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ESPN SCRUM / ESPNscrum Columnist
Tom Hamilton
Tom Hamilton | Columnist Index
Tom Hamilton was brought up near the stands of the Recreation Ground and joined ESPN in 2011. He is now Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.
Follow him on Twitter @tomESPNscrum
ESPN Sin Bin Rugby Awards
Beer tossers, empty stands and vile kit
Tom Hamilton
December 27, 2013
The Waratahs get their kit off for charity © Getty Images
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After our 'serious' take on 2013, but now we hand out some gongs to those who have made the headlines for different reasons. Here are 'The Sin-Bin Awards' for the past year.

Services to rugby

There have been a fair few capturing the imagination this year with an initiation involving a pig's head throwing us off our stride, but the beer-tosser was a feat in social media perseverance. Back in November, a 'supporter' was caught throwing a beer over Elliot Daly during Wasps' match at Gloucester. With the aid of the Gloucestershire Police force, we spear-headed a social media manhunt and he eventually handed himself in. Justice done.

Kit

There have been some shocking efforts this year on the kit front but this was just horrendous from the Bulls.

© Bulls
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Non-event

The World Cup Sevens in Moscow. No one bothered turning up and even IRB CEO Brett Gosper admitted he was a "touch disappointed". "We would have liked to have seen a few more people in the crowd", Gosper admitted. The World Club Sevens also flew under the radar.

#Areyousure Tweet of the Year

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips is fantastic value on Twitter. Earlier this year, in a Tweet now deleted, he asked a French TV presenter whether she was married - she responded she was. He responded with a photo of him scantily clad asking if she was sure. The result saw a new Twitter account set up in honour of Phillips.

He also came up with the ingenius idea of offering to his Twitter followers the chance to meet him for a coffee. The ideal way to meet a new partner perhaps?

This was also a sterling effort from Paul Grayson:

Worst pitch

The Stade de France pitch was horrendous, Murrayfield cut up like the top of a crème brûlée and the Millennium Stadium turf was more suitable for Speedway during the autumn Tests. But Aberavon's takes the award.

A six-foot hole caused their match against Bristol to be postponed. The sudden appearance of the opening was due to a collapsed drain, admittedly out of Aberavon's control, but it was still a wonderfully unique event.

On-the-field Punch

Sebastian Chabal's hook just last week is worthy of a mention but the punch of the year goes to any one of the haymakers in this brawl during Georgia's match with Canada.

Off-the-field Punch

Welcome to Bath Gavin Henson. Carl Fearns floored his new team-mate in August in a city centre pub and the event immediately went viral.

Calendar

The Burger Bar Bandits © Scrum.com
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Step forward Oxford Women's Rugby Union Football Club. It was a story that broke all sorts of records on ESPNscrum and all in the name of charity and love for the game.

Burger bar aficionados

James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale for their ill-judged trip to a burger joint before the second Test against the Lions.

Honey Badger gong

We'll be honest, we are big fans of Nick Cummins. Not only is he a good rugby player - he's had plenty of 'meat pies' this year - he is also a top bloke and great with a microphone.

On-going-boring-dispute

The battle of European rugby will run and run. Egos need to be put to one side, thoughts of broadcasting riches need to be sidelined and rugby put first. Only then will we have a tournament that suits the players, teams and supporters.

Talk of the Wales exodus is also something that will not abate with one member of the ESPN staff saying "it's boring enough for someone who's just had 20 espressos to be sent to sleep."

Backpack

Worst idea

Muttering the words 'fucking cheat'. Whether Dylan Hartley actually directed these at Tom Youngs or referee Wayne Barnes only he knows, but they were two words that saw his Lions dreams dashed and also meant he reduced his Northampton Saints team to 14 men in the Premiership final. A costly mistake by one of England's key men.

Quotes

"Them flick passes aren't really in our abattoir" - Kurtley Beale

"Statistics are a bit like bikinis - it shows a lot but not the whole thing" - Scott Johnson

"I hope he does not expect to receive an email of congratulations. Shit!" - Bayonne's chairman Alain Afflelou asked about Mike Phillips' reaction to being sacked

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.

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