Planet Rugby

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

24th September 2013 14:41

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Hot or not september 24 2013

Hot: Zebre - Not: Euro mess

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

They're on fire!

Montpellier: Hands up if you can remember the last time Clermont got thrashed by 40 points? No one? Didn't think so. Outsiders at 50/1 for the Heineken Cup a week ago, those odds have been slashed to 33/1... and we predict they'll continue coming down.

Zebre and Treviso: Don't cry for me Italia! While fans and administrators across the continent are up in arms over the likelihood that Italian rugby may be excluded from future European club competition, many of us forgot that Treviso may well be good enough to 'qualify' for a revamped competition by finishing in the top six of the Pro12. Victory over Munster certainly added some weight to that argument. But of course it was the guys in the silly stripy jerseys that stole the headlines. Congrats to Zebre for claiming their first Pro12 win of their history, in Cardiff. We sincerely hope that many more will follow - having two strong teams in Italy makes the Pro12 a more competitive league and benefits everyone.

Saracens: Fifteen points out of a possible 15. Demolished Bath. Perfect start to the Premiership season = Hot.

Wellington: Unbeaten in seven games and four points clear at the top of the ITM Cup standings, the Lions were too good for champions Canterbury on Saturday, claiming a vital win in the race for the New Zealand domestic title.

The Sharks: Top of the Currie Cup standings after putting 50 points past the Cheetahs. The boys from Durban must be considered the hot favourites for the title.

Western Province: We seriously considered putting WP in the 'Not Hot' section this week after their abysmal game management almost cost them victory against the Griquas on Friday. But, in the end, they got the job done and bagged four points to maintain their unbeaten streak after seven Currie Cup starts. Kudos.

Danny Cipriani: For a change, Cipriani was making the headlines ON the field over the weekend. The hero for Sale as he came off the bench to score 21 points in a morale-boosting win over Wasps, it was a fine performance from the fly-half whom everyone loves to hate.

Stade Franšais: Boasting five victories from seven games (that's one more win than leaders Top 14 leaders Toulon) the Parisians are showing their best form for years.


Someone turn up the heater!

European Cup/Rugby Champions Cup/Clubs v Unions... mudslinging debacle: What a mess. What an almighty mess! No need for us to start pointing fingers - the protagonists have done plenty of that already. Read all about it here.

Cardiff Blues: Losing to Zebre is not a great way to build momentum early in the season. At least they're practically guaranteed a spot in Europe.... whoops, maybe not.

Kingsholm controversy: Northampton thought they had won a pulsating encounter with Gloucester following a brilliant run from Wales star George North, which set up fellow wing Jamie Elliott for a wonder score. Stephen Myler's conversion in front of the posts put Saints a point ahead with less than a minute remaining on the clock. But, with boss Jim Mallinder having made his way down to the sideline for the closing seconds, referee Greg Garner missed Gloucester players being in front of the kicker at the restart before awarding the home side a penalty for offside when the ball looked to have shot out the back of a resulting scrum. Cue Mallinder kicking the advertising hoarding in anger. Even our favourite Tweeter @Eliota_Sapolu thought is was dodgy.

Basque rugby: Rugby in the Pays Basque is in a dire state with both participants of this weekend's derby in the relegation zone. Biarritz are stone last with six losses in seven starts. At least Bayonne can take encouragement from a hard-fought - but well-deserved - losing bonus point away to Toulon. Calls for a unified Basque team are growing, but considering the rivalry between the red and blue camps on the Atlantic coast, it's unlikely to ever be a marriage made in rugby heaven.

Overzealous TMOs: We're not fans of having a dig at match officials but Shaun Veldsman's "mystery punch" intervention at Newlands last Friday is one of the worst TMO calls we've ever seen. Have a look below.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39