URC

Benetton Rugby celebrates a try during the United Rugby Championship 2022/23 match between Sharks and Benetton Rugby at Kings Park in Durban on 14 April 2023 Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Watch: Did this try deserve top URC award?

The United Rugby Championship (URC) has handed out its end-of-season awards, including the winner of the contentious try of the season.

URC

Benetton Rugby celebrates a try during the United Rugby Championship 2022/23 match between Sharks and Benetton Rugby at Kings Park in Durban on 14 April 2023 Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The URC has handed out its end-of-season awards, including the winner of the contentious try of the season.

Most of the URC awards are stat-based but there is obvious subjectivity that comes into play when choosing the try of the season.

It could be argued that some stunning tries were not even shortlisted for the awards.

Benetton centre Joaquin Riera took the award home for the try of the season in the URC, but was his score deserving of the recognition?

Manie Libbok scores for the Stormers in the URC.
Manie Libbok scores for the Stormers in the URC semi-final. Photo: Twitter.

Try of the season nominees

There were 10 tries nominated in total, with the others being –

Stravino Jacobs (Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks, Round 7)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh v Ospreys, Round 17)

Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers v Dragons RFC, Round 9)

Rio Dyer (Dragons RFC v Munster, Round 2)

Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets @ DHL Stormers, Round 8)

George Horne (Glasgow Warriors v Vodacom Bulls, Round 4)

Suleiman Hartzenberg (DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls, Round 10)

Jordan Larmour (Leinster v Connacht, Round 11)

Thaakir Abrahams (Cell C Sharks @ Leinster, Round 4)

URC finalists the Stormers picked up scant recognition from the URC awards despite two nomonations for try of the season.

South Africans winning awards

There were awards for players based in South African as Quan Horn snatched the Ironman honour for playing more minutes than any other player through the regular season.

Also honoured was goalkicking maestro Johan Goosen.

Goosen has been named the winner of the 2022/23 URC’s Gilbert Golden Boot award.

Capped 13 times by the Springboks, Goosen saw his 2021/22 season cut short by a knee injury and missed half of the current campaign due to shoulder surgery.

Goosen’s captain, Ruan Nortje celebrated the golden Goose for his tenacity and ability to bounce back after his many resets.

“For a guy like Goose(n) to win this award having struggled with a few injuries and enduring a pretty tough time is pretty special for all of us. I just want to congratulate him on this recognition, which is not a surprise to us because we have seen the amount of work that he has put on, even during those times when he has had to reset,”

“We are really blessed to have great placekickers in our club, they give us that extra confidence because we know we can trust them to give us the added points on the board,”

“I hope that the Vodacom Bulls family will be inspired to push on no matter what because great things are possible as long we remain determined and work hard on our dreams.”

URC Awards

URC Awards 2022-23 Winners

OFX Top Try Scorer: Tom Stewart (Ulster)

Tackle Machine: John Hodnett (Munster)

Turnover King: Thomas Young (Cardiff Rugby)

Next-Gen Player of the Season: Tom Stewart (Ulster)

Try of the Season powered by URC.tv: Joaquin Riera (Benetton)

Ironman: Quan Horn (Emirates Lions)

Gilbert Golden BootJohan Goosen (Vodacom Bulls)

Elite XVKurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Daniel du Plessis (DHL Stormers), Simone Gesi (Zebre Parma), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks), Gavin Coombes (Munster), Scott Penny (Leinster), Vaea Fifita (Scarlets), Federico Ruzza (Benetton), Niall Murray (Connacht), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)