Bismarck narrow tip for crown

2011-11-03 10:53
Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis may have been mostly a bench resource for the country at RWC 2011, but he seems a public favourite for Thursday’s coveted SA Player of the Year mantle.

A Sport24 readers’ poll this week asked the question: “Who is most deserving of the 2011 SA Player of the Year award from the five players nominated?”

There had been almost 3 500 respondents at the time of writing, and the ever-competitive, powerful Sharks man had attracted some 27% of support.

He was closely followed, however, by another largely “impact” player at the World Cup, Bulls scrumhalf-cum-wing Francois Hougaard, on 25% - suggesting that many Bok enthusiasts were less than happy with the pair not being regarded as first choices as the national side bowed out at the quarter-final stage in New Zealand.

Next up on 21% came old favourite Schalk Burger, the tireless flank who did everything possible to try to prolong the Boks’ run at the tournament and is a prior recipient from as far back as 2004.

Emerging star Patrick Lambie, another versatile customer who excelled at fullback in the latter stages of RWC 2011, got 16% of the vote, whilst retiring, long-serving lineout king Victor Matfield earned 11% of approval.

Matfield has been among finalists for the award on five previous occasions since 2001, indicating his great consistency for franchise and country, although he has never quite “crossed the line” yet for the title.

Loosehead prop Gurthrö Steenkamp is the incumbent award-holder.

*The awards ceremony in Johannesburg goes out live on SuperSport1, CSN and SHD from 19:30.

Nominees (in alphabetical order):

SARU Rugby Player of the Year:

1. Schalk Burger
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Francois Hougaard
4. Pat Lambie
5. Victor Matfield

Young Player of the Year:

1. Johan Goosen
2. Francois Hougaard
3. Elton Jantjies
4. Pat Lambie
5. Jaco Taute

Absa Team of the Year:

1. Boland Cavaliers
2. Golden Lions
3. Springbok Sevens
4. Stormers
5. University of Cape Town

Absa Coach of the Year:

1. Allister Coetzee (Stormers and Western Province)
2. Eugene Eloff (Boland Cavaliers)
3. John Mitchell (Lions and Golden Lions)
4. John Plumtree (Sharks)
5. Paul Treu (Springbok Sevens)

Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year:

1. Gio Aplon (Stormers)
2. Schalk Burger (Stormers)
3. Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks)
4. Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs)
5. Duane Vermeulen (Stormers)

Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year:

1. Johan Goosen (Cheetahs)
2. Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions)
3. Frederic Michalak (Sharks)
4. Josh Strauss (Golden Lions)
5. Jaco Taute (Golden Lions)

Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year:

1. Bolla Conradie (Boland Cavaliers)
2. Danwel Demas (Boland Cavaliers)
3. Willie le Roux (Boland Cavaliers)
4. Luke Watson (EP Kings)
5. Elgar Watts (Boland Cavaliers)

Vodacom Cup Player of the Year:

1. Marnitz Boshoff (Blue Bulls)
2. Marcell Coetzee (Sharks XV)
3. Lionel Cronje (WP)
4. JJ Engelbrecht (WP)
5. Juan Imhoff (Pampas XV)

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