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University’s Robert Butcher was last night presented with the Eric Johnston Medal for the Best and Fairest Player in the 2014 Darwin Rugby Union Competition.

Butcher polled 18 votes from the Referees to finish two points in front of Darwin Dragons loose forward Cameron Meurant.

Casuarina fly half Nate Lamb finished third with 14 points.

The win capped off a memorable weekend for Butcher who played an instrumental role in the Pirates victory over South Darwin in Saturday’s Preliminary Final.

Palmerston Rookie Greg Svanfelds was named the Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star for 2014.

The award was reintroduced this year and players who are Under 18 and start in a First Grade match for the first time are automatic nominees.

Svanfelds was among ten players nominated for the award and was Palmerston’s run on half back from the Pre-Season Cup until the Elimination Semi Final.

Svanfelds captained the Schoolboys squad on their tour of NSW and was selected in the Australian Schoolboys Division II Merit Team.

Rob Taylor was recognised for his contribution to the game by being presented with the Volunteers of the Year.

Taylor regularly refereed three games of Junior Rugby on Friday Nights and backed up the next day to officiate in at least one senior match.

Taylor was also the assistant coach and manager of the touring NT Under 16 Team.

Other Major Award  Winners

Referee of the Year – Simon Scoble

Most Improved Referee – Robert Taylor

Senior Coach of the Year – Peter McGrath

Reserve Grade Best & Fairest – Scott Richards (Casuarina)

First Grade Leading Try Scorer – Isaac Taulelei (University 16 Tries)

Women’s Player of the Year – Kassandra Lehmann – South Darwin

First Grade Leading Pointscorer - Robert Butcher (University)

Reserve Grade Leading Pointscorer - Shane Crowley (Casuarina)

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.