George Smith wins first Tooheys New Super 14 Player of the Series



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Brumbies flanker George Smith has won the 2006 Tooheys New Super 14 Player of the Series Award, just 24 hours after winning the Brumbies’ Brett Robinson Players Player Award and the Brumbies Best Forward Award.

Smith won the award with 35 votes, seven votes clear of his nearest rivals – Peter Hewat (Waratahs), Stirling Mortlock (Brumbies), David Croft (Reds) and Scott Staniforth (Force) – who all received 28 votes.

While Smith is a John Eales Medalist (2002) and has won the Brett Robinson Award at the Brumbies for the past four years, this is the first time he has won the Tooheys New Player of the Series Award.

The Australian Rugby Union conducted a review of the Awards last year and decided to move away from the voting structure of previous years, which involved the referees submitting their 3-2-1 votes for the players in the Australian teams only.

However, after consultation with the players, the voting system was changed to involve a panel of voters. The panel includes representatives from three groups ‘ the Fox Sports commentary team, the print media attending the game and the players themselves.

The result of the review is that the award is now judged on a greater range of opinions and has player input which enhances its stature and prestige amongst the players.

Reds scrumhalf Sam Cordingley’s outstanding form in the early rounds saw him take a commanding lead early in the voting. However it was Smith’s week-in, week-out consistency and all-round brilliance on the ball which attracted regular votes from all groups.

The 2006 Tooheys New Rookie of the Series was won by Waratahs prop Benn Robinson, whose big season in the Waratah front row resulted in him being named as the youngest of 33 Wallabies when the Test squad was announced on Monday.

A panel of senior Rugby journalists submitted their 3-2-1 votes to determine the Rookie of the Series, with Robinson edging out Reds flyhalf Berrick Barnes by just one vote to claim the award.

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie was recognised for the second year running as the Tooheys New Coach of the Series. Although falling agonisingly short of getting into the Super 14 Final, McKenzie masterminded some memorable victories throughout the season including an emphatic win over the Brumbies (37-14), a record win over the Blues (43-9) and their biggest ever Super Rugby victory (50-3 over the Cats).

Scott Young was awarded the 2006 Tooheys New Referee of the Series. It is the second time Young has picked up the award, the first being in 1998 when the inaugural Super 12 awards were held.  Young officiated one of the biggest matches of the year when the Waratahs played the Brumbies at Aussie Stadium, and his good form has been recognised ‘ he will officiate the Test between Japan and Italy on 11 June.

The 2006 Tooheys New Try of the Series was awarded by the Fox Sports commentary team to Waratah back Sam Norton-Knight for finishing one of the most entertaining and skilful team tries of the entire competition.

The try against the Brumbies at Aussie Stadium had a controversial finish, with the Television Match Official required to confirm that Norton-Knight had applied downward pressure. However the judges couldn’t go past the sensational lead-up work of the Waratahs forwards, brilliant touches by the backs, and the toe-through and chase by Norton-Knight, a split second before the ball was shepherded into touch by Stirling Mortlock.

The ever-popular Waratahs winger Lote Tuqiri attracted the support of Australian Rugby fans who voted him the winner of the 2006 Tooheys New Medal ‘ People’s Choice Award. The Medal was struck in 2004 to give supporters the chance to have their say in the awards, with Phil Waugh winning the inaugural award and Peter Hewat winning it last year. 

2006 Tooheys New Player of the Series – Top Ten vote recipients




George Smith



David Croft



Peter Hewat



Stirling Mortlock



Scott Staniforth



Nathan Sharpe



Mark Gerrard



Sam Cordingley



George Gregan



Cameron Shepherd



2006 Tooheys New Super 14 Awards

2006 Tooheys New Player of the Series

George Smith

2006 Tooheys New Rookie of the Series

Benn Robinson

2006 Tooheys New Coach of the Series

Ewen McKenzie

2006 Tooheys New Referee of the Series

Scott Young

2006 Tooheys New Try of the Series

Sam Norton-Knight

2006 Tooheys New Medal ‘ People’s Choice Award

Lote Tuqiri

Previous Winners


Player           Chris Latham

Medal            Peter Hewat

Rookie          Peter Hewat

Coach           Ewen McKenzie

Referee         Andrew Cole

Try                Chris Whitaker


Player           Chris Latham

Medal            Phil Waugh

Rookie          Nic Henderson and Drew Mitchell

Coach           David Nucifora

Referee         Andrew Cole

Try                Mark Gerrard


Player           Joe Roff & Chris Latham

Rookie          Matt Giteau

Coach           David Nucifora

Referee         Peter Marshall

Try                Tamaiti Horua


Player           Stirling Mortlock

Rookie          Van Humphries

Coach           David Nucifora

Referee         Stuart Dickinson

Try                Graeme Bond


Player           Phil Waugh

Rookie          David Croft

Coach           Eddie Jones

Referee         Peter Marshall

Try                Nathan Spooner


Player           Chris Latham

Rookie          Phil Waugh

Coach           Eddie Jones

Referee         Wayne Erickson

Try                Stephen Larkham


Player           Joe Roff

Rookie          Nathan Sharpe

Coach           John Connolly

Referee         Stuart Dickinson

Try                Joe Roff


Player           Stephen Larkham & John Eales

Rookie          Chris Whitaker

Coach           John Connolly

Referee         Scott Young

Try                Daniel Herbert

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