It’s time for our wrap of who has their name in lights and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.
They’re on fire!!
Jonny Gray: One of the best team performances ever seen in the Champions Cup at Welford Road was spearheaded by Gray, the insanely consistent 22-year-old Scotland lock who has played his way into arguably a Lions starting role. So many Glasgow players put their hands up in the 43-0 pummelling handed out to Leicester, but Gray was the star. What a player.
Clermont: Top seeds and deservedly after tearing Exeter apart at the Stade Marcel Michelin. Criticising les Jaunards for slacking off was an odd move – what do you expect to happen when a team is up 48-7 after 50 minutes? – and the form of certain players like Peceli Yato and Nick Abendanon was a joy to watch. Maybe this season is their time at long last?
Munster: Did enough to secure the second seed with that win over Racing 92, finishing the group stages with five wins from six. It might have taken the whole first half to break the deadlock, but, what a finish from Ronan O’Mahony and Andrew Conway’s assist for Ian Keatley’s try was outstanding. CJ Stander too… he is some player.
Mathieu Bastareaud’s tackle: So much has been said this year about high tackles that it was refreshing to see a real classic from Bastareaud on Alex Lozowski. All legal, and a proper bone rattler.
Wow… @BastaOfficiel got me pretty good!!
— Alex Lozowski (@alexlozowski) 21 January 2017
Nemani Nadolo: No wonder Mohad Altrad opened the chequebook to sign the former Crusaders wing. Nadolo was at his rampaging best against Northampton, pulling off a sensational offload for Kélian Galletier’s try and then running through five Northampton tackles to score himself.
Ospreys: Props to the Welsh region who finished the group stages of the Challenge Cup with a perfect 30 out of 30 points, securing top seed for the knockout stages in the process.
Slipping on the frost…
Leicester Tigers: Atrocious. We have never seen anything like it from a club that prides itself on being a force at home and in Europe. This was Leicester’s heaviest ever European defeat, the humiliation best reflected by the numbers of empty seats. Glasgow were phenomenal, no doubt. But how low Leicester have sunk.
Wesley Fofana’s injury: Horrendous news for Clermont and French supporters, with Fofana out of the Six Nations and set for months on the sidelines as he recovers from Achilles tendon surgery that is likely to keep him out of Clermont’s run-in. It is no overstatement to suggest his absence might result in them missing out on rare trophies. What a loss.
Rory Best’s fumble: Oh Rory. The Ireland captain rarely makes mistakes but we had to have a chuckle at this moment against Bordeaux-Bègles.
Josua Tuisova: From Best’s forgivable error to an absolute howler from Josua Tuisova. With the line at his mercy, but ball in one hand, the Toulon winger managed to kick the ball into touch attempting to place the ball over the line.
“That is a shocker!”
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) 21 January 2017