Tipene Haira playing for Martinborough in their Tui Cup victory over Gladstone. PHOTO/FILE

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Wairarapa-Bush and Martinborough first-five Tipene Haira was the big winner at the Wairarapa-Bush Club Rugby Awards held at Copthorne Solway Park on Wednesday night.

Haira won three awards – the prestigious Pat Shannahan Premier Player of the Year, the Kingi Matthews Maori Player of the Year, and the Patrick Rimene Trophy for the top points scorer in the Premier grade.

Haira was influential in Martinborough’s first premier championship victory in 28 years, playing a starring role in the latter rounds, semi-final, and in the Tui Cup final against Gladstone.

In a good night for Martinborough, James Bruce won the Lane Penn Coach of the Year and the club won the Sir Brian Lochore Supreme Club of the Year Award.

Other winners:

Bob Francis Best and Fairest – Joe Tako, Gladstone.

Baden Whale Referee of the Year – Mike Wakefield

Eric Kenny Rugby Personality of the Year – Alistair ‘Tora’ Boyne, Tuhirangi.

Mrs A McPhee Female Player of the Year – Darian Walker, Carterton.

Farry McLeod Volunteer of the Year – Mike Geenty, Wairarapa College.

David Galvin Senior Administrator of the Year – David McGillicuddy, Gladstone.

Ron Hughes JAB Administrator of the Year – Nicole James-Boyce, Pioneer.

Manuera [Ben] Riwai-Couch Top Try Scorer Premier Grade – Moo Moo Falaniko, Greytown.

Rutene Family – College Player of the Year – Tafa Tafa, Wairarapa College.