At the end of a year full of rugby action there was bound to be more than enough funny moments to write home about and we at Rugby Rugby have picked out some of the best.
A season would not be complete without some of the more left-field wacky awards and there is no place to hide from the watchful gaze of our team who laughed, cringed and were tempted to throw large objects at the T.V. during every match of 2011.
Alrighty then, here are our favourite wacky brickbats and bouquets for 2011...
Our gongs from left field for 2011:
How to make friends and influence people - Mike Tindall:
English centre Mike Tindall has complained that he was used as the "scapegoat" for everything wrong at the RFU. However, it's hard for him to argue that getting boozed with buddies Chris Ashton, Dylan Hartley and James Haskell, allegedly kissing and groping a local lass at a bar while a dwarf-tossing competition was on the go, is probably not exactly the royal pain in the ass Queen Elizabeth II had hoped for from her granddaughter's new hubby.
Jekyll and Hyde - Quade Cooper:
The Australian playmaker has shown fans his best and his worst this season, and sometimes all in the same match. Cooper is either a genius or a liability at all times and his coaches roll the dice and hope for some magic from their pivot every time he's handed the No.10 jersey.
Headline of the Year - "Carter ruled out of World Cup":
The news that every New Zealander around the globe had dreaded all year and it happened... Carter out and, with it, NZ's World Cup was dream over - or was it? Despite not having their most important attacking weapon, or two of his understudies by the end of the tournament, the All Blacks edged the Webb Ellis Cup and the country breathed a collective sigh of relief.
eBucks Award - Bulls:
After relying on their academy and a core group of stalwarts for so long the Bulls suddenly cashed in their chip and broke out the saving account. The likes of Johann Sadie, JJ Engelbrecht, Jacques Potgieter, Jano Vermaak, Daniel Adongo and every schoolboy star they could get their hands on where all added to the shopping trolley.
Noah's Ark Award - Lions:
The pride of Johannesburg had to call on a miracle to end their long drought without a trophy and suddenly sound the winning formula in the Currie Cup that had eluded the team for so long. Their boat is now well and truly afloat - despite some rumblings about money being a wee bit tight at Ellis... sorry, Coca-Cola Park.
Anti-Samson Award - Frans Steyn:
A rather wooly looking Steyn returned from France during the Tri-Nations, and the talented Bok was all at sea in his first match, wearing a scrum cap just to keep the hair out of his eyes! Suddenly at the World Cup Steyn reminded everyone just how good he is with some dazzling performances, while sporting a far more streamlined look following a run-in with a lawn mover. It should come as not surprise that he played so well - the man could finally see where he was going!
Sleeping Giant - Chiefs:
Beware of the noises coming from Waikato, where one of the major powerhouses could be coming out of its slumber to wreak havoc. Wayne Smith has left his post as All Blacks assistant coach to mentor the side and they have brought in heavy artillery in the form of Sonny Bill Williams and Aaron Cruden to boost their backline resources.
Mark Zuckerburg Award - Bryce Lawrence:
The Facebook group you wouldn't want goes to referee Bryce Lawrence following the outcry from South Africans who held him responsible for the team's World Cup quarterfinal exit.
Sixth time lucky - Butch James:
The South African pivot finally broke his domestic silverware duck this season when he won the Currie Cup with the Lions. James finally has a winners' medal to go with three Currie Cup and two Super Rugby runners-up medals during his time with the Sharks.
Gulliver's travels - CJ van der Linde:
The big prop must have a massive collection of rugby jerseys over the past 18 months, having played for Leinster, the Cheetahs, the Stormers, the Springboks and the Lions! However, he might settle down in Johannesburg, after all the Currie Cup Final demolition of the Sharks was just his second match for the Lions.
Jackpot Award - Jaque Fourie:
The Springboks centre must have though he'd won the jackpot when he heard about his alleged R22-million deal to sign for Japanese club Kobe Steal. No doubt he give his agent a high-five and had a Bells.
The 16th man Award - Will Skinner:
The Harlequins flank was an unused replacement during the Heineken cup match against Toulouse. Despite not making it onto the field Skinner still managed to help Quins achieve a great win and was shown a red card for his troubles! In the dying moments of the match Skinner leap off the bench to jump in front of a Toulouse player to field a ball that had been cleared into touch. The action meant that the French side could not attack with a quick line-out, and Skinner was dismissed reducing Quins to, erm, still 15 men actually... (See the law discussion HERE)
The Most Unlikely Wing Award - Radike Samo:
Australia's injury woes at the World Cup were compounded when big Radike Samo was forced out onto the wing for the Wallabies' game against Russia. That, ladies and gents, at the 'tender' age of 35 - having (before his Wallaby recall earlier this year) missed seven years of Test rugby!
The Travelling Wilburys Award - The Crusaders:
The homeless wanderers lived out of their suitcases throughout the 2011 Super Rugby season and asked teams to name the venue they'd like to be beaten at. (Until the final, that is.)
The don't you mean butterfies Award - Odwa Ndungane:
Before the Springboks had even made it to the airport to depart for New Zealand, wing Odwa Ndungane's nerves had the better of him when he told the media: "I have got goosebumps in my stomach." It's comments like Odwa's that leaves each of the rugby365.com team with a tear in the throat and a lump in the eye.
Calm before the storm Award - Graham Henry:
With the biggest day of his rugby career looming, All Blacks coach Graham Henry claimed he had nothing better to do than entertain the media before the RWC Final: "We've got a very experienced group of players who've basically taken over the team. They've taken on a huge responsibility and I've basically got nothing to do. I'm just wondering what I'll do all day. It's good to talk to you guys, it gives me something to do in the morning."
The Bar One Men - Georgian and Romanian teams:
One of the more verbose Kiwis and a joy to have back in the commentary box is Murray Mexted. As the hardy Georgian and Romanian players marched out of the tunnel for their World Cup clash Mexted announced: "You look at the faces of these characters and they've got MAN written all over them."
The Return of the Twitter King - Cory Jane:
Hi, My name is Cory and I'm addicted to... Almost moments after the players went back into the change room to celebrate the World Cup triumph, Jane was able to tumble off the wagon and into the Twitterverse having been forced to go cold turkey for so long.
By Timmy Hancox
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