25 hours ago
Thurston wins Dally M
Stunning late-season form has helped Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston claim his second Dally M Medal in three years.
Thurston produced an amazing finish to the NRL season, polling 13 votes in the final five rounds to overtake Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah in the last fixture to win the player of the year award last night.
Thurston trailed Farah by two votes heading into the last round but produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 38-32 win over the Bulldogs to take his second medal after also claiming the coveted award in 2005.
Teenage Storm sensation Israel Folau was named rookie of the year while Craig Bellamy picked up the coach of the year award.
The first coach to win the award in consecutive years, Bellamy has finished ahead of Manly's Des Hasler, South Sydney's Jason Taylor and Gold Coast's John Cartwright after leading the Storm to back-to-back minor premierships.
Melbourne won 21 of 24 games this year, leading the ladder for the majority of the season along with front runners Manly. Melbourne players also faired well on the awards night, with workaholic forward Dallas Johnson named lock of the year, captain Cameron Smith the representative player of the year and Israel Folau rookie of the year.
Dally M Player of the Year Johnathon Thurston
Provan Summons Medal Nathan Hindmarsh
Representative Player Cameron Smith
Top Pointscorer Hazem El Masri (Bulldogs)
Top Tryscorers Matthew Bowen (North Queensland Cowboys) Israel Folau (Melbourne Storm)
Fullback Matt Bowen
Winger Jarryd Hayne
Centre Justin Hodges
Five-Eighth Darren Lockyer
Halfback Johnathon Thurston
Prop Steve Price
Second-Row Anthony Watmough
Lock Dallas Johnson
Hooker Robbie Farah
Coach Craig Bellamy
Rookie Israel Falau