Planet Rugby

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

11th December 2012 13:23

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Hot: Baker - Not: Farrell

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!

Ulster: Extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 13 matches with a convincing 25-6 away win against Northampton in the Heineken Cup. This gives them a six-point lead at the top of Pool Four.

New Zealand Sevens: Gordon Tietjens' side made history when they won the Port Elizabeth leg of the Sevens World Series to become the first side to win the same leg of the competition for a fourth consecutive time. No other team has achieved this feat since the tournament started in 1999.

Clermont: Extended their unbeaten home record to 51 matches with a narrow victory over defending champions Leinster. What made their win extra special is that it also ended Leinster's 17-match unbeaten record in the Heineken Cup.

Kurt Baker: Made his return to the Sevens circuit - after an absence of nearly three years - in fine style by leading New Zealand's charge at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Baker scored eight tries in Port Elizabeth, including two hat-tricks on finals day.

Jared Payne: Put in a top-class display in Ulster's win over Northampton. Payne was at the heart of Ulster's attacking play and apart from scoring a try he also set one up for Tommy Bowe.

Harlequins: Scored eight tries in their 57-14 Heineken Cup victory over Zebre which has taken them six points clear of their nearest rivals at the top of Pool 3.

Connacht: The Irish province claimed the biggest upset of the weekend when they beat Biarritz 22-14 in their Heineken Cup tie. The victory moves them into second spot, behind Quins, in their pool.

Someone turn on the heater...!

Owen Farrell: The Saracens stalwart had a shocker from the kicking tee in his side's 15-9 Heineken Cup loss to Munster. Farrell missed four out of seven shots at goal which proved the difference between winning and losing in the end.

Northampton: Although Ulster delivered a superb performance, more was expected from the Saints who were playing at Franklin's Gardens. They hardly put up a fight and suffered an ignominious defeat in front of their home crowd.

England Sevens: Ben Ryan's team are usually amongst the frontrunners on the international Sevens circuit but they have been far from impressive this season. They are currently languishing in 13th position in the point standings behind minnows like the United States, Canada and Portugal.

Dan Carter: He might have won the IRB's Player of the Year award but DC is not hot in his homeland. This after he failed to make the shortlist for the New Zealand Rugby Union's Kel Tremain Memorial Player of the Year award.

Dylan Hartley: The Northampton and England hooker is in trouble after he was cited for allegedly striking Ulster's Rory Best in their Heineken Cup tie. Hartley is no stranger to disciplinary hearings and was banned for eight weeks after being cited for biting Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris during a Six Nations match earlier this year.

Sevens World Series organisers: The system being used for allocating teams places the top three teams from the previous tournament into pools A, B and C with the rest of the teams selected randomly from tiered bands. The results of this saw New Zealand being drawn in the same pool as traditional rivals Fiji and England in the Port Elizabeth tournament while hosts South Africa had Australia, Samoa and France to contend with. We have to agree with Tietjens who believes a seeding system using the current rankings as a barometer would be a fairer option.

By David Skippers

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615