They were a real strength for them this season and the backrow dominated the major awards at Gunnedah Rugby Club’s presentation on Friday night.
Breakaway Joe Duffy was awarded The Shell/Walker Trophy as the first grade best and fairest while number eight Sanimo Navatu was the players player’.
Around 100 players and supporters gathered at the clubhouse to reflect on what was a successful season for the Red Devils.
“It’s been a terrific year for the club, not just on the paddock but off it,” president Bruce Hockings said.
“The players have really stepped up to the mark and taken more ownership the last couple of years.”
On the field second grade made it through to the minor semi-final while first grade reached the preliminary final for the first time since 2004 and put up a great fight against Walcha.
“It’s a credit to [coach] Jason (Waerea) and the boys,” Hockings said.
Waerea said they looked at the whole picture in judging the best and fairest and said the thing that most impressed him about Duffy’s season was his consistency.
He edged out fellow breakaway Will Archer for the best and fairest.
“He (Archer) had a good year as well. It was tough to split them. They’re both very hard and fair footballers,” Waerea said.
Archer was judged the best forward and skipper Jamie Mitchell the best back. Mitchell also won the Iron Man Award for the most minutes played in first grade after playing every minute of every game.
Waerea said he was also close to winning the most consistent trainer.
“Just his commitment all year, he just drove the whole attitude to being in first grade,” he said.
Russell Johnston was judged the most improved in first grade, while damaging back Aisea Raitala was the highest pointscorer for first grade and highest tryscorer in the club.
Billy Flinn won the second grade best and fairest and the best back while Will Maunder was the players player, Simon Elsley the best forward and Esava Ravouvou the highest pointscorer.
The Ewing Cup (Highest Point Scorer 2nd XV) – Esava Ravouvou
Tamba Industrial Cup (Best Back 2nd XV) – Billy Flinn
Davidson Cameron Cup (Best Forward 2nd XV) – Simon Elsley
The Ron Ross Memorial Trophy (Players Player 2nd XV) - Will Maunder
Dick Frend Trophy (Most Improved player 1st XV) - Russell Johnston
Highest Point Scorer 1st XV – Aisea Raitala
Best Back 1st XV - Jamie Mitchell
The Breeza Trophy (Best Forward 1st XV) - Will Archer
Players Player 1st XV – Sanimo Navatu
The Tony Coffey Trophy (Most Consistent Trainer) - Matthew Roseby
The Wilf Hockings Memorial Trophy (Highest Try Scorer) - Aisea Raitala
The Foundation Award (Best Supporter) - The Lee Family
The Sportsman Award (Best Sportman in the club) - Jon Glover
The Bob McCrone Memorial Trophy (Best Clubman) - Al Schillert
Iron Man Award (Most minutes in 1st grade) – Jamie Mitchell
The Chamberlain - John Deere Trophy (Runner up Best and Fairest 2nd XV) - Kyle Newombe
The Bill McDonagh Memorial Trophy (Runner up Best and Fairest 1st XV) - Will Archer
The Sawmiling trophy (Best and Fairest 2nd XV) - Billy Flinn
The Shell/Walker Trophy (Best and Fairest 1st XV) - Joe Duffy