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Rhinos Most Valuable - Part 2 of 6
Posted by southstander on October 06 2006 - 07:52:26

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 continue today with players ranked 17 to 20 in the second of what will be a six part series.

Yesterdays listing was dominated by props but also had a surprise inclusion of Rhinos ever present Keith Senior (yesterday granted a testimonial based on appearances). Todays list has three forwards and a young back.

20th - Jamie Jones-Buchanan - 0.91

JJB must have struggled to get settled for his twenty-three first team appearances as coach Smith played him at both openside (11) and blindside (3) prop as well as his original second row (6). He was substitute in three games.

He did manage to pick up five tries against WIgan, Hull FC, Salford, Huddersfield and Les Catalans but despite a very high workrate he didn't stand out in your voting.

Averaging just under a point a game, JJB failed to make it inside the top twenty.

Equal 18th - Shane Millard - 0.92

Into the twenty goes the now departed Shane Millard who has a share of eighteenth place with an average POS of just under one.

Shane played most of the season as understudy to Matt Diskin although neither of our hookers will have felt that they were really on their game this season. Millard suffered from a lack of game time and failed to impress in your eyes.

He managed three tries in his six starts and twenty appearances off the bench but that is hardly enough for a player in one of the pivotal positions.

Equal 18th - Ian Kirke - 0.92

Like Shane, Ian Kirke suffered from spending many of his first team appearances sat on the bench for long periods. Tony Smith appears to have some kind of aversion to playing this big lad with a lot of go-forward, much to the dismay of many in the SouthStand who rate him very highly (Kirke that is, not Smith!).

2007 must be Ians big season as at twenty-seven he isn't going to get another chance.

Ian only scored two tries in his three starts and ten substitute appearances but everyone will remember the sensational and skillful fifty metre run against Wigan. I'd like to see a lot more of this lad next year.

17th - Lee Smith - 1.00

From 'darling' to 'dipstick' in just three short months, that was the story of Lees season. Last years Senior Academy player of the year took over from the injured Richie Mathers in mid-May and wowed the SOuthStand with his skill and guts. Occasionally a little flaky in defence but your coud put up with that, he's young.

As we went through June and into July the occasional defensive lapses, and an increasing frailty under the high ball, all served to demolish the youngsters confidence which ultimately cost him his place in the side for the run-in.

Seven tries and one goal in seventeen starts (wing and full-back) saw Lee average just under two points a game but only one POS point per appearance.

Hopefully he'll be back on his preferred wing next season with the arrival of Webb, and he can get some of that confidence back and thrill the SouthStand once again.

Next - 13th to 16th

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