CSU captain Hugh Medway might have spent much of his season trying to plug the gaps in a leaky defence, but his efforts didn’t go unnoticed by competition officials.
Despite his team finishing eighth at the end of the home-and-away season and never really being close to finals contention, the students’ inspiring number eight received the Central West Rugby Union first grade best and fairest award on Saturday.
Just after Dubbo Kangaroos took out the grand final 42-24 over Orange Emus at their home ground, Medway was announced 2014’s best player as voted by referees.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Medway said.
“With so many good players at Emus, City and Dubbo, in particular, I assumed one of them would win it.
“It is great recognition, though. I’m pretty proud of this.”
Though CSU managed just the five wins for the season, there were another handful of games where they had chances to claim victory – and, in all those matches, Medway was crucial in keeping his side in the contest.
His hardness around the ball belied the fact that he was usually giving away plenty of size and weight to his direct opponents.
With 2014 being Medway’s last season at CSU, the superstar back-rower said the award is the perfect way to top off his three-year-stint in Bathurst, and he will be a hard man to replace.
Even though his side finished eighth, he said there was no hint of a bittersweet element to the win.
“No, not at all,” Medway said.
“We didn’t do as well as we would have liked, but we had a lot of strong players at CSU.
“There is good structure there, and while it is a nice way to finish my time here, if I was playing next season I would be gunning for it again.”
Medway talked down his performance during 2014, despite regularly being labelled one of the best flankers in the competition.
“I didn’t really think I played all that well, honestly, but I guess someone else did,” he laughed.
“Let’s credit the great support I got from my team-mates.”