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The Sharksworld Awards: Super Rugby 2013

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Jul 2013 at 11:24
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a tough Super Rugby season, full of upheavals and a fair share of disappointment. Let’s not forget, though, that a team of men in black and white have been playing their hearts out, for their fans and their jersey, pretty much non-stop ever since early February. We may not have won the trophy – or even made the knock-outs this year – but let’s take a few moments to reflect on the highs from this year’s campaign.

Without further ado, I present the Sharksworld Awards for the 2013 Super Rugby season!

Best Attacking Player: We start with an award, frankly, that’s been very hard to give out this year. Such has been the disruption in the SHarks team that few have really stood up and delivered consistently on attack. Tries have been few and far between and mostly scored via the drive, rather than individual attacking brilliance. We’ve decided to give the award to Riaan Viljoen this year, for always displaying attacking intent. He was also the joint-highest try scorer, with 4.

Best Defensive Player: In contrast, this one is pretty easy to award and goes to the man who, over the course of the competition, has done the most work on defence. For the second year running, this award goes to the man of steel, Marcell Coetzee.

Best Debutant: This one is awarded to a young player who first played Super Rugby this year and was judged to show the most promise. We’ve decided to bend our own rules here and give it to a player who actually already had one appearance as a sub from last year. The reason behind that decision was that we didn’t feel any of this year’s “true” debutants enjoyed enough of a run to really warrant the award. This year, our winner is Tera Mtembu.

Best Newcomer: Also known as the “best buy” award, this goes to the player coming into the Sharks squad for the first time this year who has made the biggest impact. We didn’t have any “buys”, as such this year, only “loans” and while Derick Minnie scored some great tries in his three appearances, we’re going to give this to a man who delivered huge value to our line-out play all campaign long. Take a bow, Franco van der Merwe.

Most Improved Player: This one goes to the player who has made the biggest gains in terms of personal form and consistency over the course of the campaign. Our mate Wiehahn Herbst is a very close runner-up in this category, but we feel that the most deserving recipient is none other than Kyle Cooper.

Best Team Player: To the man who selflessly places the needs of the team above his own. We’ve decided this year, Jannie du Plessis should be the recipient of this award, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Best Comeback: While we’ve debated this one a lot – and looked specifically at the way Marcell Coetzee’s form has picked up immeasurably in the last few weeks – we felt that given where he started the season – and where he ended it – this one probably belongs to Jean Deysel this year.

Most Consistent Player: This one goes to the player who can always be called on to deliver at his best, reliably and consistently week after week. Again, there was furious debate amongst the team, with the likes of Coetzee, Louis Ludik, van der Merwe and a host of others putting forward strong cases. We’ve looked back at our own ratings over the course of the campaign, though, and opted to give this one to Wiehahn Herbst for consistently delivering classy performances from an unfashionable position.

Most Valuable Player: This one goes to the player who has made the most important and telling contributions at the most important times, to provide match and campaign-turning moments. Now we all know that it hasn’t been the best of seasons for the team as a whole, results-wise and some might argue this choice given a few missed kicks in recent weeks, but I’m sure most would agree that without our winner, Patrick Lambie, the Sharks would have lost far more matches than they did this year.

Best Forward: Over the campaign, the man who has made the biggest overall contribution to the Sharks’ play up-front. Take a bow, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Best Back: The backline player who has delivered the best combination of attacking and defensive play, with a few moments of real magic thrown in. For 2013, ours is none other than Louis Ludik.

Best Player: The player whose contribution over the course of the season has been the greatest, balancing out attack, defence, work-rate, commitment, attitude and consistency. This one again goes to Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Best Try: This one again has a number of strong contenders. We loved Fred Zeilinga’s effort against the Kings last week, simply because it gives us so much hope for the future. Pat Lambie’s score against the Bulls the week before was also great. Tera Mtembu’s maiden score against the Chiefs was also really special. All-in-all, though, for that sheer feel good “Sharks rugby” feeling, we’re giving this one to Ryan Kankowski, for being the scorer of a typical team try against the Rebels.


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