Planet Rugby

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

19th February 2013 10:45

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Danny Care and Dan Evans for Hot and Not

Good and bad: Quins and Dragons

It's time for our wrap of who has their name in lights at the moment ... and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons in rugby this week.

They're on fire!

Guy Novès: Toulouse's head honcho racked up his 1000th game with the Top 14 side at the weekend. Two thirds of those games have been either as coach or manager while the rest were as a player. It's a pity his men couldn't give him the perfect gift - a win - to celebrate the milestone, after they suffered a home defeat to Perpignan.

Toulon: The Top 14 table-toppers put last weekend's embarrassing 41-0 defeat to Bordeaux-Bègles behind them, bouncing back with a convincing triumph over Montpellier. Coach Bernard Laporte read his troops the riot act after that loss and they certainly responded in emphatic style. Signs of champions in the making? Time will tell.

Harlequins: Like Toulon, Conor O'Shea's men are back in the saddle after going down to Wasps ten days ago. The defending Aviva Premiership champions went top of the table after edging out fellow title contenders Leicester, with Danny Care leading the charge.

Rebels and Brumbies: Super Rugby is back and after the opening round of action it's the Melbourne and Canberra-based teams that have bragging rights after notching deserved derby victories over the Western Force and Reds respectively.

Sale Sharks: Boy did they need that win. Victory over London Welsh puts the Sharks just one point behind London Irish and three off the Welsh. Suddenly things look promising ahead of facing a Quins XV without Care, Mike Brown, Joe Marler and Chris Robshaw...


Brrrrr....it's cold in here!

Scott Higginbotham: The Rebels' star signing's competitive debut for his new franchise will be one he will want to forget in a hurry. Despite his side's win, the Wallaby back-rower received a yellow card for striking an opponent midway through the first-half and he was also caught on camera shoving a ball-boy, in an attempt to take a quick line-out throw.

Reds: In 2012 the men from Queensland grabbed a last ditch opening day victory over the Waratahs in Sydney but this season things began in much more sobering fashion. Defeat to the Brumbies was rarely in doubt as the Reds could not match their opponent, who exacted revenge for not making the play-offs last season. The Reds sorely missed injured captain James Horwill while there is a spark lacking in the three-quarters. We know they're only one game in but the signs of knockout rugby don't look good for Ewen McKenzie's side. Next up is the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium in what is a huge derby game that whets the appetite.

Dragons: There are hidings and there are hidings, with the Dragons feeling the full force of Glasgow Warriors on Saturday. 8 tries and 60 points were put past the Welsh region on their home patch in a result that sees their points difference move to -157. This result came on the back of three straight victories - against the Ospreys, London Welsh and Treviso - with the Dragons' next game seeing them travel to Parma where they face Zebre. This question now is whether the Italians can record their first ever RaboDirect PRO12 win?

Ardie Savea: The promising flanker was dealt a blow even before a ball has been kicked at Westpac Stadium when he was suspended for four weeks after making a dangerous tackle on Augustine Pulu. What a shame we won't get to see this talent in Super Rugby for another month as big things are expected of the 19-year-old. Hopefully his indiscretion is just a blip on a long and fruitful career for both the Hurricanes and possibly the All Blacks.

By David Skippers and Adam Kyriacou

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
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RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
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Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
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Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
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RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
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RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
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Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
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Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
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RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
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Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
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Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058