Vodacom Super Rugby
Genia wins S15 player award
Sydney - Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia was on Thursday named Australia's Super 15 player of the year for the second season in a row after a stellar year with the Reds.
Genia pipped team-mate Scott Higginbotham by a single vote, joining former Wallabies flank George Smith and ex-Reds fullback Chris Latham in winning back-to-back awards.
The Reds, whose title defence ended on Saturday when they were beaten 30-17 by the Durban-based Coastal Sharks, also secured the Australian team of the year for topping the Australian conference table.
Former Rugby World Cup-winning Wallaby Ewen McKenzie was named coach of the year after steering the Reds to the knockout round.
Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill said it all came down to the results and performances in the final round of the year.
"While we only had one side in the finals this year there was certainly a great deal shown by a number of the Australian franchises that they will provide big threats in 2013," he said.
"I want to congratulate the Reds ... for what they have achieved this season and for securing awards today," he added.
The Super 15 semi-finals take place this weekend with the Crusaders taking on Chiefs in Hamilton while the Sharks face the table-topping Stormers in Cape Town.