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Dave Dennis voted Player of the Year


8/08/2012



By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit

Dave Dennis has lifted the Matthew Burke Cup after being named Players’ Player of the 2012 FxPro Super Rugby season.

Dennis picked up the award at the annual Matthew Burke Cup Dinner held tonight at Sydney’s Doltone House and attended by the squad and key sponsors, stakeholders, members and Waratahs Rugby staff. 
 
The flanker finished the season with 245 votes, 47 votes clear of 2008 and ‘09 champion Wycliff Palu, whose second overall placing earned him the Best Forward Award.  Just five points behind him was 2010 champion Tatafu Polota-Nau.
 
After finishing in third place last season, Dennis’ award is further recognition of the outstanding form that has already earned him his Qantas Wallaby debut. 
 
In his first season in NSW colours, Adam Ashley-Cooper picked up the award for Best Back after finishing on 132 points, fourth position in the overall voting, 13 points clear of fifth-placed Kane Douglas and 24 points clear of second-placed backs, Berrick Barnes and Bernard Foley, who each amassed 108 votes.
 
Leading the voting after round five, Dennis polled strongly in four of the first five matches, collecting 81 votes to Palu’s 77, a tally boosted by a massive 43 of the possible 63 votesavailable against the Rebels in round two.  Those positions were reversed after round 11, with Palu edging to a 156-144 vote lead after both players polled highly across the board.  After a slow start that saw him sit just 13th after five rounds, Polota-Nau’s 79-point haul from four mid-season matches saw him jump 10 places to take third position.
 
But Dennis’ strong finish to the season, including a season record 46-point haul against the Hurricanes (equalled only by hooker John Ulugia’s round eight performance against the Bulls) saw him top the table in the final standings.
 
Each player in the 22-man match day squad submitted votes on a 3-2-1 basis after each round to determine the overall result.
 
Newcomer Bernard Foley received the Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Award, won last year by Tom Kingston, while Pat McCutcheon collected the prestigious Waratah Medal for on- and off-field excellence.  McCutcheon’s leadership and influence within the playing group was further recognised by his appointment to a new club captain position, an off-field role that will see him lead by example throughout the team’s preparation for the 2013 season.
 
Presented for the first time in 2012, the inaugural Members’ Choice Player of the Year Award went to Tatafu Polota-Nau, who polled 30% of members’ votes, beating Dennis (24%) and third-placed Berrick Barnes (15%), with Benn Robinson and Adam Ashley-Cooper completing the top five.   
 
Polota-Nau was presented with his award by one of the members that voted for him, Christina Lawrence, who also received a specially-commissioned Waratah pendant. Designed exclusively by one of Waratahs Rugby’s new partners, PENDANTS Australia also created commemorative, personally engraved rings for all 2012 medal winners, designed in conjunction with Tom Carter and Drew Mitchell.
 
Ten players were presented with their NSW debut jersey after making their first state appearances for the HSBC Waratahs this season, while centurian Benn Robinson was honoured after becoming the sixth player to earn 100 state caps for NSW.
 
Players also paid tribute to two long-serving team mates, Dean Mumm and Daniel Halangahu, who will be leaving the HSBC Waratahs.
 
2012 HSBC Waratahs Award Winners
Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Medal – Bernard Foley
Waratah Medal – Pat McCutcheon
Members’ Choice Player of the Year Award – Tatafu Polota-Nau
Best Back – Adam Ashley-Cooper
Best Forward – Wycliff Palu
Matthew Burke Cup for Players’ Player of the Year – Dave Dennis
 
2012 NSW debutants (round, NSW player number)
Adam Ashley-Cooper (Round 1 v Reds, #1580)
Brackin Karauria-Henry (Round 1 v Reds, #1581)
Sarel Pretorius  (Round 1 v Reds, #1582)
Lopeti Timani (Round 1 v Reds, #1583)
Jono Jenkins (Round 2 v Rebels, #1584)
Nathan Trist (Round 2 v Rebels, #1585)
Tevita Metuisela (Round 3 v Highlanders, #1586)
Peter Betham (Round 10 v Crusaders, #1587)
Richard Stanford (Round 14 v Cheetahs,#1588)
Grayson Hart (Round 17 v Brumbies, #1589)
 

 2012 Matthew Burke Cup Standings
Dave Dennis
245
Wycliff Palu
198
Tatafu Polota-Nau
193
Adam Ashley-Cooper
132
Kane Douglas
119
Berrick Barnes
108
Bernard Foley
108
Rob Horne
96
Brendan McKibbin
96
Sekope Kepu
89

 

Honour Roll
Matthew Burke Cup
Best Back
Best Forward
2012
Dave Dennis
Adam Ashley-Cooper
Wycliff Palu
2011
Kurtley Beale
Luke Burgess
Tatafu Polota-Nau
2010
Tatafu Polota-Nau
Drew Mitchell
Phil Waugh
2009
Wycliff Palu
Timana Tahu
Phil Waugh
2008
Wycliff Palu
Lote Tuqiri
Phil Waugh
2007
Rocky Elsom
Ben Jacobs
Adam Freier
2006
Adam Freier
Chris Whitaker
Dan Vickerman
2005
Nathan Grey
Peter Hewat
Phil Waugh
2004
Phil Waugh
Chris Whitaker
Dan Vickerman

 
Honour Roll
Waratah Medal
Chris Whitaker Aspiring Waratah Award
2012
Pat McCutcheon
Bernard Foley
2011
Tom Carter
Tom Kingston
2010
Tatafu Polota-Nau
Kane Douglas
2009
Ben Mowen
Damien Fitzpatrick
2008
Phil Waugh
Dan Palmer
2007
Rocky Elsom
Pat McCutcheon
2006
Chris Whitaker
Lachie Turner
 
100 NSW state caps

Honour Roll
Player
Debut
100th Game
2003
Matt Burke
v Fiji 17/5/1992
v Sharks 8/3/2003
2005
Chris Whitaker
v Crusaders 14/3/1997
v Highlanders 30/4/2005
2008
David Lyons
v Stormers 26/2/2000
v Blues 5/4/2008
2008
Phil Waugh
v ACT 8/9/1999
v Sharks 24/5/2008
2009
Al Baxter
v ACT 8/9/1999
v Cheetahs 1/5/2009
2012
Benn Robinson
v Salta 16/10/2004
v Brumbies 7/7/2012



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