Planet Rugby

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

14th April 2014 09:06

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Hot or Not for April 14

Seven cards: West Country derby

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.

Hot:

Glasgow and Ospreys: Seven days after Munster put 40 points on the mighty Toulouse at their Thomond Park stronghold, the Warriors rolled into town and took the hosts apart. Gregor Townsend's men outscored the Irish three tries to one, and should have had a fourth when Ryan Wilson butchered an overlap and was held up over the line. The result was all the more important after the Ospreys downed Leinster with an resolute display on Friday.

Western Force: At PR Towers, the general consensus was that the Force's impressive, and indeed record-breaking Super Rugby run would come to an end against the Waratahs, even minus Israel Folau. But it was another Wallaby, the mischievous master of metaphors Nick Cummins who shone, scoring a supercharged hat-trick to guide the hosts to victory. Let's not overlook the influence of Matt Hodgson either, leading from the front in defence.

Leicester Tigers: Not a great performance from the Tigers on Saturday, but a bonus-point win over a tricky Wasps outfit keeps up their title defence on the same weekend Niki Goneva committed his future to Welford Road. They will, as they do, peak at just the right time in the Premiership.

Piri Weepu: After a minor stroke and subsequent heart surgery, Weepu has resumed full training with the Blues this week. We're sure you'll join us in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.

Marcelo Bosch: The classy Argentine was in resplendent form as Saracens extended their lead at the Premiership summit, scoring 11 points in a 28-24 win. He slotted a pair of long-range penalties with apparent ease, and dotted down for what proved to be the winning try against Northampton.

London Irish: That was much better from the Exiles as they did not give Newcastle a sniff in Reading, scoring six tries on the day as winger Andy Fenby picked up a hat-trick while Fergus Mulchrone, Eamonn Sheridan and Gerard Ellis also crossed in a dominant 40-12 victory that pulls them twelve points clear of the Falcons. London Irish will now set their sights on looking to catch Gloucester, who are now just six points better off.

Crusaders: 50 points in Bloemfontein as Todd Blackadder's outfit seem to have found their form following early-season concerns. Nemani Nadolo scored a hat-trick in a high-scoring game that marked another feather in the cap for the Crusaders, as they left South Africa with two wins from two.


Broken Thermo:

Sharks: On the one hand, the Sharks' 25-12 derby victory over the Lions was a contender for worst Super Rugby game of the season. One try was scored, making for dire, unimaginative contact-oriented play and precious little entertainment value. On the other, we must commend Jake White's men for grinding out the 25-12 victory at a venue where several bigger names have fallen this season, retaining their spot atop the overall standings.


Not:

West Country derby: Ridiculous scenes at Kingsholm as referee Tim Wigglesworth gave out an incredible seven cards - five yellow and two red. Wigglesworth ordered off Tavis Knoyle for what Bath boss Mike Ford would later refer to as "an assault", and was pelted with a bottle from the home stand upon leaving the field. It was a crying shame to see one of the Premiership's most hard-fought fixtures deteriorate into chaos, ill feeling and violence not befitting our game.

Ausralian Rugby Union: What is going on? The Waratahs doctor clears star player Israel Folau to start against conference rivals the Force but then ARU doctors insisted Folau stood down from taking part in Perth. Cue anger from 'Tahs head coach Michael Cheika, who said the player had gone through physical testing throughout the week and was fit to play. Folau himself then went public in saying he was "very disappointed and frustrated".

Welsh rugby: With the European dispute apparently resolved to the satisfaction of most, the Welsh Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales remain at loggerheads over the future of the domestic game. The sticking points are the same as when this row-turned-civil war first reared its head last year. And Welsh fans are entitled to feel a little fed up of the corporate speak and politics blighting one of rugby's true heartlands.

Reds: Back-to-back home defeats to Aussie rivals, the Reds do not seem to be the force they once were. While he's not playing badly, fly-half Quade Cooper seems to be adopting a more conservative game that a couple of years ago and it's making life a little easier for defences like the one from Canberra last Friday. The Brumbies' 23-20 win now puts them ten points clear of the Reds with a crucial bye week now requiring in-depth analysis of their gameplan. When they return they go to the Hurricanes and Blues, which are now must-win.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00