2022 has been tough on Johnathon Ford.
It all started so optimistically for him. He was at the heart of Toulouse’s promotion and set to help them in their bid for Super League survival until rules about vaccines in the wake of the pandemic forced his departure.
He was a major signing for Featherstone as they looked to emulate Toulouse and win promotion, but things didn’t pan out that way as they were stunned in the play-off semi-finals by Batley.
Now though, Ford has the chance to play in the World Cup for Cook Islands and helped them to a first win of the tournament on Wednesday against Wales.
However, it was a struggle for the highly fancied and star-studded Cook Islanders leaving Ford unhappy with his team after the game as he spoke to BBC: “I’m a bit lost for words, we weren’t good enough. We got the win so we’re happy with that.”
He did give credit to Wales however: “I’ve played over here for some time, so I know a few of the boys and we did a bit of homework on them. We knew they were good, would work hard and have strong backs who carry strong.
“Credit to them, they were getting through us and it took us a bit of time until we figured out how to combat that.”
But the main thing was his bafflement at being awarded the Man of the Match.
As he spoke, he underlined his surprise as he persisted to criticise his own performance: “Personally I’m not too happy with my performance. A few things I didn’t ice, the kicking game, the control wasn’t good enough for me so I was surprised to get the Man of the Match.
“I thought there were a few guys more deserving than me, I’m not too happy with my game at the moment.”
It’s not the only Man of the Match award that’s been questioned with the same happening over Victor Radley picking up the award in England’s win over Samoa which Jon Wilkin vocally opposed.