With the 2018 season ushering in several changes to Central West Rugby Union, the traditional zone Best & Fairest Award, determined by the Central West Rugby Referees has also seen some changes.
Central West Rugby Union Referees Association president Ian Richardson said that with the changes to the structure of the zone, opportunity came to adapt the time-honoured award Blowes Cup First Grade Award.
He said the move to introduce a B&F Award for each of the men’s divisions has been “warmly welcomed” in all competitions.
As with all good mysteries, the cumulative tally of votes remains highly confidential throughout the season, until the winners are announced.
A list of front-runners – in no particular order – for each award has been announced however, and Parkes’ Lloyd Rogers is among the six named as B&F leaders in the New Holland Cup competition.
The list is: Baz Hobby – Blayney, Jack Kepple – CSU Bathurst, George Hancock – Narromine, Sam McLeod – Narromine, Jonno Sharkey – Narromine and Lloyd Rogers - Parkes.
In line with the principle of the award, players are not necessarily awarded B&F points because they scored the most points in a match, or the most tries.
“Our referees duly consider aspects such as the outcome of the match, the individual’s performance, leadership skills, discipline, and respect, before they submit their 3,2,1 votes from the match,”Richardson said.
“It can be easy to over-look performances of individuals in a beaten team, so we take care to ensure that our referees look objectively at all 30 players.”
At the end of the regular season, the votes will be tallied and a prospective winner for each competition shall be determined and ratified with the Union.
Last year’s Blowes Cup B&F winner Andrew Selwood polled a massive 23 points, which included seven three-point games, so “consistency in performance” is a key factor Richardson said.
As the competitions head toward the business end of the season it’s going to be a tight race to claim the B&F accolade.
“The evenness of the B&F leader boards reflect the broad pool of talented players spread across the zone in the various competitions...there are numerous clubs represented among the leaders, and not all of these clubs are competition leaders either; and that reflects the quality of rugby that is played each week,” Richardson said.