NSW Waratahs

2011 Super Rugby NSW Waratahs Player of the Year

2011 Super Rugby NSW Waratahs Player of the Year

The NSW Waratahs managed to make the finals of Super Rugby again, but with the form they showed in their first two and last two games of the regular season, 2011 will go down as another season of lost opportunity. Let’s not forget they gave the 2011 Super Rugby Champions an almighty shellacking in the second game of the season, a game that will perhaps go down as a turning point for both teams. For the Reds, it triggered an early season reassessment of their approach to the game and they would go on to win their next seven matches. For the Tahs, they failed to maintain momentum and lost their next two matches.

Injuries played a large part in the Tahs’ inability to produce week-in, week-out, but what injuries also do is open the way for new players — and a number of these players featured in G&GR selections. So let’s review the season and discover who was the best Tah of the lot.

Round 1 v. Rebels

3 – Phil Waugh 
2 – Luke Burgess
1 – Ben Mowen

NSW WARATAHS 43 (K Beale 2, D Mitchell 2, R Horne, T Polota-Nau, P Waugh tries; B Barnes 3, Beale cons) bt MELBOURNE REBELS 0

Round 2 v. Reds

3 – Tatafu Polota-Nau
2 – Dave Dennis
1 – Rob Horne

NSW WARATAHS 30 (David Dennis, Drew Mitchell, Benn Robinson, Lachlan Turner tries Kurtley Beale 2 cons Berrick Barnes 2 pens) bt QUEENSLAND REDS 6 (Quade Cooper 2 pens)

Round 3 v. Crusaders

3 – Luke Burgess
2 – Kurtley Beale
1 – Ben Mowen

CRUSADERS 33 (R Fruean 2, S.B Williams tries; D Carter 3 cons, 4 pens) bt NSW WARATAHS 18 (L Burgess, T Carter, A Pakalani tries; K Beale pen) 

Round 5 v. Cheetahs

3 – Tom Carter
2 – Drew Mitchell
1 – Luke Burgess

CHEETAHS 23 (Phillip Snyman, Sarel Pretorius tries; Sias Ebersohn 3 pens, 2 cons) bt NSW WARATAHS 3 (Kurtley Beale pen)

 Round 6 v. Brumbies

3 – Kurtley Beale
2 – Luke Burgess
1 – Ben Mowen

NSW WARATAHS 29 (Ryan Cross, Sitaleki Timani tries Kurtley Beale 2 cons 5 pens) bt BRUMBIES 22 (Ben Alexander try Matt Giteau con 5 pens)

 Round 7 v. Chiefs

3 – Tatafu Polota-Nau 
2 – Drew Mitchell
1 – Tom Carter

WARATAHS 23 (1 penalty try, Afa Pakalani try; Kurtley Beale 2 cons 3 pens) bt CHIEFS 16 (Tim Nanai-Williams try; Michael Delany con Delany 2, Nanai-Williams pens)

Round 8 v. Force

3 – Luke Burgess
2 – Drew Mitchell
1 – Pat McCutcheon

NSW WARATAHS 31 (Drew Mitchell 2, Kurtley Beale, Tom Carter tries Beale 4 cons pen) bt WESTERN FORCE 3 (James O’Connor pen)

Round 9 v. Blues

3 – Drew Mitchell 
2 – Sekope Kepu
1 – Benn Robinson

BLUES 31 (John Afoa, Jaryd Payne, Rene Ranger, Alby Mathewson tries; Luke McAlister 3 cons) bt NSW WARATAHS 17 (Daniel Halangahy, Drew Mitchell, Ryan Cross tries; Kurtley Beale con)

Round 10 v. Reds

3 – Sekope Kepu 
2 – Benn Robinson
1 – Tatafu Polota-Nau

QUEENSLAND REDS 19 (Quade Cooper try con 3 pens drop goal) bt NSW WARATAHS 15 (Kurtley Beale 5 pens)

