CRL's best of the best

Otahuhu College centre Alfred Smalley was named the SAS College Rugby League Player of the Year at the CRL wards breakfast at Alexandra Park on Thursday.

At just 15 years of age Smalley was the standout player in the 20-team competition, of which the Vodafone Warriors are a co-sponsor.

A centre of slight build with quick feet, Smalley also plays in the Otahuhu Leopards under-15 side and said the college season had been enjoyable from a personal point of view.

“It is very exciting and I am very happy to win Player of the Year,” he said.

“We all stuck in there but didn’t come out with what we wanted in terms of results, but I have a bit longer in college league yet.”

The only previous winner of the award was Mt Albert Grammar’s Mattais Hemuili, who is now in the Vodafone Warriors’ development system and made his NYC debut in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ 54-6 win against Canberra earlier this month.

Other big winners at the awards ceremony included Papatoetoe High School hooker Iese Aiga, who took out the competition’s top try scorer crown with 15 tries, and St Paul’s fullback Cody Mahukia who was the top points scorer with 63 points.

After guiding Kelston to their first college title in 11 years Phil Gordon was named coach of the year, while the referee from that final, Kiko Puhipi-Hibbs, was given the award for the competition’s top official.

The Excellence Cup was awarded to Otahuhu College for its outstanding attitude and handling of the competition’s administration requirements.

Auckland Rugby League football development assistant manager Anaru Hudson said the awards capped of a stellar year of college league in the district.

“This is a great way of celebrating the contribution of not only the players, but also all of school administration staff, match managers and officials who make this competition what it is.

“We were very thankful to have once again worked with dedicated sponsors SAS, Haydn & Rollett and the Vodafone Warriors, and we look forward to the 2015 season and the excitement it will bring.”

Special guests at the breakfast included Haydn and Rollett managing director Kim Barrett, New Zealand Rugby League CEO Phil Holden and Vodafone Warriors academy and pathways manager Duane Mann.

The players included in the CRL Team of the Year all receive scholarships giving them

SAS College Rugby League Award Winners

Under-15 9-a-side Cup champions | St Paul’s College

Under-85kg Restricted Cup champions | Mangere College

Premier Bowl champions | Papatoetoe High School

Premier Plate champions | Southern Cross Campus

Premier Cup champions | Kelston Boys’ High School

Referee of the Year | Kiko Puhipi-Hibbs

Coach of the Year | Phil Gordon (Kelston Boys’ High School)

Premier top try scorer | Iese Aiga (Papatoetoe High School)

Premier top points scorer | Cody Mahuika (St Paul’s College)

Player of the Year | Alfred Smalley (Otahuhu College)

Competition Excellence Cup | Otahuhu College

Premier 1st XIII Merit Team of the Year

1            Cody Mahukia | St Paul’s College

2            Nafe Helu | Westlake Boys High School

3            Alfred Smalley | Otahuhu College

4            Viliami Maamaloa| Southern Cross Campus

5            Gerar Vili | St Paul’s College

6            Erin Clark | Manurewa High School

7            Zion Ioka | Kelston Boys’ High School

8            Jamel Hunt | Otahuhu College

9            Iese Aiga | Papatoetoe High School

10          Alrohala Lavea Malrick | Western Springs High School

11          Shane Hennam | Kelston Boys’ High School

12          Eddie Wulf | Kelston Boys’ High School

13          Mattais Hemuli | Mt Albert Grammar School

14          Mose Esera | Henderson High School

15          Xavier Rice | St Paul’s College

16          Alexander Nai | Aorere College

17          Connor Purcell | Mt Albert Grammar School

Coach | Phil Gordon | Kelston Boys’ High School