The majority of these awards I drafted last week, before the official Prem awards, and there are a few duplicates (and thus I feel vindicated in some of the choices!) There’s also a trio of awards voted for by the #rugbyunited Twitterati and a few of the award suggestions I was given (if yours is on here, hit me up on Twitter cos I forgot to note who created the awards to give credit!!! Sorry…..)
It’s been an insane season with some incredible performances and matches, so it’s been damn hard to select some of these awards, and even though there is still a game to go, it’s gonna take something superhuman to change the winners! (Erm…. ok…I finished this after the final….ignore that bit)
Player of the season – Danny Cipriani. He seems to be more mature and has transformed into a born leader under Ackermann. I think he’ll need a trip to Ikea to buy a trophy cabinet to display his 18/19 awards!
Try of the season – Until the final league match this was Olly Thorley v Tigers, but Denny Solomona vs Gloucester on the final day has pinched it. Lovely handling in the build up, strong running lines and a superman finish.
Discovery of the season – Alex Dombrandt. The Quins man came from almost nowhere to being in with a shout of a trip to Japan this year. An impressive debut season in the Prem. Special shout out to Ruaridh McConachie who could also very easily have walked away with this one. I just felt Dombrandt edged ahead as a ‘discovery’due to McConnachies 7s history
Impact player – Faf de Klerk. You want a player to change a game. Faf has often done that all by himself this season in a variety of ways. From scintillating breaks to try saving tackles and even a few kicks thrown into the mix.
Young player of the season – Joe Simmonds. Yup. This award has been given to Tom Curry or Olly Thorley by everyone. Simmonds seems to have slipped under the radar, but to displace a guy like Steenson and lead the Chiefs to top spot and ultimately playoff runners up, earns him huge respect from me.
Surprise package – Harry Randall. Let’s face a fact. Randall is tiny compared to most players, yet his sterling work with the Bears hasn’t gone unnoticed with some media types, nor myself. A real match winner
Artful Dodger award for pickpocketing skullduggery – Cobus Reinach. Almost weekly we’ve seen the Saints scrum half pinch an opposition pass, switch on the afterburners and fly off for 5 points. The ultimate pickpocket.
Barbara Woodhouse SIT DOWN award – Jake Polledri – I mean, Prem rugbys social media were literally putting together highlights packages of the Juggernaut’s biggest charges…..
Ini Kamoze here comes the Hotstepper award – Santiago Cordero – Michael Flatley’s dancing feet look ordinary compared to the Argentinian. Could step defenders whilst 1 on 1 in a phone box…..are phone boxes still a thing?
Hamburglar award for thievery- Dan Thomas – it would be so easy to give this award to Tom Curry, but I like to be different, so Dan Thomas and his rucktime roaming hands get the award!
Accounts of the season – Happiness is Egg Shaped and Fill Your Boots. Can’t separate Bruce and Sean. Both work damn hard to promote positivity or keep games on. Find, follow and feel the awesomeness. (£500 each was the deal, right? I’ll send my bank details!)
#rugbyunited account of the season – Saracens. Well…. they’ve bloody won everything else.
Match of the season – Until yesterday, it was Sale v Glaws, however…. Exeter v Saracens in the grand final was a tad special, so quite rightly, the showpiece game will take this award.
Time for the fan votes now….
Ref of the season –
Honourable mentions to Christophe Ridley who got a few nominations!
The Houdini award for evasive action – Alex Goode – Play off semi final vs Gloucester….his own try line…. amazing piece of play.
Bus is full…. GET OFF award- Will Skelton vs Exeter’s Gareth Steenson. If you don’t know what I’m talking about…. Google it!
The Voldemort award for Magic – Danny Cipriani. What a vast array of offloading, miss passes, kick passes, weird spinny no lookers…. let’s face it, Danny is fun to watch!
The Theon Greyjoy award for missing tackles – Kyle Eastmond vs Gloucester…. the Olly Thorley try of the season…. he steps inside Eastmond and….. well….. Kyle ends up on his arse. Actually, the whole Tigers team should share this award for allowing a 95 meter run in without landing a hand on the opposition.
The Hoggy award for dodgy hair – Jack Nowell for his 2006 Eminem effort…..
outstanding services to rugby – George Smith and Wayne Barnes
We’ll finish on a few positives. George Smith has been exceptional throughout his career, a true leader, talisman, role model…. amazing player.
Wayne Barnes has emerged as a great pundit, after dinner speaker and above all else a world class referee.
We wish both guys well as they step back from Premiership pitches and hope they stay involved in this great sport!!!
The Happiness is Egg shaped happy photo of the season award….
18/19s player of the year taking the time to make the next generation of rugby players and fans day at Kingsholm….. cheers Bruce, for the pic!