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Former Wallaby Croft picks up a final gong



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Former Wallaby and QR Reds flanker David Croft has ended his elite playing career by adding the Alec Evans Medal for Premier Player of the Year to his 2009 Premiership Medal.

After retiring from professional rugby last year Croft played a key role in helping steer Brothers to their first Grand Final victory since 1987 and his contribution was recognised by the referees whose votes awarded him Queensland Premier Rugby’s highest accolade.

Croft is also a dual Pilecki Medal winner – for the Reds’ Players’ Player – and has the rare distinction of playing over 100 games for both club and state.

The Alec Evans Medal is decided by tallying the votes that referees award on a 3-2-1 basis after each Premier match during the regular season. Players who are sent off or suspended are ruled ineligible.

Croft finished the year with a total of 16 points, ahead of QR Reds and Sunnybank inside back Ben Lucas and Croft’s old rival from Wests, Cassidy Holland, both on 13.

GPS flanker and captain Steve Miller and Gold Coast outside back Billy Ngawini each scored 12 votes, with Brothers’ flyhalf Dallan Murphy, Easts backrower Luke Bertini and University and QAS Reds Academy hooker James Hanson all on 11.

The award was presented to Croft by veteran Forwards Coach Evans at the Queensland Rugby Awards Dinner in Brisbane last night.

Croft said while his Premier playing days are definitely over, he’ll probably be tempted back to play some social rugby in the lower grades for his beloved Brothers.

Other awards presented last night were:

Queensland Country Player of the Year – Jonathon Bradbury (Central Queensland University RUC)

Women’s Player of the Year – Trish Brown (University)

Coach of the Year – Zane Hilton (Brothers, Brisbane)

Colt (U19) of the Year – Eddie Quirk (Easts)

Premier Colt of the Year – Fred Tuua (Souths)

Premier Referee of the Year – Geoff Acton

Ian McMillan Memorial Trophy (Outstanding schoolboy) – Jordan Tuapou (State High, Queensland Schools, Australian Schools Captain)

Volunteer of the Year – Tony Arnold-Brown (Maleny RUC, Sunshine Coast)

Service to Rugby – Mark Cassidy (Hervey Bay Junior Coaching Co-Ordinator)

Norbert Byrne Medal for exceptional effort or achievement – Lee McNicholl (Condamine Cods RUC)

Top votegetters in the 2009 Alec Evans Medal:

David Croft Brothers 16

Ben Lucas Sunnybank 13

Cassidy Holland Wests 13

Steve Miller GPS 12

Billy Ngawini Gold Coast 12

Dallan Murphy Brothers 11

Luke Bertini Easts 11

James Hanson University 11

Michael Hercus Sunshine Coast 10

Jono Lance University 10

Andrew Krelle Easts 9

Cameron Pither Gold Coast 9

Shon Siemonek Sunshine Coast 9

Sam Satui GPS 8

Josh Fuimaono Gold Coast 8

David Eri Norths 7

James Rodley Sunshine Coast 7

Anthony Faingaa Souths 7

Scott Higginbotham Wests 7

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