G&GR Brumbies Player of the Year - Green and Gold Rugby
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G&GR Brumbies Player of the Year

G&GR Brumbies Player of the Year

At the end of each game throughout the 2010 Super 14 season over at the forum, readers have submitted their 3-2-1’s for each Australian team. All of these votes will accumulated and an overall 3-2-1 assigned for each match to the three leading point getters for each Aussie team. This is a throw back to the old fashioned best and fairest type voting that various media organisations, and indeed players, would do at the end of the match.

We think so much of the posters on this site that last year we introduced the G&GR Wallaby Player of the Year award, decided by way of the same method (votes made after each test match). King George won the title last year and was so overcome with emotion he soon realised that there was no longer anything he needed to accomplish in World Rugby, and retired.

Let’s hope that same doesn’t occur with this years inaugural (and once off it would seem) Super 14 winners.  So now we’re off to have a look back how it all unfolded for the Brumbies.

Round 1 v Force

3 Stephen Moore
2 Christian Lealiifano
1 Matt Toomua

Brumbies 24 (Josh Valentine, Stephen Moore, Huia Edmonds tries; Stirling Mortlock 3 con 1 pen) defeated Western Force 15 (James O’Connor 5 pen)

***

Round 2 v Bulls

3 Rocky Elsom
2 Christian Lealiifano
1 Matt Giteau

Bulls 50 (Morne Steyn 2; Fourie du Preez, Gerhard van den Heever, Wynand Olivier tries; Morne Steyn 5 con, 5pen) defeated Brumbies 32 (Rocky Elsom, George Smith, Pat McCabe tries; Stirling Mortlock 1 con, 4pen, Matt Giteau 1dg)

***

Round 3 v Stormers

3 George Smith
2 Adam Ashley-Cooper
1 Josh Valentine

Brumbies 19 (George Smith try; Matt Giteau 1 con, 4 pen) defeated Stormers 17 (Pieter Louw try; Joe Pietersen 4 pen)

***

Round 4 v Lions

3 Ben Alexander
2 Pat McCabe
1 Christian Lealiifano

Brumbies 24 (Christian Lealiifano, Stephen Moore, penalty tries; Matt Giteau 3 con, 1 pe) defeated Lions 13 (Hannes Franklin try; Burton Francis 1 con, 2 pen)

***

Round 5 v Sharks

3 Ben Alexander
2 Rocky Elsom
1 Francis Fainifo

Brumbies 24 (Ben Alexander 2 tries; Matt Giteau 1 con, 4 pen) defeated Sharks 22 (Ruan Pienaar try; Andy Goode 1 con, 5 pen)

***

Round 6 v Blues

3 Rocky Elsom
2 Salesi Ma’afu
1 Matt Giteau

Blues 39 (Joe Rokocoko 2; Rene Ranger, Benson Stanley, Isaia Toeava tries; Stephen Brett 4 con, 1 pen, 1 dg) defeated CA Brumbies 34 (Salesi Ma’afu, Huia Edmonds, Patrick Phibbs tries; Matt Giteau 2 con, 5 pen)

***

Round 7 v Chiefs

3 Patrick Phibbs
2 Stephen Moore
1 Julian Huxley

Brumbies 30 (Josh Valentine, Michael Hooper, Matt Toomua tries; Matt Giteau 3 con, 3 pen) defeated Chiefs 23 (Brendon Leonard, Richard Kahui tries; Stephen Donald 2 con, 3 pen)

***

Round 8 (BYE)

***

Round 9 v Cheetahs

3 Rocky Elsom
2 Patrick Phibbs
1 Ben Alexander

Brumbies 61 (Ben Alexander 2; Stephen Hoiles, Patrick Phibbs, Tyrone Smith, Rocky Elsom, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Alfie Mafi tries; Matt Giteau 6 con, Julian Huxley 2 con) defeated Cheetahs 15 (Sarel Pretorius, Adriaan Strauss tries; Naas Olivier 1 pen, Riaan Vijoen 1 con)

***

Round 10 v Hurricanes

3 Julian Huxley
2 Adam Ashley-Cooper
1 Stephen Hoiles

Hurricanes 23 (Conrad Smith, Victor Vito tries; Aaron Cruden 2 con, 3 pen) defeated Brumbies 13 (Patrick Phibbs, Matt Giteau tries; Matt Giteau 1pen)

