NRL Victoria 2016 Year in Review
First Grade – Werribee Bears
Sunraysia First Grade – Robinvale Storm
Second Grade – Werribee Bears
Women’s First Grade – Doveton/Northern
Women’s Tag – Doveton Steelers
Girl’s Tag – Northern Thunder
Under 18’s – South Eastern Titans
Under 16’s - Sunbury United Tigers
Under 15’s - Sunbury United Tigers
Under 14’s – Altona Roosters
Under 13’s – Northern Thunder
Under 12’s – Waverley Oakleigh Panthers
Under 11’s – Werribee Bears
NRL Victoria Player of the Year – Pride Petterson-Robati (Casey Warriors)(2nd consecutive year)
Club Coach of the Year – Thomas Niutili-Schmidt (Sunbury Tigers)
Volunteer of the Year – Neff Tapelu (Northern Thunder)
Life Member Induction – Frank Epere (Altona Roosters)
Contribution to Rugby League Community – Hallam Senior College (RL Academy etc)
Contribution to Representative Program – Jake Leslie
Senior Representative Player of the Year – Waka Sweet (Men’s)(Casey Warriors)
Junior Representative Player of the Year – Tiui Misi (U18’s) (North West Wolves)
Spirit of League Award Winner – Eastern Raptors
Referee Award – Matthew Hicks
Women’s First Grade Top Scorer – Hera Cook-Avatea (Casey Warriors)
Men’s First Grade Top Scorer – Chase Hoare (Werribee Bears)
Men’s - The Victorian Men’s team played wonderful football for 5 halves in their tournament in Adelaide, but a poor second half against Western Australia saw them finish second. A huge 8 Victorian players were selected in the Men’s CAS squad that toured Fiji.
Women’s – A mixture of results saw the Women’s team leave Adelaide in second spot with a win, a draw and a loss. 3 Victorians were selected in the Women’s CAS team.
Mal Meninga Cup – Finished 2nd in their Mal Meninga Cup Pool with 4 wins and 2 losses, before going down in the quarter finals to eventual Cup winners Townsville Blackhawks
Cyril Connell Cup – Just as the Mal Meninga Cup team did, the Cyril Connell Cup side finished second in their pool, before being beaten by eventual winners Townsville Blackhawks in their quarter final clash.
Under 18’s - Continued their dominance in the Sam Davey Plate in Adelaide in 2016, winning all 3 matches to hoist the trophy for the eighth consecutive year. The side scored a huge 198 points in their 3 matches conceding a mere 18 points to their opposition. A whopping 14 Victorian players were selected in the CAS team.
Under 15’s – The under 15 side won 10 out of 11 matches they played in 2016. They won the CRL Southern Cup in Wagga Wagga, before winning the National Championships Pool B John Allen Trophy in Port Macquarie for the first time since 2011. The only loss for the U15’s being in the CRL Final against Central Coast in Cessnock. 5 Victorian players were selected in the CAS side.
Under 14’s – The under 14 side went undefeated in Wagga Wagga on their way to winning the CRL Southern Plate. Unfortunately they went down narrowly to Newcastle in the Country Final in Cessnock.
Under 12’s – The under 12 side won Pool B in the National Championships after winning 5 out of 6 matches before being defeated in the quarter finals against New South Wales Invitational.
NRL VIC 9’s
2016 saw the creation of the NRL Victoria 9’s competition which was held at AAMI Park as curtain raisers to Melbourne Storm NRL matches. This provided players an amazing experience of being able to play their matches on AAMI Park on the same field as some of their NRL heroes. Werribee Bears were the inaugural NRL VIC 9’s premiers defeating Casey Warriors in the final.
Women’s Representative Match
2016 saw the first Women’s Representative Match between Melbourne East and Melbourne West take place as a curtain raiser to the Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders NRL Preliminary Final. A big crowd was on hand early to watch the two sides of Melbourne clash on AAMI Park. A quality match was on display with a tight match played out for the majority of the match before Melbourne West managed to open a sizeable gap on Melbourne East towards the end of the match. Melbourne West came away 34-16 victors with Melbourne West number 9 Trina Edwards being judged Woman of the Match.
Inaugural ‘Mighty Murray Cup’
Representative sides were selected from both the Murray Cup Rugby League and Sunraysia Rugby League for a representative match to be played as a curtain raiser on AAMI Park for the NRL Round 26 clash between Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks. In what was a very entertaining match in front of a large crowd, the teams could not be split and the match finished as a high scoring 30-30 draw. There was some great rugby league on display in this match and it showed on a big scale that there is quality football being played in the Murray Cup/Sunraysia competitions.