The season still has another five weeks to run but the engravers should already be etching these names into the Dally M trophies.
Player of the Year
Cameron Smith’s injury looked to put his Dally M Medal win in doubt, but he incredibly still turned out for Melbourne on Sunday and there is no question at all he has been the best player on the best team. He continues to get better with age and could play well upwards of 450 games if he wanted. Gareth Widdop has had a quality year for the Dragons and could cause the upset.
Cameron Smith will become just the 3rd player in history to play 350 #NRL games!
Only D.Lockyer & T.Lamb have achieved the milestone 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/TlgLuCoYI8
— NRL (@NRL) July 30, 2017
Coach of the Year
Craig Bellamy is the best coach in the NRL, period, and should win this award virtually every year. The Storm have somehow improved their depth even after making the grand final last year. An argument can be made for Trent Barrett, though, with Manly the biggest overachievers in 2017.
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) July 28, 2017
Rookie of the Year
Nick Cotric has been a shining light on a very ordinary Raiders team this year. He runs hard and with conviction, and has certainly displayed more maturity than his 18 years would suggest. A star of the future. Jayden Brailey had a strong start to the year for the Sharks before an injury ended his campaign early.
Alan Tongue gave Nick Cotric player of the match in Raiders win over Souths last night. Incredible rookie season for an 18 year old.
— Tim Gavel (@TimGavel) July 29, 2017
Captain of the Year
Boyd Cordner has done an excellent job as leader of both the Sydney Roosters and New South Wales. He is a follow-me-type who has played through injury and in top-class form. Of course, this award should pretty much just go to Cameron Smith every season.
NSW captain Boyd Cordner backs Blues culture amid hysteria over State of Origin series loss
— Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) July 22, 2017
Rep Player of the Year
This award is wide open. Matt Gillett was Australia’s best in the Anzac Test but Dane Gagai was arguably the best of the Maroons players across the three Origin matches, helping to turn the series. Should have gone close to man-of-the-match honours in game two. Jake Trbojevic would be a strong smoky.
Dane Gagai becomes the first winger in history to win the Wally Lewis Medal!
— NRL (@NRL) July 12, 2017
Alex Johnston currently leads the way with 16 after a five-try haul against Penrith but it is hard to see him holding out Suliasi Vunivalu (15), who won the award last year. Vunivalu is a tryscoring freak, while wing partner Josh Addo-Carr (14) is more than capable of surging to take out the title.
— NRL (@NRL) July 2, 2017