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Laumape back-to-back Hurricanes Player of the Year

Thu 2nd Aug

Midfielder Ngani Laumape has been named Hurricanes Player of the Year for the second season in a row.

Laumape picked up the prestigious award at the 2018 Hurricanes Awards Night at the Te Wharewaka Functions Centre on Thursday night.

The 25-year-old started in every match outside of the two matches he was rested under an agreement between the All Blacks and New Zealand's Super Rugby clubs.

Aside from being taken off with 10 minutes to play when the Hurricanes had a healthy lead over the Rebels, Laumape played 80 minutes in every other match.

Laumape, who received the award ahead of fellow finalists Ricky Riccitelli and Gareth Evans, backed up the 15 tries he scored in 2017 with nine this season, including a club equaling record four against the Blues, while he also crossed in injury time in the Hurricanes dramatic win over the Sharks in Napier.

Departing captain Brad Shields was honoured with the Team Man of the Year from fellow finalists Dane Coles and Ben May.

Shields has been a hugely popular member of the Hurricanes since he was first selected in 2012 while his leadership through 2018 has been widely respected.

Top try-scorer Ben Lam, who crossed a record 16 times during the 2018 campaign, was the winner of the Hurricanes Best & Fairest Award. The award is judged on consistency with players awarded three, two or one point by team-mates after every match.

The Hurricanes Rookie of the Year Award was presented to prop Fraser Armstrong who made eight appearances in 2018. Other finalists in the category were halfback Jamie Booth and loose forward Sam Henwood.

The Hunters Award, given to the Hurricanes player who did not see a lot of game time but always turned up with the right attitude and helped challenge and support the players with their match-day preparations, went to lock James Blackwell. 

Blackwell was one of three finalists along with wing Jonah Lowe and midfielder Peter Umaga-Jensen.

As well as the annual awards, the Hurricanes recognised Chris Boyd who ended his four year tenure with the club having taken the side to two finals and two semi-final appearances since taking over as head coach.

Hurricanes Director Sir Paul Collins paid tribute to Boyd for his significant contribution to the club and the role he had played in its continued development.

There was also tributes to departing players Ihaia West (France), Michael Fatialofa (England), Blade Thomson (Wales), Shields (England) and Julian Savea (France) for their contribution and dedication to the club.

2018 Hurricanes Awards

Player of the Year:

Ngani Laumape
Finalists: Laumape, Ricky Riccitelli and Gareth Evans

Best & Fairest:

Ben Lam

Team Man of the Year:

Brad Shields
Finalists: Shields, Dane Coles and Ben May

Rookie of the Year:

Fraser Armstrong
Finalists: Armstrong, Jamie Booth and Sam Henwood

Hunters Award:

James Blackwell
Finalists: Jonah Lowe, Peter Umaga-Jensen


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