Hot Or Not: Heineken Champions Cup Beckons

Top 14 Complete Highlights Round 13

FloRugby’s coverage of the Heineken Champions Cup comes back for fans in the Middle East and North Africa, and as the other European leagues take a break, we want to look at who’s hot, and who’s not.

Top 14 Hot

Bordeaux-Begles … sort of. In the last five weeks of competition Bordeaux-Begles has improved from 4-4-1 to 8-5-1. It’s been a huge run for the club, but … in the standings the improvement has only been one place, from 8th to 7th.

Top 14 Games Of The Week On-Demand All Year (USA and Canada)

This is because that one loss came this past week, when Pau ended its slide despite playing without former All Blacks star and now coach Carl Hayman (suspended after an altercation with players).

Bordeaux-Begles played shorthanded for over 70 minutes after Georgian back-rower Beka Gorgadze was sent off. If that hadn’t happened, we might have been looking at an even hotter Bordeaux club.

Clermont. OK big surprise. Clermont was in 1st place five weeks ago at 6-2-1, but since then the club has gone 4-0-1, and beat the blazing hot La Rochelle (seven wins in a row until Saturday).

"We knew that La Rochelle would arrive with very good intentions and it was important to test ourselves," said Clermont coach Franck Azema.

"Our forwards had a great start. We gave away just three penalties -- in terms of discipline, that's a very high level. It's good way to start 2019."

Top 14 Not

Toulon. The big spender in French rugby is not getting full value for money, and has crashed to 5-9.

Racing 92. So they won this past weekend, but against Toulon, and you know that’s not such a big thing to crow about anymore. After Week 10, Racing was 7-3 and in 2nd place. Now? They’re 9-5 and looking over their shoulder and in danger of missing the playoffs.

Guinness PRO14 Hot

Benetton. Italia for the win. Four wins in a row, in fact, have bumped Benetton from 3-6 to 7-6 and in 3rd place in Conference B (and tied in points with 2nd-place Edinburgh). Yes some of the opposition has been relatively weak. Yes three of the victories were by less than a try.  So what? Benetton beat Conference A leaders Glasgow, which dumped the Warriors out of the top spot. They are for real.

Guinness PRO14 On-Demand (Latin America, Spain, Portugal, France, Middle East, North Africa)

Ospreys. Put aside a rather wonky loss to the Dragons, the Ospreys have been on the rise. Since getting smacked around by Leinster, the Swansea club has gone 3-1 and is now 8-5 and solidly in a playoff spot.

Guinness PRO14 Not

Glasgow. The Warriors were in command in Conference A and now Munster has pushed them out of 1st. It’s been three straight losses for Glasgow now.

Heineken Champions Cup Hot

Toulouse. Almost every game in Europe has been a close one for Stade Toulousain, but the French club keeps winning them. 

Heineken Champions Cup Live This Weekend (Middle East, North Africa)

Saracens. In the Premiership Sarries were shocked somewhat by Sale this past weekend and lost to Exeter in December, but overall sit 14-2 in Premiership and Heineken Cup games. That’s pretty warm. Saracens should sew up their pool this week.

D1AA Playoff Picture Latest

Here’s where we are on D1AA playoff picture after an interesting run of results this week.

No One Has Lost More Games, But He's An All-Time Great Nonetheless

Italy rugby great Sergio Parisse bid farewell to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome this weekend with another bitter disappointment as the Azzurri snatched a 25-14 defeat from the jaws of victory against France.

Toulouse Still Atop French Top 14

France international Sofiane Guitoune scored a hattrick as Toulouse thrashed Lyon 53-21 to extend their advantage at the top of the French Top 14 on Sunday.

Glendale Surprise Leads PRP Results

The Glendale Merlins pulled off a bit of an upset this weekend in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, defeating the Santa Monica Dolphins 43-37 to move up in the standings to 4th.

Rankings Ramifications: D1A Weekend Wrapup

New USA Callup Duncan Van Schalkwyk

The strong stay strong in Men's D1A College action with six games played this weekend.

Wales Shuts Down Ireland To Win Grand Slam

Wales claimed a record third Six Nations Grand Slam during coach Warren Gatland's reign Saturday as Gareth Anscombe kicked 20 points to help beat an ill-disciplined Ireland 25-7.

Chico State Scare Stirs Up D1AA Playoff Picture

While the spring conferences in D1AA are coming down to the wire, there's the potential for a shakeup in at least one competition.

Samurai PRP Player Of The Week: Adam Channel, Belmont Shore

Adam Channel Scores Five For Belmont Shore

In 2018, Belmont Shore was crowned PRP champion, but after a long playoff run they were left heartbroken in the national championship final.

Barbarians To Face USA Women In Glendale

Women Eagles Hard At Work

The USA Women's team will play a historic game April 26 when they face the Barbarians FC in Glendale, CO.

D1A Playoff Thoughts On Crucial Weekend

On The Sidelines With Cal

We are coming to a very crucial time in D1A rugby as the playoffs are not far.