“This is why we sponsor sport!” That was SAS Sport managing director Tim Connolly’s reaction after a thrilling finish to the 2019 SAS Fox Memorial premiership season.

A Jesse Albrett try eight and a half minutes into extra time lifted Howick to a dramatic 22-18 victory over Mt Albert in the grand final at Mt Smart.

The Hornets fought back from an 18-10 deficit to tie the game up at 18-all and survived a last-second penalty shot before clinching their second Fox Memorial title, the previous win coming in 2011.

Hornets hooker Jethro Friend was a key figure, scoring two tries on his way to Man of the Match honours. It capped a good week for Friend who was named in the Premiership Team of the Year at the Auckland Rugby League Awards.

Fullbacks dominated the individual categories at the Awards, with Glenora Bears flyer Wyatt Rangi and Ponsonby’s Mele Toki crowned the SAS Fox Memorial Premiership and Farrelly Photos Women’s Premiership Players of the Year respectively.

In his third season at first division level, 20-year-old Rangi became Glenora’s first-choice fullback this year, having come through the SAS College Rugby League competition with west Auckland heavyweights Kelston Boys’ High School.

Toki converted from the second row to fullback this year, earning the Cathy Friend Medal after standing out for the Ponies in their first year in the Auckland Women’s Premiership.

The Howick Hornets added another trophy to their collection by being named Club of the Year, having earlier this season won the Referees’ Best and Fairest Award to go with the Sportsafe ARL Nines title and the Rukutai Shield minor premiership won by the top side.

2019 Auckland Rugby League award winners

 Volunteer of the Year | Gavin French and Karen Barker

Club Administrator of the Year | Craig Rutter (Manurewa)

Club of the Year | Howick

SAS Sharman Cup Club Players of the Year (based on 3,2,1 voting system)

Manukau | Desmond Toofohe

Mt Wellington | Samson Havea

Northern Brothers | Harry Vete

Otara | Daniel Leo

Pakuranga | Semisi Tuipulotu

Papatoetoe | Seu Tukuniu

Waitemata | Suliano Faukafa

SAS Sharman Cup Player of the Year | Suliano Faukafa (Waitemata)

Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship Club Players of the Year (based on 3,2,1 voting system)

Bay Roskill | Cori Vogel

Ellerslie | Glen Fisiiahi

Hibiscus Coast | Adam Davies

Manurewa | Nathan Simmons

Papakura | Junior Pita

Pukekohe | Jason Tou

Richmond | Daetyn Tanuvasa 

Te Atatu | Jarrod Tua

Crown Lift Trucks Fox Championship Player of the Year | Cori Vogel (Bay Roskill)

SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Club Players of the Year (based on 3,2,1 voting system)

Glenora | Wyatt Rangi 

Howick | Jethro Friend

Mangere East | Netane Vi

Marist | Raymon Tuaimalo Vaega

Mt Albert | Eiden Ackland

Northcote | Josiah Afu

Otahuhu | Geronimo Doyle

Pt Chevalier | Patrick Sipley

Winner of the Rukutai Shield | Howick 

Winner of the Stormont Shield | Glenora 

Winner of the Kiwi Shield | Pt Chevalier 

Winner of the Roope Rooster | Mt Albert 


John Percival Memorial Trophy for Referee of the Year | Anthony Eliott

Steeden SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Top Goal-Kicker | James Dowie (Mangere East) 

SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Top Try-Scorer | Sam Fa’apito (Pt Chevalier)

Farrelly Photos Women’s Coach of the Year | Rusty Matua (Manurewa)

CTAS Premier Manager of the Year | Daniel Pinn (Manurewa)

SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Coach of the Year | John Ackland (Mt Albert)

Farrelly Photos Cathy Friend Team of the Year

Fullback | Mele Toki (Ponsonby)

Winger | Rebecca Taua (Manurewa)

Centre | Ricshay Lemanu (Manurewa)

Centre | Nicolette Tato (Richmond)

Winger | Alexis Thompson (Papakura)

Five-Eighth | Kere Matua (Manurewa)

Halfback | Charntay Poko (Richmond)

Prop | Annetta Nuuausala (Richmond)

Hooker | Krystal Rota (Papakura)

Prop | Billy-Jean Ale (Mt Albert)

Second Row | Kath Wharton (Papakura)

Second Row | Ngatokotoru Arakua (Mt Albert) 

Lock | Angela Vaimauga (Otahuhu)

Farrelly Photos Cathy Friend Player of the Year | Mele Toki (Ponsonby)

George Rainey Medal for SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Team of the Year

Fullback | Wyatt Rangi (Glenora)

Winger | Raymon Tuaimalo Vaega (Marist)

Centre | Roydon Gillett (Howick) 

Centre | Melino Fineanganofo (Mt Albert) 

Winger | Kenneth Fonoti (Glenora) 

Five-Eighth | Eiden Ackland (Mt Albert) 

Halfback | Api Pewhairangi (Pt Chevalier) 

Prop | Clayton Williams (Howick) 

Hooker | Jethro Friend (Howick) 

Prop | Connor Taurua-Purcell (Otahuhu)

Second Row | Patrick Sipley (Pt Chevalier) 

Second Row | Matt Tafutu (Northcote)  

Lock | Netane Vi (Mangere East) 

SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Player of the Year | Wyatt Rangi (Glenora)

Photo credit: photosport.nz

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