The MacDougall Medal, the award for the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup Most Outstanding Player in Premier First Grade, has, for the third season in succession, ended with a tie and joint winners of the premier individual prize in the local game at the annual function held at the Rex Hotel on Wednesday evening.
Easts playmaker Jacob Abel and Gungahlin Eagles lock Jacob Helgesen were tied on points at the end of the final count of votes and have been rewarded for a consistent campaign with the award.
The pair follow in the footsteps of Tom Cusack of Canberra Royals and Bruce Kaino of Wests who shared the medal in 2017 and the trio of Ryan Jones and OJ Noa (Queanbeyan Whites) and Ben Hyne (Tuggeranong Vikings) who shares the accolade in 2016.
Abel was a pivotal member of the Easts team that posted their best set of results for many years, leading Head Coach Tim Cornforth’s new game-plan that resulted in the club ending their long-wait for a Premier League First Grade victory in the competition. His precise service and calm head were instrumental in some exciting Easts rugby.
Helgesen meanwhile was a model of consistency for the Eagles who were beaten in the Preliminary Final by Tuggeranong Vikings after a sterling end of season run that threatened to bring them their first Grand Final appearance since 2007.
The MacDougall medal is named after a legend of the game in the ACT, Stuart MacDougall. A hard-working and talented prop, Stuart represented his district, state and country in rugby union. He played for the ACT Rugby Union representative team from 1970 to 1975. Stuart captained both the ACT and Western Districts rugby teams and was widely involved in all aspects of ACT Rugby Union during his time in Canberra.
He played with a strong set of values and thus earned a great deal of respect from players, officials and administrators alike. In a period of rugby renowned for its tough physical play and power at the front of the scrum, Stuart’s abilities were unmatched. Stuart continues to be highly regarded by all those involved with rugby because of his loyalty to the game and his fellow players.
In other awards the Graham Gordon Memorial Trophy, presented to the ACT U20 Player of the Year, was won by Tom Ross of Gungahlin Eagles, the front rower who has recently signed a Wider Training Squad contract with the Plus500 Brumbies, enjoying a stellar year in which he also represented the Junior Wallabies.
The John Hunter Memorial Trophy for highest try scorer and the Gus Vallance Memorial Trophy for highest points scorer were awarded to Brendon Taueki of Tuggeranong Vikings and Pedro Rolando of Canberra Royals respectively, whilst Royals Head Coach Wayne Southwell was honoured as the recipient of the Michael Hickey Memorial Trophy for Coach of the Year.
Several other awards were presented at the function attended by over 200 guests with Eagles’ Linda Rummery claiming the prestigious HS Quinn Trophy for Services to Rugby for her unwavering commitment and loyalty through a variety of roles at the club. Uni-Norths Owls David Bennett was named as the Anderson Trophy for Sportsmanship winner.
It wasn’t just the Premier Division clubs who were honoured however as the awards for the Monaro Representative Player of the Year and the First and Second Division Player of the Year awards were also announced. Mark Poplin of Boorowa claimed the Bill Priest Memorial Trophy for Monaro Representative Player of the Year with the First and Second Division Player of the Year awards scooped by Craig McMahon of Canberra Royals and John Steele of the Bungendore Mudchooks.
Vikings’ Peter Chapman walked away with the ACT & SNSWRU Volunteer of the Year whilst the Peter Lawler Trophy Referee of the Year went to the consistent performances of Matt Hogan.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
MacDougall Medalist: Jacob ABEL (Easts) & Jacob HELGESEN (Eagles)
Graham Gordon Memorial Trophy – U20 Player of the Year: Tom ROSS (Eagles)
The John Hunter Memorial Trophy – Highest Try Scorer: Brendon TAUEKI (Vikings)
The Michael Hickey Memorial Trophy – Coach of the Year: Wayne SOUTHWELL (Royals)
The HS Quinn Trophy for Services to Rugby: Linda RUMMERY (Eagles)
The Anderson Trophy for Sportsmanship: David BENNETT (Uni-Norths Owls)
The Bill Priest Memorial Trophy – Monaro Rep Player of the Year: Mark POPLIN (Boorowa)
First Division Best & Fairest – Player of the Year: Craig MCMAHON (Royals)
Second Division Best & Fairest – Player of the Year: John STEELE (Bungendore Mudchooks)
The ACT & SNSWRU Volunteer of the Year: Peter CHAPMAN (Vikings)
The Peter Lawler Trophy Referee of the Year: Matt HOGAN (ACTRRA)
|MacDougall Medal||Bruce Kaino (Wests) & Tom Cusack (Royals)|
|ACT & SNSW Rugby Union Volunteer Of The Year||Daniel Hogg (Albury Wodonga RUFC)|
|The Michael Hickey Memorial Trophy Of The Year||Dan Hawke & Ben McGee (ACT Schoolboys)|
|The Hs Quinn Trophy For Services To Rugby:||Michael Huddson (Young Yabbies)|
|The Graham Gordon Memorial Trophy For Best & Fairest U20’s Player:||Darcy Swain (Tuggeranong)|
|The Anderson Trophy For Sportsmanship:||Ben Johnston (Royals)|
|The Bill Priest Trophy For Monaro Rep Player Of The Year:||Matthew Caldwell (Jindabyne)|
|The Peter Lawler Trophy For Referee Of The Year:||Matt Hogan (ACTRRA)|
|The Helen Taylor Trophy For ACT 15 ‘S and 7’s Women’s Rep Player Of The Year:||Kate Brown (Tuggeranong)|
|First Division Best & Fairest:||Mik Webber (Goulburn) & Carl Lagonilakeba (ADFA)|
|Second Division Best & Fairest:||Andy Gosslett (Bungendore)|
|The John Turner Memorial Trophy For Highest Try Scorer:||Ben Johnston (Royals)|
|The Gus Vallance Memorial Trophy For Highest Point Score:||Pedro Rolando (Royals)|
|First Division Club Championship:||ADFA|
|The Turner Cup Club Championship:||Tuggeranong|