Vodafone Warriors Shaun Johnson and Siliva Havili were honoured in awards events on both sides of the Tasman Sea on Tuesday night.
First the focus was on the 20th annual Vodafone Warriors RED BALL Awards at the SKYCITY Convention Centre.
Among the awards handed out was the DEWALT Play of the Year, which Johnson received on the team’s behalf for the dazzling try the Vodafone Warriors concocted right on halftime in their fourth-round match against Wests Tigers in Wellington in March.
Havili was also acknowledged for his selection in the NRL-RLPA Academic Team of the Year for completing a Bachelor of Health Science in podiatry.
Later in the evening their names both featured at the Rugby League Players’ Association Awards dinner in Sydney.
Johnson was named the One Solutions New Zealand Representative Player of the Year for his efforts for the Kiwis in the past calendar year incorporating the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and this year’s Anzac Test. The other finalists were Penrith centre Dean Whare and Sydney Roosters winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
“It’s a massive honour to receive this award,” said Johnson in a video message.
“To even be considered among players like Roger and Dean is pretty special.”
Along with team-mate Ben Henry, Havili was recognised among 11 players who received the RLPA Chairman’s Award to mark their representative debuts for Australia and New Zealand.
John Morris (Cronulla), Brent Kite (Penrith) and Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters) were honoured with the RLPA Milestone Award to mark the achievement of playing 300 first grade games.
The 2014 RLPA Players’ Awards winners were:
RLPA Players' Player Medal | Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
RLPA Rookie of the Year | Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers) NYC nominee 2013
RLPA National Youth Competition (NYC) Player of the Year | Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights)
One Solutions Australian Representative Player of the Year | Johnathan Thurston
One Solutions New Zealand Representative Player of the Year | Shaun Johnson
One Solutions Rest of the World Representative Player of the Year | Anthony Milford - Samoa
Welfare & Education Awards:
RLPA NYC Trade Player of the Year | Aaron Rockley (Brisbane Broncos)
RLPA NYC Education Player of the Year | Adam Elliott (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs) and Christian Welch (Melbourne Storm)
RLPA NRL Trade Player of the Year | Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
RLPA NRL Education Player of the Year | John Morris (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks)
RLPA Education & Welfare Club of the Year | Melbourne Storm
RLPA Milestone Awards (300 Games) | John Morris, Brent Kite, Anthony Minichiello
RLPA Chairman’s Award | Andrew Fifita, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, Josh Papalii, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sam Moa, Peta Hiku, Isaac John, Ben Henry, Siliva Havili , Martin Taupau