Planet Rugby

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

22nd January 2013 12:58

Share:

Hot not jan 22

On fire: Montpellier

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 smokin'....!

Harlequins and Clermont: Hats off to seeds one and two heading into the Heineken Cup knockout stages. Both won six out of six games in the Pool rounds and now face Munster and Montpellier respectively in the quarter-finals. With Clermont's home route to the final, they are now clear favourites.

Montpellier: What a performance it was from Fabien Galthié's team. Following the passing of coach Eric Béchu, the French side put in an excellent effort that saw Toulon come off distinctly second best. It was a showing that possessed immense power from their pack while Benoit Paillaugue was exceptional.

Simon Zebo: The second of his three tries against Racing-Metro was something out of the top drawer. Zebo's stocks continue to soar in Ireland and Europe so expect to see a good deal more of him in the Six Nations. We expect to see him in an Irish back-three with Rob Kearney and Craig Gilroy.

Tigers v Toulouse in the snow: Quote of the week, heard from Ed's wife as the players took the field at Welford Road: "Rugby is epic. If they were soccer players they'd be in their pyjamas at mommy's house."

King Carlos: Spencer will be in South Africa for a while yet after agreeing to help out at the Sharks in the upcoming Super Rugby season. He'll primarily work with the backline and that obviously includes Bok fly-half Pat Lambie. Invited by coach John Plumtree, Spencer is delighted to be there.


Someone turn up the heater...!

Lionel Beauxis and Guy Novès: More than a few pundits questioned the logic behind shifting Luke McAlister (who had won 10 out of 12 games for Toulouse starting at fly-half) into midfield to accommodate Beauxis's boot in Leciester. The move backfired badly as the recently-returned-from-injury former France pivot looked totally out sync and not very keen to be on the park. A bad situation was compounded by what we can only interpret as the Toulouse manager's failure to swallow his pride and change his plan. Yannick Jauzion was injured before the game but Novès still had two other options: Clement Poitrenaud could have moved to 12 or Jean-Marc Doussain could have shifted to 10. Isn't hindsight wonderful?

Heineken Cup semi-finals draw: Is it fair that the Heineken Cup semi-final hosts are decided by a draw rather than ranking? Harlequins are the top seeds after the Pool stages but if they win their quarter-final they will have to travel to either France or Ireland for their semi-final. There is some merit to the argument that not all pools are equally strong, making the rankings lopsided, but then surely it would make sense to have legitimately neutral venues for the semi-finals?

Edinburgh, Scarlets and Zebre: Winless after six games, which was expected from Zebre but not from last season's quarter-finalists, Edinburgh are without doubt the biggest disappointment of the European season. A big fat zero in the points column is not happy reading for fans of Scottish rugby. Scarlets could only manage two bonus points.

Antoine Battut: The Racing-Metro flank shouldn't book a holiday in Dublin any time soon, as there are a few Leinster fans who might have a few choice words for him after his stupid red card against Munster paved the way for a bonus-point win for the hosts at Thomond Park and sealed the champions' fate in the process.

Ronan O'Gara's one-week ban: We have a few problems with Judge Jeff Blackett reducing the prescribed suspension for ROG's kick from four weeks to one. Firstly, the good judge found that act was "out of character." Don't forget that one next time you get pulled over: "Sorry officer, I don't normally run red lights, it's wholly out of character. Best you reduce my fine by half." He also accepted that "O'Gara had intended to trip rather than to kick Cox." Did he watch the reply? And since when was tripping OK? Then he decided that, in his opinion, "a two-week suspension would be wholly disproportionate to the level of offending". What is the point of having guidelines if they can be ignored by those appointed to implement them?

Zac Guilford: News broke on Sunday that the 23-year-old All Blacks wing was under investigation after an alleged late-night incident at a residential home in Christchurch. A few hours later the NZRU released a statement saying Guildford had voluntarily stood down from involvement with the Crusaders, who "were very disappointed to learn of this incident". Hopefully the finisher can sort himself out and work his back into professional rugby.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39