Hard running centre Sami Sauiluma has been recognised for an outstanding season in the VB NSW Cup by being named in the competition team of the year as announced by the NSW Rugby League.
Sauiluma managed just three top grade games for the Sharks, with the strong form and injury free seasons experienced by the clubs outside backs such as Gerard Beale, Ricky Leutele, Valentine Holmes and Sosaia Feki limiting his opportunities.
Playing for the Newtown Jets Sauiluma crossed for a team-leading 12 tries in 2015 in a team which struggled for consistency and eventually missed out on qualifying for the NSW Cup Finals series.
In other Jets news, Blake Ayshford last week took out the major club award, the inaugural Brian “Chicka” Moore Shield, in being named as the recipient of the 2015 Newtown Jets VB NSW Cup Best and Fairest.
Similar to Sauiluma, Ayshford’s appearances in the top grade were restricted to just four games however he gave the Newtown club outstanding services while playing in the NSW Cup.
Also at the Newtown Jets presentation night the Coach’s Award was taken out by Mitch Brown, with Head Coach Greg Matterson his professionalism and positive attitude, with the Most Consistent Player award going to backrower Junior Roqica.
Roqica became a crowd favourite at Henson Park in 2015 and was one of Newtown’s best attacking players right throughout the season.
The leading Newtown points scorer in the 2015 VB NSW Cup competition was Todd Murphy, who contributed 10 tries and 37 goals for a total of 114 points.
The Sharks will continue their association with the Newtown Jets in 2016.
The Newcastle Knights claimed the NSW Cup title in beating the Wyong Roos in the Grand Final played at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium yesterday.
The Knights will now play the Ipswich Jets, the winners of Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup, at ANZ Stadium on Grand Final day on Sunday.
Below is the NSW Cup Team of the Year.
VB NSW Cup Team of the Year
1. Omar Slaimankhel (Wyong Roos)
2. Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury Bulldogs)
3. Kerrod Holland (Newcastle Knights)
4. Sami Sauiluma (Newtown Jets)
5. Kurtis Rowe (Wests Tigers)
6. Josh McCrone (Mounties)
7. Mitch Cornish (Mounties)
8. Russell Packer (Illawarra Cutters)
9. Mitch Williams (Wyong Roos)
10. Luke Page (Mounties/Illawarra Cutters)
11. Mitch Barnett (Mounties)
12. Adam Elliott (Canterbury Bulldogs)
13. Leilani Latu (Penrith Panthers)
14. Damien Cook (Canterbury Bulldogs)
15. John Palavi (Warriors)
16. Daniel Alvaro (Wentworthville Magpies)
17. Shaun Lane (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Coach: Rip Taylor (Wyong Roos)
Assistant Coach: Ben Gardiner (North Sydney Bears)
Below: Mitch Brown collecting his Newtown Jets Coaches Award from head coach Greg Matterson