Glenora hooker Zacharia Tippins was named the Auckland Rugby League SAS Fox Memorial Player of the Year at the Annual Premier Awards Evening last night.
In his first season playing for the Glenora Bears, Tippins helped his side through the regular season to challenge heavyweights and former club Mt Albert in the first round of Fox finals.
While he has had a taste of NRL football debuting for the Warriors NSW Cup in 2015 and playing two games for the ISP side this year, he has also had stints playing for the Akarana Falcons and NZ Maori Residents.
Decided by a combination of club-nominated Player of the Day votes and 3,2,1 best and fairest points from referees, the 26-year-old surpassed challenges from Howick prop Tony Tuia who was named Prop of the Year for the second year straight, and Pt Chevalier wing Saula Solomona who was awarded both top try scorer and Wing of the Year.
"There are plenty of talented players named in the Team of the Year, I'm still very surprised," said Tippins from the function at Alexandra Park in Auckland.
Tippins admits it's been challenging transitioning from Mt Albert to Glenora, but he believes the move has helped improve his game.
"It can get tough when you're playing against your mates and you're all hungry for the win," he said.
"But it's been refreshing and the shift has definitely helped me to improve my game - tonight is a credit to that."
"We didn't make the final, but to be the first player from Glenora to be awarded the Player of the Year is definitely something to be proud of," he quipped.
"A big thanks to the club, the boys and everyone behind the scenes. This wouldn't have been possible without them."
In other major awards given out on the night, Mt Albert halfback Zae Wallace was named Rookie of the Year, winning another piece of silverware after being awarded Auckland's College Rugby League Player of the Year last month.
The 17-year-old played a stellar first year in the first division competition, collecting 46 points while playing 16 games for the premier side and 3 for the reserves.
"It's been an awesome experience playing for the Lions in the Fox Memorial this year," said Wallace.
"It's tough but I know I'm playing against the best, and learning from the best players in Auckland."
Manurewa rookie centre Jocephy Daniels was named the Marketing Works Women's Player of the Year.
The 19-year-old has helped the Manurewa Marlins Wahine through to this weekend's grand final to defend their title against traditional heavyweights Papakura.
"I didn't expect this at all," said Daniels.
"Personally I think this has been my best season, so I guess the hard work is paying off.
"I have to give credit to my talented team mates, coach and club for all their support and guidance this year. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."
Daniels said her debut in the Counties Manukau Stingrays last year and being selected to play again against Akarana in this year's Warriors Women in League clash has been a driving force to one day play for the Kiwi Ferns.
"Wearing the black jersey is definitely a dream of mine."
Daniels admits having the support of Kiwi Fern and Manurewa captain Sarina Fiso is another source of motivation.
"Sarina has been my idol since I started playing league."
"She leads by example all the time - both on and off the field, she's encouraging and always gives advice to improve my game."
Pt Chevalier stand off Jonathan Carl keeps the Lance Painter Rose Bowl for another year after being named Goal Kicker of the Year.
While in the second division, Ponsonby lock Nukurua Ngere was named the Crown Lift Trucks Sharman Cup Player of the Year.
Papakura coach Richie Blackmore was named ARL Coach of the Year, guiding the Sea Eagles through to this weekend’s grand final, while also picking up the Giltrap Nissan Rukutai Shield (minor premiership) and Konica Minolta Roope Rooster (challenge trophy).
See below for a full list of award winners.
Club Volunteer of the Year: Luana Kem (Glenora)
Club Administrator of the Year: Darnelle Penu (Howick)
Konica Minolta Club of the Year: Waitemata
Premier Manager of the Year: Maria Magele-Welch (Howick)
Crown Lift Trucks Sharman Cup Club Nominated Players of the Year:
- Silila Vaivai (Bay Roskill)
- John Faaee (East Coast Bays)
- Geronimo Doyle (Ellerslie)
- Itaifale Toleafoa (Glenfield/ Navy)
- Kyle Dean (Hibiscus Coast)
- Viliami Okusi (Manukau)
- Justus Areaiiti (Manurewa)
- Taaniela Lasike (Mt Wellington)
- Teanikumi Piukala (New Lynn)
- Faataualofa Futi (Otara)
- Temesia Nemani (Pakuranga)
- Nukurua Ngere (Papatoetoe)
- Conrad Ta'akimoeaka (Ponsonby)
- Peter Mills (Te Atatu)
- Suliano Faukafa (Waitemata)
Crown Lift Trucks Sharman Cup Player of the Year: Nukurua Ngere (Papatoetoe)
SAS Fox Memorial Club Nominated Players of the Year:
- Soape Kavaliku (Glenora)
- Trent Bishop (Howick)
- Semisi Tyrell (Mangere East)
- Toleafoa Leaupepe (Marist)
- Taniela Palavi (Mt Albert)
- Xavier Rice (Northcote)
- Drew Radich (Otahuhu)
- Samiu Ikahihifo (Papakura)
- Tevita Satae (Pt Chevalier)
- Matiu Stone-Dunn (Richmond)
Phelan Shield (Crown Lift Trucks Sharman Cup minor premiers): Te Atatu
Giltrap Nissan Rukutai Shield (SAS Fox Memorial minor premiers): Papakura
Konica Minolta Roope Rooster (challenge cup that goes on the line at each of the holder's home games): Papakura
Orix Finance Kiwi Shield (based on points percentages from both the SAS Fox Memorial premier and premier 1st competitions - judging best club): Mt Albert
Marketing Works Women's Player of the Year: Jocephy Daniels (Manurewa)
John Percival Memorial for Referee of the Year: Chris McMillan
Lance Painter Rose Bowl for top goal kicker in the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership: Jonathan Carl (Pt Chevalier)
Masters Rugby League Cup for top try-scorer in the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership: Saula Solomona (Pt Chevalier)
Kahawai Productions SAS Fox Memorial Rookie of the Year: Zae Wallace (Mt Albert)
SAS Fox Memorial Coach of the Year: Richie Blackmore (Papakura)
George Rainey Medal SAS Fox Memorial Team of the Year
- Fullback: James Dowie (Papakura)
- Winger: Saula Solomona (Pt Chevalier)
- Centre: Semisi Tyrell (Mangere East)
- Standoff: Drew Radich (Otahuhu)
- Halfback: Raymond Talimalie (Mangere East)
- Prop: Tony Tuia (Howick)
- Hooker: Zacharia Tippins (Glenora)
- Second-row: Dion Snell (Mt Albert)
- Lock: Trent Bishop (Howick)
SAS Fox Memorial Player of the Year: Zacharia Tippins (Glenora)
Auckland Rugby League
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