Planet Rugby

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

22nd November 2012 15:15

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Hot or not feature November 23

On fire: Craig Gilroy - Chilly: Wales

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!

Free-running France: After smashing Australia and thumping Argentina, Philippe Saint-André's Bleus are the talk of November. Complacency is now a danger against Samoa this weekend. No need to remind French fans what Samoa's neighbours Tonga did to them at the last World Cup.

Giant-slaying Samoa: After years of bleating about how Argentina deserved a place in a big annual tournament, perhaps it's time we turned our attention to the South Pacific.

Streetwise Australia: Written off in every newsroom and pub from Brighton to Manchester before kick-off at Twickenham, the Wallabies showed why they are ranked in the world's top three. Kudos to Robbie Deans and his boys for making limited resources go a long way.

All-conquering All Blacks: Even when they have a bad day, no one in the northern hemisphere can live with New Zealand for 80 minutes. Last week they turned it on at the perfect time in Rome.

Craig Gilroy: A great prospect for Irish rugby. The 21-year-old's reward for scoring a hat-trick against Fiji? A three-year contract extension with Ulster and a starting berth in Ireland's Test side. Bravo!

First-half Italy: The result wasn't forthcoming, but the Azzurri sure gave the All Blacks a run for their money for about an hour. Jacques Brunel promised that his side would start playing attractive rugby and while Rome wasn't built in a day, some decent foundations have been laid.

Tonga and Canada: The IRB's mini-tournament in Wales has been welcomed by all concerned - even if a few big-name players have been conspicuous by their absence. Well done to Tonga and Canada for bouncing back from defeat a week earlier to win last Friday.

Springboks defence: No secrets about where the Boks are focussing their attention. The green and gold wall is higher and harder than than ever.


Bbbrrrr... Someone turn up the heater!

Springboks attack: With only a try from a rolling maul against a disorganised Scottish defence and an intercept by a hooker to show for their efforts in Edinburgh, the Boks aren't winning any creativity awards. Heyneke Meyer said it best: "Attack puts bums in seats but defence wins trophies." At this rate by the time the Springboks win a trophy, there will be no one left to see it.

Overlapping fixtures: So you hope to watch a whole a bunch of Tests this weekend? Too bad for you! The games in Florence, Dublin, London and Edinburgh all overlap, as do the clashes in Paris and Cardiff. Someone buy the bureaucrats a &$%@#! calendar and a phone!!!!

Wales: The longest losing streak in a decade was not what we were expecting after last year's Grand Slam. With the All Blacks and Wallabies next on the menu, the light at the end of the tunnel seems very far away.

Six Nations Disciplinary Committee: To call last week's disciplinary hearing verdicts inconsistent would be an understatement. Even the bosses at the IRB think so.

Rose-tinted press: Certain sectors of the English press have a habit of getting ahead of themselves. Just expecting England to rumble over the Aussie scrum was a little short sighted considering how steady the Wallaby set-piece was during the Rugby Championship.

Hipster November bandwagoners: Growing a moustache during Movember? Cool! If you're doing just to be hip, not-so-cool. It's supposed to be for a good cause.

By Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
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Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
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Currie Cup
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
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Saturday , August 23
Northland vs WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Preview
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Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
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Friday , August 22
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
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Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
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Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
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Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
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ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
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Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
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Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
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Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
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4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00