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Awards keep coming for Read

Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:37
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An extremely difficult year for our judges
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All Blacks No.8 Kieran Read has added the New Zealand Player of the Year award to his IRB Player of the Year title, with coach Steve Hansen also doubling up.

The All Blacks scooped the major honours as Team of the Year after becoming the first Tier One nation to notch up a perfect season in the professional era.

In addition to the Team of the Year award, Hansen picked up the coaching prize for the second successive year, heading off World Cup winning coach Gordon Tietjens and Dave Rennie who guided the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

Read was named the Kelvin Tremain Memorial Player of the Year.

The awards cap a stellar year for the All Blacks who earlier this week were named IRB Team of the Year, with Hansen and Read also being named world’s best coach and player respectively.

During 2013 the All Blacks swept aside France in June, retained their grip on the Rugby Championship and won all matches on the recent European Tour. The last time the All Blacks went through a season unbeaten was in 1989. With the win over England at Twickenham, the team now holds all the silverware it can compete for.

The team faced a stiff challenge from double Super Rugby champions the Chiefs, World Cup Sevens winners the All Blacks Sevens and Canterbury which claimed its sixth NPC title on a trot.

Amongst the other winners, the stand-out form of Canterbury halfback Andy Ellis saw him named NPC player of the year. The versatile and elusive Ben Smith, who played every minute of the Highlanders' campaign, was named Super Rugby Player of the Year.

In just her first year in rugby, New Zealand Women's Sevens star Portia Woodman, has made a huge impact, picking up the IRB Player of the Tournament award at the World Cup of Sevens. She capped that off by being named the first recipient of the Women's Sevens Player of the Year award, while new Highlander Kurt Baker, who was a regular choice of coach Gordon Tietjens this season, was named Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year.

The Steinlager Salver was awarded to former All Blacks captain and New Zealand Rugby Board member Graham Mourie, recognising his extensive contribution over many decades, as a player, coach and administrator at the highest levels of the game.

Rob Jones, regarded in the Manawatu as the driving force of the women's game there, was named the Charles Monro Volunteer of the Year. He is the coach of the Feilding High Girl's First XV and assistant coach of the champion Manawatu women's sevens team.

For the first time fans had a chance to have their say on the best rugby action of the year with the Fans Try of the Year.

The online poll saw Black Fern full back Selica Winiata's last minute length-of-the-field match-winning try against England be the popular choice of fans, edging out Beauden Barrett's try against France.

New Zealand Rugby Chairman Mike Eagle congratulated all winners at the awards function at the Convention Centre and noted the challenges that faced the judging panel this year.

"This has been another exceptional year in rugby without doubt. This has been an extremely difficult year for our judges. When there is so much to celebrate; when we have been overwhelmed with extraordinary performances, there will always be great champions of our game who miss out on the final accolades.

"So to all the finalists, you are here tonight because you are all winners, you are exceptional performers, you have made a difference on or off the field. Thank you for your passion and commitment to the game we love."

2013 New Zealand Rugby Awards:

Age Grade Player of the Year: Ardie Savea (Wellington)
Charles Monro Rugby Volunteer of the Year: Rob Jones (Manawatu)
Referee of the Year: Chris Pollock
Heartland Championship Player of the Year: Jon Dampney
Women's Sevens Player of the Year: Portia Woodman
Richard Crawshaw Memorial Sevens Player of the Year: Kurt Baker
Fans Try of the Year: Selica Winiata/Black Ferns
NPC Player of the Year: Andy Ellis
Super Rugby Player of the Year: Ben Smith
Tom French Memorial Maori Player of the Year: Liam Messam
Women's Player of the Year: Kelly Brazier
Coach of the Year: Steven Hansen
Team of the Year: All Blacks
Steinlager Salver: Graham Mourie
Kelvin R Tremain Player of the Year: Kieran Read

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