Who’s hot… and who’s not!

Date published: December 21 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Hot-or-not-feature-image_21-Dec-2015

It is time for our 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! 

Saracens, Wasps and Clermont: Big wins for this trio in Europe as Saracens dominated Oyonnax 55-13, Wasps exacted revenge over Bath by winning 36-10 at the Rec while on Sunday Clermont were outstanding against Exeter, running out 42-10 winners in a strong showing. These three definitely made a statement in Round 4 and won't want this break to come before 2016. Saracens in particular are cruising in Pool 1.

Chris Ashton: Showed that he is still one of the best finishers in the northern hemisphere by scoring a hat-trick of tries in Sarries' one-sided victory over Oyonnax at Allianz Park. With places up for grabs in new England head coach Eddie Jones' squad, Ashton's performance could result in a recall to the Test arena. 

Jaguares: The Super Rugby season hasn't even started but the unveiling of the Jaguares brand, squad and coaches last week ticked all the boxes for us. Given that the Jaguares XV will more or less be an Argentine Test side, if they can get to grips with the schedule then we might even see them make the playoffs at the first time of asking. Exciting times.

Zurabi Zhvania: Props around the world will look at this and sigh before muttering under their breath: "Oh great, thanks Zurabi." Quality try from the Stade Français replacement.

Harlequins and Gloucester: The two English sides are the only unbeaten teams left in the Challenge Cup, winning all four their matches so far. Gloucester retained their unbeaten status thanks to a 27-13 win over Worcester at Kingsholm and Quins thrashed Calvisano 59-7 in a one-sided affair at the Stoop, with a try on debut for Jamie Roberts. 

Broken Thermostat

Ospreys: Beaten away from home in France but Steve Tandy's men showed some real bite in the way they got back into an entertaining contest against Bordeaux-Bègles before losing 33-27. Sam Davies and Dan Evans will wish they could take back that losee pass which ended in a Sofiane Guitoune interception try, but two losing bonus points is a positive in this competition.

Someone fetch these guys a warm cuppa soup!

Munster: It's not over yet for the two-time champions but they face a hell of a struggle now to make the quarter-finals even with three games to go. Better at Welford Road than the week before when the Tigers raided Thomond Park, they still were outscored two tries to none on Sunday.

Toulouse: Sunday's loss to Ulster – who deserve huge credit – means a 14-point gap seperates the French giants from Saracens in Pool 1 with two games to go. The late comeback was a sign of some character – something to cling onto after last week's humbling in Belfast – but they have to win out from here with bonus points and one of those games is against unbeaten Saracens. New boss Ugo Mola can't be blamed entirely for their struggles this season – Toulouse just feel like a club in transition.

Treviso: The Italian outfit have found the going tough in the Champions Cup and are languishing at the bottom of Pool 4's table with four defeats from as many matches. They are the only side in the competition who are yet to register a point in the standings and have a points difference of minus 117.

COMMENTS