Brumbies

Smith brothers claim Super 14 double

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CA Brumbies flanker George Smith has won his third consecutive Investec Super 14 Player of the Series Award by a narrow two-point margin over long-time rival and fellow Qantas Wallabies flanker Phil Waugh, ARU announced overnight.


Smith’s game by game consistency and durability proved decisive in him again claiming the tournament’s top individual honour for an Australian player and in the process match Queensland Reds and Wallabies fullback Chris Latham’s record of three consecutive Player of the Series titles.


He played all 13 matches for the Canberra-based province in 2008, captaining the Brumbies for the first half of the season in the absence of regular skipper Stirling Mortlock.


Smith also reached a personal milestone during the season, making his 100th Super Rugby appearance against the Cheetahs in Round Six.


The three Investec Super 14 Player of the Year Awards sit alongside his six Brett Robinson Awards for CA Brumbies Players’ Player, an prize he has claimed consecutively over the past five years.


In a remarkable double for the Smith family, the Investec Super 14 Rookie of the Series was won by George’s brother, Brumbies centre Tyrone Smith.


Tyrone played in all 13 matches in his debut season, scoring three tries, which led to his selection in the Barbarians squad that will play matches against Belgium, Ireland and England later this month.


Returning to rugby after a three-year stint in rugby league with Harlequins in the European Super League ‘ where he scored 22 tries in 62 matches for the London based club ‘ Smith proved resilient and reliable in a CA Brumbies team ravaged by injuries.


He also offered a cutting edge to the Brumbies backline on his return to the 15-man game after a five-year absence.


After starting off the bench against the Crusaders in Round One, Smith earned a start at inside centre following Gene Fairbanks’ injury in Christchurch.


He proved an instant hit with the CA Brumbies fans and was named man of the match on his home debut against the Highlanders.


The Investec Super 14 Coach of the Series was awarded to Waratahs Head Coach Ewen McKenzie ‘ the Waratahs finishing second in the competition and highest of the four Australian teams.


McKenzie has picked up the Coach of the Year award three times. One of Australia’s finest props, with 51 Tests to his name, McKenzie was a member of Australia’s 1991 World Cup winning team.


Assistant coach of the Wallabies from 2000 until the end of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, McKenzie took over as Head Coach of the Waratahs in 2004 and guided the team to its first final in 2005.


Australia’s most experienced referee, Stuart Dickinson, was named TNT Super 14 Referee of the Series for the second consecutive year.


Dickinson, who controlled seven Super 14 games during the preliminary stages of the tournament, has been appointed to referee the Crusaders v Hurricanes semi final in Christchurch this weekend.


After appearing at last year’s Rugby World Cup, the IRB has again recognised Stuart’s form by retaining him on the elite International Referees Panel for the upcoming Test season.


The 2008 Investec Super 14 Try of the Series went to Queensland Reds winger Peter Hynes, for his try against the table-topping Crusaders in Brisbane in Round 13.


Receiving the ball after an expansive Reds backline move, Hynes produced an outstanding step off his left foot to beat three covering defenders and score under the posts.


One of the game’s quiet achievers, Hynes’ strong and direct approach saw him score five tries in 13 appearances for the Reds this season, including three tries in consecutive matches against heavyweights, the Blues, Crusaders and Waratahs.


A former Australia A, Under 21, Under 19 and Sevens representative, Hynes will again be a contender for international honours this season.

 

Super14.com

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