2023 South Sydney Annual Player Awards
6th October 2023
George Piggins FG Player Of The Year - Campbell Graham
Rabbitohs centre Campbell Graham has been awarded his first George Piggins Medal as the season's best and fairest player for 2023 after a stellar season in the outside backs. Despite playing under extreme duress due to a season-long sternum injury, Graham came off representing Australia at last year's Rugby League World Cup to be named the player of the year for his Club this season. Graham was dubbed as the game's best centre at times this season due to his uncompromising defence and stinging attacking raids which resulted in him scoring 16 tries, including two hat tricks, from his 21 appearances in red and green this year. In addition to his 16 tries scored, he recorded five try assists, 66 tackle breaks, 21 line breaks, made over 350 tackles for the season and averaged 132 running metres per game. Graham proved to be the Rabbitohs most reliable player throughout the season with his teammates trusting him in the defensive line and knowing he can deliver something special in attack when it's needed. He formed a strong right-side combination with halfback Lachlan Ilias and second-rower Keaon Koloamatangi, and was in line to make his State of Origin debut for New South Wales which was hindered after he was ruled out of Game I with a sternum injury. The South Sydney junior from the Coogee-Randwick Wombats club won the Jack Rayner Players' Player award in 2022 and back up that wonderful season with another stellar performance throughout 2023. Graham was presented with the George Piggins Medal by Rabbitohs Head Coach Jason Demetriou at the annual Red and Green Ball in Alexandria tonight (Friday). The best and fairest medal is named after Rabbitohs club legend George Piggins who was a Premiership-winning and international player, coach and official over a four-decade period. The South Sydney Life Member was also one of the leading figures in the Club’s fight for reinstatement to the National Rugby League in the early 2000s. Congratulations to Campbell Graham on winning his first George Piggins Medal in Season 2023.
Jack Rayner Players Player Of The Year - Cody Walker
Rabbitohs five-eighth Cody Walker has been judged as the season's best player by his teammates, being awarded the Jack Rayner Players' Player award for Season 2023. Walker, Rabbitohs first grade player number #1115, was presented with his award by Rabbitohs Head of Football Mark Ellison at tonight's (Friday's) Red and Green Ball awards night. This is the third time in the last four seasons that his teammates have awarded him the honour of being their choice as the season's best player, with Cody having won the award in 2020 and 2021. Cody played 22 games for South Sydney in Season 2023, scoring nine tries. He laid on 24 try assists, 32 line break assists, forced 11 drop outs, threw 14 offloads and ran for an average of 80 metres per game. Walker's season was so impressive that he was called into the New South Wales State of Origin team for Game III of this year's series, claiming the man-of-the-match award in that game. He also captained the Indigenous All Stars team at the start of the year whilst dipping his toe into the coaching ranks as an assistant coach with the team. Walker also represented the Australian Prime Minister's XIII at five-eighth post-season. The Players' Player award is named after legendary Rabbitohs player and coach, Jack Rayner. Rayner won five Premierships with South Sydney in six seasons in the Club's golden era between 1950 and 1955, as both captain and captain/coach. His legacy at the Rabbitohs lives on to this day, remembered as an honest, tough, hardworking forward during the days when some of the most brutal Rugby League was played. Congratulations to Cody Walker on winning his third Jack Rayner Players’ Player award in 2023.
John Sattler Rookie Of The Year - Tyrone Munro
South Sydney junior Tyrone Munro has been awarded the John Sattler Rookie of the Year award for Season 2023. Munro, 18, made his NRL debut against the Warriors in Auckland in round 18 of this season, going on to play three first grade matches this season. Rabbitohs first grade player number #1191, Munro scored three tries in his three games including a double against the Bulldogs in round 19. He recorded one try assist, eight tackle breaks, six line breaks and averaged 127 running metres per game. Munro started the season playing in the SG Ball Cup under 19s squad, progressing through the Jersey Flegg Cup and NSW Cup ranks to feature in the NRL. Munro also scored the winning try in the 2023 NSW Cup Grand Final to win the Rabbitohs their first second grade premiership in 40 years, and a hat trick in a man-of-the-match performance on NRL Grand Final day to claim the Club’s first NRL State Championship title. Munro was presented with the John Sattler Rookie of the Year award by South Sydney Football Club Director Nick Hatzistergos at the annual Red and Green Ball tonight (Friday). The award is named after South Sydney legend John Sattler won captained the Rabbitohs to four premierships between 1967 and 1971. Mr Sattler passed away in March 2023 and is one of the most revered people in South Sydney history. Congratulations to Tyrone Munro on winning the 2023 John Sattler Rookie of the Year award.
