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As the season comes to a close.
The Warriors’ support gets a chance to choose which player has been the best this season. This season has been one of downs and ups, with all the ups coming at the end. With the Warriors
poised to take a Heineken Cup place next season things have never looked better even though there have been very few Guinness Premiership wins.
So which players are in contention for the 3 Worcester Warriors Supporters Club awards of WRFC Player of the Year, WRFC Young Player of the Year and Favourite WRFC Player?
The Young Player award has some outstanding contenders as a crop of highly talented youngsters are getting into the 1st 15 on a regular basis. Miles Benjamin is probably favourite to scoop the award as his try scoring as really grabbed the headlines and the favour of many rugby plaudits. Tom Wood has shown that he is more than capable of taking on the best back row players in the Premiership and there are players like Jonny Arr, Chris Pennell, Will Bowley, Joe Carlisle and Matt Mullen who have all shown that they have no problem playing with the big boys. You could count Marcel Garvey as a young player too as he is still only 25. Then there the likes of James Collins, Uche Oduoza and Matt Cox who have all played for the England 7’s team this year. The fact that there are still several very good players in the Warriors Academy that haven’t quite made it into the 1st team squad as yet bodes well for the future of the Warriors. It is all well and good bringing in players from elsewhere but all clubs have the responsibility to the future of the game to bring on young talent and Worcester take that responsibility very seriously.
Now for the Player of the Year. Again a tough one to call and it depends on your criteria as well. My criteria would be all round contribution, commitment and skill. Since he has come to the club Sam Tuitupou, has blown the fans and the opposition away with the way he plays. The centre of the Warriors defence and attack has never been so potent as it is now with his partnership with Dale Rasmussen and they are clearly really enjoying playing together. The other back have been playing well too with Miles, Marcel and Rico Gear all showing a clean pair of heals as well as good vision and great defence. Thinus Delport is just having a ball at the moment and playing with such relish which has shown in the Opta stats with how many meters he has carried the ball this season. Shane Drahm has a had an up and down season or should I say a down and now up season. He was loaned out in November, only to be quickly recalled and has just been on song since, keeping the 10 shirt Loki Crichton and James Brown. Matt Powell has made the 9 spot his for most of the season and there are few players who can have worked as hard as Matt has to get his game to the standard he sets himself. He is relentless in his pursuit of being the scrum half he believes the club deserve. In my book he is one of the best scrumhalves around the base of a defensive scrum, how many times do you see the opposition No 8 or 9 get the ball and Matt at the same time?
The forwards have really upped their game over the last couple of months. Greg Rawlinson has added even more to the Warriors already much vaunted lineout and Craig Gilles has added a ball carrying side to his game that he clearly enjoys. The front row players have suffered the most with some very bad injuries. Chris Horsman and Darren Morriss have both suffered very nasty muscle detachments which have limited their contribution and Chris Fortey also has been out for much of the season with injury. Aleki Lutui is the most amazing hooker, he carries the ball so well and his tackling is immense. Time after time he gets to a breakdown and ends up with the ball, he’s a little burglar!! Tony “Reg” Windo has stepped in to shore up the front row whilst his fellow props recover, he and my man of the season Tevita “Dave” Taumoepeau have just been the cornerstones of the scrum, with Dave playing most of all of every game this season. How he has managed it I just don’t know the front row it the most difficult place to play and stay injury free but he has lasted the season with smile on his face.
I would normally favour a back row player for Player of the season as I just love the role they have, it is the most challenging remit in the game in my book. Pat Sanderson is just the bizz, his unrelenting commitment in defence and attack is a great example to follow. The other back rowers, Kai Horstmann, Drew Hickey, Netani Talei and some of our talented young players Tom Wood, James Collins and Matt Cox all have shown the strength in depth of the Worcester back row as no matter which combination of players start the game the level of skill and commitment is the same high quality.
The Favourite WRFC Player? Well that has to be Dave for me again, a true gent off the pitch and an awesome player on it...
So how can you vote? Well Click here and follow the instructions and you can have your say which players get which awards.
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