Blayke Brailey made a mad dash from Australian Schoolboys training camp in Brisbane to attend the Sharks Junior Rep presentation night where he was named the Greg Pierce Junior Rep Player of the Year.
The Sharks SG Ball hooker in 2016, Brailey was recognised for an outstanding season for the Cronulla under 18’s in being awarded Player of the Year as well as the major award on the night.
Presentation organisers were scrambling to stretch the proceedings out long enough for Brailey to arrive from Brisbane, where the quietly spoken young man graciously accepted the two awards and the congratulations of his teammates and coaches.
He was due to return to Brisbane today to continue preparations for the Australian Schoolboys First Test against the touring English Academy, with that game to be played in Redcliffe in Queensland on Saturday.
The second Test between the young Australian and English teams is scheduled for Southern Cross Group Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Sharks v Raiders NRL match on Saturday, August 6.
The Schoolboy Test is set to kick off at 1.15pm, with the NRL match getting underway at 5.30pm.
As for the other awards handed out at last night’s Presentation Night, NSW Under-18’s rep Isaac Lumelume was named as the SG Ball Coaches Award winner, with strapping young winger enjoying a successful season.
In the Matthews Cup, two boys who represented NSW at under-16’s level in 2016 walked away with the prizes, with Franklin Pele the Player of the Year and Bronson Xerri the recipient of the Coaches Award.
All representative players were also recognised on the night, while Try and Tackle of the Year awards for both teams were also handed out.
While unable to emulate the National Championship success of the SG Ball and Matthews Cup teams from 2015, the 2016 season was also one of high achievement for both squads, with the Matthews Sharks maybe somewhat unlucky to bow out of the playoff when they did and the Ball team battling hard throughout in progressing to week two of the finals despite struggling with injuries to key players for most of the year.
Sharks CEO Lyall Gorman, representatives from the Board of Directors, NRL Head Coach Shane Flanagan, NRL players Andrew Fifita and Chris Heighington, as well as coaches, staff and players from both junior Sharks teams, were amongst those in attendance on the night.
The evening was conducted in the Aqua Room in the Sharks Leagues Club.
2016 Junior Rep Presentation Night
Greg Pierce Junior Rep Player of the Year – Blayke Brailey
SG Ball Player of the Year – Blayke Brailey
SG Ball Coaches Award – Isaac Lumelume
Matthews Cup Player of the Year – Franklin Pele
Matthews Cup Coaches Award – Bronson Xerri
SG Ball Try of the Year – Luke Metcalf
Matthews Cup Try of the Year – Cameron O’Connor
SG Ball Tackle of the Year – Chris Tupou
Matthews Cup Tackle of the Year – Riley Pickering
NSW Under 16s
NSW Under 18’s
Tom De Meio
15s Yrs Merit Team
Tom De Meio
Blayke Brailey - Captain