Planet Rugby

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

08th October 2013 13:07


Hot or not feature image

Hot - Ben Smith; Not - Worcester

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 smokin'!

All Blacks: Showed once again why they are the world champions with an unbelievable display against the Springboks in Johannesburg. Despite a gallant effort from the Boks, the men in black made it look so easy as they clinched another Rugby Championship title.

Wallabies: Most enthusiasts wrote off Ewen McKenzie's charges ahead of their final Rugby Championship clash with the Pumas in Rosario. The men in gold, however, delivered a clinical performance, scoring seven tries as they beat their hosts, who had to be satisfied with the tournament's wooden spoon for the second successive year.

Montpellier: They are currently level on points with Toulon at the top of the Top 14 table and showed they mean business, as title contenders, with a superb display in their 45-20 victory over Oyonnax.

Ben Smith: This guy's been in this section of the column on several occasions since the start of the season. His form for New Zealand has been phenomenal and he set a new Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship try-scoring record by crossing the whitewash on eight occasions in six matches! Such form surely makes him a candidate for the IRB's Player of the Year award.

Yoann Huget: The Toulouse speedster appears to have found his form in time for his club's Heineken Cup campaign after scoring a hat-trick against arch-rivals Stade Franšais.

Wellington: Another scintilating performance from the Lions against Auckland means that coach Chris Boyd and his charges have now won nine out of nine games in the ITM Cup.

Broken thermostat:

Springboks: Lost the war, yes, but their performance at Ellis Park showed they are more than capable of winning future battles against New Zealand. The Boks needed four tries in victory while also depriving the All Blacks of a losing or try bonus-point and give them credit, they came close to achieving what many thought was an impossible mission. Two-try Bryan Habana was superb and one wonders what might have happened had he not hobbled off in the first-half. It was an excellent performance from the number one and two ranked teams in the world. From that game, this pair are a long way ahead of the pack. We were of course tempted to add them to the top half of this list, but at the end of the day, losing at home - at your fortress - isn't hot.

Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Argentina: How to shoot yourself in the foot 101: Push the opposition scrum over their try-line but forget to bring the ball along with one. That one moment summed up the Pumas performance. Convert a try early and level up the scores and Australia might have been made to sweat a little bit more. Instead it sucked away the momentum and the hosts were then thrashed.

Worcester: Things aren't looking great for the Warriors after five straight defeats in the Aviva Premiership. They have a break for European rugby this week but things don't get much easier for Dean Ryan's men as they go to Oyonnax in the Amlin Challenge Cup. This is the same side that beat Clermont, Castres and Toulon. Good luck Worcester.

Martin Landajo: No possible justification for repeatedly stamping on a guy's hand when he's trapped under a pile of bodies. Wayne Barnes was clearly feeling generous as the incident took place right in front of him. What's more, Landajo has only copped a one-week ban for the offence.

Bay of Plenty: Will be competing in the Championship next season after going down to Waikato at the weekend. That result means the Steamers have suffered eight defeats from nine games with their only victory registered way back on August 25 against Hawke's Bay..

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table