Planet Rugby

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

28th January 2014 09:53

Share:

Hot or not feature image2 1

Hot: Kok and Blitzbokke

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!

Blitzbokke: Over the weekend, South Africa were the best team competing at the Las Vegas Sevens tournament and deservedly lifted the title after beating Argentina, Samoa and finally New Zealand in the knockout stages. Led by Kyle Brown, the likes of Branco du Preez and Frankie Horne stood out along with pace man Seabelo Senatla, who topped the try chart with six scores. A mention also for Werner Kok, an impact player who came off the bench superbly well in Nevada. He showed glimpses of having a big future at centre in the fifteens game so is definitely one to keep an eye on. His match-winning try against the All Blacks Sevens secured them the crown and with it they moved to the top of the Series chart ahead of the Wellington leg.

Canada: That was some performance from the Canadian Sevens side. Coming out of a pool that contained Wales, Kenya and South Africa, they went on to compete for big Series points in the Cup. Their last-eight clash saw them face France in the Cup quarter-finals where they went 0-14 down before coming back to win 17-14. It was then the mighty New Zealand in the semi-finals where they took an early lead but then were edged out 7-26 in a scoreline that didn't reflect the competitiveness of the game. But then, in their final fixture in Las Vegas, a third-place play-off against Samoa was probably the most dramatic of all. For the third time that weekend, Canada went behind early on, this time by a 0-19 scoreline, before an incredible fightback saw them level the match and then Phil Mack dropped a match-winning penalty on the hooter. The result gave Canada 17 World Series points, with two of their players, John Moonlight and Mack, being selected in the Vegas Dream Team.

François Trinh-Duc: The Montpellier fly-half is the man with the biggest smile in France this week after being recalled to the national squad for the first time since March last year. Called in from the cold = hot.

Ian Madigan and the Ireland Wolfhounds: Guided by the fly-half, the Wolfhounds outplayed the Saxons at Kingsholm. In a performance reminiscent of their first-team counterparts, the Wolfhounds defended well and dominated at the breakdown to avenge last year's loss. Madigan got the better of a struggling Freddie Burns from the tee in tricky conditions and crossed for a tenacious try off a quick tap. Though there was a more experienced and disciplined feel to the Irish squad than their opponents, it was nonetheless a good win.

Bayonne, Brive and Stade Français: Brive and Bayonne enjoyed fine weekend wins over Top 14 giants Toulon and Clermont respectively - both triumphant by more than seven points. Though the pair sit in ninth and twelfth position in the league table, wins such as these will come as big morale-boosters. Meanwhile, Stade Français rose to the top of the domestic pile with an excellent 32-6 defeat of defending champions Castres.


Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Toulon, Clermont and Toulouse: By contrast, one of the Top 14's notorious big-spenders now languish outside the top six on the leaderboard. Toulon have stumbled to defeats to the likes of Oyonnax and Grenoble so far this season, prompting questions to be raised over the future of coach Bernard Laporte, whose own boss Mourad Boudjellal a few weeks ago wondered if he would turn up on Monday. With the money spent, surely they shouldn't be lying in seventh place, with a small comfort being that only four points separates them from third spot. It doesn't look good anyway. Meanwhile, Toulouse were well beaten by Racing Metro while an injury-hit Clermont fell at Bayonne as they dropped off the Top 14 league summit. While Six Nations call-ups can hamper these two giants of the French game, performances like their ones over the weekend do not sit well with their supporters.

Abuse of Sam Warburton: Social media abuse of players, coaches, and anyone in the game does not sit well with us. Warburton, who this week signed a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union, has copped plenty of flak from 'rugby fans' (we use that term in the loosest possible sense) on social media site Twitter. Such personal attacks are seen in other sports but this has been creeping into rugby of late. Go outside and get a life, trolls.

Bottle top blunder: We're sure you have all seen those quick quiz questions underneath your beer bottle top for whichever sport. However, there was one on a Carlton Draught top in Australia pictured as asking: what number does an openside flanker usually wear? The answer given? Eight. Pictures, as they do, hit social media but credit to the beer company, who saw the funny side of this, as they put out a new bottle top saying: in 2014, which beer famously apologised to Australian rugby fans? The answer? Carlton Draught. All good fun.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
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
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
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
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