Held on Thursday night, the Steval Pumas Year-End Awards 2016 recognised the hard work of players, coaches and referees across all levels of rugby, from school right through to professional, this past season.
After a remarkable season, Steval Pumas hooker Frankie Herne was the big winner on the night, netting four awards including Currie Cup Player of the Year, Best Forward Player, Most Tries Scored and the coveted Steval Pumas Player of the Year.
Lambert Groenewald walked away with two awards, including the Best Currie Cup Qualifier Player and the Players Player of the Year. Emile Temperman was named Best Backline Player, while Leighton van Wyk and Justin van Staden won Most Improved Player and Highest Points Scorer respectively. Lock and regular captain Hugo Kloppers was named Most Loyal Player.
Outgoing Steval Pumas head coach MJ Mentz congratulated several players for milestones achieved during the season. Herne, Reynier van Rooyen and Wilmaure Louw were all recognised for reaching 50 caps, while De-Jay Tereblanche celebrated an incredible 150 caps for the team.
Namibian international Renaldo Bothma received special recognition for being the SupaPuma Player of the Year selected by SupaRugby stalwart Andre Bester. Hoffman Maritz won the Sport Unplugged Pumas Ambassador of the Year for his sterling efforts in representing the Steval Pumas brand.
Mentz thanked the players for their hard work during what was a challenging year for the side.
“Thank you for all your hard work in trying to achieve our goals this season, it was a real privilege to coach all of you. The year we had will undoubtedly make us stronger going forward. For all the players moving on from the Pumas, we thank you for everything you have done for us and wish you success in future,” Mentz said.
Mentz’s successor Brent Janse van Rensburg capped off the evening by announcing the Steval Pumas squad for 2017.
2017 Steval Pumas Squad
De-Jay Tereblanche, Lux Khoza, Khwezi Mona, Morgan Naude, Marne Coetzee, Jacques Kotze, Louis Albertse, Mark Pretorius, Frankie Herne, Simon Westraadt, Stephan Greeff, Jeremy Jordan, Wiehan Hay, Tazz Fuzani, Hugo Kloppers, Jannie Stander, Marnus Schoeman, Chris Cloete, Brian Shabangu, Reuben Johannes, Lambert Groenewald, Nardus van der Walt, Ruan Lerm, Dylan Peterson.
Renier van Rooyen, Emile Temperman, Kevin Luiters, Justin van Staden, Karlo Aspeling, Kobus Marais, Hennie Skorbinski, Marlou van Niekerk, Leighton van Wyk, Deon Helberg, Ryan Nell, Bernado Botha, Tyler Fisher, Ruwellyn Isbell, JP Lewis, Devon Williams, Hoffman Maritz.