Steenkamp: SA rugby player of the year

2 November 2010

Gurthro Steenkamp of the Blue Bulls was named the South African Rugby Union Player of the Year on Monday. He succeeds his team-mate Fourie du Preez.

The big loosehead prop shone for the Bulls as the franchise claimed its third Super 14 title and stood out for the Springboks too. Not only did he exhibit improved scrummaging in 2010, but he also excelled around the field, producing a high tackle count and uesful contributions as a ball carrier.

The other nominees for the award were Francois Hougaard, also of the Bulls, and the Western Province and Stormers trio of Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, and Schalk Burger.

Team of the Year

While the Bulls produced the Player of the Year, they were also recognised as a unit and named the SARU Team of the Year after winning the Super 14 for the third time in four years with a 25-17 victory over the Stormers in Soweto.

Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies was named the SARU Young Player of the Year. He also picked up the SA under-20 Player of the Year Award after excelling at the IRB Junior World Championships in Argentina, where South Africa finished third.

Together with 20-year-old Patrick Lambie, Jantjies was chosen for the Springboks’ end-of-year tour. The emergence of the two young playmakers has given supporters of the green and gold a lot of optimism about the future.

Western Province awards

Although his team was beaten in the final of the Currie Cup, Western Province coach Allister Coetzee was given some consolation as he picked up the Absa Coach of the Year award. There was another award for Province when their exciting winger, Gio Aplon, was named the Players’ Player of the Year.

There was success for the Stormers, with Andries Bekker being named the Vodacom Super 14 Player of the Year after an impressive season in the southern hemisphere’s leading provincial competition.

Another Stormer, Jaque Fourie, won the SuperSport Try of the Year for scoring a stunning five-pointer against the Crusaders after a superb run at Newlands.

Record try scorer

Griquas’ Bjorn Basson was named the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year after setting a record with 21 tries in the season. The flying winger has been snapped up by the Blue Bulls for next season.

The Eastern Province Kings’ Norman Nelson, who dotted down nine times in the season, was chosen as the Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year. The Kings claimed the First Division title with a hard-fought 16-12 victory over the South Western Districts Eagles in George.

Francois Brummer of the Blue Bulls picked up the Vodacom Cup Player of the Year award. His drop-kick after the final whistle helped the Blue Bulls edge the Free State Cheetahs 31-29 to win the competition.

Kyle Brown won the Sasol Sevens Player of the Year Award.

Club rugby

Stellenbosch University was beaten in the final of the SAA Club Championships, going down to College Rovers, but Maties’ Lourens Adriaanse was named the SAA Club Championships Player of the Year.

Lock Dolly Mavungwana received the SARU Women’s Rugby Achiever of the Year award.

Craig Joubert, who took charge of the Currie Cup final, won the Marriot Refereeing Achievement of the Year award.

Johan Goosen of Free State, yet another fine product of the country’s top rugby school, Grey College, was named the Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament.

Interestingly, the Sharks, winners of the Absa Currie Cup, didn’t win a single award!

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