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!
Hurricanes: Going up against one of the form teams in Super Rugby this season in the Lions, the Hurricanes were a cut above on Saturday, running out 50-17 winners in Johannesburg. To make the Lions look so ordinary was not an easy task as the Hurricanes look very much like title challengers once again. They possess such a mobile pack of ball players and in Dane Coles they boast the best hooker in the world.
Glasgow: Eighth in the PRO12 standings in December, this has been an outstanding run from the Warriors as they now sit top of the table with one game remaining. Their latest win was a huge 70-10 one against Zebre, with Leone Nakarawa starring with a hat-trick at Scostoun.
Jacques Burger: The Namibia star’s body has finally told him to call it quits. Burger will be fondly remembered in his home country of Namibia and his adopted home in England for the bone-crunching tackles he built a fearsome reputation around during an outstanding career, especially in the 2014 European Cup semi-final against Clermont. Enjoy retirement Jacques, you’ve certainly earned a few cold ones.
To my rugby family … pic.twitter.com/xL4HBBh1Po
— Jacques Burger (@Nabasboer) 28 April 2016
Jaguares: Just what the doctor ordered after their recent struggles and that demoralising loss to the Sunwolves. Eleven tries against a Kings defence that practically invited them over the line should inject some confidence back into the squad after what has been a disappointing year.
Judgement Day: It looks likes the Welsh regions’ showpiece event is beginning to be a success. 68,262 attended the Principality (Millennium) Stadium on Saturday to watch high-scoring wins for the Ospreys and Scarlets.
Montpellier and Agen: A 51-10 hammering of Grenoble was the biggest win margin in France over the weekend. Montpellier scored seven tries in all in a comfortable victory but just as impressive was bottom side Agen’s 37-19 home win over Brive, which saw them cross five times.
Treviso: After such a tough run of form a win in front of their home fans against PRO12 title hopefuls Connacht was just what the doctor ordered. A late Jayden Hayward penalty saw them to the 22-21 victory which, for bragging rights, takes them above Zebre in the standings.
Icicles hanging from their beards
London Irish: Your heart has to bleed for the Exiles, who responded admirably after going 19-3 down against Harlequins to at one point lead 25-22 before the result fell away from them, again. Life in the Championship now awaits and the club appears strong enough to bounce straight back. It’s going to be a long few months though.
Leolin Zas red card: Nasty incident and third of its kind that we’ve seen in a month after Anthony Watson’s red against Saracens and Jason Emery the previous week against the Sharks. Zas always has his eyes on the ball and the fact that he slips can’t be ignored – luckily Foley came away unscathed. By the letter of the law it’s a red, whilst also clearly accidental. However, we never want to see a player landing like that.
Leinster: In the hunt against Ulster at half-time before it all fell apart for Leinster, as they crashed to a 30-6 defeat in Belfast. Ulster were very good, Leinster certainly were not. They stay third for now ahead of the final weekend, and must win for a chance of a home semi-final.
Wasps: Having seen Wasps rack up huge scores all season, just the three points away to Exeter came as a surprise. Wasps’ 24-3 defeat comes at the wrong time with a round to go, as Exeter move back into second and crucially into the home semi-final spot. These two might face each other again in a few weeks’ time.