Planet Rugby

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

03rd December 2013 10:05

Share:

Wales Fiji hot not

Scalding hot in Dubai: Fiji

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!

Rachel Crothers: On her Series debut, the 19-year-old took Dubai by storm over the weekend as she scored a hat-trick in an epic final against New Zealand. She was impressive throughout the tournament but it was on the biggest stage that she performed best, helping Australia overturn a 0-22 deficit to eventually win 35-27. Crothers comes from a beach sprinting background. Australian selectors should get back down there.

Cyprus: A week after New Zealand celebrated 14 wins from 14 in 2013, Cyprus recorded an outstanding 21st successive international victory. Winning 22-8 in Paphos, the Moufflons can now add Austria (their second win against them in this excellent run) to Azerbaijan, Monaco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Bulgaria, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia (all also twice), Slovakia and Hungary to the list of defeated teams. Congratulations to them.

Fiji Sevens: Where did that come from? Beating the All Blacks Sevens 44-0 in their semi-final in a quite outstanding performance, Fiji then overcame South Africa 29-17 to lift the Dubai title. Whether Fiji's glory days are about to return is still too early to say but there were several positive signs for new coach Ben Ryan to work with. Samisoni Viriviri and Osea Kolinisau were outstanding while Pio Tuwai set up the try of Dubai, votes decided today.

Barbarians v Fiji: Long live the Barbarians tradition. That was some display at Twickenham as the Baa-baas won 43-19 with some superb tries scored in a game celebrating Fiji's centenary year. Niko Matawalu was outstanding against a world-class team. Although the fact Nateni Talei had to play two matches in 24 hours due to the fixture falling outside the IRB window was ridiculous. Anyway, here's to the next 100 years of flowing Fijian rugby.

Quade Cooper: Right back to his best. We saw the audacious offloads in the first-half, the trademark sidestep in the second against Wales as Cooper stole the show. When playing with that much confidence, he is uncontainable. Wales said they were chasing shadows.

Northampton: Coming into this weekend's Heineken Cup double header against Leinster, the Saints are on a seven-game winning streak. They will also have George North back on the wing. What a contest we have in store at first Franklin's Gardens and then the RDS.


Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Wales: No win in nine against Australia. No win in 18 against one of the SANZAR teams. If Wales want to win a World Cup, they'll have to be able to beat them. It's still not happening.

Biarritz: French teams pride themselves on having a strong home record so losing 22-15 to Bordeaux-Bègles was another significant blow to morale at Biarritz. Eight points off Oyonnax and Bayonne at the foot of the Top 14 standings going into the Amlin Challenge Cup break, Biarritz will hope to turn things around against England's struggler, Worcester. Expect an air of desperation at Sixways Stadium and Parc des Sports d'Aguilera over this fortnight.

Welsh gambler: Roofing contractor Steve Richards, of Pontypridd, recently won £38,970 (46,937 euros, $63,800) after correctly predicting 12 soccer matches. He then chose to put a large stake on Wales to finally overcome their losing streak against Australia, only keeping £8,000 of his winnings. While insisting he has no regrets, deep down surely that one hurts.

Connacht: The PRO12 side lost 43-10 at Edinburgh last Friday in a dismal showing that leaves them a point off the eleventh placed Zebre and seven behind Treviso. This standing is far cry from the optimism that came when Pat Lam and Craig Clarke arrived in Galway.


Arctic Circle

Worcester Warriors: Oh, Worcester. Sometimes a team is just not hot for so long that we need an inventive way to discuss them. Hence why this week after nine losses from nine matches in the Aviva Premiership, Worcester find themselves in the Arctic Circle. There was hope of a spark when they led 10-9 at half-time against Northampton, before they went on to concede 24 unanswered points and lose once again. Relegation seems unavoidable.

By Adam Kyriacou and Ben Coles
@PlanetRugbyAK and @bencoles_

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00