Cape Town - The Western Province trio of lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, centre Huw Jones and hooker Bongi Mbonambi were the big winners at the 2016 Western Province Rugby Football Union Awards evening, which was held at Newlands on Tuesday evening.
All three players took two big WP Rugby awards each, although Du Toit and Mbonambi were not present at Newlands as they are in Durban preparing for the Springbok Test against the All Blacks this week.
On top of the main DHL awards, which recognise the best and most promising players over the season, there were new award categories as Land Rover introduced the Composure and Capability Award for the senior player who showed the most composure and capability under pressure and the Above and Beyond Award for the player who gave everything on and off the field, whilst BrightRock handed out the Bounce Players of the Year for players who have made a significant improvement in their game.
Scottish international Jones walked away with the coveted WP Players' Player of the Year Award, as well as the WP Most Promising Back.
In his first season at Newlands, Du Toit claimed the Land Rover Composure and Capability Award, and the Adidas Most Valuable Player Award, whilst Mbonambi was named the Best Forward and the BrightRock Bounce Player of the year.
The other senior awards saw Cheslin Kolbe named the WP Best Back and Kobus van Dyk the WP Most Promising Forward.
In the table-topping Western Province U19 team, WP U19 Best Forward was No 8 Juarno Augustus and WP U19 Best Back was centre David Brits, with flank Nama Xaba named the WP U19 Most Promising Player.
The WP U21 Best Forward was lock David Ribbans and WP U21 Best Back was wing Sibahle Maxwane, with centre Ryan Oosthuizen handed the WP U21 Most Promising Player award.
The Land Rover Above and Beyond Award for went to WP U21 captain Luke Stringer, with Zain Davids named the BrightRock U19 Bounce Player of the Year and Edwill van der Merwe the BrightRock U21 Bounce Player of the Year.
The 2016 season has been a successful one for a lot of WP Rugby representative teams, from the Stormers, who won their fourth Super Rugby conference in the last six years, right down to the WP Schools teams.
Currently, the DHL WP Currie Cup, Provincial Under-19 and Under-21 teams have all qualified for the knock-out phase of their respective competitions - with Western Province U19 and Western Province U21 hosting semi-finals against their counterparts from the Free State Cheetahs at City Park on Friday October, 14. The senior Western Province team face the Blue Bulls in their semi-final at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, October 15.
Western Province finished top of the Currie Cup Qualifying Standings and went on to secure a seventh consecutive Currie Cup semi-final spot.
WP U18, WP U18 Academy and WP U13 all went unbeaten through their respective Youth Weeks, with 13 WP U18 players named in the SA Schools squad.
It has also been a vibrant year of club rugby, with quality rugby across the province drawing massive crowds in the different communities.
Rangers finished on top of the pile in Super League C, to continue their steady climb up the league ladder since winning the Premier League B title in 2009. Super League B champions Union-Milnerton will contest their maiden Super League A campaign in 2017, whilst after more than 40 years, False Bay finished as the top club team in Western Province having won the Super League A club rugby title.
The Club Rugby Player of the Year was Alvin Brandt of Tygerberg RFC.
There were also 17 special club awards handed to clubs which are over 100 years old, pointing to the rich heritage in Western Province Club Rugby.
The School's Player of the Year was Salmaan Moerat, who captained SA Schools this year and the Referee of the Year was awarded to Marius van der Westhuizen.
WPRFU President, Thelo Wakefield, commented: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners - it was a privilege to be able to pay tribute to everyone, from the clubs right up to the professional players and all of whom have worked so hard and deserve their rewards.
“Tonight’s awards showcase the efforts that are being made to ensure that WP Rugby remains top across all levels and we wish our teams the best of luck in the knock-out phase of their respective competitions, as they all chase national titles.”
The event was well attended on the night with the WP Currie Cup team present, along with other key sponsors, players (seniors, juniors and club players), administrators and the local rugby media.
ALL THE 2016 INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS:
WP U19 Best Forward: Juarno Augustus
WP U19 Best Back: David Brits
WP U19 Most Promising Player: Nama Xaba
WP U21 Best Forward: David Ribbans
WP U21 Best Back: Sibahle Maxwane
WP U21 Most Promising Player: Ryan Oosthuizen
Land Rover Composure and Capability Award: Pieter-Steph du Toit
Land Rover Above and Beyond Award: Luke Stringer
BrightRock U19 Bounce Player of the Year: Zain Davids
BrightRock U21 Bounce Player of the Year: Edwill van der Merwe
BrightRock Senior Bounce Player of the Year: Bongi Mbonambi
Adidas MVP Award: Pieter-Steph du Toit
WP Best Forward: Bongi Mbonambi
WP Best Back: Cheslin Kolbe
WP Most Promising Senior Forward: Kobus van Dyk
WP Most Promising Senior Back: Huw Jones
WP Women's Player of the Year: Babalwa Latsha
WP School's Player of the Year: Salmaan Moerat
WP Referee of the Year: Marius van der Westhuizen
Club Rugby Player of the Year: Alvin Brandt
Players Player of the Year: Huw Jones
* Not only were WP Rugby’s professional players awarded individual trophies based on their performances throughout the 2016 season, but the Western Province Rugby Football Union also recognised all club, junior, female and referees’ performances within the union this past year.
THE 2016 WPRFU CLUB AWARDS WENT TO:
Super League A: False Bay
Super League B: Union-Milnerton
Super League C: Rangers
Promotion League: Vineyards
City League (First round): Busy Bees
Northern League (First round): Vineyards
Southern League (First round): Young Wesleys
Paarl League Winner: Lower Paarl
Simonsberg League Winner: Morning Star
Sunday League: Young Attackers
Women’s League: Union-Milnerton Women
City League (Second round): CPUT Gardens
Northern League (Second round): Whistling Wheels
Southern League (Second round): Rocklands
Paarl Knockout: Lower Paarl
Super League A Under-20: UCT RFC
Super League B Under-20: Helderberg RFC
Super League C Under-20: Paarl RFC
Presidents Cup (Super League A): Stellenbosch
Presidents Cup (Super League B): Hamlets
Presidents Cup (Super League C): Rangers