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And the blue ribbon goes to...

We brought you our Team of the Tournament, but we are not done yet with the accolades and dispraise in the wake of the 19th edition of Super Rugby.

We sat down and compiled a list of awards – some serious, some a bit tongue-in-the-cheek.

So, without further ado here are some of the awards we have come up with!

Player of the tournament: Israel Folau gave him a good run for his money, but we gave it to Waratahs captain Michael Hooper for his leadership and all-round skills.

Forward of the season: Obviously Michael Hooper was in the running, but in the name of 'socialism' we decided to share the love around and gave it to the next man in line – Crusaders No.8 Kieran Read.

Back of the Season: Yes, Malakai Fekitoa was a massive find and Kurtley Beale again reminded us of his sublime skills, but our award goes to Waratahs fullback Israel Folau for his ability to not only break the line almost at will, but his off-loading and finishing.

Team of the Tournament: The Lions surprised all by not finishing last and setting a new franchise record for most wins, the Sharks again flattered to deceive, the Crusaders put in a strong late run, while the Brumbies and Highlanders were also good value for most of the season. However, there can only be one winner and this is the Waratahs.

Fairplay kudo: Aaron Smith walks away with this. He went over under the posts and when the referee asked him if he had scored a try he said he had not.

Johnny-come-lately: The Stormers appeared desperate to prop up the bottom of the table, with some strong competition from the Cheetahs, only for a late rally (four consecutive wins in the last five rounds) to lift them to 11th place.

Turkey of the season: It was with much hype that Tyler Bleyendaal approached the season, starting at flyhalf for the Crusaders in their opening match against the Chiefs on February 21. It was, as they say, a game he would like to forget in a hurry – missing all five his first-half kicks at goal, getting replaced early in the second half and made only sporadic appearances again – eventually signing with Irish province Munster midway through the season.

We're sure he doesn't need any reminding, but here those flops are:


Foreign Legion: The Waratahs would claim to have made the best buy of the century when they lured Springbok Jacques Potgieter to Sydney, but the Western Force recorded their best season ever – with eight South Africans in their Super Rugby squad and another two from the Republic on their coaching staff.

Try of the Tournament: There are simply too many to mention – over 600 tries in 125 matches. The one that stands out for us, because of the sublime handling skills, is TJ Perenara's five-pointer for the Hurricanes against the Brumbies in Wellington on March 7.

Watch and enjoy.

Rags to riches:  The Lions front row consisted of a collection of discards (unwanted by other franchises) and frowned upon by the broader public as a laughable selection. Oh boy, did they come good – they overpowered the first-choice Springbok front row, the back-up Bok front row, a collection of New Zealand's best and even the pride of Australia. Take a bow Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee and Schalk van der Merwe.

Missile launcher: Frans Steyn may have fallen out with his bosses at SARU, walked out on the Boks and have been erratic at times. But when he unleashed a kick of over 60 metres against the Lions he reminded us again of his value as a player when he is on song.

Don't light that (short) fuse: Waratahs coach Michael Cheika eventually won the media over, but he also showed us his nasty underbelly – the personality of a petulant teenager, mixed with a high-strung businessman. It included breaking a glass door at the coaches box in Canberra and abusing a television cameraman in Durban.

Foot-in-mouth disease: Reds lock James Horwill earned himself a nasty fine for blowing up over a TMO call he felt wasn't particularly good.

Dog-eat-dog: There wasn't much love lost in the New Zealand conference, where all five teams were still in the running to make the play-offs, going into the final round of league action. In fact after Round 17 just six points separated them on the standings.

Fashion faux pas: The Rebels made a desperate attempt to get into Richard Blackwel's 'Ten Worst Dressed' list this year with their Indigenous jersey midway through the season.

Boom-bang-crash: There were some real big hits, but this one would have registered over five on the Richter magnitude scale. Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna produced what we felt was the hit of the season, when he smashed Waratahs captain Michael Hooper back in May. Hooper took a pass and was hit with tremendous legal force across the chest and ribs by Tameifuna. Hooper managed to retain and recycle the ball possession and both players got to their feet then wobbled back into action.

Here it is if you missed it!

Bungle in the jungle: There were many bloopers this season, but none as entertaining as Nick Cummins' misguided attempt to clear his line in the encounter with the Lions in Perth. It has variously been described as 'the worst kick in the history of Super Rugby' and gifted the Lions a try.

Here's the highlights of the game, including that infamous kick!


No, we did not forget the referees!!!

Super referee of the season: Maybe the Crusaders (or New Zealanders) had a bit to say about that last penalty in the Final, but there's no denying Craig Joubert is the best on the planet in his trade. It was a tough call and a sad way to end the tournament, but somebody has to make tough calls.

Most controversial decision: It was the try that was (or was not) depending on which team you supported, which country you came from and how well you could contain your emotions. But the ball lost by Deon van Rensburg, which resulted in a try to Coenie van Wyk in the Lions' games against the Blues continue to cause debate.

Best refereeing decision: Like it or not, but extending the scope of the TMO has had a huge impact on the game.

Giving back to the game: Two players who made their name on the international stage and now are Super Rugby referees – Glen Jackson and Rohan Hoffman

Most unpleasant ground for referees: Newlands, which is only because it always has more people than at Canberra.

Worst grooming: Steve Walsh loves watching himself on the big screens at grounds. Now if only he would pay as much attention to his shaving.

Angry bear award: Several players display an unpleasant disposition towards referees, but Bulls captain Victor Matfield shades this one.

Hardest law to referee: The tackle and what happens after it.

One more for the highlights reel!!!

Keep it in son: We conclude with a couple of humorous (not so funny if you're on the receiving end) moments in the season. Colin Slade is not scared to tackle and as a result he lost his guard – not once, but twice – while attempting to stop an opponent.

If you're squeamish, you may not want to watch this!

Compiled by the rugby365 team


* Did we miss anything?


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