• Kendra Cocksedge dominates awards taking Player of the Year, Women’s Player of the Year and Fiao’o Faamausili Medal
• Black Ferns Sevens win first ever adidas New Zealand Team of the Year
• Crusaders crowned inaugural adidas National Team of the Year; three Crusaders named in individual awards
• Alama Ieremia and Clark Laidlaw win ASB Coach of the Year awards
Kendra Cocksedge has been named the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year, the Black Ferns Sevens crowned the adidas New Zealand Team of the Year, and the Crusaders named adidas National Team of the Year, in a history-making ASB Rugby Awards in Auckland tonight.
Cocksedge, a 47-Test cap Black Fern and giant playmaker for the successful back-to-back Farah Palmer Cup champions Canterbury, is the first woman to receive the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial award. In sublime form in 2018, Cocksedge emerged the winner of the prestigious award from a strong field of nominees featuring All Blacks Brodie Retallick, Richie Mo’unga, and Codie Taylor.
She was also named the New Zealand Rugby Women’s Player of the Year – her second time (last in 2015) winning that award – and won the Fiao’o Faamausili Medal for player of the Farah Palmer Cup. The awards cement her status as the most outstanding player in fifteens rugby in New Zealand – male or female – in 2018. She joins an impressive alumnus of previous winners including Sam Whitelock, Beauden Barrett, Ma’a Nonu, Brodie Retallick, Kieran Read and Richie McCaw.
The Black Ferns Sevens were crowned the adidas New Zealand Team of Year – their first time winning the honour after a remarkable year with double-gold at the Commonwealth Games and at the Rugby World Cup 7s.
This year’s expanded awards celebrated the best of Provincial and Super Rugby teams with back-to-back Investec Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders, winning the inaugural adidas National Team of the Year and Auckland Head Coach Alama Ieremia named the ASB National Coach of the Year.
It was a huge night for the Crusaders whose classy First-Five-Eighth Richie Mo’unga saw off his team mate Matt Todd and the Chiefs’ Solomon Alaimalo to win Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year; Crusaders and All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor was named the Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year, and Crusaders and Canterbury lock Luke Romano was awarded the Duane Monkley Medal for player of the Mitre 10 Cup.
Commonwealth gold medal and Rugby World Cup 7s winning All Blacks Sevens Coach Clark Laidlaw was named ASB New Zealand Coach of the Year rounding out an impressive haul for the sevens teams with Scott Curry named the Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year, and Michaela Blyde – who last month was named World Rugby’s top women’s sevens player – taking out the Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year.
New Zealand Rugby’s highest recognition of an outstanding contribution to rugby, the Steinlager Salver, was awarded to All Blacks legend Waka Nathan, who was chosen especially by the New Zealand Rugby Board. The NZRPA David Kirk Award was presented to All Blacks centurion Keven Mealamu and Black Ferns skipper Fiao’o Faamausili for their contributions to the game off the field.
Canterbury’s Tom Christie, who also starred in this year’s New Zealand Under 20 team was New Zealand Age Grade Player, and Brett Ranga from the Meads Cup champions side, Thames Valley, was named the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Player of the Year.
Former acclaimed professional rugby player turned international referee Glen Jackson won Referee of the Year for a remarkable fifth time in seven years. He is just shy of the record still held by former New Zealand referee Paddy O’Brien’s who won the award six times.
The accolade that pays tribute to rugby’s tireless volunteers, the Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year, was this year presented to Horowhenua-Kapiti’s Irene Eruera-Taiapa. A long-serving volunteer with the local rugby union, she is the union’s Respect and Responsibility and Child Protection Advisor and has been a driver of discussion about these topics in the rugby environment.
A try by Chris Hala’ufia from the national First XV champions side, St Peter’s College, was voted by the public, as the SKY Fan’s Try of the Year, edging out a star-studded list of tries from All Blacks to Black Ferns, Super Rugby and national provincial competitions.
New Zealand Rugby Chair Brent Impey congratulated all award winners.
