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Damian McKenzie claims several top honours in the 2021 Chiefs Rugby Club Awards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Gallagher Chiefs dynamic playmaker Damian McKenzie has taken out several prestigious honours in the 2021 Chiefs Rugby Club Awards.

The 2021 Chiefs Rugby Club Awards dinner was unfortunately cancelled due to the Gallagher Chiefs unexpectedly remaining in Sydney due to the covid lockdown in Melbourne.

In-form first-five eighth and fullback McKenzie has been a standout for the Gallagher Chiefs this season and testament to that he collected the Gallagher Chiefs Coaches’ Player of the Year along with the Players’ Player of the Year.

McKenzie was undoubtedly a fan favourite and was also voted the Waikato Draught Gallagher Chiefs Fans’ Player of the Year by the Club’s fans.

22-year-old Rameka Poihipi was named the First Windows and Doors Gallagher Chiefs Rookie of the Year in his debut Super Rugby season for the Club.

Charismatic lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi claimed the Gallagher Chiefs Personality of the Year award for the first time. Hardworking Gallagher Chiefs prop Atunaisa Moli was awarded the Mana Kotiate award for his outstanding contribution both on and off the field for the team.

Following the inaugural Sky Super Rugby match between the Waitomo Chiefs Women and Blues Women at Eden Park, the Waitomo Chiefs Women Coaches Player of the Year and Waitomo Chiefs Women Rookie of the Year awards have been introduced. The Waitomo Chiefs Women Coaches’ Player of the Year was awarded to Hazel Tubic who was world class both on and off the field for the side. The Waitomo Chiefs Women Rookie of the Year was awarded to Kelsey Teneti who was electrifying for the side and has a promising future ahead of her in the Waitomo Chiefs Women jersey.

University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20 captain Gideon Wrampling was awarded the University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20s Player of the Year. Wrampling impressed having an outstanding tournament and later debuted for the Gallagher Chiefs at Eden Park against the Blues.

The Chiefs Rugby Club’s Kotahitanga award for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to Paul Galletta for his outstanding commitment and work ethic he has demonstrated for the Club. Galletta, the Gallagher Chiefs Assistant Manager, delivered over and above his job description and was credited as the worthy recipient of the award.

Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Michael Collins said: "It is fantastic we are able to celebrate this year’s player and staff accolades."

"Damian has been outstanding for the Gallagher Chiefs this season. He has an innate attacking ability and is a courageous defender, who has consistently performed in the Gallagher Chiefs jersey. Rameka, Naitoa and Atu have been a credit to the Gallagher Chiefs and have demonstrated how valuable they are to the Club both on and off the field."

"It was fitting we have been able to introduce two inaugural awards for the Waitomo Chiefs Women. Both Hazel and Kelsey were exceptional in their first appearance in the Waitomo Chiefs Women jersey and are worthy recipients of their awards."

"Gideon has had a standout season. The young midfielder ably captained the University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20 side and later went on to make his debut for the Gallagher Chiefs. It is exciting to see the development of our younger players and what is still yet to come for the Gallagher Chiefs."

Collins finished acknowledging Galletta’s contribution to the Club.

"Paul, or to most known as Shaver, has been immense for the club. His hard work behind the scenes has not gone unnoticed and this award is recognition of his commitment to his job."

Chiefs Rugby Club Awards: Gallagher Chiefs Coaches’ Player of the Year

Damian McKenzie

Gallagher Chiefs Players’ Player of the Year

Damian McKenzie

First Windows and Doors Gallagher Chiefs Rookie of the Year

Rameka Poihipi

Waikato Draught Gallagher Chiefs Fans’ Player of the Year

Damian McKenzie

Gallagher Chiefs Mana Kotiate

Atunaisa Moli

Gallagher Chiefs Personality of the Year

Naitoa Ah Kuoi

Waitomo Coaches Player of the Year 

Hazel Tubic

Waitomo Rookie of the Year 

Kelsey Teneti

University of Waikato Under 20’s Player of the Year

Gideon Wrampling

Kotahitanga for Outstanding Contribution 

Paul Galletta

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