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Rhinos Most Valuable - Part 1 of 6
Posted by southstander on October 05 2006 - 10:14:56

Best of the Year

Thanks to your Man of the Match votes after every round of Superleague XI we have a new name on the coveted trophy as player of the season. Rob Burrow joins an illustrious list of names to achieve the highest accolade of Supporters 'Player of the Year'.

Rob romped home after playing in all 28 rounds this year, but a fairer evaluation would be to calculate an average score per round based on appearances.

We take a look behind the statistics, and in a look back over the individual performances of the season identify which players you think have pulled their weight, and which have not.

We start today with the lowest rated six players in what will be a six part series.

Tony Smith called on the services of twenty-six players during the twenty-eight rounds of Superleague XI. Only three players figures in all matches; Burrow, Donald and Senior with Bailey and Millard missing out on two occasions. The least used of the twenty-six was Ablett who racked up just five appearances, all from the bench, with late season signings Toopi and Thackray both playing six times.

26th (and lowest rated) - Clinton Toopi - 0.00

After arriving from New Zealand, Clinton has struggled to settle into the Rhinos side in the six starts that he has made. He had a nightmare in his debut, the loss at Hull FC, and despite a try in the away hammering at Saints, he has failed to shine.

Despite being in several polls, Clinton has not managed a single point from your votes and therefore is the lowest rated 2006 Rhinos.

The only way from here is up!

Equal 24th - Nick Scruton - 0.19

Nick has played in more games than you would have thought, one reason for his low average score. He's had four starts and seventeen substitute appearances managing one try in the 26-24 home win over Bradford Bulls in July.

Whilst not outstanding, I'd have said that Nick had a steady season but that he is still failing to live up to his early career promise. There is plenty more in there if the coach can get at it.

Nick registered just 0.19 as an average, with the four points that he registered from your votes being very thinly spread.

Equal 24th - Ryan Bailey - 0.19

Once the darling of the SouthStand, Ryan is another player who has failed to live up to his potential in 2006. Props seem to be very unfashionable in SouthStanders voting this year.

Despite only missing two Superleague XI rounds Ryan managed to register just five POS points giving him the 0.19 average. He did manage two tries (against Castleford and Bradford) but was a shadow of the aggressive hard runner that we knew a few seasons ago.

It will be interesting to see if he is still wearing the Blue & Amber when it comes time for next years team photos to be taken.

23rd - Carl Ablett - 0.20

Carl Ablett has just five appearances from the bench during Superleague XI spread throughout the season and whilst he registered no tries in the regular rounds, he did score twice in the cup game against Rochdale.

Carl never really had a chance to get going and you have to feel some sympathy towards his plight. Unless he gets more exposure next season I can't see him hanging around for much longer, a period on loan wouldn't be a surprise.

Carl got just one POS point from his five outings but still rates above Scruton and Bailey with 0.20.

22nd - Mark O'Neill - 0.67

More injury prone that Bradley Clyde and Brett Mullins put together, Mark O'Neill was a flop from within seconds of his debut in the boxing day friendly. He picked up an injury in that match and must have left the Rhinos insurers reeling from the multiple visits to the treatment room.

Another 'prop who flopped' to add to Scruton and Bailey and you start to get the picture as to why the Rhinos had such an unsuccessful season.

Mark managed just one start and eight substitute appearances scoring no points during the regular Superleague rounds. He scored six POS points and averaged 0.67. You rated him 22nd in your best Rhinos 2006 chart.

21st - Keith Senior - 0.71

Keiths failure to make even the top twenty will come as a shock to many of you...as it did me.

He's not had a great season by his own high standards but did average 2.14 points a game (just over a try every other game) during the regular rounds.

You simply didn't vote for him, as he registered just twenty points despite appearing in every round. His average was therefore a measly 0.71 POS points per game.

With a testimonial just round the corner, and a very long pre-Leeds relationship with Gary Hetherington, Keith looks likely to be a fixture next season but will be looking to up his game and regain his form of previous years.

Next Up - 17 to 20.

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