The Toyota Cheetahs winger, Rabz Maxwane, was the big winner on Tuesday night during the annual Cheetahs Awards function held at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.
The winger walked away with two awards after being named as the Guinness Pro14 Player of the Year, and the Players’ Player of the Year. Earlier Maxwane was honoured by the Pro14 for being the leading try scorer in the competition during the 2018/19 season.
Other players who received honours on the night were the winger, Jamba Ulengo, the flank Gerhard Olivier, the prop Ox Nche, and the flyhalf Tian Schoeman.
Several players also received their Free State Cheetahs colours. The requirement to receive colours is that a player must play in at least six consecutive matches in either the Currie Cup or in the Pro14, or at least ten matches for the team.
Four players, namely, Jacques du Toit, Niell Jordaan, Nico Lee and William Small-Smith were honour for passing the 50 cap mark for the Cheetahs.
Free State XV player of the Year for the SuperSport Challenge Cup: Jamba Ulengo
Jamba Ulengo was stalwart of the Free State XV in the 2019 SuperSport Rugby Challenge and ended the season as the top try scorer with ten tries.
Jackal Award: Gerhard Olivier
Gerhard Olivier made the most ball seals throughout the 2018/19 Guinness Pro14 season.
Prof Basie Verster Award for the Forward Player of the Year: Ox Nche
Ox Nche represented the Cheetahs in 16 Pro14 matches and two Currie Cup games over the last year. He has a total of 82 Cheetah caps.
Harold Verster Award for the Backline Player of the Year: Tian Schoeman
Tian Schoeman stood out in the backline and his incredible accumulation of 1564 minutes, which meant he was furthermore awarded the Pro14 Dacia Ironman winner for the 2018/19 season.
Cheetahs Players Player of the Year: Rabz Maxwane
This special award for the Players’ Player of the year is voted for by the players themselves. Rabz is regarded as the player’s favorite by receiving the most votes from his teammates.
Cheetahs Pro14 Player of the Year: Rabz Maxwane
The highest honour of the evening went to Rabz Maxwane who played in 20 Pro14 matches in the 2018/19 season and scored 14 tries, which also saw him win the SportPesa Top Try-scorer Award for the 2018/19 season.
Players who earned Cheetahs caps: JP du Preez (21 caps), Louis Fouche (20 caps), Benhard Janse van Rensburg (22 caps), Malcolm Jaer (21 Caps), Sintu Manjezi (14 caps), Abongile Nonkontwana (16 caps), Rudy Paige (16 caps), Tian Schoeman (23 caps), Walt Steenkamp (20 caps), Dries Swanepoel (9 caps), Reinach Venter (24 caps).
50 Caps: Jacques du Toit (59 caps), Niell Jordaan (53 caps), Nico Lee (53 caps), William Small-Smith (62 caps).
Currie Cup squad: Aranos Coetzee, Luan de Bruin, Erich de Jager, Günther Janse van Vuuren, Charles Marais, Ox Nche, Schalk van der Merwe, Boan Venter, Jacques du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Marnus van der Merwe, Reinach Venter, Justin Basson, JP du Preez, Sintu Manjezi, Sibabalo Qoma, Walt Steenkamp, Daniel Maartens, Oupa Mohoje, Abongile Nonkontwana, Gerhard Olivier, Jasper Wiese, Aidon Davis, Junior Pokomela, Henco Venter, Dian Badenhorst, Ruben de Haas, Tian Meyer (Captain), Louis Fouche, Tian Schoeman, Carel-Jan Coetzee, Rabz Maxwane, Darren Adonis, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Ali Mgijima, William Small-Smith, Dries Swanepoel, Clayton Blommetjies, Adriaan Carelse, Malcolm Jaer, Tapiwa Mafura. – MORGAN PIEK