The 2017 Blood and Mud Awards

With the general consensus being that everything has by and large gone to SHIT in 2017, it’s time to look back in the most cliché way possible: end-of-year awards. So without further ado, here are the nominees and winners of the inaugural B&M Awards, all nominated and voted for by our esteemed panel (me).


The Joe Marler Award for Shittiest Haircut in Rugby.

The nominees are:

Aaron Smith. Having a shit, or at least unusual, haircut is not necessarily a huge sin for your average scrumhalf. What lands Smith on this list is the fact that he’s a certified hairdresser. Which means that he must’ve known what he was doing to his head when he put that 70s spoiler on his nog. Unacceptable.

Pierrick Gunther. Imagine if Chabal and Skrillex were spliced by some hipster scientist with a man bun, then the result would be scalped and the haircut transplanted onto Gérard Depardieu’s chubby muffin.



And the winner is:

Tomas Francis. It had to be him, didn’t it? Francis’ coup combines the fake tough edginess of a Mohawk with the real rabid trashiness of a mullet. But what did you expect from a man with the same barber as Jack Nowell?



The Bouclier de Boudjellal for Cartoonish Off-Pitch Antics.

The nominees are:

Mourad Boudjellal. It’s like watching an angry toddler throwing his toys outta the pram with him. That is, if that toddler had the resources and fashion sense of your average evil genius/James Bond villain. His demand that Toulon forfeit all Sunday games for the rest of the season is probably the most embarrassing thing ever said by the owner of a professional sports team. And that’s in a world where Silvio Berlusconi owned a club!

Le Nuit du Rugby. It had Victor Vito nut-tapping a guy wearing nothing but some flesh-coloured briefs. Do I need to say more?



And the winner is:

Jonny May fixing North Korea. Eeeerrrrrrr what? Yeah apparently England’s tunnel-visioned winger believes he can “fix” a country by……. running fast in a straight line? When this story broke, it was funny enough, but when a writer like Robbie gets his mitts on it, well, you get some true comedy gold. Cheers mate, my funny bone still hasn’t recovered.


The No Brew, No Clue Medal for Most Baffling Reversal of Fortunes

The nominees are:

Gloucester. Is Johan Ackermann basically Vern Cotter with an unsatisfiable hunger for fish sticks? It took a while, but gone are the days of giving away 25-point leads and choking at the death. Probably cause big Johan would literally choke the entire team, including his own son, if they tried that this year.

Scotland. Perhaps it would be unfair to give them this award on the basis of this year alone. But consider where this team was not all that long ago, and compare that with where they’re at now. A small Golden Age for Scotland rugby beckons.


And the winner is:

South Africa. They were Tommy Wiseau levels SHIT last year. Then against France and Argentina, they were GOOD. Then against the All Blacks, they were SHIT again. Then against the All Blacks (again) they were pretty GOOD. Finally, in the autumn they hopped from SHIT (Ireland) to GOOD (Italy) and back to SHIT again (Wales). The Bokke should come with a PSA: not suitable for people with heart issues or a splinter of sanity.


The Zebre-Treviso Cup for Most Execrable Shit Team to Watch

The nominees are:

Southern Kings. They’d have won this award if it weren’t for some extenuating factors. They were pretty fun to watch in Super Rugby, and they were always gonna have a bad start to PRO12 PRO14 rugby after losing all their key players. Still, they’re easily SHIT enough to hop onto the podium.

All the Aussie Super Rugby Teams. You should know you’re doing something wrong when the goddamn Sunwolves pick up more points against Kiwi opposition than all your club teams combined. It’s all the more appalling when you consider the quality in Australia. There’s just something incredibly sad about a team that has all the opportunities to be GOOD, but still manages to be SHIT. Speaking of which……


And the winner is:

Ospreys. Note that the Zebre-Treviso Cup does not go to the absolute worst team, but to the worst team to watch. Ospreys haven’t been terrible every game this year, but they’ve been so pedestrian, so pathetically underwhelming, that they forcibly expunge all joy from the human body. Watching them is like the equivalent of hooking up a Dyson to your soul. They have the talent and the resources to turn things around in 2018, so here’s to them sacking Tandy, breaking the mould and joining the ranks of the GOOD once more.



The Scott Spedding Lifetime Achievement Award for Not Belonging on a Rugby Pitch

The nominees are:

Christopher Crawford. You might not have heard about this player before. That is, if you want to use the term “player”, instead of “massive cunt who wouldn’t be out of place in an illegal 19th century boxing ring” to describe the man. His future profession: a bargain bin Steven Seagal impressionist.

Moaning to the ref. No matter your opinion on breakdown laws, player quotas, or residency rules, this is one thing we can all get behind. I don’t care if you’ve drawn a Lions tour with the All Blacks. I don’t care if you play for the best team in the world. I don’t care about how important you think your opinions on the game are. Keep your bitchin’ in your personal diary, and leave the reffing to the ref.


And the winner is:

French and Welsh Scrum Shenanigans. What more needs to be said about this absolutely disgusting pile of walrus faeces? More than World Rugby would like to say about it anyhow. But let’s keep this succinct, yeah? Fuck the coaching cunts who came up with this cheap-ass, B-rate Ponzi scheme. Bugger the doctoral numbnuts who enabled it. Screw World Rugby for failing to discipline the arseholes responsible.


The Ronan O’Fucking Gara Award for Terrible Decision Making

The nominees are:

Guy Novès. Is the French head coach job cursed by a coven of Basque witches or some shit like that? France have played a grand total of 4 decent (not good, DECENT) matches over the past two years. During those years, granduncle Guy hasn’t been able to bring any stability, plan or sanity to a French team desperately needing direction following 8 years of Mad Marc and Éclair Rage Philippe.

The Queensland Rugby Union and Brad Thorn. Sure, Quade Cooper is basically the rugby personification of all maverick cop movies you’ve ever seen, but half of the time he’s also a brilliant rugby player. The Reds have some talent at fly-half, but you can’t tell me they wouldn’t have benefitted from the experience of a former competition winner in the squad. Absolutely mental and a big dent in Queensland’s already slim play-off hopes for 2018.


And the winner is:

Lee Calvott. I cannot imagine what went on in your head when you allowed me to write for you. Who’d want to read the ramblings of a man who’s clearly delusional about his own writing capacities? But I can’t thank you enough for the chance. It’s been a year with some great and some not so great rugby, but the one constant throughout has been you and Josh bringing a little self-awareness and joy into our lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for everything.


Happy holidays everybody and see you back in the New Year.

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