Planet Rugby

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

22nd July 2013 18:39

Share:

Hot not july 22 2013

Hot: Crusaders - Not: Overly-optimistic ticket sales

It's time for Planet Rugby's weekly wrap of who has their name in lights this week ... and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

They're on fire!

Crusaders: Written off by many as being 'past their best' and 'not the force they used to be', the Crusaders sent a message out to their Super Rugby rivals over the weekend with an emphatic performance in sweeping past the Reds. Todd Blackadder and his men will now travel to Hamilton full of confidence for a semi-final against the defending champions, the Chiefs. Even the bookies are now backing a Bulls v Crusaders final at Loftus.

Brumbies: Into the semi-finals for the first time since 2004 - when they last claimed the title - the Brumbies must now travel to Loftus Versfeld, where they have not won since 2006. But if ever there was side that was playing the kind of rugby that could beat the Bulls at their own game, it's Jake White's team.

Ryan Crotty's beard: No, the Crusaders centre is not just keeping up with the latest trends in facial hair. Crotty has joined his mate Robbie Fruean in "going caveman" until the latter returns from his lay-off after undergoing heart surgery. Solidarity with a team-mate going through a rough time exemplifies the spirit of our game. Hot!

Black Ferns: A tip of the hat to New Zealand's ladies after they demolished England in the final Test to claim a 3-0 series win.


Broken Thermostat:

Cheetahs: We're not used to pulling punches in this feature and normally when you lose, your name goes into the bottom half. But the Cheetahs were desperately unlucky not to force extra time in Canberra - despite outscoring their hosts two tries to none - as Riaan Smit's late conversion hit the upright. Losing isn't hot, and it never will be, but we felt it would be too harsh to stick the men from the Free State in the freezer. Are we growing soft?


Brrrr....someone turn the heater up!

Irish financial planning: Money is a bit tight in many parts of the world these days and Ireland has been through a particularly bad patch. You don't need to be an economist to know that when times are tough, people are generally reluctant to spend vast sums of money on entertainment in the form of say, rugby tickets. Hands up if you've got a spare 9000 Euros ( US$11850/ £7725) lying around to spend on tickets that you may or may not be available to use over the next decade...So what on earth were the decision makers at the IRFU thinking when they decided to hinge their financial future on selling long-term tickets? The net result is the "belt tightening" that is now a necessity and is likely to mean that there are less funds available to keep Irish talent in Ireland.

Reds: As anti-climatic ends to seasons go, Saturday's capitulation at AMI Stadium has to rank right up there. The 2011 champs were totally outplayed in Christchurch as a handful of senior players looked pretty disinterested by half time. Defeat to the B&I Lions has clearly left a scar. Ewen McKenzie's first task when he meets up with the same players in the Wallaby camp is to revive their fighting spirit.

Booing fans: OK, we get it, Quade Cooper ruffled a few Kiwi feathers a while back. But it's old news now and booing belongs to soccer stadiums. Time to move on.

Misguided fashion statements: Gloucester have become the latest club to jump on the pink bandwagon after unveiling their new-look kit for the upcoming Premiership campaign, including a Stade Franšais-esque away strip. We're all for innovation and breaking with the ordinary but there is nothing new about wearing pink. Not even the Parisians are doing it anymore. When Max Guazzini brought the pink revolution to the French capital - eight years ago - his aim was to break down stereotypes and create a buzz around his club with something no one had dared imagine before. At least when the Bulls went pink, they went the whole hog (excuse the pun) and came up with something flash. Although Gloucester's pink kit is supposed to "complement the style of rugby played by the club's young, exciting and dynamic squad" it's really just a dull copy, of a copy, of a copy. As one of our readers pointed out, "the object of team colours is so that supporters can identify with their team." How many Gloucester fans out there fancy swapping cherry and white for pink and blue?

Compiled by Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
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
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00