Green & Gold Rugby Wallaby Player of the 2014 - Green and Gold Rugby
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Green & Gold Rugby Wallaby Player of the 2014

Green & Gold Rugby Wallaby Player of the 2014

The Green & Gold Rugby Wallaby Player of the Year award has entered its sixth year and continues to be the premier, and largest, fan-driven player award in Australian Rugby. Forget your generic “Fan Favourite” award, this one is not a popularity contest but rather the culmination of a match-by-match analysis for each Wallaby Test in a calendar year. After each Test our highly knowledgeable (passionate, engaged, verbose etc) forum members provide their 3-2-1s. That is, their best three players for the Wallabies in that Test, providing us an overall top three players for each match. Adding these final scores together gives us the answer to the ultimate question – just who has been our choice as the best performing Wallaby each year.

A quick history of the award is below.

2009 – George Smith
2010 – David Pocock
2011 – Will Genia
2012 – Michael Hooper
2013 – Scott Fardy

A review of the past winners goes to show two things. First, that our readers are a fair judge of performance and, secondly, George Smith and David Pocock got absolutely dudded when it came to their prize. A certificate? Really? But as I am sure they will acknowledge, its the recognition not the reward that counts.

So let’s get to it. Who was our G&GR Wallaby Player of the Year for 2014?

 Wallabies v France (Brisbane)

Michael Hooper (3pts)

Israel Folau (2 pts)
James Slipper (1 pt)

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  • Zebber

    Yeah no Reds bias at all. It was a tie.

    • Zebber

      I mean who came up with your tie-breaker rules?? I think whoever polled the most 3 should win – just like most wins in a team competition! Stay classy GAGR.

  • yehnahallgood

    Obvious QLD bias, easy for Reg to give the award to Slips.

  • Exposer

    Tie-breaker should go to who got the most 3s!! That’s the only one that makes sense, dodgy dodgy stuff.

  • Dave

    Well deserved. He was certainly the most consistent player by my eye, for a prop to perform that well on his side of the scrum with some of the best packs in front of him and frankly speaking, garbage pushing behind him, is very impressive, moreover he is a workhorse around the park which is not easy for someone with so much on their plate.

    As I type this comments are being sent in about Reds bias, which I find unbelievable. The rules are clearly stated in the article and are not a new concept. Detractors show more about their own prejudices than Green and Gold Rugby. I also remind readers that most of this sites contributors and also the founder are Waratahs supporters.

  • Pedro

    Well deserved.

  • Jim Harbough

    I want to know why your method of tie-breaking was deemed the best? In 90% of team competitions when teams end of on the same amount of points, apart from points differential the next tie-breaking stat is most wins. Most wins in this instance would be who accumulated the most 3s. That shows excellence seeing as they’re the sole winner of that match. I don’t see how most games polled in is a credible tie-breaker, you’ve just slapped the consistency tag on it but Hooper/Kuridrani could’ve been 4th or 5th too and their average rank might’ve been higher than Slipper’s. Most wins rules all. Stop the bias, ruining this site. TAKE BACK THE TROPHY!

    • Train Without A Station

      Personally it’s not the method I would have chosen, but there is logic behind it. There’s up to 15 games in a season. A player could have got 3 votes in 5 of them and won, whilst being the worst player in the park on the other 10 games.

      • Phil

        My thoughts are same as you,TWAS(shit,that’s a worry!).I picked Slipper as the likely winner before starting to read through the votes as he was definitely the most consistent performer throughout the year.Hooper was consistent too,but I would have hated to read the comments section if he had won!

  • Before the announcement we were told it couldn’t possible be a Queenslander because of this sites bias. After the announcement we’re accused of bias because it was a Queenslander. Three players had great years and we had a pre-arranged method to split them. Just celebrate their achievements instead of always seeing the negative.

    • Braveheart81

      This site is biased against tinfoil hat wearers. It’s a conspiracy that the person the conspiracy theorists thought would unfairly win didn’t win.

  • Trevor Robertson

    Really??? Complaining about the awarding of a trophy. That really is ungracious.
    Whatever method is used, surely it can be acknowledged that any of the three would be worthy winners. It really seems that some people aren’t happy unless they’re complaining.

  • Mikka

    Good call. I look at it as ‘how would the team have performed without that player?’ the Wallabies without Slipper would have been a team with Ben Alexander in it, thank God for Slipper.

    • The Slow Eater

      Is there any way to give two up votes ?

  • Brendan Hume

    Great stuff. Was worried the big fella might have been gobbled up at the back end, but his consistency through your the year was amazing. For a prop to even poll points in Aussie rugby is remarkable in itself. Well earned recognition. Will be a big factor come RWC.
    Also great to see such a spread across SR franchises (top 6 have 2 each from 3 team, four teams represented in top 8) and a good spread of positions – tight & loose forwards, inside and outside backs. For all it’s woes, Aussie Rugby will hopefully pull one out of the bag this year with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work.

