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 , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821