Tahs skipper named Illawarra rugby's best

RUGBY UNION

Long-serving Tech Waratahs captain Tim Olsen captured the Illawarra District Rugby Union player of the year award at last night's annual grand final dinner.

The Tahs lost several players to retirement after 2012 and were a rare no-show in this season's finals series, but Olsen consistently scored votes throughout the season.

The hard-working back-rower won the top player prize by a single vote from Frank Roberts of the Woonona Shamrocks.

Avondale's Andre Itula was a runaway winner of the try-scoring title, racking up a whopping 27.

Itula's nearest rivals were Shoalhaven's Steve Brandon and Shamrocks' Cameron Thompson, who each finished with 11 tries.

Avondale's Darryl Sanft was the leading pointscorer, while University's Shaun McCreedy claimed coach of the year honours.

Illawarra's representative players of the year were University duo Paul Tuala (senior) and Matthew Lee (under 20), while James Penman won the leading referee award.

Shamrocks received the club championship trophy and Avondale were acknowledged for winning minor premierships in three grades.

Camden and Avondale meet in Saturday's grand final at WIN Stadium.

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