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Greg Growden
Greg Growden | Columnist Index
After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.
Super Rugby
We introduce the Greg Growden Medal
Greg Growden
February 21, 2014

The Greg Growden Medal recognises Australia's best and most consistent Super Rugby players with a revolutionary weighted points system that rewards proper performance like no other.

The traditional 3-2-1 award voting system can be misleading. Judges some weeks can easily select three, four, five players worthy of man-of-the-match status or the next best. Other weeks, there are no players really worthy of a vote but still someone gets three points, two points, one, even when they don't deserve it.

This leads to an imbalance.

Often, outstanding performances are overlooked, including those of players who make an enormous impact off the bench late in the game while fair-to-middling efforts receive points that are not warranted; at the very least, many such performances aren't given they due recognition.

But the Greg Growden Medal is different. As you might expect given the man for whom the award is named: the Greg Growden Medal is focused like many others awards on the recognition of Australia's best and most consistent Super Rugby players, but, like no other, its judgment involves a weighted points system that rewards proper performance.

In every Super Rugby game involving an Australian team, as many as five players from each Australian province can receive points up to 10. So a man-of-the-match performance may warrant anything from 10 out of 10 down to a few points: it depends on the quality of the performance, how much impact the player had on the game, the calibre of the match, and the opposition. There may even be several Australian players in a single game who receive the same number of points as the supposed man of the match. And if no-one plays well, no points will be allocated.

So in Australian derbies, anywhere between 0 and 10 players can receive points; up to five per team. (And no, we are not allocating points to New Zealand and South African provincial players; this award is about finding the Australian provinces' best.) We will use the same system later in the year, when we determine the 2014 Wallabies Player of the Year.

Each week, we will provide an overall leaderboard, and a list of the highest-ranked players for each province - so you'll know exactly who has and hasn't been performing.

Many weeks, in the eyes of some folk, we will get it wrong. But we aim to get it right. No matter what, the weekly column will be here to prompt vigorous comment, argument, complaints, tantrums, and someone to blame if you believe your province or a certain player is being victimised.


Join us each week to see Greg's verdict on the Australian players who are / are not performing. We'll respond to all comment and reasoned discussion either in comments at the foot of the story, or on Twitter using the hashtag #GregGrowdenMedal.

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