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!!
Clermont: Finishing in first after what feels like the longest of Top 14 seasons is some achievement, and by the end Clermont did it having only lost seven of their 26 matches. European success might still elude them but a second Bouclier de Brennus in six years certainly is on the cards. No side conceded fewer tries than their 33.
Castres: It took them a long while to get going under new coach Christophe Urios, and yet the 2013 champions in the end did enough to finish in the top six thanks to their late season form. Travelling to Montpellier is a tough ask, but this has already been a surprise campaign.
Gaetan Germain: Sunday saw him score a rare try for Brive but with the boot it’s been some season for the French full-back, who finished as top scorer in the league by a country mile. Germain finished the season with 319 points, including a remarkable 81 penalties, putting him 68 points clear of the next best kicker, La Rochelle’s Zach Holmes.
Nicolas Mas: The illustrious France prop will retire at the end of the season and with only a few games left, this try against Racing was something very special!
c’etait peut etre son dernier match pro, essai de mas le catalan pic.twitter.com/A57elt2BaQ
— philippe (@philousports) 5 June 2016
So cold baby, so cold
Metuisela Talebula red card: It’s definitely not the most powerful kick in the world. But when you factor in the intent, and a boot to the head… we can see how by the letter of the law Talebula was sent off. It ruined any prospect of a contest as Toulon cruised into second place, but what do you think, red or no red?
Talebula. Carton rouge. pic.twitter.com/qgzUyDKCSz
— greub (@greub1) 5 June 2016
Ireland’s injuries: Their bid to win a Test in South Africa for the first time already feels seriously derailed when you take stock of Ireland’s injuries. To do so they need their best side, but with no Bowe, Zebo, O’Brien, O’Mahony, Sexton, Kearneys or Fitzgerald, a tall order is now even more, well, taller.
Grenoble: Having promised much earlier in the season this was a limp end to their campaign, thrashed 53-14 at home to Toulouse. Bernard Jackman taking the reins on his own next season will be an intriguing move for a club seemingly on the brink of challenging the top six. Although not based on this outing.