Springbok flyer Bryan Habana has been awarded the 2012 International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) Try of the Year for his great chip and chase effort against the All Blacks in Dunedin, scored during the inaugural Rugby Championship.
The award is some consolation for a player that many may have expected to be included on the IRB Player of the Year shortlist, which was announced yesterday.
The shortlist features Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Frederic Michalak, and Owen Farrell.
Having suffered from a lack of form in recent seasons, Habana came back firing this year with some top quality performances for both the Stormers and Springboks, usually typified by an incredible workrate in both attack and defence.
He was named SARU (South African Rugby Union) Player of the Year for 2012, and this try was also named South Africa’s Try of the Year. The try added to his total of 47 Test tries.
“Scoring a try against the All Blacks is always special, but scoring against them in New Zealand, is even more special,” Habana said.
“I really enjoyed getting across the try-line in Dunedin – contributing to the success of the team and also lifting the spirits of my teammates. Winning this Award is very special and hopefully I can continue scoring tries for the Springboks for a very long time,” he added.
The other tries included on the IRPA Try Of the Year shortlist were those scored by Julian Savea, Julien Malzieu, and Hosea Gear. Along with online votes from global rugby fans, the final decision was made by a panel of Jaque Fourie, Mils Muliaina, Shane Williams, and Daisuke Ohata.
Unfortunately an injury meant Habana wasn’t available for the end of year tour.
2011 – Radike Samo (Australia) – Australia v New Zealand
2010 – Chris Ashton (England) – England v Australia
2009 – Jaque Fourie (South Africa) – South Africa v British & Irish Lions
2008 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – Australia v Ireland