VIRTUAL AWARDS NIGHT
Some 75 players, coaches and club aficionados took part in what is the new reality, last Saturday evening. In current times, Zoom has become a vital component of business survival and so it was with CW Rugby. The Chaplain was able to acquire license for the evening and the show went on. It is with massive thanks to club photographer extraordinaire, Wendy Norman, for the concept and the content.
Wendy, in her understated way when asked about the concept, commented; “Yes it was literally one of those “ideas in the middle of the night” moments. I had finished the highlights reel back in February because we were supposed to be in Italy. And when the pandemic struck, I thought I might as well send the link around so people can watch it.
And then I thought, hey, what if we all watched together and had a watch party of some sort. After all, many of us are self-isolating so I figured we’d get a decent turn out. And then I thought heck if we are going to be together, why not do the awards too and properly wrap up the season.
………..Then I thought heck we could even do a dinner of sorts for those inclined to do so, and support the restaurants who support CW by picking up curbside take out. Anyhow, I’m glad it all worked out! I was a bit nervous!”
Superlatives fail me as nineteen awards were given and each player suitably lauded with some mighty action pictures and recipients “mostly” present. The evening concluded with twenty minutes of action shots covering all grades and the “season”. During the event on line text “Chat” took place, adding the appropriate levity. We will feature a couple of the most important awards today.
JOHNNY SHEPHERD AWARD.
This is the club’s most prestigious award. It is voted on solely by the players and what higher honour than to be recognised by your peers for traits of sportsmanship, duty and honour? To the players’ and Executive's credit, it was extended to both genders since the inaugural year of women’s premier play. This year the winners were; Sara Einarson and for the third time, Riley Ilnicki. There are some names engraved twice on the award but only Riley is a threepeat.
WOMEN'S MVP - Sara Einarson
MEN’S TRY OF THE YEAR: Leading up to the Awards was voting that took place for the selection of the Try-of-the-Year. The men had chosen some 32 tries and akin to March Madness had voted them down to the final two. There was plenty to choose from – a memorable “pack try” vs JBA from a lineout drive; about twenty metres out; some Schellie spectaculars; Mercury Morra’s magic; Boyd-Porter’s amazing receipt of a diagonal and swerving finish; Herron’s heroics; etc.
However the Final came down between two “rookies” – Griffiths and Devillers. Ze Frenchman had some purple patches with his new club but was well received and certainly chipped in with some significant contributions. Griffiths came to Ceedub from the throwing fields of UBC where javelin was his interest. He came to us with serious pedigree, as dad, Dewi, was a genuine hard man with Velox back in the day. Sion had played at Brentwood and with The Piggies. The vote went to Sion. We will work on trying to upload the video but ftm you will have to accept the written.
It was vs Westshore at Windsor, the ball had been punted deep and fielded by CW about 30m out from their line. Griffiths was the second pair of hands in a six passes movement. Ollie made good yards and the ball was passed infield, with Sion flashing up on a good line after getting to his feet from the tackle and taking the seventh pass some 20m to pay dirt under the sticks – a cracker! Despite protestations from David, it was the Try-of-the-Season! A nice gift certificate will be coming Sion’s way to use with his CW mates when the time is right. Unfortunately for The Tricolours, Sion was “inked” with The Pride in January but we wish him well and will follow his rugby journey (hopefully), with interest. Commiserating with “the pack” I leave you with today’s quote; “The Holy Writ should demand: first that the forwards shall win the ball; second, that the forwards shall keep the ball; and third, the backs shall buy the beer.” Gloucester Rugby Club.