2017 Ruggas Most Valuable Player of the Year – Dameon Venter

 

Dameon Venter is known as one of the hard men on the field, as many an opponent will attest to his abilities in the contact situation when it gets tight and physical on the field. A solid scrum worker commanding his pack with intent and one of the better lineout throwers I have seen this season with the ability to throw accurately at depth, expect him to find his jumpers with regularity.

It is in the loose where this young warrior set himself apart from the rest. Not so much renowned as a ball carrier, he still has plenty of pace for a hooker and could cover half the field yet get the offload in. His care of the ball in the contact is excellent due to his superb physicality and strength. He is growing into the ultimate battle hardened forward, happy to do the hard work upfront and relentless in his pursuit of the steal on the ground and often first in support to secure vital possession for his team.

As this was the hottest contested category the final decision was made on the role that the players nominated played for their team at the highest level. Dameon was instrumental in the final of the u/18 Craven Week between the Golden Lions and the Sharks. His lineout throws were exceptional and his scrummaging effort brilliant, but what set him apart was the vital role he played in securing the loose ball, ensuring that the Lions loosies could concentrate on attack. He started this match with one major role to play - to win the physical battle up front and on the ground. And that he accomplished brilliantly making him Ruggas.co.za 2017 Most Valuable Player of the Year.