Planet Rugby

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

16th May 2012 14:07

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Hot not may 16

Hot: Harlequins

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 on fire!

Quins and Tigers: When the chips were down, Harlequins came up with the goods in their semi-final. Can they overcome one last hurdle and beat the most successful club in the history of English rugby? Leicester are clearly carrying a lot of momentum right now - as the defending champions found out. The Premiership Final on May 26 promises to be epic.

Ospreys: The Welsh side absolutely demolished Munster to advance to the PRO12 Final and extend their winning streak to six games. Leinster may have dominated in the PRO12 this season, but they are far from guaranteed success in the title showdown in Dublin.

The Rebels and Sharks: The Rebels' win over the Crusaders will go down as one of the biggest Super Rugby upsets in recent years. The departure of Danny Cipriani has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. They're a different side with Kurtley Beale pulling the strings. On the opposite side of the Indian Ocean, the Sharks were dishing out a beating to the Western Force. A play-off in Durban is within reach.

The crowd at the London Sevens: A world record two-day crowd of 103,027 passed through the Twickenham turnstiles over the weekend. Plenty of lemonades were consumed and great time was had by all. Don't forget to wear a colourful wig if you plan on going next year.

Fiji and New Zealand: Fiji did as much as they possibly could to snatch the World Sevens Series crown by winning in London but the title race was already over by the quarter-finals when New Zealand's big over South Africa was enough to clinch the nine-round series for the tenth time.

Tom Homer and Rob Miller: London Irish sharpshooter Homer bagged 278 points for the Exiles to end the season as the Premiership's top points scorer. Miller touched down ten times for Sale Sharks, to finish as the league's top hitman.

Timoci Nagusa and Conrad Barnard: The top scorers in France, Nagusa scored eleven tries for Montpellier and Barnard contributed 267 points to the Castres campaign.

Tim Visser and Dan Biggar: 13 tries for the Edinburgh wing and 241 points for the Ospreys pivot leave them top of the charts in the PRO12. Both thoroughly deserve their call-ups for Scotland and Wales respectively.


Bbbrrrr... Get these guys some hot soup!

Blitzbokke: Few countries invest as much into their Sevens program as South Africa but the men in green failed to win a single tournament this season. In fact, they only made one final, at home in Nelson Mandela Bay. Getting klapped by the Kiwis in London was a vrot way to end the season.

Munster: No silverware for the Red Army this year. After stuttering all season, Munster's PRO12 title defence went up in smoked as they got burnt badly in Swansea last weekend.

The Stormers v Cheetahs fight: The scenes at Newlands were not pleasant to watch.

Meaningless suspensions: Speaking of unsightly dust ups, the biffo between Toulouse and Montpellier saw Mamuka Gorgodze and Yoann Maestri handed red cards. But at the subsequent disciplinary hearings they were banned for a 10-day period during which neither side will take the field, meaning they're both eligibly for the upcoming Top 14 knock-out games. Huh? What use is that? It's a point we've made before but it's worth repeating as it applies around the world. Suspension periods should be counted in games, not days.

Robbie Fruean and Andre Taylor: ...well, at least according to the national selectors in New Zealand, who don't think they're not hot enough for the black jersey. According to our poll, you reckon that the Crusaders centre and the Hurricanes full-back are the unluckiest absentees from the world champions' training squad. We tend to agree.

Worcester Warriors, Aironi, Biarritz: We like to see tries, so we'll end this week's ice-box awards with the teams that scored the fewest five-pointers in their respective championships this season. The fact that Biarritz finished mid-table in the Top 14 suggests it may be time for a review of the bonus-point system in France, where a team must outscore the opposition by three tries to get an extra championship point.

Compiled by Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954