Planet Rugby

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

06th June 2012 10:50

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hot not june 6

Hot: Dave Dennis's girlfriend - Not: His Super Rugby franchise

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.

They're on fire!

Scotland: Just in case you've been living in a media black hole, Scotland claimed their first win on Australian soil since 1982 on Tuesday. The question now is, can any of their northern hemisphere counterparts win over the weekend?

Fiji and Samoa: Fiji beat defending Pacific Nations Cup champions Japan and Samoa edged Tonga to warm up for their respective Tests against Scotland. The tourists shouldn't count on rain helping them out the way it did in Newcastle when they go Island hopping next week.

The Crusaders and Hurricanes: Most people expected a close game in Christchurch last weekend but Todd Blackadder's outfit were devastating. Seven tries later, the Highlanders didn't know what hit them. With DC looking sharp and King Richie back, an eighth Super Rugby title is on the cards. The Crusaders weren't the only Kiwi side in rampant form as the 'Canes bagged maximum points in Sydney to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The Lions: You never know with this these guys, do you? In typically unexpected fashion, the Lions finally hit their straps and blitzed the Sharks, just when South African fans were getting their hopes up of seeing three teams in the play-offs. The Sharks will now have to beat the Bulls on the penultimate weekend to have any chance of making the cut.

Asaeli Tikoirotuma: Four tries in one game? That's HOT!

Vincent Clerc: France's number one try-scorer showed what a quality player he is on Saturday with an outstanding piece of defence, chasing down Max Evans, tackling him and then rolling the Castres centre onto his back as they went over the whitewash to prevent a try. Tackle of the year?

Mo'onia Gerrard: Sister of former Wallaby Mark and cousin of Wycliff Palu, Ms Gerrard is a World Champion netball player and the girlfriend of new Wallaby Dave Dennis. And she's pretty hot. Well played Dave!


Bbbrrrr... Someone turn up the heater!

Wallabies: Tri-Nations champions v Six Nations wooden spooners = forgone conclusion, right? Right? Oh...maybe not.

Waratahs: Last Saturday's hammering by the Hurricanes meant the 'Tahs have now lost six consecutive games. This is the worst Waratahs team in the history of Super Rugby. It all seems to be coming apart in the second period for the Sydneysiders, who have racked up a positive points difference in the second half in only two of their fourteen games so far. This is despite leading seven of those games at half time. Strewth!

Sale sign Redpath: For weeks rumours run rampant that Bryan Redpath will leave Gloucester for Sale. With two years remaining on his contract, Redpath quits Kingsholm on the eve of the clash with the Sharks. Gloucester threaten legal attack if they discover evidence that an approach from Sale was behind Redpath's exit. Then silence, for six weeks. The dusts settles. On June 1 - surprise, surprise - Sale confirm the appointment of Redpath as their new director of rugby. Sale chief executive Steve Diamond insists that he only approached Redpath once he had parted company with Gloucester. And we're supposed to believe that?

Top 14 semi-finals: International players as far as the eye can see and not a single try in 160 minutes of rugby. Boooooooring!

Clermont: A month or so ago, the European-French double looked within reach. After falling just short against Leinster, les Jaunards were favourites to claim the Top 14 title, but shot themselves in the foot - repeatedly - against Toulon in last Sunday's semi-final. Even the Toulon staff admitted afterwards that Clermont had been the stronger side. But their inability to finish, or come up with a 'Plan B' when it started to rain, meant that 2012 will go down as yet another 'nearly year' in the Auvergne.

Overloaded Calendar We've been beating this drum for years, but each year the rugby calendar gets more and more congested. Test matches on the Tuesday? A Top 14 Final in the middle of June? Super Rugby until August? Tests in December? World Cups overlapping with domestic leagues? It's madness. Does anyone doubt we would have seen a different result in Newcastle had the Wallabies been able to line-up a full-strength team? The Springboks will have all of five days to prepare for their first Test against England. France are allowing stalwarts like Thierry Dusautoir to have a breather in June by sending a below-strength team to Argentina, where they'll be welcomed by a second-string Pumas team as their best players are rested for the Rugby Champion. Too many fixtures dilute the spectacle and below-strength teams devalue Test caps. We've said it before and we'll say it again: less is more! Unfortunately, it seems no one is listening.

By Ross Hastie

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