Fortescue Premier Grade Team of the Season

· WA Premier
by Rugby WA Media

Based on the P.G. Hampshire votes for the 2020 season a team of the top players this season has been formed based off votes in their positions.

1. JP Sauni – Associates

Former Waratah JP Sauni had one of the most consistent seasons seen by any new player coming into the Fortescue Premier Grade competition this year.

Throughout 2020 Sauni was dominant at scrum time and had a high work rate around the field.

Sauni also scored 56 points which is more than any other prop in the competition opting to take the kick duties for part of the season.

2. Nicolas Hyde – Associates

Another front-rower from Grand Finalist Soaks’ Nick Hyde also left a heavy mark in the competition emerging the best hooker for the year.

Not only was Hyde strong at lineout time but also was an extremely dangerous ball runner, his agility and power from such a strong player caught defensives off guard and allowed him to score a number of tries this season.

Hyde’s strong performance both on and off the field was rewarded coming into the back end of the season running out the Premiership Grand-Final as captain, reflecting his ability to step up and lead a side as good as Associates.

3. Lawrence Petrus – UWA

Commonly known as the Malaysian Bulldozer, UWA’s Lawrence Petrus was nothing short of a difference maker this year for Alex Stajka’s side.

Petrus was an incredible ball runner and was extremely abrasive both on defence and around the ruck.

He was a major presence all over the field and was an excitement to watch this season also playing a big role in the strong team cohesion shown at UWA this year. 


4. Sese Malai Tuifagalele - Southern Lions

Former international volley-baller Tuifagalele was a force to be reckoned with every time he stepped on the field this season for the Southern Lions.

His extremely massive frame combined a strong ball carry ability was hard to stop for any Premier Grade team allowing him to score seven tries this season.


5. Benjamin Grant – Cottesloe

As the Premier Grade season went on Cottesloe second-rower Ben Grant just kept getting better and better.

Combining with stalwart Kieran Stringer these two both formed what could be argued the strongest lineout pair in the competition.

Playing extremely well in the Grand-Final, Grant’s success at the lineout really drove him along this season giving Cottesloe a real advantage over the rest of the competition.

Grant really came into his own at the back end of the season ramping up his aggression and work rate around the field, this made him extremely valuable in Cott’s late comebacks in both the Semi and Grand Finals.

The Gulls were lucky to have such a strong asset in their side in 2020.

6. Tashir Newsome-Smith - Southern Lions

Another entry for Southern Lions, Tashir Newsome-Smith definitely was the front-runner in commanding this position for the Team of the Season in 2020.

Having a number of breakout games Newsome-Smith particularly flourished in Southern Lion’s match against Wanneroo where he was absolutely dynamic turning over the ball and causing problems for a particularly strong Wanneroo side.

Not convinced? Let this highlight from the middle of the year tell you all you need to know about Newsome-Smith’s game.


7. Connor O’Sullivan - UWA

Winning the coveted P.G. Hampshire award there was absolutely no doubt young UWA star Connor O’Sullivan was going to take this position for the Team of the Season.

O’Sullivan did it all, he was a quick and agile ball-runner in space, he was extremely effective with the pilfer and had the highest work-rate out of any player in the competition.

There’s not much that hasn’t already been said about the competition's best player, other than the fact he was simply electric in 2020.

8. Tobias Hoskins – Cottesloe

Despite playing a number of games out at inside centre this year there is no doubt Cottesloe skipper Tobias Hoskins plays his best rugby in the number eight jersey.

Not only was his leadership extremely impressive this year in his year as The Gull’s skipper but his work rate and performance is still topping the competition after his 11th year playing Premier Grade rugby.

The number eight position was extremely competitive this year with some top-class players playing at this position, special mention must go to Aidan Laxton, Will Tuheke-Wade and Faamanu Kalolo who all had outstanding seasons. 


9. Rory O’Sullivan – UWA

In what was the tightest race out of any position in the Premier Grade this year, the older O’Sullivan brother was able to prevail at halfback.

Despite playing the back end of season in the fly-half spot Rory really excelled at his natural position of nine, linking up with his brother well to create some pretty impressive plays.

His ability the make plays and will his team onto victory is extremely impressive, especially in the recently passed Championship Division Grand-Final where was influential in UWA’s four-point win.

10. Walter Koteka – Wests Scarborough

Year after year Walter Koteka is always at the top of the list when it comes to the Premier Grade’s top players.

The 2019 Top Scorer backed up another good season scoring the third highest number of points in 2020 scoring a whopping 117 points.

He particularly excelled in the latter half of the season driving Wests Scarborough into a late season push that saw them make the Premiership Division finals, this took him up to second place on the P.G. Hampshire leader board when the season was all said and done.

11. Nick Chadwick - Curtin Uni

There is no doubt Nick Chadwick was the fastest man in the Premier Grade this year scoring tries left right and centre for a much-improved Curtin Uni Goats side.

He had an eye for intercepts this season being able to sniff out the ball and pounce on wayward passes seemingly at will.

Whenever this guy got into space you can forget about running him down, earning him a spot on the wing in this year’s Team of the Season.

12. Sheldon Tarawa - Joondalup Brothers

Brothers’ playmaker Sheldon Tarawa had yet another classy year being yet again in the top five best players for 2020.

Tarawa played most of the year at fly-half however, when moved out to the inside centre spot, Tarawa played his top rugby scoring a fair chunk of his P.G. votes in the number twelve jersey.

Wherever he played this season it was impossible to keep Tarawa off this list after having such an incredible year, outclassing everyone in the Fortescue Premier Grade. 


13. Alistair Haining – Cottesloe

If you were asked to describe Ali Haining’s game with one word this season, that word would be unstoppable.

He won highest try scorer award this year scoring some amazing tries from seemingly anywhere on the field in the end bagging 16 tries.

His aggressive running style just couldn’t be contained by any defence this year and he wasn’t shy about putting a shot on or two on the defensive end either.

14. Marcus Arrindell – Palmyra

After having a breakout season with Palmyra last year outside back Marcus Arrindell only built on his success in 2020.

Switching between the outside centre and the wing position Arridnell was most dangerous with the ball in hand.

His ability to break out into space from the smallest of gaps added another level to Palmyra’s revamped backline aiding them to a Premiership Division Semi-Final berth.

15. Manihera Eden – Palmyra

It was good to see former Perth Spirit player Mani Eden finally return to the Fortescue Premier Grade and wow did he put on a show.

Also one of the competitions highest scorers Eden linked up the Palm’s backline extremely well and added that extra punch needed to drive Palmyra into being on the Premier Grade’s most successful sides.

His galvanising style of play was a joy to watch and it’ll be interesting what heights he can push his team to in the 2021 season.