Who’s hot… and who’s not!

Date published: January 11 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Hot-or-not-feature-image_11Jan2016

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!

Harlequins: It takes something special to knock off the champions, and unbeaten champions that, so credit to Harlequins who are quietly putting together an impressive season after the disappointment of their last campaign. Rob Buchanan's set-piece try was the cherry on top of a great win on Saturday.

Ulster: At 23-0 down at half-time we assumed Ulster were down and out. Enter Ruan Pienaar and Paddy Jackson to orchestrate an almighty comeback, culminating in Jackson's long-range penalty to secure that 24-23 victory and keeping their quarter-final hopes alive.

Scarlets: Back on the top of the PRO12 after Steven Shingler held his nerve with that late penalty in a see-sawing win over Connacht. Credit to Wayne Pivac and a squad that is certainly moving in the right direction.

Racing 92: Big victory over Glasgow Warriors, 34-10 in fact, but the most crucial element is that Racing got that late try bonus point through Manuel Carizza. They now lead Northampton by seven points in Pool 3. No wonder Dan Carter is so happy.

Sekou Macalou: We had a glimpse of Macalou's talent for the France U20 side last year. Now Munster – whose tackling was dire in Paris – know him even better. Super try!

Broken Thermostat

Northampton: Defeated again at Welford Road, where Saints haven't won since 2007, but Jim Mallinder's men absolutely deserved more for their efforts. Paul Hill's solo try was chalked off by a contentious call for a high tackle from Wayne Barnes, denying us one of the scores of the season, and the way they fought back from 21-0 down away from home in a derby deserves a ton of credit.

Someone get these guys a warm cup of soup!

Munster: One of the worst performances of the season. Munster were spineless in Paris, failing to benefit from a man advantage for a whole half. There were flashes of promise from Rory Scannell, but otherwise they spluttered. The glory days in Europe seem like a long old time ago and you have to start wondering about Anthony Foley's job security after five losses in the last six games.

Newcastle: Back on the bottom of the Premiership. While Newcastle did come back hard against London Irish, it was too little too late. The 'open goal' miss from Chris Harris – chasing a loose ball beyond the try line after Topsy Ojo's error – certainly proved costly.

England injuries: Eddie Jones names his first squad on Wednesday but he will be sweating on the fitness of George Kruis (concussion) after a bright start to the season, along with Jack Nowell (knee). He doesn't want to add them to a list of certain absentees that includes Jonny May and Henry Slade.

Josaia Raisuqe: The Stade winger's moment of madness before the break rightly led to a red card and should have cost his side more. Raisuqe is lucky Munster let them off the hook.

COMMENTS