Michael Hooper wins Greg Growden Medal
July 14, 2014
Michael Hooper has claimed the inaugural Greg Growden Medal © Getty Images
Wallabies and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper has won the Greg Growden Medal for Australia's best Super Rugby player this season. Hooper, whose outstanding openside flanker form during the middle of the season was a crucial factor in the Waratahs finishing top of the Super Rugby ladder, won ahead of the Brumbies scrum-half Nic White and Force No. 8 Ben McCalman.
Hooper polled in nine of the Waratahs games to be the standout flanker of the Australian conference and win the inaugural medal. Leading the Waratahs in Dave Dennis's absence, Hooper has stepped up to the position at only 22-years-old and was a crucial part in leading the Waratahs to their first minor premiership in the clubs history.
Brumbies fly-half Matt Toomua made a late flying charge for the leadership with an outstanding three-try performance against the Force on Saturday night, which saw him finish in fourth spot, while fellow Brumby Nic White was a standout throughout the season, but was unable to chase down the Waratahs captain and fell just two-points short of taking the inaugural title.
Despite missing two-weeks through suspension, Ben McCalman remained close to the top of the Medal count throughout the season and even spent several weeks leading the count, but he was unable to hold onto the top position and finished in third position, six points below Hooper.
The Waratahs and the Brumbies clogged up the top ten positions, but Reds scrum-half Will Genia snuck into eighth place despite an ankle injury ruling him out from the last three matches of the season. Genia finished on 46.5 points for his efforts throughout the season and was the only Reds player to make it into the top 15.
A woeful Rebels season saw no players receive any points for the final round or any players receive a top 10 finish. Bryce Hegarty was the stand out for the Rebels throughout the season and claimed 39.5 points and a 14th place finish.
Overall 80 players from the five Australian provinces polled votes.
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