As we once again look back on a Super Rugby season that has had its fair share of highs and lows for the Sharks and their fans, let’s take a few moments to hand out a few special mentions to players we feel have done particularly well.
Without further ado, then and in the absence of a drum-roll, since I can’t figure out how to do one via the Internet, I’d like to present the Sharksworld Awards for the 2012 Super Rugby competition:
Best Attacking Player: Many have stepped up and delivered superb performances with ball in hand, but you can’t argue with 8 tries, most overall metres made and most linebreaks. Our deadliest attacking weapon is none other than Lwazi Mvovo.
Best Defensive Player: Again, 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. With 312 good tackles made, the clear winner is, of course, 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. While a very honourable mention goes to Pieter-Steph du Toit, here, we are going with Paul Jordaan as the winner, after a fantastic first campaign.
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. That honour cannot go to anyone other than Tim Whitehead.
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. I think there could be few disagreements that Anton Bresler is the hands-down winner in this category.
Best Team Player: To the man who selflessly places the needs of the team above his own – always there to do his bit when called on, even if his personal advancement is often held back as the result of what the team needs. There can be no more worthy winner than Craig Burden.
Best Comeback: The player who has pulled off the year’s biggest houdini act simply has to be Ryan Kankowski, ’nuff said!
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. In 2012, we feel that Louis Ludik is the most worthy recipient of this one.
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. He may not always emerge as the best on paper every week, but can always be counted on to make something special happen for the team when it’s most needed. For this, we need look no further than our captain Keegan Daniel, with his deputy Bismarck du Plessis a worthy runner-up.
Best Forward: Over the campaign, the man who has made the biggest overall contribution to the Sharks’ play up-front. Take a bow, Marcell Coetzee!
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 2012, ours is none other than JP Pietersen.
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 completes the hat-trick for Marcell Coetzee, who has been simply amazing in 2012.
Let’s move on to a few special moments from the campaign:
Best Try: There were lots of contenders here, starting with Jacques Botes’ effort against the Bulls in round 1 and stretching all the way through to Paul Jordaan’s superb score against the Reds in the qualifiers. We’ve opted to award this one, though, to Lwazi Mvovo for his amazing 90m effort against the Brumbies back in round 6.
Best Hand-off: Bismarck du Plessis showing Bok rival Adriaan Strauss the “the bus was full” in the opening minutes of the game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Best Offload: Simply has to go to Keegan Daniel for the amazing sleight of hand that saw Paul Jordaan streak away for a try against the Reds in Brisbane.
Best Feat of Strength: Beast Mtwararira, for showing that despite the heavy physical demands of his day job, he’s always got a bit of spare energy to do some extra tricep extensions – using Anton Bresler as the weight – during quiet moments in the game.
Last but not least, we have a very special award to give:
The Wesley’s Salon Award: This one goes to the Sharks player with the most impressive ‘do in the team, the one who regularly stands out and attracts attention with his chosen coiffure. While The Hoff’s affro always turns heads and Charl McLeod’s surfer do tends to dazzle bot the camera and the crowds, this one can go to none other than Anton Bresler, for refusing to let the good old mullet die the death that has been coming to it for the longest time!Tweet