You’ve gotta love a footy team named for the wild horses in the Snowy Mountains when one of their annual player awards is for the club ‘Stallion’. Awarded at the Brumby’s Ball at QT by the fans as ‘Supporter’s Choice Award’ the 2016 winner was Scott Fardy. It was inappropriate to ask what the judging criteria was but he’s a formidable man and obviously impressed the loyal Brumbies fans this season.
It was a great night of celebration that recognises outstanding achievements on and off the field, with the best achievement in my opinion the Brumbies girls, Sharni Williams and Alicia Quirk bringing home ‘Gold’ as part of the all conquering Rugby Sevens in Rio. But this night was about the Brumbies blokes who achieved their fourth finals appearance in a row and are the Australian Conference Champions. But they are particularly proud of their win at Sydney Football Stadium after a 14year hiatus and for Stephen Larkham his first ever win as a player or a coach in Bloemfontein SA. Next season they’ll be looking to bigger and better with an ‘Unbreakable’ tag slipping into Brumbies vernacular.
Christian Leai’ifano didn’t make it to the ball. Coach Larkham had been to see him and said he was too embarrassed after his first round of chemotherapy for recently diagnosed leukaemia and a shaved head tucked into a beanie but was in good humour when told there might be a couple of awards coming his way. They were as the Best Back Award which he’s won three times before but this time with a Hall of Fame award to add. “Feeling sorry for the bloke with cancer?” was his retort to Larkham, but he was missed and the support from this team will be integral to his treatment and recovery.
So we partied, dancing up a storm and farewelled those who will be leaving the team, including Captain Stephen Moore and his beautiful wife Courtney. The packers are due and she’s feeling a bit sad but promised to be back for visits. So it’s on to 2017 as the Unbreakable Brumbies.