Who’s hot and who’s not!

Date published: October 31 2016

Hot or Not 31.10.2016

It’s time for Planet Rugby’s wrap of who has their name in lights at the moment… and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

They’re on fire!

Richie Mo’unga: An electric performance from the young fly-half as he showed a calmness against Tasman that helped Canterbury claim another domestic crown. Mo’unga crossed for two tries and set up two more as he continues to show his qualities with ball in hand. Surely it won’t be too much longer before he is banging down the All Black door for international honours? Problem is, it’s a pretty thick door.

Zebre: Who saw that one coming? Against an Edinburgh side that has improved since Duncan Hodge took over from Alan Solomons, Zebre, who were hammered on home soil by Connacht last weekend, went to Murrayfield and won 19-14. A converted Giovanbattista Venditti try in the 79th minute saw them claim a victory that takes them off the bottom of the PRO12 standings and level on points with 10th place the Dragons.

North Harbour: Congratulations also to North Harbour, who booked their passage into next season’s Mitre 10 Cup Premiership with a 17-14 win over Otago at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Bryn Gatland, son of Warren, landed the late match-winning drop-goal to break Otago hearts.

Semesa Rokoduguni: Bath’s Fijian-born flyer celebrated his recall to England’s senior side, for their end-of-year Tests, by scoring the matchwinning try in their Premiership clash against Exeter Chiefs. The 29-year-old’s injury time score at Sandy Park will surely enhance his chances of adding to his solitary Test cap for his adoptive country.

Rugby family: Rugby really has come together following the tragic loss of Munster and Ireland favourite Anthony Foley. The latest act of solidarity came from Ulster in Friday’s PRO12 match against Munster as they mounted a plaque on the visitors’ changing room wall.

Patricio Fernandez: Clermont’s Argentine pivot delivered a superb allround performance in the Top 14 leaders’ 40-16 victory over Brive at Stade Amédée Domenech on Sunday. Everything Fernandez tried seemed to come off and he finished the match with a 30-point haul after scoring a brace of tries and kicking four penalties and four conversions.


Someone turn up the heater!

Treviso: With Zebre winning at Edinburgh, the pressure was on the other Italian outfit in PRO12 to win their fixture. But unlike their countrymen, Treviso couldn’t get the better of their Scottish opposition as they suffered a 31-14 defeat to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun. That result leaves Kieran Crowley’s charges languishing at the bottom of the PRO12 table with one win from seven matches. They are three points adrift of their nearest rivals, Zebre, who also have a game in hand.

Officiating at the Arms Park: We are not sure how it happened but Aaron Shingler was sent to the sin-bin against Cardiff Blues when he was the player clearly tackled without the ball. We expect referee Lloyd Linton might have been regretting that one on Saturday morning.

Bristol: Andy Robinson’s troops’ loss to Sale Sharks at Ashton Gate on Sunday was their seventh in as many matches and the result leaves the newly promoted outfit firmly rooted to the bottom of the Premiership’s standings. Bristol have certainly found the going tough and have just two bonus points to show for their efforts and already have a points difference of minus 158.

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