Veitokani wins inaugural NRC Rising Star award
27 October, 2018, 1:52 pm
FIJI Airways Drua fly-half Alivereti Veitokani has been awarded the inaugural NRC Rising Star award 2018.
Veitokani won the award from six other players who were nominated from the seven regular season rounds namely Andrew Deegan, Jock Campbell Archie King, Darcy Swain, Jack McGregor and Len Ikitau.
According to Iain Payten’s of RUGBY.com.au, in the first year of the NRC Rising Star award, which was created to recognise emerging players with fewer than three games in Super Rugby or for the Flying Fijians, Veitokani was nominated in round two.
Payten said the 25-year-old was awarded the maximum amount of 21 points – three points from each judge.
“Queensland Country fullback Jock Campbell came second in the voting.
“The stats say it all about Veitokani’s insanely good NRC season. Indeed, he would be hard-done-by if “Freddy” wasn’t on the dais for best player in the NRC full-stop,” Payten said.
Veitokani topped the most clean breaks (26), most offloads (19), most try assists (9) and most run metres (921m).
To put the last into context, he was almost 200m more than second place and almost 400m more than the top Aussie player Rod Davies.
He said a seven-man judging panel drawn from broadcaster FoxSports, RUGBY.com.au, Rugby Australia and fan site Green and Gold Rugby was asked to vote on a 3-2-1 basis and let’s just say Veitokani’s rivals could only shake their heads.