2023 RugbyWA Award Winners
The winner of the RugbyWA men's 2023 fairest and best award, the PG Hampshire Trophy, is Palmyra's Mani Eden - his second win in three years.
In a close count he squeezed home with 18 points, just one ahead of Perth Bayswater's Otunuku Pautu with Wests Scarborough's Joshua Tinomana third, another point behind.
The PG Hampshire is voted by matchday referees on a 3,2,1 system.
Eden, who also won the trophy two years ago, received his award at Wednesday's RugbyWA Grand Final Awards breakfast.
He said he was honoured to win the award.
He was quick to thank Palmyra coach Darren Reed, who won the Coach of the Year award, after guiding the club to Saturday's Premier Grade grand final against Wests Scarborough.
"Very privileged because of the amount of talent that RugbyWA has produced over the past couple of seasons and the amount of talent Palmyra have in their own team," Eden said.
"My head coach Darren, he's been a role model for me for the past three seasons as coach and assistant coach.
"He's given me a lot of guidelines that I've had to stay between and also work towards."
Eden said he did not think Palmyra deserved the favourites tag going into the final at their home ground.
Palmyra won the round eight clash 17-10 at Tompkins Park but went down 29-19 in the round 19 game.
"I'm feeling nervous, feeling confident, but more than both of those together I'm excited," he said.
"I believe we'll be going in as favourites but after the second-round game I don't believe we're favourites."
Eden recently played his 100th game for Palmyra and the club website said: "Mani was recruited to Palmyra in 2016 after spending time playing in Ireland for the Armagh club in Ireland's 2B Division, and Ballynahinch in Ireland's 1A Division.
"Mani quickly made his mark on the Perth competition in 2016 and was rewarded for some outstanding performance with selection in the Perth Spirit and the Western Force 10s teams.
"That same year Mani was also selected in the Australian Barbarians side which played against a number of teams including the ACT Brumbies.
"In 2021 Mani’s performances at fullback were instrumental in the run to the 2021 Grand final, which culminated in him winning Rugby WA's PG Hampshire Award which recognises the best player in the Premier Grade competition.
"A dynamic fullback, Mani has been an outstanding performer and leader for Palmyra over many years."
The Sue Roberts Trophy for the women's fairest and best was won by Aiysha Wigley from Wanneroo Districts. The award is decided by nominations from coaches.
Aiysha has had an incredibly busy season, playing every single available minute of 2023 Super W season for the Western Force and then backing up with stellar performances for her local club, Wanneroo during the 2023 Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade season.
Playing full-back, fly-half, half-back and any other position that the team requires her to play, Aiysha has showcased her raw talent, work ethic and versatility. She is always finding ways to get the ball in hand and convert these plays into points.
Colt player of the Year is Francois Nell of Joondalup who finished with 18 points, five ahead of Wanneroo's Manaia Tetana with Christian Helberg of Associates third on 11 points.
The award is decided on a 3,2,1 vote by matchday coaches.
Cottesloe's Ethan Robinson was men's top scorer with 184 points, 20 ahead of Caleb Young from UWA with Brayden Laing from Nedlands on 140 points.
Wanneroo Districts' Aiysha Wigley was the women's top scorer on 88 points ahead of Kalamunda teammates Zakiya Kereopa and Nicole Ledington on 77 and 63 respectively.
Award winners at a glance.
PG Hampshire Award, Men's Player of the Year - Mani Eden (Palmyra)
Sue Roberts Trophy, Women's Player of the Year - Aiysha Wigley (Wanneroo)
Colt of the Year - Francois Nell (Joondalup).
Coach of the Year - Darren Reed (Palmyra).
Men’s Top Point Scorer - Ethan Robinson (Cottesloe), 184 points.
Men’s Top Try Scorer - Chris Miller on 18
Women’s Top Point Scorer - Aiysha Wigley (Wanneroo), 88 points
Women’s Top Try Scorer - Zakiya Kereopa (Kalamunda), 15 tries.
Match Official of the Year - Jack McLenaghan
Champion Club - Palmyra
RugbyWA Cup - Associates
U12 Gold: Kalamunda
U12 Swan: Mandurah Pirates
U13 Gold: Rockingham
U13 Swan: ARKs
U15 Girls: Wanneroo
U15: Mandurah Pirates
U16: Southern Lions
U17 Girls: Wanneroo
Community Grade: Dunsborough & Busselton Dungbeetles
Championship Grade: Bunbury Barbarians
4th Grade: Kalamunda
3rd Grade: Palmyra
Reserve Grade: Palmyra
Fortescue Woman’s Premier Grade: Kalamunda
Fortescue Premier Grade: Palmyra