“It has been a wonderful and successful year right across rugby. It has been another positive year for women’s rugby particularly for the Black Ferns Sevens and their continued dominance on the world stage. Kendra’s award tonight is another remarkable achievement, and her utterly sublime performances in both the Black Ferns and Canterbury jersey have clearly made her a standout individual, and she thoroughly deserves the many accolades she has received.
“Congratulations also to the Crusaders for retaining the Investec Super Rugby title this year. Their dominance in the competition was incredible. It is no small coincidence that Crusaders players also took home the Investec Super Rugby and Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the year awards and their consistent excellence is a credit to their club.”
ASB executive general manager digital data and brand Simon Tong said the awards were a highlight in the rugby year and a chance to recognise the achievements of those in the sport.
“It’s been another successful year for New Zealand rugby, and we are incredibly proud to be a sponsor of these awards,” Tong said.
“On behalf of ASB I would like to congratulate all of this year’s deserving recipients, it’s great to be able to honour the progress and success of the rugby community from the players and teams to the coaches, referees and supporters. These award winners set the bar high in performance, but most of all they inspire and excite the next generation of champions.”
The ASB Rugby Awards judging panel is: Graham Mourie, Matt Sexton, Mike Eagle, Dr Farah Palmer and Tony Johnson.
2018 ASB Rugby Award winners:
Sky Television Fans Try of the Year
Winner: Chris Hala’ufia (St Peter’s College)
Nominees: Kelly Brazier (Black Fern Sevens), Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
New Zealand Rugby Referee of the Year
Winner: Glen Jackson (Bay of Plenty)
Richard Kelly (Taranaki), Rebecca Mahoney (Wairarapa Bush)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Irene Eruera-Taiapa (Horowhenua Kapiti)
Steve Webling (Taranaki), Kim Wheeler (King Country)
New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year
Winner: Tom Christie (Canterbury)
Sam Darry (Canterbury), Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (Tasman), Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty)
Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Player of the Year
Winner: Brett Ranga (Thames Valley)
Craig Clare (Wanganui), Willie Wright (South Canterbury)
Duane Monkley Medal
Winner: Luke Romano (Canterbury)
T.J. Faiane (Auckland), Fletcher Smith (Waikato)
Fiao’o Faamausili Medal
Winner: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
Krysten Cottrell (Hawke’s Bay), Jackie Patea-Fereti (Wellington)
ASB National Coach of the Year
Winner: Alama Ieremia (Auckland)
Kieran Kite (Canterbury FPC), Scott Robertson (Crusaders)
ASB New Zealand Coach of the Year
Winner: Clark Laidlaw (All Blacks Sevens)
Allan Bunting (Black Ferns Sevens), Steve Hansen (All Blacks)
Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year
Winner: Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
Solomon Alaimalo (Chiefs), Matt Todd (Crusaders)
Tom French Memorial Māori Player of the Year
Winner: Codie Taylor (Ngāti Raukawa / Muaupoko)
Sarah Goss (Ngati Kahungunu), Rieko Ioane (Ngāpuhi / Te Whānau ā Apanui)
Richard Crawshaw Memorial All Blacks Sevens Player of the Year
Winner: Scott Curry (Bay of Plenty)
Vilimoni Koroi (Otago), Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)
Black Ferns Sevens Player of the Year
Winner: Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty)
Kelly Brazier (Bay of Plenty), Sarah Goss (Manawatu)
New Zealand Rugby Women’s Player of the Year
Winner: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
Aroha Savage (Counties Manukau), Selica Winiata (Manawatu)
Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year
Winner: Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury)
Richie Mo’unga (Canterbury), Brodie Retallick (Hawkes Bay), Codie Taylor (Canterbury)
adidas National Team of the Year
Auckland, Thames Valley
adidas New Zealand Team of the Year
Winner: Black Ferns Sevens
All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens
Previous Kelvin R Tremain award winners (last 10 years):
2017 Samuel Whitelock
2016 Beauden Barrett
2015 Ma’a Nonu
2014 Brodie Retallick
2013 Kieran Read
2012 Richie McCaw
2011 Jerome Kaino
2010 Kieran Read
2009 Richie McCaw
2008 Andrew Hore