It is time for Planet Rugby's weekly wrap of who has their name in lights right now...and who is making the oval ball headlines for the wrong reasons.
You can't touch this!
Sharks: The boys from Durban are the form team in the competition and their clinical display in dispatching of the defending champions, in their own backyard, would have won them many neutral supporters. That performance will have made Stormers coach Allister Coetzee and the rest of Cape Town sit up and take notice ahead of their semi-final clash at the weekend.
Dan Carter: The Crusaders number 10 will be the first to admit that his goal-kicking has not been near his usual high standards since he returned from injury. However, his contribution of 23 points paved the way to victory in his team's play-off clash with the Bulls. Although he missed one shot at goal, Carter's contribution of six penalties and a drop goal certainly makes him hot!
Tendai Mtwarira: The "Beast" was at his very best against the Reds on Saturday. The Springbok loosehead prop was as usual, solid in the scrums, effective with his support at the line-outs and kick-offs and always at the forefront of the defensive effort around the rucks and mauls. But it was his display in open play which really caught the eye. With ball in hand he gained more metres than the combined total of all the other props in action during last weekend's matches.
JP Pietersen: Is there a better wing on the planet at the moment? Many enthusiasts said Pietersen and Digby Ioane were vying for that title but the big Springbok speedster got the better of his Wallaby counterpart last weekend in their one-on-one duel. Apart from his attacking skills, Pietersen's defence, work-rate and reading of the game is second to none. Whisper it softly, but if he can maintain his current form he could be in with a shout for the IRB's player of the year award later this season. You read it here first!
Stuart Lancaster Congratulations is in order for the England coach who was awarded an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University. Lancaster, a former undergraduate student at the university, was given a Doctorate in Sport for his significant contribution to the field of sport and coaching.
Bbbrrrr... Someone throw another log on the fire!
Quade Cooper: The mercurial fly-half must have been the most frustrated man in the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Serving a one-match suspension, Cooper didn't have much to say about his ban until after his team were knocked out when he took to Twitter to vent his anger. This is what he tweeted after the match: "SANZAR - lottery." Did someone say sour grapes? It certainly sounds like it and don't be surprised if the IRB investigates this matter and throws the book at Cooper.
The Bulls: Somebody must tell Frans Ludeke that it would help for him to have a plan B for his side when he sees that plan A is not working. The Pretoria outfit's one-dimensional, forwards-based style and reliance on the boot of Morne Steyn has been a source of many a successful season for the men in blue in recent years. However, Steyn's kicking is nowhere near his usual high standards this season, and against a team like the Crusaders, who are as efficient in doing their home work on the opposition as they are with their own preparations, the Bulls were always going to go home with their tails between their legs.
Morne Steyn: And speaking of Pretoria's golden boy. What a shocker Steyn had in Christchurch on Saturday! His usual accurate tactical kicking was well below par. There was even one instance where he managed to kick the turf while trying to put his team onto the, err, front foot!
Christchurch's AMI Stadium: Can anybody explain how the play-off between the most two successful teams in the tournament's history could only sell 16 500 tickets? Seriously, in South Africa some schoolboy games easily draw crowds with of up to 30 000 spectators. Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach revealed less than 24 hours before the game that a large amount of their higher priced tickets for the play-off with the Bulls were sold out, so cost could not have been the issue. Was there really not much interest in this clash? Or was it Christchurch's freezing weather which kept supporters at home?
By David Skippers