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The Sharksworld Awards: Currie Cup 2014


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 28 Oct 2014 at 12:33
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s look back at our Currie Cup campaign and hand out some of our famous (or is that infamous?) Sharksworld Awards. Players, take note, these awards are not redeemable for cash!

Best Attacking Player: There’s definitely been a shift in emphasis this campaign, with players given more licence to express themselves on attack. Guys like Lwazi Mvovo and Paul Jordaan always looked dangerous in space, but it’s tries that count and we’re giving the award to the player who scored more of those than any other. Take a bow, S’bura Sithole.

Best Defensive Player: You can’t argue with the numbers (although those do tend to vary based on what source you choose). One thing that is consistent across all of them, though, is the player who made more tackles than any other during the campaign. How we will miss you, Jacques Botes.

Best Debutant: This one is awarded to a young player who first played Currie Cup this year and was judged to show the most promise. Given that we had no fewer than 8 candidates this year, it’s a pretty tough one to give out. Of the three most obvious contenders, all had really good moments as well as a few less great ones. Based on consistency though, we’re going to award this one to Cameron Wright this year, with Thomas du Toit and Andre Esterhuizen both nipping very hard at his heels.

Best Newcomer: Also known as the “best buy” award, this goes to the player coming into the Sharks squad for the first time this campaign who has made the biggest impact. Etienne Oosthuizen played Currie Cup rugby for the Sharks for the first time this year, but given that he played a big role in the Super Rugby campaign, it doesn’t feel quite right to give it to him (despite the good season he had in an unfamiliar position). We’re going to award this to Lionel Cronje, who despite a few wobbly moments towards the end delivered some very solid play for much of the campaign.

Most Improved Player: Injuries hampered Stephan Lewies a little this season, which is why he’s not coming more strongly into the running for this award. Another guy who looked very good whenever given the chance was Monde Hadebe, but we feel this is the category in which Etienne Oosthuizen really deserves to walk away with the gong.

Best Team Player: The guy who puts the team first and helps them to play better – I think this should always go to a a warhorse and this year, I can think of no more fitting recipient than Marco Wentzel.

Best Comeback: Otherwise known as the “to hell and back” award. He dropped his first pass in Super Rugby, then got converted into a half a flank for the under 21 side, then almost left altogether, before cementing a position at 12 and making major strides week on week. Andre Esterhuizen, we’re glad to have you!

Most Consistent Player: The guy who just keeps doing what he does, week in and week out. Kyle Cooper, I think this one is yours in 2014 – thanks for your ever-present contribution.

Most Valuable Player: This one goes to the player without whom the Sharks would have lost far more matches than they did this year. For all the little touches that had big impacts, I think the most deserving recipient is our fantastic captain, Tera Mtembu.

Best Forward: I’ve tried really hard to resist giving out shared awards, but can see no way to split the contenders here. Tera Mtembu and Kyle Cooper are going to have to make do with half of this one each.

Best Back: We may not have had him for the whole season, but when we did, he made a clear difference. Lwazi Mvovo, you’re a legend and you bless our team with your inspiring presence.

Best Try: There were some crackers, weren’t there? S’bura Sithole‘s effort against Griquas in the opener was a sign of things to come, while Paul Jordaan‘s second against the Kings was a textbook display of his freakish running skills. We also really enjoyed Sithole’s score against WP in the final league match, but the try that caused the greatest joy was the one Stephan Lewies scored against the Kings in round 8.



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