PRETORIA – It has been a year of mixed emotions for Bulls centre Burger Odendaal.
After enduring the pain of being part of the Bulls dismal Super Rugby campaign, Odendaal finished off the year on a high after leading the Blue Bulls to the semi-finals of the Currie Cup.
And the season culminated in Odendaal walking away with the Bulls Senior Player of the Year, Currie Cup Players’ Player of the Year and Super Rugby Coaches’ Recognition Awards on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old Odendaal was by far one of the few stand-out players in the Bulls’ Super Rugby season that saw them only manage to win four out of their 15 games.
It had a detrimental impact as Odendaal did not achieve higher honours, even with the SA ‘A’ side that played against the French Barbarians.
But the hard-running midfielder proved his worth in the Currie Cup as he showed his versatility by moving from inside to outside centre while leading from the front when handed the captaincy under John Mitchell.
With the No 12 jersey set to be his after the departure of Springbok Jan Serfontein, Odendaal will be vital part of the Bulls’ ambitions in next year’s revamped Super Rugby.
Other winners on the night included lock Jason Jenkins, who was Super Rugby Forward of the Year, while wing Travis Ismaiel was Super Rugby Back of the Year.
Flank Ruan Steenkamp was handed the Super Rugby Players’ Player of the Year.
In the Currie Cup, prop Pierre Schoeman and new Springbok Warrick Gelant took the Forward and Back of the Year Awards, respectively.
Pote Human was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Tuks team to victory in the Varsity Cup, and he finished off the year by being forwards coach with the Currie Cup side and will do the same job with the Super Rugby team next year.
Forward of the Year: Jason Jenkins
Back of the Year: Travis Ismaiel
Player’s Player of the Year: Ruan Steenkamp
Most Promising or Improved Player: Pierre Schoeman
Coaches’ Recognition Award: Burger Odendaal
Forward of the Year: Pierre Schoeman
Back of the Year: Warrick Gelant
Player’s Player of the Year: Burger Odendaal
Most Promising or Improved Player: Johan Grobbelaar
Coaches’ Recognition Award: John William Meyer
SuperSport Rugby Challenge
Forward of the Year: Marco van Staden
Back of the Year: André Warner
Player’s Player of the Year: Tinus de Beer
Most Promising or Improved Player: Aston Fortuin
Coaches’ Recognition Award: Abongile Nonkontwana
Coach of the Year: Pote Human
Junior Player of the Year MVP: Ruben van Heerden
Senior Player of the Year MVP: Burger Odendaal