Lions Tour Alternative Awards

The Balls of Steel Award
This award goes to the man who had the audacity and temerity to drop the legend that Brian O’Driscoll and at the same time send Twitter and Ireland into meltdown. Warren Gatland, you’ve got some serious stones. And it turned out that in the end, he did know best. Who would have thought?

The Air Miles Award for Most Pointless Trip
Nominees: Shane Willams, Christian Wade, Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees

Any of the above could comfortably take this award, given the pointlessness of their tours. One appearance in a stuttering back-line and a load of stash is all they… actually they are probably all laughing. Shane Williams wins it, however, for the utter disbelief that spread on waking up and seeing his name on the teamsheet. Didn’t he retire? No, he’s just playing in the Japanese Second division. Get him on a plane!

Photo of the Tour

This is easily our favourite photo from the tour. Eyes on the ball now Rob…

The JCB Award for Services to Trucking

George North has reportedly been offered a free dump truck after enacting the perfect lift and dump on Israel Folau in the second test. Probably. Either way, that was one of the most astonishing things seen on a rugby pitch for quite some time.

The Play through the Pain Award, sponsored by Gaffa Tape

A popular award returning from the Six Nations version of this prestigious ceremony, the Play through the Pain Award rewards those nutters that exemplify rugby players’ abilities to operate at the highest level, while carrying an injury that would have most of us writhing around in pain. This time it goes to Alun-Wyn Jones, who said he barely even noticed that James Horwill had stamped on his face. How is that possible?!

The Justin Bieber Award for Worst Lid
Nominees: Adam Jones, Richie Gray, Richard Hibbard, Christian Wade

Lots of contenders here: the first three names all look like part of the Hair Bear bunch, but this award goes to Christian Wade for sort of growing a half afro, and then combing it on live television in the final test. Time for a trip to the barbers, Chris.

The Alan Partridge Award for Spewing Utter Garbage on Air
Nominees: Stuart Barnes, Stuart Barnes, STUART BARNES

This feels like a disservice to Alan Partridge. Most will agree that one of the biggest blights of the tour was Stuart Barnes’ ‘commentary’ and ‘analysis’ (in the loosest sense of the words), which were almost unanimously met with groans in living rooms and pubs throughout the British Isles and Ireland. Brian Moore on TalkSport was so much more insightful, and if you could manage to get that feed perfectly timed with the video feed, you were laughing. Thank God we won’t have to listen to his drivel for another Premiership season.

The Shaggy Award for Getting Away With it When You Are Clearly Guilty

‘It wasn’t me’… lyrics from a modern classic by the great Shaggy and words that must have left James Horwill‘s mouth a fair few times over the TWO DAYS it took to decide whether he was guilty or not. I doubt it took that long even for Shaggy’s missus to decide whether to ditch him or not. You’re a lucky man, James.

Any suggestion of your own for comedy awards? Give us your suggestions below!

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

43 thoughts on “Lions Tour Alternative Awards

  1. No mention for Paul O’Connell on the Play Through The Pain? He only played the guts of 10 minutes,including 2 scrums, with a fractured arm.

    1. My thoughts exactly! I read somewhere that he knew it was broken, but stayed on because the bench was out of forwards. Hero!

      1. POC for the “Balls of Granite” award then.

        and if POC’s balls are made of granite, then Hibbard’s head must be made of POC’s balls!

  2. Dropping BOD was inconsequential. The scrum is what won us that game, we’d have done just as well with BOD there, if not better. His decision to start Phillips was a major mistake, but no one mentions that.

    1. You clearly know nothing about Rugby Phillips started because hes the best 9 in the northern hemisphere.He s not played his best because the way the games panned out ; hes a game winner and it could have easily been him winning the game and you d be critical about someone else — so sad

      1. I must know nothing about rugby either since I’d say Morgan Para is best scrumhalf from the NH.

        And I have a lot of time for Kahn Fotuali’i who’s plying his trade up here, he’d run rings around Philips, each to their own I suppose.

        I agree with Brighty, Philips getting selected ahead of Murray proved to be a poor/wrong call but it wasn’t a major mistake. Him and Davies ahead of Murray/Youngs and BOD were my only probs with Gatland’s selection. And I’d have felt that regardless of their or my nationality.