  • Johnno

    Just Shut up and give it to Slip!

  • Moose

    Congrats James Slipper for an outstanding year, well deserved. Bias, phht.
    Before clicking through the match results I figured on Slipper or TK. I also imagined the rage from certain quarters had Hooper taken it… well done to all three, and to all our Wallabies for that matter.

    • Nick

      Agreed. No bias whatsoever. I had Slipper in my mind taking it out as I recall Hooper falling off a bit towards the end of the season. I had forgotten about Kuridrani though. All 3 definitely well deserved.

  • Chris M

    Great season from all three. Slipper is a deserved winner. If you’re complaining about how this was done, the best course of action might be to see a mental health professional.

  • Patrick

    Great to see a tight forward rewarded, I was personally consistently impressed with Slipper in the scrums and general play this year. A deserved winner!

  • The Rant

    Well deserved top 3, though Kurindrani would have been my pick for sheer dominance and I don’t think he played in as many tests. The only World XV candidate we had this year.
    That said it’s worrying for me that 3 players took 42 of the 84 points on offer.

    A few key injuries and it could be as good as bye bye Bill.

  • Timbo

    Epic trolling by all.

  • RobC

    Well done Slips. Same to TK and Hoops. Well deserved.

    I would rejoice double if we had a couple of locks or so, who could can deliver the goods this year. Will be keeping an eye on Simmons and Skelton, for different reasons.

    Thanks also guys for organising the award.

  • Qsource

    Agree slipper had a great season and was very consistent, however kurindrani played less games and still topped which I think demonstrates how well he played. Also I would have given it to kurindrani as I find it hard to give a player of a year award to a prop when our scrum is the weakest facet of our game. Also I don’t believe this is red bias, and on a side note kurindrani’s from brumbies and I go for tahs

  • dsb

    Well deserved. Congratulations Slipper.

  • Braveheart81

    Personally I’d have liked to see a tie-break system using one or all of the following methods:
    – darts; first to 501
    – A Batle of Wits (Princess Bride style)
    – a fight to the death
    – Final Jeopardy
    – Matt Dunning putting the players through the Next Prop Model challenges
    – a rap battle

    • Nick

      One Hundred and EIGHTY!

    • bazzar

      Why is it that when I saw Matt Dunning mentioned my first thought was a drop goal shootout?

    • Garry

      No mention of their performances in the boat races? Sham.

  • formerflanker

    Thanks for organising the award, managing its progress, and boosting player morale. A good outcome with our top players all in the running. Well deserved victory to a practitioner of the dark arts.

  • Khun Pugwash

    Congratulations Mr Slipper!

  • RubberLegs

    Strong scrummager, always available to run the ball, makes ground every time, rarely dispossessed, great hands and pass, excellent tackling technique, accurate in the rucks, uncanny ability to read the game, always be in position to do something positive for the team, never has a bad game and he is durable. Slipps is a front rower with all the bonus features we need.

  • Jack

    Congratulations Slip, well done lad, clearly the most consistent all year and a deserved winner.

  • Nutta

    Congratulations James. You are a proud Wobbly and set a good example in your enthusiasm, application and work-rate.

    • Ryanno

      How do you congratulate a bloke and use the term Wobbly in the same sentence? That is crook.

      He is a Wallaby, have some respect.

      • Nutta

        Hold on a sec mate. I think you need to calm down a bit. I just gave the guy a compliment… personally I though TK was the best (can’t believe I just said that about a back), but the G&G lads have their process and stuck by it so again I say congrats to Slipps who won fair & square

        • Ryanno

          F&#k calming down. I’m sick of seeing the terms Wobblies, Horrortahs, Rabels e.t.c on an Oz rugby website. Stick your backhanded compliment where the sun don’t shine. Don’t use the term proud and Wobbly in the same sentence, that is bullsh1t.
          Australian rugby fans need to show some pride in our rugby culture. You get the team you deserve. I have never heard a Kiwi call the ABs anything less than the All Blacks.

        • Chris M

          You must be new around here, eh? Settle down a bit.

        • Ryanno

          Nope, not new at all. Have been coming to the website for a long time to read the articles and occasionally comment. I am disappointed with the commentary lately, especially the state bias. Comments like Nutta’s use of the term Wobbly above are now commonly accepted as ok. We need to rise above this rubbish.

        • Chris M

          No, we don’t. We need to accept that people have a different view of life and sense of humour and not get riled up unnecessarily. To some, it’s a term of endearment which was used even when we were dominating world Rugby.

          Starting fights about stuff like that is the last thing anyone needs at the moment.

          If you think that’s worth getting wound up about, you’re going to have a hard life on the interwebs.

        • Parker

          I think Ryanno is trying to understand why people would find endearing a term that conveys infirmity. Can you explain please Chris M, particularly when rugby is a game that values power, strength and speed.

