Two snippets of news released yesterday caught my eye … And I thought them worth commenting on …
The ten finalists for the SARU Rugby Player of the Year were finalised, following a new public consultation process via the SARU Facebook page, and in conjunction with votes from the rugby media, including myself …
The ten finalists are: Willem Alberts, Keegan Daniel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Siya Kolisi, Pat Lambie and JP Pietersen.
So given that Daniel was dropped, and that both Lambie and Jantjies have been used exceptionally sparingly by Heyneke Meyer, it would seem that the media and public are not singing from the same songsheet as the Bok coach …
My vote went to the block of granite that is Jannie du Plessis. Not flashy and perhaps prone to a little petulance, but with stocks at tighthead alarmingly low, this man often plays the full 80, and has never ever let the side down. He is key to the Bok side.
Bryce Lawrence has pulled the plug on his career after his 200th first-class match in charge.
A year too late say most of us, but two interesting quotes from him caught my eye …
“On Facebook they launched a ‘get rid of Bryce Lawrence’ site and it was pretty nasty. That was absolutely the reason for my career change.”
“There was some pretty nasty political stuff going on about that appointment (Boks vs Aus in RWC). I refereed Australia versus Ireland and Ireland had won but behind the scenes guys like (Australian chief executive) John O’Neill were kicking up a massive stink. I knew a bit about that and it was enough to affect me, and it probably made me freeze on the biggest stage.”
My oath! Chased out by social media, and freezing on the biggest stage of all because of the comments of a CEO of one of the side playing in the game. Does this constitute match fixing from O”Neill? How did this man get there in the first place, and why is he being used to select the next batch of referees?
And lastly, the winners at last night’s WPFU awards dinner:
Best Forward: Eben Etzebeth
Best Back: Bryan Habana
Most Promising Senior Player: Scarra Ntubeni
Clubs’ Player of the Year: Alconroy Botha
MVP Award: Deon Fourie
Players’ Player of the Year: Eben Etzebeth
Under-19 Best Forward: Justin Benn
U19 Best Back: Justin Geduld
Most Promising U19 Player: Sti Sithole
Under-21 Best Forward: Francois van Wyk
U21 Best Back: Devon Williams
Most Promising U21 Player: Player Josh Katzen
Womens Player of the Year: Chantel Sieckers
Talk about taking the rugby world by storm! Etzebeth is yet to turn 21! Must be a shoe in for the SARU young player of the year award …