Tim Anstee, Manasa Mataele and Tamika Jones win Western Force fairest and best medals

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Nick TaylorThe West Australian
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The Nathan Sharpe Medal was won jointly by flanker Tim Anstee and winger Manasa Mataele.
Camera IconThe Nathan Sharpe Medal was won jointly by flanker Tim Anstee and winger Manasa Mataele. Credit: Supplied

The Western Force player of the year awards produced historic and ground-breaking firsts at Friday’s glittering presentation night.

The Nathan Sharpe Medal was won jointly by flanker Tim Anstee and winger Manasa Mataele, the first time the men’s Super Rugby best and fairest has been shared.

And teenage flanker Tamika Jones was awarded the inaugural Rebecca Clough Medal for the women’s Super Rugby best and fairest.

It was the first time both men’s and women’s teams were recognised.

Anstee and Mataele finished the season with 105 points, three ahead of runner-up, centre Bayley Kuenzle.

Jones had a breakout year, receiving a Wallaroos call-up, and romped home with 97 points, 33 ahead of runner-up Anneka Stephens.

Jones also won the Super W members MVP.

Manager of rugby Matt Hodgson said the trio’s recognition was thoroughly deserved.

“Manasa and Tim’s hard work during key moments was pivotal to our overall season. Tamika was a standout throughout the season,” Hodgson said.

“For someone so young to possess such confidence and tenacity is incredible.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Tamika Jones of the Force runs the ball during the round two Super W match between the NSW Waratahs and the Western Force at Leichhardt Oval on March 13, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Camera IconTeenage flanker Tamika Jones was awarded the inaugural Rebecca Clough Medal Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The Matt Hodgson and Debby Hodgkinson rising star awards were won by homegrown duo Jackson Pugh, 22, and 17-year-old Keira MacAskill.

Retiring World Cup winning All Black Richard Kahui was voted Super Rugby Pacific members MVP.

The new Nicola Forrest Force woman award and the Geoff Stooke Force man award, recognising contributions on-and-off the field, were won by Anneka Stephens and Tom Robertson.

The Adrian Blacker award for an off-field staff member or volunteer was presented to RugbyWA development officer Alasdair Henderson.

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