Kayal Iro caps a stellar season with more awards
(Article supplied by Margie McDonald from the NSW Rugby League.)
A bumper year for Newtown Jets centre Kayal Iro has extended well into the off-season with the 22-year-old picking up three awards at club’s presentation night.
The Jets held their post-season gala night in mid-November to give Iro time to return to Sydney from the 2021 World Cup in the UK, where he played all three games for the Cook Islands.
Iro picked up the Jets’ prestigious Fred Daly Memorial Shield – for the most positive contribution in a season – and the Brian Moore Shield for Best and Fairest in 2022.
His third honour was to be voted the Newtown RLFC Members’ Player of the Year Award.
Iro was up and down off the stage at the Petersham RSL Club with regularity, which was no surprise considering his season’s achievements.
He was named NSWRL’s NSW Cup Player of the Year at the Brad Fittler Medal Award dinner in September and was also a key member of the Cook Islands Rugby League World Cup squad.
Other 2022 Newtown Jets players who won Rugby League World Cup selection were Reubenn Rennie and Vincent Rennie (Cook Islands); Charbel Tasipale and Kayne Kalache (Lebanon); and Billy Magoulias (Greece).
This was after he finished second in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup for tackle-breaks (110) behind Jets teammate Lachie Miller (115).
Iro was third for line-breaks (17) across the competition and equal-fifth for tries (14) with teammate Luke Metcalf in NSW Cup action.
He also made his NRL debut for Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in their Round 24 win over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Other 2022 Jets awards included:
– front-rower Tom Hazelton receiving the Coach’s Award;
– backline utility Tyla Tamou winning the Players’ Player Award;
– fullback and five-eighth Kade Dykes, the Most Consistent Player of the Year Award;
– Jesse Colquhoun, the Forward of the Year Award;
– front-rower Caleb Uele named the Most Improved Player of the Year.
Caleb is the younger brother of Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele and has earned a Sharks pre-season ‘train and trial’ contract.
The presentation night also provided the Newtown Jets community the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to Greg Matterson, who is stepping down after a highly successful career as head coach of the NSW Cup team from 2008 to 2022.
His record with the Jets includes two NSW Cup premierships, one NRL State Championship, runners-up (twice), preliminary finalists (twice), and semi-finalists (four times).
Matterson remains with the Newtown RLFC in the newly-created position of Head of Football.
Newtown Jets respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the Land and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on and that the land area encompassing Henson Park traditionally belonged to the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.