Top Fives: the sports year in review

Ryan O'Connell Columnist

By , Ryan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    Cadel Evans was one of the sporting highlights of 2011 AAP Image/Luis Enrique Ascui

    As 2012 rapidly approaches, it’s an appropriate time to look back the year it was in sport. And what better way to review the year than via a compilation of lists that include the best athletes, biggest disappointments, most memorable moments, and teams of the year.

    With a strong Australian flavour (or possibly bias), here is the sports year in review.

    Athletes of the Year
    Chris Judd
    Benji Marshall
    David Pocock
    Cadel Evans
    Sam Stosur

    Teams of the Year
    Brisbane Roar
    Queensland Maroons
    Queensland Reds
    Geelong Cats
    New Zealand All Blacks

    Most Memorable Moments
    Quade Cooper’s Rugby World Cup semi-final kick-off
    Pat Cummins working over Jacques Kallis
    Samantha Stosur’s US Open Win
    The A-League’s signing of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton
    ‘Bowled Martin, caught Guptill’

    Disappointments of the Year
    Sydney Roosters
    The Australian Test cricket team
    Andrew Bogut’s non-signing with the Sydney Kings
    The New South Wales Waratahs
    Quade Cooper’s Rugby World Cup campaign

    Farewelled Legends
    Darren Lockyer
    Matt Giteau
    Barry Hall
    Brendon Fevola
    Ricky Ponting (oh, wait a minute. . .)

    Biggest Futures Ahead of Them
    Daly Cherry-Evans
    Nick Phipps
    Pat Cummins
    Shaun Johnson
    Dyson Heppell

    Coaching Dramas
    (Can you remember a year in which coaches took centre stage ahead of the players, or even the sport, more than in 2011?)
    The season long drama over Mick Malthouse’s future at Collingwood.
    The defending premiers, St George Illawarra Dragons, completely falling apart after supercoach Wayne Bennett’s mid-season defection to the Knights.
    The bitter fall-out between Des Hasler and the Manly board, despite the Sea Eagles winning the 2011 title.
    Ross Lyons’ clandestine departure from St Kilda to Fremantle.
    Mal Meninga’s State of Origin dummy spit.

    Those that didn’t exchange Christmas cards
    Michael Clarke and Simon Katich
    Robbie Farrah and Tim Sheens
    Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby
    Quade Cooper and Richie McCaw
    Quade Cooper and the New Zealand public