Planet Rugby

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

05th November 2013 10:52

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Hot or not Novmeber 5 2013

Hot: Scoring lots of tries - Not: Going backwards

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 on fire!

Saracens: Still top of the Premiership after their five-try, 40-point demolition of Newcastle, Sarries have now claimed six wins from their seven domestic games so far. Impressive.

Matt Giteau and Jonny Wilkinson: All the pre-game hype ahead of Toulon's clash against Bordeaux-Begles surrounded Bryan Habana, who made his first Top 14 start in front of the Stade Felix Mayol faithful. But Giteau and Wilko stole the limelight as the former Wallaby scored yet another try while newly-married Jonny kicked 22 points, including two drops. RCT went on to win 37-17.

Chris Robshaw: England's captain was one of their better players against the Wallabies. Good awareness saw Robshaw pounce for the try that levelled the scores, whilst he also made more tackles than any other player on either team with 14. For a player whose leadership and place were under threat before November, this was a statement of intent.

David Strettle: Six tries in seven Premiership matches this season make Strettle the form winger in England. Christian Wade is not far behind him with four. Chris Ashton has scored two and was ineffective against Australia. Based on current form, it seems pretty harsh to leave Strettle out of not just the England side, but the whole squad.

Scarlets: Unbeaten since October 5th, the Scarlets have been on an impressive run both domestically and in Europe. Their win over Harlequins at the Stoop was a shock but they backed it up with a 26-26 draw at Parc y Scarlets against the star-studded Racing Metro. A frustrating draw with Zebre followed, but a possible loss was avoided away in Italy, before they defeated frontrunners Ulster on Saturday. Simon Easterby's side are in very good shape given his team sit top of their Heineken Cup pool and in the Pro12's top six.


Broken Thermostat:

England: Winning against one of the souther hemisphere giants normally earns a spot in the top half of this column, but Stuart Lancaster's boys were luke warm at best. Victory at Twickenham came courtesy of a healthy dose of good fortune as their new-look midfield failed to fire, points were left by the wayside from the tee and the tactics in general were less than inspiring. That performance would not have worried the All Blacks.

James O'Connor: We were ready to put rugby's Bieber in the hot section at full time of his debut for Exiles but he then proceeded to walk around waving to fans with a fat grin on his face, even though his team lost. Then he was spotted at a popular London watering hole putting away Jäger bombs. Then he was spotted in France chatting to Toulon's recruitment chief...living the dream man, living the dream.


Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Match Officials at Twickenham: "Not enough" obstruction? Eh? There either was or wasn't obstruction from Dylan Hartley in the build up to Owen Farrell's try...and there clearly was. Penalty to Australia.

Wallabies: The officials didn't do Australia any favours at Twickenham but Ewen McKenzie's team didn't exactly shut England down either. The Wallaby pack gained a TOTAL of 45m over the course of 80 minutes. All Will Genia wants for Christmas is a bit of 'front foot ball'.

Toulouse: France's most decorated team have yet to win away from home in the Top 14 this season. They were dismal in the first half against Brive, most notably in the set-piece. Guy Novès equated his team's sloppy performance in the first 40 minutes to a "training session." Not good enough.

Worcester: Zero from Seven. Enough said.

Newcastle: 69 points scored in seven games. That's an average of 9.8. Worcester will come right eventually, but if the Falcons want to stay up they need to start scoring a few points.

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