Sinfield is not big, not fast and not particularly elusive. So why would he ever come into consideration for this award. What does he do that is so good.?
Well he does many things well and the sum of the parts is a great player.
He is versatile, he can play halfback, loose forward or hooker ( in fact when he played hooker for England he was better than when he played halfback)
He can launch long passes to put his wings or other outside backs into space or he can gave sublime little short passes to put forwards through the gaps.
He also has the ability to back up other players and finish off moves with a try ( who else thought to support Ablett for his try in the grand final, he came from nowhere to finish off that move.)
He can and does tackle effectivley.
His kicking game is a major weapon in his arsenal. He launches cross field kicks to he corner that allow Hall to be as good as he is, he launches high bombs that paralyse the opposition defenders as again was typified by the kick that Ablett claimed when he put Sinfield in to score in the grand final. His goalkicking is extraordinary and it is still an integral part of the game. His accuracy won the semi final against Wigan as well as a drop goal at a critical point in the game and cemented the win against Warrington by putting the score out of reach.
He gets up off the floor and refuses to be intimidated as in the final. In the semi final he also received some heavy tackles. In that game Leeds were away at the league leaders and appeared to have a game plan of pinning Wigan in their own half with kicks and pushing the score along on scraps, goals, drop goals and he was the captain, the on field general for the coach and also the kicker and he executed the game plan perfectly to pull off the shock victory.
His leadership skills have been mentioned and he is the glue that molds that very good Leeds team together. He has taken a team of mostly British players and beaten the best the game has to offer in the UK for 5 out of the last 6 years.
He has done all this with a physique and speed of Mr Everyman. To me, a players player and a leader of men. He deserves the honour
for his all around accomplishments. The complete player.
That's a very good post. Sinfield's performance against Wigan in the play-off semi-final was probably an even greater indication of his greatness than his Grand Final performance.
It's been a very good debate on here, and I am perfectly happy with people expressing contrary opinions. That's what debate is all about.
A lot of people have said, correctly, that Sinfield didn't make the Dream Team.
But that is determined by the way the Dream Team is selected, and by the fact that Sinfield qualifies theoretically for two positions.
If the voters were asked to vote on a captain first of all, before picking the other 12 members of the Dream Team, then Kevin Sinfield would, I'm sure, have been the first player selected every year for the past ten years.
Cameron Smith is also a great player, who shares many qualities, as a captain and as a player, with Sinfield.
But this season the sum of Sinfield's parts just shaded the other candidates.
I'll be writing much more on this in my column in Monday's League Express.