BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League awards handed out at Muswellbrook RSL Club

MUSWELLBROOK Rams front-rower Dylan Thorne is chasing more silverware this weekend.

After taking out the BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League Player of the Year award at the Muswellbrook RSL Club on Wednesday night, from Denman duo Blake Dureau and Steve Waetford, fellow Ram Cade Boney and Singleton’s Russell Richards, the powerful prop announced he had unfinished business.

That’s when his team tackles the Aberdeen Tigers for the first grade crown at Olympic Park on Saturday.

“I didn’t think I was that good this year,” he admitted.

“But, thank you, it’s a credit to our side for the whole season.

“We’ve been cruelled by injuries, however everyone’s stepped it up.

“When players do that, it makes jobs easier across the park. 

“Obviously, we’ve still got work to do.

“On Saturday, I want to be holding up the other trophy.”

Singleton duo Brodie Rinkin and Zac Butler claimed the honours in reserve grade and under-18s respectively.

Merriwa Magpies’ Jessyca Morgan was named the league tag Player of the Year.

The prestigious Rookie of the Year went to Muswellbrook winger Daniel Ellis.

Denman Devils halfback Blake Dureau collected the Neil Barry Shield, as the highest pointscorer in first grade.

He posted one try, landed 51 goals and a field goal for a total of 107.

Singleton’s Zac Howlett was just as prolific in reserve grade.

He touched down on 13 occasions and booted 22 goals for a personal haul of 96 – and picked up the Leon Paag Shield.

Fellow Greyhound Hayden Bourke finished with 100 points in under-18s, from 12 tries and 26 goals, to collect the Denny Gleeson Shield.

Morgan backed up her major award with the Henry Page Shield.

The gifted league tag player crossed the tryline 19 times in 2017, and kicked 36 goals, to amass 148 points.

Leading official Joey Butler, who has also made his mark in the NRL this season, took home the Tony Goldman Shield for Referee of the Year.

The Rams also dominated the Team of the Year with five players – wingers Lennie Craft and Daniel Ellis, centre Jacob Ellis, second-rower Liam Dunn and front-rower Rohan Pottinger – making the cut.

Denman (fullback Steven Waetford, halfback Blake Dureau, front-rower Ben Hagan) and Aberdeen (centre Hamish Wolfgang, second-rower Guy Thompson, hooker Daniel Hoogerwerf) each boasted three representatives.

Scone lock Isaac Austin and Singleton five-eight Chad Solman were named in the side, too.

2017 Muswellbrook and District Workers Club Player of the Year

First grade – Dylan Thorne (Muswellbrook)

Reserve grade – Brodie Rinkin (Singleton)

Under-18s – Zac Butler (Singleton)

Women’s league tag – Jessyca Morgan (Merriwa)

2017 JMG Maintenance & Fabrication - Muswellbrook and District Workers Club Rookie of the Year

Daniel Ellis (Muswellbrook)

Highest pointscorers

First grade (Neil Barry Shield) – Blake Dureau (Denman)

Reserve grade (Leon Paag Shield) – Zac Howlett (Singleton)

Under-18s (Denny Gleeson Shield) – Hayden Bourke (Singleton)

Women’s league tag (Henry Page Shield) – Jessyca Morgan (Merriwa)

Referee of the Year

(Tony Goldman Shield) Joey Butler

Coach of the Year

Jye Bayley (Singleton)

Team of the Year

Fullback - Steven Waetford (Denman)

Wing - Lennie Craft (Muswellbrook)

Centre - Hamish Wolfgang (Aberdeen)

Centre - Jacob Ellis (Muswellbrook)

Wing - Daniel Ellis (Muswellbrook)

Five-eight - Chad Solman (Singleton)

Halfback - Blake Dureau (Denman)

Lock - Isaac Austin (Scone)

Second-row - Guy Thompson (Aberdeen)

Second-row - Liam Dunn (Muswellbrook)

Front-row - Ben Hagan (Denman)

Hooker - Daniel Hoogerwerf (Aberdeen)

Front-row - Rohan Pottinger (Muswellbrook)