A seven-year-old boy, who has only played Wheelchair Rugby League for the past 12 months, has taken out the inaugural Junior Player of the Year at the prestigious NSW Wheelchair Rugby League Awards at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night (30 August).
Finn Moar, who was born with spina bifida, became the youngest ever wheelchair recipient to win an award for players aged 18 years or under (age restrictions are in place for other wheelchair sports).
It was a big night for the Moar family, with Finn’s 10-year-old, able-bodied brother Liam taking home the award for Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Most Improved Player.
“Finn is able to play with his brother Liam as NSW Wheelchair Rugby League prides itself on being inclusive,” NSW Wheelchair Rugby League Chairman Edie George said.
“If they didn’t play our sport they wouldn’t be able to play any sport together.
“Finn only started playing the sport last year and when he started he wasn’t able to push his chair straight but now he’s making tags, catching and passing.
“We’ve never had anyone develop as fast as Finn and I congratulate him on his award.”
Cory Cannane, who plays for St George Illawarra Dragons, took out the coveted Player of the Year Award after scoring four tries for NSW in a man-of-the-match performance in the Wheelchair State of Origin win over Queensland in July.
The award, which is determined by a points system from referees after every game, is awarded to the player judged to be the most consistent all season.
Cory took up the sport 10 year ago to play alongside his father Craig, who has represented Australia in both Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby League. Both Cory and Craig have represented NSW together.
“Craig had a motorcycle accident when he was 19 and could never play a sport with his son until Wheelchair Rugby League came along,” George said.
“Now they’ve represented NSW together and they’ve also won a number of competitions with the Dragons together.
“Cory was a standout player in 2019 and played a crucial role in the NSW victory over Queensland.”
Emily Becroft, who made the NSW Development Squad and has represented NSW Country, won the Women of League Award.
“Emily is regarded as a pioneer for Women’s Wheelchair Rugby League,” George said.
“She originally became involved through her boyfriend Liam Luff but has now has played a major role in bringing other women into the sport.”
Luff was also recognised on the night after winning the award for Wests Tigers Most Valuable Player.