DESPITE a disappointing end to the season, in which they missed out for the play-offs, Edinburgh Rugby took centre stage with a hat-trick of winners at the Guinness PRO14 awards held in Dublin this evening [Sunday].
Glasgow Warriors stand-off Adam Hastings was also a winner, being voted as the Energia Next-Gen Star of the Season following in the footsteps as Jordan Larmour, Joey Carbery, Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray.
The Scottish team’s Fijian back-row Bill Mata was honoured by his opponents in the Guinness PRO14 when he was named the Players’ Player of the Season.
Stand-off Jaco van der Walt claimed the Gilbert Golden Boot with a goal-kicking accuracy of 86.84%, while retiring hooker Ross Ford was recognised for incredible longevity in the Championship as he received the Chairman’s Award.
Benetton Rugby’s historic success was recognised with Kieran Crowley receiving the Guinness PRO14 Coach of the Season Award, which was voted on by his fellow coaches.
Two South African players were also honoured on the night with Toyota Cheetahs pair of Rabz Maxwane and Tian Schoeman picking up some valuable silverware. Maxwane’s 14 tries saw him win the SportPesa Top-Try Scorer Award while Tian Schoeman’s incredible accumulation of 1564 minutes meant he was the Dacia Iron Man winner for the 2018/19 season.
There were two Welsh winners. Firstly, Ospreys’ James King became the Ronseal Tackle Machine for 2018/19 as he finished the season with a tackle completion percentage of 96.6% missing only eight tackles all season and making 224 in total.
And Olly Robinson, who was the previous Tackle Machine winner, claimed a newly introduced award – the Big Red Cloud Turnover King Award. Robinson finished the season with 26 turnovers to his name and as he underlined his value to the Cardiff Blues yet again.
LIST OF WINNERS
Guinness Player’s Player of the Year: Bill Mata (Edinburgh Rugby)
Guinness Coach of the Season: Kieran Crowley (Benetton Rugby)
Guinness PRO14 Chairman’s Award: Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby)
Energia Next-Gen Star of the Season: Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)
Gilbert Golden Boot: Jaco van der Walt (Edinburgh Rugby)
SportPesa Top Try-scorer: Rabz Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs)
Ronseal Tackle Machine: James King (Ospreys Rugby)
Big Red Cloud Turnover King: Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues)
Dacia Iron Man: Tian Schoeman (Toyota Cheetahs)