Round 11 v. Rebels

3 – Dave Dennis
2 – Lachlan Turner
1 – Sitaleki Timani

NSW WARATAHS 28 (David Dennis, Dean Mumm, Tatafu Polota-Nau tries Kurtley Beale 2 cons 3 pens) bt MELBOURNE REBELS 9 (Julian Huxley 3 pens)

Round 12 v. Force

3 – Benn Robinson 
2 – Pat McCutcheon
1 – Sitaleki Timani

NSW WARATAHS 20 (Ryan Cross, John Ulugia tries Kurtley Beale 2 cons 2 pens) bt WESTERN FORCE 15 (James O’Connor 5 pens)

Round 14 v. Lions

3 – Chris Alcock
2 – Sekope Kepu
1 – Kurtley Beale

NSW WARATAHS 29 (Sosene Anesi 2, Kurtley Beale, Ryan Cross, Tom Kingston tries Beale 2 cons) bt LIONS 12 (Dylan Des Fountain, Jaco Taute tries Elton Jantjies con)

Round 15 v. Sharks

3 – Daniel Halangahu 
2 – Chris Alcock
1 – Sitaleki Timani

Sharks 26 (Patrick Lambie, JP Pietersen tries; Patrick Lambie 4 pens, 2 cons) d HSBC Waratahs 21 (Lachie Turner, Daniel Halangahu tries; Kurtley Beale 3 pens, con)

Round 16 v. Bulls

3 – Kurtley Beale
2 – Sitaleki Timani
1 – Tatafu Polota-Nau

BULLS 23 (Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier tries Morne Steyn 2 cons 3 pens) bt NSW WARATAHS 17 (Afa Pakalani try Kurtley Beale 4 pens)

Round 17 v. Highlanders

3 – Kurtley Beale 
2 – Tom Carter
1 – Tatafu Polota-Nau

NSW WARATAHS 33 (Tom Carter 3, David Dennis, Josh Holmes tries Kurtley Beale 4 cons) bt HIGHLANDERS 7 (Jason Rutledge try Tony Brown con)

Round 18 v. Brumbies

3 – Dave Dennis
2 – Sitaleki Timani
1 – Kurtley Beale

NSW WARATAHS 41 (Chris Alcock, Sosene Anesi, David Dennis, Sitaleki Timani, Lachlan Turner tries Kurtley Beale 5 cons 2 pens) bt BRUMBIES 7 (Francis Fainifo try Matt Giteau con)

Finals Week 1 v. Blues

3 – Dave Dennis 
2 – Kurtley Beale
1 – Benn Robinson

BLUES 26 (Lachie Munro, Ali Williams tries; Munro 3 pen, con; Luke McAlister con, pen) NSW WARATAHS 13 (Tom Carter, Lachie Turner tries; Kurtley Beale pen).

There was a tight battle at the top featuring some of the usual suspects, plus one of the  less heralded Waratah forwards in Dave Dennis. Starring roles in the last couple of games of the season propelled him towards the top of the leaders board, but in the end it was too little, too late as another Rebel recruit finished on top. The final ladder looks like this:

Rank Player Points
1st Kurtley Beale 15
2nd Luke Burgess 11
Dave Dennis 11
4th Drew Mitchell 9
Tatafu Polota-Nau 9
6th Sekope Kepu 7
Sitaleki Timani 7
Benn Robinson 7
9th Tom Carter 6
10th Chris Alcock 5
11th Phil Waugh 3
Ben Mowen 3
Pat McCutcheon 3
Daniel Halangahu 3
15th Lachalan Turner 2
16th Rob Horne 1

A couple of stand-out points from this list: first, the top two players (well, two of the top three) are playing elsewhere next year, and second, how well was Drew Mitchell going before his injury? You could make a similar comment about Tatafu, but Drew was the man who really was in great form. But what do you think? Was Kurtley the clear winner, or should it have gone to someone else? Any disappointments in the list? Let us know, and then come back tomorrow for the naming of the G&GR Queensland Reds Player of the Year.

NSW Waratahs

Every year Green and Gold Rugby awards their various Player of the Year Awards, as voted by the members of our forum. This is done by way of your basic 3-2-1 voting structure after every game. So head over to the forum and join in the fun.

More in NSW Waratahs