Thu, Sep 27, 9:29am by Head Editor
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is the 2018 Dally M Medalist after the star fullback stormed home with 14 points in the last nine rounds of the season.
Tuivasa-Sheck created history by becoming the first Warriors player to take out the NRL’s highest individual honour, finishing on 29 points, two ahead of Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga.
The count went down to the wire with a dramatic final round seeing the 25-year-old collect three points in his club’s 20-16 win over Canberra which saw him overtake Ponga who missed the final round with an ankle injury.
The Warriors fullback becomes the first to win the award from that position since Ben Barba in 2012. It was a richly deserved honour for the New Zealand International who averaged 167 metres a match and broke 92 tackles in 2018.
Wests Tigers halfback Luke Brooks finished on 26 points after failing to record a point in the final three rounds of the season.
Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes finishing in fourth place on 25 votes after finishing strong in the second half of the year while Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce was two back on 23 points, even though he missed 12 games with a pectoral injury.
Moments after Tuivasa-Sheck made his acceptance speech, New Zealand Kiwis teammates Issac Luke, Jazz Tevaga, Jordan Rapana and Jamayne Isaako produced an emotion-charged haka in honour of Tuivasa-Sheck’s achievement, which moved the fullback to tears.
Other winners of the night included Jamayne Isaako of the Broncos who was named rookie of the year while Rabbitohs Boss Anthony Seibold was named coach of the season.
Rabbitoh Damien Cook won the fan’s player of the year while the Inaugural Women’s State of Origin game took out moment of the year and Broncos hooker Brittany Breayley, who played in that contest, was adjudged the women’s player of the year.
As expected, Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith was named captain of the year ahead of Tuivasa-Sheck and his counterpart in this Sunday’s decider Boyd Cordner.
Smith and his teammates are $1.67 favourites as of Thursday morning to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy ahead of the tricolours who are out at $2.20 but if their only meeting this season is anything to go by, which the Storm won 9-8, we are in for a close one.
Storm fullback Billy Slater was cleared to play by the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night after he was cited for a shoulder charge on Cronulla winger Sosaia Feki on Friday night. That news saw Melbourne’s odds come in from $1.85 to their current mark.
NRL Grand Final Odds
Sydney Roosters $2.20 Melbourne Storm $1.67
Handicap: Melbourne -2 ($1.91)
Margin: Melbourne 1-12 $2.75; 13+ $4.20
Sydney 1-12 $3.10; 13+ $6.50
Total match points over/under 32.5 ($1.90)
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