        Also, Rootie 6, no offence but yeah, obviously if Philips played well and won the game for us then we would be critical about someone else. That’s what we do; point out who didn’t play well and moan about them. Welcome to the site!

    2. Selecting BOD may not have altered the outcome, but JD had a very good game and was our form 13. So whether it would have impacted the outcome or not is irrelevant, it was clearly a good decision.

      Philips wasn’t great. I didn’t think being the worst of the 3 options in the tests deserved a recall. Clearly Gatland was anticipating some positive reaction to being dropped but it didn’t materialise. But we won, so don’t think it’s a major mistake.

  3. pedant alert : Shane was already in Aus for Talksport duties, so no wasted plane ticket involved… I’ll get my coat.

    Steve, as you’ve said, we’d have won the game with/without BOD. Well, we also won the game starting Phillips so I’m inclined to cut Gatland some slack and say it was the wrong thing to do but not a “major mistake” (and I think you will find that tons have mentioned it). I personally thought it was worth the risk to see if Mikey could get back to spikey, but he didn’t. Didn’t harm the result.

  4. Most divisive player – Dan Lydiate? Seems like this man has been Marmite specifically on this tour. I’ve seen him feted as crucial (yes, included by me, but not just by me) and dismissed as 1 dimensional and superfluous.

    Biggest cringe award – The Aussies selling their soul. Everyone was on script so it was always “The Qantas Wallabies” .. “The DHL Series” … I know that money is important but it was still shocking to never hear the script deviated from.

    The “Where is he now?” award – Keith Wood. Firmly back in hole.

    1. the marmite award is a good one. would argue that Croft is up there with Lydiate, could be a tight call ;)

      havent the wallabies “officially” been known as the “Qantas Wallabies” for years?

      agree though, its cringy to constantly call them that… would have been pretty embarrassed if the lions were constantly called the “HSBC British and Irish Lions”

  5. The Air Miles Award for Most Pointless Trip – Gethin Jenkins – all your nominees had game time

    Welcome to test rugby award – Folau or Leali’ifano (opposite reasons)

    1. I had the same thoughts on Jenkins – especially as Wililams was already on his way to Aus.

      1. plus Twelvetrees came on as a sub against the Tahs, and Barritt started that game.

        Tom Court made 1 replacement appearance. (but because no one else could get there in time, so not too pointless)

        Shane was already there.

        Wadey only got one game. and they actually had a couple of fit players, but called him up any way.

        But i really do think Gethin takes the award here. as he didnt even feature.

        Rory Best could probably be a good option here too. although he featured a fair bit, his absolute meltdown meant that the lion should probably have chosen anyone else…

  6. “Titanium Cranium” award goes to Hibbard for the head-clash in the final test which he simply shrugged off whilst George Smith was knocked into next week and 5 minutes later could barely walk off the pitch. Hibbard later tackled several other players with his head just to prove a point.

    1. “Titanium Cranium”, I’m storing that away for future use. AWJ and his boot proof head deserve an honourable mention here also.

  7. The healing powers of Wolverine award. Nominees: Tommy Bowe, Alex Corbisiero, Leia’leafano and probably someone else. Winner Tommy Bowe for breaking his hand, having surgery on it and recovering in about 17 days

    1. mention for North and Roberts. both had hamstring strains/tears, but managed to get themselves back.

      Bowe still probably pips them.

  8. The “trouble with your wife” award for Geoff Parling who went on tour while his wife was busy at home giving birth. It’s okay Geoff, the second child is so easy on your own.

    the “fingerlickin’ good” award for greasy digits goes to Beale and O’Connor

    The “hand grenade” award for undercooked attempts to get under the skin of the opposition goes to Gatland for his “wrong boots” nonsense, blaming the player and coaches for wearing the wrong boots.

    The “overreaction award” Glyn Davies and Dafydd Elis-Thomas for demanding Gatland’s instant knighting. Special acknowledgement to David Cameron for his “no one deserves a knighthood more than Murray” comments in the tennis

  9. “Most divisive player – Dan Lydiate? Seems like this man has been Marmite specifically on this tour.”

