Pro14 awards: Cheetahs fullback among the best
NEWS: Five teams from the Pro14 are celebrating the achievements of their leading stars after the first lot of 2019/20 season awards were announced.
This week, the statistic-based awards for top try scorer, best kicker, turnovers won, most minutes played and best tackler have been confirmed.
Next week, the Players’ Player of the Season, Coach of the Season, Dream Team and Next-Gen Star of the Season awards will all be announced.
Golden Boot | JJ Hanrahan (Munster)
Munster’s JJ Hanrahan has been a crucial performer in his team’s path to the Pro14 semifinals with his place-kicking coming to the fore. Hanrahan’s accuracy off the tee was 90.91 percent as he converted 50 kicks from 55 attempts. The Munster flyhalf has scored 121 points in 14 appearances this season.
Top Try-Scorer | Rhyno Smith (Cheetahs)
Cheetahs fullback Rhyno Smith was key to the South African team’s remarkable home form where they scored 196 points across four games. But it was not just home comforts that worked for the Free State speedster, who scored four of his 10 tries away from home.
😍 What a try from Rhyno Smith!
🏉 Cheetahs edge back in front of Connacht, 15-14 in a really close contest at the Sportsground pic.twitter.com/SPnXHCCDqQ
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) October 26, 2019
Turnover King | Josh MacLeod (Scarlets)
The West Wales region have a strong pedigree for snaffling the ball away from the opposition at the breakdown with James Davies and former Scarlet Tadhg Beirne appearing high in the turnover charts in the past couple of seasons. In the absence of Davies during this campaign, MacLeod has performed strongly at openside picking 23 turnovers to earn the Turnover King award.
Tackle Machine | Paul Boyle (Connacht)
Connacht’s young loose forward is becoming well known around the Pro14 and should be in contention for the Next-Gen Star of the Season award. Providing strength and reliability from No.8, Boyle has been fearsome in defence with a remarkable 98.3 percent tackle completion rate from his 179 tackles attempted to earn him the title of Tackle Machine.
Ironman Award | Matthew Screech (Dragons)
Playing in all 15 of Dragons’ Pro14 fixtures wasn’t enough for lock Matthew Screech who was on the pitch 1,161 minutes out of a possible 1,200. Director of Rugby Dean Ryan has brought a feel-good factor to Dragons who have just had their place in the Champions Cup confirmed and the reliability of Screech will add to their options for the new campaign.