        • Chris M

          No. I can’t. I don’t use the term. But I’ll tell you what I can explain. I can explain anonymous internet trolls using strawman arguments to cause angst. Do you really want to perpetuate that?

        • Bill

          +1

        • jamie

          It’s called, “banter”. It’s you the one that needs to calm down sunshine

  • Robson

    Congratulations to James Slipper, like a few others on the site he was my pick even before I started to read the article. In fact I would like to see him annointed as captain this year, but I suspect that won’t happen. He is a player who reminds me of the great All Black captain Wilson Whineray. No bias about my comments either, I’m a Kiwi.

  • Wallaby Legion

    Well deserved. He did the jersey proud every time he stepped on to the park.

  • Trevor Robertson

    No – we’re taking into account that at international level scrummaging is an 8 man effort. All three players have their faults – but they WERE our best three players.

  • RobC

    scrum issue is selection by the coach, backrow / 8man push performance, and lack of depth. ie the players that replace Slipper and Kepu

  • Bill

    If there’s an issue with our scrum it isn’t with the front row. It’s the middle, back row area giving some fairly oxygen deprived refs, some A grade ammunition. Rob Simmons excepted we have not been our own best friends at scrum in the back 5.

  • USARugger

    The “biased towards X” posts always tickle me because I’m pretty sure even with Scott gone the makeup of the backend people for G&GR is incredibly close to 1/3 NSW 1/3 QLD and 1/3 WA+ACT.

    We all do have that one terrible bias against League though…

  • USARugger

    Locks (particularly/primarily the backups) were definitely an issue as well this year. If anything I think our starting front row combinations performed way above where they should have been, all other things considered.

    Not really going to bring the England match into my thinking regarding our scrum though – that one was a bit of an aberration brought on by some horrendously poor officiating. You’d think after this many years and then the same exact tactic being employed by M. Vunipola during the Lions Tour that SOMEONE in the refereeing committee would know to look for that boring-in from any scrum coached by Rowntree.

  • RobC

    Yes, good pointer re replacement locks. Losing Fardy (the third lock) was also a big blow to our scrum.

    Ive been watching quite a few NH games:
    – Interesting a few are available free online, esp the UK Premiership.
    – Their scrums and officiating is top notch.
    – We’re just in a totally different dimension.

    What we may call cheating, is actually them using the scrum equivalent of computers with quantum processors and we’re still using the abacus.

    The good news is most states except NSW have bought into the scrum revamp last year:
    – Qld (Graham/Stiles), Victoria (McGahan) and WA (Maestro Foley)
    – this was c/o EM and Blades.
    – ACT has had it since the days of Jake White / Fisher / Palmer. Now Palmer is back to lead it for Brumbies.
    – NRC teams has a major emphasis on the scrum too.

    But its only the start. It will take time to turn, but we need Cheika to get on the programme. Not just WB / SR / NRC. Clubs too.

  • Trevor Robertson

    Cheika just hired an Argntinian scrum coach who has had success overseas (whose name aludes me). He is on board – or you could even argue ahead of the curve.

  • USARugger

    I think Cheika made a statement the other week about bringing in a yet-to-be-named (or I missed the announcement) specialist scrum coach.

  • USARugger

    Shit.

  • USARugger

    Seems the answer is below!

  • RobC

    Yes. Re Ledesma, it was leaked by French media last Friday. But no announcement yet.

    According to the leak, not the head scrum coach. But a consultant to Blades and Cheika. So we shall see.

  • Chris M

    Mario Ledesma

  • RobC

    I hope so Trevor. We have a lot of catching up to do, and getting ahead of the curve would be the only way of doing it. But Im not convinced yet.

    What Cheika does with Skelton and Tahs scrum is the bellweather. Which brings the point, who is goingn to be the Tahs scrum coach? Getting Ben to run it, as he has previously, is detrimental to both the Tahs and subsequently to WBs. No offence meant to BR.

    The key thing about scrums, just like lineouts or backline moves is selection.

    Choosing players who are unprepared / untrained to prioritise another facet (running etc), without working on the basic foundations of Rugby (scrummaging) will not get us anywhere near the curve – much less being ahead of it.

    So guys like Slipper, Kepu may end up like BenA. Overused, tired, and insulted by fans at the age of 30. You might have noticed Slipper started breaking down in Capetown. Kepu vs Wales.

    Despite all this, Slips got the GAGR award. So well done, doubly so.

  • RedAnt

    Is that for the Tahs or the Wallabies?

  • RobC

    USARugger. Are you on the other debate about NFRL on another site? Its quite interesting.

  • USARugger

    Not at the moment but definitely send a link my way. I’ve grown a bit deaf to the “professional rugby in the USA” commentary recently. Too many years of proposals that either A) Don’t have the $ or B) Are so ass-backwards it doesn’t matter how much cash they have, it would have failed.

  • RobC

    http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/01/10/professional-rugby-land-usa/

    Its got 150+ comments. Honestly, I dont know what to make of it.

Rugby
@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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