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Best in rugby recognised

Sam Gammie and Paige Walker took away the major representative honours at the Wairarapa Bush Rugby Awards held at Copthorne Solway Park last night.

Gammie has been outstanding at lock for Copthorne Wairarapa Bush, captaining the side to the Lochore Cup semifinal against West Coast on Saturday, their first Heartland playoff match in four seasons. Walker was a devastating runner from No. 8 and filled in at prop for the Wai Bush women’s team that finished a credible third in the inaugural North Island Heartland Women’s Championship.

Other senior representative awards were picked up by lock-loose forward Logan Wakefield for forward of the year, halfback Isaac Bracewell for back of the year, and hooker George Parke for the most promising player. Front rower Tessa Champion won the Wai Bush Women’s Most Promising Player.

On the club scene, veteran Inia Katia won the Pat Shannahan Trophy for premier player of the year. The Wai Bush centurion transitioned from the backs to flanker and was instrumental in Carterton winning their second consecutive championship. Women’s Player of the Year went to Wairarapa Wahine Toa’s Kate Donald, who was brilliant at fullback but also filled in admirably at halfback or first-five.

Katia also picked up the Manuera [Ben] Riwai–Couch Trophy for top premier try scorer, and clubmate Ben Brooking won the Patrick Rimene Trophy for top points scorer.

Carterton’s dominance of the premier club trophies continued with versatile back Fiula Tameilau winning the Bob Francis Trophy for Best and Fairest and Garth Thomson claiming the Lane Penn Trophy for Coach of the Year.

Wairarapa Wahine Toa were rewarded with the Sir Brian Lochore Trophy for Club of the Year for their hard work in getting the club fully established as the only exclusively female rugby club in the North Island and the development of their new home ground at the Solway Showgrounds.

Other players to be rewarded on the night were:

  • Rutene Family Trophy College Player – Will Cole [Rathkeale]
  • Wai Bush Barbarians Bennett Family Trophy Secondary School Girls Player – Xanthe Somerville [Solway]
  • Senior Reserve Player – Tyne Stafford [Tuhirangi]
  • Kingi Matthews Trophy Māori Player – Hayden Cooper [Marist]
  • Barbarians Best Player – BJ Campbell, and Most Promising – Ashton Coater
  • Under 20s Best Player – Thomas Williams, and Most Promising – JJ Gillies
  • Under 18s Best Player – Will Cole and Most Promising – Charlie Carroll
  • Under 16 Boys Best Player – Xavier Cook and Most Promising – Brandon Matthews
  • Under 16 Girls Best Player – Susan Lagolago and Most Promising – Kiwa Williams

Other awards were presented to:

  • Farry McLeod Trophy for Volunteer – Pip Sutherland [Martinborough]
  • David Galvin Trophy – Senior Administrator – Steve Hurley [Carterton]
  • Ron Hughes Trophy for Junior Administrator – Malcolm and Steph Jaspers [Tuhirangi]
  • Reserve Coach – Wilba Davies [Tuhirangi]
  • Baden Whale Trophy for Top Referee – Alistair Payne
  • Eric Kenny Trophy – Personality – Ken ‘Mutton’ Aburn [Tuhirangi]
  • Mediaworks Achievement Award – Tweet Bird

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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