Kevin Sinfield wins rugby league 2012 Golden Boot

Kevin Sinfield

Leeds Rhinos and England captain Kevin Sinfield has won the 2012 Golden Boot, the annual award for the world's best rugby league player.

The 32-year-old Lancastrian is only the fourth English player to win the award.

He beat Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins and Australians Cameron Smith, Ben Barba, Cooper Cronk and Nate Myles to lift the prize.

The previous English winners are Ellery Hanley (1988), Garry Schofield (1990) and Andy Farrell (2004).

Sinfield led the Rhinos to World Club Challenge success against Australian champions Manly Sea Eagles, and a sixth Super League title in nine years, collecting the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match in the Old Trafford Grand Final.

He also captained the Rhinos to the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and led England to victory against France and Wales in the Autumn International Series.

John Drake, editor of Rugby League World magazine, which makes the award, said: "The British game can and does still produce individuals of world-class ability. Kevin Sinfield is one such player and it is right that his towering achievements in 2012 should be recognised with the Golden Boot."

Martyn Sadler, chairman of League Publications Ltd, said: "Kevin can't move as quickly as Ben Barba, or with the elusiveness of Sam Tomkins, while Cameron Smith's ability close to the ruck is surely second to none.

"But Sinfield is a supreme captain, and only Cameron Smith can rival his leadership, while Sinfield's goal-kicking success rate in 2012 was 82.84%, compared to 69.64% for Smith.

"In the Super League Grand Final Sinfield kicked five out of five, from all over the pitch, and that after he had been knocked out earlier by a challenge to the head. What he did in that game goes beyond what could reasonably be expected, even of a Golden Boot winner."


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