Who’s hot… and who’s not!

Date published: October 19 2015

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It's time for Planet Rugby's weekly round-up of who has their name in lights at the moment… and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons

They're on fire!

Argentina: These Pumas sure know how to run the ball in from all angles. Bossed the breakdown and contact area before letting the exciting trio of Juan Imhoff, Santiago Cordero and Joaquín Tuculet run riot. Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe's pass for Imhoff's try was the icing on the cake – as Argentina return to their second World Cup semi-final. They were a thrill to watch and we can't wait for the semi-final with the Wallabies.

Julian Savea: Brutal, destructive and clinical are three words to summarise Savea's performance against France. Three crossings were the wing's reward as he powered over for a treble that puts him in the driving seat to finish top of the World Cup try-scoring charts. Savea is now three ahead of his nearest challengers and in this kind of form, South Africa will be wary of New Zealand's chief finisher in next week's semi.

Dan Carter: It was classic Carter at the Millennium Stadium, a ground he has often said is one of his favourites. It showed on Saturday as he set up two tries, the first for Savea was out of this world. The number ten appears to be finding his best form at just the right time.

Fourie du Preez: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. What a try from the Springbok skipper, who has been massively influential in South Africa’s revival since their false start. Calm under pressure, it was his decision to change the call at the last minute and use a move he’d devised in training to score the winning try against Wales.

Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger: What a performance from the Bok bruisers, who reminded us that they do have some handling skills too. Man-of-the-match Burger was immense against Wales, carrying the ball and eye-watering 26 times in brutal clash while Vermeulen’s sublime pass behind his back created the winning try for his skipper.

Worcester: Welcome back to the Premiership, Warriors. Northampton might have come top at the end of the last regular season but they got a sharp shock at Sixways, as Wrocester won 13-12 on the opening day.

Lions and Western Province: Semi-final wins for these two mean we'll get a rematch of last year's Currie Cup showpiece, except this time the Lions will be at home at Ellis Park as they look for revenge.


Broken Thermostat:

Scotland: So close. Vern Cotter's men were brave and never let Australia rest. The dream was very much alive when Mark Bennett ran in that interception try, to an insane level of noise from Twickenham, but that accidental offside penalty from Craig Joubert changed the script. Not to be, but with the young players Scotland have the future looks very promising for this side. Hard lines.

Bernard Foley: This was more like the Foley we've seen in 2015. Three missed conversions in the first half kept Scotland in it and his poor clearance kick was charged down ahead of Tommy Seymour's try. We've seen the good against England and now the not so good. Which player will turn up this weekend.


Brrrrr someone get these guys a warm cup of soup!

France: A shambles to end an abysmal reign for Philippe Saint-André. No Six Nations titles and a win percentage of 46.6 have now been topped off with the most humiliating of World Cup exits. The All Blacks were ruthless, but France gave up and as Le Parisien poignantly said, they were pathetic.

Wales: It may seem like a harsh call when you consider that long list of injuries, but Wales have been eliminated from the World Cup after losing two games that were well within their reach of winning. A week after failing to score against 13 men, they held the lead with five minutes to play against South Africa but made a defensive error when it counted most. They’ve had a great tournament, but when the chips were down they bottled it. Twice.

Ireland: What a huge disappointment. Maybe last week's bruising game with France took away some of their steam, along with those heavy injuries, but Ireland simply weren't good enough and Ian Madigan struggled. Mistakes killed them and they just couldn't get a grip on the speed of Argentina's backs. Hopes were high for Ireland under Joe Schmidt but once again they've fallen short of making the final four.

Sale: The jury was out on Sale's season before the weekend and a 41-3 loss hasn't exactly convinced that they are set to make an impression. Being down 27-3 at half-time was ugly.

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