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

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