Habana is SA's best
Habana is SA's bestSHARE
Springbok wing Bryan Habana was on Thursday named South African Rugby Player of the Year for the third time.
Western Province picked up a brace of awards – as their Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup successwa were recognised at a glittering ceremony at the Cape Town International Airport.
The Sharks also scored off the field, with three awards heading to Durban.
Habana (29) was rewarded for his striking form as he helped the Stormers to the top of the log in Super Rugby and the semifinals of that competition, while extending his record try scoring streak with the Springboks to 47.
Habana was in superb form in the Green and Gold this year and scored seven tries in 2012, including a hat-trick against Australia at Loftus Versfeld in the Rugby Championship, resulting in him being the top try-scorer in the inaugural season of the competition.
He also took the field in the Currie Cup Final in Western Province colours and won the coveted trophy with this team for the first time, after tasting glory with the Blue Bulls in 2009.
Unfortunately a knee injury sustained in the match ruled him out of the end-of-year tour to Ireland, Scotland and England.
The most capped wing in Springbok history will be missed.
The speed merchant’s third award comes after similar accolades in 2005 and 2007.
He becomes only the second player to win the title more than two times, following in the footsteps of Naas Botha, who won it four times.
He was voted as Player of the Year by South Africa’s accredited media and the public, who voted via the Springboks Facebook page in competition with fellow nominees Keegan Daniel, Eben Etzebeth, Pat Lambie and JP Pietersen.
Habana’s award was the finale of a star-studded night during which 16 awards were won for rugby excellence across all age groups and competitions in 16 categories.
Western Province had three more winners on the night with Demetri Catrakilis and Deon Fourie being named Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup Players of the Season and Eben Etzebeth walking away with the Young Player of the Year award.
The Sharks also scored a treble on the night with their Currie Cup team being named Team of the Year and their head coach John Plumtree, walking away with the Coach of the Year award. Sharks captain Keegan Daniel was voted as Super Rugby Player of the Year by the six franchise coaches.
Junior Bok midfielder Jan Serfontein, who was named Player of the Tournament after the IRB’s Junior World Cup in South Africa in June, was almost a shoe-in for the SA Under-20 Player of the Year award, while Griffons utility back Hansie Graaff grabbed the spoils of First Division Player of the Year.
Cecil Afrika got the award for Springbok Sevens Player of the Year for the second year running in a new voting process which saw media and the public each contributing 50 percent of the vote.
The SARPA Players’ Player of the Year Award went to Springbok winger JP Pietersen, while Bryan Habana’s try against New Zealand in Dunedin was voted Try of the Year by the channel’s viewers.
Oregan Hoskins, President of SARU, congratulated the winners and applauded the achievements of local teams in 2012.
“We saw our Junior Boks win the IRB Junior World Championship on home soil, beating New Zealand for the title at Newlands, we had the Stormers top the log of the Super Rugby competition, which also had the Blue Bulls and the Sharks in the top six and then saw the latter reaching the final of the competition despite a very tough travelling schedule.
“On the domestic front the enlarged First Division lifted the standard of play considerably and the six-team Currie Cup proved a massive success with every weekend delivering nail-biting action,” Hoskins said.
The winners and finalists (where applicable) in all the categories are:
SARU Rugby Player of the Year
Winner: Bryan Habana
Finalists: Keegan Daniel, Eben Etzebeth, Pat Lambie, JP Pietersen
Young Player of the Year
Winner: Eben Etzebeth
Finalists: Marcell Coetzee, Johan Goosen, Elton Jantjies, Raymond Rhule.
Team of the Year
Winner: The Sharks (Currie Cup)
Finalists: Stormers (Super Rugby), EP Kings (First Division), Junior Boks (IRB Junior World Championship), The Sharks (Super Rugby).
Coach of the Year
Winner: John Plumtree (The Sharks)
Finalists: Allister Coetzee (Stormers and Western Province), Pote Human (Griquas), Alan Solomons (EP Kings), Dawie Theron (SA Under-20).
Super Rugby Player of the Year
Winner: Keegan Daniel (The Sharks)
Finalists: Marcell Coetzee (The Sharks), Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), JP Pietersen (The Sharks).
Currie Cup Player of the Year
Winner: Deon Fourie (Western Province)
Finalists: JC Janse van Rensburg (Golden Lions), Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions), Louis Ludik (The Sharks), Raymond Rhule (Free State Cheetahs).
First Division Player of the Year
Winner: Hansie Graaff (Griffons)
Finalists: JW Jonker (Pumas), Rudi Mathee (Pumas), Paul Perez (EP Kings), Luke Watson (EP Kings).
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year
Winner: Demetri Catrakilis (Western Province)
Finalists: Marcel Brache (Western Province), Jaco Kriel (Golden Lions), Gouws Prinsloo (Sharks XV), Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls).
SARPA Players’ Player of the Year: JP Pietersen (The Sharks)
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Cecil Afrika
Try of the Year
Winner: Bryan Habana (Springboks v All Blacks, Rugby Championship)
Finalists: Johan Goosen (Cheetahs v Crusaders, Super Rugby); Joe Pietersen (Stormers v Highlanders, Super Rugby); Paul Jordaan (The Sharks v Reds, Super Rugby); Jaco Taute (Golden Lions v Blue Bulls, Currie Cup).
SA Under-20 Player of the Year: Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls)
Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Sergeal Petersen (Eastern Province)
Referee Award: Jaco Peyer
Women’s Achiever of the Year: Yolanda Meiring (Blue Bulls)
SARU National Club Championship Player of the Tournament: Nico Luus (Pretoria Police)