BRL AWARDS: Season's best named, club champions crowned
LEAGUE: Wallaroos were crowned club champions, a club stalwart was honoured and a young Hervey Bay Seagull recognised at the Bundaberg Rugby League presentation night yesterday.
The competition's best players were crowned at the BRL's night of nights, with Wests Panthers second-rower James Prichard narrowly beating Wallaroos half Luke Waters and Isis Devils sharpshooter Matt Craven for the A-grade Player of the Year award.
BRL chairman Mike Ireland said Prichard, who won the under-18s award in 2011, was a deserving recipient.
"He's an honest player, and he's been outstanding all season," he said. "He's been there every week - he might not be the one who stands out each week but he's always there and he's always working hard."
Ireland said the winners were determined by a 3-2-1 vote after each game.
The Panther's impact is not just limited to his bone-rattling defence and super form in the centre of the field.
He went close to another gong, as he finished just six points behind Waves Tiger Clinton Horne in the race to be the league's leading point-scorer.
Prichard, who was a main-stay in the Panthers' engine room in all 16 games this season, scored seven tries and kicked 53 goals for a total of 134 points.
Christi Chapman earned the gone for the women's competition, while Isis's Harvey Warner won the award in reserve grade.
Wests' Dyirun Johnson beat a hot field of contenders in the race for the U18s title.
Hervey Bay's Sarah Crumblin was rewarded for her outstanding season at Stafford Park when she was named the BRL's representative player of the year. Crumblin earned selection in the Central Crows.
Wallaroos' trainer Wayne Hellmuth was named the league's volunteer of the year, while A-grade hooker Ben Waters was named the BRL's U20s representative player of the year.
Wallaroos was named club champions to cap a big night for local league.
The Maryborough club won the A-grade minor premiership, the mid-season Toyota Cup in the U18s, and finished third in both reserve grade and U18s.
Players of the Year
A-grade: James Prichard (Wests)
Women: Christi Chapman (Past Brothers)
Reserves: Harvey Warner (Isis Devils)
U18s: Dyirun Johnson (Wests)
Rookie: Brendan Stewart (Past Brothers)
Volunteer of the Year: Wayne Hellmuth (Wallaroos)
Rep Players of the Year
A-grade: Matt Craven (Isis Devils)
Women: Sarah Crumblin (Hervey Bay)
Under-20s: Ben Waters (Wallaroos)
Under-18s: Colby Richardson (Past Brothers)
A-grade minor premiers: Wallaroos
Club champions: Wallaroos