The career of Laois’ Rugby League star Tim Bergin took another upward curve last week when he was presented with the Irish Rugby League Player of the Year award, at the International Rugby League Awards, held in the Tower of London.
Bergin was rewarded for a superb season with both club and country, as he played a key role in helping the Sheffield Eagles qualify for the Championship Grand Final, while Ireland continue to make great leaps forward on the international front.
Speaking to the Leinster Express last week, Bergin admitted that the award had come at the end of a successful year for him. “It has been a great year, the award is based on club performances as well, and we got to the Grand Final. It was the best season the club had in 10 years, and it has been really good for me as well.”
When he says that it has been a good year for him too, he can point to an impressive list of statistics to back that claim up. He started 15 games for Sheffield in their 20 game league season, scoring seven tries, which tied him for fourth place on the club list. He also kicked five penalties.
It is form like that which will see him return to Sheffield next year, as he has just signed a new one-year contract with the Eagles.
His performances helped Sheffield to fourth place in the league, but they kicked on from there and qualified for the championship final, only to be well beaten on the day by Featherstone, 40-4.
After making it to the semi-finals last year, Bergin admitted the team has their goals set for next year already. “We’ve only lost one player from this year, and we’ve signed another five or six on top of that. We made the semi-final last year and the final this year and we want to win the playoffs now next year.”
If his club success wasn’t impressive enough, he also made a bit of history with the Irish Rugby League team. In what was the first ever Rugby League game played in Thomond Park, Bergin was the first Irish player to touch down on the hallowed turf at the home of Munster Rugby.
He is now enjoying what is a brief off-season, as he played his final game of last season just over two weeks ago, but is due back for pre-season training with Sheffield at the end of this month.