FOUR AUSSIES, TWO BRITS MAKE THE 2012 GOLDEN BOOT SHORTLIST
The Rugby League World Golden Boot, which is awarded every year to the best Rugby League player in the world, will be awarded this year to one of six candidates, whose names appear below in alphabetical order.
The name of the winner of the Golden Boot will be announced on 4 January in Rugby League World magazine and by press release on that day.
This year’s contenders are:
Ben Barba, 23, is the only candidate for the Golden Boot who has not played for his country in 2012. But the Canterbury Bulldogs fullback has still had a memorable year. At the 2012 Dally M Awards he was awarded the Dally M Medal as the NRL’s Player of the Year. He was voted the Dally M Fullback of the Year. He won the Peter Frilingos Memorial Award for providing the Headline Moment of the Year in Mackay, Queensland, for the Bulldogs against Melbourne Storm, when he collected the ball behind his own line and created a magnificent try over the length of the field for his team-mate Josh Morris. He won the Provan-Summons Medal as the People’s Choice as Player of the Year. He won the Rugby League Players Association Player of the Year award. He was voted the Player of the Year by the Australian weekly publication Rugby League Week. He scored 22 tries in 27 games for the Bulldogs in 2012.
Cooper Cronk, 29, played for Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australia in 2012. For the Storm, he won the Clive Churchill Medal as the man of the match in the NRL Grand Final, as the Storm defeated the Bulldogs 14-4. He played for Queensland in all three State of Origin games, scoring the winning field-goal in Queensland’s thrilling 21-20 victory in the third game of 2012 that saw them win the State of Origin series for the seventh successive season, and he played for Australia in their two Tests against New Zealand. At the 2012 Dally M Awards Cronk was named the NRL’s Halfback of the year, and he came third in the overall Dally M rankings.
Nate Myles, 27, was selected to play in all three matches of the 2012 State of Origin series for Queensland, and he was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as the Player of the Series, which was won by Queensland for the seventh consecutive year. He also played for Australia in the Trans-Tasman Test in Townsville in October. At the 2012 Dally M Awards Myles was named the NRL’s Second-row Forward of the Year. At the same event he was voted the NRL Representative Player of the Year.
Kevin Sinfield, 32, captained Leeds Rhinos to victory in the World Club Challenge against Manly Sea Eagles, and to victory in the Super League Grand Final against Warrington at Old Trafford. He also led Leeds to the Challenge Cup Final. He then went on to captain England to victory against France and Wales in the Autumn International Series. Sinfield won the Harry Sunderland Trophy as the Player of the Match in the Grand Final, gaining 27 of the 33 votes that were cast.
Cameron Smith, 29, is widely regarded as the best captain in Australia. In 2012 he captained Melbourne Storm to win the Grand Final, Queensland to win the State of Origin series, and Australia to win two games against New Zealand in their Trans-Tasman Test series. At the 2012 Dally M Awards Smith was named the NRL’s Hooker of the Year. Cameron Smith is the only player in this year’s shortlist who is a previous winner of the Golden Boot, having won it in 2007.
Sam Tomkins, 23, was the winner of the 2012 Man of Steel award, which is voted upon by his fellow players, as Super League’s Player of the Season. He was voted the Super League Player of the Year by the Rugby League Writers Association. Tomkins is, like Ben Barba, a prolific tryscoring fullback, having scored 36 tries in 30 matches for Wigan in 2012. Tomkins also scored four tries in two games in the Autumn International Series.
Golden Boot – Roll of Honour
1984 Wally Lewis (Australia)
1985 Brett Kenny (Australia)
1986 Garry Jack (Australia)
1987 Hugh McGahan MBE (New Zealand) Shared
1987 Peter Sterling (Australia) Shared
1988 Ellery Hanley (Great Britain)
1989 Mal Meninga (Australia)
1990 Garry Schofield (Great Britain)
1991-1998 No award presented *
1999 Andrew Johns (Australia)
2000 Brad Fittler (Australia)
2001 Andrew Johns (Australia)
2002 Stacey Jones (New Zealand)
2003 Darren Lockyer (Australia)
2004 Andrew Farrell (Great Britain)
2005 Anthony Minichiello (Australia)
2006 Darren Lockyer (Australia)
2007 Cameron Smith (Australia)
2008 Billy Slater (Australia)
2009 Greg Inglis (Australia)
2010 Benji Marshall (New Zealand)
2011 Johnathan Thurston (Australia)