Planet Rugby

Planet Rugby Awards 2012

21st December 2012 19:46

Share:

Conrad Smith Hurricanes celebrates the winning try v chiefs

Player of the Year: Conrad Smith

At the end of a busy year, we pick out the star performers from around the globe for 2012's Planet Rugby Awards.

Player of the Year: Conrad Smith

Despite not being recognised by the IRB, Conrad 'Snake' Smith is our Player of the Year. With seven tries in Super Rugby and another two in Tests in 2012, Smith has been a force on the scoresheet but it's his all-round contributions that earn him so much praise.

Smith made an assist in all three November Internationals he participated in, finishing with a total of six for the year. In an impressive career, the Hurricanes stalwart is at his peak. When it comes to creativity and vision, he is one of the best in the game.

Newcomer of the year: Eben Etzebeth

Julian Savea might have scored twelve tries in his first nine Tests, but young Stormer Eben Etzebeth gets our vote after a breakthrough year. Hailed as the new Bakkies Botha as much for his physicality on the field as his dubious disciplinary record, the best is yet to come from this bruising lock.

Coach of the Year: Steve Hansen

Hansen has taken over the All Blacks from Graham Henry and in many ways made them better than the side that won the Rugby World Cup last year. From the 60-0 rout of Ireland to not losing a match in the Rugby Championship, Hansen has introduced fresh talent whilst getting the best out of his side.

Six Nations Player of the Year: Leigh Halfpenny

Wales had a whole host of standout performers in the Six Nations this year, but Leigh Halfpenny has been outstanding with the boot all year for Wales, despite a run of seven consecutive losses since their Grand Slam success. His performances surely been sufficient to guarantee him a seat on the plane with the Lions.

Rugby Championship Player of the Year: Kieran Read

The world's best number eight produced one of his best year's in an All Black shirt, skippering the side against Italy but losing out to team-mate Richie McCaw for the NZ Player of the Year award. His man of the match awards speak for themselves.

Super Rugby Player of the Year: Andre Taylor

The young Hurricane was in outstanding form for his side in every game this year. Lethal going forward, Taylor finished as the joint top try scorer along with Bjorn Basson in an outstanding year.

Heineken Cup Player of the Year (2011-2012): Jonathan Sexton

A close-run call with his Leinster and Ireland team-mate Cian Healy, but last season saw Sexton in imperious form as he guided Leinster to a third Heineken Cup title in four years. The number one contender for the Lions fly-half shirt.

Try of the year: Joe Pietersen Stormers v Highlanders

A length of the field effort from Stormers full-back Joe Pietersen was our pick for Try of the Year. Fielding a box kick in his own 22, Pietersen flew through tackles from the Highlanders before being brought down on halfway. Pietersen got the ball back two phases later, interchanging with Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon before chipping over the defence to score.

Match of the Year: Blues 34, Chiefs 41, Super Rugby Round 15

Edging out the Heineken Cup semi-final between Clermont and Leinster was this humdinger of a Super Rugby clash. Eight tries, with Chiefs winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma grabbing four including a length of the field stunner for his hat-trick in the second half, made this match stand out above the rest.

Outstanding Performance of the Year: England v New Zealand, December

The performance that nobody expected. After a couple of poor performances against Australia and South Africa, England racked up 38 points against New Zealand thanks to second-half tries from Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi to stop the All Blacks finishing 2012 unbeaten.

Top Try Scorer: Julian Savea

Savea scored more Test tries than anyone else in 2012, with 12 to his name by the end of the year in a fantastic breakthrough year. Add in a further nine scores in Super Rugby, and the young Hurricane has been on fire.

Golden Boot: Ayumu Goromaru (Japan)

If Leigh Halfpenny was second and Dan Carter was third, then who scored the most points in Tests in 2012? The answer is Japan's Goromaru, with the 26-year-old full-back racking up 158 points in nine matches, including six tries.

Hang Up Your Boots Award: Nathan Sharpe

Would he ever retire? Nathan Sharpe's continued postponement of his rugby career made you wonder whether we would see him take on the Lions next year, but it's not to be. After 116 Tests, the Wallaby great has bid farewell.

Quote of the Year: Mike Tindall

Based on the Quotes of the Year we published last week, this understatement from Mike Tindall on his antics at the Rugby World Cup.

"Obviously it wasn't ideal for me to end up as hammered as I was."

Weight-Watchers Award: Piri Weepu

Everybody knew it, Keven Mealamu even came out and said it, so for appearing a tad out of condition at the beginning of the Super Rugby season Piri Weepu is the lucky recipient of this award.

The "I Showed You All" Award: Mark Hammett

With Ma'a Nonu, Andrew Hore and Hosea Gear and many more departing Wellington during the off-season, nobody gave the Hurricanes a hope in 2012. Yet they had a fantastic Super Rugby season, winning ten of their matches and producing plenty of memorable tries.

MTV Music Award: Saracens

Not keen to be like any other club in the world, Saracens turned to their talented singers Matt Stevens and Kelly Brown to come up with a new tune for the club. The reaction has been lukewarm.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411