Genia praises Cooper after Super award - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Genia praises Cooper after Super award

By Russell Jackson 23/06/2011 06:27:21 PM Comments (0)

Will Genia says it's no secret why he won the Australian Super Rugby player of the year award.

Genia credits his brilliant Queensland halves partner Quade Cooper as the main reason, after he edged out the five-eighth for the accolade on Thursday, reversing their narrow 1-2 finish last year.

The pair keep inspiring each other to new heights, guiding the Reds to their first Super Rugby minor premiership in a partnership which is also set to benefit the Wallabies at this year's World Cup.

Genia and Cooper were tied for first place going into the last round of the competition with Genia's man-of-the-match performance in the victory over the Chiefs handing the Wallabies' halfback the prize in 2011.

Genia had 20 votes over the season while Cooper had 18, two ahead of Melbourne Rebels recruit from the Western Force - James O'Connor.

"He (Cooper) pipped me by one point last year and I got him by two this year but it's still nice that we've kept it in the Reds' family," Genia said.

"He's an outstanding guy to play with and he's probably the main reason why I'm having so much success.

"He's matured as a player and you can see it in not only just how he's going but how the team's going as well.

"He's a very positive influence and I'm very lucky to play with a player like him."

As expected, the Reds dominated the Super Rugby awards, winning team of year while mentor Ewen McKenzie claimed coach of the year for a record fourth time.

Genia said it was a great honour to win the award but the focus was now on next week, when the Reds open up their finals campaign.

"The individual accolades come on the back of a team's success and I'm proud to receive it but now we are all looking forward to going out there in the finals next week and playing for Queensland," he said.

The Reds will be crowned Super Rugby champions if they win their next two matches and will play NSW in Brisbane if the Waratahs beat the Blues on Friday night.

Other Super Rugby award winners were Melbourne Rebels' halfback Nick Phipps who was rookie of the year while Sydney-based Stuart Dickinson was the referee of the year.

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