The Alan Pardew Award for gratuitous use of the head
Alan Pardew received a seven week touchline ban for lightly headbutting some Hull player the other week; Cian Healy has received no punishment for trying to dislodge Louis Picamoles’ head from his neck. Bearing in mind his paltry ban for nearly destroying Dan Cole’s ankle this time last year, we’re starting to wonder who exactly he’s been paying (or otherwise) in the disciplinary system…
The Trawler Fisherman Award for Unnecessary Tackle
Only one winner here – Stuart Hogg for his utterly mindless shoulder charge on Dan Biggar in Scotland’s final game against Wales. What was the point? It left his team with a man down for the majority of a game they were going to struggle in anyway. Unnecessary.
The Charlie Dimmock Award for dodgy gardening
Fair play to the Stade de France groundstaff for largely sorting their lives out and producing a (for the most part) playable pitch after winning this not-at-all-coveted gong last season. This year there is only one winner – Murrayfield. Nematodes? Garlic? What a farce.
The 1969 Ryder Cup Jack Nicklaus award for sportsmanship
When Jack Nicklaus conceded his putt to Tony Jacklin to halve the final match and the Ryder Cup, it was heralded as a moment of great sportsmanship. So perhaps we can read the same into Pascal Papé’s awful last minute forward pass in the final game against Ireland? Perhaps he just wanted to give Brian O’Driscoll the send off he deserved? Perhaps he really is just incredibly sporting? Or, as is far more likely given some of the other passes he threw this tournament, perhaps he is yet to master the most basic of rugby skill.
The Nick Mallett Award for bizarre selections
An award that goes back to the days of Mauro Bergamasco playing at scrum-half (what a joke that was), this is surely one of the most prestigious awards. It was a close run thing this year, with 2013 winner Philippe Saint-André gunning hard again to retain his title – a humungous, lumbering second row on the flank a classic Saint-André selection. However, the winner this year is Scott Johnson, for his utterly ridiculous and frankly appalling treatment of his captain, Kelly Brown, amongst other shockers like the continued selection of Ross Ford – see below.
The ‘You had ONE job’ Award
There are plenty of the ‘You had ONE job’ memes doing the rounds at the moment – there should really be one with Ross Ford’s face on it. He is a hooker, but he seems literally incapable of lifting up his foot to hook the ball back. And actually, this isn’t really a fair award because he can’t throw into the lineout either. Not a good tournament for the Scottish hooker.
The UK National Rail Award for consistently slow service
We all know what it feels like to be stuck waiting for a delayed train service… so we can all relate to what Duncan Weir went through this tournament. Greig Laidlaw’s service was painfully slow, starving the Scottish backline of any quick ball. Chris Cusiter was markedly better in this area when he came on which, in addition to the above award, leads us nicely on to…
The General Melchett award for pig-headed refusal to look facts in the face
Step up Scott Johnson. Anyone with two eyes could see Ross Ford needed some time away from the first team, and yet it took him two games to drop him. Greig Laidlaw, who is a good player in his own right, was not the man to add pace to Scotland’s attack – they looked consistently quicker when Cusiter came on, and yet he didn’t start a single game. Why can everyone else see these things and not you, Scott?
The Cristiano Ronaldo award for sarcastic clapping
Renowned for his whole-hearted and always-genuine clapping of refereeing decisions that don’t go his way, it would seem that everyone’s favourite Prima Donna Cristiano Ronaldo has been spending time in the South of France. Louis Picamoles has certainly been paying attention, as his sarcastic clapping of referee Alain Rolland shows. Seriously though, let’s leave that kind of behaviour on the Wendyball pitch.
Got any awards of your own? Stick them in the comments section below!
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images