On a night bringing down the curtain on the Sharks 2019 season, it was a clean sweep of the major awards for half back Chad Townsend at the Monty Porter Medal night held at Daltone House.
With players and their partners, the Board of Directors, commercial partners, staff from both the Leagues and Football Clubs and others to have contributed to the 2019 season in attendance, Townsend was named the Monty Porter Medallist as Pontifex Player of the Year, the Tommy Bishop Player’s Player and also the Members Player of the Year in what was a fitting reward an outstanding year from the Sharks number seven.
With key personnel missing for large chunks of the season, Townsend stood up and assumed a leadership role, guiding the team through their early season injury crisis, while assisting the development of the young players around him.
Townsend’s strong early season performances had many keen judges putting his name forward as a potential NSW Origin half back in an indication of his excellent form in 2019.
The local Yarrawarrah Tigers product beat out a strong field of other nominees for the main award which included Jayden Brailey, Josh Morris and Shaun Johnson.
NRL awards were also presented to Briton Nikora and Bronson Xerri as joint winner of the Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year and to Bronson Xerri for Try of the Year, for his spectacular effort in round 13 against the Eels, and to Morris for Tackle of the Year in recognising his chase and tackle of Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker in round 24.
Townsend was also celebrated alongside Kurt Capewell and Matt Prior as Sharks ‘Iron Men’ for 2019, with the trio participating in all 25 NRL games for the club during the year, while Josh Dugan was an extremely worthy winner of the Sharks Support Community Award.
Awards were also presented to leading players from the Sharks Harvey Norman Women’s team, who in an extremely competitive year came within one game of contesting the Grand Final.
The EISS Women’s Player of the Year went to talented youngster Talei Holmes, while Glenn Brailey presented the Coaches Award to Ruan Sims
In the Jersey Flegg, in recapping a season in which the Sharks were crowned Minor Premiers only to see their campaign come to an end with two consecutive extra time losses, coach Daniel Holdsworth commended the efforts of his team throughout the year.
Again, the Sharks managed to unearth some exciting new talent, amongst them Gavin Miller Player of the Year award winner Tom Hazleton and the Greg Pierce Player’s Player recipient Monty Raper.
In closing the night, Sharks Group CEO Richard Munro also announced that the club would take 11 home games to Jubilee Oval in Kogarah and one game to the Sunshine Coast in 2020.
The full list of award winners on the Monty Porter Medal night is below.
Monty Porter Medal and Pontifex Player of the Year
Tommy Bishop NRL Players’ Player Award
Steve Rogers Rookie of the Year
Briton Nikora and Bronson Xerri (joint winners)
Members Player of the Year
Gavin Miller Jersey Flegg Player of the Year
Greg Pierce Jersey Flegg Players’ Player
Andrew Ettingshausen Club Person of the Year
EISS Women’s Player of the Year
EISS Women’s Coaches Award
Sharks Support Community Award
Wellbeing and Education Excellence Award
NRL – Jayson Bukuya
Jersey Flegg – Jack Boyling
Try of the Year
Bronson Xerri – Round 13 v Parramatta
Tackle of the Year
Josh Morris – Round 24 v Raiders
Iron Man (Players who played every game in 2019)
Chad Townsend, Matt Prior and Kurt Capewell
Sharks Leagues Club Awards
Quiet Achiever Award - Belinda Rosslind
Community Award - Lisa Wilkinson
Leagues Club Person of the Year - Luke Malam