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.
Southern Hemisphere heavyweights: Ireland and Wales came agonisingly close Down Under and England gave South Africa a run for their money after mounting a brave fightback, but the best the Home Nations had to offer wasn't enough to prevent all three series being wrapped up prematurely. The northern trio now only have pride left to play for as they bid to avoid a series whitewash.
Ireland: They might have been on the wrong end of the result in Christchurch but the intensity of the Irish response to defeat in the first Test, especially amongst the pack, deserves a raise of the hat. BOD and co were immeasurably better in defence and were unlucky not to at least snatch a draw.
Argentina's depth: Not even France could prevent a southern hemisphere cleansweep after losing to a inexperienced Pumas outfit in Cordoba. It wasn't pretty, but Argentina - fresh from victory over Italy the previous weekend - typically fed off scraps and took their chances, scoring a late try to complete a come-from-behind victory.
Scotland and Italy:There was some reprieve for travelling northern hemisphere teams after Six Nations strugglers Scotland and Italy managed wins over Fiji and Canada. Scotland are unbeaten on tour thanks to a hard-fought victory in Lautoka, while the hot boot of Italy fly-half Kris Burton was instrumental in Canada's downfall.
Samoa: The islanders were crowned Pacific Nations Cup champions for a second time after beating defending champions Japan. Samoa finished the four-team competition with three straight wins, and will head into Saturday's Test against Scotland with their tails up.
Tim Visser:The Dutch-born winger delivered on expectations brilliantly and got his international career off to a perfect start as his two tries helped Scotland to victory, marking out the Edinburgh speedster as an automatic choice for years to come.
Berrick Barnes:It was quite a momentous 24 hours for the Wallabies playmaker who had watched the birth of his baby in Sydney before starring in Australia's win against Wales in Melbourne. Now that's what you call a super dad!
Mike Harris: The Reds centre bounced back from his costly wayward kicking display against Scotland by sending over the match-winning penalty from a wide angle after the final siren in Melbourne. Talk about going from zero to hero!
Dan Carter:If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. And that's exactly what the All Blacks pivot did after failing to land a winning drop-goal on two occasions before striking it third time lucky to break Irish hearts.
JP Pietersen: The long-striding Bok flyer played a vital role in South Africa closing out a tense encounter against England in the City of Gold. At one stage, SA led 22-3 and a series win looked in the bag. But Test rugby doesn't always work that way and when the Boks entered the final 10 minutes leading only 31-27, an upset looked on the cards. However, a try started and finished by Pietersen dismissed the prospect of a truly staggering turnaround and capped off a superb man-of-the-match performance.
Bbbrrrr... Someone turn the heater up!
England's dirt trackers: Despite losing their first two Tests to the Springboks, England's Test team's performances were of a good quality on both occasions. The same cannot, however, be said of their midweek side who have flattered to deceive in their matches against the SA Barbarians' North and South XVs. Although they managed to notch 50 points in both matches, George Robson's men never dominated proceedings against players who are from the lowest rungs of the South African professional scene. This might sound daft but getting close to the century mark in both matches would not have been a surprise to South Africa's rugby public as very few of the Barbarians players have come close to playing at Super Rugby level. The 57 points conceded = not hot.
France: Les Bleus' horrific run in Argentina continues. Saturday's loss to los Pumas means that it's been 14 long years since last year's World Cup runners-up have won a Test on Argentine soil! That's a remarkable statistic and even though they did not field their strongest XV, the visitors were expected to win this one. The tourists did all the playing but against their passionate hosts, who had the support of a fanatical crowd on their side, Phillipe Saint-André's men fumbled and bumbled their way to disappointing defeat. It was a harsh reminder that Argentina is one of the toughest places in the world to tour.
All Blacks: No one expected it but it was bound to happen...New Zealand were run mighty close by Ireland and if nothing else it was all down to complacency by the world champions. After their clinical display in the opening Test of the three-match series most rugby enthusiasts predicted another walkover for the men in black against their counterparts from the Emerald Isle. It was said that unlike 2003 and 2007 world champions England and South Africa, the All Blacks were not suffering from a hangover after last year's World Cup victory. Steve Hansen was, however, nursing a massive headache five minutes before the end and only some late DC heroics saved his blushes.
Springboks front-row replacements: The Boks' first-half performance in the second Test against England was one of their most dominant displays in recent years. Most of it was down to the perfect platform laid by the forwards for their backs, but all that good work almost came unstuck when coach Heyneke Meyer decided to do some tampering with his front-row. Off went the Du Plessis brothers and on came Adriaan Strauss and Werner Kruger. There seemed to be little cohesion up front and the highly-rated Bok pack got pushed around on more than one occasion in the scrums. Will Meyer learn his lesson and avoid the fate of his predecessor, Peter de Villiers, who was regularly in the firing line for continuously making substitutions en masse?
Rhys Priestland: The Welsh fly-half makes his second appearance in this section in as many weeks. After dropping the ball with a huge overlap at a crucial stage of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane last week things could only get better for the Scarlets pivot. However, he incurred the wrath of his team-mates when, with Wales leading 23-22, he kicked the ball into touch in the dying minutes of the second Test in Melbourne. The Wallabies went on the drive at the resulting line-out, Wales were penalised for collapsing the maul and Mike Harris made them pay.
The Top 14 calendar: France started their June tour a week later than every one else because their season ended a fortnight after those across the Channel, and the French would have been shaking their heads in disbelief at the sight of their clubs starting pre-season training just nine days after Toulouse raised the Bouclier de Brennus. Yip, the Top 14 kicks off again on August 18!
Argentina U20s: Last week we were singing their praises, but Los Pumitas' wheels came off sensationally in their semi-final defeat to the Baby Boks at Newlands on Sunday. Despite reaching the final four without losing a match, Argentina's youngsters seemed out of their depth and didn't come close to matching the exploits of their previous matches. With the game lost it was not a pleasant sight as several of their players spent the latter stages of the second half playing the man and not the ball. This performance took off plenty of the shine from their stunning start to the competition.
Compiled by Dave Morris and Dave Skippers