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'Something a 12 year old would do': Ulster centre takes aim at Ireland great

By Ian Cameron
Stuart McCloskey, right, and Robbie Henshaw of Ireland before the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ulster rugby star Stuart McCloskey criticised former player Stephen Ferris for a Saturday afternoon social media post about the current crop of players at the club.

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Ferris’s tweet followed Ulster’s Challenge Cup loss to Clermont, prompting him to juxtapose the two teams and pose a hypothetical question to his followers about which team would prevail in a match-up.

Clermont demolished Ulster’s semi-final hopes, scoring seven tries in a dominant display at Stade Marcel-Michelin. Ulster’s Nick Timoney scored twice, converted by John Cooney, but the Belfast side couldn’t match Clermont. Pita-Gus Sowakula and Peceli Yato each notched two tries – contributing to 33 unanswered points in the second half.

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Fly-half Anthony Belleau added four conversions and two penalties with further points coming from Bautista Delguy and Sebastien Bezy.

In the aftermath Ferris posted a side-by-side post comparing the current Ulster team to the squad from 2014, who also bowed out at the quarter-finals of Europe that year and it seems to have put the Ireland centre McCloskey’s nose out.

 

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The comparison seemed to provoke McCloskey who responded by calling the post childish and unhelpful. McCloskey’s reaction on X suggested he was not happy with the former Ireland flanker. He likened Ferris’s actions to those of a 12-year-old, suggesting that such comments serve no positive purpose.

“This is honestly something a 12 year old would do Stephen Ferris, helps absolutely no one,” posted a snarky McCloskey.

In his defense, Ferris clarified that his initial tweet was meant to stimulate discussion rather than cause controversy or undermine the current team’s efforts. He pointed out that both squads had experienced similar setbacks at comparable stages in their respective tournaments – indicating that his comparison was more about fan engagement than criticism.

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“My tweet was to start a trivial debate between 2 teams that lost a quarter-final, but 10 years apart. Fans have favourite players from the past & present, who you are one of. Your reply has turned this thread into something it was never supposed to be. The replies to your post [vomiting emjoi],” batted back Ferris.

The dialogue sparked mixed reactions among fans. Some supported McCloskey’s view, expressing disappointment over Ferris’s apparent criticism of the current squad. Others appreciated Ferris’s intent to engage fans in a debate about the strengths of past and present Ulster teams.

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Abe 1 hours ago
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Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

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