Kiwi and Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering has completed a player of the year double after tonight collecting the premier accolade at the New Zealand Rugby League’s annual awards.
And on a big night for the club front rower Sam Lisone, now in the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL squad, was also named the NZRL junior player of the year.
Mannering was acknowledged as his club’s top player for his deeds during the NRL season and tonight his consistency throughout the whole year has seen him hailed as the 2014 Kiwi player of the year.
During the year he brought up his 200th NRL game for the club and 100th as captain in spectacular style, scoring two tries in a victory over the Newcastle Knights.
After taking out the Vodafone Warriors award for the fourth time, Mannering took his tremendous form into the international season, where he led his side to the Four Nations title, defeating Australia twice in the process.
It was the first time in more than 60 years that the Kiwis had achieved this in the same calendar year.
Mannering had to fight off challenges from team-mates Shaun Johnson and Jesse Bromwich. Johnson was man of the match in both victories over the Kangaroos while Bromwich compiled a breakout year that saw him emerge as one of the world’s top front rowers.
Honours for international rookie of the year went to giant North Queensland forward Jason Taumalolo (21), who was in rampaging form for his NRL club and finally made his debut for the Kiwis after a couple of years in waiting.
Counties Manukau wing Atawhai Tupaea took out Women’s Player of the Year, after leading all tryscorers at last year’s national tournament and crossing in the Kiwi Ferns’ win over Australia in November.
Canterbury’s Ken Tofilau missed out on the NZ 18s Player of the Year, but was adjudged New Zealand’s best domestic player through the Pirtek National Premiership, while the Hornby Panthers of Christchurch took out Grassroots Club of the Year.
The full list of winners was:
Kiwis Player of the Year – Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors)
Finalists – Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)
Kiwis Rookie of the Year – Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Finalists – Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles)
Domestic Player of the Year – Ken Tofilau (Southern)
Finalists – Jethro Friend (Counties Manukau), Cody Walker (Akarana)
Junior Player of the Year – Sam Lisone (Vodafone Warriors)
Finalists – Bradley Abbey (Vodafone Warriors), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm)
18s Player of the Year – Reuben Porter (Akarana)
Finalists – Erin Clark (Akarana), Ken Tofilau (Southern)
16s Player of the Year – Rory Ferguson (Southern)
Finalists – Dylan Clark (Upper Central), Morgan Harper (Upper Central)
Women’s Player of the Year – Atawhai Tupaea (Counties Manukau)
Finalists – Sarina Fiso (Counties Manukau), Teuila Fotu-Moala (Counties Manukau)
Match Official of the Year – Anthony Eliott
Male Volunteer of the Year – Jasen McCarthy (Akarana)
Finalists – Carey Clements (Wellington), Grant Coward (Mid Central)
Female Volunteer of the Year – Maree Hawkins (Upper Central)
Finalists – Georgina Luke (Mid Central), Sharon Tarapipipi (Southern)
Grassroots Club of the Year – Hornby Panthers (Southern)
Finalists – Otangarei Knights (Northland), Pacific Sharks (Upper Central)