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 , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954