Mapimpi on top

2019-12-11 06:01
PHOTO: gallo imagesSharks winger Makazole Mapimpi won three awards at the annual Sharks awards ceremony last night.

PHOTO: gallo imagesSharks winger Makazole Mapimpi won three awards at the annual Sharks awards ceremony last night.

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SHARKS and Springbok hero Makazole Mapimpi was the biggest winner at the Sharks awards ceremony in Durban last night, taking home three of four accolades on offer.

The Sharks’ 2019 glittering ceremony was attended by players, their families, sponsors, fans and the media at Sun Park in Sibaya.

Sharks players in various categories and age groups were recognised for their efforts and achievements, both on and off the field, during the course of the rugby season.

Mapimpi’s three gongs included the biggest accolade of the night — Player of the Year.

The 29-year-old also won the Players’ Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year awards, voted for by his Sharks team-mates and fans respectively.

Looking at the player’s season both on franchise and national team levels, with his exceptional scoring ability, there’s no one who deserved the accolade more than him.

The Eastern Cape-born winger had an unbelievable 2019 season that he capped off by winning the Rugby World Cup title with South Africa.

Mapimpi also became the first player in the history of Springboks to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final — against England in Japan.

He also finished the world showpiece with a total of six tries to his name and was one try short of sharing the top try-scorers award with Josh Adams of Wales.

For the most prestigious award, Player of the Year, last night Mapimpi defeated last year’s winner Lukhanyo Am, as well as Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi and Curwin Bosch.

Mapimpi was also a nominee in the Super Rugby Player of the Year category, alongside Esterhuizen, Am and former Sharks player Daniel du Preez, but Esterhuizen reigned supreme in that one.

The Currie Cup Player of the Year prize went to exciting fullback Aphelele Fassi ahead of fellow players Ruben van Heerden, Sanele Nohamba and Kobus van Wyk, who has since left the Shark Tank.

Nohamba, who also enjoyed a good year in the first season with the senior side, took home the Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

Jeremy Ward took home the Sharks XV Player of the Year, while Lunga Ncube was named U19 Player of the year and Evan Roos took the award for U21 Player of the Year.

Super Rugby 2020 now awaits them.

• sithembiso.dindi@witness.co.za

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

Sharks U/19 Player of the Year

Winner: Lunga Ncube

Sharks U/21 Player of the Year

Winner: Evan Roos

Super Rugby Player of the Year

Winner: Andre Esterhuizen

Currie Cup Player of the Year

Winner: Aphelele Fassi

Sharks XV Player of the Year

Winner: Jeremy Ward

Ambassador Award

Winner: Mzamo Majola

Breakthrough Player of the Year

Winner: Sanele Nohamba

Fans’ Player of the Year

Winner: Makazole Mapimpi

Sharks Players’ Player of the Year

Winner: Makazole Mapimpi

Sharks Player of the Year

Winner: Makazole Mapimpi

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