Who's hot…and who's not!

Date published: September 8 2014

It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment…and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment…and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.


Julian Savea: For a man touted as being the next Jonah Lomu, Savea doesn't appear to be under pressure with that tag as he crossed for two tries in the All Blacks' win over Argentina. That takes his Test record in Test rugby to an incredible 26 tries in 25 matches.

Northampton and Exeter: These two sides hit the ground running in their opening Aviva Premiership matches as they notched half-centuries against Gloucester and London Welsh respectively. The champions scored eight tries in their demolition of Gloucester and the Chiefs got over the whitewash seven times as they nilled the hapless Exiles.

Rhys Patchell: Was in fine form as the Cardiff Blues managed to avoid emulating last season's shock defeat against Zebre in Parma. Patchell led the way – in Mark Hammett's first competitive match in charge of the Blues – with a try, five conversions and two penalties.

Edinburgh: Few would have given Edinburgh a hope of going to win away at Munster, but the Scottish side did exactly that to open their Pro12 campaign. It was Munster's third straight loss at Thomond Park and the perfect springboard for Edinburgh's season.

Grenoble: Granted, they were playing against La Rochelle, but Grenoble showed their clinical side with a comprehensive 30-12 win. That's now two bonus-point wins in as many home games, after narrow losses away at Clermont and Montpellier. Based on their early season form, Grenoble are as well placed as anyone in the Top 14.

Benito Masilevu: Remember the name! The diminutive Brive winger came on at the weekend and won the game for his team with a stunning sidestep and try, making Gael Fickou look a fool in the process. He'd done similar two weeks ago against Zac Guildford, and looks like he is going to wreak havoc.


Australia: The Wallabies got the win, and after the thrashing from New Zealand, that was the most important thing. But this was a far from convincing performance by a team who look short on confidence. Israel Folau was reduced to kicking away counter-attacking ball, forwards standing at first receiver slowed the game down and basic errors littered the game. Will have to be better against Argentina. Speaking of which…

Argentina: It's difficult to be too positive about a side who lost 28-9, but that score was a little harsh on the Pumas, who pushed New Zealand hard for much of the game. They had already highlighted a lack of concentration as a problem though, and it cost them in Napier with Liam Messam's try from a seemingly in-control Argentina scrum right on half-time, all but ending the game as a contest.


Morne Steyn: While there's little wrong with the Bok pivot's goal-kicking, he needs to work really hard at training on his kicks into touch and his overall game. Steyn's inability to find touch in Perth saw the Wallabies launch a counter-attack which eventually led to Rob Horne's try. Added to that, he offered little on attack as well as defence – making eight tackles and missing seven – including a diabolical effort on Horne in the build-up to what proved to be the matchwinning try.

Rugby Championship referees: We don't like to be too critical of the officials, who do a difficult job, but neither Pascal Gauzère nor George Clancy, did themselves any favours this weekend. Whether it was Gauzère's inability to distinguish between a knock-on and a chargedown, denying Argentina a perfectly good try, or Clancy's apparent confusion as to what constitutes a high tackle, this was not a weekend to remember. Let's hope for better next time out.

EP Kings and Wellington: Another week, another thrashing for the EP Kings, who are without a win in the Currie Cup because they can't keep their opposition out. An average of 43 points conceded per game tells you everything you need to know. It's the same story for winless Wellington who somehow managed to lose at Auckland this weekend. Leading 30-6 at half-time, Wellington conceded 25 unanswered points after the break. Come on guys!

Johnnie Beattie: Up against his former team Beattie wanted to make an impression. Getting sent off after ten minutes for throwing a shoulder rather than making a tackle probably wasn't the answer. While he might have escaped with just a yellow on another day, it was still a stupid thing to do.