Cordite Awards: Six Nations 2012

Rounding up our Six Nations review series, we have the much anticipated and always highly coveted Cordite Awards to hand out.  Drum roll, if you please:

Harry Houdini Award for Materialising out of Thin Air: Ben Morgan. Despite his four years at the Scarlets and numerous attempts by English chaps to persuade him to un-Welsh himself, Ben Morgan officially appeared on the London rugby hacks radar at the precise moment Stuart Lancaster named him in his squad. With the aid of all sorts of “Who is Ben Morgan?” pieces, the big-boned double man of the match made himself known to the Great British Public in style. Perhaps this “RaboDirect Pro12” thing will catch on.

Simon Shaw Award for Rolling Back the Years: Julien Dupuy. Dupuy’s previous high point came when opposition players and fans mistook him for a starvation-rations version of Andy Goode inside the burger-feeding real version at Leicester. One move to pink and a dirty gouge later, Dupuy officially became a dickhead. How we laughed then when his come-back to the France jersey was so poor that people assumed it was a trick PSA was put up to by Biarritz folk irked by the prospect of being worse than Bayonne. Good riddance.

James Downey Award for Uncomplicated Centre Play: Brad Barritt. The favourite for this title was Dr Roberts, but after running into space against Italy, he was disqualified. Alberto Sgarbi and Gonzalo Canale showed a bit too much grá for passing the pill, Wesley Fofana too much neat footwork and Dorce too much puke, it came down to a straight fight between Oooooooohh Graeme Morrison and Ooooooooohh Brad Barritt. Barritt wins purely because of Morrison’s trash-talking against Ireland – he should have let his boshing do the talking.

Jonah Lomu Award for Try of the Tournament: Richie Gray. How can this not bring a smile to your face. The tallest and heaviest man on the pitch breaks through 2 tackles 40 metres out, accelerates, then throws an outrageous dummy to Rob Kearney and gases in. What a player.

WG Grace Award for Services to Initials: JJV Davies. It feels so good to use a players initials, like you are back in school. Programmes for Ireland still speak of Robert D.J. Kearney and Brian G. O’Driscoll. It feels proper, like a pipe and monocle, and appeals to our traditional side. Welshmen called Davies or Jones generally need this extra addendum to their names, but only Jon Davies gets to be cool as well. Or maybe he just wants to disassociate himself from the dross his namesake talks on BBC.

Stephen Jones Award for Balanced Coverage: John O’Sullivan. Gerry has made a determined pitch to be the most biased reporter in Ireland, sniffily calling England’s tries in Paris “lucky” (like Ireland’s weren’t), refusing to give any credit to Wales (the “best worst of a mediocre bunch”) for winning the Slam, and bitterly hoping Stuart Lancaster doesn’t get the England job (he’s “doing too good a job”). But his colleague in Tara Street gets this gong for a ludicrous interview with DJ Church. After Blind Dave charitably didn’t bin Healy for barging over Vincent Clerc, O’Sullivan took it upon himself to obliviate the prop for any blame in the incident. Encouraging Healy to say he didn’t mean it, O’Sullivan then helpfully pointed out it happened not because Healy was a prop and being a bollocks of a lazy runner, like props are sometimes; but because Francois Trinh-Duc’s pass to Clerc wasn’t good enough. Come. On.

Visual Aid of the Tournament: Gerry Thornley. We love this, we really do. Gerry’s time-out signal on 0:53. Genius

The Cristian Dior Award for Services to Fashion: Jeremy Guscott.  The magnificent purple scarf-cravat donned by Guscott pitch-side as England was that of a man who knows a thing or two about sartorial elegance.  It brought to mind Bart Simpson’s comment as Homer was leaving the house in his white country suit and stetson: ‘As much as I hate that man right now, you just gotta love that [scarf].’

Tracey Piggott Award for Complete No Brainer: Will Warren Gatland be Lions Coach?  Hmm, let’s see, his competitors won two games between them, Wazza won all five of his, his team are the best coached, selected and fittest of the bunch.  He was a key man on the last tour and as a Kiwi, will be used to sticking it to the Aussies and getting under their skin.  We think he might have a chance.

