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Goodger named best player

James Goodger picked up three awards at the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Awards. Photo: CATHERINE ROSSITER-STEAD.
James Goodger picked up three awards at the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Awards. Photo: CATHERINE ROSSITER-STEAD.

James Goodger was the toast of the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Awards tonight (Friday).

The super-talented Marist player picked up three gongs, including the coveted Premier Club Player of the Year title.

The other big winner was Greytown which took out the Club of the Year with their Senior-A coach Eli Telford claiming the Coach of the Year award.

But it was Goodger who was in the spotlight also claiming the Top Points Scorer and Maori Player of the Year.

A natural No.6 Goodger found himself packing down at lock for Marist in the club competition.

He is held in high regard by his peers and as captain leads by example, on and off the field.

Demonstrating his incredible versatility Goodger was his team’s chief goal kicker landing 111-points and scoring seven tries for a season tally of 146-points.

Goodger, who will start at No.6 for Farriers Wairarapa-Bush against Poverty Bay in the annual Jeremy David Memorial match tomorrow (Saturday), has played 32 representative matches as well as playing for the NZ Heartland XV. He also finds time to coach the Marist Under-11 team.

The two other Premier Player of the Year finalists were Eddie Cranston (Gladstone) and Tavita Isaac (Greytown).

Winning their fourth Tui Cup title in five years Greytown has set the benchmark and were deserving winners of the Sir Brian Lochore Trophy, Supreme Award for the Club of the Year. The club has strong numbers at JAB level and also prides itself on its facilities. In his first season at the helm of the club’s premier-A team Eli Telford picked up the Coach of the Year.

Other premier grade awards included the Top Tryscorer, won by East Coast speedster Epeli Rayaqayaqa (11 tries), and Personality of the Year, won by Paddy Mason from Pioneer.

Paige Walker was named Premier Women Player of the Year ahead of her Eketahuna club-mates Kahli Tipene and Samantha Tipene. All three players are in the Manawatu NPC squad.

Rathkeale College captain Ben Renton headed off strong competition from Soli Malatai (Makoura) and Rhys Reiri (Wairarapa) to win the College Player of the Year.

Experienced whistle blower Alistair Payne won the Top Referee of the Year, and Marist loose forward Liam Devine was presented with Best and Fairest Award.

In other awards, Carterton stalwart George Rodger picked up the Volunteer of the Year, Sean McBride (Gladstone) Senior Administrator of the Year, and Rob Baker & Dianne Pillar (Marist) Junior Administrator.

St Mary’s School in Carterton was presented with an award for qualifying for the Year 5 & 6 National Rippa Rugby Championship which takes place next term at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Kick off in the Wairarapa-Bush versus Poverty Bay match s at 6pm, Saturday 13 August, Trust House Memorial Park Masterton.

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