Roy Asotasi Members' Choice Award - Cameron Murray
Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray has claimed the Roy Asotasi Members' Choice Award for Season 2023, which was presented by Member Co. Director and former Rabbitohs captain Michael Andrews at tonight's (Friday's) Red and Green Ball. Almost 3,500 votes were received from Rabbitohs Members with over 30% of the votes going in favour of the captain’s efforts throughout the 2023 season, closely followed by Campbell Graham and Jai Arrow in the final tally. This is the third year in a row that Murray has won this award judged by the Club's Members, and the fourth time in five years he has taken out this title. Murray is a consistent performer for the Rabbitohs in the middle of the field, leading him to be selected for New Souths Wales in the 2023 State of Origin series as well as captaining the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII against the papua New Guinea Prime Minister's XIII post-season. Murray played 21 games for South Sydney in 2023 scoring four tries, making 862 tackles and running for an average of 130 metres per game. The Members' Choice award is named after former Rabbitohs, New Zealand and Samoa captain, Roy Asotasi, who played an integral part in attracting key signings to the Club when he joined South Sydney in 2007. The Award was named in his honour in 2013. Congratulations to Cameron Murray on being crowned the 2023 Roy Asotasi Members’ Choice award winner.
Burrow Appreciation Award - Campbell Graham
Rabbitohs centre Campbell Graham has been awarded the player of the year award by Rabbitohs supporter group The Burrow for season 2023. Graham was one of the Rabbitohs top performers on a regular basis throughout the entire 2023 season, efforts recognised by The Burrow with the presentation of this award. Graham is a fan favourite at South Sydney, a local junior on the verge of playing 150 NRL games for the Club with further honours at South Sydney and the representative levels to come. The Burrow Appreciation Award was presented by The Burrow Member Josh Kemp at tonight's (Friday's) Red and Green Ball in Alexandria. Congratulations to Campbell Graham on winning his first The Burrow Appreciation Award.
Bob McCarthy Clubman of The Year - Yileen Gordon
Yileen 'Buddy' Gordon has won the Bob McCarthy Clubperson of the Year award tonight (Friday), in recognition of their contributions to the South Sydney club throughout 2023, personifying the Club’s values of Brave, Unbreakable and Belonging. Yileen has shown these traits on and off the field for the Rabbitohs and Souths Cares throughout 2023. Gordon is the male mentor in Souths Cares' Deadly Youth mentoring program which provides intensive mentoring and casework support for at-risk youth, focusing on education, positive social activities and building connections with Aboriginal culture and community. Gordon changes the lives of kids in this program each and every day and he does a brilliant job of engaging these participants and their families to provide positive outcomes for everyone. On the field, Gordon played 24 out of a possible 27 NSW Cup games throughout 2023 at 36-years-of-age, 18 years after making his first grade debut for South Sydney. Now playing in the front row, Gordon played an integral role in the charge to the premiership this season, as well as helping mentor some of the young talent coming through the ranks at the Club on their way to their own NRL debut. The Bob McCarthy Clubperson of the Year award was presented by Rabbitohs legend Bob McCarthy himself at the annual Red and Green Ball tonight in Alexandria. McCarthy was part of the Rabbitohs' golden era in the 1960s and early 1970s, playing 211 first grade games in the cardinal and myrtle, scoring 100 tries. He is a multiple Premiership-winning legend of the South Sydney club and is a regular attendee at past players’ reunions and training sessions to this very day, offering his continued support to the current crop of Rabbitohs players. Congratulations to Yileen Gordon on winning The Bob McCarthy Clubman award for season 2023.
Reserve Grade(NSW Cup) - Player of the Year - Tallis Duncan
21st August 2023
Congratulations to Tallis Duncan on his award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
Reserve Grade(NSW Cup) - Players Player of The Year - Dean Hawkins
Halfback Dean Hawkins has won the Rabbitohs’ NSW Cup Players’ Player award. Congratulations to Dean Hawkins on his award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
Reserve Grade(NSW Cup) - Best Back - Jacob Gagai
Reserve Grade(NSW Cup) - Best Forward - Brock Gray
U21s(Jersey Flegg Cup) - Player of the Year - Romano Cook
Congratulations to Romano Cook on his award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
U21s(Jersey Flegg Cup) - Players Player of The Year - Archie Donnelly
Rabbitohs under 21s player Archie Donnelly has been judged by his teammates as the season’s best player, taking out the Jersey Flegg Players’ Player award. Congratulations to Archie Donnelly on his award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
U21s(Jersey Flegg Cup) - Best Back - Jye Gray
U21s(Jersey Flegg Cup) - Best Forward - Jaxson Rahme
Souths Cares Award - Latrell Mitchell
