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Michael Hooper lifts Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series trophy

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Qantas Wallabies fullback Israel Folau’s hat trick of tries saw him claim the lion’s share of points on offer in the final week of the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series award but it was not enough to stop flanker Michael Hooper claiming the trophy as the series overall strongest performer.

Folau’s hat-trick against the Pumas in Rosario was the first scored by a Wallabies player in a Test since Adam Ashley-Cooper’s treble against the USA in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Tahs fullback’s try scoring heroics saw him poll 18 points for the match with the Fairfax Rugby scribes and put him into second place overall.

Second for the match was Brumbies lock-come-flanker Scott Fardy who completed his strong finish to the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship polling 9 points for another powerful all round performance. It took Fardy up into outright third on the final table.

Reds scrumhalf Will Genia celebrated his return to the starting line-up with a strong all round effort that netted him 8 points keeping him in fourth.

Another big performer was Brumbies winger Joe Tomane who had his best ever game for the Qantas Wallabies, scoring a try and setting up two more in a stunning performance that bagged him 6 Strongest Performer points.

Hooker Stephen Moore continued his blockbusting form with 3 points, which kept him in outright sixth place, while Hooper picked up 2 points and Ashley-Cooper and prop Benn Robinson both picked up a point each. It was Robinson’s first point of the series and marked a strong return to the Wallabies ranks.

A smiling Hooper, who finished the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship with a stunning 77 points, was awarded the trophy as the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series in Manly yesterday. A fitting reward for a job well done.

Each week during the 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship, Fairfax’s panel of leading Rugby writers, which includes some of Australia’s top Rugby scribes such as Paul Cully, Georgina Robinson and Spiro Zavos, voted for the best-performing Qantas Wallabies.

Points were allocated on a three, two, one basis by each panelist, with the player with the highest points tally at the end of the tournament being awarded the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series trophy.

The points awarded after this week’s match, and the final Series’ points table, are below.

Points awarded for Round 6: vs Argentina in Rosario
18 Israel Folau
9 Scott Fardy
8 Will Genia
6 Joe Tomane
3 Stephen Moore
2 Michael Hooper
1 Adam Ashley-Cooper
1 Benn Robinson

Cumulative Points Total after round Five:
 (Placing last Round) [Points scored this Round]
1. (1) Michael Hooper 77 [2]
2. (3) Israel Folau 43 [18]
3. (4) Scott Fardy 28 [9]
4. (4) Will Genia 27 [8]
5. (2) Christian Leali’ifano 26 [0]
6. (6) Stephen Moore 20 [3]
7. (6) Adam Ashley-Cooper 18 [1]
8. (8) James O'Connor 15 [DNP]
9. (9) Nic White 11 [0]
10. (10) Rob Simmons 9 [0]
11. (10) Quade Cooper 8 [0]
12. (12) Tevita Kuridrani 7 [0]
13. (-) Joe Tomane 6 [6]
14. (14) James Slipper 4 [0]
14. (14) Ben McCalman 4 [0]
16. (16) James Horwill 3 [0]
17. (17) Matt Toomua 1 [0]
17. (13) Ben Mowen 1 [0]
17. (-) Benn Robinson 1 [1]

Panellists: Georgina Robinson, Paul Cully, Stephen Samuelson, Chris Dutton, Spiro Zavos, Matthew Burke, Peter FitzSimons, Rupert Guinness, Phil Lutton.