Planet Rugby

Who's hot...and who's not!

30th October 2012 12:51

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Hot/not

Hot: WP... not so much: Sale Sharks

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.

They're on fire!

Western Province: The men in blue and white hoops broke an 11-year Currie Cup drought thanks to a strong team performance to down the Sharks 25-18 at Kings Park. The pre-match odds laid heavily in the Sharks' favour - they had home-ground advantage, the strongest pack of the competition and the best team on paper. However, Western Province fought back from nine points down in the first half to clinch an unlikely victory over the title favourites in their own back yard - the first time the hosts had lost to a South African team in Durban all year.

Canterbury: Won their fifth successive ITM Cup title when they beat Auckland 31-18 in Christchurch. Tom Taylor scored 23 of Canterbury's points to break the New Zealand record for most points scored in a domestic final. Canterbury's fifth straight title is also competition record, beating the fours achieved by Auckland from 1987-90 and 1993-96. It was Canterbury's 10th title overall, second only to the 16 of Auckland. Surprisingly, the two great rivals had never previously met in a final!

Ulster: Claimed their sixth win from six Pro12 games so far this season with a 46-19 victory over Dragons at Rodney Parade. Ulster have now won all eight of their games this season - they are also two for two in the Heineken Cup - and look every inch contenders for a European and domestic double.

Schalk Brits: The Saracens hooker was recalled to South Africa's squad for their forthcoming tour of Europe. Brits - who has won just three caps - last played for the Springboks in 2008 but has been one of the best players in the Aviva Premiership in the last few years. And with first-choice hooker Bismarck du Plessis out through injury, he has earned another chance.

Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Sisaro Koyamaibole: The Bordeaux-Bègles number eight's brief stint at the Top 14 club is a distant memory after his contract was terminated when he failed to arrive at a disciplinary hearing.

The Sharks: It's been a case of being so close but yet so far for the Durban-based outfit who have lost both the Super Rugby and Currie Cup finals in the same season. Add to that last year's defeat to the Golden Lions in South Africa's premier domestic competition and then you'll understand how frustrated coach John Plumtree is at the moment.

Bayonne: The Top 14 strugglers are probably still wondering what hit them after they were thrashed by Toulon last weekend. There failure to notch a point was already bad enough but allowing the opposition to put more than 50 points on the scoreboard certainly adds to their misery.

Sale Sharks: Things are going from bad to worse for Bryan Redpath and his troops after they suffered their seventh defeat in as many matches when they went down to Worcester last weekend. Redpath, who has been relieved of his director of rugby duties, has been trying his best to turn things around but could hardly do his job properly with the shadow of John Mitchell hovering in the background. Steve Diamond takes over for the foreseeable future until Mitchell's legal issues with the Golden Lions are resolved.

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