Rabbitohs fullback and community champion, Latrell Mitchell, has taken home the Souths Cares Award for the most outstanding contributions to the community for his work in the community throughout the 2023 season away from the field of play. Mitchell, who also won the Ken Stephen Medal in 2023 as the NRL's Man of the Year along with the People's Choice award this year, is renowned for the fantastic work he does in the community via Souths Cares’ community programs and also in his own time. Latrell Mitchell's passion for the game of Rugby League is unquestionable, as is his desire to help the community, particularly youth. The same grit and determination Latrell displays on the field, he also displays off the field in his community work, advocacy and support for individuals in need of assistance. Stemming from his own humble up-bringing in the regional NSW town of Taree, Latrell is passionate about many initiatives outside of his club commitments, with a focus on Indigenous communities, regional NSW, mental health and grassroots Rugby League. Throughout 2023, Latrell visited the communities of Cabbage Tree Island, Brewarrina and Comboyne to support communities impacted by floods and to promote grassroots Rugby League. He offered his time and support in his own time to try and help those affected by the floods and to put a smile on the face of the children who live in these regions. Latrell has courageously campaigned against bullying and racism, utilising his platform as an NRL player to bring awareness to these issues and calling for change. He is often unjustly targeted for taking a stand against racism and bullying, yet he continues to stand against these abhorrent behaviours and advocate for his people. Latrell has been a great supporter of Souths Cares' transformational programs and has supported the charity by delivering anti-bullying workshops, attending Souths Cares events and generously hosting Souths Cares’ Male Leadership and Cultural Camp on the family's farm in Taree. Latrell has supported countless individual requests for assistance, which he has done discreetly without the pursuit of public accolade. Latrell is considered as one of the Aboriginal leaders in the NRL with many Indigenous players looking up to him for efforts both on and off the field. Mitchell was presented with his Souths Cares award by the CEO of Souths Cares Alisha Parker-Elrez at tonight's (Friday's) Red and Green Ball awards night. Congratulations to Latrell Mitchell on winning the Souths Cares Award for 2023 for the most outstanding contributions to the community.
Jason Clark Team Culture Award - Alex Johnston
Rabbitohs record-setter Alex Johnston has been awarded the first Jason Clark award in 2023 for exemplifying what it means to be a South Sydney Rabbitoh in the eyes of his teammates. This award is the team's cultural award which is judged by the players on a weekly basis, based on a person’s dedication to the team environment, Club-first attitude, and engagement with stakeholders and community outside of the training and playing setting. This can also include football and non-football personal milestones, efforts to improve and better themselves as players and as people, as well as truly selfless acts on the field of play. Players would nominate teammates each week for their efforts both on and off the field, with votes tallied at the end of the season. Johnston won the award for his roles on and off the field whilst living the team values. Outside of the climbing the all-time try scoring ladder each time he steps on the field in the red and green jersey, he often shows the team-first attitude with many efforts that only his teammates and coaches will see. He is a regular contributor to the community including Indigenous-based community visits and this year he traveled to Papua New Guinea to inspire the youth in a country that idolizes its Rugby League footballers. He also released a children's book called A Footy Tail, his first children's story book with a view to releasing more into the future. Alex also played a key role in the Club's Emerging Leaders group in 2023, helping establish the Club's next Strategic Plan and developing the Club's values of Brave, Unbreakable and Belonging. The award is named after former Rabbitohs player Jason Clark, a man after whom the current playing squad thought this new award should be named due his commitment to the team and Club, on and off the field, throughout this career. Clark has now re-joined the Club in the wellbeing team having retured from professional Rugby League earlier this year after winning a premiership in the Elite One French Rugby League competition with Limoux. Johnston was presented with his award by Jason Clark himself and teammate Damien Cook at tonight’s Red and Green Ball. Congratulations to Alex Johnston on claiming the inaugural Jason Clark award in 2023.
Womens - Player of the Year - Patricia Raikadroka
Congratulations to atricia Raikadroka on her award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
Womens - Players Player of The Year - Pihuka Berryman-Duff
Congratulations to Pihuka Berryman-Duff on her award on behalf of everyone connected to South Sydney and the Elite Pathways Program.
Womens - Best Back - Pihuka Berryman-Duff
Womens - Best Forward - Jenaye Collins
Senior Pathways Team of the Year
Flbk - Jacob Gagai (NSW Cup) Wing - Tyrone Munro (Jersey Flegg / NSW Cup) Cntr - Patricia Raikadroka (Harvey Norman Womens) Cntr - Josiah Karapani (Jersey Flegg / NSW Cup) Wing - Tom Carr (NSW Cup) 5/8 - Pihuka Berryman-Duff (Harvey Norman Womens) Half - Dean Hawkins (NSW Cup) Prop - Jaxson Rahme (Jersey Flegg / NSW Cup) Hook - Romano Cook (Jersey Flegg) Prop - Harata Butler (Harvey Norman Womens) SRow - James Kokkinos (Jersey Flegg Cup) SRow - Josephine Maejiirs (Harvey Norman Womens) Lock - Tallis Duncan (NSW Cup)
Ref - SSFC / SSFC / SSFC / SSFC / SSFC / SSFC [Viewed 8 Oct 2023] / SSFC [Viewed 28 Aug 2023] / FN-1
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