Fourie gets WP players' nod
Deon Fourie (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - There were plenty of deserving award winners at the 2013 Western Province trophy presentation which took place at Kelvin Grove on Thursday evening.
According to the WP Rugby website
, not only were WP Rugby’s professional players awarded individual trophies based on their performances throughout the 2013 season, but the Western Province Rugby Football Union also recognised all club, junior, female and referees’ performances within the union this past year.
The event was well attended on the night with the WP Currie Cup team present - ahead of this weekend’s semi-final against the Golden Lions - along with other key sponsors, players (seniors, juniors and club players), administrators and the local rugby media.
WP Currie Cup captain Deon Fourie
walked off with the most prestigious award on the night, the WP Players’ Player of the Year.
Fourie, who picked up the inaugural adidas MVP Award in 2012, was again rewarded for his consistency as a player, his leadership and never-say-die attitude - this time by his team-mates, all of whom voted in this category.Duane Vermeulen
(MVP Award), Steven Kitshoff (Best Forward), Jean de Villiers (Best Back), Nizaam Carr (Most Promising Senior Forward) and Damian de Allende (Most Promising Senior Back) all joined Fourie up on the podium as senior trophy winners. Currie Cup debutant Tazz Fuzani capped off his remarkable rise by being voted as the 2013 Club Player of the Year, having begun the year in the UWC Varsity Shield team and ending in the senior Currie Cup side.
Star WP Women’s player Natasha Hofmeester succeeded her team-mate Chantel Sieckers as the 2013 Player of the Year, whilst Marius van der Westhuizen - who will officiate Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final between the Sharks and the Cheetahs in Durban - walked off with the 2013 WP Referee of the Year Award.
The Maties, of Stellenbosch, were officially presented with their trophy as the 2013 Super League A winners and Hamilton’s were handed the Grand Challenge Trophy as Western Province’s representatives in the 2014 Community Cup.
At Under-19 level, meanwhile, Ramone Samuels (Best Forward), Jason Worrall (Best Back) and Chad Solomon (Most Promising Player) all stood out in a tough season, whilst Oliver Kebble (Best Forward), Tim Swiel (Best Back) and Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Most Promising Player) were voted the top Under-21 players of 2013.
Like their senior counterparts, the WP Under-21s will also be hosting a provincial semi-final on Saturday, the latter having lost just once this season en route to topping the log, picking up a staggering 54 log points from 12 matches (scoring 478 points and conceding just 193).
But, of course, all eyes will be on the main game at Newlands this weekend, as the unbeaten defending champions look to win through to a first home final since 2001.
With that in mind, WP coach Allister Coetzee
lauded the impact of his entire squad in 2013 - right from February up until now, with the senior awards being voted for across both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.
“It’s been a long season but we’re fortunate in this union to be able to call upon some quality players - week after week,” said Coetzee.
“Some of the selection calls that we’ve had to make in recent weeks have been the toughest of my coaching career. And when you see someone like Nizaam Carr win an award tonight, yet he cannot make our 22 at present, you realise just how much everyone has contributed to get the team to where it is now.
Whilst the Stormers finished out of play-off contention this season for the first time since 2009, WP Rugby’s overall record at Newlands has been impressive this season - the senior teams, between them at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level, losing just once in Cape Town in 2013.
Add that to a 96% win-rate at schools level for the union in 2013 - with WP collecting seven titles from the eight youth weeks on offer - and the overall future at Western Province looks very rosy.
WPRFU President Thelo Wakefield told www.wprugby.com
: “Well done to all the winners - it was great to be able to pay tribute to everyone, from the clubs right up to those players in the professional ranks; some new faces, others not.
“Tonight’s awards are testament to what is being done to ensure that WP Rugby remains top across all levels and we wish our teams, the WP Emerging team, the WP Under-21s and the WP (Currie Cup) team, the best of luck in the business-end of their respective competitions.”All the individual award winners:
WP Women’s Player of the Year: Natasha Hofmeester
WP Under-19 Best Forward: Ramone Samuels
WP U19 Best Back: Jason Worrall
WP Most Promising U19 Player: Chad Solomon
WP Under-21 Best Forward: Oliver Kebble
WP U21 Best Back: Tim Swiel
WP Most Promising U21 Player: Sikhumbuzo Notshe
WP Best Forward: Steven Kitshoff
WP Best Back: Jean de Villiers
WP Most Promising Senior Forward: Nizaam Carr
WP Most Promising Senior Back: Damian de Allende
Clubs’ Player of the Year: Tazz Fuzani
WP Referee of the Year: Marius van der Westhuizen
MVP Award: Duane Vermeulen
WP Players’ Player of the Year: Deon Fourie