Planet Rugby

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

06th November 2012 10:42

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Hot or Not

Hot: Sharpe - Not: Donald

It is time for our weekly wrap of who has their name in lights right now...and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons...

They're smokin'!

Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen: The two Springbok speedsters were the big winners at the annual South African Rugby awards function. Habana won the much-coveted SA Player of the Year award and Pietersen walked off with the Players' Player of the year gong.

Nathan Sharpe: Australia also had their annual gala evening and the veteran lock made a cleansweep of all the major awards. Sharpe won the John Eales Medal, which is awarded to the player of the year, and also went home with trophies for Australia's Choice, Wallabies Player of the Year and the Spirit of Rugby awards.

Rory Kockott and Vincent Clerc: The Castres scrum-half is the Top 14's leading scorer with 158 points from 10 matches. An impressive feat when one considers he is ahead of seasoned internationals like Perpignan's James Hook and Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson. Toulouse wing Clerc is leading in the try-scoring stakes with six five-pointers after 10 games.

Tim Visser and Tom Varndell: The Edinburgh wing is on top of the PRO12 try-scoring charts with nine tries in eight matches while the Wasps flyer is setting the pace in the Premiership with seven touchdowns from eight games.

Sale Sharks: After losing their first seven Premiership fixtures and making headlines for shuffling their staff, the Sharks finally hit the victory trail with a 21-9 win over London Irish last weekend.

Freddie Burns and Billy Twelvetrees: The Gloucester duo were rewarded with late call-ups to England's squad for the upcoming internationals as replacements for Harlequins' Jordan Turner-Hall and London Irish's Jonathan Joseph who are battling with injuries.

Nick Scott: The London Welsh flyer was his team's hero when he intercepted a wayward pass from Bath's Stephen Donald to secure a 16-9 win for the Premiership newbies in the closing stages of their match.


Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Northampton: After starting their Premiership campaign like a house on fire with five successive wins the wheels seem to be coming off for Jim Mallinder's charges who, after last weekend's 16-12 defeat to Leicester, have now lost four matches on the trot in all competitions.

Keegan Daniel: The Sharks skipper looked decidedly glum when accepting his award as South Africa's Super Rugby player of the year. Rumour has it he had his eye on a bigger award and having a bit of a sulk. With an attitude like like, it's no wonder he'll be in Durban this weekend instead of Dublin.

Mont de Marsan: To say that the Top 14 newcomers are finding it difficult to adjust to the rigours of France's leading domestic competition would be an understatement. After 10 matches played they are yet to win a game and are firmly entrenched at the bottom of the table with just two points.

Stephen Donald: Every Bath supporter must still be asking themselves what went through the World Cup winner's mind when he threw his outrageous cut-out pass against London Welsh. The teams were level at 9-9 at the time and even Bath director of rugby Gary Gold admitted afterwards that he was "astonished that anyone should throw such a ridiculous pass."

George Ford: Although Leicester managed to beat the Saints, the Tigers fly-half left his kicking boots at home, missing five penalties.

Fixture clashes: This weekend sees a full round of Top 14 matches taking place at the same time that the end-of-year internationals kick off. Likewise the weekend of 23 to 25 November has a full round of PRO12 and Premiership matches scheduled to take place. It's little wonder clubs are tempted to import players from south of the equator. Who wants to cough up the big bucks for an international star who won't always be available?

By David Skippers

Rugby Union betting odds

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411