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
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
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
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615