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 , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Friday , November 21
Fiji 20 - 14 USA
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720