***

Round 11 v Waratahs

3 Adam Ashley-Cooper
2 Pat McCabe
1 Stephen Moore

Waratahs 19 (Lachie Turner try; Daniel Halangahu 1 con, 4 pen) defeated Brumbies 13 (Matt Giteau 4 pen)

***

Round 12 v Reds

3 Ben Alexander
2 Rocky Elsom
1 Adam Ashley-Cooper

Brumbies 32 (Ben Alexander 2; Mark Chisholm, Josh Valentine tries; Matt Giteau 3 con, 2 pen) defeated Reds 12 (Quade Cooper 4 pen)

***

Round 13 v Highlanders

3 Matt Toomua
2 Stephen Moore
1 Rocky Elsom

Brumbies 31 (Rocky Elsom, Salesi Ma’afu, Josh Valentine, Matt Toomua tries; Matt Giteau 4 con, 1 pen) defeated Highlanders 3 (Israel Dagg 1 pen)

***

Round 14 v Crusaders

3 Adam Ashley-Cooper
2 George Smith
1 Ben Alexander

Crusaders 40 (Sean Maitland, Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Richie McCaw, Zac Guildford tries; Daniel Carter 3 con, 3 pen) defeated Brumbies 22 (Tyrone Smith, Ben Alexander, Huia Edmonds tries; Matt Giteau 2 con, 1 pen)

***

And that was that for the Brumbies. I think most judges thought there might be an extra game or two at the end of the season but it didn’t happen. Interestingly that one of the players who has copped some flack for sub-par performances this year is actually the winner of the inaugural G&GR Brumbies S14 Player of the Year award. That’s right, star recruit Rocky Elsom. It was a tight finish over try-scoring machine Ben Alexander and the fast finishing (in more ways than one) Adam Ashley-Cooper. The final tally is as follows:

Position Player Points
1st Rocky Elsom 14
2nd Ben Alexander 11
2nd Adam Ashley-Cooper 11
4th Stephen Moore 8
5th Christian Lealiifano 5
5th Patrick Phibbs 5
5th George Smith 5
8th Pat McCabe 4
8th Julian Huxley 4
8th Matt Toomua 4
11th Matt Giteau 2
11th Salesi Ma’afu 2
13th Josh Valentine 1
13th Francis Fainifo 1
13th Stephen Hoiles 1

So how about that? Is does somewhat surprise me that Rocky finished on top. In saying that he is a player that I think the punters look out for and he did play some mighty fine rugby this year. Stephen Hoiles so low surprises me as well. I think he carries a bit of a stigma, and perhaps people reacted to his captaincy style, but I thought this was one of his best seasons of footy. And Matt Giteau. In equal 11th. Not the type of finish you want for your leading play maker.

  • The loss of Christian Lealiifano was pretty costly. I’ve liked the look of him ever since he turned out for Canberra in the ARC (was that it’s name? Can’t remember). He was looking good at Super14 level this year.

    I’m glad he’s getting a run for Waikato now and hope to see him in starting role next year.

    • louie

      yes amanda it was the ARC.
      I’m a huge Christian fan.

      Having Christian Lealiifano & George Smith out for so long really hurt the ACT. Both went it the same game (vs the blues our worst of the year by far). They both finished very high for such little game time they had.

      hugely missed.

    • Seb V

      Maybe the Brumbies can chuck a “Kurtley Beale” next season and have him start regulary at fullback, AAC to outside centre, gits 12, toomua 10. That would be good.

      • Who Needs Melon

        Don’t you want an OC who knows how to pass/offload occaisonally?

      • Newb

        great line up. agree with melon too though. i say every time he stuffs it up, make him drop and do 20 push ups. even in games.

  • louie

    also the low valentine and gits just shows how below form they where this year.
    Both never got out of first gear.

  • I am surprised Elsom won it, I didn’t watch ever game admittedly, but the ones I did see Elsom was pretty non-existent (perhaps that meant he had a good game) except for a couple wide runs.

    • GregT

      He did a lot of the filth the second rowers should have been doing and Hoiles had the wide attacking role that Elsom might have expected to be his at the Brumbies.

  • Seb V

    I dont think Elsom ever played badly. Just not at the same standard he is capable of. I guess with how poor the Brumbies were playing its a fair call.

    • That’s a very good point.

