Evans wins coaching award

> Pakuranga United Rugby Club’s Nick Evans. Photo Peter Meecham/www.photosport.nz

Pakuranga United Rugby Club’s Nick Evans picked up a coaching award at the Auckland Rugby awards at Eden Park this week.

Evans won the award for most promising club coach of the year for his sterling work with PURC’s premier development (reserves) team.

Auckland and College Rifles loose forward Sione Havili has claimed the prestigious Sir Fred Allen supreme award at last night’s annual Auckland Rugby awards event at Eden Park.

The 19-year-old has had a heady 12 months, winning the Jerry Collins Memorial Bronze Boot for his play in the NZ Schools’ 2016 international against their Australian counterparts and then making a good fist of his first foray into premier club rugby with College Rifles. He made two appearances for Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup, scoring on debut versus Waikato, and then starring for Auckland in the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament in Taupo, where he won the DJ Graham Award, following in the footsteps of Mitch Karpik in 2014.

Havili’s was one of 24 individual awards made last night.

East Tamaki loose forward George Crichton continued his tryscoring exploits, his 10 tries in 2017 enough to again clinch the Alan Tohill Memorial Trophy as the leading forward tryscorer in premier club rugby. Crichton also won this gong in 2015.

University No 10 and skipper Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald won two awards for his prolific pointscoring en route to helping University lift the Gallaher Shield. He kicked 147 points off the tee, via 39 conversions and 23 penalties to lift the George Whye Kicking trophy for the second successive year, while the try he scored in the dying throes of the Gallaher decider gave him 152 points as the leading scorer in premier club play.

Eden’s Brody Lam and Marist’s Salesi Rayasi topped the premier tryscoring charts, each dotting down 17 times this season. Lam was loaned to Poverty Bay for the Heartland Championship, while Rayasi played for Auckland B and trained with the All Blacks Sevens squad.

Ponsonby’s inspirational loose forward and captain Waha Waitohi was adjudged best and fairest club player.

The province’s No 1 whistler Angus Mabey won the club referee of the year going for the second time. He controlled the Gallaher Shield final.

The premier club coach of the year went to former Scotland international Cam Mather, who guided University to the Gallaher Shield just 12 months after missing the top eight.

Storm, Black Ferns and Ponsonby prop Aldora Itunu took the women’s club player of the year, while Eden’s lead from the front hooker Blake Hill was adjudged the men’s club player of the year.

Fresh out of Kelston Boys’ High School, the versatile back Sebastian Visinia slotted, with aplomb, straight into premier rugby with Suburbs, often operating in the No 12 jersey. He won club rookie of the year.

The indefatigable Jody Wong won the Barrie Connell Memorial Trophy for her work at the Suburbs and Ponsonby clubs and with the Junior Rugby Foundation.

Team trophies were also presented, University taking official custody of the Gallaher Shield, symbol of Auckland Rugby club supremacy since 1922, while Suburbs won the Waka Nathan Challenge Cup for pre-season competition and the Alan McEvoy Memorial Shield for second round winners.

The good news continued for University, who won the Jordan Rosebowl as the club that sets the highest standards in event management, sideline behaviour and on-field discipline.
The Ponsonby club won the Southland Shield for the best average championship points across three senior grades, while College Rifles took the Silver Football for best average championship points across all grades.

In the representative awards, Marist front-rower and Storm captain Karina Stowers won the Storm player of the year for her high quality season, while Kiritapu Demant took the Auckland women’s sevens player of the year. Former All Black Sevens rep Tutu Tairea took out the men’s sevens award.

Fullback Simon-Peter Toleafoa, who had a strong national tournament, won the Auckland Under 19 Development award, while first five Harry Plummer, who led all scorers with 60 points in Taupo, took out the Under 19 A team award. Plummer went on to win two caps for Auckland in October during the Mitre 10 Cup.

The Colts player of the year (hooker JP Sauni) and B player of the year (halfback Nico Costa) both made their first-class debuts for Auckland.

Loose forward Blake Gibson, a relentless defender, won both the Auckland Mitre 10 Cup defensive player of the year and the overall player of the year, in a season in which he acquired his blazer and trained with the All Blacks.

Hooker Kurt Eklund won the Mitre 10 Cup team man of the year for ‘greatest contribution to the team environment.’

There was further acknowledgement for all champion teams and national representatives, including the six Auckland players who appeared for the All Blacks in 2017 and eight who won the Women’s Rugby World Cup with the Black Ferns, along with the 100-match provincial milestones for Emma Jensen and Fiao’o Fa’amausili.

  • Auckland Rugby Union club awards

Alan Tohill Memorial Trophy:

George Crichton (East Tamaki)

George Whye Kicking Trophy:

Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald (University)

Top premier points scorer:

Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald (University)

Top premier tryscorers:

Brody Lam (Eden)/Salesi Rayasi (Marist)

Best and Fairest club player:

Waha Waitohi (Ponsonby)

Barrie Connell Memorial Trophy:

Jody Wong (Suburbs/Ponsonby)

Club referee of the year:

Angus Mabey

Most promising club coach of the year:

Nick Evans (Pakuranga)

Premier club coach of the year:

Cam Mather (University)

Women’s club player of the year:

Aldora Itunu (Ponsonby)

Club rookie of the year:

Sebastian Visinia (Suburbs)

Club player of the year:

Blake Hill (Eden)

  • Auckland Rugby Union representative awards

Auckland Storm player of the year:

Karina Stowers

Auckland women’s sevens player of the year:

Kiritapu Demant

Auckland men’s sevens player of the year:

Tutu Tairea

Auckland Under 19 Development player of the year:

Simon-Peter Toleafoa

Auckland Under 19 A player of the year:

Harry Plummer

Auckland Colts player of the year:

JP Sauni

Auckland B player of the year:

Nico Costa

Auckland M10 Cup team man of the year:

Kurt Eklund

Auckland M10 Cup defensive player of the year:

Blake Gibson

Auckland M10 Cup player of the year:

Blake Gibson

Sir Fred Allen supreme award:

Sione Havili

Ash Edwards Memorial Trophy:

Brian Francis