Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Kiwis fullback Brent Webb and second rower David Kidwell will share the prestigious title of New Zealand Rugby League?s player of the year.
The pair were jointly named the Lion Red Player Of The Year at the annual NZRL awards dinner at Sky City in Auckland on Friday night.
This is the first time the Player Of The Year award ? which is selected by an independent panel of journalists from around the country - has been shared since the inception of the awards dinner in 1992.
?Brent and David are great examples of passionate Kiwis,? NZRL acting chairman Andrew Chalmers said.
?Their performances throughout the year including the recent Gillette Tri-Nations series were nothing less than inspirational and that amongst their other outstanding qualities is the reason why they will share this award.
?They lead by example and that has been recognised tonight.
?The panel of judges for this award, which is made up of a select group of journalists from around the country, were all asked to select their top five players from the year.
?And when they were all tallied up there was no way to split the votes.
?These two players deserve this award and it gives me an immense amount of pride to see them acknowledged as the best of the best this year.?
The award sees Kidwell and Webb join the likes of Ruben Wiki, Stacey Jones, Mark Graham, Hugh McGahan and Gary Freeman in the list of winners of the award.
Webb also scooped up the Malaysian Airlines Player Of The Tri-Nations Tournament award as well.
The Leeds bound star was the unanimous winner of the award judged by his fellow team-mates during the Gillette Tri-Nations series.
Junior Kiwis skipper Russell Packer, 17, from Manawatu picked up the Lion Foundation Junior Player Of The Year award and the Lion Foundation Supreme Amateur Athlete award while Simon Mannering collected the SAS Sport Rookie Of The Year title.
Rona Peters was named the Autex Industries Women?s Player Of The Year while Craig Pascoe was presented the Crown Lift Trucks Referee Of The Year award.
The Mad Butcher Personality Of The Year award went to Bartercard Cup player Andrew Tauai.
Lion Foundation Junior Player Of The Year: Russell Packer ? Central Falcons
Lion Foundation Supreme Amateur Achievement Award: Russell Packer (Selected from the above categories)
SAS Sport Rookie Of The Year: Simon Mannering
Malaysian Airlines Player Of The Tri-Nations Tournament: Brent Webb