NEW YORK, NY – Back in January, we named our 2012 Players To Watch. These players were noted not for their 2011 record but for what we expected them to achieve in 2012. We poached the idea from a Hip-Hop magazine that named its class of 2012 in 2011 and we’ll continue with that next week when we name our 2013 Players To Watch. Tomorrow, we’ll look at how our predictions for the 2012 Clubs, Coaches & Management fared. Today, however, let’s see how we fared with our 2012 Players To Watch Review.
Vanesha McGee – In 2012 we only named one female player of the year. In 2013 we will break it up more on all levels. In the meantime… At the risk of sounding humble, we were 100% correct in selecting McGee. She went on to captain the Women’s 7s National Team and had a big part to play in their wins in the inaugural Women’s 7s Tournament in China, as well as their Bowl victory in Dubai in the Inaugural IRB Women’s 7s series.
Mike Petri – Mike had a solid season. He led NYAC to another Super League title. He was also USA vice-captain for the summer internationals. He didn’t shine as much in the November internationals; he came of the bench in two games due to work commitments for an in-form Robbie Shaw. Not a miss but not exactly a breakthrough season. Stay tuned.
Samu Manoa – Manoa had an outstanding season for his club, the Northampton Saints. Whether at lock or at #8, he produced solid-fantastic performances. He is one of the first names down on the team sheet. To the greater disappoint of USA Rugby fans, Manoa has continued to be unavailable for national team duty. If it is not club commitments, it is for personal commitments. Here’s hoping he earns his 2nd Team USA cap in 2013.
JP Eloff – JP (Jean Pierre) is the younger brother of former eagle Phillip Eloff. Here is all he did in 2012: led Davenport College to their second consecutive D1-AA title… start at fly-half for the Collegiate All-Americans that toured Ireland… help Davenport make the National Collegiate 7s Championship for the first time and go as far as the shield Semis… Made the National Collegiate 7s Championship All-Tourney Team… squeeze in some first team rugby with D1 Men’s club, the Chicago Lions... We nailed this one!
Don Pati – Young Don also went to Ireland with the Collegiate All-Americans. He was part of the training squad for the National 7s Team -with the likelihood of playing for the team in 2013, but since we predicted big things for him in 2012, his accomplishments have fallen slightly short of our lofty expectations.
That’s it’s for now… Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @Mathew Drew Turner, @Ebstide52 and respectively.
Until tomorrow… Stay low and keep pumping those legs.