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 , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821