Cordite rose-smelling team of the series: Rob Kearney, Alex Cuthbert, JJV Davies, Wesley Fofana, George North, Owen Farrell, Mike Phillips, Alex Corbisiero, Rory Best, Dan Cole, Richie Gray, Ian Evans, Stephen Ferris, Chris Robshaw, Ben Morgan

Cordite stinking team of the series: Mike Brown, Sean Lamont, Aurelien Rougerie, Gordon D’Arcy, Max Evans, Tobias Botes, Tomas O’Leary, Allan Jacobsen, Dirty Biter Hartley, Tom Court, Donncha O’Callaghan, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, A/N Other x2

Gold Watches: Julien Bonnaire, William Servat, Donncha O’Callaghan, Gordon D’Arcy, Dan Parks, Lionel Nallet

See you next year: Danny Cipriani, Dominic Ryan, Richardt Strauss, Jean-Marcel Buttin, Tim Visser, James Ambrosini.



  1. Mike Brown on the stinking team of the series? A bit harsh to be fair, especially for a guy who has been in top form for Quins all season and hardly got on the pitch. He was no Dorse. Also, Danny "Minogue" Cipriani in the see you next year category is daft. The guy did an excellent job in the S15 last season of making ROG look like a defensive Serge Betsen with his non-tackling and his off field, booze related shenanigans are unlikely to recommend him to an English camp which has already depleted its quota of tomfoolery for the rest of the decade.-Ruckinhell

  2. Brown gets on the stinking team for one reason and its a good one.At the end of the Welsh game, England had a 2 on 1 – all Brown needed to do for England to score was to fix a defender, but he couldn't do that.It cost England a shot at the Championship.We're huge Cipriani fans and think he is brilliant, albeit with weaknesses in his defence. Still, with Barritt at 12 and Robshaw at 7, you have to say that channel is more secure – perhaps Cippers can be incorporated….

  3. Yeah, Brown wasn't awful by any means but my abiding memory of him will be of giving that pass to Strettle ages too early…As for Cippers, maybe it's more in hope than expectation. We'll always look to give players with a spark of genius about them the benefit of the doubt, but he will have to improve his terrible defence and show he has the right attitude for sure…

  4. I've just noticed the Italian commentary in the Gray try – its brilliant:Mike BlairrrrrrrrrrrrrrGreig Laid-laoiw

  5. I'm in Melbourne and have been watching Cipriani with the Rebels. His tendecncy to mix the sublime with ridiculous will not fit in this England team. He also does not get to kick for goal with O'Connor there. His off field attitude remains questionable too. He will have to step up a number of levels to get near the England squad.The big thing in his favour is that Charlie Hodgson appears to be Englands number 2 fly half under Lancaster.

  6. Thanks P White! Nice to have a bit of local knowledge, I haven't been abl to watch any Super 15 yet this year. It came across my twitter feed that he was having a blinder this morning, but then tore his hamstring and had to retire. Listen, we have our doubts about Cippers as much as everyone, but we do appreciate his luminous talent. One thing's for sure – it'll be one to watch with interest next season.

  7. By the looks of Planet Rugby's match report he also celebrated his try like a complete tw*t! Nice to see he's as much of a buffoon as ever!

  8. He was playing well, albeit against a Force side that decided self explosion was the right tactics for the first 20 minutes. Let Rebels pick up 2 cheap tries to go 21-0 up and still only lost due to lack of direction from 10 in the last 10 minutes after taking the lead. Cipriani pulled his hamstring in scoring a try but still got on his feet to do his dance. Very tough team to support when players are doing that.Cipriani leaving started an interesting debate yesterday too when I said that if I was the Rebels coach, I would be looking at the Leinster to replace him. It will never happen but Ian Madigan could be an absolute star in this league, especially with O'Connor at 12 and Beale at 15. 2/3 years in Super 15 could teach him to run a line like pretty much no Irish outhalf in history.

  9. Agree that Madigan would be tailor made for S15 – our friends at Demented Mole called him the Irish Matt Giteau this week, he has a real first-five-eigth look about him. That said, I've no desire to see him leave Leinster! His development is going to be fascinating to watch, because his skillset is unique among Irish fly-halves.

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