Planet Rugby

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

08th October 2013 13:07

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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
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
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International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
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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
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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