Planet Rugby

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

03rd May 2012 16:30

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Hot or not feature april 3

On fire: Ruan Pienaar - Embarrassed: Will Genia

It's 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 smooooookin!

Tim Visser, Ruan Pienaar and Stephen Ferris: Last weekend's Heineken Cup semi-final in Dublin offered up a bunch of great performances. Visser was a threat whenever he had the ball. Surely the 'Flying Dutchman' will get a heap of Test caps as soon as he qualifies for Scotland. Pienaar put on another masterclass of goal-kicking and game management while Ferris was a real soldier, fighting through the pain barrier and throwing himself into rucks even when it was clear his body was calling for an end to the punishment.

Nathan Hines, Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton: We were promised a battle in Bordeaux and we weren't disappointed. The Clermont injury list in the wake of their European semi-final loss is a testament to just how hard Leinster were made to fight for a spot in the final. Hines was a tower of strength against his old club while Kearney and Sexton were at the origin of all their side's points via the kicking tee, a drop-goal, a decisive line-break and a half-time pep talk.

Edinburgh's positive approach: Scotland's first European semi-finalists were on the wrong end of a tight result but it certainly wasn't due to a lack of fighting spirit or positive intentions. We like the way Edinburgh play the game - unfortunately for them it's not an approach that allows much margin for error.

Robbie Freuan: Two tries for the Crusaders, including the winner against the 'Tahs on Sunday. How much longer before we see Freuan in black?

Mike Catt: Congrats to the latest addition to the England backroom staff. Will Catt have the magic touch needed to guide England to victory in the land of his birth?

5 x Bulls coaches: Well done to Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher, John McFarland and Basil Carzis, who have all joined Heyneke Meyer in swapping blue for green and gold. No prizes for guessing the style of rugby we'll be seeing from the Springboks over the next four years.


Someone turn on the heater...!

James Haskell, Justin Downey and Marius Jonker: The England flank got banned for three weeks for landing a couple of proper haymakers. No arguments there - punching is not hot. But we couldn't help wonder why the Highlanders flank lashed out the way he did. Taking a closer look at the video clip it seems that Downey comes suspiciously close to grabbing a handful of the Haskell's man bits...if that was the intention, it's WAY not hot. Of course, the ref can only act on the information given to him. His touchies said 'red'. A few furious Cheetahs fans would like to know why Jonker pulled out a yellow.

Butch James: Some things never change. 'No arms' Butch strikes again. And why the high-fives afterwards?

Biarritz v Brive: French club rugby has always been prone to a bit of biffo, but this was ridiculous. There were more punches landed that points scored. There seems to be trend emerging in Biarritz games of late and it's not pleasant.

Will Genia: I'm off to Perth. No, I'm staying. Actually, I'm going. Waaaaiit...no, I'm staying.What's that? You've already sent out a press release? Doh! The Wallaby scrum-half was left rather red-faced on Monday morning. At least it'll match the colour of his jersey.

Sias Ebersohn: How did he miss? Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a truckload of fruit baskets sent from Dunedin were recently delivered to the Ebersohn residence. They were left on the porch...

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