Top Fives: the sports year in review

Ryan O'Connell Columnist

By Ryan O'Connell, 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

    Have Your Say



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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • December 25th 2011 @ 7:09am
      The Grafter said | December 25th 2011 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      Personally I thought Quade Cooper soaked up the pressure well, and had a terrific World Cup…………………………………, for his country of origin.

    • December 25th 2011 @ 9:18am
      Brendon said | December 25th 2011 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      Umm, where is James Magnussen and Sally Pearson?

      Was this a draft that accidentally got published?

      • December 31st 2011 @ 9:10am
        SVB said | December 31st 2011 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        They were replaced by a few token AFL/rugby players. To say Chris Judd’s performance is above Sally Pearson’s performance is laughable really. She won woman athlete of the year in a sport which is one of the most competitive in the world.

        • December 31st 2011 @ 9:12am
          SVB said | December 31st 2011 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          Should have been:

          Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Sally Pearson, Casey Stoner and James Magnussen.

          • December 31st 2011 @ 10:04am
            Tommygun said | December 31st 2011 @ 10:04am | ! Report

            Totally agree SVB. Think the article was written in a bit of a hurry. Casey Stoner and Sally Pearson were glaring omissions. Can anyone say that the achievements of the three footy players were above Casey??

    • December 25th 2011 @ 9:53am
      Parisien said | December 25th 2011 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      Looking back at the year in sport from here in Paris, Cadel Evans winning the Tour de France really stands out. Its a huge achievement that will probably only be fully appreciated in a few years time. Its as if he climbed Everest without oxygen.

      • Roar Guru

        December 31st 2011 @ 8:08am
        Sam Brown said | December 31st 2011 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        I agree, it was a year of some big international wins but none is bigger than Cadel’s win. I am so glad I sacrificed and watched the majority of the rides for the first time this year. I’m hooked for good now.

      • Roar Guru

        December 31st 2011 @ 3:05pm
        langou said | December 31st 2011 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

        I have been watching the tour for 15 years after getting hooked as a 16 year old when my Dad flicked over one night to SBS. It’s been a joy watching the Aussies win the green over the years but seeing Cadel take the yellow rates as my number two sporting moment of all time behind the Socceroos making the World Cup in 2005. Sam Brown is spot on, once you watch one tour, you will be hooked, there is no way to avoid it. For those who don’t like the idea of going 22 nights without sleep every year it is best to avoid it.

    • December 31st 2011 @ 8:48am
      The Grafter said | December 31st 2011 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      Daniel Geale becoming only the 4th Australian to successfully challenge and win a world title (a genuine title) beating Sebastian Sylvester in Germany is worthy of note.

    • December 31st 2011 @ 9:13am
      Stam said | December 31st 2011 @ 9:13am | ! Report

      Why aren’t Geoff ogilvy and Robert Allenby exchanging christmas cards?

    • December 31st 2011 @ 9:21am
      jamesb said | December 31st 2011 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      I agree with SVB

      Cadel Evans for mine should be Australian sports person of 2011. For the London Olympics I can’t wait to watch James Magnusson swim, more so than Ian Thorpe.

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