  • Robson

    I just don’t see what everyone else seems to see in Christian Lealiifano. He’s got some nice skill sets and is a great opportunist, but I don’t see any real creative talent there. Whilst he seems to look for gaps for himself, he doesn’t run lines which put others into a hole or create indecision in the defence.

    At first five last year he was very pedestrian. At 12 this year he didn’t seem capable of straightening an attack which was crabbing across field because of Giteau’s lines.

    It’s no mystery to me why the Brumbies backs didn’t score too many tries this year and part of that was a lack of creative flair right across their backline, collectively and individually. AAC provided some punch from the back and Pat McCabe ran back hard at the defence. But not much else was happening in the rear vanguard.

    Matt Giteau had a very good S14 season last year, but appeared flat and distracted in the internationals. Alarmingly that carried over into the S14 season this year. He finished the season looking jaded and bereft of ideas. What’s going on with him is anyone’s guess, but I hope like hell it disappears soon.

    • Louie

      he’s a proven match winner. directs play nicely and can break and blend the line. he made a lot line breaks on his own this. he also has good flair and composure.
      Brumbies lack of attack came from Valentine not being at the break fast enough, Gits having not spark and a 13 that couldn’t run break the line. Lealo was there best back.

      • Robson

        I don’t want to be too hard on Christian because he is young and I am a Brumbies fan; albeit an extremely disappointed one this year.

        However, I don’t know what matches he was proven to win last year or this year. Doesn’t a proven match winner tend to be highly influential in more wins than just one or two here and there? Doesn’t a proven match winner operate in a back line that scores a lot of tries? I think George Smith was a proven match winner, so was Stirling and Gits and AAC. I honestly don’t put Christian in that class.

        Yes he does have talent and lots of it, but I would like to see it used in a more cohesive and creative way; and on a consistent basis. Of course injury may have prevented him from achieving that this year, but what I saw both this year and last year wasn’t anything
        that I could break into song and dance about.

        Nor do I think that Gits inside him or Valentine at the base were the real problems for Lealiifano. I think it was a direction issue emanating from the coaching staff. By that I mean zero direction.

        Lealiifano might come right and I seriously hope he does.

        • Zinzan

          Christian is a very instinctive player and reads the game well, he gets plenty of touches by preempting the play, makes plenty of tackles because he finds himself in situtations that others may not & generally creates something from nothing. He’s always in the top three tacklers for Brums behind George Smith & most touches by CL generally lead to some good attacking footy.

          With so many chiefs in this team and not enough indians I feel CL had to take a back seat to other senior members calling backline moves etc.

          Reds proved the benefit of giving license to young fellas to be creative in attack & to play their natural game.

          Robson; next season watch what CL does off the ball & watch what he does with ball in hand I’m sure you’ll be on the band wagon soon enough.

      • Seb V

        I gotta agree with Louie, I thought this year in his limited game time he showed more flair and creativity then Gits.

  • Juan Cote

    The biggest disappointment of the Super 14 I reckon.

    Rock probably wins because most everyone else was just so awful at times.

    Pat McCabe is a reason to be cheerful as is both Hooper and Colby Finger.

    I reckon Leal will make a great fullback next year.

  • Manny

    OK so this is not really the right place to raise this question perhaps but without knowing where else to do so I’m going to ask it anyway. Did anyone see the Baa Baas / England Game or at least any of the photos from it. My question is (given that the players wear their club socks) Can someone enlighten me as to what club the socks George Smith was wearing are from because they were not Marlins ones and I am wondering if this will give us a clue as to where he is going to play now! I also wonder if anyone else noticed and had the same thought as me.

    • Joe

      They looked like Randwick socks to me.

      • Noddy

        yeah, couldn’t pick it myself. Green. He’s a loyal marlin so not sure!

        • Manny

          I knew they were familiar and they are similar to Randwick but not the same.

        • Juan Cote

          Fremantle Dockers?

        • Manny

          er no!

  • mudskipper

    Jeez who here has the evil eye it out for the Brumbies… Who was voting here, its absolute freight load of slimy rubbish G&GR Dudes…. Best call Lindsay Fox and get this crap hauled away ASAP…before the stretch fills the G&GR virtual hallways. Lindsay’s crew drag it back to Melbourne to fertilize the Brumby Rebels in the off season… Its not good for much more…

    • dbla

      quѐ?

  • mudskipper

    I am sorry. Sometimes I get drunk and say some stupid things.

    • mudskipper

      Your not mudskipper… just some Dude in Western Force lycra…

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