Planet Rugby

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

09th April 2013 12:36

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Hot and Not picture for April 9

Saracens (Hot); Fillol (Not)

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 on fire!

Saracens: Will Greenwood's description of Saracens being "tough to love" following their victory over Ulster struck a chord with many who took in Saturday's quarter-final from Twickenham. After Clermont had thrilled hours earlier by running Montpellier into the ground, Saracens instead bruised and battered Ulster into submission, dominating the line-out and holding firm in defence until Iain Henderson's consolation score late on. Their style of play is many things - clinical, committed, physical - and yet also somewhat hollow. If it brings them a Heineken Cup title however, nobody will care.

Savea brothers: Both siblings were outstanding in the Hurricanes' win over the Waratahs with Julian crossing the advantage line at will, and scoring a brace of tries while Ardie, who was making his Super Rugby debut, got the better of Michael Hooper in their duel for the loose ball.

Paul O'Connell: Merely hours after the final whistle had rung out at the The Stoop, O'Connell's performance for Munster was already being described as one of the greatest in the tournament's history. Conor O'Shea described it as "majestic", and perhaps there is no greater tribute than that. O'Connell banged down the door that had previously kept him out of discussions for the Lions tour, instantly becoming the bookies favourite to captain the touring side. That's after three senior games back from injury.

Cheetahs, Sharks and Kings: The Cheetahs won five consecutive Super Rugby matches for the first time when they snatched a dramatic 26-24 victory over the Stormers, the Sharks beat the Crusaders for the third time in fifteen years and the Kings fought back to claim three points thanks to a draw on the road against the Brumbies with four tries sweetening the deal.

Sitiveni Sivivatu: The top metre-maker in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals was the inspiration behind Clermont's second-half demolition of Montpellier at the Stade Marcel Michelin - winding back the years and proving that years away from the All Blacks have not diminished his talent. The combinations between Sivivatu and Wesley Fofana or Aurélien Rougerie were divine at times - one of the reasons why Clermont are favourites to win their first Heineken Cup title.

Jonny Wilkinson: A vintage Wilkinson performance was always going to be necessary for Toulon to see off Leicester at the Stade Felix Mayol - the wily veteran duly delivering with throwback innings. Six penalties and a drop goal were complimented by a typical Wilkinson showing in defence. It means a return to HQ for one of Twickenham's favourite sons, with hopes of adding to a surprisingly bare trophy cabinet a step closer to being fulfilled.


Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Harlequins: Right in the midst of a worrying slump, the English champions picked up their fourth successive defeat since winning the LV= Cup against Munster last weekend. 9-3 up at one stage, Quins saw their second-half lead slip away as they struggled for control at the set-piece and at the breakdown, outmatched physically by a ferocious Munster side. It leaves their sole focus on retaining the Premiership title over the next few weeks, a difficult task considering the form of Saracens at the top.

English clubs in Europe: Harlequins it transpired were one of five English sides to drop out of European competition this weekend, with Leicester also narrowly beaten down in Toulon to knock them out of the Heineken Cup and Bath, Wasps and Gloucester all knocked out of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals. Only Saracens remain in either competition.

Ma'a Nonu: Was lucky not to receive a straight red card for a late shoulder charge on Piri Weepu in the Highlanders' loss to the Blues. While spending time in the sin-bin, for that indiscretion, the Aucklanders scored twelve unanswered points which played a big part in condemning the Highlanders to their sixth straight defeat.

Jerome Fillol: Spitting in another person's face is simply an unforgivable act, and for that Stade Français scrum-half Jerome Fillol finds himself right at the top of our Nots section. Credit to Peter Stringer for not losing his temper, but with figures from fans to players to the head of the IRB Brett Gosper condemning the incident on social media, Fillol can expect a lengthy and severe punishment to come his way over the coming weeks.

Elton Jantjies: The Stormers pivot seems to have lost the form which won him Springbok colours last year. Gave another lacklustre display against the Cheetahs which led to his substitution in the second-half of that game.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26