Big Night For De Allende

Springbok and Western Province centre Damian De Allende was the big winner at the 2015 Western Province Rugby Football Union Awards evening, which was held at Newlands on Tuesday, October 6.  De Allende, who is currently on Rugby World Cup duty with the Boks, won two big WP Rugby awards on Tuesday night – the WP Best Back Award and the coveted WP Players’ Player of the Year Award, as voted for by his peers.

France-bound loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff was voted the WP Forward of the Year, after a brilliant Vodacom Super Rugby campaign catapulted him into Springbok contention, with hooker Bongi Mbonambi (Most Promising Senior Forward) and utility back Dillyn Leyds (Most Promising Senior Back) also being rewarded for their consistent performances in 2015.  Scrumhalf Nic Groom, who took over the Absa Currie Cup captaincy at one point this season, remains the ultimate team man and his contributions in 2015 did not go unnoticed as he walked away with the MVP Award, previous winners being Deon Fourie (2012), Duane Vermeulen (2013) and Nizaam Carr (2014).  At junior level, meanwhile, WP Under-19 stars, Michael Kumbirai (Best Forward), Eduan Keyter (Best Back) and Duncan Saal (Most Promising), all won awards, whilst Frans Van Wyk (Best Forward), Ryno Eksteen (Best Back) and Leolin Zas (Most Promising) the big winners in the Under-21 age-group.

 Not only were WP Rugby’s professional players awarded individual trophies based on their performances throughout the 2015 season, but the Western Province Rugby Football Union also recognised all club, junior, female and referees’ performances within the union this past year. Club awards went to: 

Super League A: Stellenbosch
Super League B: Kuilsriver
Super League C: Goodwood
Paarl League Winner: Lower Paarl
Promotion League: Kylemore
City League (First round): Busy Bees
Northern League (First round): Kylemore
Southern League (First round): Eersterivier
City League (Second round): Western Zebras 
Northern League (Second round): Blakes
Southern League (Second round): Retreat

Paarl Top 6: Vineyards
Paarl Bottom 6: Paarl Rangers 

 Super League A u/20: Stellenbosch 
Super League B u/20: Brackenfell
Super League C u/20: Kraaifontein 

Women’s League Winner: Pniel Villagers
Women Simonsberg Region: Phizantekraal
Sunday League: Tyume Stars 

Presidents Cup (Super League A): Hamiltons
Presidents Cup (Super League B): Hands & Heart|
Presidents Cup (Super League C): Young Stars 

The 2015 season has been a successful one for a lot of WP Rugby representative teams, from the Stormers, who were crowned SA Conference winners for an unprecedented third time in five seasons, right down to the WP Schools teams, who tasted record-breaking success at Under-18 Craven Week level and in the Under-13 Craven Week, as well as at Girls U16 and U18 and Under-17 Boys Sevens level.  Currently, the WP Currie Cup, Provincial Under-19 and Under-21 teams have all qualified for the knockout phase of their respective competitions – despite there being a week of regular league action still left in the 2015 season.  A proud WPRFU President, Thelo Wakefield, says:  ‘Well done to all of tonight’s winners – it was great to be able to pay tribute to everyone, from the clubs right up to those players in the professional ranks and all of whom have worked to hard and deserve their rewards.  Tonight’s awards are testament to what is being done to ensure that WP Rugby remains top across all levels and we wish our teams the best of luck in the business-end of their respective competitions.’

ALL THE 2015 INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS:

WP Women’s Player of the Year: Chané Stadler
WP Schools’ Player of the Year: Damian Willemse
WP 7’s Player of the year: Josh Bassingthwaighte
WP Under-19 Best Forward: Michael Kumbirai
WP U19 Best Back: Eduan Keyter
WP Most Promising U19 Player: Duncan Saal
WP Under-21 Best Forward: Frans Van Wyk
WP U21 Best Back: Ryno Eksteen
WP Most Promising U21 Player: Leolin Zas
WP Best Forward: Steven Kitshoff
WP Best Back: Damian De Allende
WP Most Promising Senior Forward: Bongi Mbonambi
WP Most Promising Senior Back: Dillyn Leyds 
Clubs’ Player of the Year: Guy Alexander
WP Referee of the Year: Marius Van Der Westhuizen
WP Award: Nic Groom
WP Players’ Player of the Year: Damian De Allende

Photo credit: Prensa UAR