The finalists have been announced for an event which will celebrate the highlights of the 2017 club season at Te Papa on September 15, and some tough choices loom for the top prizes.
There are high quality fields for the newly created Women’s Club Player of the Year and the Les Mills Men’s Age Grade Player of the Year awards, but perhaps the closest call will be deciding on the 2017 Club Team of the Year.
Under normal circumstances Old Boys University’s Jubilee Cup winning men’s premier team would jump out as an obvious front runner after scooping the Swindale Shield, Bill Brien challenge trophy and the Andy Leslie Trophy in the same season.
However, OBU is up against an all-conquering Oriental-Rongotai premier women’s team who swept to the Fleurs and Victoria Tavern Trophies in emphatic fashion during a perfect, unbeaten season.
Likewise the Wellington U85kg team achieved the rarest of feats in also completing an unbeaten season to win the JC Bowl and Paul Potiki Memorial Shield in a grade which is traditionally one of the province’s most competitive.
Petone’s Colts can’t be dismissed either after winning both the Paris Memorial Trophy and John E Kelly Memorial Cup in the same season.
Ories’ flying wing Ayehsa Leti-Iiga, Poneke flanker Lea Perrett, Marist St Pats midfielder Monica Tagoai and Old Boys University loosie Gina Williamson will compete to be Wellington’s inaugural Women’s Club Player of the Year.
A young player will also write themselves into history as the first Les Mills Age Grade Player of the Year and the odds are it will be a front rower with three props in Ben Aumua-Peseta (Tawa), Xavier Numia (Oriental-Rongotai) and Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Petone) up against Upper Hutt lock/flanker Jack Wright.
The Wellington Community Rugby Awards will also include the newly created Lifetime Contribution to Wellington Rugby Salver, the men’s and women’s sevens player of the year awards, and the highly valued Burger King Positive Sidelines Award.
The 2017 Wellington Community Rugby Awards finalists are:
Women’s Sevens Player of the Year
Georgia Daals (Old Boys University)
Lyric Faleafaga (Northern United/St Mary’s College)
Kat Whata-Simpkins (Avalon Wolves)
Men’s Sevens Player of the Year
Levi Harmon (Poneke)
Esi Komaisavai (Northern United)
Hayden Schrijvers (Upper Hutt Rams)
Referee of the Year
Junior Volunteer of the Year
Malcolm Gibbs (Poneke)
Roseanne Mahuri-Tukukino (Rimutaka)
Mike Woollett (Petone)
Senior Volunteer of the Year
Christina Edmonds (Upper Hutt Rams)
Wayne Smith (Petone)
Kerry Walsh (Johnsonville)
Ron Wood (Northern United)
Club Coach of the Year
Dan Berry (Wellington Under 85kg)
Mason Malagama’alii (Oriental-Rongotai Women)
John Manuel (Petone Colts)
Jamie Williams (Old Boys University Premier)
Dan Vulu & Kent Harris (Hutt Old Boys Marist Premier)
Club Team of the Year
Old Boys University Premier
Wellington Under 85kg
Les Mills Age Grade Player of the Year
Ben Aumua-Peseta (Tawa)
Xavier Numia (Oriental-Rongotai)
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Petone)
Jack Wright (Upper Hutt Rams)
Women’s Club Player of the Year
Ayesha Leti-Iiga (Oriental-Rongotai)
Lea Perret (Poneke)
Monica Tagoai (Marist St Pats)
Gina Williamson (Old Boys University)
The Club Community Award, in association with the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc.
Northern United RFC