Following the semi’s this weekend and given the nominations for awards around the corner, I wondered if a new category should not be included?
Guys like JJ Harmse might be perplexed by some of the nominations for the up and coming SA Rugby Awards but I believe the categories do not actually serve some of the most telling contributions by certain individuals.
For starters, player of the year means less to me than player’s player of the year nominations as the true judge of your ability should not come from administrators or journalists, but your direct peers.
In fact, did we ever see a tighthead prop receive the player of the year award? And we all know they are the most important guys on the park!
When speaking to rugby players you find that most believe man of the match awards and player of the year awards are not always a true reflection of the contributions of certain individuals.
I have almost no doubt Fourie du Preez will receive the player of the year award. And although there is no doubting his ability and the fact that he is the best scrumhalf in the world right now, I wonder if the award of South Africa’s ‘best player’ is really down to his influence on the teams he represented, or more to the fact that he has no equal when judged against other players in the same position – almost like there is so much daylight between him and the next guy he just has to be the best player on the planet.
Perhaps he deserves it based on those ground, I am certainly not going to dispute it, but there is another player who in my view had the biggest impact and biggest influence in just about every single game he played this year.
It is also difficult to debate whether the Bulls and the Boks would not have achieved they success if Fourie was not present. There is a strong case for that but all the arguments would have been subjective at best.
What became clear to me however on Saturday is the immense influence one man had both for the Bulls and the Boks this year.
Do you think there is more truth in the statement that: “Without Fourie we might still have achieved success at the Bulls and Boks, but without X we would not have”?
I suppose it depends on who X is?
Well the more I think about it and the more I look back, the more I start to believe that a massive influence on both the Bulls and Boks’ success in 2009 was none other than one Mr. Morné Steyn.
On Saturday one guy remarked that next time we see Steyn, we should check for a pulse because they believe this guy has no nerves or any emotion no matter what the situation. He is simply calculated and deadly.
Another story I heard in the post-match presser was one where Morné missed a conversion in one of the tests this year where the game was already won comfortably. After the match the guy was apparently incensed at the fact that he could have missed that kick…
The difference on Saturday between WP and the Blue Bulls was Morné Steyn. Perhaps as much as the difference between the Boks and B&I Lions in Pretoria was the same guy, and the difference between the All Blacks and Aussies and the Boks was again, none other than Mr. Steyn.
Oh and let’s not forget the Bulls Super 14 campaign now either…
Morné might not be a Dan Carter, whereas Fourie du Preez can be mentioned in the same class as a scrumhalf as Carter is to flyhalf, but does that make Fourie more influential than what Morné was in 2009?
I don’t think so.
Perhaps the only way around this is to create a category of most influential player of the year?
But for my money, the guy that was the difference between his team winning and losing, was Morné Steyn, which makes him SA most valuable player for 2009 in my books.