The Tweed Coast Raiders take home the trophy, winning their first NRRRL Premiership.
The Tweed Coast Raiders take home the trophy, winning their first NRRRL Premiership. Michell Craig

Ziebell and Raiders take out top country league gongs

THE Tweed's outstanding football talent has been put in the spotlight, with the region claiming the top player and top team of the year at the Country Rugby League awards in Sydney.

Cudgen Hornets front rower Caleb Ziebell was named the Country Rugby League Player of the Year at the swanky event at the Hyatt Regency on Friday night, attended by more than 340 rugby league officials, volunteers and players.

Ziebell, who received his award for his dominant performances for the victorious Northern Rivers U23 Country Championship side, will now represent the Country U23s representative team in their matches against the Australian Defence Force and Papua New Guinea in Ipswich and Port Moresby.

Cudgen Hornets front-rower Caleb Ziebell goes on the attack
Cudgen Hornets front-rower Caleb Ziebell goes on the attack Mike Donelly

Meanwhile, the Tweed Coast Raiders received the prestigious Clayton Cup for their dominant season in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League, which saw them claim their first-ever NRRRL premiership in their first season under new coach, former NRL great Brent Kite.

Awarded to the best team in the CRL since 1937, the Clayton Cup is considered one of the most prestigious awards in country rugby league.

It is the first time Tweed Coast Raiders has won the Cup, with the only other Tweed club to do so being Tweed Heads Seagulls, who took it out three times, in 1963, 1983 and 1989.

HONOURED: 2018 CRL award winners including Cudgen's Caleb Ziebell and Tweed Coast Raiders who took out the team of the year.
HONOURED: 2018 CRL award winners including Cudgen's Caleb Ziebell and Tweed Coast Raiders who took out the team of the year. Country Rugby League

Current NRLW St George Illawarra Dragons player Samantha Bremner received the Women's Representative Player of the Year award for her outstanding performances for the victorious NSW Country team at the inaugural Women's National Championships, where she also received Player of the Tournament honours.

Batemans Bay Tigers product Treigh Stewart received the Tom Nelson Medal for his impressive performances for Monaro in the Laurie Daley Cup, while Bathurst Panther Noah Griffiths received the Ron Lanesbury Medal for his notable performances for the Western Rams in the Andrew Johns Cup.

CRL chairman John Anderson praised the top performances of the players and clubs throughout Season 2018.

"It has been a tremendous season for Country Rugby League, with many things to celebrate including fantastic achievements by players, teams, clubs, communities and volunteers both on and off the field,” Anderson said.

Cudgen Hornets frontrower Caleb Ziebell was awarded the NSW Country Rugby League Player of the Year for his dominant performances for the victorious Northern Rivers U23 Country Championship side. He will now represent the Country U23s representative team in their matches against the Australian Defence Force and Papua New Guinea in Ipswich and Port Moresby.
Cudgen Hornets frontrower Caleb Ziebell was awarded the NSW Country Rugby League Player of the Year for his dominant performances for the victorious Northern Rivers U23 Country Championship side. He will now represent the Country U23s representative team in their matches against the Australian Defence Force and Papua New Guinea in Ipswich and Port Moresby. Contributed

2018 CRL Player of the Year Award Winners:

  • Country Rugby League Player of the Year - Caleb Ziebell (Cudgen Hornets, Northern Rivers)
  • Women's Representative Player of the Year - Samantha Bremner (Helensburgh Tigers, NSW Country)
  • Tom Nelson Medal (Laurie Daley Cup) - Treigh Stewart (Batemans Bay)
  • Ron Lanesbury Medal (Andrew Johns Cup) - Noah Griffiths (Bathurst Panthers)
  • 2018 Clayton Cup - Tweed Coast Raiders (Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League)

Tweed Coast Raiders representatives Michael Ashburn and Jared de Thierry collect the prestigious Clayton Cup for the best NSW Country Rugby League club of 2018.
Tweed Coast Raiders representatives Michael Ashburn and Jared de Thierry collect the prestigious Clayton Cup for the best NSW Country Rugby League club of 2018. Contributed


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