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

08th Jul 2014, 06:57

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Hot! The Honey Badger. Not - Ulster.

Hot! The Honey Badger. Not - Ulster.

It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment...and who's making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment...and who's making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

They're on fire!

Waratahs: Wrapped up the league leaders shield on Sunday with a comprehensive victory over the Highlanders as their mix of power and pace was again superb. Six tries were scored by the home side as Rob Horne, Israel Folau, Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps, Jacques Potgieter and Taqele Naiyaravoro went over. They are now seven points clear at the top and end the regular-season against the Reds, safe in the knowledge they have a home semi-final.

Nemani Nadolo: How they missed him last week against the Hurricanes. Nadolo returned for the Crusaders' clash with the Blues and was arguably the difference with his two-try performance. The man mountain was given great ball due to the inclusion of Dan Carter alongside Colin Slade as Todd Blackadder's side demonstrated a willingness to go wide. With this Fijian waiting to bounce off would-be tacklers, that tactic is set to continue.

Nick Cummins: The Honey Badger announced this week that he would be moving to Japan at the end of the season in order to take up a big-money contract. The reason for sacrificing a spot in Australia's World Cup squad? Unique family circumstances. This video explains Cummins' selflessness.

Namibia: Cruised to the World Cup after beating Madagascar 89-10 on Sunday. Namibia were 63-0 up at the half-time break and things didn't get much better for the hosts as they could not live with the power and pace of their visitors, who booked a fifth straight appearance in the tournament.

Test in Samoa: Could it be happening? The All Blacks are reportedly finally going to face Samoa in Samoa. The New Zealand Herald have revealed that an agreement is in place to stage the fixture at Apia Park probably in late July next year. We bet the 15,000 seats will be sold out in no time.

Lions: Let's face it - not many of us thought that the Lions would rack up six wins in 2014. In fact few thought they would rack up any at all. The men from Jo'burg have pleasantly surprised us all, built around a power game through the excellent Willie Britz, Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley to name a few. Marnitz Boshoff has been outstanding.




Broken thermostat

Rugby's Money Men : It's hard to argue with the Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal's comments regarding the need for a reform of France's - and really, world rugby's - transfer system. The millionaire club owner says big spenders will never to really be motivated to develop their own talent if it's cheaper to simply buy the products of other clubs' academies. But traditionalist will always find fault with the methodology currently being employed by a handful of wealthy businessmen - like Boudjellal and Racing's Jacky Lorenzetti, who have made buying and selling players a personal hobby. Clubs that invest in developing youngsters are paying the price so that a few rich men can stoke their egos.




Get these guys a cup of warm soup!

Sharks: As the season boils down to the final game and the Waratahs and Crusaders picked up crucial wins, the Sharks slipped up in Bloemfontein against bottom side the Cheetahs. A number of Springboks were rested and they could have snatched a late draw through SP Marais, but it wasn't to be. Have they peaked too soon? Next week in Cape Town is a chance for them to silence those doubts, but also a massive ask with the Stormers recent upturn in form. Level on 46 points with the Crusaders, they have to win for a home semi-final.

Hugh McMeniman:We're all for playing with intensity, but McMeniman on Saturday at times just played like an idiot. His needless knee-drop on Ben Lucas has now got him banned for this week's massive clash with the Brumbies. Not the smartest move.

Bulls: They needed to win and if possible pick up a try bonus-point to give themselves the best possible chance of progressing into the play-offs. Being nilled was certainly not what the Bulls were after as they went down to a rugged Stormers outfit. A home season finale against an out-of-sorts Rebels side has to bring a response at Loftus otherwise the Capetonians may overtake them, knocking the Bulls down to third in the conference.

Rebels: Seven losses in their last nine games sees the Rebels drop to the bottom of the overall standings, with that aforementioned clash at Loftus not where they would like to be as they attempt to turn things around. To make matters worse Scott Higginbotham is in trouble with a SANZAR Judicial Hearing after picking up his third yellow card of the season, against the Lions, a game they crumbled in late on to lose 34-17 on Friday.

Ulster: What is going on at Ravenhill? First it was David Humphreys out of the door to Gloucester and then head coach Mark Anscombe left the province with immediate effect. His son, Chiefs full-back Gareth, soon tweeted: "Pretty disappointed to hear about the way the old man's been treated at Ulster. How do you expect to get success at a club when you have clowns at the top making decisions like this?" Things are far from rosy it seems.