Glen Buttriss put years of injury misfortune behind him and went on to play in every game of the Raiders’ 2014 campaign; the highest number of games the wily hooker has ever played in a season.
Remarkably though, even Buttriss would have conceded that he was a 'sure thing' to be in the top 17 at the start of the season.
With Ricky Stuart electing to partner Jack Wighton with Terry Campese in the halves during the off-season, Josh McCrone was shifted to dummy half duties.
As such, Buttriss was now forced to contend with three other rivals for club’s first grade number nine jersey – McCrone, Matt McIlwrick and new recruit Kurt Baptiste.
Further putting Buttriss behind the eight ball in his request to retain his standing as the club’s premier hooker was the fact that he was recovering from a shoulder operation for a large portion of the pre-season.
Despite this, he impressed Stuart enough to select him in the number nine jersey for the season opener against the North Queensland Cowboys, and ultimately for the rest of the year.
In a season in which players were sidelined with injury and in and out of first grade, Buttriss proved to be one of the foundations of the side.
By the sheer amount of time that Buttriss was able to spend on the field this year, devoid of injuries that have hampered his progress in years gone by, his numbers improved considerably from 2013.
The Cootamundra Bulldogs junior averaged more minutes in 2014 which saw him contribute to more try assists, line break assists, tackle breaks, offloads as well as averaging more tackles, an impressive 30.7 per match – the second highest in the club behind the herculean Shaun Fensom.
Buttriss displays a quick pass from dummy half coupled with a marvellous sleight of hand which enables Canberra’s forwards to get on a roll and his halves the necessary space to create havoc for opposition defensive structures.
One of the biggest improvements in his game under Stuart has been in the kicking department.
By way of comparison, Buttriss registered 4 kicks for 104 metres last year however he took his figures out to 30 kicks for 839 metres in 2014.
What these figures don’t portray is the artistry of some his short kicks, many of which contributed to tries or repeat sets.
Since making his debut for the Raiders back in 2008, Buttriss has gained a reputation as being a consummate team player and one that players enjoy playing with.
The esteem in which he is held was evidenced at the joy his team mates received when he scored his first try of the year – in Round 26!
Whilst Buttriss was a feature of every game in 2014 he can ill-afford to rest on his laurels next year with the impending arrival of Josh Hodgson from Hull KR as well as continuing pressure from McCrone and Baptiste.
Average Minutes: 52
Try Assists: 4
Try Saves: 1
Line Breaks: 3
Line Break Assists: 3
Tackle Breaks: 11
Average Metres: 34.4
Average Tackles: 30.7
Kick Metres: 30 kicks for 839 metres