Kiwileaguecentral.com surveyed Auckland’s leading players and coaches this off-season, picking their brains to help us name the definitive list of the top 10 Fox Memorial Premiership players of 2017.
10 – Trent Bishop (Howick)
A hard-working player in the middle of the park, more often than not he was one of the leaders in his team in both tackles made and metres run this season. In an otherwise fairly small Howick side, Bishop was a constant force.
9 – Siua Otunuku (Pt Chevalier)
The safest fullback running around in Auckland, Otunuku rarely makes mistakes at the back. A threat when he joins the attack as a third playmaker, where he has the speed to go himself as well as the ability to keep the attack alive with a pass or kick.
All class out of dummy-half – Glenora’s pack wouldn’t have been half the force they were without Tippins’ ability to read the ruck and deliver good service. Ultra competitive, he’s a player who lifts the quality of those around him.
7 – Dylan Moses (Pt Chevalier)
Used as both a half and a middle forward this year, he stood out as one of Pt Chevalier’s best in both positions. His ability to play at and through the line sets him apart, and there’s no better leader in the competition. Shared the Auckland Rugby League Player of the Year with Taylor Daniels.
6 – Daniel Reuelu-Buchanan (Glenora)
Hits hard on both sides of the ball and delivered a rugged edge to the Glenora pack. Runs good lines in attack and gets to a quick play the ball more often than not.
5 – Joseph Price (Mt Albert)
A different forward to most in the Fox Memorial Premiership, with his footwork at the line so often misplacing would-be defenders to cause missed tackles, or loose contact which allows an offload. Creative in the middle of the park.
4 – Jethro Friend (Howick)
An all-round talent who nails all of the key dummy-half skills. He also boasts a huge work ethic, regularly making upwards of 30 tackles. A natural leader who doesn’t make many mistakes.
3 – Paea Manukia (Glenora)
A brutal ball runner, whether on the edge or in the middle of the park, it was Manukia who set the tone in most games for Glenora in 2017. Hard working on both sides of the footy too.
2- Jordan Tuarae (Glenora)
Played behind an excellent pack this year, leading his side around the park well with strong organisation. Dangerous in broken play situations and a competent game manager with a solid kicking game.
1 – Taylor Daniels (Northcote)
Helped take Northcote from a cellar-dwellar to contender in the space of 12 months. A great defender down his edge, while his offload and power on the ball make him a threat near the line as well. Was deservedly crowned Auckland Rugby League Player of the Year.