Planet Rugby

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

16th April 2013 11:28

Share:

Hot hot april 16 2013

Hot: Jean de Villiers; Ice-cold: England's new Sevens kit

It's time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment...and who is making headlines for the wrong reasons.

They're on fire!

Jake White and his Brumbies: Jake the Snake has done a marvellous job of silencing his critics over the past two years. Those who suggested his success in 2007 was due more to the Boks' favourable World Cup draw and the fantastic squad at his disposal than his coaching ability have been made to eat their words. White took over a team that finished 13th in 2011 and has turned them into table-toppers. Hard to argue with that.

Jean de Villiers: The Stormers and Springbok captain produced his best performance of the year against the Sharks on Saturday, highlighted by a wonderful offload to create a try for Juan de Jongh. Even in the heat of an intense battle, JDV managed to maintain his sense of humour. When ask what he wanted to do with a penalty near the Sharks line, he replied with a wry smile: "I'd like to take a quick tap-and-go but I suppose I'd better take the points."

Ugo Monye: The former Lions wing was the toast of Quins fans at the Stoop this weekend as the defending Premiership champions got back on the horse after a tough month. What better way to celebrate your birthday than coming off the bench to score the try that seals victory and ends a four-game losing streak?

Ulster and Leinster: There is no sweeter victory for Leinster fans than success on the road to Munster and Saturday's win at Thomond Park means hosting a semi-final at the RDS is now very much on the cards. Up in Belfast, Ulster bounced back from elimination from the Heineken Cup by scoring four tries to move top in the PRO12 standings.

Oyonnax: It's taken 104 years, but Oyonnax (a town of just 23,000) have won promotion to the Top 14 for the first time. 20 points clear of their nearest rivals (La Rochelle) with four rounds left, the ProD2 title is in the bag.

Quade Cooper: Just days after being left out of the Wallaby squad, QC reminded Robbie Deans of his ability to unlocked defences with a brilliant display against the Super Rugby champions. According to our recent poll, the vast majority of Planet Rugby readers believe the Reds pivot is too good to be ignored. Will he be able to kiss and make up with the national coach? Don't bet your house on it.

Kings: After coming from behind to draw with the Brumbies two weeks ago, the Kings went one better by beating the Rebels thanks to a last-gasp drop-goal from pivot Demetri Catrakilis. It was the tournament newbies' first win overseas and their second against Australian opposition in 2013. Raise your hand if you're still not convinced they belong in the competition...

Force: The Force produced their best defensive effort of the season - pulling off a series of try-saving tackles - to see off the Crusaders in Perth. The result saw Michael Foley's troops jump off the bottom of the Australian conference just one week after being humbled at home by the lowly Rebels.

David Strettle: The England wing scored the fastest treble in Premiership history when he touched down three times in the opening 22 minutes of Saracens' 30-point drubbing of Worcester. The win clinched a home semi-final for the Premiership leaders just a week after their Heineken Cup quarter-final success over Ulster.

The thermostat's broken.

Paul O'Connell's foot v Dave Kearney's head: It's pretty obvious that there was no malicious intent in POC's hack at the loose ball, but it was rather imprudent. It was clearly an accident but was it reckless enough to warrant a citing? We're not sure.

Bok jersey: The Boks tell us they've done away with all the rubbery bits on their jerseys that were intended to aid ball carrying because they turned out to help opposition tacklers and scrummagers get a better grip more than anything else. The team at PR headquarters are divided on the 'new' design. Boring or classic?

Bbbrrr....someone turn the heater up!

England's new 7's kit: Planet Rugby's Not-Hot-O-Meter has been sent in for recalibration after England's new mega-pixel disaster sent readings off the scales. To think someone got paid real money to 'design' that monstrosity...

London Welsh: Thanks for coming. Hope to see you again soon, but it might be a while. It's always sad to see a team punished on the field for mistakes made off it. The true costs of 'Passportgate' are only now being felt.

Agen: Already relegated from the Top 14, Agen have nothing left to play for, which is good news for Perpignan and Toulon, their opposition in the last two rounds.

Perth streakers: Referee Jonathan Kaplan was forced to stop play when five pitch invaders - believed to be Crusaders supporters - made their way onto the ground at Perth's nib Stadium when the Force were leading the Crusaders by two points in the 75th minute. One was tackled by centre Ryan Crotty, while a Crusaders' medical officer brought down a separate offender. One offender has been charged with trespassing while others have been summoned to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court. Each offender has also received a five-year ban from the venue.

Highlanders: Seven played, seven lost... will we be seeing the winless Highlanders here again next week?

By Ross Hastie and Dave Morris

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