Major Otago prizes to Koroi, Kelly

Rosie Kelly, judged Otago Spirit's most valuable player, holds the spoils of a brilliant season at the Otago Rugby awards function in Dunedin last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Rosie Kelly, judged Otago Spirit's most valuable player, holds the spoils of a brilliant season at the Otago Rugby awards function in Dunedin last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
A couple of players who did not play in their preferred positions picked up the major prizes at the Otago Rugby awards last night.

The awards put the full stop on the 2019 season for Otago sides.

Otago utility back Vilimoni Koroi (21) won both the most valuable player prize and the David Latta Trophy. The trophy is voted on by players on a points system for every game.

Koroi played all over the backline, from fullback to first five-eighth, and was dangerous on the wing. He is regarded as an outside back, but tried at first five-eighth, he had a couple of very impressive games for Otago.

He also goal kicked well.

Koroi has signed with the Highlanders but will not play for the franchise next year. He is unlikely to play much of the 15-a-side game next year as he has committed to the All Black sevens team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Also winning awards in the Otago men's team were lock Josh Dickson, for forward of the year; centre Aleki Morris-Lome, for back of the year; while the Otago season members player of the year award went to veteran loose forward Adam Thomson.

The top prize for the Otago Spirit side went to inside back Rosie Kelly.

Kelly, who was judged the most valuable player, started off the year at halfback but was pushed out to first five-eighth and was a key player for the Spirit as it went on to win the Farah Palmer Cup championship final.

Kelly (19) scored 107 points for the season for the Spirit to be the leading points-scorer in the Farah Palmer Cup across the two divisions.

Prop Eilis Doyle was the best forward and she was also voted the players' player of the year. Centre Amy du Plessis was named the best back.

Cromwell club administrator Paula Clark was voted volunteer of the year.

Other awards:

Otago Country under-16: Forward, Keegan Ferguson; back, Lucas Erskine; MVP, Charlie Hogan. Otago Metro under-16: Forward, Steve Salelea; back, Finn Hurley; MVP, Semisi Taeiloa. Otago under-18 girls: Forward, Emma Dermody; back, Tashie Iti; MVP, Xanthe Maole. Otago Metro under-18 boys: Forward, Harry Hansen; back, Jackson Youngman; MVP, Harrison Morton. Otago Country under-18 boys: Forward, Zak Healy; back, Matt Johnson; MVP, Jack East. Otago Sassenachs Colts: Forward, Brett Kingsbury; back, Layne Opetaia; MVP, Sam Jones. Otago Maori under-17 Kohine: Forward, Te-Atawhai Campbell; back, Zaria Kira; MVP, Keely Hill. Otago Maori under-17 Tane: Forward, Sam Pomare; back, Kamryn Reddy; MVP, Reece Michelle. Otago Maori under-20 colts: Forward: Ollie Patu, back, Morgan Williams; MVP, Luke Russell. Otago Maori Senior Wahine: Forward, Paige Church; back, Mili Mills; MVP, Tali Wilson-Munday. Otago Maori Senior Tane: Forward, Ty Pelasio; back, Layne Opetaia; MVP, Axel Hohneck. Otago Rugby Supporters Club Best and Fairest Player: Steve Salelea (Otago Metro under-16). Otago under-15 girls sevens: Forward, Ella Gomez; back, Keely Hill; MVP, Oceana Campbell. Otago Women's Sevens: Forward, Greer Muir; back, Alena Saili; MVP, Sam Hollows. Otago Men's Sevens: Forward, Charles Elton; back, MacKenzie Haugh; MVP, Taylor Haugh. Otago Country Premier: Forward, Sam Calder; back, Ben Maxwell; MVP, Brady Robertson. Players' player of the year: Ben Maxwell. Otago Development: Forward, Josh Hill; back, Connor McLeod; MVP, Sam Fischli. Women's academy player of the year: Eilis Doyle. Men's academy player of the year: Sean Withy. Otago under-19 men: Forward, Shane Fikken; back, Harrison Boyle; MVP, Jake Russ.

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