Bowral five-eighth Lachlan Huntington has capped a successful year by taking out the Illawarra Rugby Union player of the year award.
Playing in his first full season of first grade, Huntington has led his side to the grand final, with his performance in last week’s preliminary final instrumental in Bowral’s victory over University.
Bowral coach Gene Fairbanks said Huntington had worked hard in recent years to improve his game and was deserving of the accolade.
“The award is picked by the referees, so in a side that finished second, to be getting points every week is a credit to him,” Fairbanks said. “He’s worked hard on his game overall and is developing into a very fine footballer.”
As a smaller five-eighth, Huntington sees large forwards run through his defensive channel on a regular basis. Fairbanks is expecting more of the same on Saturday and is confident his five-eighth will thrive.
“His defence has been his biggest area of improvement this season, he just loves tackling now. We’re expecting Avondale to get stuck into him but he won’t shy away from it.”
Huntington may be the on-field general, but Fairbanks said the entire squad must perform on Saturday if they are to upset Avondale at WIN Stadium.
“The key to victory is our defensive effort as a group and playing collectively. Lachy kicks the goals and plays a big part, but it’s a whole team of 22.
“We’ll use our reserves, we’ll use every inch we can to get the job done. It’s certainly going to be a collective effort defensively and we’ll have to play very smart to get the job done.”