Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys) have tied for rugby league’s prestigious Dally M medal.
Just days out from an appearance in the 2016 Telstra Premiership Grand Final, Cronk was awarded his second Dally M medal, following his solo win in 2013.
And Taumalolo has won his first Dally M medal – as the game’s ultimate prize was awarded jointly for the second time in three years.
Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders, who played off in a Preliminary Final on Saturday night, shared a significant amount of the honours on the night.
For the Storm, Cronk was named halfback of the year, Cameron Smith was awarded hooker of the year honours, and Jesse Bromwich was named prop of the year, while Smith also picked up the Representative Player of the Year award.
Canberra’s Jarrod Croker picked up three awards, including Captain of the Year and Provan Summons People’s Choice.
Meanwhile the Raiders’ Ricky Stuart was named Coach of the Year, and Joseph Leilua was awarded Centre of the Year honours.
St George Illawarra’s Joel Thompson was awarded the Ken Stephen Medal at a glittering event at The Star in Sydney.
Kezie Apps continued a landmark year for the NSW women’s side by being named the Female Player of the Year.
Full list of award winners:
Dally M Player of the Year: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Female Player of the Year: Kezie Apps
One of the toughest players in rugby league, Kezie Apps helped NSW to a historic win over Queensland finally ending a 17-year undefeated streak.
Peter Moore Award for Rookie of the Year: Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast Titans)
Ashley Taylor showed composure and confidence beyond his years to guide an unfancied Titans outfit to the NRL finals.
Captain of the Year: Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders)
Jarrod Croker led an exciting Raiders assault on the NRL Telstra Premiership, culminating in a second-place finish and preliminary final appearance.
Coach of the Year: Ricky Stuart (Canberra Raiders)
It was a tight field with plenty of worthy contenders, but Ricky Stuart’s effort to get the Raiders to a second place finish and a preliminary final earnt him the coach of the year.
Ken Stephen Medal: Joel Thompson (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Provan Summons People’s Choice Medal: Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders)
Canberra’s captain Jarrod Croker had an outstanding season and his efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the fans, who picked him as their favourite player in the game.
Representative Player of the Year: Cameron Smith (Queensland/Storm)
Australian and Queensland captain Cam Smith led both representative teams to victory in another stellar season for the No.9.
Holden Cup Player of the Year: Jayden Brailey (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Brailey impressively topped the Holden Cup for both try assists (31) and tackles (1,026) in a season in which he missed only 46 minutes across 26 matches.
Peter Frilingos Headline Moment: Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)
Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford’s dramatic 40 metre field goal in golden point to beat the North Queensland Cowboys in the grand final rematch has won the Peter Frilingos headline moment of the year.
Dally M Team of the Year
Fullback of the Year: James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
His best season to date was rewarded with a NSW and a Prime Minister’s XIII jersey. Tedesco is one of the most exciting players to watch in the competition.
Winger of the Year: Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers)
The Panthers destructive dynamo beat out a class field to win the winger of the year, narrowly edging Canberra’s Jordan Rapana and Storm rookie sensation Suliasi Vunivalu to name a few.
Centre of the Year: Joseph Leilua (Canberra Raiders)
Arguably the most improved player in the NRL, Leilua was at times unstoppable and formed a lethal combination with Jordan Rapana.
Five-eighth of the Year: James Maloney (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Maloney could just be the buy of the season for Cronulla, as he helped them to a 15-match winning streak and guided them to the grand final.
Halfback of the Year: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
Cooper Cronk had a massive year for the Storm, leading them to a minor premiership and another grand final appearance.
Lock of the Year: Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
The North Queensland forward was named the Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) Players Champion after he was voted the best player by his peers. Taumalolo is one of the most feared ball runners in the competition and continued to improve in 2016.
Second-rower of the Year: Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)
Matt Gillett has established himself as one of the best forwards in the game and had another outstanding season for Brisbane.
Prop of the Year: Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)
Jesse Bromwich confirmed his status as the best prop in the game with another outstanding season in Melbourne.
Hooker of the Year: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
Cam Smith just edged Raiders rake Josh Hodgson for the hooker of the year award. Smith led the Storm to another Minor Premiership and to their third grand final in five years.
Top Points Scorer: Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders)
In a record breaking season in which he broke Canberra’s all-time point scoring record, Jarrod Croker now has his sights firmly set on the overall NRL record held by Bulldogs legend Hazem el Masri. The Canberra captain scored 296 points this season – a club record – which was 83 points more than the next best, James Maloney (213*). He finished fifth on the try scorers list for the season with 18 four-pointers and kicked 112 goals.
Top Try Scorer: Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm)
Suliasi Vunivalu was a revelation for the Storm and his try scoring feat was made more unbelievable by the fact he only made his debut in Round 7. But the Storm flyer made up for lost time scoring doubles in his first three games and would end the season with 22 tries in the regular season crossing the line more than once in a game on eight occasions including an incredible four in one half against Manly.
Dally M Medal Honour Roll:
2016: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
2015: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2014: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys) and Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)
2013: Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)
2012: Ben Barba (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
2011: Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)
2010: Todd Carney (Sydney Roosters)
2009: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels)
2008: Matt Orford (Manly Sea Eagles)
2007: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2006: Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
2005: Johnathan Thurston (North Qld Cowboys)
2004: Danny Buderus (Newcastle Knights)
2003: Not awarded
2002: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
2001: Preston Campbell (Cronulla Sharks)
2000: Trent Barrett (St George Illawarra Dragons)
1999: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
1998: Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
1997: Not awarded
1996: Allan Langer (Brisbane Broncos)
1995: Laurie Daley (Canberra Raiders)
1994: Cliff Lyons (Manly Sea Eagles)
1993: Ricky Stuart (Canberra Raiders)
1992: Gary Freeman (Eastern Suburbs Roosters)
1991: Michael Potter (St George Dragons)
1990: Cliff Lyons (Manly Sea Eagles)
1989: Gavin Miller (Cronulla Sharks)
1988: Gavin Miller (Cronulla Sharks)
1987: Peter Sterling (Parramatta Eels)
1986: Peter Sterling (Parramatta Eels)
1985: Greg Alexander (Penrith Panthers)
1984: Michael Potter (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
1983: Terry Lamb (Western Suburbs Magpies)
1982: Ray Price (Parramatta Eels)
1981: Steve Rogers (Cronulla Sharks)
1980: Robert Laurie (South Sydney Rabbitohs)