    Tackles = 57+ Second highest tackler after Faletau.

    Yep! Marmite.

    1. I don’t think pointing out Lydiates tackling stats really changes the divisiveness over him. No one has ever come out and said the guy does not or can not tackle. Issues with him are over what else he can bring to the table – answer not a lot.

      Hence, Marmite.

      I will add I was a big fan of Lydiate coming into the tour – I just thought he looked well off the pace and that there were other back rows that offered more/ were in better form.

      1. Its has nothing to do with stats .. its the way he tackles that makes all the difference , before they get over the gain line , the crop tackle was effective in the second half in the third test when we were on our own line .In the 62 min lydiate hit Robinson low and forced a knock on .This was the tackle of the test as Australia looked certain to score. he may not be your cup of tea ..but he s Gatlans favourite player for a reason ….

          1. and i am sure that there was cover around for Lydiates tackle…

            the presence of cover doesnt make a tackle any more or less impressive. its all about the act of the tackle itself.

            going by your logic of there being cover, i would say not a single lion made an impressive tackle, because i am sure that halfpenny was providing excellent cover from 15.

        1. Parlings tackle was a good one but there was cover , lydiates tackle was awesome he was so low he forced the leg st8 and the ball was lost forward ,,,just cos you lot cant see it did nt mean it didn’t happen

          1. Plenty of us saw it. That doesn’t make it the “tackle of the series”.

            There is no guarantee that the cover would have stopped Mogg, so Parling’s was a superb tackle.

            I would actually go for another tackle as a crucial one.
            Can’t remember when it was, but AWJ shot out of the line and smashed Horwill (nice little thank you for the stamp). I think that skipper on skipper really set the time for how the 3rd test was going to go.

  10. Just to prove that Lydiate is indeed a marmite player – how about the most overrated player on tour. My nominations include Lydiate who tackles, misses tackles and not much else. Honourable mentions for Mike Phillips (mainly in Gatland eyes I think), and maybe actually BOD. Dan Cole was in this category until he remembered how to scrummage.

    These comments are slightly tongue in cheek, but they do provide a counterpoint to all the “Lydiate is the best thing since sliced bread” comments which seem to come mainly from north of the Bristol Channel.

    Now, as previously stated, I don’t think he was bad, just workmanlike. He certainly wasn’t the player of 2012.

    1. Hes come back form a long lay off and although he was nt at his best he s still 3 name on Gatlans team sheet behind Adam Jones and Halfpenny.,,,Gatlans won to Grand slams in 5 years and a lions test series..unlike you my friend he knows a little about Rugby

      1. You can be the best rugby coach in the world, if you have a crap talent pool you won’t win anything.

        Not trying to take anything away from Gats, but the players may have had a little something to do with the grandslams and lions win…

        Also, just because he is in the top 3 names on Gatland’s team doesn’t mean he is the best player around. Gatland had a gameplan, and he wants certain players to fit it. Hence why Roberts was straight into the starting test team.

        If I was picking a team Joe Launchbury would be the first name on my team sheet, not because I think he is the best player in the world, but because he is one of my favourites and fits the style I would want to play.

      2. More ill conceived personal comments. Time for you to grow up. I would also suggest that Warburton, AWJ and North would be pretty high up on his list.

        1. Go easy on him Staggy! He’s the only one on whole this entire site who knows anything about rugby…apparently. Having to listen to our well reasoned, well thought out and well presented arguments must be pretty frustrating!

          Also he, evidently, hasn’t missed a tackle all series and yet nobody rates his value. He must know how BOD feels!

  11. The “highest fall from grace award”
    Robbie Deans
    James O’Connor
    Rory Best

    The “OJ Simpson”/ “Teflon Terry” award:
    only one nominee here:
    James Horwill and his legal team.

    The “are you being serious?” award:
    James Horwill – for his “i was just trying to regain my balance” excuse (apparently he has used this one before)
    Fox Sports Australia – for having the audacity to start the “Justice for Horwill” campaign.
    Nigel Hampton, QC – for clearing Horwill of stamping
    Graham Mew – for upholding the original decision.

  12. He may not have clocked up any air miles doing it, but the most pointless trip has to be Dylan Hartley for the team photo.

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