Who’s hot… and who’s not!

Date published: December 28 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!

Saracens: Continued their fine start to the season by claiming an impressive victory over Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday. That result means that Sarries are still the only unbeaten side in the Premiership and are sitting pretty at the top of the standings with 31 points from seven matches. Able to rotate their line-up with little dip in performance, this is a squad built to challenge on all fronts who is yet to lose this season.

Ulster: Followed up last weekend's historic win over Toulouse in the Champions Cup by becoming the first team to beat Connacht at the Sportsground this season. The result consolidates Ulster's position amongst the PRO12's front-runners as they improve with each week under new boss Les Kiss.

London Irish: Registered their first win of the season when beating Northampton at the Madejski Stadium. A late penalty try sealed victory for the home side as they won 25-23 to end the year one place above the dreaded basement spot. The perfect way to head into 2016.

Oyonnax: Got their campaign back on track with victory over reigning Top 14 champions Stade Français on Sunday in a much-improved peformance, which bared some resemblance to their 2014/15 form. Their visitors were well beaten in the end and Oyonnax will be determined to build a fortress at Stade Charles Mathon, with Champions Cup hopes since long gone. Their focus must be on consistency in the league.

Harlequins 39-39 Gloucester: 78 points were scored in front of the 70,718 spectators who were at Twickenham on Sunday as Harlequins fought back from 39-29 down to take a share of the points back down the road to the Stoop. A thrilling match to end the Premiership year.

Maro Itoje and Alun-Wyn Jones: Arguably the two form locks in Europe right now, Itoje and Jones consistently turn up for Saracens and Ospreys respectively. They were rightly man of the match in their weekend games. Superb players at different stages of their career.


Brrrrr someone get these guys a warm cup of soup!

Clermont: Against an under-strength Racing 92, this 20-16 home loss at what used to be fortress Marcel Michelin was a hammer blow for Clermont. Sunday's negative saw les Jaunards fail to turn up and they were somewhat lucky to lead 9-6 at the break. Then tries from Johan Goosen and Henry Chavancy ultimately sealed victory for the Paris side as Clermont ultimately labour into 2016 in third position.

Newcastle: Dean Richards' side put up a brave display against Leicester but, in the end, it was not enough to secure victory. The Falcons' loss means they are the only side yet to register a win in the competition and they are now languishing at the foot of the table, two points adrift of London Irish. It's not all doom and gloom as they have shown glimpses of form. But that table is not pretty reading.

Treviso: The Italian outfit's woes continued when they were on the wrong end of a 28-25 result against Zebre in Parma. That means they have now lost all nine of their PRO12 fixtures and 21 on the trot, in all tournaments, with their last victory carded in February.

Munster: It's been a dismal last two months at Munster. Five straight defeats in all competitions, including three on home soil, is very un-Munster. Their latest came against Leinster in Limerick as they went down 24-7 to end 2015 as the lowest Irish side in the table.

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