Planet Rugby

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

20th March 2013 14:28

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Hot and Not for March 20

Wales were red hot!

It is time to look at who has their name in lights right now...and who is making headlines for the wrong reasons.

They're on fire!

Wales: First on our list and rightly so. Wales were excellent in Cardiff as they took the Six Nations and Grand Slam away from rivals England. Alex Cuthbert's brace stole the show but man for man - except for possibly Geoff Parling - the hosts were a good distance ahead of their opposite number.

Super wings: So many finishers to applaud after Tom Marshall impressed on the right side for the Crusaders while left wing Johnny McNicholl scored his first Super Rugby try. But three names rose above them all as hat-trick man Lelia Masaga, the line-busting Hosea Gear and Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule stole the show. A mention also needs extending to the Brumbies duo Henry Speight and Joe Tomane while Peter Betham was good for the 'Tahs.

Brumbies: And then there was one. The Canberra side recorded a 29-10 victory over the Sharks in Durban to make them the last remaining unbeaten side in Super Rugby. It also takes them ten points clear of nearest conference rival the Reds. Other mentions from last week go the way of the Cheetahs, who won in Sydney, the Crusaders for their impressive showing against the Bulls, and the Force for picking up their first ever win in Brisbane.

Italy: The sight of Jacques Brunel punching the air at full-time proves just how much home wins over France and Ireland means to the Azzurri head coach. Two wins shows Italy are now set to become a consistent force to be reckoned with in the Six Nations but we guess the real test comes on the road as next year they travel to Dublin, Paris and Cardiff. But credit where credit is due, their win over the Irish was well deserved at the Stadio Olimpico.

Harlequins: Conor O'Shea's young guns once again proved their worth with a performance that saw them lift the LV= Cup. Star performers against Sale Sharks were Tom Guest and Tom Casson while Tom Williams and Luke Wallace joined that duo in crossing the line. With the trophy safely stored away in the cabinet, O'Shea will now turn his attention to their Aviva Premiership run-in and of course that Heineken Cup quarter-final against Munster.


Bbbrrr....someone turn the heater up!

Kings: The Port Elizabeth-based franchise's decision to include more foreign players than SARU's allotted quota is 'cheeky' to say the least. After SARU rejected their bid to field extra foreigners earlier this year, the Kings went ahead and used Hadleigh Parkes, Tomās Leonardi and Nicolas Vergallo on Friday. The aftermath has seen Kings boss Cheeky Watson announce that Leonardi and Virgile Lacombe would be flying back from Australasia and have been replaced in the touring squad by Edgar Marutlulle and Devin Oosthuizen.

England: Despite being on the wrong end of some questionable calls at the scrums from Australian referee Steve Walsh, Stuart Lancaster's side will have to do some introspection after they wasted a golden opportunity to claim their first Grand Slam in ten years. Instead of going all out for victory, they retreated into their shells and came off second best to a more determined and hungrier Welsh unit, who in the end cantered to the Six Nations title.

Highlanders: Although Gear's form has been impressive, the Dunedin-based franchise is yet to win a game after three attempts. They were amongst the early favourites to win the Super Rugby title after adding some experienced heads to their squad. However, little has gone right for Jamie Joseph's troops, who now face another tricky assignment at the Chiefs.

Ireland: Defeat to Italy in their final Six Nations match has seen the men in green plummet to new lows in the IRB World Rankings. Furthermore, the writing appears to be on the wall for coach Declan Kidney after his side's poor overall performance in the tournament.

Johan Goosen and Berrick Barnes: The Cheetahs and Waratahs playmakers' horrific run of injuries continues. Goosen has been seeing more of the Cheetahs doctor than his on-field team-mates in recent months after sustaining his third major injury in less than a year. Barnes, who played his first match of the season for the Waratahs, lasted all of 17 minutes.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
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Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
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Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
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Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
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Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
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ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
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Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
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ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
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Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00