Brandon Roberts has taken out the Number 1 Referee award and Moment of the Year at the annual Counties Manukau Rugby Referees awards.
Roberts controlled the McNamara Cup final for the third year running and the game was a thriller with the winning points scored in extra time. Roberts also made the NZR Referee squad and has controlled a pair of FPC matches to date.
Ref's Referee of the Year went to the experienced Rob Shore. This is an award voted by the referees themselves. It was a very busy and successful season by Shore with a McNamara Cup semi-final and NPC AR appointments.
Rookie of the Year went to Nick Lindberg. Lindberg started refereeing this year as he was injured whilst playing the game. Unfortunately, he is not in a position to return to playing. After some contact from Nigel Bradley and Brandon Roberts on an almost weekly basis, Lindberg decided to make the jump and join the referees.
Student Referee of the Year went to William Glover for a second year.
William had another successful year with a busy junior programme and a final on the big stage.
Most improved awards went to Grade 2 Steve Faumuina and Grade 1 Liam Sargent. Both these guys had a testing year of many difficult and tense matches that they had to control, all with great learnings and big success.
The Kevin Lee Memorial Award (above and beyond contribution) went to Counties Manukau Rugby Referees chairman Nigel Bradley.
Bradley secured more sponsorship from our long-standing sponsors. Not only has he worked his butt off in the off-field space, but he has also secured an interchange experience with new mates across the ditch in Central Coast.
Some challenges remain around ref abuse and the judicial system, but with his calm and overarching vision, and backing from the Union and judicial experts, Bradley continues to make steps in the right direction.
Service medals were presented to Ben King (10 Years), Harley Brown (10 Years), Hayden Munro (20 Years), Colin Hickey (30 Years) and Gary Martin (60 Years).
"Thanks to all involved in another successful season," said Referee and Community Rugby Projects Manager Roberts.
"A bigger thanks must go the partners and family of our referees. We know that the pressure is always on our refs to service games, and their time away from family is much appreciated. We value your blessing to send your other half away on any given Saturday, Friday night and the odd Sunday."
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