Rangi and Toki claim major honours at Auckland Rugby League
On a night which saw fullbacks dominate the individual categories at the Auckland Rugby League Awards, Glenora Bears flyer Wyatt Rangi and Ponsonby's Mele Toki were crowned the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership and Farrelly Photos Women's Premiership Players of the Year respectively.
In his third season at first division level, 20-year-old Rangi became Glenora's first-choice fullback this year and stood out from the very first match when he helped Glenora win the Stormont Shield by defeating Pt Chevalier.
Rangi came through the SAS College Rugby League competition with west Auckland heavyweights Kelston Boys' High School and previously represented the Auckland Vulcans U17s at the National Youth Tournament.
Rangi said it was a humbling experience to receive the 2019 George Rainey Player of the Year Award.
"It's a pretty cool experience getting this award. I am definitely proud, it's taken a lot of hard work this year," Rangi said.
"I got the position when last year's fullback Polima Siaki got injured late last year, otherwise I might have been playing in the halves or on the wing this year."
For Toki, the Cathy Friend Medal comes after she converted from the second row to fullback this year, standing out for the Ponies in their first year in the Auckland Women's Premiership.
"I wanted to give fullback a try this year, I like being in the backs, it's a little bit different to the forwards," Toki said.
"I really look up to [Kiwi Ferns] fullback Apii Nicholls and tried to be like her. I've still got a lot to improve on in the position, but I really enjoyed this year."
Bay Roskill custodian Cori Vogel was named Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship Player of the Year, while Waitemata's Suliano Faukafa picked up SAS Sharman Cup Player of the Year.
All four Player of the Year Awards were decided using a 3,2,1 voting system, which was used for every game throughout the competition proper.
Pt Chevalier winger Sam Fa'apito marked his debut season at first division level by topping the Fox Memorial Premiership try-scoring chart, while Mangere East utility James Dowie was the top goal-kicker in the Premiership.
For the second year in a row Anthony Eliott was named the John Percival Referee of the Year.
A week and half on from guiding Mt Albert to the first division Grand Final, John Ackland was named Men's Coach of the Year, while Manurewa's Rusty Matua took out the women's equivalent.
There was further joy for Manurewa, with the men's premier manager Dan Pinn winning Manager of the Year and Craig Rutter being recognised as the Administrator of the Year.
The Howick Hornets added another trophy to their collection for 2019 by being named Club of the Year, having earlier this season won the Referees' Best and Fairest Award to go with the Sportsafe ARL Nines title and the Rukutai Shield minor premiership won by the top side.
Dedicated husband and wife duo Karen Barker and Gavin French claimed the Volunteer of the Year Award.
2019 Auckland Rugby League award
Volunteer of the Year | Gavin French and Karen Barker
Club Administrator of the Year | Craig Rutter (Manurewa)
Club of the Year | Howick
Sharman Cup Club Players of the Year (based on 3,2,1 voting
Manukau | Desmond Toofohe
Mt Wellington | Samson Havea
Northern Brothers | Harry Vete
Otara | Daniel Leo
Pakuranga | Semisi Tuipulotu
Papatoetoe | Seu Tukuniu
Waitemata | Suliano Faukafa
SAS Sharman Cup Player of the Year | Suliano Faukafa (Waitemata)
Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship Club Players
of the Year (based on 3,2,1 voting system)
Bay Roskill | Cori Vogel
Ellerslie | Glen Fisiiahi
Hibiscus Coast | Adam Davies
Manurewa | Nathan Simmons
Papakura | Junior Pita
Pukekohe | Jason Tou
Richmond | Daetyn Tanuvasa
Te Atatu | Jarrod Tua
Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship Player of the Year | Cori Vogel (Bay Roskill)
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Club Players of the
Year (based on 3,2,1 voting system)
Glenora | Wyatt Rangi
Howick | Jethro Friend
Mangere East | Netane Vi
Marist | Raymon Tuaimalo Vaega
Mt Albert | Eiden Ackland
Northcote | Josiah Afu
Otahuhu | Geronimo Doyle
Pt Chevalier | Patrick Sipley
Winner of the Rukutai Shield |
Winner of the Stormont Shield | Glenora
Winner of the Kiwi Shield | Pt Chevalier
Winner of the Roope Rooster | Mt Albert
Memorial Trophy for Referee of the Year | Anthony
Steeden SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Top Goal-Kicker | James Dowie (Mangere East)
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Top Try-Scorer | Sam Fa’apito (Pt Chevalier)
Farrelly Photos Women’s Coach of the Year | Rusty Matua (Manurewa)
CTAS Premier Manager of the Year | Daniel Pinn (Manurewa)
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Coach of the Year | John Ackland (Mt Albert)
Farrelly Photos Cathy Friend Team of the
Fullback | Mele Toki (Ponsonby)
Winger | Rebecca Taua (Manurewa)
Centre | Ricshay Lemanu (Manurewa)
Centre | Nicolette Tato (Richmond)
Winger | Alexis Thompson (Papakura)
Five-Eighth | Kere Matua (Manurewa)
Halfback | Charntay Poko (Richmond)
Prop | Annetta Nuuausala (Richmond)
Hooker | Krystal Rota (Papakura)
Prop | Billy-Jean Ale (Mt Albert)
Second Row | Kath Wharton (Papakura)
Second Row | Ngatokotoru Arakua (Mt Albert)
Lock | Angela Vaimauga (Otahuhu)
Farrelly Photos Cathy Friend Player of the Year | Mele Toki (Ponsonby)
George Rainey Medal for
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Team of the
Fullback | Wyatt Rangi (Glenora)
Winger | Raymon Tuaimalo Vaega (Marist)
Centre | Roydon Gillett (Howick)
Centre | Melino Fineanganofo (Mt Albert)
Winger | Kenneth Fonoti (Glenora)
Five-Eighth | Eiden Ackland (Mt Albert)
Halfback | Api Pewhairangi (Pt Chevalier)
Prop | Clayton Williams (Howick)
Hooker | Jethro Friend (Howick)
Prop | Connor Taurua-Purcell (Otahuhu)
Second Row | Patrick Sipley (Pt Chevalier)
Second Row | Matt Tafutu (Northcote)
Lock | Netane Vi (Mangere East)
SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Player of the Year | Wyatt Rangi (Glenora)