Planet Rugby

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

11th January 2012 18:30


Hot or not feature image2

Saints: Hot! - Willie Ripie....Not!

It's time for our weekly wrap up of who is setting the benchmarks at the moment... and who should be dropped to the bench!

They're on fire!

Northampton: Are Harlequins running out of steam or are Saints hitting their straps? Probably a bit of both. Northampton dominated proceedings against the Premiership leaders last Friday with a display that would not have gone unnoticed at Vicarage Road or at Welford Road. Unlike Sarries, Tigers and Quins, Jim Mallinder's men can focus their efforts on the domestic front since their Heineken Cup goose is all but cooked. Beware!

Ulster and Biarritz: We copped a lot of flak for including these two in this section last week but it's not hot to say 'told you so,' so we'll let the results speak for themselves: Ulster scored four more tries at Murrayfield on Friday to go with the four they ran past Munster a week before. Meanwhile, Biarritz became only the second club to win in Agen this season (after Toulouse) as they continued their revival. Next up, Leicester and Saracens respectively in the Heineken Cup.

Billy Twelvetrees: By his own admission, Toby Flood's understudy didn't have his best game at pivot for Leicester against Wasps, but with a 29-point haul - which included two tries - we're pretty sure he wasn't crying in his beer in the shed afterwards!

Sam Warburton: Wales' skipper was recently named the Rugby Union Writers' Club's Personality for 2011. That tip tackle aside, who said nice guys finish last?

Toulouse: No one expected Lyon to trouble the French champs at fortress Ernest Wallon last weekend but a 51-point, six-try romp reassured everyone that the Big Red Machine is firing on all cylinders. Spare a thought for Connacht, who are next on the menu. Gulp!

Get these guys some hot chocolate!

Willie Ripia: If reports about Ripia stealing money from his Force team-mates to pay for a gambling habit are true then the Kiwi fly-half has set a new Not Hot High Score.

The bad medical joke(r): Lady luck is being a two-faced wench again. After Ezra Taylor's two-minute Worcester debut last week, Toulouse hooker Akvsenti Giorgadze didn't do much better, only lasting 15 minutes in his first game before tearing a thigh muscle. The Georgain international had only just been recruited as a 'medical joker' to cover for Gary Botha, who has a broken leg. The moral of the story? Stay far away from black cats, cracks on the pavement and anyone wearing a Toulouse number 2 jersey.

England veterans: Apparently old school isn't cool in England anymore. 26-year-old Toby Flood is now the most-capped player in England's Elite Player Squad. If you were born before 1985, it just got a lot harder to crack the nod for the white jersey.

Mourad Boudjellal: Has Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu started a trend? Is there some kind of 'crazy quotes competition' going on that we're not aware of? There's nothing new about club bosses ranting about refs but Boudjellal's "refereeing sodomy" remarks have set a new benchmark for ungentlemanly aggression. To then hint that the LNR's decision to call him before a disciplinary hearing might have something to do with his ethnicity smacks of sour grapes. He said he would retract his comments "the day referees apologise." Well, the ref in question, Christophe Berdos, has admitted he made an error. The ball is in your court, Mourad.

Compiled by Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
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Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
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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
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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
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
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
Aviva Premiership Table
5Leicester Tigers00