011 4:48 pm

cracker of a try !

love the way the tackler after the dummy more or less ran into him and bounced off - not even the need for a fend/hand off.

the man's a beast.

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mise December 08, 2011 1:14 am

@besthookertown: The irish provinces are starting to bring people through now in the 2nd and back rows, tfb. Its up to the international team to start playing them.
@huh - has SOB been tried at 8 ? Or is it just that you reckon his style would suit it?

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Huh!! the 3rd December 08, 2011 4:28 am

He had some powerful displays for Leinster at 8 last year when Heaslip was out (both Clermont games I think). And while I'm in Aussieland, I'm still following team selections and believe he played there within the last 2 games.

I have read interviews with him from when he started getting noticed (he also played there when the u20s won the slam in 07) and he does see himself as an 8. I just can't see Leinster or particularly Ireland dropping Heaslip and tring this out. Just like Bowe at 12, its not going to happen with conservative coaches in place.

Its the same old story we have come to expect with the Irish teams, let the player play his way back to form, even if it takes whole seasons. Hell, try Ferris at 8, which he has done too, to follow on from stroudos' comment.

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stroudos December 09, 2011 12:27 pm

Can't take credit for that comment mate, but I do agree. In fact, I'm increasingly subsrcibing to the school of thought that says put him anywhere and he'll do a job for you.

*Troll alert* Probably his best position would be the one that keeps his eyeballs furthest away from wandering French index fingers.......

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matron December 09, 2011 12:35 am

Anyone who is a rugby fan knows the talent of Ferris hes in a class of his own. i dont think many people would of stopped him there. people are forgetting the talent of the young scrum half who was playing out of postion. if anyway watched the Scarlets V Northamptan last week you would of seen his talent. He is one of many 18-19 year olds down the scarlets who have a very bright rugby carrer ahead. i would defineitly keep an eye on Rhodri Williams

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