Brandon brothers collect Illawarra Rugby awards

BRANDON brothers, Steven and Mark, have been rewarded for their incredible first seasons back in Shoals colours, by taking out a number of awards at Wednesday’s Illawarra District Rugby Union grand final dinner.

Steven finished as runner-up player of the year, behind Bowral’s Lachlan Huntington – who is one of the main reasons his team is in Saturday’s first grade grand final at Avondale.

Not to be outdone, Steven’s brother Mark took out both the competition’s top point scorer (179 points) and leading try scorer (31 tries) honour.

Other Shoals to be recognised were the third grade side, who claimed the minor premiership and former-player Takunda Chimwaza, who was a senior NSW Country representative player.

The evening, held at the The Builders Club, also saw University’s Doin Miller and Bowral Gene Fairbanks split coach of the year honours.

Other notable award winners were Campbelltown’s Faith Everingham (senior volunteer of the year), Campbelltown’s Adam Campbell (junior volunteer), Shamrocks (Dexter Porter Cup), Andrew Strode (referee of the year), Dane Netherey (senior representative player of the year), Opeti Taufahema (under 20s representative player of the year) and Katrina Sagar (women’s representative player of the year).

Joining Chimwaza in the NSW Country senior men’s team were Tom Baker, Leighton Crowley, Sam Latu, Hori Leef, Jay Spencer, Tu’u Taiti-Taanoa, Paul Tuala and Aisake Tueva, while Reece Apolo, Nicholas Cracknell and Opeti Taufahema were in the under 20s NSW Country side.

NSW Corellas (women) representatives from the competition were Belinda Vakawera, Brooke Harper, Candise Pisu, Denise McGrath, Jemima Henry, Kato Mahina, Katrina Sagar and Rima Buttler, with Atasi Lefai and Mahalia Murphy playing for the Wallaroos.

Finally, the other five club trophies went to Avondale (first grade minor premiers, club championship and Haflway Cup), Campbelltown Harlequins (second grade minor premiers) and Shamrocks (John Hayne Interclub Shield).