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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Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
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Exeter vs Sale15:00
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Northampton vs London Irish14:00
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Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
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Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
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Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
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Castres vs Montpellier20:45
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Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
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Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
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Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
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Stormers vs Lions17:05
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Recent Results
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
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Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
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Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
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Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
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Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
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Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
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Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
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Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
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Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954