Robbie Deans coach of the year...
Keith Lowen NPC player of the year...
"How bloody boring!" I yelled to no-one in particular. Lots of other much more interesting stuff has gone on in 2002 and we haven't even given it official recognition.
Once again, it is Rugbyheads to the rescue. This will be an annual feature at the conclusion of the NPC - 5 individual awards, 2 team awards. Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, rugbyheads presents the 1st annual REAL rugby awards ceremony. Will the recipients please step foward as their names are read out.
Matt Dunning Memorial Trophy for unbelievable play by a tight foward
3rd - Mark Hammett (vs South Africa) for his infamous 'lineout try' at the caketin
2nd - Slade McFarland (vs Brumbies) for an amazing 50 metre chip and chase solo try
1st - Pieter van Zyl (vs David McHugh) for being able to run 70 metres and pull off a tackle despite that enormous gut
The "plank" Award for the player that makes the biggest dickhead of himself
3rd - Justin Harrison: (vs Crusaders - RR) for that unforgettable face he pulled to the ref that ended up on the big screen at Jade.
2nd - Christian Cullen: (vs Waratahs) for his 'try' that just wasn't to be
1st - George Gregan: (vs South Africa) for premature celebration in a game that Australia would eventually lose in the final play of the game
Grizz Wylie Award for the Ugliest Player or Coach
3rd - Eddie Jones for that puzzled oompa-loompa look
2nd - Anton Oliver for the troll with a low brow and surly expression
1st - Andrew Hore absolutely hideous. The guy must surely not have a mirror, or he would turn to stone
The judges would like to point out the difficulty in selecting these recipients. There are a hell of a lot of ugly people in rugby - players such as Paul Tito and Phil Waugh can feel hard done by not to receive the recognition they deserve. We also urge such players to push hard for top honours in 2003 by perhaps disfiguring their noses even further and/or losing some teeth.
David Campese Award for being a pretty boy hero
3rd - Chris Latham (vs Sharks) for a solo try in the dying moments of the game that won the game for the Reds
2nd = Aaron Mauger (vs Brumbies - RR) for his pressure drop-goal that won the match for the Crusaders after a strong Brumbies comeback
= Werner Greef (vs Australia) for scoring an amazing try, hitting the line at pace in the final moments to score the try, and then converting it to give Gregan the plank award (see above)
1st - Matthew Burke (vs New Zealand) for landing the penalty goal with time up on the clock that kept the Bledisloe Cup in Australia AGAIN
Mark Ellis Trophy for the Silliest Haircut
3rd - Matua Parkinson for that stupid afro from the 70's he still has
2nd - Justin Marshall for the "Meg Ryan" blonde streaks
1st - Tony Penn for his messy, greasy, unwashed, wild locks with no pattern
Hurricanes Prize for inconsistancy
3rd - Blues for thrashing the Hurricanes, then losing to the Reds the very next week
2nd - Brumbies for losing to the Hurricanes for the second straight year
1st - Wellington for losing to SOUTHLAND for the second straight year
New South Wales Prize for getting completely taken to the cleaners
3rd - Hurricanes (vs Blues) for putting up the white flag so completely and conceding 60 points in the first game of the season
2nd - Bulls (vs everyone) for their most consistant season ever - 11 games, 11 losses. Only twice did their opponents not get the 4 try bonus as well
1st - Waratahs (vs Crusaders) for what can only be described as a joke. Not only is the trophy awarded to them this year, but such was the humiliation the Crusaders inflicted that the award will now be named after them - hence the "New South Wales Prize".
That's all - for now. We reserve to add, delete, change the names of and do all sorts of other things with the awards. Congratulations to all this years' winners, and remember, next year is a whole new opportunity to impress!