Planet Rugby

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

27th March 2013 12:48

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Hot and Not for March 27

Hot: Sarries... not so much: Beale

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!

Fiji: The sixth and most high-profile tournament of the nine-leg World Series saw Fiji fight back from 0-19 down to beat Wales 26-19 in the Hong Kong Sevens final on Sunday, claiming the title for a record 14th time.

Sharks: Cruised to their biggest ever Super Rugby win over the weekend after brushing aside the Rebels 67-7. Last year's finalists scored six second-half tries and a record 10 in all, sending the struggling Aussie outfit to their heaviest defeat in its three seasons in Super Rugby. A mention too for the Cheetahs, who arrived back home with three wins out of four from their Australasian tour for the first time ever.

Saracens: Moved five points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership standings thanks to an impressive 27-12 win over defending champions Harlequins. With the play-offs fast approaching and both sides almost certain to be involved, this was an important marker for Sarries as they bid to reclaim the title from their London rivals.

Treviso: A win against Munster and a draw at Ravenhill was followed up with a victory over Cardiff Blues - another Welsh scalp, adding to those of the Ospreys, Dragons and Scarlets. Treviso have now bagged 12 from a possible 15 points in their last three outings.

Zac Guildford: The wing made an impressive return to Super Rugby for the Crusaders when he found himself in the starting line-up to face the Kings after a late withdrawal by Israel Dagg resulted in a team reshuffle. After attending a month-long alcohol rehabilitation course, Guildford received a resounding welcome and an extra cheer when he made his first touch of the ball. Welcome back Zac!

Racing Metro: Nine wins on the trot has seen the Paris club race (sorry - ed) into fifth place on the standings as they bid to cement their play-off spot.


Bbbrrr....someone turn the heater up!

Ulster: Despite going on a fine run of victories earlier this season - which saw them reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals - Ulster's form in the PRO12 in recent weeks has not been up to scratch. Last weekend's loss to Edinburgh is their third in the tournament in as many weeks.

Rebels: Coach Damien Hill and his troops must be wondering what hit them at the Shark Tank in Durban. To lose by a 57-point margin usually means that the victors were dominant. That was obviously the case in this fixture, although most of the Rebels players seemed disinterested especially when it came to tackling, with none of their players making more than nine tackles in this match - a remarkable statistic when one considers that the Sharks had a glut of the possession.

Zebre: The PRO12's newest team lost narrowly to the Dragons and Connacht recently and even managed to limit the score in last weekend's loss to the Scarlets. That, however, does not change the depressing reading in the standings. They have lost all 18 matches, scoring 224 and conceding 468 points in the process.

Kurtley Beale: As if the Rebels' loss to the Sharks wasn't humiliating enough, the injured Wallaby utility back's antics on the team bus added more shame to the Melbourne-based team.

Blues: After starting the Super Rugby tournament on a high, with impressive victories over the Hurricanes and Crusaders, the Aucklanders have come crashing down to earth after successive defeats to the Bulls and the Waratahs.

Francois Steyn: Even though the Sharks were brilliant, the Springbok centre, who was dropped from the starting XV, is battling to get back to his best. Steyn came on and tried to do too much on his own with ball in hand and could it be a surprise that the Sharks did not add to their tally during his time on the field?

By Dave Morris and David Skippers

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 Waikato
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411