Western Province and Stormers loose forward Nizaam Carr was the big winner at the 2014 WP Rugby Awards Evening at the Southern Sun Cape Sun on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old loose forward star walked off with two big prizes – the adidas MVP Award and the prestigious Players’ Player of the Year Award, the latter as voted for by his peers. Carr has had an outstanding season, first establishing himself as a first-choice pick for the Stormers and then carrying that form across into the 2014 Currie Cup competition.
Joining Carr as major winners on the night were Springboks Duane Vermeulen (Senior Forward of the Year), Damian De Allende (Senior Back of the Year), Michael Rhodes (Most Promising Senior Forward) and Cheslin Kolbe (Most Promising Senior Back). Western Province coach Allister Coetzee commended Carr and his fellow award winners for their contributions to WP Rugby in 2014, “Last year Nizaam was our most promising player and he has stepped up superbly in 2014 – firstly earning a starting place in the DHL Stormers team and then being a standout player for DHL WP in the Absa Currie Cup. To the rest of the award winners, from Under-19 level right up, the club players and teams, our women’s player; congratulations and thank you for your efforts.” Of course, Province have already sealed a top-of-the-log finish to the 2014 Currie Cup season, and with it home-ground advantage in the play-offs, as has the Western Province side in the Provincial Under-21 competition – both with a game in hand in their respective leagues.
“We’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of us, as we approach the business-end of the season, and we would all like to end the year on a high. We know it won’t be easy, but we are fortunate to have great support and will be relying on our Faithful to help us through over the next few weeks,” Coetzee told the Western Province website. The other professional award winners on the night were the WP Under-19 trio of Rikus Bothma, Ernst Stapelberg and Grant Hermanus – the Forward, Back and Most Promising Player, respectively, in their age-group. At Under-21 level, meanwhile, loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe walked off with the Forward of the Year Award, having been an award winner at U21 level in 2013 too.
Flyhalf Robert Du Preez (Back of the Year) and centre Johnny Kotze (Most Promising Player) were the other WP U21 award winners. But it was not just about the professional players on the night, with all the winning Western Province clubs receiving their trophies – including Super League A league winners, Maties, and recent Grand Challenge Trophy winners, Durbanville-Bellville. SK Walmers outside back Danwill Erasmus was voted the Clubs’ Player of the Year, Denita Wentzel was voted the WP Women’s Player of the Year, Armien Bailey the WP Sevens Player of the Year and Marius Van Der Westhuizen was rewarded with the WP Referee of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
WPRFU President Thelo Wakefield said, “Saturday’s President’s Cup Finals Day at DHL Newlands was a great finale to a memorable 2014 club season. Hopefully we still have another three game-days ahead of us at DHL Newlands, with our DHL WP and Under-21 teams having secured home-ground advantage ahead of the play-offs. I would like to thank every single player, coach and management member and our referees – at professional and club level – for a top season thus far and would also like to wish everyone the best of luck for the business-end of the year.”
ALL THE 2014 INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS:
Clubs’ Player of the Year: Danwill Erasmus
WP Women’s Player of the Year: Denita Wentzel
WP Sevens Player of the Year: Armien Bailey
WP Referee of the Year: Marius van der Westhuizen
WP Under-19 Best Forward: Rikus Bothma
WP U19 Best Back: Ernst Stapelberg
WP Most Promising U19 Player: Grant Hermanus
WP Under-21 Best Forward: Sikhumbuzo Notshe
WP U21 Best Back: Robert du Preez
WP Most Promising U21 Player: Johnny Kotze
WP Best Forward: Duane Vermeulen
WP Best Back: Damian de Allende
WP Most Promising Senior Forward: Michael Rhodes
WP Most Promising Senior Back: Cheslin Kolbe
MVP Award: Nizaam Carr
WP Players’ Player of the Year: Nizaam Carr