Ok so it was a tough year for Australian Rugby fans. Nine losses is never a fun outcome particularly when almost half of them are from the ‘old enemy’ in England (unfortunately, we’re kind of used to the NZ losses).
As Hugh Cavill pointed out on our podcast last week though, it must surely go down as one of the hardest international years of rugby Australia has ever had, such was the quality of the opposition. The lowest ranked team we ever faced was Scotland who was ranked 9th at the time. In fact 11 of our 15 games were against team ranked in the top five teams (of which we only won two…).
Anyway…a tough year for the Wallabies as a collective, but there’s no doubting there have been some wonderful individual performances. We’ve had veterans returning to our shores under the “Giteau Clause”, we’ve rookies emerge as stand out players, and we’ve had many of the regulars busting their gut every time they pull on the jersey. As per usual, GAGR likes to recognise these players.
For the eighth successive year, the readers of Green and Gold Rugby have banded together to determine our GAGR Wallaby Player of the Year. In what must be the biggest fan driven Player of the Year award in the country, based on performance, we can now announce our 2016 winner.
But first, a little bit about the process.
After every Wallaby test match, over in the forum, our readers provide their old school for 3-2-1’s for that game. That is, they declare their top three performing Wallabies with the best getting 3 points, 2nd best getting 2 points and the third best getting 1 point.
At the end of the match (voting usually stops by about the Thursday following a weekend test) we accumulate the votes and come up with the three highest point-getters. They are then assigned the 3-2-1 for that test and kept in a spreadsheet, which accumulates the points across the season.
Then come season end, sometime after the November tests we name our winner of the largest fan-driven player award in Australian Rugby.
Our readers have time and again showed extreme astuteness in their selections with the list of winners undeniably at the top of their class in Australian rugby.
Previous winners have been as follows:
So how did 2016 pan out? Let’s look back at the season test match by test match (sorry) as we count down to find out the 2016 GAGR Wallaby Player of the Year.
Australia v England (Brisbane)
(England 39 defeated Australia 28)
3 points – Michael Hooper
2 points – Israel Folau
1 point – Dane Haylett-Petty
Australia v England (Melbourne)
(England 23 defeated Australia 7)
3 points – Samu Kerevi
2 points – Israel Folau
1 point – Michael Hooper