Stephen Ferris (15.31%)
Rob Kearney (47.37%)
Ruan Pienaar (10.53%)
Jonathan Sexton (24.88%)
Jonny Wilkinson (1.91%)
[quote="Two players from Leinster and two from Ulster have been named on the shortlist for the ERC European Player of the Year 2012.
Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton and Rob Kearney and Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar and Stephen Ferris are nominated alongside Toulon’s Jonny Wilkinson."]Two players from Leinster and two from Ulster have been named on the shortlist for the ERC European Player of the Year 2012.
Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton and Rob Kearney and Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar and Stephen Ferris are nominated alongside Toulon’s Jonny Wilkinson.
What say you? Its Ferris for me.
If Ulster win on Saturday Pienaar and if Leinster win Kearney
It would be Ferris for me also. He has been brillant for Ulster and Ireland this year. Kearney would be my second choice and I would be surprised if he won it either
As good as Ferris has been I'd almost have Henry in ahead of him but for the fact he missed the semi.
It's based on ERC games remember.
It'd be Pienaar for me.
Sexton for me.
Sexton for me, he's steered the good ship Leinster unbelievable well, again, this year.
Kearney could also get it, playing brilliantly and scoring tries for fun.
Any chance of getting a poll added to this thread?
Sexton by a distance for me. He has been superb in all the away games and is the reason Leinster are where they are more than any one man. Pienaar would be up there but missed two of Ulster's biggest games which counts against him for me and, whilst he was very good in Munster, he made some bad errors at important times. Ferris has been very good but the quiet showing in the semi (with an injury granted) counts against him. I think he benefits from reputation to a slight extent (as do others). Henry was the man of the match against Munster for me but Ferris got it. Kearney also has been very good but hasn't had the overall impact throughout that Sexton has. There's quite a head of steam behind Kearney right now though so if Leinster win, I think he might get the nod.
Obviously depends on the final, but right now I would say Kearney. He helped turn that Clermont game, but from a non-traditional position of influence, and of course has been excellent elsewhere. Pienaar has helped win games, but he did so from his position of kicker, whereas Kearne did so from fullback.
Ultimately, if Ulster win I'd say Pienaar, and Leinster Kearney. But that is hugely dependent on what actually happens in the final, so almost impossible to call right now.
Purely based on ERC games then I think Sexton has been irreplaceable for Leinster. He's been in control, showed leadership and has seemed to brought even more to his game this year in a few areas. Genuinely think he may have a chance to reach BOD status by the time he retires if he can keep upping his game.
Kearney has been the most potent counterattacking option in the competition. There is absolutely no point in an opposing team kicking high balls into his area of the field.
Ferris is just a machine and really is an avatar of Ulster rugby.
I'd be happy with either 3 of these Pienaar getting it. Delighted for Wilko to get a nomination too, it's a pity he didn't get to the final so it is unlikely he will get it.
For me though, I'd give it to Sexton.
Pienaar if Ulster win, Kearney if Leinster win. Great list of candidates mind.
Sexton by a mile, Kearney has been good lately but Sexton has been great all season......
As I said in the other thread, Sexton for me. His commitment to the team is unfaltering, the drive, determination and want to succeed is hard to find in a team that's billed as 'the best in Europe'. You'd swear the lad had never won anything in his life.
His ability to read the line is probably only equalled by BOD in my opinion. Slightly off topic as it was another compitition, but a lot of people questioned why Sexton got MoTM against Glasgow the other night, and whilst I'd agree he had an off day with the boot, his leadership on the field was something like a Yachvilli-esque general barking orders, his ability to read the opposition attack literally stopped them in their tracks anytime they got near our 22... and that was just an off day for him.
His uncanny ability to read a defensive screen is something else as well. We show it on show in the Cardiff game, albeit that was against a beaten side, but it's a prime example of how he seems to break open holes without thinking about it. Burning defenders on the loop pass for the first try of the game was a brilliant example, if a little over-shadowed by 'that' pass for BOD's try.
But the stand out moment for that match as mentioned before was when he missed a tackle, Leinster at the time were comfortable winners, but you see him angrily thumping the ground - every inch matters to him.
It happened in '10, and whilst I think we have far greater depth now, I could not be convinced Leinster would be in the final without Sexton, nor play the brand of Rugby they aspire to, just because of work ethos.
Ofcourse, as said, it all depends on the final. Fez might live up to his name and actually bury everyone in a blue shirt, or Pienaar might snatch a victory with one of those 80 minute 55 meter penalties, or Kearney might score a million tries and catch anything that flies.
Or Wilko might win it....