Planet Rugby

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

14th May 2013 13:22

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Hot or not May 14 2013

Hot: Yannick Jauzion - Not so much: Owen Farrell

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

They're on fire!

Yannick Jauzion: The 'end of an era' is a popular theme in the French press these days after Toulouse finished the Top 14 regular season 11 points behind Toulon and Clermont. But the naysayers might need reminding that les Rouge et Noir are still on course for a third straight title after qualifying for their 20th consecutive semi-final. There is certainly a changing of the guard going on in the Ville Rose, as underlined by the standing ovation given to one of the club's favourite sons before his last game at Ernest Wallon, after eleven years in the Toulousain midfield. A few days later at the Stadium de Toulouse, Jauzion showed he's still a class act by brilliantly creating a try for his heir apparent, 19-year-old GaŽl Fickou, in the play-off win over Racing Metro.

Northampton and Leinster: Not many people gave Saints much of a hope in their Premiership semi-final but their odds for the final would have been slashed drastically after their dominant display against Sarries. Also, who is brave enough to bet against Leinster in a PRO12 final at the RDS?

New Zealand Sevens: Six weeks before the RWC Sevens in Moscow, the Kiwis capped a fine season in style by winning the final round of the World Series in London. In nine rounds, they never finished worse than third as they marched to their 11th title, finishing a whopping 41 points ahead of second-placed South Africa. Such consistent domination has become a rare sight at the top level of any sport.

London Sevens Day One Crowd: 71,898 = a new world record and a welcome improvement on the poor turnout in Glasgow a week before. And almost everyone was fancy-dressed for the occasion!

Luke Watson: We didn't hold back when Watson made a below-par return to the Kings starting side a few weeks ago, but credit were credit is due: The skipper was fantastic against the Highlanders and deserved his two tries.

Antonie Claassen: The Castres loose forward was omnipresent in his team's Top 14 play-off victory over Montpellier, scoring the only try of the game and winning his much-anticipated duel with opposite number Alex Tulou. The South African is a sure bet to add to his caps for France in New Zealand this June.

Leicester Tigers: A Premiership Final without Tigers would be like fish without chips. Leicester produced a clinical second-half display against Quins to blow the defending champs away and reach a ninth consecutive showdown at Twickenham.

Frank Halai: A hat-trick against the Rebels and an All Blacks call-up in the space of four days, the 25-year-old must be walking on air.


Broken Thermostat:

Kurtley Beale: We were ready to crown the Rebels playmaker as the King of Stupid Land when we heard he'd tried to sidestep his drinking ban by having a few sneaky beers... in a stadium full of witnesses. But we'll reserve judgement - for now - since the 24-year-old seems to have accepted that he has a problem and has booked himself into a programme to get on the wagon. He isn't the first young man to fall foul of the trappings of fame and money but if he doesn't have the character to walk the straight and narrow, then he has no place at the top of the sport. We hope to see him return a wiser man.


Bbbrrr....someone turn the heater up!

The Stormers: If you needed an illustration with what's wrong in the Stormers' camp, look no further than the post-match comments from their head coach after last year's SA conference winners failed to score a try in their defeat to the Waratahs. "It was a typical Test-match out there, it was a hard-fought dog-fight... We knew we had to slog it out, but, once again, I think we beat ourselves," said Allister Coetzee. Er? Test match? No Allister, you weren't playing the Wallabies, you were playing a Super Rugby franchise that has spent most of the season in the bottom half of the standings. But you are right about beating yourselves. When you expect to "slog it out," that's usually what happens. When the Cheetahs took a positive attitude to Sydney, they scored three tries and went home with four points. Food for thought.

Saracens: There will be no silverware for Sarries this term after their second semi-final defeat in as many weeks. Unbeaten at Allianz Park going into their semi-final against Saints, the league table toppers looked shellshocked as they found themselves 17-0 down at the break. Owen Farrell didn't do a whole lot right.

Ulster: After finishing top of the PRO12 standings, Ulster nominated the RDS as their "home" venue for the final because the two-year redevelopment of Ravenhill means their home does not meet the 18,000 minimum capacity required to host the final. Of course, Leinster aren't complaining. At least Ulster fans will be entitled to 50 per cent of the tickets in Dublin.

Highlanders: Ten starts. Nine losses. Not great.

Keegan Daniel: The Sharks loose forward has been a disappointment both as a captain and a player this season and is growing a reputation as being a bit of a glory boy. If reports in the Afrikaans tabloid press that he thinks there are "too many Afrikaners involved in Sharks rugby" are to be believed, then there is little wonder he "feels isolated" by the "cliques" in the squad.

PAU vs La Rochelle brawls: In case you missed it in Loose Pass on Monday, have a look at this mess. There is no place for that kind of thing in professional sport.

Compiled by Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
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ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00